Lewis Cellars Alec’s Blend 2015


The 2015 Lewis Cellars Alec’s Blend is a wonderfully decadent effort.

The wine is balanced and loaded with luscious fruit, racy acids and plush dusty tannins.

Syrah forms the backbone of the blend at 50%, followed by 30% Merlot, 11% Cab Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the fruit was sourced across selected vineyards throughout Napa Valley.

The juice explodes across the palate with waves of blackberry and blueberry flavors that are intertwined with chocolate, sweet creamy oak, licorice baking spices and flowers.

The unbridled intensity and energy that gushes from the glass truly overpowers and awakens the senses, and is more than you would expect from a wine that costs just under $60.

Now “Old World Enthusiasts” may not appreciate this opulent style, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it as well.

I give this wine a rating of 9.2 on a 10 point scale.

Lafond Syrah 2011

Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County produces high quality Syrah and Pinot Noir at very attractive prices.

Lafond Winery in Sta. Rita Hills has been producing fabulous Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah since the 1970s.

The 2011 Lafond Syrah SRH is a fun wine.  Blueberry and floral aromas are followed by pepper and cola flavors.

There is just enough acidity to balance the dusty tannins. 

This medium body wine is ready to drink now or over the next 2 years.

Bargain hunters will be delighted by the $23 price tag, and just as happy with the juice inside

Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape


This is just a beautiful wine!

The berry, plum and baking spice flavors are perfectly melded together with traces of rose petals on the finish.

The 2012 Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape is supported by elegant tannins and would pair nicely with your Thanksgiving dinner.

The wine retails for $70, but I was able to get this bottle from my favorite store for $45.  Which I must say is an absolute steal for a wine of this quality.


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!


Two Hands Lily’s Garden

The years have been very kind.

The 2004 Two Hands Lily’s Garden Shiraz, from McLaren Vale Australia, has evolved nicely over the past 10+ years.

In its youth the wine had opulent and concentrated blackberry, cherry and spice flavors that lingered endlessly on the palate.

Today it is smooth and elegant, finding a happy compromise between its fresh juicy acids and graceful tannins.  Berry and soft earthy mushroom aromas are noticed on the nose, while cinnamon spice, berries and musty leather create a complex assortment of flavors on the finish.

The wine retailed for $50 on release and current vintages are priced at $65.