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Reviews for 2016

March 2016 - US Bordeaux Varietals

March 2016 - US Bordeaux Varietals
This month's Wine feature is US Bordeaux Varietals Wines

US Bordeaux Varietals Reviews

Opaque 2010  Petit Verdot
97 points
$30
Black garnet color. Bright, exotic, earthy aromas of dried cassis and herbs, saddle leather, bloody meat, and clay with a supple, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a silky, complex, medium-long nuts, baking and peppery spices, oak, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A wonderfully savory and old world styled petit verdot that drinks like a right bank Bordeaux.
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2012 Estate Cabernet Franc
96 points
$24.95
Garnet black color. Bright, interesting, complex aromas and flavors of pressed flowers, carrot cake, exotic spices, and tomato chutney with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long finish with notes of boysenberry relish, marinated olives, and spiced nuts with moderate oak flavor. A vibrant, pure and complex cabernet franc with great varietal character.
96 points $24.95
Riboli Family Vineyard 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$60
Opaque dark bright violet color. Bright, roasted aromas of roasted nuts, chocolate fudge, banana foster, and dried berries and leather with a soft, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, medium-long menthol mint and eucalyptus honey on toast finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A brooding, chewy well-structured cabernet that will improve with time.
Martin Estate 2013 Collectors Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
95 points
$150
Deep purple color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of dried berries, toffee, leather, and herb toast with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, medium-long finish with accents of nut brittle and berry creme brulee with fine tannins and moderate oak flavor. An impressively polished and stylish cabernet.
Tom Eddy 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
Dark violet color. Lively, fruity, creamy attractive aromas and flavors of huckleberry custard tart, creme brulee, and chocolate mousse with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, nuanced, medium-long finish imparting overtones of spicy currant compote, nuts, and pencil shavings with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A richly flavored, well-structured and elegantly styled cabernet.
San Antonio 2010 Cask 520 Paso Robles
94 points
$30
Nearly opaque black ruby color. Delicate, savory aromas of bouillon, dried berries and cherries, leather, and wet clay with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-long craisins, roasted beets and parsnips, cocoa, and spice finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A savory, delectable, and meaty red blend with an old world style.
Soquel Vineyards 2014 "Cepage a Deux" Partners Reserve Napa Valley
94 points
$45
Violet color. Lively, spicy, herbal aromas of menthol, chocolate mint, and spicy pomegranate tart with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, nuanced, medium-long blueberry chutney, honeyed nuts, and cedar bark finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A wonderfully spicy and engaging red blend.
Wish Vineyards 2012  Merlot
94 points
$47
Garnet black color. Delicate, toasty, buttery aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts, toasted coconut, and chocolate dark berries with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, complex, medium-long finish with accents of chocolate mint, alpine herbs and menthol, delicate spiced apple and cherry, and toasty oak with silky, fine tannins and light oak flavor. An intriguingly inviting and elegant merlot with great balance.
Napa Cellars 2012 V Collection Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$50
Bright dark black garnet color. Bright, spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of pickling spices, boysenberry compote, apple pie, and blossoms with a soft, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, layered, medium-length finish that exhibits accents of cassis creme brulee, spiced green apple and melon, and earth with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A lovely, nuanced Napa cabernet that is sure to please.
SeaGlass 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$12
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Fruity, jammy floral aromas and flavors of blueberry pie, candied violets, chocolate mint, and eucalyptus with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a seamless, appealing, medium-length finish revealing notes of cassis jam on raisin toast, strawberry sorbet, nuts, and sandalwood incense with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A toothsome, spicy and vibrant cabernet that will sing with spicy meat dishes.
93 points $12 Best Buy
Rutherford Vintners 2013  Malbec
93 points
$21.99
Deep purple color. Lively, spicy, herbal aromas of eucalyptus honey, blueberry tart, and black forest cake with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length chocolate mint cookie, menthol, and roasted nuts finish with fine, crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A delightfully spicy and herbal malbec for spicy fare.
