California

Ridge Vineyards

Monte Bello Ridge California Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

From a mini vertical of Monte Bello at a friend’s house. This 08 is easily the most concentrated of the 06, 07, 08. A bit of lemony oak is still yet to integrate on the nose, but all the components are there. Best concentration of the bunch. The fruit is rich and pure and the tannins and acids are really in nice balance. Give this 5 more years. — 6 days ago

Ira, Severn and 11 others liked this

Realm Cellars

La Fe Rosé Blend 2020

Shay A
9.2

Easy to trust Realm’s offerings as quality is always at a premium. I have to admit, my brain had a hard time connecting this type of rosé with Realm (based on their typical style).

My comment above isn’t meant to be good or bad, it’s just amazing that this Provençal type rosé could come from a bigger/powerful style Napa producer like Realm. Kudos to Benoit for knowing what he was going for and being able to create something (a beautiful rosé) from almost nothing (the extremely uneven 2020 vintage). I don’t think I could have called this rosé of merlot if I didn’t know beforehand. To me, this was a blend of high end Provençal rosé with Cayuse’s Edith rosé. Extremely pale salmon color in the glass with aromas of cantaloupe, white peach, faint dragon fruit and an herbal/mineral stony character. The palate here has nice gravitas and a surprising bite at the finish. Strawberry cream-lite, underripe kiwi and some nectarine on the finish. Much more enjoyable at cellar temp compared to being too cold. Don’t think this is one to hold, so enjoy now.
— 4 days ago

Joshua, Tom and 36 others liked this
David T

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I like Realm’s work but had to pass on their Rosé at $60. Too many really good Rosés on the market under $40 and many under $30.
TheSkip

TheSkip

Agree with @David T !

Massican

Annia Napa Valley Tocai Friulano Blend 2018

Alder Yarrow
9.4

Blinded by the light. There’s something ineffable about this blend of three grapes, that has seamlessly woven them together to be greater than the sum of its parts. Like an antique glass window shining in the evening sunlight, 48% Friulano, 41% Ribolla Gialla, and 11% Chardonnay meld into a synesthesia of sunlight, burbling mountain stream and white flowers. Pear skin, lemon pith, grapefruit and wet stones soar through a gorgeous arc, with small bursts of chamomile. Outstanding. 2018 Massican “Annia” White Blend, Napa, California. @massicanwinery rocks it, as usual. ⁣ — 4 days ago

Shay, Stephen and 8 others liked this

Vermillion Wine (Helen Keplinger)

Vermillion California Grenache Blend 2017

Red blend that is primarily Grenache along with some Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah and Counoise. Dark fruit, baking spice and herbal aromas and flavors. Acidity is quite bright. Savory and earthy. Another excellent Helen Kepplinger effort. — 7 days ago

Bob, Raul and 5 others liked this

Cruse Wine Co.

Tradition Sparkling Chardonnay - Pinot Noir Blend 2017

Shay A
9.2

My last of these. I experienced a bit of bottle variation with mine, some showing extremely fresh and others not so much. I’m a fan of Michael Cruse and enjoy his Ultramarine sparklers, and while it’s hard to compare UM to this, there are similarities and these are really delicious, especially for the money. This has a grower champagne like profile to it.

2017 base (released spring 2020), zero dosage. My first experience with this was during the dosage trial last year. Lots of fun to taste this wine at different levels. On previous bottles, it never came across as zero dosage, yet this final bottle had a pronounced carmex-like aromatic I get with many zero dosage sparklers. Oxidized aromatics and notes on the palate. This is apple everything...browned golden delicious apple, Apple strudel, apple spice. Mid palate is fairly rich with limestone, floral nuances, and a tart finish. Mousse here has died down some and the profile has become more vinous. I’d enjoy these sooner rather than later to capture the freshness.
— 16 days ago

Tom, Raul and 31 others liked this

Aeris

Bianco Centennial Mountain Carricante 2017

Sicilian variety filtered thru the lens of Rhys in CA. Particularly like the saline mineral notes over citrus and white fruit. Excellent stuff and worth seeking out. Compares well to their Sicilian Carricante. — 9 days ago

Judy Wagonfeld
with Judy
Sharon, Vanessa and 10 others liked this

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

Fay Golden Rectangle Napa Valley Red Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot

Prior notes still apply, but this bottle was much more on point than the last 14mo ago. I'd suggest this still has at least 8-10y to go from proper storage!

Nose has old cedar closet, dusty cherry, ripe plum, blackberry, burnt blackberry pie, over-ripe black cherry, volcanic rocks and over-ripe blueberry.

