Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon, Wild Boar Vineyard
One of the best Napa Valley Cabernets not to come out of Napa Valley. Yeah, it’s a trick: this is from Pope Valley, which is considered part of Napa by the Federal Government. Yes, it’s screwy.
This is a knock-you-down and steal-your-lunch-money type of Cabernet: untamed and very aggressive. With a few years in the cellar, this will be dynamite.
Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
I featured this wine in last year’s “Director’s Cut, Cabernet Sauvignon” class. This is a perfect example of the extraordinary quality that can come from a vintage that the wine cognoscenti claim to be a poor vintage. This Cabernet is at its peak, with graphite and green pepper nuances on the nose and a long well-tended structure throughout.
Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Yowzer! This monster will need at least five years to calm down, but it will be one of the best Cabernets of any vintage.
Segura Viudas Mas D’Aranyo Riserva, Penedes
Amazingly ripe and soft Tempranillo-based red wine. The richness of the fruit reminds one of a Barossa Shiraz, but the wilted flower & roasted spices on the nose bring this back to the old world. Fun & tempting.
Barone Ricasoli Campoceni, Tuscany
A pretty little Sangiovese, and a great value for this classic Chianti producer. Another lovely wine from a poor vintage: flavors of cocoa, leather, and lavender flourish in this bottle.
Luce Della Vite, Montalcino
One of the finest Merlot-dominated Super-Tuscans on the market. Impenetrable deep plum & blackberry flavors laced down their gustatory rabbit-hole with leather and stray leaves of rosemary. This is definitely a hallucinatory Alice-in-wonderland style of wine.
Arrowood Saralee’s Vineyard Syrah, Russian River Valley
All the stuffing of a Hermitage, including a dash of Viognier in the blend, with a level of ripeness that ensures this remains firmly moored to California. Bacon fat, violets, and hickory on the nose. Voluptuously round on the palate, with a layer of tar and white pepper that adds a great deal of interest and intrigue.
Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
A delightful surprise and a reminder of what this once-great winemaking house could accomplish back in the day. Graphite & flint rise from the glass with just an edge of wet earth. The leather & herb notes are a delicate counterpoint to the fresh raspberry & vanilla notes.
Pedro Romero Dark Sweet Moscatel
An incredible value for a dessert sherry. This golden sherry is a nice balance of citrus crispness and decadent flavors of overripe mango, lush caramel, and marmalade.
Campbell’s of Rutherglen Tokay
One of the greatest dessert winemakers in Australia. Decadent and sticky with flavors of orange peel, toffee, and candied fruit. Lovely.
Pecan Stream Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch
A pretty quince and grapefruit cocktail with plenty of zip-zam-zoom. Bone dry & exciting.
Sauvignon Republic Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley
Dense layers of guava and very ripe pear. Plenty of acidity to balance out the fleshiness.
Vionta 2005 Albarino
An aroma akin to white pepper on melon and the palate, lime, and mineral predominate. This Albarino is lovely and complex.