All older vintage wines have been purchased from a single collector’s cellar. Pictures can be requested before shipment.
Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013 is 100 percent Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has the essence of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, green apple, and Bartlett pear. It is both dense and bright, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon coming from its time in barrel. Aromas are so much related to experiences. It is a wine that is in the traditional Abeja style, with superb polish, complexity, and balance, yet with a light touch at 13.5 percent alcohol.
"Supple, ripe and complex, with layers of pear, floral, tangerine and a note reminiscent of freshly ironed clothing. Fine acidity carries this through to a refreshing finish. Drink now through 2020. 919 cases made. –HS"
- Wine Spectator (November 15th, 2015), 91 pts
"Abeja’s 2013 Chardonnay offers clean, crisp notes of apple blossom, white flowers, citrus and brioche. Fermented and aged in barrel (40% new), it has a solid mix of richness and freshness, is beautifully balanced, and will drink nicely for 2-3 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- The Wine Advocate (erobertparker.com, June 2015), 91 pts
"A blend of top sites Celilo and Conner Lee, this appealing wine displays aromas of candy corn, corn silk and chamomile. The stone-fruit flavors are elegantly styled, showing a sense of restraint and balance that carries through the lingering finish."
- Wine Enthusiast (September 1st 2015), 91 pts
Bellevue Cotes de Bordeaux-Castillon Cé Ma Cuvée is made from 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc
The wine is made with 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. Average age of the vines is 50 years old (everything is between 40 and 60 years old).
Cé Ma Cuvée is a tribute from Michel Lydoire to his 2 daughters:
Cé is for Céline. She is like the Merlot grape varietal. Pleasant and calm.
Ma is for Marina. She is like the Cabernet Franc grape varietal. Tough and with a lot of character.
The color is deep and inky.
The nose is spicy, fruity and oaky with some nice vanilla and coconut aromas.
The mouthfeel is complex, with ripe red and black fruit flavors. Some spiciness and integrated oak flavors.
The wine starts as the Vieilles vignes, but some wine is aged in 500-liter American Oak Barrels for 18 months.
They are using a mix of different toastiness for the barrels. Some high toast and some are medium toast.
This is a fun wine that can be enjoyed with any food, charbroil burgers, grilled vegetables, cheeses ... or even with dark chocolate desserts.
2015 Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux Cé Ma Cuvée Céline Lydoire focuses this wine on Bellevue's old Merlot plots, blending in Cabernet franc from southern exposures on gravelly soils. It's her top selection, treated to 18 months in new 400-liter oak barrels; she started making it at the behest of her French customers, who wanted a step up from her cool and refreshing Cuvée Tradition. This is just as cool, but more saturated in its distinctly Castillon fruit flavor—think wild strawberries and blueberries with an earthy mineral undercurrent. That silky fruit gains its supple impression from the new oak, which boosts the textural richness. As I thought about how to score this wine, I found myself writing, "If that were from California, I'd be all over it." Absolutely. But it's also got Castillon limestone clarity. And, it's $27. Buy a case. You won't be sorry -Wine & Spirits 93 Points
Bellevue Cotes de Castillon Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Eleve en Futs de Chene is made from 65% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc. Aged in mostly new oak barrels (90% French oak and 10% American oak), and some Château Haut Brion 2nd Barrels.
Betz Family Clos de Betz is 67 % Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot
"The only other 2013 reviewed on this go around (most were reviewed last year), the 2013 Clos de Betz checks in as a blend of 63% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Petit Verdot, mostly from Red Mountain and Yakima Valley, that spent 19 months in French oak. Sexy, supple, perfumed and beautifully complex, with notes of currants, dried flowers and an almost garrigue like perfume, this full-bodied beauty is already impossible to resist, yet will absolutely cruise for another 10-15 years. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 94 pts
Betz Family Pere de Famille 2012 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 % Merlot 4% Petit Verdot
- Vinous (November 2015), 93+ pts
Torre Castillo Jumilla Alegre 2013 is 100 percent Monastrell (Mourvedre)
Intense ruby color. The nose offers distinctive ripe fruit aromas. Round and rich in the mouth with blackberry flavors intertwined with soft spicy and toasty notes. Powerful tannins that will soften after a few years of cellaring.
Manual harvest. The grapes are picked at their full maturation. Slight filtration.
Pairs well with rice dishes, gazpachos (cold tomato soup), game and cured cheeses.
"(100% monastrell): Inky ruby. Fragrant black and blue fruit aromas, with notes of smoky Indian spices and violet adding complexity. Fleshy, sweet and expansive, offering juicy blueberry and boysenberry flavors and a zesty kick of peppery spices. Shows a creamy quality on the spice-accented finish, with supple tannins adding shape."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (September/October 2014), 90 pts
The Torre Castillo Estate
Torre Castillo is a family owned winery run by Julian Lopez Lizan. It is located in Montealegre del Castillo, in the heart of the D.O. Jumilla. The family built a new cellar in 1996 and got new equipment that allowed them to take advantage of the most modern techniques to produce high quality wine. Also, they own 700 oak barrels. After spending two years experimenting two different vineyards, they had their first harvest in 1997 and released their first vintage in 2000. They started to export their wines in 2003. The export market keeps growing and now represents 60%.