93 points $21.99
Spangler 2012  Cabernet Franc
93 points
$27
Bright medium burnt sienna color. Bright, fruity, funky toasty savory aromas of raspberry crumble, spiced cedar, toasty yeast, and heather & clay with a crisp, dry medium-full body and a warming, complex, brisk finish with chewy, firm, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor.
Corner 103 2013  Cabernet Franc
93 points
$50
Nearly opaque bright dark garnet color. Bright, attractive aromas and flavors of chocolate mousse, berry pie, and dulce du leche gelato with a soft, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with notes of marinated beets, salty roasted nuts, and earth with crunchy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. Nicely balanced fruit, oak and savory earthiness note bodes well for pairings.
Brecon Estate 2013 Meritage Paso Robles
93 points
$52
Opaque dark deep purple color. Delicate, fruity aromas and flavors of craisins, cocoa roasted nuts, and pink peppercorn with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, elegant, medium-long finish with notes of creme brulee, blackberry tart, and cedar with dusty, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A well-structured red blend with lots of pleasing nuances of flavor.
John Robert Eppler 2010  Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$55
Opaque bright dark deep purple color. Savory, toasty fruity aromas of resonant spiced blackberries, burnt cream, lightly charred cedar, and rose hip tea with a bright, dry full body and a warming, medium-long finish with firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor.
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2011 CYRUS Alexander Valley
93 points
$65
Bright dark opaque garnet black color. Toasty aromas and flavors of honeyed cranberry bread and herb muffin, dried meat, brown spices, and ink with a soft, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, layered, medium-length finish imparting suggestions of spicy plum custard, olives, nutskin, and earth with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A savory, nuanced Bordeaux varietal blend.
Riboli Family Vineyard 2011  Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$70
Indigo color. Inviting aromas and flavors of dried fruits, honeyed olive bread toast, and herbs and spices with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, medium-long finish that shows notes of chocolate, cedar, peppery spices, and earth with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A flavorful and vibrant cabernet offering.
Maroon Wines 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$80
Opaque dark dusty garnet color. Bright, interesting, smoky aromas and flavors of grilled berries, smoked nuts, and caramelized bacon with a glycerous, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, stimulating, medium-length finish manifesting notes of spiced cherries, toasty cedar, chestnuts, and earth with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A delectably intricate cabernet with lovely smoky oak tones.
Heibel Ranch Vineyards 2012 GBH Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$95
Garnet black color. Bright aromas of baked berries, waxy honeycomb, pickling spices, and mocha with a silky, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and an even, compelling, medium-length chestnuts, earth, oak, and cassis gastrique finish with silky, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A chewy, savory Napa cabernet that will develop nicely with a little time.
Tom Eddy 2012 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$135
Nearly opaque deep purple color. Bright, toasty aromas of roasted nuts, chocolate coffee beans, berry danish, and leather with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length craisins, honey butter, and praline finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very nice, mellow and stylish cabernet.
Pend d’Oreille 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$21
Nearly opaque bright dark garnet color. Bright, interesting, tropical aromas and flavors of banana-berry yogurt, cherry pie a la mode, toffee, and leather with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, elegant, medium-long finish with overtones of delicate baking spices, cherry custard, tomato-beet relish, and earth with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A wonderfully savory and layered cabernet that will sing at the table.
Opaque 2010  Malbec
92 points
$30
Dusty garnet color. Bright, interesting, creamy fruity aromas of dried berries, buttercream, suede, and olive skin with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a nuanced, medium-length black raspberry pie, toffee, dried apricot and raisins, and spice finish with fine, silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A delicious, smooth, and satisfying malbec that is sure to please.
deLorimier 2012 Preston Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$40
Deep purple color. Delicate, spicy, toasty aromas and flavors of roasted nuts, blueberry tart, and clay with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a refreshing, long finish displaying suggestions of craisin toast, spicy nut brittle, cream, and pepper with well-integrated, soft, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A juicy, almost jammy, appetizing cabernet that will appear to zinfandel fans.
John Robert Eppler 2009  Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$45
Opaque bright dark violet color. Fruity, toasty earthy aromas of spiced ripe blackberries, turned earth, cedar, and resonant pepper - old vine spice with a chewy, lively, dry full body and a peppery, engaging, brisk finish with chewy, firm tannins and moderate oak flavor.
