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Staff Favorites - Ryan Moses

Ryan Moses

Reviews

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2015 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 12-06-2018
Labegorce has gone from an old-school favorite to one of the most exciting producers in Margaux. Although they made their mark with the '14, the '15 left an indelible impression (and watch out for the '16!). Deep dark red and black fruits show through on the opulent aromas, highlighted by a slight earthiness. The palate is massively structured and while powerful red fruits flavors nearly make the wine imposing, it finishes with incredible grace, refinement, and a striking minerality. This is a serious Margaux at a "satellite" price. It will be best in a few years and be enjoyable for the next twenty.

2016 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 12-04-2018
The follow-up to the best-selling wine of last year has big shoes to fill, but for one of the most exciting properties in Southern France, the task wasn’t too tall. Right from the get-go, intoxicating aromas of deep red fruits and garrigue immediately have me thinking of high-end Chateauneuf. The texture is soft and seamless with juicy raspberry, deep blackberry, and a long finish lined with fine tannin and bright acidity. Compared to the 2015, it feels more refined and accessible in the best ways possible. This is another terrific bottling, and one that will have elite Southern Rhone producers taking notice.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JD 95 RP 91

2015 Buehler Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-26-2018
One of the most reliable producers in Napa Cab in any given vintage, it is a stunner at this kind of pricing. Cool, pure cassis, plum, and vanilla aromas lead to a palate full of bright red fruit, graphite, blackberry, and sage. Fine-grain tannins carry through a mouthwatering, long finish. This is a terrifically proportioned Cabernet that speaks more to an old-school side of Napa and is a terrific representation for those who are looking for a style that over-delivers without being over-the-top.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
VN 91 JS 90

2016 La Chablisienne Chablis Grand Cru "Preuses"
Review Date: 11-15-2018
Chablisienne's Preuses is terrific again in 2016. There is a terrific mineral component and salinity that compliments lime pith, pear, and crisp apple. It is fresh and lively with great tension, but a touch of wood highlights the breadth of the fruit as well. As always, it is texturally refined and remarkably complex - a tribute to both Chablisienne and this cherished Grand Cru. While immensely enjoyable right from the get-go, it will reward a few years in the cellar and drink beautifully for the following decade.

2015 Canon, St-Emilion 6-Pack in OWC
Review Date: 11-12-2018
This is one of those wines that has an immense challenge living up to such a sterling reputation, but in a room with some of the elite 2015s it was certainly one of the most refined, detailed, and engaging wines out there. With structure and depth to spare, this is a wine that will keep you coming back again and again. Waves of red fruit and seamless tannins build on the palate with mouthwatering acidity and a long finish. It is a singular achievement for Canon and will be thrilling to follow over the next 30 to 40 years.

2015 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend 6-pack in OWC
Review Date: 11-12-2018
2015 is another example where Opus One perfectly encapsulates the vintage character - bold, racy, and a vintage where the most successful wines have the potential to rival some of the region's finest years. Compact and reticent on the nose, the palate unfurls with great complexity - wild cherry, plum, creamy oak, sage, and framboise. There's good concentration and depth, a luxurious and seamless texture, and balanced acidity. It's all there in 2015, an Opus One that will surely go alongside their best bottlings of the past decade.

2015 Opus One Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 11-12-2018
2015 is another example where Opus One perfectly encapsulates the vintage character - bold, racy, and a vintage where the most successful wines have the potential to rival some of the region's finest years. Compact and reticent on the nose, the palate unfurls with great complexity - wild cherry, plum, creamy oak, sage, and framboise. There's good concentration and depth, a luxurious and seamless texture, and balanced acidity. It's all there in 2015, an Opus One that will surely go alongside their best bottlings of the past decade.

