5.27.20 Virtual Wine Wednesday

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This Week…

2017 Bodega Catena Zapata "Appellation Agrelo" Cab. Sav., Argentina
$156.00/12 Pack
91+ - Robert Parker

In 1902, Nicola Catena, an Italian immigrant, planted his first vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina. The winery has remained under family control — now in its fourth generation — and is one of the few family-owned wine companies in Argentina that remains in Argentine hands. As with many wines this time around, I got more than one vintage to taste, including the 2017 "Appellation Agrelo" Cabernet Sauvignon. Next to the 2016, you could see the different climatic conditions of the two vintages, with this 2017 coming through riper and rounder. In any case, it's a textbook example of Agrelo, with juicy fruit and polished, sweet tannins. This is also a favorite in 2017 and shows a very classical Bordeaux-like profile, peppery, spicy and elegant.



2016 Vasse Felix "Margaret River" Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia
$193.00/6 Pack
94 pts - James Suckling

Vasse Felix was established in 1967 by pioneer Dr. Thomas Cullity and is the founding wine estate of Margaret River. Vasse Felix is situated in the Wilyabrup sub-region of Margaret River, with vineyards also located at northern and southern sites of the wine appellation. Bright maroon with a red brick edge. This is a deep, savory Cabernet with characters of blackcurrant, dark cherry, damp earth and cedar that mingle with a spicy complexity care of the vibrant Malbec portion. Luscious and juicy upfront, the dark berry fruit is complemented by savory elements of beef stock and dried woody herbs. There is a wonderful length of flavor as the palate transitions to a fine, textural and dusty drying finish in classical Cabernet style.



2017 Frog's Leap "Estate Grown, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford $598.00/12 Pack
95 pts - Vinous (Antonio Galloni)

If there is one winery in Napa Valley that matches the philosophies of The Wine Company like a hand fits a glove, it's Frog's Leap. Founded in 1982 by Larry Turley and John Williams, Frog's Leap's first vintage consisted of Sauvignon Blanc (ferments fast, no oak needed, quick to market) and a small amount of Zinfandel. The Sauvignon Blanc, noticed by none other than the New York Times, instantly sold out and Frog's Leap was off and running (or hopping, as it were). The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is such a gorgeous wine. In 2017, the Frog's Leap Cabernet has a bit more depth and richness, as it often does in warmer years. Cedar, tobacco, mint and sweet red cherry are all pushed forward in a succulent Cabernet with tons of character that still retains its super-classic, mid-weight feel. Time in the glass brings out the wine's aromatic nuance and silkiness. The Frog's Leap Cabernet remains an under the radar gem in today's Napa Valley.


2018 Smith & Hook, Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast $207/12 Pack
90 pts - Wine Enthusiast

Vibrant aromas of dark fruit, baked cherry and saddle leather underscored by notes of caramel. The palate is full-bodied and rich with flavors of dark berries, vanilla laced with leather, mocha and spice. A round mouthfeel backed with a concentrated tannin structure leads to a complex, long finish.



2018 Hahn "SLH" Estate Grown Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands $184.00/12 Pack
90 pts - Wine Spectator

Tropical aromas of banana, lemongrass, and citrus with subtle notes of vanilla and toasty oak. Bright acidity welcomes the palate, leading to a perfect balance of tropical fruit and baking spices that culminate in a lingering, clean finish.


2018 Hahn SLH, Pinot Noir Estate Grown Santa Lucia Highlands $228.00/12 Pack
91 pts - "Editor's Choice"- Wine Enthusiast

Aromas of bright red cherry, strawberry with hints of earth, spices, and toasty oak. An explosion of red fruit including strawberry, cherry and raspberry welcome the palate finish with refined tannins and a soft mouthfeel.


2018 Chateau de Saint Cosme, Cotes du Rhone Red $152.00/12 Pack
91 pts - Wine Enthusiast / 91 pts James Suckling

Pristine black cherry and raspberry flavors are accented by hints of green herbs and bramble in this full-bodied but invigorating red. It's delightfully easy drinking but nuanced and peppery. Ripe, integrated tannins linger elegantly through a long finish.


2017 Bodega Catena Zapata, D.V. Catena Historic Mendoza Red Blend $156.00/12 Pack
94 pts - James Suckling

A stunning wine for this price point! Plenty of Malbec violet character, but also delicate spices and great freshness. A wealth of drive and ripeness. The finish is long and polished.


2017 Andrew Murray Vineyards, Esperance $228.00/12 Pack
93 pts - Jeb Dunnuck

This rich red is a blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre. It was given a more serious winemaking regimen with a bit more new oak. He also choses a "bigger" Syrah to blend in with the Grenache and Mourvedre, so the resulting wine is a bit more "profound". He believes that it is perhaps the best Espérance that the winery has ever released. All of the extra work yields a rich, concentrated wine with aromas and flavors of ultra-ripe strawberries, black cherries, and blueberries mixed in with the spiciness of cinnamon and vanilla from the toasty new French Oak.


2017 Paul Hobbs "CrossBarn" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast $352.00/12 Pack
92 Pts – James Suckling

The CrossBarn Pinot Noir shows fresh raspberries, lemon rind, orange zest, rhubarb, red cherries and fresh herbs. The wine is medium-bodied with bright acidity, firm tannins and a fresh, medium-chewy finish. Real Sonoma pinot.


2018 Le Charmel, Cotes de Provence Rose $129.00/12 Pack
88 pts - Wine Enthusiast

The nose of the Le Charmel has beautiful aromas of raspberries and wildflowers. The palate is wonderfully bright and fresh with notes of strawberry and pear.


2018 Tortoise Creek "Cuvee Jeanne" Cotes de Gascogne Sauvignon Blanc $97/12 Pack
90 pts - "Best Buy" - Wine Enthusiast

Anjou pear, squeezed lime and riper guava aromas show on the nose of this appellation blend. The palate combines apple flesh with lime juice, proving pleasantly mellow and refreshing.


Please send me an email if you would like to enjoy any of these wines.

Cheers,

Stan

(858)759-3138

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