Maroon Wines 2013 Signature Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$50
Dusty garnet color. Bright, creamy, funky aromas of berry custard tart, spiced chocolate graham crackers, and butter roasted nuts with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, buoyant sandalwood, cedar, and olive finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A smooth and supple Napa cab.
Lawer Estates 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$56
Black garnet color. Bright, roasted, interesting aromas of dark roasted nuts, chocolate espresso bean, leather, and olives and incense with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, interesting, medium-long craisin, sundried tomato, creme brulee, and spiced nuts finish with silky tannins and light oak flavor. An amazingly smooth and supple, artfully balanced cabernet.
Maddalena 2011  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$20
Bright dark violet color. Mild, earthy, savory aromas of potting soil and clay, waxy honeycomb, and sundried berries and tomatoes with a soft, crisp, dryish full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long pickled beets and cherries, blueberry tart, nuts, and earth finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice combination of sweet, earthy, and savory flavors bodes well for the table.
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2012 Meritage Reserve Niagara Escarpment
91 points
$24.95
Black ruby color. Buttery aromas of dark salted caramelized fruits and nuts, frosted chocolate cake, and wood smoke with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, refreshing, medium-long honeyed dried berries, spiced nuts, cherry gastrique, and sundried tomato finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. An elegant and nicely layered red blend with a good future ahead of it.
91 points $24.95
San Simeon 2012 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$25
Violet color. Bright aromas and flavors of spiced berries, roasted chestnut, and cocoa with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length finish with notes of black raspberry custard with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A smooth and satisfying cabernet that will cover a lot of bases.
Byington 2013 Bates Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Franc
91 points
$36
Bright dark nearly opaque garnet color. Bright, fruity, toasty floral aromas of tangy black raspberries, sandalwood, dried heather, and canvas with an lively, dry full body and a warming, involved, brisk finish with chewy, cottony tannins and moderate oak flavor.
Maroon Wines 2012 Reserve Single Vineyard 125 Cases Bottled Pinot Noir
91 points
$50
Dusty ruby color. Bright, fruity, smoky aromas and flavors of smoked cherries and sandalwood incense with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long finish that presents accents of spiced plums and oranges, pencil shavings, creme brulee, and chestnuts with fine, chewy tannins. A nice fruit driven pinot noir with interesting spicy, smoky barrel tones.
Barboursville 2013 "Octagon" Virginia
91 points
$54.99
Nearly opaque bright dark violet color. Bright, roasted aromas and flavors of baked berries, coffee beans, and dark chocolate with an even, lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with suggestions of marinated cherries and beets, nutskins, and dusty earth with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very dry, seriously styled, old world like red blend for the table.
91 points $54.99
Brecon Estate 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$65
Bright dark opaque garnet black color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of dried sour cherries and berries, spiced toffee, clay, and lacquered wood with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, appealing, breezy finish with notes of creme brulee, nuts, and earth with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very fruity, smooth and creamy cabernet that is sure to please.
Maddalena 2011  Merlot
90 points
$20
Violet color. Delicate, fruity aromas of baked plums, spiced nuts, and cocoa with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length blood orange and nutskin finish with crunchy, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A lovely, spicy, zesty merlot.
Pend d’Oreille 2013  Cabernet Franc
90 points
$21
Dusty garnet color. Creamy aromas of milk chocolate mousse and macaroon, olives, cashew brittle, and horsehair with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a compelling, medium-length marinated beets and vanilla custard finish with silky tannins and light oak flavor. A lovely, creamy cabernet franc.
Auburn Road 2013 "Gaia" Outer Coastal Plain
90 points
$24
Brick red color. Bright, funky, fruity aromas and flavors of honeyed cherries and meyer lemon, tomatoes on the vine, chocolate coffee bean, and leather with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, interesting, easy finish with accents of marinated beets, cranberries, sandalwood, and dried herbs and tobacco with well-integrated, chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very savory, dry red blend for the table.
