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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.

2005 Cliff Lede Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

 

 

What a massive and powerful Napa Cab!


The 2005 Cliff Lede Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon is bursting with concentrated flavors of blackberry and plums that are balanced by the cinnamon and licorice infused velvet tannins that cling incessantly on the palate.

Even after 12 years, this dark purple juice has great structure replete with an abundance of youthful fruit which together should allow this wine to continue to age another 15+ years.

I really loved this wine, and its original cost of $65 gives it a ridiculously high quality to price ratio.

 

2007 Cakebread Benchland Select

 

 

The 2007 Cakebread Benchland Select is simply gorgeous!

Fruit for this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced almost evenly from Rutherford (56%) and Oakville (44%).

After maturing for almost 10 years in the cellar, the wine is now perfectly balanced as delicious ripe fruit and juicy acids are harmonized and supported by soft dusty tannins.

The juice is a beautiful, inky purple almost black color with aromas of licorice and blackberry on the nose.

Lush flavors of dark berries, plum and cinnamon are followed by chocolate and leather with hints of earth on the satisfying and long dry finish.

Although drinking exceptionally now, the experience is amplified even more when paired with food like this roasted filet mignon.

Limited quantities of this Cab can be found for $200 or more, but current vintages retail for about $110 – $120.

2014 Goosecross Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Goosecross Cellars is a boutique winery in Yountville, Napa Valley that produces about 7,000 cases of wine annually.

Their focus is mainly on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Red Blends as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, and most of their offerings range between $27 and $82.

The 2014 Goosecross Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a lush, fruit forward effort with vibrant blackberry and blueberry fruit that wash across the palate and are followed by generous amounts of cinnamon and nuts on the creamy long finish.

This youthful Cab is drinking wonderfully now, and should provide enjoyment over the next 7 – 10 years, and at a price of $54 it won’t break the bank!

Rocca Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

The 2010 Rocca Grigsby Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is an intense and sophisticated Cab that is firing on all cylinders.

The silky ripe fruit and juicy acids are in perfect harmony with the velvet tannins that stretch across the long finish.

A dazzling deep purple with intoxicating fragrances of violets, berries and forest floor waffling up from the glass.

Only to be outdone by the killer combination of dark plum, blackberry, cedar and cinnamon flavors that cascade across the palate, highlighting different components on each sip.

Rocca is a boutique winery in Yountville with an annual case production of 2,200 across a 6 wine portfolio focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

These limited production wines make great Christmas gifts for the oenophiles on your shopping list, as 5 of the 6 wines retail between $45-$100.

The Rocca Grigsby Cabernet can be found today between $70-$80 which is a great price for such a high quality Napa Cabernet!

 

Clos Du Val Carneros Pinot Noir

The Clos Du Val Winery is located in the heart of Napa Valley’s famed Stags Leap District.  The Winery is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignons, but it also produces award winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays as well as Merlot, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc.  The wines are all fairly priced with the base Cabernet Sauvignon priced at under $50.

The 2008 Clos Du Val Pinot Noir from Carneros is a Burgundian style Pinot, as evidenced by its low alcohol content of 13.5% and subtle earthy fruit.

It is an elegant, food friendly wine that is well balanced between its juicy acids and silky tannins.

The crystal, ruby colored juice has faint black cherry aromas followed by soft rounded cherry cola and earthy pepper flavors on the short finish.

This is a simple but enjoyable Pinot Noir, that is best with food, and retails for a reasonable $30

Nickel & Nickel State Ranch

Nickel & Nickel is the sister winery to Oakville’s legendary Far Niente.

Nickel & Nickel is also based in Oakville, and is devoted exclusively to producing 100% varietal, single-vineyard wines that best express the distinctive personality of each vineyard.  Nickel & Nickel produces single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from all over Napa Valley.  They have multiple offerings from St Helena, Oakville, Yountville, Rutherford and Oak Knoll.  I love this estate because it truly allows one to see how deeply terroir impacts wine.

Unlike my beloved Giants, the Nickel & Nickel 2007 State Ranch from Yountville is a winner!

This full bodied beauty exudes lovely aromas of cherry, blackberry and dark fruits balanced neatly between juicy acids and velvety tannins with traces of blueberry and mushrooms on the finish.

The wine retails for $99.99.

Chimney Rock Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 was another outstanding vintage in Napa Valley.

This Stags Leap District Cabernet is a perfect representation of the high quality juice produced throughout the Valley that year.

The wine’s lush balanced structure easily supports its blackberry and creamy toasted oak flavors, while the velvety finish keeps me reaching for another sip.

This $70 beauty will appeal to Napa Valley Cab fans!

Bennett Lane Red Maximus

The 2007 Bennett Lane Maximus Red Feasting Wine was the perfect wine to celebrate my sister’s birthday.

This Cabernet based wine has healthy doses of Merlot and Syrah added in to round out the tannins and augment the jammy berry flavors.

This 10 year old wine was still oozing these youthful blackberry and blueberry fruits accompanied by rich polished tannins.

The wine was fun and easy to drink, which allowed us to focus on the celebration.

The wine retails for about $30, which is unheard of for a quality Napa Valley proprietary red blend.

 

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.