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Reviews for 2015

January 2015 - 2014 Stellar Cellar Selection

January 2015 - 2014 Stellar Cellar Selection
This month's Wine feature is 2013 Stellar Cellar Selection Wines

2014 Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews

Heibel Ranch Vineyards 2011 "GBH" Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$75
Ruby color. Complex, attractive aromas and flavors of olive, coconut, pie crust, and chocolate rice bar with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, very complex finish with notes of toffee, Asian spices, nougat, and leather with silky tannins and moderate oak. A rich, elegant and seductive cabernet.
Awards: 2014 Stellar Cellar - Best Red Wine
Barboursville 2010 "Paxxito" Virginia
94 points
$31.99
Bright amber color. Rich, inviting aromas and flavors of caramelized peaches, coconut macaroon, toffee, and roasted tropical fruits with a satiny, tangy, sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, layered, long finish with notes of suede, raisin, spice, and nuts with light oak. A fantastic, resonant dessert wine.
Awards: 2014 Stellar Cellar - Best Dessert Wine
94 points $31.99
Vigneto Edoardo 2009  Montepulciano dAbruzzo DOC
94 points
$37.99
Garnet black color. Robust, exotic aromas of smoked nuts and spices, grilled beets, dried cherry, and olives with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long cherry compote, pickled watermelon, and turkey jerky finish. A fantastically flavorful and dynamic red that will be amazing with food.
94 points $37.99
Stina’s Cellars 2012  Petit Verdot
94 points
$45
Dark garnet violet black color. Rich aromas of chocolate mousse, creme brulee, and honeyed berries with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long craisins, spiced nuts, and sandalwood finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A spot on petit verdot and great structure and aging potential.
Awards: 2014 Stellar Cellar - Most Cellarable Red Wine
Martin Estate 2011  Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$75
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate and cassis pie a la mode with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, complex, long finish with notes of sweet spices, cherries, praline, and minerals with moderate oak. A sensational cab.
Stina’s Cellars NV Pomegranate Dessert Wine Washington
93 points
$27
Bright ruby color. Lively aromas and flavors of pomegranate sorbet, praline, cocoa, and delicate herbal bark with a silky, bright, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, interesting finish with shades of tomato chutney, strawberry rhubarb jam, cucumber salad, and earth. A intriguing, purely flavored, well made fruit wine; try in cocktails or as an amaro of sorts too.
Grgich Hills 2010 Estate Grown Merlot
93 points
$42
Garnet black color. Rich, exotic aromas and flavors of menthol mint, pomegranate chutney, eucalyptus, and chocolate plums with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, elegant, medium-length finish manifesting notes of nuts, caramelized carrot, earth, and mocha with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A dynamic and delicious merlot that will be great at the table with spicy meat dishes.
Bacchanal 2011 Red Wine Napa Valley
93 points
$48
Opaque garnet black color. Rich aromas and flavors of black olives, leather, dried berries, and pickling spices with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, intricate, medium-long finish manifesting accents of toffee, vanilla cream, baking spices, and earth with silky tannins and moderate oak. A delicious, vibrant, and balanced red blend for all occasions.
R & B Cellars 2009 Reserve, Bingham Ranch, "Lyric of the Vine" Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$50
Cloudy garnet black color. Mature aromas and flavors of prunes, honeyed craisins, dark chocolate, and blackberry vinaigrette with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an engaging, medium-long finish with notes of spiced apples, chocolate nuts, and cream with fine tannins. A delicious and plush well aged cabernet.
Wakefield/Taylors 2012 "St. Andrews" Shiraz
93 points
$60
Bright dark ruby blue violet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, licorice, hung game, and white pepper with a lightly tannic, tangy, dry full body and a warming, elegant finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak.
Canyon Wind 2012 Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$64.95
Dark ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of melted chocolate, butter roasted nuts, berry custard pie, and schmaltz cookie with a satiny, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, elegant, medium-long finish displaying touches of pencil shavings and spiced cherries with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A big, delicious, full-throttled cabernet with lots of distinctive, appealing layers of flavor.