Folie à Deux 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$24
Opaque bright dark black violet color. Bright, dusty aromas and flavors of berry tart, sesame-pistachio cookie, and pressed flowers with a soft, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, medium-long finish with shades of honeyed herbs, vanilla cream, brown spices, and floral talc with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A pleasant spicy cabernet.
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$24.95
Bright dark violet color. Bright, spicy, buttery aromas and flavors of horchata buttercream, flan, pomegranate gelato, and chalk with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, captivating, carefree finish that shows notes of cranberry, blood orange, and cedar mulch with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A crisp and refreshing cabernet with a sense of place and individual style.
90 points $24.95
ONE LEAF 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$25.99
Nearly opaque bright dark garnet color. Bright, toasty, spicy fruity creamy aromas and flavors of dark chocolate, berry and sweet potato pies, and bath talc with a silky, bright, dryish medium-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-long finish with nuances of roasted nuts, creme brulee, peppery spices, and cedar mulch with firm, chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice oaky cabernet.
90 points $25.99
Wine Spots 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$29
Deep purple color. Mild, fruity aromas and flavors of dark berry pie, peanut brittle, brown butter, and dried lavender with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-length finish revealing accents of cassis gelato, brown spices, cocoa, and cedar mulch with chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very nice cabernet with chewy table-friendly tannins.
Byington 2013 Frei Vineyard Merlot
90 points
$35
Nearly opaque bright dark black color. Bright, attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of berry tart and toffee with a soft, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, nuanced, medium-length finish that shows nuances of vanilla custard, praline, spiced currants, and cedar with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very nice dry merlot that will be very versatile.
Corner 103 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
90 points
$55
Dusty medium dark ruby black color. Delicate, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of cherry preserves and delicate spice with an even, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish that shows notes of roasted nuts and sweet potatoes and cedar with crunchy, fine tannins and moderate oak flavor. A smooth, nutty, elegantly styled cabernet.
Picket Fence 2014  Malbec
89 points
$17.99
Nearly opaque bright dark color. Fruity, inviting toasty aromas of blackberry cobbler, leather, pressed violets, and pan grille with a supple, vibrant, dryish full body and a warming, medium-length finish with firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor.
89 points $17.99
Napa Ridge 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$21.99
Violet color. Delicate, waxy aromas of candle wax, creme brulee, and berry puff pastry with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length spicy cassis-blueberry compote, toffee, menthol mint, and cedar finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nicely spicy and lively Napa cabernet.
89 points $21.99
Westport 2013 "Charterboat Chick" Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$28
Deep purple color. Roasted aromas and flavors of coffee beans, bubbly berry pie crust, and dark chocolate with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length finish with touches of cassis jam on pumpernickel, nuts, and oak with dusty tannins. A solid marriage of fruit and oak.
Napa Cellars 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$30
Bright dark opaque black garnet color. Lively, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of chocolate graham cracker, creme brulee, berry tart, and candied yams with a soft, tangy, dryish medium-full body and a smooth, complex, medium-length finish with accents of vanilla cream and nougat with well-integrated, firm, crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid, creamy cabernet pleaser.
Byington 2013 Bates Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$42
Dark violet color. Bright, attractive, toasty spicy aromas and flavors of cassis-boysenberry tart, pickling spices, and toffee with a creamy, tangy, dryish medium-full body and a warming, captivating, buoyant finish with accents of nutskins, cassis jam, reduced lemons and oranges, and cedar with chewy, crunchy, woody tannins and heavy oak flavor. A rich, chewy, firmly structured cabernet that will shine at the table.
deLorimier 2012 Barrel Select Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$50
Dark bright opaque deep purple color. Lively, fruity, toasty earthy aromas of ripe mulberries, spiced cedar, turned earth, and canvas with a tannic, crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, fleeting finish with firm, grippy, hard tannins and heavy oak flavor.
House Family Vineyards 2010 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$54
Violet color. Fruity, waxy aromas and flavors of berry compote, spice, leather, and honeycomb with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, breezy finish that shows accents of roasted nuts, earth, and olives with chewy, firm tannins. A very dry, very serious cabernet.