The Torre Castillo Vineyards
They own 100 hectares of vines planted to Monastrell grapes (also known as Mourvedre or Mataro). The wine region of Jumilla is quite large and spreads over the province of Murcia and Albacete, in south-eastern Spain. It is a rugged country, where the vineyards grow on a high plateau surrounded by mountains. Cultivating grapes has been a tradition for more than 2000 years and particularly Monastrell, that benefits from excellent growing conditions in the area. The limestone soils and the harsh climate (with temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, plunging to below freezing in winter, the scarce rainfall) enable Monastrell grapes to develop their color and flavors to the fullest.
Rebuli Brut Rose is made of 90% Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) + 10% of 2 other red grape varietals (to be named later this week)
Its pale rose color hides its considerable freshness and intensity and persistent perlage. It has a fruity aroma with a noticeable perfume of Golden Delicious apple and strawberry. It is an excellent aperitif and can accompany appetizers in general. It is also suitable for the whole meal and is ideal for drinking with nuts and dry fruit.
This large Spumante estate with just over 100 acres of vines produces high-quality Prosecco. The non-vintage Rosé Vino Spumante Extra Dry is a blend of 90% Glera and 10% Pinot Noir and Schiava. Crisp and dry with plenty of strawberry and cranberry fruit intermixed with a floral component, light body and delicate, well-formed, persistent bubbles, it can be enjoyed over the next year.- Robert Parker 89 Points
Tasting Notes: Deep, dark ruby color, aromas of blue fruits, confectionery and subtle licorice characters, thick luscious palate with good structure and soft finish.
The Blend is 44% Rubired, 31% Durif and 25% Shiraz.
Rubired is a cross between Tinto Cao and Alicante Ganzin (which is itself a cross between Alicante Bouschet and Aramon Rupestris Ganzin). It is known for being particularly adapted to the hot climate and producing dark wines, as the color is not only coming from the grape's skin, but also from the grape juice itself. It was developed in 1958 by H.P. Olmo of the University of California Davis.
Durif, also known as Petite Sirah, is also a cross of two different grape varietals: Syrah and Peloursin. It was created by French botanist François Durif in 1860 while keeping Syrah and Peloursin plants under the same roof; it happened from a natural process called "cross-pollination." The grape itself is known for its very aromatic, plummy character.
Shiraz, which we all know for being the most recognized grape varietal of Australia, brings some minty, spicy and fruity characteristics to the wines.
Grapes are crushed and destemmed then placed in rotary fermenters where three rotations per day break up the cap and extract color and tannin. Commercial yeast is added for fermentation. The juice is pressed to stainless steel for malolactic fermentation, undergoes oak maturation for 9 months, then is stored in stainless steel.
Pairs well with BBQ lamb with roast vegetables.
Domaine Odoul-Coquard Nuits-Saint-Georges Aux Saints-Jacques is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir
This wine is made from 70-year-old vines that were inherited from Sebastien's grandmother. The wine is aged for 12 months in Allier barriques (95% Francois Freres) for 1 year (50% new, 25% 1 yr-old, 25% 2 yrs-old). Aux St. Jacques is located in the northern part of the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation, just south of Vosne-Romanée.
A wine that is very representative of the Nuits Saint Georges terroir. Strong, with firm tannins and a lingering finish. Ideal to wait for 3 to 5 years before tasting. A great pairing with mature cheeses and spicy meals.
Dense and smoky, revealing black cherry, blackberry, earth and sandalwood flavors. Balanced and long, with a tactile finish. Best from 2019 through 2029. 30 cases imported.- Wine Spectator 91 Points
“Densely layered and brooding are accurate notes for this vintage of the Kingly Project. Visiting and re-visiting the wine each time seems to reveal new notes and expressions like a colorful tapestry of scents and tastes. The wine is a completely opaque deep purple in the glass.
“Aromatic notes suggest star anise, flint, blackberry paste, and distressed leather. The palate expresses itself with even deeper notes of baker’s dark chocolate, rhubarb, roasted cedar bark, brambly jam, and crushed river rock.
“The mouthfeel of this wine is structured and shows an architectural framework with pronounced and shouldered tannins. With a few hours in the decanter or 3-5 years in the cellar this wine will blossom.”
The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Kingly Project is the most intriguing and complete of the three 2015 Cabernets I tasted. Powerful and structured, while also wonderfully nuanced, the Kingly shows once again why it is one of the most compelling wines in Napa Valley. The graphite, crushed rock, licorice, black cherry and menthol notes are all finely etched. I very much admire the explosive energy and nuance here.”
- Antonion Galloni, March 2018, Drinking Window: 2022-2035 96 Points