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Wine Reviews

Posted by on June 25th

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Mazzei Belguardo 2013 Serrata Toscana
 Mazzei Belguardo Serrata Toscana

 Mazzei Belguardo Serrata Toscana

Belguardo’s vineyards are on the Tuscan coast, much warmer than the more traditional vineyards in the central hills. This makes for some very modern, ultra-ripe versions of Sangiovese, along with enthusiastic use of oak aging. 

Aromas of espresso, blackberry, and vanilla. Medium-bodied with supple tannin, the flavor goes toward melting fudge and Asian five-spice. This is a wine with style, charisma but not much depth. It’s the type of wine I open when I want to enjoy a richly textured Super-Tuscan.  As for a food pairing, try it with a handful of white chocolate truffles.

Wine Rating: 90 Points

Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015
 Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Back in the ’60s, Michael Bernstein planted some grapevines that a farmhand had given him for free. He farmed plums on the property and was fine with that: he just stuck the vines in the ground and pretty much forgot about them.

Despite never watering them, the grapevines thrived, and the fruit they produced was amazing. Within a few years, he had replanted all of his lands to grapevines, in particular, Bordeaux varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon. Those old vineyards and the deft winemaking skills of Janet Myers are what make this bottle very special.

Wine Rating: 94 Points

Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2014
 Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley

Cambria Benchbreak Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley

The wine is fresh and vibrant, with just a wedge of rich fruit. The nose is all about the wildflowers: daisies and violets. On the palate, baking spices back up the rhubarb and bing cherry flavors and a wash of minerality adds some serious backbone to the enterprise. The finish brings in some complex forest-floor notes. Try this wine with oven-roasted shitake mushrooms and shaved Manchego cheese.

Wine Rating: 91 Points

Montecillo 2011 Reserva Rioja
 Montecillo Reserva Rioja

 Montecillo Reserva Rioja

A 19th Century winery still manages to put out some serious juice,  year in and year out. If you need an everyday bottle of Rioja, this will fit the bill.  Aromas of cigar box and tomato leaf; flavors of cherry, burnt vanilla, and laurel. There are plenty of fresh juicy flavors here and a pleasant grip in a medium-bodied package. My suggestion is to grill a lamb chop to medium-rare, drizzle it with high-quality olive oil and finish with some flake salt. Slice up a tomato and give it the same treatment.

Wine Rating: 89 Points

Commanderie de la Bargemone 2017 Rose
 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rose

 Commanderie de la Bargemone Rose

Commanderie de la Bargemone dates back to the 13th Century, founded by the Knights Templar. It’s a very light pink by rosé standards, but that is because of an early harvest. In fact, there is more red wine flavor here than in most rosé wines, with fresh strawberries and dark fruit on the nose and palate. The acidity is brilliant, with a dose of pomegranate and white pepper on the finish. One of my go-to brunch wines; it’s perfect with eggs benedict.

Wine Rating: 90 Points

Jean Cavaille 2016 Cep Noir Vielles Vignes Apremont, Savoie
 Jean Cavaille Cep Noir Vielles Vignes Apremont, Savoie

 Jean Cavaille Cep Noir Vielles Vignes Apremont, Savoie

The grape here is Jacquère which can make elegant and ethereal white wines from older vineyards, like this bottle. A pretty nose of lemongrass and Lily of the Valley. A touch of spice on the palate, with light and supple orchard fruit flavors. An expressive style with rich notes and a fine length. Pan-seared sea scallops with a lobster-chorizo sauce is a perfect pairing.

Wine Rating: 91 Points

Domaine Kuentz Bas 2014 Alsace Blanc
 Domaine Kuentz Bas Alsace Blanc

 Domaine Kuentz Bas Alsace Blanc

This particular bottle is what’s known as an Edelzwicker, a simple everyday blended wine. In this case, it’s Sylvaner, Muscat Ottonel, and Auxerrois. Crushed oyster-shell and Wisteria on the nose. This white wine has a bright, fresh body with flavors of mint, lemon, and freshly picked pears. The finish is mineral-rich with a touch of ocean air. Shuck some Maine Oysters (Glidden Point if you can find them), dress them in a classic mignonette, and slurp away.

Wine Rating: 89 Points

Brotte 2015 Esprit Barville Cotes du Rhone Blanc
 Brotte Esprit Barville Cotes du Rhone Blanc

 Brotte Esprit Barville Cotes du Rhone Blanc

Mostly Grenache Blanc with some Clairette and Viognier in the blend. The scent of anise and jasmine is layered into a note of grapefruit. On the palate, almond flavors are a pleasant counterpoint to the fresh apple and ginger flavors. Crisp with just a hint of richness on the palate and a lingering note of apricot. This would be a great bottle for grilled monkfish with peach salsa.

Wine Rating: 91 Points

Hillersden 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough
 Hillersden Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

 Hillersden Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough

An exceptional New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The nose of guava and pineapple with an understated note of fine herb. The palate is texturally richer than most New Zealanders, with soft pear flavors kept in line with a POW of fresh acidity in the finish. Fresh grass and hazelnuts on the finish.

Wine Rating: 90 Points

2 thoughts on “Wine Reviews”

  1. Unable to find this wine for stated price (see below)…was this a typo?

    Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015
    VARIETY/STYLE: CABERNET SAUVIGNON
    COUNTRY: USA
    REGION: NAPA
    VINTAGE: 2015
    SIZE: 750 ML
    RATING: VM – 93
    PRODUCT CODE: 000078876
    AVAILABILITY: LIMITED DISTRIBUTION
    $25.99

    Reply

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