Corner 103 2012  Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$55
Bright dark black ruby color. Bright, buttery, fruity aromas and flavors of berry tart, peppery spice, and roasted nuts with a soft, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length finish with touches of chocolate yogurt, creme brulee, and toasty cedar with chewy, fine tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid, attractive cabernet that will be versatile.
Camelot NV  Merlot
88 points
$7
Best Buy
Dusty ruby color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of pickling spiced cherries and berry caramel tart with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a smooth, intriguing, breezy finish with notes of chocolate craisin, nuts, and cedar with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and light oak flavor. A rock solid, fruity, easy drinking merlot.
88 points $7 Best Buy
Secret Cellars 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$13.99
Best Buy
Dusty ruby color. Delicate, fruity aromas of berry coulis, toffee, and honey with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, cheery vanilla nuts, currant, and cedar finish with firm, barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid cabernet with good acidity and fruit and ample tannins.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Domaine Napa 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$18.99
Dark deep purple color. Delicate, interesting aromas of mocha fudge, cassis jam on dark toast, chocolate roasted nuts, and sliced radish with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long spiced cherries, apples, and raspberries, chocolate citrus peels, and cedar bark finish with dusty, barky tannins and heavy oak flavor. A nice fruity, oaky Napa cabernet with firm tannins; give this a bit of time.
88 points $18.99
Garnet Vineyards 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$19.99
Dusty garnet color. Interesting, savory aromas and flavors of caperberry and olive relish, dill pickles, chocolate cherries, and bacon bits with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy finish that exhibits nuances of craisin, nutskin, vanilla, and toasty oak with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nicely savory and tangy cabernet with a nice brushstroke of American oak.
88 points $19.99
Kirkland Signature 2013 Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$19.99
Garnet black color. Bright, creamy aromas of berry custard pie and toffee with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a graceful, easy pencil shavings, spiced cherries, nuts, and cherry cola finish with soft, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A rock solid, everyday Napa cab.
88 points $19.99
Pico & Vine 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$19.99
Brilliant dusty ruby color. Delicate, attractive aromas of spiced cherries and berries, chocolate graham cracker, and mocha with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, buoyant grenadine, nutskins, and cedar bark finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice, juicy, fruity sipper for gourmet burgers.
88 points $19.99
Folie à Deux 2013  Merlot
88 points
$20
Violet color. Bright, toasty, spicy floral aromas and flavors of fermenting apples and pears, chocolate halva, and perfume with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, captivating, cheery finish revealing notes of craisin, nuts, and pencil shavings with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice light and refreshing, oaky merlot for everyday meals.
San Simeon 2012 Estate Reserve Merlot
88 points
$20
Ruby black color. Bright, creamy aromas of creme brulee and cherry tart with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, amusing, breezy chocolate nuts and citrus peels and cedar dust finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A pure, nicely balanced merlot that will cover a lot of bases.
Bordeleau NV Meritage Maryland
88 points
$22
Bright dark medium dusty garnet color. Bright, interesting aromas and flavors of craisins, carob, clay, and dried flowers and tomatoes on the vine with a soft, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long finish that exhibits accents of mulberries, grape vines, and nuts with chewy, barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fun, funky red blend.
Barboursville 2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc
88 points
$24.99
Bright medium dusty garnet color. Lively, smoky aromas and flavors of grilled berries and meats, smoked nuts, cigar ash, and peppercorns with an even, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, elegant, medium-long finish that shows notes of roasted beets and carrots, cigar box, and nutskins with chewy, woody tannins and moderate oak flavor. A fun smoky, savory red that screams for grilled meats.
88 points $24.99
Heist 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$27.99
Deep purple color. Delicate, toasty aromas and flavors of coconut, berry pie a la mode, and toffee with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, cheery finish revealing notes of spiced cherries and cedar with fine, well-integrated tannins and light oak flavor. A smooth and even cabernet.
88 points $27.99
Pend d’Oreille 2013 LOEUVRE Reserve Washington
88 points
$30
Dusty garnet color. Delicate, toasty, buttery aromas and flavors of roasted nuts, buttercream, dried berries, and dried mushroom with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, easy finish manifesting elements of spiced plums and cherries, custard, and roasted carrot with silky, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very smooth and mellow red blend sipper.
