January 2016 - The Stellar Cellar Selection

This month's Wine feature is The Stellar Cellar Selection Wines
The Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews
213628
Selene Vineyard
2014 Malbec
Bright dark opaque indigo color. Bright, savory, waxy aromas and flavors of black olives, roasted peppers, dried berries, and clay with an oily, lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length pomegranate, cherry skin, toffee, and peppercorns finish with silky, chewy tannins and moderate oak. An elegant, savory, old world styled malbec that drinks a lot like a Saint Emilion.
95 points $20 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213573
Brassfield Estate
2013 Volcano Ridge Vineyard Petite Sirah
Opaque black violet color. Bright, creamy, fruity toasty aromas of boysenberry custard, vanilla toffee, chocolate espresso beans, and spicy apple pie with a satiny, vibrant, fruity body and a smooth, complex, long creme brulee, huckleberry soufflé, caramelized nuts, and baking spices finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A superbly smooth, flavorful and engaging petite sirah that is a pleasure to drink.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213600
Marquis de Brim
2012 Margaux
Ruby black color. Delicate, peppery, savory aromas of roasted green peppers, spiced olives, dried fruits, and potters clay with a silky, lively, dryish medium body and a sleek, appealing, medium-length nutskins and cocoa finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A dry, nicely balanced and lively Margaux.
94 points $39.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213382
Wakefield/Taylors
2013 St. Andrews Shiraz
Nearly opaque bright dark violet color. Bright, creamy, fruity aromas and flavors of buttery berry tart, coconut creme pie, and caramelized limes with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, nuanced, long black raspberry compote, spiced toffee, chocolate mint, and menthol finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A sumptuous, seamless shiraz that is sure to satisfy.
94 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213576
Monte De Oro
2011 Estate Grown Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright medium ruby black color. Delicate, inviting, fruity toasty aromas and flavors of warm berry custard, spiced nuts, clay, and mixed peppercorns with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long spicy nougat, cornichon, blueberry tart, and eucalyptus finish with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A superbly savory and appetizing cabernet with lots of layers of flavor in a claret style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213650
WaterMark
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque black ruby color. Bright, savory, meaty aromas of berry compote, marinated meat, polished wood and ink, and pepper and tamari with a supple, tangy, medium-to-full body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long spiced blueberries and cassis, candied yams, peppery spices, and cedar finish with dusty, woody tannins and moderate oak. A nice oaky Napa cabernet with appetizing tangy fruit.
93 points $37.50
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213381
Wakefield/Taylors
2013 St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque black garnet color. Exotic, spicy aromas and flavors of eucalyptus, black raspberry chutney, and chocolate mint with an oily, racy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, layered, long berry tart, honeyed herbs, toffee, and sandalwood finish with chewy, firm tannins and moderate oak. A superbly zesty and flavor jammed shiraz.
93 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213627
Selene Vineyard
2010 Gran Selene Malbec
Bright dark black garnet color. Lively, fruity aromas and flavors of berry compote, chocolate nuts, and waxy honeycomb with a glycerous, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length spiced cherries and tomatoes, cranberry, minerals, and cedar finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. An impressive, rich, and well structured malbec.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213607
Marquis de Brim
2013 Grande Reserve Pinot Noir
Dusty garnet color. Bright, attractive, fruity aromas of cracked black pepper and pomegranate-cherry chutney with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, complex, sour cherries, blood orange and beets, nuts, and earth finish with fine, chewy tannins and light oak. A superb, savory and appetizing red with great depth and nuance of flavor.
93 points $59.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213594
Chanticleer
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dark indigo color. Bright, fruity, earthy aromas of waxy cherry, gherkin, creamy chocolate, and clay pot with an even, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, compelling, medium-length dried cassis, alpine herbs, cedar, and dusty spices finish with dusty, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A firm, oaky cabernet that needs time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213678
3 Corners
2012 Moon Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque black ruby color. Fruity, spicy herbal aromas of chocolate covered cassis, menthol mint, and spiced roasted nuts with a velvety, tangy, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long cassis, toffee, and blood orange finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A delicious, fruity, complex, and well-balanced cabernet that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213602
Marquis de Brim
2012 St. Emilion
Deep purple color. Bright, spicy, toasty aromas of mocha, roasted nuts, berry tart, and chocolate orange peels with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length dried cherries, toasted cedar, spice, and earth finish with well-integrated, silky tannins and moderate oak. A nicely oaked saint Emilion.