Palate has ripe blackberry, warmed plum, dark chocolate bar, prune, dried blackberry, semi-dried cranberry, cigar box and tanned leather. Tannins are light, but still proof of youthfulness!

Paired alongside medium rare Delmonico cut steaks from our favorite local farm, Kinderhook Farm (Valatie NY). Perfection.

6h decant, more time appreciated. Last bottle. 😢

Added to cellar inventory around April 2006; We obtained this as members of the Wine Club.

Release notes from SLWC courtesy of
@Yen Boubel (She's the greatest!)

CREATED EXCLUSIVELY FOR CLUB 23 members, the Golden Rectangle is a harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot from the FAY vineyard. The name "Golden Rectangle" refers to our winemaking philosophy inspired by the Golden Mean, the principle that contrary elements, balanced in the right proportion, create tense harmony.

In this select bottling, the opposing elements include two different varietals from two different vintages. The wine is a blend of 61.8% FAY Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, and 38.2% FAY Petit Verdot fruit in the proportion of the Golden Mean. Petit Verdot is a Bordeaux blending varietal typically used in very small amounts because of its power and structure. This blend of Petit Verdot might seem unusually high; however, because of the ideal proportion of these different elements, the Petit Verdot adds structure, aromatics, and texture, rather than overpowering the Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition, the blend combines the old and the new-with fruit in roughly equal proportion from the 2002 and 2003 vintages. In this combination, the mellow tones of the older vintage soften the robust character of the younger vintage. The result is an opulent blend, rich with fruit, spices, and exotic perfume.
— 13 days ago

David, Hugh and 33 others liked this
David T

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Love older vintages from these guys. Have for a long time. Love their expresso notes.
Severn Goodwin

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Yes, based on this, I can't wait to get into our Cask 23 bottles around this vintage, and older.
Yen Boubel

Yen Boubel

Amazing tasting notes as always, Severn. Great to know it’s holding up well! 🍷

Penfolds

Bin 600 California Cabernet Shiraz 2018

A pleasant somewhat underwhelming nose. Vanilla and charred cedar on the palate, greenery, and spices. An inkling of residual sugar on the palate, but syncs nicely with the medium acid and medium tannins. Quite solid.

92+ points
— 6 days ago

Eric, "Odedi" and 9 others liked this

Theopolis Vineyards

Theo-Patra's Cuvée Cerise Mourvèdre Blend 2019

This is a nice and easy drinking red blend from California.

Showing black and red fruits with wood, vanilla, earth, spices, leather, tobacco, vegetables, bitter herbs, chocolates, tobacco and peppercorn.

Medium plus in body with medium acidity. Spicy and interesting.

Good right out of the bottle and good by itself.

Tastes fresh and easy drinking.

I paired it with cheeses and crackers.

14.9% alcohol by volume.

89 points.

$36.
— 12 days ago

Alex, J and 12 others liked this

Caymus Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

David T
9.4

For steak dessert, 2007 Caymus Classic. Chuck, why oh why, did you change the original styling of this wine? 🤦‍♂️

I ran out of my cellared Caymus Classic. Classic is pre 2012 vintage. In 2012, it was changed to a highly marketable consumer friendly wine syrup that drinks well early for some. I can’t palate it.

I recently went to the secondary market and found some beautifully stored 2007. Missed it.

The nose reveals, stewed & candied; blackberries, black raspberries, both plums, black cherries, poached strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, full scorched earth, grey clay, potpourri, dark under stated ambers, dark, moist forrest floor, dry sage, notes of Worcestershire sauce, eucalyptus with withering; dark, red, purple flowers.

The mouthfeel is glorious with balance & length. Ripe fruits of; stewed & candied; blackberries, black raspberries, both plums, black cherries, poached strawberries, raspberries, boysenberries, blueberries hovering over all the rest, scorched earth, dark spice with subtle yet punctuating heat, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon & vanillin, dry crushed, limestone rocks, grey, mud clay, potpourri, dark under stated ambers, dark, moist forrest floor, oak char, expresso, black licorice, dry sage, notes of Worcestershire sauce hues, eucalyptus/mint with withering; dark, red, purple flowers. The acidity is a rushing, spring mountain river. The length, balance fruit & earth, elegance, polish would captivate most any discerning palate.

Chuck, I think you should make both Caymus Syrup & Caymus Classic again.

She is at the tail end of her precipice.
— 6 days ago

Eric, Severn and 28 others liked this
Eric

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Word
Severn Goodwin

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Wine concentrate? Needs dilution.