2007 Orin Swift The Prisoner Napa Valley

orin_swift_theprisonerAromas of white pepper and black fruit fill the glass.  Flavors of wild blackberry, currant, licorice, and blueberry lead the way in this fruit forward wine. Plenty of spice and lingering tannins on the finish. Well structured and, despite the fact that it clocks in at 15.2% alcohol, it’s easy to drink. The Prisoner is 50% Zinfandel, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, 9% Petite Sirah, 2% Charbono, 1% Grenache all sourced from the Napa Valley.

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2005 Bennett Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley

05CabReserve-LargeDark, extracted purple color. The nose shows cedar , cocoa powder and lots of black cherry notes. In the mouth this wine has a very balanced mix of fruit and mineral notes such as black currant, plumb, cedar and nutmeg. The tannins are very fine and well integrated. The fruit for this winner is sourced from the Taplin 2 block of Lewelling vineyard in St Helena and the Lynch Family Vineyard, from owner Randy and Lisa’s Estate in Calistoga. Elegant but plenty of fruit forward enjoyment as well. Outstanding. If you get the chance to visit the Napa Valley make sure you drop by their tasting room. It’s very relaxed and a fun time.

2006 Château de Nages (Rhône)

DeNagesDense ruby/purple color on this blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. The nose is rather closed but gives hints of red fruits, wet rocks and white pepper. Across the palate there is a good mix of fruit and minerality with notes of raspberry, black cherry the previously mentioned pepperand anise. It’s light but not “lightweight”. Perfect for summer supper. The fruit comes from old vines Grenache and Syrah from the appellation Costieres de Nimes which is located in the southern Rhone.

2008 Castello di Amorosa Fantasia (Napa Valley)

FantasiaAs they say at the winery, this is “adult soda pop”. This Rose is on the dark side of pink. The nose is candied cherry and spice box. The flavors in the mouth are maraschino cherry and cinnamon. It also has a slight effervescence. We found it better served well chilled.  Good for a hot summer day at the pool, beach or on a picnic.It is intended to be just what it is, simple and fun to drink instead of beer at a outdoor party or event.

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 9:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

The nose shows hints of green pepper, black fruit and leather. Across the palate there are notes of mint, currant, mineral and spice. ThTrefethene tannins are rustic and long lasting on the finish. The grapes for this wine are sourced from the Trefethen estate in the Oak Knoll District of the Napa Valley. This wine drinks more like a Left Bank Bordeaux than a Napa Valley floor Cabernet Sauvignon. Good but not great, and expensive ($100).

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 12:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Casa Lapostolle Merlot Cuvée Alexandre

Very dark purple in color. The nose is spice box, cedar and black fruit. Across thCasa Lapostolle_Merlote palate this wine has a lot going on. Plumb and currant fruit lead the way with anise, black pepper and dark chocolate notes following at the end. The tannins are still big and linger on the finish but will lay down with a little more bottle time.This blend of 85% Merlot and 15 % Carmenere comes from Casa Lapostolle’s Apalta Vineyard which is located in the Rapel Valley sub appellation of Chile’s Central Valley. It’s blended with the Carmenere to as some structure and spice. Very good vintage from a very consistent producer.

2006 DuMol Syrah RRV

Last bottle of this vintage 😦 This wine is a very dark hue of purple. Sweet black fruit and caramel aromas fill the glass. Plenty of black currant, blackberry and vanilla balanced nicely with a mineral edge and spicebox across the palate. The tannins are well integrated and linger well past the long finish. A lot going on but all in it’s place. The grapes for this vintage were sourced from throughout the Russian River Valley which explains it’s even composition. Another excellent wine from a very consistent producer of premium California style Syrah.

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir RRV

This Helen Turley made Russian River Valley Pinot Nior has a nice clear ruby red color. The nose is sweet raspberry and cherry. Across the palate it’s red fruit flavors carry over and add a good dose of mineral edge. The acidity is nicely balanced with the sweetness of the fruit. This Pinot is easy drinking and surprisingly polished for a $30 bottle.

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 1:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvignon H3

columbia-crest_h3Spicy plumb stew on the nose on this “great for the money” Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills (H3) region of Eastern Washington. The flavors are a ripe mix of plumb, red cherry, anise, mint, and black pepper. The mouth feel is a nice balance of softness and fine grained tannins. This wine from the Horse Heaven Hills region of Washington is quite the value. Winemaker Ray Einberger has done an excellent job with this designated Cabernet Sauvignon for two vintages in a row. For those looking for a value fruit forward Cabernet this wine fits the bill. Unlike most quality Cabernet Sauvignon’s from Washington this wine is readily available and can be found in many grocery store wine sections.

2007 Bennett Lane Maximus White Napa Valley

07-Max-White2This Bennett Lane White Maximus Feasting wine from the Napa Valley wine has a medium golden to yellow color. The nose has a citrus peel note as well as honeydew melon. In the mouth the wine has a good balance of tangy citrus and sweet peach. It’s crips but with just enough sweetness to make it refreshing on a hot summer day.  A blend of 87 % Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Chardonnay and 2% Muscat. Well worth the $25 for a well made wfite from Napa.