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Avennia Justine Red Blend 2017

Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah 

Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.

 Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.

Review:

"Grenache (61%) is in the lead on this wine, followed by Mourvèdre (23%) and Syrah. Alluring aromas of raspberry, blueberry, thistle, herb, smoked meat and black pepper are followed by lush, achingly pure red and blue fruit flavors, accented by a lovely sense of spicing. It's deft but pure. Smoked meat and black pepper notes linger on the extremely long finish. The balance throughout is impressive—a complete stunner. Best from 2023 to 2030, with good life beyond that. - SEAN P. SULLIVAN"
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2020), 93 pts, Editors' Choice


 Wine Enthusiast: 93
Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017

Barone Cornacchia Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is 90% Montepulciano 10% Sangiovese

Deep ruby red with violet-purple reflections.
Huge, fruity bouquet, black cherry and herb scented.
Lush currant fruit with velvety soft tannins and perfect fruit acid balance. A wine of great harmony and intensity. The finish is long and spicy.

Area of production: Torri di Torano Nuovo Harvest: October– by hand. Vinification: 15 to 18 days maceration on the skins with a daily pumping over of the juice. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel at 28-30 °C. Alcohol: 13% by vol.

Grilled or roasted white and red meats, dishes flavored with mushrooms, garlic and rosemary. Excellent with polenta dishes and game.

Bastgen Berncastel-Cueser Weisenstein Riesling Spatlese Trocken 2017

Bastgen Berncastel-Cueser Weisenstein Riesling Spatlese Trocken is made from 100 percent Riesling. 


Bright, clean, fresh and zesty. Grapefruit like flavors. Fruity aromas and a nice minerality, typical of the Riesling grape grown on blue slate soil. Round, rich and a very long finish.
The grapes for this wine are vigorously selected. Botrytis is not tolerated. At harvest the grapes are fully ripened, have a golden color, and a soft tartness. After a long spontaneous fermentation in a traditional 1000L barrel, the wine just reaches the dry stage. This gives the wine a creamy structure that interplays with ripe yellow and exotic fruit aromas. A delicate wine that yet has power and fullness, predestined to go with food. 111 cases made.


 Review:
"Fragrant yellow peach and melon notes are accented by earthy whiffs of crushed mineral and slate in this full bodied, luscious Riesling. Ripe yellow peach and apple flavors are rich and penetrating, offset by brisk acidity and a sleek, stony finish. A hedonistic wine to enjoy now through 2030. - Anna Lee C. Iijima"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (February 1st, 2019), 92 points




 Wine Enthusiast: 92
Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Spatlese 2017

Bastgen Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling Spatlese is 100 percent Riesling. 

Yellow color with green highlights.
Beautiful peach aromas on the nose, rich and ripe fruits on the mouth with a refreshing acidity and honey notes. A very pleasing wine.

They meticulously tend 4.5 ha (11.11 acres) of which 80% is Riesling. The soil is made of slate. Their vineyards are located in Kesten and Brauneberg, on a steep terrace, and planted to 50-year old vines. Fortunately for Bastgen, they own part of the famous Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr. The vines produce very small, ripe berries that are very tasty.


Bavencoff Meursault Blanc 2017

Bavencoff Meursault Blanc is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.

Meursault shows a green golden color, leaning towards bronze as it ages. Limpid and brilliant, it exhibits silver highlights. The young wine is redolent of toasted almonds and hazelnuts in a floral and mineral (flint) setting. Butter, honey, and citrus fruits are also present. On the palate it is rich and fat with a cheerful and appealing taste of hazelnut.

Aged in French oak barrels (50% new).

Noble and fine-textured fish or meat, blue cheeses and foie gras.

Betz Family Clos de Betz 2015

Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot

Washington southern Rhone varieties continue their winning streak, proving to excel in cool and hot vintages. Fans of thisSouthern Rhone-inspired wine will note that there’s no Counoise in the 2012 blend as there has been in recent vintages; that variety ripened fine, but they lacked the penetrating character needed to complement the final wine. The Mourvedre fraction (15%) stepped through in the wine, making the 2012 deeper, more structured yet finely layered. Grenache (50%) still dominates the blend, with its creamy black raspberry, wild dried strawberry, dried herbs and floral notes. Cinsault (20%) fills in with its dusty blue notes, and Yakima Valley Syrah (15%) provides more backbone. This is a Bésoleil for the cellar, dense and full, and a few years of aging will expand its Chateauneuf-like appeal.