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel "#17-092" (Rickhouse B, 5th Floor) K&L Exclusive Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-09-2018
Our Russell's single barrel exclusives have been the best Bourbons I've tasted at K&L in the past three years. They also have an indelible impact on those I've shared it with. They're that good, and each barrel seems to be good for a different reason. Finding yours is half the fun. #092 is a bit more deeply pitched on the nose with burnt caramel and spice. It starts soft but just keeps building exponentially on the palate with waves of spice and toasty oak. The fruit shows up at the end as the complex flavors last for a minute-plus. This is a masterclass on structure and nuance.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel "#428" (Rickhouse M, 4th Floor) K&L Exclusive Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-09-2018
Our Russell's single barrel exclusives have been the best Bourbons I've tasted at K&L in the past three years. They also have an indelible impact on those I've shared it with. They're that good, and each barrel seems to be good for a different reason. Finding yours is half the fun. #428 leads with massively powerful aromatics of that have hints of baking chocolate and barrel char, but the palate shows mellow fruit (grilled pineapple/stonefruit) before picking up again to a spice-lined finish. It is remarkably complex and changing and is for those who want to take their time with it.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel "#17-314" (Rickhouse B, 6th Floor) K&L Exclusive Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-09-2018
Our Russell's single barrel exclusives have been the best Bourbons I've tasted at K&L in the past three years. They also have an indelible impact on those I've shared it with. They're that good, and each barrel seems to be good for a different reason. Finding yours is half the fun. #314 is gentle soft, elegant, and deep, but then ends incredibly spicy with tons of cinnamon, burnt orange, and a textured mouthfeel. This is one for those that like the powerful side of things, although with a touch of water there's depth to spare behind that brawn.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel "#320" (Rickhouse K, 5th Floor) K&L Exclusive Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-09-2018
Our Russell's single barrel exclusives have been the best Bourbons I've tasted at K&L in the past three years. They also have an indelible impact on those I've shared it with. They're that good, and each barrel seems to be good for a different reason. Finding yours is half the fun. #320 leads spicy but mellows out to deep caramels, deep red fruit, and rebounding cinnamon spice. The texture is terrific and it finishes extremely long with hints of vanilla echoing at the end. This is one that will find lots of friends and has a bit of everything.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2015 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-09-2018
Usually one of the top high-end values in Bordeaux, Barde-Haut's 2015 take things to another level. Aromatically it is incredibly intriguing, nuanced, and dynamic. While the core seems very traditional St-Emilion, there is a wild blue fruit note that keeps showing through. The palate shows terrific focus and balance, certainly dialed back from the bigger, more flamboyant styles of, say, 2009 or 2010. But qualitatively it should be in the same conversation. A bright burst of acidity carries deep red fruits, hints of earth, minerality, and mouth-coating tannins. The 20% Cab Franc shows up through the finish in a very engaging way. This is a lot of wine for the price and should thrill Bordeaux fans of all types over the next 15-20 years.

2013 Hidden Ridge "55% Slope" Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-07-2018
It only takes one quick sniff to see the remarkable pedigree here as fine aromas of pure black cherry, bright florals, and dark chocolate emerge from the glass. The palate is incredibly focused, full of deep red fruits and a laser-like acidity. The purity and refinement are striking and speak loudly to the amazing vintage. There is structure here to spare. This is one of those wines that leaves you imagining how it will evolve, and at the relatively modest price you can probably squirrel away a few bottles to find out. Drink now with a long decant, or cellar for five years and enjoy for the following 15-plus. A terrific wine and a great example of the heralded 2013s.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart
RP 97

2013 Ronchi "Ronchi" Barbaresco
Review Date: 11-06-2018
I adore wines from all over the world, but at the end of the day I always come back to Nebbiolo. And when it is this good at this kind of price, I can never get enough. Beautiful aromatics lead to a core of pure red fruit and mouthwatering acidity that begs for another sip. It has a terrific texture and fine tannins that add structure, but meld graciously with the fruit. It pairs beautifully with a meal, but even alone the pedigree is undeniable. I've had the fortune to try this on three different occasions already, and it seems to show another dimension each time. This is an asset to any collection - top vintage, delicious Barbaresco at a price that you don't have to think twice about when pulling a cork.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2016 Fess Parker "The Big Easy" Santa Barbara County Red Blend
Review Date: 11-06-2018
This one is new to me, but a fun under-the-radar find from an often-overlooked producer. Inky dark to the core with deep aromas of asphalt, dark chocolate, and black currant, the palate follows with hedonistic rich deep red fruit, licorice, and vanilla. Although the flavors are deep, the finish is clean and fresh with just enough acidity and structure to support it. This is a fun, crowd-pleasing wine that will find a lot of quick friends, and one that will drink well right out of the gates.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 JD 92