92 points $22.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213695
Schug
2014 Chardonnay
Yellow straw color. Tropical, citrusy buttery aromas and flavors of sautéed pineapple, caramel apple, and lemon cream with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, medium-long buttery roasted nuts and oak spice finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nice fruity, oaky old school Carneros chardonnay.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213654
Martellotto
2014 La Bomba Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty ruby color. Delicate, attractive, fresh fruity aromas of blueberry cobbler a la mode, vanilla custard, and cedar with a silky, vibrant, dryish medium body and a tingling, involved, medium-long black raspberry jam, toffee, and sweet tobacco finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A lovely, fruity cabernet with snappy acidity and well structured tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213384
Wakefield/Taylors
2014 St. Andrews Chardonnay
Straw green color. Bright, creamy, fruity toasty buttery aromas of roasted coconut and grilled pineapple and apples with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and an effortless, delightful, medium-long spiced oranges and mangos, lemon meringue, and smoked nuts finish with light oak. A juicy, robust chardonnay with a nice balance of zippy tropical fruit and creamy oak.
92 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213595
Chanticleer
2012 Riserva Red Yountville, Napa Valley
Dusty ruby color. Bright, attractive, fruity toasty aromas of chocolate nuts, cassis tart, floral waxy honeycomb, and rose petal with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long dark berry compote finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, nicely articulated and table tuned blend of cabernet and sangiovese.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213385
Wakefield/Taylors
2014 Reserve Parcel Shiraz
Nearly opaque bright dark deep color. Lively, attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of blueberry pie a la mode, toffee, and caramelized bacon with an oily, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length menthol mint, herbal honey, cedar, and white pepper dust finish with earthy, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fruity, tangy, and toothsome shiraz with nice chewy tannins.
91 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213274
Kirkland Signature
2010 Brunello di Montalcino
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Bright, earthy, fruity nutty minerally aromas and flavors of baked cherry, roasted chestnuts, and earth with an even, lively, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, medium-long boysenberry compote, spice, and nutskin finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A zesty, fruit-driven Brunello that will be very versatile.
91 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213653
Martellotto
2014 La Gioia Merlot
Dusty garnet color. Bright, baked, fruity aromas of cherry compote, beet relish, and olive tapenade with a supple, crisp, dryish medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length candied roasted yams, black raspberry pie, spice, and cedar finish with fine, crunchy, well-integrated tannins and light oak. A fruity, savory and spicy merlot that will be a nice table companion.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213719
Handley
2012 Pinot Noir
Bright medium ruby black color. Bright, baked, fruity aromas and flavors of baked cherries and spiced blackberries with an even, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length caramelized nuts and marinated beets finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A delicious savory pinot noir that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213664
Mount Pleasant Winery
2012 Norton
Opaque black violet color. Bright, fruity, earthy aromas of mulberries, wax, incense, and candied sweet potatoes with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, engaging, medium-long pomegranate and green apple, nut, and earth finish with silky, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A concentrated, seriously structured norton.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213601
Marquis de Brim
2012 Pauillac
Garnet black color. Delicate aromas of olive, marinated peppers, clay, and caramel nut scone with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a tingling, medium-length roasted beets and carrots, dried citrus, and nuts finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A well structured and age worthy Pauillac; decant.
91 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213572
Brassfield Estate
2013 Volcano Ridge Vineyard Malbec
Black violet color. Bright aromas of blueberry pie, caramelized nuts, and mocha toffee with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length cherry creme brulee, yams, nutskins, and cedar finish with light oak. A smooth, flavorful malbec with attractive oak notes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213386
Wakefield/Taylors
2012 St. Andrews Riesling
Bright medium yellow straw color. Lively, exotic, mature aromas and flavors of rubber sap, tropical blossoms, lemon pastry, and fuel with a soft, racy, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, nuanced, medium-length lemon juice, kiwi skin, and smoky minerals finish with fine, dusty, fruit tannins and no oak. A great mature riesling with lots of rubber and mineral flourishes.