Review:

"Possessing even more Merlot than the 2014, the 2015 Clos de Betz is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot brought up in a mix of barrels. Its chocolatey plum, tobacco leaf, licorice and damp earth aromatics give way to a medium to full-bodied, polished, pretty style on the palate that shines for its elegance and freshness. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 92-94 pts

 Wine Advocate: 94
Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon is garnet red in color, refreshing and inviting to the palate. The wine’s aromas are layered with rich plum notes and a warm cedar component. The ripe, dark cherry flavors, are reminiscent of decadent blackberries with a nice sprinkling of dried herbs. With a mellow tannin structure, this medium-bodied wine is delicious and well-integrated.

Black Oak White Zinfandel 2017

The Black Oak White Zinfandel is a wonderful warm weather sipper. This is sometimes called our ‘hammock wine’ for lazy days by the river.

Lovely perfume aromas that remind one of ripe melons, honeysuckle in summer, and cherry blossoms in spring. The flavors are bright and delicately sweet, with a very good balance of fresh acidity that lightens up the complex texture. The succulent flavors are of juicy tangerine, white peaches and just picked strawberries. All this with an additional hint of lemon-lime and sass that make this a very approachable and fun wine selection.

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2017

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare  is made from 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut

No oak.

This wine is quite emblematic of the great sea change that has occurred at Bonny Doon Vineyard since the sell-off/ draw-down of the Ginormous Doonamath, whereby we have essayed a most sincere effort to make “quieter” wines in a more natural, less manipulated fashion. As such, this Vin Gris is made from bespoke grapes and is not a byproduct of red wine production, per se. We harvested at the appropriate ripeness level for its style. The essential principle here is that less is truly more. The wine does not overwhelm one with fruitybombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The ’17 Vin Gris is a return to form from recent vintages, and a true expression of a proper Vin Gris, which is to say a pale pink wine made with the scantest skin contact. As a result, the wine is somewhat lighter and more delicate on the palate with minimal astringency and perhaps more of a floral aspect than doonright fruitiness. The perfume of this wine is subtle, haunting, not vulgar or tawdry, like some of the louche rosés de la nuit. Enfin, this wine is all about elegance and restraint. Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish.
The wine does not overwhelm one with fruity-bombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The Grenache for our Vin Gris came from bespoke sections of the Alta Loma Vineyard, harvested at the appropriate maturity level for this elegant style of wine. About 24% of the wine is composed of traditional white Rhône varieties in substantial part from the Beeswax Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco district of Monterey, adding a surprising richness and foundation. We also employed the practice of postfermentation bâtonnage—the stirring or re-suspension of yeast lees—to give the wine a certain creaminess of texture.

Varietal Blend: 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut. 
Appellation: Central Coast
Vineyards: 41% Alta Loma, 13% Beeswax, 11% Bokisch Ranch, 8% JD Farming, 6% San Miguel, 7% Cass, 5% Gonsalves, 4% Scheid, 3% Wente, 1% Rancho Solo, 1% Ventan
Alcohol by Volume: 13.2%
TA: 4.5 g/L
pH: 3.42

This wine just begs for oysters or stone crab.

Review:

- Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2018), 90 pts, BEST BUY - YEAR'S BEST ROSES

 90 Points
Bressia Lagrima Canela 2017

Bressia Lagrima Canela is made from 70 % Chardonnay, 30 % Semillon

Barrel fermented for 14 months in new French and American oak

Lagrima Canela means 'cinnamon tears'. This white blend shows an intense greenish-yellow wine with luminous golden highlights. It has fresh, elegant floral aromas, lent to it by its grape varieties, as well as melon, pear and toasty oak. Medium bodied with a creamy texture and outstanding depth and concentration.

Light gold colored with a perfume of candle wax, pear, melon, and toasty oak, on the palate the wine is medium-bodied with well-integrated oak, dry flavors, a creamy texture, and outstanding depth and concentration.

 


"Always among the best white blends in Argentina, this cuvée of Chardonnay with 30% Semillon is lightly oaked with some malolactic fermentation for added texture. Stone fruit and herbal flavours flow across the tongue, with some baking spices and a soft, caressing finish. 2018-21."

- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2018), 94 pts


 94 Points
Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec 2017

Bressia Monteagrelo Malbec is made from 100 percent Malbec.

Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. No filtration and no fining.  

Bressia Monteagrelo combines the soul of each varietal, its intimate relationship with the origin and its deep roots with a unique terroir in the world...Monteagrelo is our family of wines and, as in any family, each one expresses their own identity and varietal personality that makes them unforgettable and unrepeatable." - Walter Bressia

Monteagrelo Malbec is sourced from vineyards in Tupungato, La Consulta & Agrelo. Planted 6,500 plants per hectare.