2015 Chalk Hill "Estate" Chalk Hill Red Blend
Review Date: 11-06-2018
This is one of those great go-to Sonoma blends that always delivers, and 2015 is no exception. Bold aromas of fine french vanilla and bright black fruit intertwine and lead to a palate full of unctuous and mouth-coating deep purple fruit, with hints of baking chocolate and well-structured tannins. The finish carries the rich fruit beautifully and while it is lush it also retains a sense of balance. This is an absolute crowd-pleaser that drinks beautifully now with some air but will be easy to enjoy anytime in the next 10-15 years.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Canon, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-06-2018
This is one of those wines that has an immense challenge living up to such a sterling reputation, but in a room with some of the elite 2015s it was certainly one of the most refined, detailed, and engaging wines out there. With structure and depth to spare, this is a wine that will keep you coming back again and again. Waves of red fruit and seamless tannins build on the palate with mouthwatering acidity and a long finish. It is a singular achievement for Canon and will be thrilling to follow over the next 30 to 40 years.

2013 Scott Paul "La Paulée" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-01-2018
Crafted from some of Oregon's great vineyard sources including Maresh and Ribbon Ridge, this is remarkable pedigree for the price. Currant, clove, lavender, and burnt orange highlight impressive aromas that lead to an incredibly pure and balanced palate that hones in on bright and juicy red fruits. The texture is silk and it is a very graceful wine throughout. Drinking beautifully right now right out of the gate, it has all the structure and depth to drink well for another five to ten years, but it is at a terrific spot right now and will be hard to resist at this kind of pricing.

2016 Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-01-2018
Napa's best high-end value is back in what should be a landmark vintage. Powerful aromas of deep blackberry, asphalt, and fine vanilla portray an imposing wine, but the palate is very pure and fresh with plenty of acidity and copious flavors of black cherry and ripe red plum, with hints of chocolate. It shows great presence and texture along with a mouthwatering finish that just begs for food to accompany it. This is another great success and highlights why savvy collectors should look to go long on 2016 in Napa. This deserves a long decant now, but will probably be best in given three years in a cellar and will drink well for the following fifteen with ease.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
RP 96

2012 Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru "153rd Anniversary Cuvee"
Review Date: 10-31-2018
Jadot's 153rd is the best selling Red Burgundy at K&L by a mile, and it is easy to see why. What other Burg is this good, this acclaimed, and this reasonably priced? Only made in the best vintages, the 2012 is stunning now at age six. Enticing floral aromas mix with bright red cherries on the nose. Bright and fresh on the palate, it has fine grained tannins, echoes of the red fruit come back around to combine with strawberry and currant, finishing with a touch of spice and an impressive lengthy finish. It is graceful but still has a ton of mid-palate weight and structure. Great now with a short decant, the best days are still ahead of this remarkable Burgundy value. Drink now through 2030.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
BH 92 VN 92

2014 Anthem "Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard" St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-19-2018
Coming from one of Napa's most cherished vineyards, and one whose name usually carries a hefty price tag, this is a no-compromise expression of Beckstoffer Las Piedras at an incredibly accessible price. The aromas carry high-tones red and black fruit. The texture is luxurious and abundant flavors of blackberry and deep red cherry line the palate, finishing with hints of bitter chocolate and sage. Bright acid carries a long and powerful finish. This is an irresistible Cab that has no qualms in showing its Napa roots. This will evolve well for the next 10-15 years, but is flat out delicious with a short decant at this early stage. Very limited production here - grab what you can while available as Las Piedras cab this good is usually around three times the price.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 94

2016 Ojai "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-15-2018
For those looking for a refined, balanced Chardonnay with a sense of place, this is it. With aromas of meyer lemon, crisp apple, and hints of nutmeg, the palate is focused and fresh, with pear and peach carrying the finish which is lined with hints of lime and mouthwatering acidity. It is pure, lively, and delicious, crafted with only neutral oak and coming in at a modest 13%. For those that adore an Old World style, you'll find a lot to like here, but it certainly carries the best of this cherished Central Coast site as well. It is ready to go from the pull of the cork, but will be fun to follow for the next decade. A lot of wine for the money and a wine that will have many peers at twice the price.

