Smith-Madrone Estate Riesling 2016

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Smith-Madrone
Varietal: Riesling
Vintage: 2016
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: Spring Mountain District
Retail Price: $29.99

Tasting Notes: The wine is 100% riesling and produced from the same Spring Mountain vineyards, in the same way every year, yet the wines continually offer new characteristics every vintage. This riesling has a light straw core with light legs. The nose offers wet rocks, white flowers, cream and whiffs of petrol. The palate has medium intensity with flavors of Granny Smith apples, orange blossoms and Bosc pear that jump into medium-plus acidity and tinges of honeysuckle. The finish is balanced and lip-smacking with touches of lime custard, minerals and petrol. A classically beautiful Riesling. WOW!
Smith-Madrone Estate Riesling 2016

Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

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Decoy
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2019
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: Napa Valley
Retail Price: $27.99

Tasting Notes: There is dark and savory berry fruit that balance brilliantly with the controlled tannins, giving this cabernet almost a creaminess. From start to the finish this wine does not disappoint. One of the best cabernets of 2019, especially for the price.
Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Lavinea Lazy River Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

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Lavinea
Fanciful Name: Lazy River Vineyard
Varietal: Chardonnay
Vintage: 2017
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: Yamhill-Carlton District
Retail Price: $34.99

Tasting Notes: Willamette Valley is quickly becoming my go-to for spectacular chardonnay. Lavinea is making some of my favorite New World chardonnays. The winemaker is Isabelle Meunier (Evening Land, Domaine Vougeraie and Felton Road) who apprenticed under famed Bourgogne winemaker Dominique Lafon. This wine is 100% chardonnay from Lazy River Vineyard, located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA perched at the foothills of the Coast Range on a south-facing slope with red iron volcanic Jory soils. The wine aged in 20% new French oak. This chardonnay is sneaky good. Flavors of ripe apple and lemon citrus hit the palate with medium intensity. The wine is linear, yet plush with hints of dried white flowers wafting throughout the palate with a backbone of minerality. The finish is light and fresh with hints of grilled nuts, crushed wet rocks and just a whiff of exotic spice. Yum!
Lavinea Lazy River Vineyard Chardonnay 2017

L’Ecole No 41 Luminesce Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2019

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L’Ecole No 41
Fanciful Name: Luminesce
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon
Vintage: 2019
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: Walla Walla Valley
Retail Price: $16.95

Tasting Notes: You’d swear you were in Bordeaux, only better. Mostly semillon, the fragrant nose and mineral palate make this Columbia Valley blend the perfect food wine. Grilled chicken, anyone?
L’Ecole No 41 Luminesce Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2019

Blue Rock Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

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Blue Rock Estate
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2017
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: Alexander Valley
Retail Price: $42.99

Tasting Notes: Blue Rock is an all-estate-produced winery located in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. The 2017 vintage was absolutely stunning with excellent depth and concentration. The winery is focused on showing the quality of terroir and offering balanced wines that reflect the soil. Blue Rock shows dark purple color with medium intensity. The palate offers voluptuous flavors of blueberry and black cherry that sink into a plush core of currant. The wine is silky smooth and bright with complex notes of cedar, vanilla and baking spices on the mid-palate. The finish is rocking with blackberry cobbler and cigar box wrapped into a velvet finish. Layered and lively.
Blue Rock Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Snowden ‘Lost Vineyard’ Merlot 2018

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Snowden
Fanciful Name: Lost Vineyard Merlot
Varietal: Merlot
Vintage: 2018
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: Napa Valley
Retail Price: $37.99

Tasting Notes: Merlot has had to overcome quite a stigma over the past decade, but wineries that continued to produce quality merlot are making some of the best in the world. Randy and Scott Snowden had sold their grapes until 1993 to the likes of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Silver Oak, Caymus, Frank Family, Viader and Ramey. They decided to start making wine in 1993 and allowed Diana Snowden (Scott’s daughter, one of my favorite winemakers) to take the helm of winemaking in 2005. Lost Vineyard is a two-acre block located on perlite and sand soils. This wine was hand-harvested and fermented with native wild yeast and aged in 50% new French oak barrels for 14 months while being bottled unfined and unfiltered. The wine is 95% merlot with 5% cabernet sauvignon. Diana knocked this merlot out of the park! It has beautiful structure and intensity, with loads of fruit and velvet texture. Bright flavors of red cherry and currant pop into the palate with silky finesse and elegant balance. The mid-palate is balanced with ripe red fruit, with touches of spice and whiffs of earthy underbrush. Notes of plum, vanilla and cedar are prevalent with hints of tealeaf on the long, lingering finish
Snowden ‘Lost Vineyard’ Merlot 2018

Macari Red Blend Alexandra 2015

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Macari
Varietal: Red Bordeaux Blend
Vintage: 2015
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: North Fork
Retail Price: $69.99

Tasting Notes: Beautiful red fruit aromas radiate out of the glass of this Long Island wine. The palate shows defined layers of raspberries, cherries, black tea and a savory characteristic. This merlot-centric, Bordeaux-style blend is full of power and balance from top to bottom.
Macari Red Blend Alexandra 2015

Janzen Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

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Janzen
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2018
Country of Origin: United States
Appellation: Napa Valley
Retail Price: $44.99

Tasting Notes: Winemaker to the stars Kirk Venge molded this Napa wine and showed his handprint throughout. The 2018 vintage has produced full, meaty wines with quite an abundance of fruit and flavor. This 100% cabernet sauvignon has combined mountain fruit with the finesse of Oakville and Rutherford. Thick hedonistic flavors of blackberry and cassis sink deftly into silky tannins and a creamy core. The mid-palate offers loads of currant, dark chocolate and hazelnut with smidgeons of sandalwood. The finish is dangerously smooth, with toasted cedar and vanilla from new and used French barrels and a long, lingering mouthfeel that offers a whiff of tobacco pipe. Janzen is a cabernet that you open when you really want to impress your guest. TLC (Texutured, Layered, Complex).
Janzen Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

22 Pirates Red Blend 2018

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22 Pirates
Varietal: Red Blend
Vintage: 2018
Country of Origin: United States
Retail Price: $19.99

Tasting Notes: Powerful, bold dark fruits on the palate are wrapped nicely in French oak.
22 Pirates Red Blend 2018

Three Sisters Cabernet Franc 2017

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Three Sisters
Varietal: Cabernet Franc
Vintage: 2017
Country of Origin: United States
Retail Price: $28.95

Tasting Notes: This modest winery just outside of Dahlonega in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia produces one killer cab franc. Dark fruit, smooth tannins and plenty of back bone. Bring your lunch and sip a bottle on their outdoor patio!
Three Sisters Cabernet Franc 2017