September 2016 - US Bordeaux Varietals

This month's Wine feature is US Bordeaux Varietals Wines
US Bordeaux Varietals Reviews
216637
John Robert Eppler
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark violet color. Exotic aromas and flavors of kidd leather, India ink in a clay jar, nut brittle, and dried currants with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, intricate, long berry tart, marinated olives, and cedar finish with silky, fine tannins and moderate oak. An artfully balanced and sensuous cabernet sipper with an Old World flair.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216619
Falkner
2013 Estate Grown Merlot
Dusty ruby color. Roasted, savory aromas and flavors of dark roasted nuts, olives and tomato leaf, roasted root vegetables, and clay and leather with a silky, soft, dry medium body and a smooth, complex, long dark chocolate, creme brulee, spiced plums, and earth finish with fine, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, savory Old World style merlot that will be a perfect dinner companion.
94 points $39.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216222
Summit Lake
2012 Emily Kestrel Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of spicy berry pie, sandalwood, and chocolate mint with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-full body and a polished, subtle, pomegranate, chocolate orange peel, and earth finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A sumptuous and chewy cabernet with classic Howell Mountain intensity of fruit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216317
Avalon
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Violet color. Herbal, fruity aromas and flavors of blueberries, eucalyptus, chocolate mint, and menthol with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, charming, medium-length cassis pie, vanilla gelato, and cedar pencil shavings finish with firm, grippy tannins and heavy oak. A rich oaky cabernet that could use some time to open up.
93 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216519
Rutherford Vintners
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque violet color. Fruity, toasty, smoky aromas and flavors of roasted dark fruits, subtle wood smoke, planked cedar, and potters clay with a tannic, puckering, dry full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish with woody, earthy tannins and heavy oak. Great nose, very enticing.
93 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216134
Forchini
2012 Proprietor's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque garnet black color. Fruity, toasty, creamy, spicy aromas and flavors of creme di cassis, toasted cranberry bread, planked oak, and gravel with a creamy, crisp, dry full body and a peppery, complex, carefree finish with earthy, woody, firm tannins and moderate oak. Nice purity of etched flavors and good length.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216638
John Robert Eppler
2012 Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby color. Creamy, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of chocolate mint gelato, coconut macaroon, spiced currants, and pepper and incense with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, involved, long berry tart, cocoa spiced nuts, and cedar finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. An engaging, spicy cabernet that is a harmonious marriage of fruit and oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216203
Greyscale
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of warm cassis pie, melted chocolate toffee, and clay with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long vanilla cream, marinated cherries, and cedar bark finish with dusty, firm tannins and heavy oak. A robust, highly structured cabernet that could use a bit of cellaring or a well-marbled steak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216336
Mira Winery
2012 Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep purple color. Fruity aromas and flavors of dried cassis, waxy honeycomb, and coal with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, engaging, medium-long spiced berries and nuts, chocolate, cedar, and earth finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, chewy Napa cabernet that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216246
Opaque
2011 Malbec
Opaque dusty garnet color. Fruity, toasty, earthy aromas of ripe blackberries, mulberries, leather, and planked oak - potters clay with a round, lively, dry full body and a peppery, subtle, medium-length finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Rich scents and flavors with a juicy old school finish.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216244
San Antonio
2011 Cask 520 Paso Robles
Opaque garnet black color. Fruity, toasty, spicy aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, spiced dark plums, planked sandalwood, and Asian 7 spice mix - leather with a slightly chewy, tangy, dry full body and a peppery, complex, buoyant finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A lot going on here, but all held in check.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216250
Monte De Oro
2013 "Simplexity" Estate Grown Temecula Valley
Bright brown brick red color. Fruity, floral, toasty aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, candied violets, damson plums, and sandalwood - turned earth with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry full body and a peppery, complex, breezy finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Nicely structured, good depth of flavor and shows the promise of improving with age.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216639
John Robert Eppler
2010 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Black ruby color. Spicy, herbal, fruity aromas and flavors of cassis chutney, blue eucalyptus, chocolate mint, and clay with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-long pomegranate and blueberry and earth finish with well-integrated, soft, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A fine example of old school Napa winemaking with attractive exotic herb and spice notes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216482
Davis Estates
2012 Petit Verdot