2013 Andrew Will "Sorella" Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend
Review Date: 10-05-2018
Andrew Will is one of the reference-point producers for ageworthy, refined Bordeaux Blends that outperform their price - from Washington State and well beyond. Sorella is their top bottling and is often reserved a spot among the top Bordeaux Blends of any given vintage. The nose hints at a compact, deep wine and is not to dissimilar from a top vintage Bordeaux. The textural refinement is immediately apparent on the palate with cascading deep red fruits and a bright acidity that carries it deftly. A resounding finish begs for an accompanying meal, but it is compelling on its own. In my experience, Andrew Will's wines deserve a few hours' decant to really show what they're made of, but this is a testament to the structure and capacity to age. This recent parcel also comes with a jaw-dropping price. Don't miss it.

2009 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 10-04-2018
One of the darlings of 2009 Bordeaux values, this is one that I've enjoyed many times, but haven't tasted in the past few years. The bountiful aromatics are highlighted by deep cassis, blackberry, graphite, and thyme. The palate is pure and expressive, with a core of red cherry, a terrific texture, and well judged tannins. Drinking well now, something tells me that this is still a few years from its peak, where it will stay for a few years to follow. A lot of wine for the price, and still one of 2009 Bordeaux's great values.

2016 Arterberry Maresh "Old Vine" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-14-2018
A new addition to the portfolio, this is non-vineyard designation wine from Arterberry Maresh is completely irresistible. Compared with the structured, complex "Maresh Vineyard" bottling, this is more plush and forward, with deeper red fruits, and a high-toned acidity that carries the robust flavors through a very long finish. For those looking for a true classic to follow over the years, the "Maresh Vineyard" is well worth the premium. But this is an absolute stunner, incredibly delicious now, and perhaps one of the best wines going at anywhere near the price point. Drink now and over the next decade...any make sure you grab enough to enjoy often over that time!
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
RP 96

2016 Arterberry Maresh "Maresh Vineyard" Dundee Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-14-2018
I'm not shy to say the 2014 vintage of this wine is one of the best domestic Pinot Noirs I've tried in my tenure here. On multiple occasions it stole the show against other heavyweights from Burgundy and California. The 2016 delivers that same incredible dynamic with ease - beautiful aromatics that carry a touch of that Burgundian sauvage with fresh currant, a multifaceted and seamless palate full of bright red fruit, wonderful texture, and a lasting finish. What a terrific standard bearer for the tremendous 2016 vintage. Drink now with a decant or enjoy over the next 10-20 years.
Price: $64.95 Add To Cart
RP 96

2016 Domaine Calendal "Plan de Dieu" Côtes du Rhône-Villages
Review Date: 09-12-2018
Incredibly pure and refined, it takes the modest category of Cotes du Rhone to an entirely different level. There's intriguing high-toned aromatics, an abundance of deep red fruit with a building finish, and balanced acidity. While many might compare this to a high-end CdP, I find that it has much more early appeal and finesse than what many of those wines bring to the table. It is, however, a stunning example of why 2016 in the Southern Rhone will continue to be cherished for the years to come.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 95 RP 91

2015 Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 09-11-2018
Aromas of blue and red fruits meld with fine French vanilla and lead to a palate that's deep with concentrated blackberry, a fine minerality, and hints of leather. It is a deep, rich, and refined Ribera that is immediately attractive but also will be a joy to follow over the years. There is a ton of structure here and a lot to like. For serious Ribera del Duero at this kind of price point, it is hard to go wrong with Hacienda Monasterio. The 2015 is another towering success. Drink now with a short decant or enjoy anytime over the next fifteen years.