Attractive and intense red-colored wine with purple tones. It exhibits ripe red and black fruit aromas, mixed with vanilla, chocolate and coffee nuances. Good concentration, great structure, delicate tannins and a long, harmonious finish.


Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County 2017

Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier.

For some time now, we have shared a love of Rhone Valley blends and their domestic counterparts. We wanted to experiment with some completely different varietals by putting our California twist on the beautiful interplay between the bright fruit and mineral characteristics of these blends while still maintaining the rich, fruit focused, layered lusciousness we enjoy. We are fortunate to be working with fruit from the exceptional Shake Ridge Vineyard in Amador County. It is a fantastically well-managed site with a diverse soil composition, producing a wine with an incredible flavor profile and depth.

Our Mixed Blacks is an exotic and constantly evolving wine crafted from unique varietals. The palate explodes with luscious flavors of bright boysenberry and blueberry cream followed by Chinese five spice, cinnamon and white pepper. Tantalizing notes of tangy pomegranate and zesty orange peel dance effortlessly on the nose with a beautiful floral essence of sweet lavender and a hint of rose petal. An uplifting presence of natural acidity and alluring minerality adds to the intrigue of this wine. The well-integrated sweet tannins give way to a long intoxicating finish.


Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic 2017

Burgo Viejo Rioja Blanco Organic  is made from 60% Viura and 40% Trempranillo Blanco

No Oak. Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage

Pale yellow color with green tones.
Fresh and intense flavors of white fruits, peach, apple and some citrus notes.
Full-bodied mouth with nice balance of volume and length.

Vineyards are located in Alfaro. 
Manual harvest in 8 kilograms baskets. 
100% destemmed.
Light pressing of the grapes. 
Fermentation at controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks. 
No Malolactic fermentation.
Aged 3 months on the lees with frequent batonnage. (stirring of the lees)

Pairs with seafood, pasta and rice dishes, smooth cheeses.

Review:

"Some lifted poached-pear and lemon-peel aromas, as well as sweet perfume. The palate delivers a smooth and juicy array of melon and white-peach flavors. Bright, crunchy and fresh. From organically grown grapes. Drink now."
- James Suckling (August 2nd 2018), 92 pts


 92 Points
Burgo Viejo Rioja Rosado 2017

Closeout!

Burgo Viejo Rioja Rosado is made from 100% Garnacha.
Burgo Viejo Rosado Wine is the milestone example of rosé wines developed in Rioja for years. Vinification has been improved to retain vibrant fruit and display colorful aromas when served.
Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature; wine is rapidly bottled to keep it fresh.
Bright strawberry color and aroma; with hint of raspberry and intense strawberry flavour and a crisp finish.
Enjoy it with pasta and poultry.

Busi Chianti Rufina 2017

Busi Chianti Rufina is made from 100% 100% Sangiovese

Fresh, fruity, with classic tart cherry.
Appearance: ruby-red in color.
Aroma: clean, floral notes.
Flavor: well structured and harmonic on the palate; easy drinking with a soft and lingering finish. Ageing potential: 10/15 years.

Adapts well to both light and more substantial dishes.

Production area: amidst the hills of Pelago in the Chianti Rufina D.O.C.G. area, with a soil composition of marly, calcareous clay as typically found in the Arno valley east of Florence. Aspect: south-facing. Altitude: 200/350 m above sea level. Cultivation method: spurred cordon. Harvest period: from the 20th of September until the middle of October. Vinification: the grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature (26/28°C) for 10 days before racking and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel. After fermentation the wine is put into wooden barrels. Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperatures for 7 to 8 days, with an additional 3 to 4 days on the skins. The wine is then racked and goes through malolactic. It is then racked again and stays another 7 months in stainless steel.

Cantina di Verona Ripasso Superiore Vallis Dei 2017


Cantina di Verona Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Vallis Dei is made from 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara

Color: intense red ruby
Nose: winey, fruity with hints of oak. Some spice and vanilla.
Mouth: It is well balanced with round tannins.

Yield: 10000 kg of grapes per hectar – after which the grapes are dried “appassimento”

Prestigious wine obtained by an ancient technique known in Veneto Region as “Ripasso” This technique consists of giving more body and character to Valpolicella Superiore wine by running it over the residue of the dried out grapes used in the production of Amarone and Recioto.
This process reinforces the structure, color and flavor without altering its freshness.
Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Vieilles Vignes 2017

Cazaux Vacqueyras Blanc Vieilles Vignes 50% Clairette, 30% Roussanne and 20% Viognier


The wine has a beautiful golden color.
The aromas are rich and exotic with mango, almonds, toast, lemon, pineapple white flowers and papaye. These aromas will develop to honey, butter and pear after ageing for a few years.
The finish is long, citrusy and toasty.

