Brancott Estate Letter Series Pinot Noir

94
Brancott Estate
Fanciful Name: Letter Series
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2016
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Appellation: Marlborough
Retail Price: $32

Tasting Notes: Intense Ruby red, with purple notes. Lots of spicy black fruit on the nose, followed by a palate dominated by more of the same spice notes, and dark fruit. Great texture and a balanced finish make for a complete and well-produced wine.

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Fire Road Pinot Noir

91
Fire Road
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2016
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Appellation: Marlborough
Retail Price: $15

Tasting Notes: Dark and bright ruby red, across the glass. The nose and palate share a common thread of cherry and bright berry fruit. The finish is balanced, with elements of spice, texture and balancing acidity. Excellent for the price!

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Martinborough Vineyard Home Block Pinot Noir

94
Martinborough Vineyard
Fanciful Name: Home Block
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2014
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Appellation: Martinborough
Retail Price: $65

Tasting Notes: Bright, medium-dark ruby in the glass. The nose and palate exhibit great intensity, with complexity and balance. A wonderful example of New Zealand winemaking.

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Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2016

90
Loveblock
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2016
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Retail Price: $22

Tasting Notes: Tasty, lip-smacking goodness of white peach and fresh fig. Balanced acidity with a pleasant lingering finish. A pleasure to sip and enjoy with shellfish.

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Chateau Ksara Cabernet 2013

95
Chateau Ksara
Varietal: Cabernet
Vintage: 2013
Country of Origin: Lebanon
Retail Price: $24.99

Tasting Notes: The 2013 vintage of Chateau Ksara Cabernet was even riper than it normally is, which lends perfectly to this Bekka Valley wine. You would believe we were in the Napa Valley if we were doing a blind tasting of this borderline-perfect cabernet. When the bottle was revealed to be from Lebanon you would spend all night having to hear the amazing story of Chateau Ksara. The disbelief that this wine was that good, and not from a wine region you would expect, makes the experience all the better.

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Szigeti Sekt

90
Szigeti
Varietal: Blend
Country of Origin: Austria
Appellation: Neusiedlersee
Retail Price: $36.99

Tasting Notes: Done in the classic method champenoise style, with select grapes sourced within the district. Blended from Chardonnay, pinot blanc, and blaufrankish. Very balanced acidity, with hints of cherry blossoms on the nose. Fine bubbles linger on the palate. Very well crafted. Burgenland wine imported by Winebow

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Kia Ora Sauvignon Blanc 2016

89
Kia Ora
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2016
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Retail Price: $9.99

Tasting Notes: Clean with a citrus heavy, passion fruit and characteristic lemon and lime notes. This Marlborough wine is a refreshingly good example of value sauvignon blanc that delivers on its promised richness and drinkability.

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Murdoch James Sauvignon Blanc 2015

91
Murdoch James
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2015
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Appellation: Martinborough
Retail Price: $18.99

Tasting Notes: This wine is from Martinsborough on the North Island of New Zealand where the wines are quite distinct from their Marlborough cousins. Pale straw in color with a slight green hue, this sauvignon blanc opens with aromas of lime and stone fruit. On the palate, you will discover flavors of lime, pear, melon and green apple. The finish is dry, crisp and clean with mineral flavors.

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Twin Island Sauvignon Blanc 2016

91
Twin Island
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2016
Country of Origin: New Zealand
Appellation: Marlborough
Retail Price: $16

Tasting Notes: A zesty nose with notes of lemon, green apple and grapefruit. Medium-bodied with pronounced grapefruit flavors and good intensity. A perfect example of New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

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Chateau Ksara Blanc 2014

91
Chateau Ksara
Varietal: Blanc
Vintage: 2014
Country of Origin: Lebanon
Appellation: Bekaa Valley
Retail Price: $13.99

Tasting Notes: From the Bekka Valley, this blend of chardonnay, sauvignon and semillon is just round enough to attract big-white-wine drinkers, but fresh and clean enough to keep its refreshing nature. The short stint in oak (four months) rounds it out enough to have it hold up to many dishes. Chateau Ksara Blanc will give you an outlook on Lebanese wines you never expected!

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