2016 Domaine de la Janasse "Tradition" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-11-2018
One of the best introductions you can have to the upside of the 2016 Chateauneuf vintage, Janasse's "Tradition" is nipping at the heels of many of the top cuvees from most vintages. The nose is traditional CdP with some brambly and generous fruit, but the palate is at another level - silky black and red fruits combine with a sage, olive, and baking spice. It keeps building through a resounding finish that carries on long after the wine is gone. Considering the elite profile of Janasse and what this bottle delivers, this is a steal.

2014 Kapcsandy "Estate Cuvée - State Lane Vineyard" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 08-30-2018
Kapcsandy's Estate Cuvee is one of the sweet spot wines in Napa these days - an elite producer who makes legendary wines, treasured terroir, a genuine style, and a price-point that is incredibly modest compared to its peers. This vintage exudes beautiful aromatics with cassis, tobacco, and raspberry lining the palate. It has depth in an extremely finessed style that would make many a Bordelais jealous. It is not their Grand Vin, but is made in an exacting style (meticulously sorted, all free run) that could produce a first wine for many other high-end producer in the Valley. Lou's 2014s are right up there with the amazing 2013s.

2013 Felsina Chianti Classico "Colonia" Gran Selezione
Review Date: 08-21-2018
A tiny 300 case lot coming from the Rancia hill, this is about as prestigious as Chianti gets. Deep red plum, fine french oak, and menthol combine for complex aromas that lead to a palate full of a cacophony of red fruit, mouthwatering acidity, and a balance of wood and fruit tannin. The texture is a masterpiece - seamless without an edge to be found, an incredibly purity and refinement rarely seen in Chianti. I've adored most everything coming from Felsina in 2013 and this is no exception. It's not inexpensive, but when compared to other pure Sangiovese collectibles like Flaccianello or Testamatta, it will more than hold its own.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
RP 97 VN 95

2013 Poderi Colla "Bussia Dardi Le Rose" Barolo
Review Date: 08-03-2018
Between the orange-red color and soft floral nose, there's no mistaking this as anything but Barolo. Silky and seamless, this is a true classic that is lined with dark red fruit, tar, and tannins that are chewy in the best way possible. This is about four hours after being opened and hitting its stride (if young Barolo is your thing). That said, any collector who has the time and patience to do this justice will most likely have a remarkable wine in the years to come that will rival its more expensive peers. A terrific find from the ever-impressive 2013 vintage. Drink 2023 to 2035.

2009 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 07-24-2018
Tasted with Jean-Michel Cazes at a vertical tasting in San Francisco in June 2018. Served alongside the more classic-leaning 2005, there was no doubting the caliber of this tremendous vintage for Lynch Bages. At first there was a conversation about 2005 vs. 2009, but with a bit of air and a meal to consider the wines over, the 2009 came out a strong winner of not only the flight, but perhaps an evening that also saw the '96, '00, '14, and '15. 2009 Lynch Bages borrows the best of the estate and vintage and will be one to follow closely for the years to come. Every Bordeaux cellar should have a strong compliment of Lynch Bages, and the 2009 is not to be missed.

2015 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva (1.5L)
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Felsina Rancia from a great vintage is one of the best buys in the store at this kind of pricing and continues to be one of the absolute gems of the wine world. On the heels of the amazing, bestselling, and stunning 2013, the 2015 is carrying a some big press and a vintage that has many collectors excited. Thankfully, as always, 2015 Rancia delivers. A bit more compact than the 2013, it is a layered Chianti that shows a mix of deep red and black fruit, a bit of clove and sage, and a lengthy finish. An overtly ageworthy wine, I'd argue that it is also impossible to resist young with a few hours decant. Rancia remains one of the reference-point wines in Tuscany, and the 2015 speaks volumes as to why.