Barboursville 2013 Reserve Petit Verdot
88 points
$31.99
Bright dark black garnet color. Bright, smoky aromas and flavors of grilled fruits and yams, smoked nuts, and burnt sugar with a glycerous, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a warming, intricate, medium-length finish that shows nuances of vanilla yogurt, honey roasted cherries and root vegetables, and cedar with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An interesting, smoky, savory red that will excel with bbq.
88 points $31.99
Soquel Vineyards 2013 "Intreccio" Library Selection Napa Valley
88 points
$75
Garnet black color. Delicate, toasty aromas of butter roasted nuts, mixed berries, and chocolate with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length spiced nuts and cherries, earth, sandalwood, and tobacco leaf finish with chewy, firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A firm cellar worthy red that will improve with time.
Big House Wine Co. 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Violet color. Bright aromas and flavors of blueberry pie and gelato and cherry gum with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, breezy finish imparting notes of praline with light oak flavor. A nice fruity, everyday sipper.
87 points $19.99 Best Buy
Powder Keg 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$19.99
Nearly opaque bright dark dusty color. Bright, fruity, toasty floral aromas of black currants, cranberries, dried flowers - roses, and potters clay with a tannic, lively, dry full body and a warming, interesting, brisk finish with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor.
87 points $19.99
Backhouse 2014  Merlot
86 points
$8
Best Buy
Dusty ruby color. Bright, buttery aromas and flavors of chocolate berries and spiced roasted nuts with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, cheery finish displaying accents of strawberry and cherry jams on toast, toffee, and cedar with well-integrated, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A solid, nicely fruity merlot for everyday enjoyment.
86 points $8 Best Buy
Three Thieves 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
86 points
$8
Best Buy
Nearly opaque bright medium dark color. Bright, fruity, creamy aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts, chocolate rice bar, and berry jam with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, refreshing, breezy finish that presents notes of vanilla fudge and spiced nut with crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A juicy, vibrant cabernet that is sure to please.
86 points $8 Best Buy
Fancy Pants 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
86 points
$11
Best Buy
Bright deep purple color. Lively, fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of chocolate covered graham crackers, berry jam on toast, and praline with an even, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, stimulating, breezy finish manifesting impressions of cedar, honey, and vanilla cream with firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice fruity everyday cabernet.
86 points $11 Best Buy
Red Truck 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
86 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Bright dark nearly opaque dusty color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas of purple gummy bears, red licorice, black cherries, and gravel with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity full body and a warming, compelling, breezy finish with well-integrated, firm tannins and light oak flavor.
86 points $11.99 Best Buy
Ménage à Trois 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
86 points
$14
Best Buy
Nearly opaque bright medium dark color. Bright, citrusy, fruity aromas and flavors of honeyed cherries, raspberry jam on toast, and vanilla toffee with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, interesting, cheery finish revealing elements of baking spices and pencil shavings with fine tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice fruity, carefree cabernet.
86 points $14 Best Buy
Antares 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
86 points
$21.99
Ruby black color. Aromas of dried lavender and violets, cassis tart, dried eucalyptus leaf, and chocolate nuts with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, cheery nutshells, tea leaves, and earth finish with firm, cottony tannins and heavy oak flavor. A big oaky cabernet with spice and lots of tannins.
86 points $21.99
Napa Cellars 2013  Merlot
86 points
$24
Garnet black color. Bright, fruity, minerally aromas of gravel, dried berries, flan, and dried lavender with a soft, crisp, petillant, dryish light-to-medium body and a medium nutskins and shells, craisins, and grassy earth finish with barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A firm, oaky merlot for the table.
Corner 103 2012  Merlot
86 points
$45
Bright dark violet color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas of black raspberry chutney, cocoa, and pepper with an even, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a warming, compelling, cheery plum skin and marinated beets and carrots finish with firm, leafy tannins and heavy oak flavor. A firm, tightly wound merlot that needs time.