91 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213652
WaterMark
2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Indigo color. Roasted aromas and flavors of caramelized berries and coconut, pepper, and mocha with a supple, vibrant, petillant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, stimulating, medium-length roasted nuts, clay, cedar, and leather finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant cabernet for the table.
91 points $63.75
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213694
Schug
2014 Pinot Noir
Garnet color. Delicate, baked aromas and flavors of roasted cherries and coconuts, potting soil in a clay pot, pomegranate molasses, and cracked pepper with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, elegant, medium-long marinated beets, caramelized lemon, cocoa dusted nuts, and earth finish with fine tannins and moderate oak. A tasty, appetizing pinot that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213626
Selene Vineyard
2010 "Vino Tinto" Reserva Uco Valley
Opaque bright dark black garnet color. Bright, fruity, spicy toasty aromas and flavors of berry yogurt, dried berries, leather, and olives with an oily, racy, dryish medium-full body and a warming, distinctive, medium-length nutskins, spiced cherries, and earth finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A vibrant, serious structured red blend that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213596
Chanticleer
2012 Sangiovese
Dark garnet color. Delicate, waxy aromas of butter roasted nuts, dried cherries, spice, and incense with a supple, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a seamless, delightful, medium-length black cherries, caramelized carrots, nutskin, and cedar mulch finish with firm, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nice dry, savory sangiovese for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213700
Vaughn Duffy
2013 Stori Vineyard Pinot Noir
Bright medium dark garnet color. Delicate, baked aromas and flavors of cherries, roasted nuts, and chocolate mint with a soft, crisp, dryish medium body and a tingling, interesting, brisk honeyed blood orange and pomegranate, delicate spicy nougat, and minerals finish with medium, firm tannins and light oak. A rock solid and pure pinot.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213383
Wakefield/Taylors
2015 St. Andrews Riesling
Bright pale silvery straw color. Delicate, elegant, floral aromas of jasmine, spicy lemon custard, and pickled melon with a soft, tart, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, relaxed lime, green apple, and minerals finish with fruit tannins and no oak. A tart, racy, riesling with nice structure for the table.
90 points $49.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213516
Maroon Wines
2013 Signature Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright garnet black color. Delicate, baked, fruity jammy aromas of cassis soufflé, vanilla buttercream, delicate spiced nougat, and dried fruits with a velvety, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long salty roasted nuts and root vegetables, cedar bark, cherry cola, and dried meat finish with fine, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A supple, mellow, meaty cabernet that will pair brilliantly with beef dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213577
Monte De Oro
2009 "Vigna Vicini" Estate Grown Reserve Vista Del Monte Vineyard Red Wine Temecula Valley
Opaque bright dark black garnet color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of blackberry pie, prunes, chocolate, and white clay with a glycerous, tangy, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, complex, breezy vanilla custard, roasted nuts, and honeyed peppercorns finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A fruity, zesty, well-structured, and delicious red blend that will be great at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213471
Calista
2012 The Coast Range Pinot Noir
Bright brown brick red color. Bright, fruity aromas of dried cherry, toffee, and mocha cream with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length marinated beets, creme brulee, cedar, and peppery spices finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A bright, savory pinot noir that will pair nicely.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213739
Altamira del los Andes
2010 Reserve Malbec
Bright dark indigo color. Fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of blackberry tart, spiced nuts, and leather with a soft, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a warming, intricate, medium-length plum and apple, chocolate, delicate peppery spices, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A smooth and supple malbec with a nice old world savoriness.
