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2013 Tua Rita Giusto di Notri

 

 

This is truly a SUPER Tuscan!

The 2013 Tua Rita Giusto di Notri  is an incredibly rich and lush wine that is still very young and in need of a few more years in the cellar to soften its massive and youthful tannins.

This Bordeaux blend from Tuscany tips in at 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc and retails at a very reasonable $65 for such a high quality bottle.

The nose is wonderfully captivated by floral and sweet cherry perfume that is accented by hints of slate and berry aromas.

The palate is awash with a powerful and long lasting assortment of flavors that include wet earth, ripe blackberry and cherry fruit, leather, bitter licorice and assorted spices, highlighted by cinnamon and mint.

Although the wine is drinking nicely now, I am very excited to see how it unfolds after a few more years in the cellar.

Ken Brown Rancho La Vina Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir lovers need to introduce themselves to Ken Brown Wines!

Located on the southern edge of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, the winery specializes in small lot Pinot Noirs with about 3,000 cases produced annually with most lots at less than 250 cases.

I highly recommend that you stop in for a visit the next time you are in Santa Barbara as all of his wines are stunning and well priced.

The 2010 Ken Brown Rancho La Vina Vineyard Pinot Noir is absolutely irresistible!

The only thing more incredible is that the bottle only cost $39, this is especially striking when you consider that only 166 cases of the Rancho La Vina Pinot were produced in 2010.

This is a big, expressive effort whose brilliant violet color and enticing fruit aromas are just a precursor of what is to follow.

Intense, mouthwatering black cherry and blueberry flavors overwhelm the palate, while licorice and hints of raspberry can be detected in the lush rounded tannins on the exquisite finish.

I rate the wine a 9.2 on a 10 point scale.

 

 

 

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.

Bodegas Roda Cirsion 2005

 

Bodegas Roda is my preferred winery in all of Spain.

They produce wines that are both elegant and powerful and are made from either the Tempranillo or Garnacha grapes from Rioja.

The 2005 Bodegas Roda Cirsion is 100% Tempranillo and is drinking exceptionally well now.

Cirsion is the estate’s top offering and normally retails between $175-$200. The wine is energetic in its youth, but graceful with age.

Currently the dark purple juice is perfectly balanced with aromas of coffee, violets and berries on the nose.

The first taste is full of chocolate coated blackberries and is followed by leather, cherry and licorice on the silky long finish.

Price aside, this wine was excellent and I rate it a 9 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.

 

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!

2008 Lachini Chehalem Mountains Estate Pinot Noir

 

The 2008 Lachini Chehalem Mountains Estate Pinot Noir is a wonderfully complex Pinot from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

This ruby red wine walks a tightrope between the elegantly soft tannins on the finish vs the lively acids and heavy mouthfeel perceived at the start.

Over time layers of flavors are slowly uncovered. The first impression is of chocolate and cola wrapped around dark fruit. Eventually these sensations turn to black cherries with soft mushroom accents. Finally ending with ruby red grapefruit on a dry finish.

Like most Oregon Pinots, it pairs very well with food, especially pork chops, but it also drinks very nicely alone.

Only 325 cases of this exquisite juice was produced, and its $60 price tag ensures it will be very difficult to find.

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!

 

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

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