2016 Oakridge Estate "Willowlake Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley
Review Date: 07-09-2018
Oakridge is one of K&L's most rewarding direct-import properties and their 2016 Willowlake Chardonnay speaks volumes to that fact. It is simply delicious Chardonnay that will leave most sub-$20 whites in envy. Plentiful stonefruit pairs with bright citrus, a great white stone minerality, a terrific texture, and good depth. It is a light-to-medium body Chardonnay that shows depth but retains a sense of elegance at the same time. Nearly impossible to resist (especially in screwcap), it should be stocked up for anybody looking for a go to white this summer, or the next 3-6 years to follow.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JH 97

2009 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-02-2018
Every once in a while a world-class Bordeaux is under-rated at release, providing a window of opportunity for those in-the-know to have extended access at great pricing. This is exactly where we are with the complex, structured, and refined 2009 Léoville-Barton. Almost a decade on, this famed Second Growth is starting to open up showing a core of signature bright red fruit peeking through the very fine-grained tannin. It is a great mix of classic Bordeaux in a modern vintage - one that demands time but is expertly crafted. It is not out of the question to open it now and check in on it, but prepare it with a long decant. This gem will certainly have plentiful upside for the next 10 to 20+ years.

2017 Vieux-Château-Certan, Pomerol
Review Date: 06-22-2018
Easily one of the wines of the vintage, although perhaps no surprise considering the immense quality of VCC these days. Aromatically it wasn't giving much, but it was explosive on the palate with waves of bright black and red fruits. The wine finishes with incredibly defined, dusty tannins that add to an extremely complex and layered wine. The pedigree is undeniable here and it will be an ageworthy wine to follow for a few decades.

2017 Les Carmes Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan 6-pack in OWC
Review Date: 06-21-2018
Pessac 2017s that had a good chunk of Cab Franc tended to shine in early tastings where others struggled - such was the case for Carmes Haut Brion (41% this vintage). The aroma is pure cassis where the palate is clean, elegant, and packed with red fruit (strawberry, cherry), tobacco, and very fine tannins. One of those under-the-radar properties that took a big turn for the better in 2014, the 2017 caps off a string of four very fine vintages for Carmes. Drink 2021 to 2032.

2016 Pence Ranch "Estate" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-21-2018
What I'm struck by with Pence Ranch's SRH Pinot is the balance and elegance. In a region that can often see very big wines, Pence Ranch finds a way to carry the concentration without being overdone. Bright plum, delightful minerality, and cool acidity are among a melange of nuances found in this bottling. Crafted by one of the iconic winemakers of the region (Sashi Moorman of Sandhi, Stolpman) it is a triumph for the price and a bottle that is tasty now but will reward patience for those who can resist pulling the cork.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 WE 92

2016 Wines Of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-21-2018
The last few years this has been one of the best value Cabs in the store and I adore the new 2016. It is a big, rich style of Cabernet that shows it's Washington roots. But what the 2016 achieves over the 2015 is a touch more balance and tension at a young age. And make no mistakes, at $15 most of these will be opened early so that accessibility is a big win. Packed with deep red and black fruit, it carries notes of chocolate, sage, and vanilla. It that perfect punches-above-its-weight domestic Cabernet that's often sought and rarely found. If this was from California it would easily be $30. Simply put, it's hard to find this much wine for $15, just one of the reasons it is a bottle I find myself going back to again and again.

2015 Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aine "Domaine de Thalabert" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 06-14-2018
We decanted for about four hours, but even the first pour on opening had a "wow" factor. Very pure deep red fruit lines impressive aromatics that give way to a touch of sage and smokiness. Pure silk on the palate, there are waves of very bright black fruit propped by impressive acidity. The balance is also impressive - this is no heavyweight, instead it strikes a great balance of energy and tension to support the depth of flavor and a very impressive, lingering finish. Extremely polished, this will be very hard to resist opening even at this age, but it will most likely be a 15-20 year wine all the same. Northern Rhone collectors shouldn't miss this, but anybody who is curious about what a banner vintage brings to this region should give it a go.

2017 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-12-2018
2017 Mouton was a very strong showing among the First Growths. The aromatics are heavenly, highlighted by graphite and red/black berry fruit. Plum, fine chocolate, currant, and wild red cherry line the extremely silky palate. It shows the accessible character of the vintage while remaining cool and bright throughout. Very compelling, it is one worth following through release and should be among the best of the vintage in due time. Drink 2022 to 2037.