93 points $64.95
Monte De Oro 2009 Reserve Syrah
93 points
$70
Bright dark garnet blue violet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries, purple gummy bears, melba toast, and white pepper with a chewy, lively, dry full body and a peppery, complex, long finish with gritty tannins and moderate oak.
Peace Water 2011 "Nirvana" Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$120
Opaque bright ruby blue violet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of ripe blueberries, lovely charred oak, roasted mushrooms, and turned earth with a tannic, bright, dry full body and a sleek, epic, long finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak.
Wakefield/Taylors 2013 "Jaraman" Shiraz
92 points
$35
Opaque bright garnet blue violet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of blackberries, dried violets, light toast, and subtle white pepper with a chewy, crisp, dry full body and a complex finish with firm tannins and light oak.
Monte De Oro 2011 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$36
Ruby color. Bright aromas and flavors of craisin, spiced nuts, mocha cream, and spiced meringue with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length finish with accents of toffee, nuts, and earth with chewy tannins. A rock solid cabernet.
Anemoi 2012 "Boreas" Grand Valley
92 points
$49.95
Garnet color. Bright aromas and flavors of berry pie, cocoa, and spice with a silky, lively, fruity medium body and a compelling, medium-length finish with accents of watermelon, sandalwood, nuts, and earth with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nicely balanced and flavorful blend.
92 points $49.95
Canyon Wind 2012 IV Grand Valley
92 points
$100
Opaque garnet black color. Lively aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts, honeycomb, berry pie, and green peppercorns with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish with overtones of cedar plank, vanilla cream, and spiced nuts with earthy tannins and moderate oak. An attractive, brooding red blend for the cellar or a well marbled steak.
Robert Hall Winery 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$20
Garnet violet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate rice bar, dried berries, and beeswax candle with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a layered finish imparting elements of mocha and apple skin. A nice, warm and juicy cabernet with distinctive aromatics.
Awards: 2014 Stellar Cellar - Best Value
Peace Water 2012 "Sublime" Pinot Noir
91 points
$28
Ruby color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of vanilla toffee and spicy cherry tart with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length finish evoking accents of borscht, strawberry preserves, and kiwi with silky tannins and light oak. A smooth, delicious and elegant pinot noir that is sure to please.
Falkner 2012 Estate Grown Merlot
91 points
$28.95
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of baked berries and tomatoes, chocolate toffee, plum sauce, and olives with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a charming, medium-length finish with notes of berry pie, potter’s clay, and chocolate mint with moderate oak. A savory, slightly rustic, merlot with interesting twists and turns.
91 points $28.95
Unionville Vineyards 2013 Estate Bottled, "Cool Foxy Lady" New Jersey
91 points
$29.95
Golden straw color. Mild aromas and flavors of fruit custard pastry, apples, and golden raisins with a supple, lively, fruity sweet medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length finish imparting accents of spiced orange and pear and mineral. A nice, mouthwatering dessert wine.
91 points $29.95
Brassfield Estate 2012  Petite Sirah
91 points
$40
Copper bright blue violet dark color. Interesting aromas and flavors of blackcurrants, huckleberries, and wood smoke with a chewy, crisp, dry full body and a mildly astringent, medium-length finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak.
Stina’s Cellars 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$65
Garnet violet color. Rich aromas and flavors of spiced berries, honeyed pastry, and cocoa with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish that exhibits notes of dried blueberries, melon, apple, and earth with chewy tannins. A tasty, lively cab that will cover a lot of bases.
Peace Water 2013 "Bliss" Sauvignon Blanc
90 points
$24
Silvery straw color. Rich aromas and flavors of grapefruit, passionfruit, and guava with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish imparting accents of honeyed green pepper, lime, and minerals. A nicely balanced sauvignon blanc that will over a lot of bases.
