Rivesaltes Ambré Hors d'Âge 6 Ans Vin Doux Naturel Grenache Blend

At risk of sounding weird, which obvi I’m gonna take because I am weird, this wine feels like an after school snack. So much golden raisins, dried orange peel and graham cracker. In elementary school I always hated golden raisins and got embarrassed in I ended up with raisins of any sort in my lunch because it seemed to scream NERD (and my friend Eliza told me they reminded her of cockroaches). Well F*#k peer pressure to be cool, which includes both snacking on dried fruits and adoring sweet wine. It’s not unctuous but is rich but not cloying. It does have those dried fruit and graham cracker after school notes plus some citrus and mayhaps there’s even a hazelnut and acacia blossom nearby? Pairs with mincemeat pie. — 3 months ago

A, Severn and 6 others liked this

Dragonette Cellars

Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2009

Very pleased that this 2009 vintage tasted better than the disappointing 2010 vintage I had a few months ago. Muscular and interesting, with enough fruit, tannin and alcohol remaining after 11 years to demonstrate its Central Coast origins. Enjoyed this with a pared down Thanksgiving dinner of Julia Child’s Caneton aux Cerises instead of turkey. A calculated risk, and worth it. — a year ago

Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona

Brunello di Montalcino Sangiovese 2014

2014. Call it 9.1-9.2. So solid for an off-vintage but Ciacci rocks. Has a slightly sour funk with the cherry fruit which combines with surprising concentration to make it fairly unique - works for me. Good tertiary Sangiovese flavors as well. Drinks well now but wouldn’t risk hold too much longer given this subpar vintage. $40 At Wine Library, elsewhere. — a year ago

Rodney Strong Vineyards

Sonoma County Merlot 2016

I wanted to take a chance on this standby just aged; I probably got a decent price too. A hint of sweet on the nose. But a wonderful bold red on the palate; no sweetness at all. A little grainy but truly wonderful and totally worth taking the risk! — 3 months ago

Roger Sabon

Le Secret des Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhone Blend 2012

The wines of Roger Sabon have been on my radar for about ten years now and I have always thought the “Prestige” designation was, pound-for-pound, one of the better values in all of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. However, for one reason or another, I never seem to drink them that often. This particular bottle of “Le Secret des Sabon” was a lone singleton resting in my cellar since release. My wife, after an unusually exhausting week of work, said she wanted to drink something “impressive”...which means to me that the juice better not suck. And while “Le Secret” has a reputation for being one of the great wines from the entire appellation, I was taking some risk when I selected this bottle since I had no personal experience with it. As soon as I pulled the cork, it was clear this was going to be a special experience. Glass staining garnet with a touch of color that looks almost brown-ish however, there are no signs of decomposition. There is, however, a fairly decent amount of fine sediment. The fruit...well...the fruit is simply sensational. We’re talking fistfuls of the purest raspberries and cherries with some star anise, slightly burned pie crust and black pepper. This is a wine of tremendous texture and balance. Medium acid and medium plus tannins, the latter of which are so fine and silky. The ABV is stated as 15% but it’s so well hidden you would hardly notice. My only wish was that “Le Secret des Sabon” wasn’t so expensive...but there is no doubt about its quality. Drinking so well now but could easily hold for longer if necessary. — a year ago

Arden, Eric and 13 others liked this


Clos des Goisses Champagne Blend 2000

A special late disgorged bottling. It’s sea breeze from start to finish. The salinity is backed by fruit and dough based richness. A few more years are still there. Why risk it? Drink up!! — 2 years ago

Mike, Bob and 4 others liked this


Shiraz 1997

Bought at auction, a bit of a risk! Very pale and tinged with brown on opening but wow what a nose! Very exotic perfume and spice like an old Pinot. Drank beautifully over a few hours with sweet fruit, a potpourri of spice and subtle dusty tannins — 4 months ago

Swick Wines

Sauvignon 2020

Swick is making a tropical skin contact version of Sauvignon Blanc in garb of apricot tea.

Juicy and interesting. A reasonable level of grip for textural complexity without risk of being offensive.

Flavors of dried mango and fresh pineapple and canned yellow peach. Fun stuff.
— 5 months ago

Severn, Neil and 17 others liked this


Chenin Blanc

This wine was so special. I know chenin blanc is a bit of a risk, but I had it in mind to pair with salty Chinese food, and found this VERY price-friendly organic bottle at my favorite wine store. It had none of the overt fruitiness or oiliness that sometimes comes with CB; rather, I think it was the perfect combo of the yellow apple richness of traditional CBs expressed in a very lean, dry, tart, wildly acidic sipper with just a hint of ginger spiciness. If you’ve read this far you can see I really loved this wine. 💛 — a year ago

Cuvée du Vatican

Châteauneuf-du-Pape Red Rhȏne Blend 1980

Stinky nose. Hint of Brett. More tannic then the 79. A little rough puckers your mouth. This is at risk for the tannins taking over. Dark cherries 🍒 with a hint of dried plums. Good but over its peak. The wine is now on its decline. Still a good exercise to learn how CNP ages. — 3 years ago

Neil, Ira and 3 others liked this
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

Boo Brett...