Carter Cellars To Kalon OG

No better way to kickoff the weekend than with a bottle of the 2012 Carter Cellars To Kalon The O.G.

This lively wine showcases dark berries and mocha flavors with a silky long finish.

The wine retails for $150.

Gorman Winery Old Scratch GSM

Washington is a treasure trove of great wines at even better prices, and @gormanwinery is one of my favorite producers in the State. He makes some fabulous Cabernet and Syrah based wines at prices that will knock your socks off.

The 2014 Gorman Old Scratch GSM is a perfect example of this high quality to value ratio juice produced in the region. This Rhone style red blend is comprised of 80% Syrah and 10% each of Mourvèdre and Grenache. The wine is a brilliant dark purple with berry and pepper on the nose. The first taste coats the mouth with smooth dense dark fruit and licorice followed by cinnamon and creamy oak spices. The juicy fruit is balanced skillfully against the dusty tannins that support the long peppery finish.

To be clear, this is not your standard fruit bomb Syrah, but rather a complex, supple high quality wine that you can enjoy with friends, and the $28 price point is just an added bonus!


Grattamacco Bolgheri Suoeriore

Grattamacco Bolgheri Superiore is a must buy for all Cabernet and Bordeaux lovers.
This intense wine is a brilliant ruby color with scents of sweet perfume and berries on the nose. While the palate is full of mouthwatering cherries, ripe fruit and pepper flavors which precede toasted oak and leather on the long dry finish.
This Super Tuscan is composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 15% Sangiovese, and at $59.99 it is priced at a steep discount to its rivals in Bordeaux and Napa Valley


Cakebread Cellars Merlot

She’s a Beauty!

The 2007 Cakebread Merlot hits all of the right notes!

The dark violet juice is flush with blueberry and cherry aromas. Rich, bold tastes of blueberries and plum eventually give way to black cherry and creamy vanilla flavors that linger endlessly on the silky smooth tannins.

This lively 10 year old is drinking exceptionally well right now, and is a must try if you can find it. It currently retails for about $55-$60.

Turley “Buck” Cobb Zinfandel Amador County

The 2015 Turley Buck Cobb Vineyard Zinfandel from Amador County, California is not your typical jammy Zinfandel.

Instead, it is a well structured and elegant wine that has sweet blueberry and licorice on the nose. Smooth raspberry and spicy cinnamon flavors followed by zesty pepper and minerals wash across your tastebuds before leaving dusty plum notes on the finish.

This $50 effort was a pleasure to drink and is well worth the hunt to find.

Le Macchiole Paleo

The 2013 Le Macchiole Paleo is a charismatic and enchanting wine made entirely of Cabernet Franc.

This complex wine evolves continuously in the glass.  At first the wine captivates you with lush blackberries with a hint of spice.  The second sample is loaded with rose petals and mocha followed by creamy toasted oak and nuts which then give way to a velvety plum and berry finish.

This is a must try for all Italian wine lovers or anyone who has not tried a wine made from Cabernet Franc.

The retail price for Paleo is about $95, but I was able to secure this for $69 at one of my favorite wine stores, Sokolin,  in Bridgehampton NY. 



Louis Latour Puligny Montrachet Les Referts

Louis Latour Puligny Montrachet Les Referts 2005 is exquisite!

The golden amber juice is flush with toffee and butterscotch aromas on the nose.

While the palate is overwhelmed with intriguing creamy mouth-coating flavors of apricot, honeysuckle and butterscotch that paired neatly with tonight’s appetizer of crabmeat stuffed mushrooms.

The wine retails for about $75 and is probably at or past its apex now.


Jarvis Lake William

The 2003 Jarvis Lake William Napa Valley is still a very charming wine.

This Bordeaux style blend is comprised of 39% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot with the balanced split between Petit Verdot and Malbec.

The color is still a violet opaque purple, while the nose provides light fruit aromas which is a pretext of what is about to come on the 1st sip.  After decanting for an hour the tart fruit softened and the wine opened nicely. The palate was now elegant as soft juicy dark fruit and blackberry flavors were followed by leather, mushroom and earthy velvet tannins that lingered effortlessly for 3+ seconds.

The back label recommends that the wine should be consumed within 7 years, but I disagree as the additional years in the cellar has this wine living up to its Bordeaux blend pedigree as it drinks more like an aged wine from the Pauillac region in Bordeaux.

The 2003 Lake William is hard to find now, but it priced for $70 when release back in 2005.  Today it retails for about $125, while newer vintages retail for about $150.

On a separate note, in my opinion, Jarvis has the best underground cave tours in all of Napa Valley.  So the next time you are in the Valley, schedule a tour and tasting in their caves.

You will not be disappointed!


Allegrini Amarone

I just love Amarone! 

These wines are big and rich with loads of ripe lush fruit., and the best efforts are like heaven in a bottle!

The 2010 Allegrini Amarone did not disappoint!

From the first taste the inky purple juice was smooth and loaded with syrupy blackberries and cherries followed by aromas of smokey chocolate and hints of menthol on soothing velvet tannins.

The 2010 wine retails for about $70, but newer vintages are retailing between $50-$55.

My only regret was that I did not open a magnum, as the last pour came too soon!


Simi Cabernet Sauvignon

A colleague recently asked me if I could recommend a California Cabernet Sauvignon for less than $20.  I paused and then immediately said Simi Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley in Sonoma County.  As this was the Cab that started my wine journey some 20 years ago.

Since it’s been a while since I last had it, I decided to try the 2014 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon tonight to make sure it was still worthy of my suggestion.

The wine sports a clear dark purple appearance in the glass and shows light pepper and fruit aromas on the nose.  This medium body effort is ready to drink as it’s dusty tannins are balanced evenly with tart juicy berries, clove and peppercorns on a short to medium finish.

Now to be clear this is not a wine that you will pull out and share with your wine loving friends, but if you are looking for a moderately interesting everyday Cabernet to drink with dinner, one can do much worse than this.

Especially when you consider that this bottle cost me just under $17.