Crane Lake 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
$6.99
Medium dark dusty garnet color. Bright, fruity, toasty aromas of ripe yet tart berries - mulberries, saddle leather, cedar, and plums with a lively, dry full body and a warming, charming, brisk finish with woody, firm, grippy tannins and light oak flavor.
85 points $6.99
Crane Lake 2014  Malbec
85 points
$6.99
Bright dark ruby black color. Bright aromas of cherry-berry, purple pez, leather, and clay with an lively, dryish full body and a warming, interesting, brisk finish with grippy tannins and light oak flavor.
85 points $6.99
Harlow Ridge 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
$10.99
Bright medium dark brick red color. Bright, fruity, creamy toasty aromas of tart berries, cream de cassis, canvas, and gravel with an crisp, dry full body and a peppery, stimulating, rapid finish with firm, grippy tannins and light oak flavor.
85 points $10.99
Bears’ Lair 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
$11.99
Bright medium dark dusty garnet color. Confected, candied fruity toasty aromas of candied violets, spiced black currants, planked cedar, and gravel with a chewy, dry full body and a warming, engaging, brisk finish with woody, firm, grippy tannins and heavy oak flavor.
85 points $11.99
Pico & Vine 2013 Meritage Napa County
85 points
$16.99
Dark ruby black color. Bright, attractive, creamy aromas and flavors of warm tapioca, chocolate toffee, and caramelized bacon with a creamy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, breezy finish with overtones of berry pie a la mode, spiced nuts, cedar, and earth with chewy, woody tannins and heavy oak flavor. A rock solid red blend that is sure to please.
85 points $16.99
Picket Fence 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
$17.99
Nearly opaque bright dark dusty color. Bright, fruity, spicy toasty aromas of spiced mulberries, dried canvas, cedar & craisins, and white pepper with an lively, dry full body and a peppery, engaging, brisk finish with chewy, firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor.
85 points $17.99
Westport 2013 "Mermaid" Merlot
85 points
$28
Bright medium dark garnet black color. Bright, roasted aromas and flavors of nuts, coffee, pie crust, and berry yogurt with an even, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a warming, elegant, medium-length finish that shows nuances of spiced berries, chocolate nuts, pencil shavings, and pepper with fine, crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A lively merlot sipper.
Barboursville 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
$34.99
Bright medium dark garnet black color. Bright, smoky, roasted aromas of coffee beans, grilled fruits, and clay with a soft, tangy, dryish medium body and a tingling, charming, easy burnt cranberry toast, chocolate nuts, and grass finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. An earthy, slightly rustic cabernet for the table.
85 points $34.99
Crane Lake 2013  Merlot
84 points
$6.99
Ruby black color. Delicate aromas and flavors of chocolate graham cracker, dill pickle, and cherry pie with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, relaxed finish conveying suggestions of black raspberries, craisins, and cedar with soft, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A pleasant everyday sipper or burger wine.
84 points $6.99
Camelot NV  Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$7
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Delicate, fruity, roasted aromas and flavors of berry custard pie, whipped cream, and toffee with an even, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, stimulating, brisk finish that presents touches of cherry preserves, lemon seltzer, and nuts with cottony tannins and moderate oak flavor. A sturdy quaffable burger wine.
Line 39 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$10
Bright medium dark violet color. Bright, attractive, creamy aromas and flavors of chocolate nut bar, berry cream torte, and latte with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, stimulating, brisk finish with notes of berry jam on nut toast with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A carefree cabernet quaffer.
Thirty Five 2013 Bauer Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$13.99
Bright medium garnet color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of spiced cherries, toffee, and mocha with an even, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, breezy finish evoking accents of cedar and nutskins with crunchy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A pleasant, easy drinking cab with table friendly tannins.
84 points $13.99
The Show 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$14
Bright violet color. Delicate aromas and flavors of toasty graham cracker, chocolate mint cookie, cherry yogurt, and mocha with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, snappy finish that shows notes of nuts and bark with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid quaffer.
Barboursville 2014 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
84 points
$19.99
Silvery straw color. Mild, citrusy, creamy aromas and flavors of lemon custard, grapefruit salad, nectarine tart, and pavement with a silky, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and an even, brisk finish displaying notes of grass and straw and nutskin with dusty, fruit tannins. A dry sauvignon blanc sipper.