Awards: 2014 Stellar Cellar - Best White Wine
Villadoria 2011  Barbaresco DOCG
90 points
$27.99
Brick red ruby color. Delicate aromas and flavors of pistachio gelato, pomegranate custard tart, and exotic spices with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a compelling, medium-length finish that presents notes of craisin, cedar, apple skin, and whole nuts. A zesty, spot on Barbaresco that will sing with food.
90 points $27.99
R & B Cellars 2011 Harris Kratka Vineyard, "Allegrezza" Zinfandel
90 points
$30
Bright medium garnet blue violet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of ripe black raspberries, dried leaves, cream, and black pepper with a chewy, vibrant, dry full body and a warming, elegant, medium-long finish with barky tannins and moderate oak.
Monte De Oro 2011 Vista Del Monte Vineyard Syrah
90 points
$36
Bright opaque blue violet garnet color. Complex aromas and flavors of ripe black berries, mocha milk chocolate, turned earth, and white pepper with a tannic, crisp, dry full body and a peppery, elegant, medium-long finish with gritty tannins and moderate oak.
Villadoria 2010  Barolo DOCG
90 points
$39.99
Brick red ruby color. Lively, exotic aromas of honeyed cherries, suede, Asian spices, and incense with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length craisin, spiced Meyer lemon, and nutshell finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A rock solid Barolo that will shine at the table.
90 points $39.99
Brassfield Estate 2012  Malbec
90 points
$40
Dark violet color. Aromas of spicy blackberry pie, toffee, and pink peppercorns with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length chocolate, spiced apples, blood orange, and cedar finish with silky tannins and light oak. A tasty, robust malbec.
Jeff Gordon Collection 2011  Pinot Noir
90 points
$50
Ruby black color. Rich aromas and flavors of spiced cherries, pickled beets, and chocolate nuts with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, intriguing, medium-length finish with impressions of praline and blood orange with fine tannins and light oak. A delicious, mouthwatering pinot noir.
Renteria 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$60
Opaque violet black color. Rich aromas and flavors of melted toffee, dark berry pie, and hint of pickled root vegetables with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length finish revealing notes of dried berries and cedar with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A robust, yet elegant cabernet.
Monte De Oro 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$70
Opaque color. Aromas of saddle leather, cassis, and olive with a body and a warming, medium-length spicy Turkish pastry, craisin, blood orange, and anise seed finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fine, chewy cab.
Falkner 2013  Chardonnay
89 points
$22.95
Golden yellow color. Aromas and flavors of roasted tropical fruits, apple sauce, and mint cream with a supple, crisp, fruity medium body and an interesting, medium-length finish with accents of lemon curd, spiced melon, and mango chutney with light oak. A very tasty and refreshing chardonnay.
89 points $22.95
Activist 2013  Syrah
89 points
$27.99
Bright opaque dark garnet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of blackberries, toasted nutty yeastiness, pomegranates, and white pepper with a lively, dry full body and a warming, complex, long finish.
89 points $27.99
Heibel Ranch Vineyards 2011 Lappas Napa Valley Red Napa Valley
89 points
$40
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of smoked berries, pencil shavings, and savory herbs with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and an engaging, medium-length finish revealing overtones of cranberry, reduced lemon, brown spices, and praline with crunchy tannins and light oak. A zesty red blend with table friendly acidity.
Anemoi 2013 "Zephyrus" Grand Valley
89 points
$44.95
Garnet violet color. Interesting aromas of dried berries, bacon fat, mocha cream, and limestone with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a delightful, breezy bubblegum spices, pomegranate, sandalwood incense, and blood orange finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A complex, appealing red blend that is reminiscent of a Chinon and could perhaps use a bit more time.
89 points $44.95
Brassfield Estate 2011  Syrah
89 points
$45
Bright dark ruby blue violet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries, purple wine gums, caramel, and turned earth with a chewy, crisp, dry full body and a warming, refreshing, medium-length finish with firm tannins and moderate oak.