89 points $27.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213769
Lagniappe Peak
2013 "Small Fry" Malbec
Nearly opaque black garnet color. Bright, roasted aromas of grilled berries, toasted grassy herbs, caramelized nuts, and olives with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, amusing, medium-long nuts, baking chocolate and coffee, mocha, and earth finish with firm, barky, chewy tannins and heavy oak. A nice supple malbec with a dry elegant style.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213768
Lagniappe Peak
2013 "Pere" Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque black garnet color. Delicate, fruity, smoky dusty aromas of chocolate, waxy honeycomb, and chocolate nuts with a creamy, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-long baked berries, cedar, and peppery spices finish with firm, woody tannins and heavy oak. A brooding, powerful, very oaky cabernet that needs a few years of cellaring.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213696
Schug
2014 Chardonnay
Golden yellow color. Delicate aromas and flavors of lemon, creme fraiche, and melon with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an interesting, breezy sliced pineapple, baked apple, creme brulee, and pepper finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A solid, mellow chardonnay.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213693
Schug
2014 Pinot Noir
Ruby garnet color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas of spiced cherries, praline, singed peppercorn muffin, and tar with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a graceful, delightful, breezy roasted beets, pomegranate, and nuts finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A solid, savory, well oaked pinot noir.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213665
Bethlehem Valley
2012 Norton
Opaque black garnet color. Delicate, buttery, fruity aromas of honeyed peanut brittle, blackberry pie, and leather with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, cranberry relish, orange cream, and nougat finish with light oak. A solid, clean and even norton.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213597
Eaglestone
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright ruby black color. Delicate, floral, fruity aromas of dried currants and craisins, spiced cherries, fondue chocolate, and rose water in a clay pot with an even, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, elegant, medium-long mocha cream, pureed berries, nutskin, and cedar finish with leafy tannins and light oak. A very smooth and easy cabernet that will appeal to pinot drinkers.
88 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213651
WaterMark
2011 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Black garnet color. Savory, fruity complex aromas of dried berries, leather, chocolate, and olive tapenade with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, complex, medium-long spiced nuts, blood orange, nuts, and cedar mulch finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A well balanced and appealing Napa cabernet with nice complexity.
88 points $48.75
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213575
Monte De Oro
2011 Reserve "Vista Del Monte Vineyard" Syrah
Indigo color. Bright, attractive, fruity aromas of blackberry cobbler, vanilla and chocolate toffee, roasted nuts, and cedar and licorice with a soft, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long spiced cherries, honeyed nuts, bark, and peppercorn muffin finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nice chewy syrah that will be great with game.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213592
Heron Hill Winery
2013 Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc
Dusty ruby color. Bright, unusual, vegetal aromas of vegetable juice, tomato paste, and pickled beets with a soft, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, weird, brisk mixed peppercorns, cherry pits, nut skins and shells, and cedar finish with soft, well-integrated tannins. A dry, savory, rather vegetal red for the table.
86 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213770
Lagniappe Peak
2013 "Pugsley" Syrah
Opaque black violet color. Delicate, roasted aromas of roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate drizzled on berries, and moss and leaves with a supple, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long coffee grounds, parchment, marinated mushroom, and cedar dust finish with dusty, grippy tannins and moderate oak. A dry, earthy syrah for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213598
Eaglestone
2013 Cuvée Red Napa Valley
Dull brick red color. Mild aromas of chocolate and vanilla, dried berries, and dusty spices with a satiny, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, breezy nuts and oak finish with soft tannins and light oak. A smooth, pleasant Napa cabernet for casual sipping.
84 points $21.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213612
Wild Goat
2013 Reserve Malbec
Dusty garnet color. Bright aromas of honey roasted pepper, olives, tomato-pepper jam, and cola with a satiny, soft, dryish medium body and a breezy cherry pulp, raspberry and grape jams on toast, nutskins, and toasty cedar finish with soft tannins and light oak. An easy, pleasant malbec sipper.
84 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
213606
Marquis de Brim
2012 Grande Reserve Pinot Noir
Dusty ruby color. Bright, savory aromas of beets, cranberry puree, and white balsamic with a soft, tart, body and a seamless, sparse cherry pits, nutskins, and grass and gravel finish. A very dry, savory, crisp, and tart table wine.
84 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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