84 points $19.99
Danenberger Family Vineyards NV Desagace Muse De Ceres American
84 points
$24
Dusty ruby black color. Mellow, jammy aromas and flavors of grape jam and cherry juice, nougat, clay and putty with an even, tangy, moderately sweet medium body and a warming, brisk finish with notes of raw cranberry, straw, and earth with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. An earthy old world style table wine.
LUXX 2014  Merlot
84 points
$29.99
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Bright, jammy aromas and flavors of cherry and grape preserves on toast and grape candy with an even, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, breezy finish with notes of spiced dried cherries, blueberry pie, and whole nuts with fine, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A distinctively fruity and jammy merlot sipper.
84 points $29.99
Byington 2013 Alliage Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$33
Nearly opaque bright dark garnet color. Lively, fruity aromas and flavors of mixed berry compote, delicate spices, and pistachio gelato with an oily, crisp, dryish medium-full body and a warming, stimulating, easy finish manifesting notes of cedar and nutskins and shell with firm, cottony tannins and heavy oak flavor. A tightly compacted and tannic red that needs time.
Sutter Home NV  Merlot
83 points
Best Buy
Light garnet color. Bright aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts and raisins with a silky, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, easy finish that presents overtones of cherry jam, apple sauce, praline, and cedar with fine tannins. An easy quaffer for burgers.
83 points Best Buy
Sutter Home NV  Cabernet Sauvignon
83 points
Best Buy
Bright medium dusty garnet color. Delicate, fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of dried berries and chocolate with an even, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, charming, brisk finish with notes of honeyed apple and citrus, nuts, cream, and bark with chewy, firm, grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A pleasant quaffer.
83 points Best Buy
Backhouse 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
83 points
$8
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Bright, fruity aromas and flavors of berry pie a la mode and toasty toffee with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, brisk finish with nuances of meringue and sweet spiced nuts with medium, crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid, sturdy cabernet quaffer.
Bandit NV  Cabernet Sauvignon
83 points
$9
Bright medium ruby black color. Bright, fruity, toasty floral aromas and flavors of milk chocolate cookie and raspberry tart with a soft, tangy, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, brisk finish with notes of cedar and nutskins with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A pleasant cabernet sipper.
Ménage à Trois 2014  Merlot
83 points
$14
Ruby black color. Delicate, baked, spicy aromas and flavors of berry compote, bacon, and chocolate with a supple, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a smooth, brisk finish that presents notes of pickled beets, craisins, vanilla nuts, and cedar mulch with dusty, barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nice, dry, tannic merlot.
Byington 2014 Tin Cross Vineyard Merlot
83 points
$18
Opaque bright dark black ruby color. Bright, herbal, fruity aromas and flavors of dill pickle and cranberry toast and compote with a glycerous, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, intriguing, carefree finish with accents of apple skin and cedar with hard, woody tannins and heavy oak flavor. A very oaky and tannic merlot that could use cellaring.
Byington 2013 Reichel Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
83 points
$55
Dark deep purple color. Lively, toasty, spicy aromas and flavors of gherkins, baked berries, caramelized nuts and bacon, and berry candy with an oily, tart, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, delightful, brisk finish with notes of nutskins and shells and cedar mulch with hard, barky tannins and heavy oak flavor. A firm, tannic red that needs time.
Bandit NV  Merlot
82 points
$9
Ruby black color. Mild aromas and flavors of smoked nuts, cocoa, and plum pudding with a silky, soft, fruity light body and a smooth, swift finish with notes of cherry jelly on toast, nuts, and cedar with fine, chewy tannins and light oak flavor.
Danenberger Family Vineyards NV Desagace Scarlet Petit Verdot
80 points
$26
Hazy garnet black color. Rich, jammy, vaporous aromas and flavors of grape and cherry jellies, dried goji berry and raisins, and wood putty with a velvety, crisp, moderately sweet medium-full body and a tingling, brisk finish evoking notes of nutskin, mulberries, berry cider vinaigrette, and cedar with dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. A very savory, grapey red.
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