Terroir: Slopes of sandy soil or grey limestone.
Yield: 25 -30 hl/ha
Age of the vines: 70 years old minimum. The oldest are around 90 years old.
The grapes are pressed pneumatically after a few hours contact with the skins.The must is kept at 20°c during the alcoholic fermentation to optimise the aromas and respect the wine’s suppleness.
Barrel fermented an aged in 228-liter French Oak barrel for 12 months with regular stirrings of the lees.
MaloLactic Fermentation also in barrel.


Enjoy this wine with rich dish, river fish or poultry cooking in creamy sauce. Delicious with a mushroom risotto.



Cazaux Vacqueyras Cuvee des Templiers 2016

Cazaux Vacqueyras Cuvee des Templiers is a  blend of 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache.

Deep color. Intense and persistent red fruits, spice and violet aromas. Intense black cherry, blackberry, blueberry and cherry flavors. Explosive fruit tannins give the sweet, creamy flavors structure and focus, bright and uplifting on the finish.


Enjoy this wine when young with grilled beef and bearnaise sauce, lamb and thyme. After 7-10 years excellent with game meats.

Review:

"The medium ruby/purple-colored 2016 Vacqueyras Les Templiers checks in as an even split of Grenache and Syrah brought up all in tank. Terrific notes of cedary spice, pepper, sous bois, and assorted red and black fruits all give way to a medium to full-bodied, pure, elegant red that has fine tannin and good acidity. It's downright classy and will flesh out with a year in bottle and keep for 7-8 years."

- Jeb Dunnuck (September 2018), 92 pts


 92 Points
Chakana Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Calcareous gravels deposited by the Tunuyan river in the South of Valle de Uco and by the Las Tunas river in the North of Valle de Uco have created the two most promising growing areas of Mendoza, which are only now being developed and explored, bringing a new dimension to the wines of Argentina.

Aromas of black fruit and spices blended with mineral, graphite notes and freshness typical of calcareous soils. The palate demonstrates the power of Gualtallary combined with the structure of Cabernet Sauvignon. A fine finessed texture, which is tight and refreshing.

Vineyard: This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from the two outstanding subregions of Valle de Uco - the power and structure of Gualtallary with the elegance and freshness of Paraje Altamira. 20-year old vines.
Soil: Sandy with calcium carbonate-coated fine gravel up to 45 cm deep

Vinification techniques are performed in the most gentle way, avoiding the use of enzymes and must amendments. Fermentation is performed with native yeast only.

Superb with grilled red meat and grilled vegetable (Argentinean Asado).


Chakana Estate Chardonnay 2017

Yellow with green hints Pineapple aromas with toasty notes and a fresh mineral character and finish.

Grape Varietals 90% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc
ABV 14%
Aging 20% barrel-fermented and aged for 4 to 6 months in the same barrels
Serving Temp 50-55 degrees Farenheit°F
Closure Cork
Agricultural Method Sustainable
Residual Sugar
Dry - less than 4 grams/liter
Review:
"In the future, it’s possible that this will be released as an Ayni Chardonnay to partner Chakana’s top red. It’s certainly promising, with notes of honey, spice and stone fruit underpinned by the chalky freshness that’s a feature of Paraje Altamira wines. 2018-22"
- Tim Atkin, Argentina Special Report 2018, 91 pts


 

 

 91 Points
Chakana Estate Red Mendoza 2017

Chakana Estate Red Mendoza is made from 75% Malbec, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc

Deep red color with violet hints. Dark fruits and exotic spices with tobacco and mocha hints. Elegant, well balanced, harmonious, long persistence with chocolate flavors.

Vineyard: Gualtallary in Valle de Uco.

2 days maceration on skins in temperature controlled steel vats; 12 days fermentation with selected yeasts allowed to rise to a maximum of 28°C.
The 60% Malbec part of the blend is placed in 3,000 & 5,000-liter foudres and concrete vats, then this same wine is aged in old French oak barrels for 9 months ; While the 40% Cabernet Sauvignon part of the blend is all aged in new wood.


 

Review:


A high-altitude blend from organic vineyards planted at 1,100m in the Altamira and Gualtallary regions of the Uco Valley. A wild-fermented Malbec-dominant blend with 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, that's aged for 10 months: 70% in French oak and 30% in concrete. Savoury black fruit aromas with pretty violet top notes on the nose. Full-bodied, with firm tannins, but also good freshness. Savoury and spicy black fruit on the palate, but with some brighter cranberry notes too - a good food wine for hearty dishes. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. - Julie Sheppard"

- Decanter Magazine (October 2019), 90 pts


 90 Points
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