2017 Clos Fourtet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-07-2018
Another superb vintage from the treasured terroir of Clos Fourtet. It is a property that has wavered on the modern side of the spectrum in the past decade but is finding a terrific sweet spot these days with a more balanced, vineyard-first approach. Terrific aromatics lead to a refined, red-and-black fruited palate with hints of dark chocolate and baking spices. The purity here is impressive and given time it will be a wine of terrific pedigree.

2010 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-05-2018
The last time I tasted this wine was on release in 2013 - a wine full of depth and terrific potential, but massive and structured like many a great 2010. Now, five years on, it is starting to unfurl into something terrific. On the nose there is some secondary notes underneath layers of deep red and black fruit, baking spices, vanilla, and graphite. The palate shows more primary notes of pure black fruit, super-fine tannin, and a wonderfully long finish. It reminded me a bit of their 2000 and could easily resemble it in the next 10-15 years, perhaps with a bit more purity and focus.

2016 Martin Ray Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-01-2018
Refined, complex, and rewarding Pinot Noir is something we always search for, and when it comes in at under $20 it quickly becomes one of our most popular wines. This has all the signs of being that best-selling gem of 2018. Expressive aromatics of red flowers, currant, mint, and bing cherry lead to a luxuriously textured palate full of bright red fruit. The finish lingers, carrying on for a good thirty seconds. Splendid by itself, there's enough spice, grip, and acidity that it will pair beautifully with a variety of meals. Enjoy anytime over the next five-plus years, but don't miss out on it while it's still available.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2015 Diamond Creek "Volcanic Hill" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-01-2018
Coming from the eight-acre, north-facing plot of the Diamond Creek Estate, 2015 Volcanic Hill is deeply aromatic with perfumed floral notes and dark red fruits. On the palate it shows great purity with raspberry, blackberry, chocolate, and baking spices. Bright acidity carries a long and vibrant finish in this complex and lasting wine.

2015 Diamond Creek "Red Rock Terrace" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-01-2018
2015 Red Rock Terrace leads with aromas that alternate between deep cassis and a gravelly minterality that highlights the terraced terroir on the slope abutting the winery. There is bold red and black fruit that fills the mid-palate, and a dynamic finish that introduces nuances of leather and vanilla. Compact, it shows all the promise of a great evolution. Drink 2023 to 2040.

2015 Diamond Creek "Gravelly Meadow" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-01-2018
Remarkably concentrated, the 2015 Gravelly Meadow is a wine that leaves you imagining what it will have in store over the years. It is layered with deep blue and pure black fruit. Dense and layered, there is good acid to lift the flavors that lead to a lengthy, persistent finish with fine grain oak and fruit tannin. Patience will certainly be required here, but those who take the time to follow it will find a stunning example of the modern era at Diamond Creek. Drink 2023 to 2040.

2014 Colgin "IX Estate" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-01-2018
When tasting at Colgin, our host Paul Roberts said of the 2014 vintage "in a perfect world, this is what we'd do every year." Two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon, the balance is a good portion of Cab Franc (16%) and Merlot (12%), with the remainder Petit Verdot. It is one of the more aromatically striking examples we experienced on a trip of some of Napa's finest estates, with deep red and black fruit, sage, and thyme. The IX Estate gives you the impression it is going to be a big wine, but then it is cool, composed, and relatively elegant on the palate with a remarkable minerality and superb texture. Mouth coating fine tannin carries flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and forest floor. Endlessly complex and regal, it is a remarkable wine that could easily cellar centerpiece while aging gracefully for two decades or more.

2017 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-30-2018
A slightly reticent nose gives way to a palate chalk full of dark chocolate, vanilla, and blackberry. The wine is remarkably textured, and continues to show nuance throughout with pine, french oak, and pure red fruit. Mouthwatering acid keeps it lifted and adds length. It is a structured Montrose and a strong showing for the vintage. Montrose continues on a qualitative roll that is the envy of many in Bordeaux and beyond. Drink 2025 to 2035.

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