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Reviews for 2016

January 2016 - The Stellar Cellar Selection

January 2016 - The Stellar Cellar Selection
This month's Wine feature is The Stellar Cellar Selection Wines

The Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews

Selene Vineyard 2014  Malbec
95 points
$20
Best Buy
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
Brassfield Estate 2013 Volcano Ridge Vineyard Petite Sirah
95 points
$40
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.
Marquis de Brim 2012  Margaux
94 points
$39.95
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
Wakefield/Taylors 2013 St. Andrews Shiraz
94 points
$49.99
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
Monte De Oro 2011 Estate Grown Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$72
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.
WaterMark 2010  Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$37.50
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
Wakefield/Taylors 2013 St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$49.99
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
Selene Vineyard 2010 Gran Selene Malbec
93 points
$55
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.
Marquis de Brim 2013 Grande Reserve Pinot Noir
93 points
$59.95
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
Chanticleer 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$65
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.
3 Corners 2012 Moon Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$95
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.
Marquis de Brim 2012  St. Emilion
92 points
$22.95
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
Schug 2014  Chardonnay
92 points
$30
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.
Martellotto 2014 La Bomba Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$35
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.
Wakefield/Taylors 2014 St. Andrews Chardonnay
92 points
$49.99
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
Chanticleer 2012 Riserva Red Yountville, Napa Valley
92 points
$63
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.
Wakefield/Taylors 2014 Reserve Parcel Shiraz
91 points
$23.99
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
Kirkland Signature 2010  Brunello di Montalcino
91 points
$24.99
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
Martellotto 2014 La Gioia Merlot
91 points
$29
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.
Handley 2012  Pinot Noir
91 points
$32
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.
Mount Pleasant Winery 2012  Norton
91 points
$34
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.
Marquis de Brim 2012  Pauillac
91 points
$34.95
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
Brassfield Estate 2013 Volcano Ridge Vineyard Malbec
91 points
$40
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.
Wakefield/Taylors 2012 St. Andrews Riesling
91 points
$49.99
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
WaterMark 2012 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$63.75
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
Schug 2014  Pinot Noir
90 points
$30
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.
Selene Vineyard 2010 "Vino Tinto" Reserva Uco Valley
90 points
$30
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.
Chanticleer 2012  Sangiovese
90 points
$48
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.
Vaughn Duffy 2013 Stori Vineyard Pinot Noir
90 points
$48
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.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 St. Andrews Riesling
90 points
$49.99
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
Maroon Wines 2013 Signature Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$50
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.
Monte De Oro 2009 "Vigna Vicini" Estate Grown Reserve Vista Del Monte Vineyard Red Wine Temecula Valley
90 points
$72
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.
Calista 2012 The Coast Range Pinot Noir
89 points
$25
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.
Altamira del los Andes 2010 Reserve Malbec
89 points
$27.99
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
Lagniappe Peak 2013 "Small Fry" Malbec
89 points
$60
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.
Lagniappe Peak 2013 "Pere" Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$75
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.
Schug 2014  Chardonnay
88 points
$25
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.
Schug 2014  Pinot Noir
88 points
$25
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.
Bethlehem Valley 2012  Norton
88 points
$28
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.
Eaglestone 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$34.95
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
WaterMark 2011 Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$48.75
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
Monte De Oro 2011 Reserve "Vista Del Monte Vineyard" Syrah
88 points
$72
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.
Heron Hill Winery 2013 Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc
86 points
$24.99
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
Lagniappe Peak 2013 "Pugsley" Syrah
86 points
$45
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.
Eaglestone 2013 Cuvée Red Napa Valley
84 points
$21.95
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
Wild Goat 2013 Reserve Malbec
84 points
$24.95
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
Marquis de Brim 2012 Grande Reserve Pinot Noir
84 points
$29.95
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
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