January 2015 - 2014 Stellar Cellar Selection

This month's Wine feature is 2013 Stellar Cellar Selection Wines
2014 Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews
208986
Heibel Ranch Vineyards
2011 "GBH" Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208839
Barboursville
2010 "Paxxito" Virginia
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.
94 points $31.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208977
Vigneto Edoardo
2009 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208898
Stina’s Cellars
2012 Petit Verdot
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208869
Martin Estate
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208897
Stina’s Cellars
NV Pomegranate Dessert Wine Washington
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208938
Grgich Hills
2010 Estate Grown Merlot
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208868
Bacchanal
2011 Red Wine Napa Valley
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208909
R & B Cellars
2009 Reserve, Bingham Ranch, "Lyric of the Vine" Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208695
Wakefield/Taylors
2012 "St. Andrews" Shiraz
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208910
Canyon Wind
2012 Clone 4 Cabernet Sauvignon
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208915
Monte De Oro
2009 Reserve Syrah
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208968
Peace Water
2011 "Nirvana" Zinfandel
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208697
Wakefield/Taylors
2013 "Jaraman" Shiraz
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208918
Monte De Oro
2011 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208912
Anemoi
2012 "Boreas" Grand Valley
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208911
Canyon Wind
2012 IV Grand Valley
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208901
Robert Hall Winery
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208970
Peace Water
2012 "Sublime" Pinot Noir
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208992
Falkner
2012 Estate Grown Merlot
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208988
Unionville Vineyards
2013 Estate Bottled, "Cool Foxy Lady" New Jersey
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208906
Brassfield Estate
2012 Petite Sirah
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208899
Stina’s Cellars
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208969
Peace Water
2013 "Bliss" Sauvignon Blanc
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208975
Villadoria
2011 Barbaresco DOCG
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208908
R & B Cellars
2011 Harris Kratka Vineyard, "Allegrezza" Zinfandel
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208917
Monte De Oro
2011 Vista Del Monte Vineyard Syrah
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208974
Villadoria
2010 Barolo DOCG
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208907
Brassfield Estate
2012 Malbec
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
209023
Jeff Gordon Collection
2011 Pinot Noir
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208841
Renteria
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208914
Monte De Oro
2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208991
Falkner
2013 Chardonnay
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
209055
Activist
2013 Syrah
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208985
Heibel Ranch Vineyards
2011 Lappa's Napa Valley Red Napa Valley
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208913
Anemoi
2013 "Zephyrus" Grand Valley
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208905
Brassfield Estate
2011 Syrah
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208826
Handley
2011 RSM Vineyard Pinot Noir
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208916
Monte De Oro
2009 Reserve, "Vigna Vicini" Temecula Valley
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208858
Portal Los Andes
2011 Gran Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208983
Coyote Canyon Winery
2011 Coyote Canyon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208937
Grgich Hills
2011 Estate Grown Zinfandel
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
209022
Jeff Gordon Collection
2011 Chardonnay
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208842
Renteria
2013 Chardonnay
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208696
Wakefield/Taylors
2012 "St. Andrews" Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208987
Unionville Vineyards
2013 Amwell Ridge Single Vineyard Viognier
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208976
Cantina Zaccagnini
2009 San Clemente Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208984
H/H Estates
2011 Coyote Canyon Vineyard, "Big John Cab" Cabernet Sauvignon
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208870
Chateau Napa
2012 Red Wine Napa Valley
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
208919
Monte De Oro
NV "Legato", Red Dessert Wine Temecula Valley
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Shortcut: http://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Wine/Review-2015-01-05-2014-Stellar-Cellar-Selection.aspx