2008 Sine Qua Non B 20
A mostly Syrah offering with a bit of Grenache and a splash of Viognier. More subdued and mineral driven (think Cote-Rotie on steroids). Still B 20 possesses classic SQN characteristics: velvety thickness, chewy bacon fat, opulent black fruit, smokey tar, and an ethereal finish. A 5 hour decant provides enough time to open up.
2000 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata Torriglione
Aged brick color with an impressive nose of anise, fig, oak, and candied cherries. Slightly acidic palate of light cherry, coco, bitter orange peel, smoke, and plenty of dusty earth. A perfect 100 point wine according to Wine Spectator but not enough power or depth for my preference.
2007 K Vintners Charles Smith Old Bones
Not a bad companion for grass fed rib eyes from A Cut Above Butcher Shop in Santa Monica. Brooding blackberry, dried currants, kalamata olive brine, mortadella, and iron rich steak. Big yet balanced enough to disguise the 16% ABV with a 7 hour decant. Possibly the best Washington Syrah out there. Thank you Charles.
1997 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red
The perfect match to monstrously large rib eyes and delicious roasted potatoes. A blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot with the rest Petit-Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. Aged brick coloring with a bouquet of leathery black fruit and eucalyptus. Palate remains massive even at 17 years with smooth integrated oak, cassis, vanilla, and plenty of black/red fruit. Finish is smooth with a slight alcoholic harshness. One of the best 1997 Napa Cabs out there.
2006 Ovid Experiment M9.36
A predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon blend with Petit Verdot and a splash of Cabernet Franc. Layered nose of sour cherry, oak, vanilla, and a touch of almond. M9.39’s palate offers dense blackberry, bitter espresso grounds, sweet dark chocolate, anise, and plenty of creamy oak. The finish is dusty and vegetal. A unique modern style of winemaking not for everyone.
2009 Opus One
A Napa Valley benchmark blended from Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Cabernet Franc 9%, Petit Verdot 6%, Merlot 3%, and Malbec 1%. Aromas of dusty black fruit, pan fried bacon, oak, and anise radiate from the glass. The black juice reveals bold flavors of menthol, blackberry, tart cherry, bitter chocolate, and plenty of cassis. Opus’s consistency doesn’t disappoint or excite for the price.
2007 Realm Beckstoffer To Kalon
A boutique 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made at Chateau Boswell in St. Helena. An extraordinarily fat nose of blueberry pie, leather, vanilla extract, and cedar. Layers of lush black fruit, dusty earth, oak, and cassis liqueur coat your palate. Excellent concentration and precision of favors. The finish is literally 3 minutes plus. Decant at least 4 hours or you’ll miss out.
2007 Domaine de la Janasse Vielles Vignes
Composed of 85% Grenache, 10% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre. Inky purple with clear ruby edges boasts fragrances of dried wild flowers, spice, and raspberries. Obviously it’s packed with plenty of juicy red fruit, creamy anise, concentrated berry compote, and earthy under tones. The wine lingers with a ridiculous mouth coating finish that candies your mouth for 45 seconds plus. A perfect wine according to Robert Parker and can’t completely disagree.
2005 Jonata El Desafio de Jonata
A dense pitch black blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 2% Petite Verdot. Aggressive nose of cassis, espresso, and blackberry. Succulent palate of berry and grilled steak rounded off by a smooth earthy finish. Jonata is easily making the best Bordeaux styled wines in Central Coast California. Plenty of tannins and years left.
2011 Roccolo Grassi Soave La Boria
White table wine from one of my favorite Amarone producers. Stylistically similar to a neutral oak Chardonnay. Light golden coloring gives way to a crisp palate of stone fruit, apple, and lemon. A generous finish packed with creamy minerality make this Soave stand out.
2012 Azienda Agricolo Cirelli Trebbiano d’Abruzzo
Recently I’ve formed the impression that inexpensive Italian whites are the most enjoyable easy drinkers out there. Light acid, honey, citrus, grilled corn, melon, and herbs round this graceful Trebbiano. A dead ringer for unoaked California Chardonnay. Can be found right in time for summer at about $15.
2006 Mas Leda
A 100% Tempranillo from Castilla y Leon region of Northern Spain. Leda’s dense purple core offers fragrances of burnt earth, tinder box, baked plums, and oak. The palate presents full bodied complexity of black berry, vanilla, anise, and a slightly tart cherry. Excellent extraction and density especially for $20 at Whole Foods ($15 elsewhere). Pop and pour or decant its all good.