Handley 2011 RSM Vineyard Pinot Noir
89 points
$52
Dark garnet black color. Bright aromas and flavors of roasted cherries, marinated beets, and pink peppercorn with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, delightful, relaxed finish imparting notes of brown spices, red licorice, carrot skin, and cedar with fine tannins and light oak. A nice savory pinot noir.
Monte De Oro 2009 Reserve, "Vigna Vicini" Temecula Valley
89 points
$70
Ruby black color. Lively aromas and flavors of chocolate covered berries and nuts, sweet spices, and pickled cherry relish with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish manifesting overtones of pomegranate-cassis jam and honeyed spiced apples with chewy tannins and light oak. A very tasty, broad-shouldered red blend.
Portal Los Andes 2011 Gran Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$25
Violet black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate buttercream, buttery roasted chestnuts, creme brulee, and cassis pie with a silky, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length finish displaying suggestions of earth, nutshells, and mint with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nice steak wine; serve with a slight chill.
Coyote Canyon Winery 2011 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$28
Garnet black color. Toasty aromas and flavors of toffee, blackberry tart, and pickling spices with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, easy finish with accents of earth, pomegranate, and nuts with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A solid cab for the table.
Grgich Hills 2011 Estate Grown Zinfandel
88 points
$35
Bright medium garnet violet color. Aromas and flavors of bubbling pie blue fruits, black raspberries, purple pez, and black pepper with a chewy, lively, dryish full body and a warming, intricate, long finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak.
Jeff Gordon Collection 2011  Chardonnay
88 points
$39
Bright gold color. Bold, toasty aromas and flavors of coconut soufflé and pineapple upside down cake with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish evoking notes of vanilla creme brulee, apple tart, and caramelized nuts with silky tannins and moderate oak. A well oaked chardonnay.
Renteria 2013  Chardonnay
88 points
$40
Golden silver color. Lively aromas and flavors of apple custard pie and coconut gelato with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a peppery, engaging, medium-length finish with nuances of white chocolate toffee, spiced nuts, cedar, and pepper with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A robust oak aged chardonnay.
Wakefield/Taylors 2012 "St. Andrews" Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$60
Bright opaque garnet blue violet color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry cobbler, dried violets, lignated stems, and bread toast and a bit of spice with a tannic, crisp, dry full body and a warming, complex finish with firm tannins and moderate oak.
Unionville Vineyards 2013 Amwell Ridge Single Vineyard Viognier
87 points
$29.95
Golden straw color. Delicate aromas of nougat, grilled citrus, and peach with a supple, racy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, relaxed lime powder finish. A different take on viognier that has a lot of sauvignon blanc like acidity.
87 points $29.95
Cantina Zaccagnini 2009 San Clemente Montepulciano dAbruzzo
87 points
$39.99
Ruby color. Lively aromas and flavors of dark chocolate, berry chutney, smoked peppercorns, and clay with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length finish with shades of singed nuts, pomegranate, and earth with firm tannins and moderate oak. A sturdy, rustic red for the table.
87 points $39.99
H/H Estates 2011 Coyote Canyon Vineyard, "Big John Cab" Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$42
Opaque garnet black color. Oaky, smoky aromas and flavors of mocha, chocolate mousse, and singed berry pie with a crisp, dryish medium body and an appealing, medium-length finish that shows notes of honeyed pomegranate, brown spices, cedar, and earth with leafy tannins and heavy oak. A nice steak wine.
Chateau Napa 2012 Red Wine Napa Valley
86 points
$36
Ruby garnet black color. Bright aromas and flavors of baked berries, dark chocolate, and peppery spices with a supple, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, buoyant finish with notes of cedar, caramel cream, cracked pepper, and tomato-cherry chutney with fine tannins. A robust, spicy cabernet.
Monte De Oro NV "Legato", Red Dessert Wine Temecula Valley
86 points
$39
Brown black color. Bright aromas of raisins cake and roasted nuts with a supple, soft, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a warming, breezy sautéed almonds, cocoa, peppercorns, and suede finish with light oak. A nice fireside warmer.
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