Black violet color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of blackberry chutney, creme brulee, nougat, and candied violets with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long exotic spices, chocolate mousse, cedar, and nutskins finish with earthy, dusty tannins. A spot-on petit verdot with great concentration and depth.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216490
Napa Highlands
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque garnet black color. Fruity, toasty, complex aromas and flavors of roasted spiced berries, dark caramel notes, planked cedar - earth, and palm oil - leaf with a lightly tannic, lively, dry full body and a seamless, complex, medium-length finish with woody, earthy tannins and moderate oak. Subtle, exotic flavors exhibit a nice persistence and all the flavors, come round for afterthoughts.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216535
Schug
2012 Heritage Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque violet color. Fruity, toasty, earthy aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, dark plums, sandalwood, and granite & gravel with a tannic, crisp, dry full body and a warming, appealing, fast finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Lovely nose.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216331
Mackinaw Trail Winery
2013 "Unrestricted" Barrel Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Attractive, interesting aromas and flavors of fresh brewed coffee, pickled cucumber and melon, and spiced berries with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, complex, medium-long creamy vanilla, salted caramel, earth, and dried violets finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and moderate oak. A charming, finely balanced cabernet with refreshing acidity and savoriness for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216515
Livermore Crossing
2013 Merlot
Garnet black color. Fruity, meaty aromas and flavors of boysenberry pie, caramelized bacon, and toasted meringue with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, complex, medium-long delicately spiced nuts, dried sour cherry, cedar, and earth finish with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fun meaty merlot that is a pleasure to sip and will pair brilliantly.
91 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216512
Gravel Bar Winery
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Black garnet color. Toasty, interesting aromas and flavors of chocolate toffee, berry compote, floral honeycomb, and suede moccasins with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long smoked nuts, creme brulee, grilled root vegetables, and touch of ash finish with chewy, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A delightfully smooth, fruity, and pleasure inducing cabernet.
91 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216218
Proverbial
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep purple color. Tropical, oaky aromas and flavors of coconut and banana cream pie, pickled berries and melon, and vanilla toffee with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, charming, medium-length cocoa and roasted root vegetables finish with soft, silky tannins and moderate oak. A very attractive, satiny sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216489
Narmada Winery
2014 Melange Virginia
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dried flowers and leaves, cocoa-roasted nuts, mulberry preserves, and caramelized bacon with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, subtle, medium-long mocha latte, creme brulee, and sandalwood finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. A stylish, earthy red blend with lots of savory nuances.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216457
Pollak Vineyards
2013 Estate Merlot
Dusty ruby color. Fruity, herbal aromas and flavors of spiced cherries and tomatoes, honey cream, toffee, and tomato leaf with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, relaxed plum, ground nuts, leafy earth, and grilled carrot finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A supple, rather elegant red blend with a fruity backbone and an earthy patina.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216381
Yorkville Cellars
2014 Rennie Estate Malbec
Violet color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of huckleberries, apricots, and toffee with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, captivating, medium-length black raspberries, honey, delicate spice, and wet cedar finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A crisp and refreshing malbec with crunchy tannins and bright acidity for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216488
Narmada Winery
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby black color. Roasted aromas and flavors of dark roasted nuts and coffee beans, berry pie crust, dark chocolate, and hint of leaves with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, interesting, medium-long craisins and dried cherries, spiced nut brittle, and marinated root vegetables finish with light oak. A lush, earthy cabernet with a great sense of place.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216382
Yorkville Cellars
2013 Reserve Rennie Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque dusty garnet color. Fruity, toasty, funky aromas and flavors of dark fruits - black berries, old barrel staves, dark cherries, and toasted yeast - turned earth with a slightly chewy, bright, dry full body and a peppery, interesting, short finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. Some nice flavors peek through.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216494
Stonehedge
2014 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Opaque garnet black color. Aromas of ripe mulberries, blackberries, planked oak, and gravel with a lightly tannic, lively, full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Nice ripe rich flavors within the context of a lovely oak frame work.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216186
Midnight Cellars
2011 "Mare Nectaris" Reserve Paso Robles
Bright brick red color. Fruity, toasty, earthy aromas and flavors of spiced dark plums, fruitcake, dark raspberries and potters clay with a slightly chewy, lively, dry full body and a warming, interesting, brisk finish with earthy, chewy, firm tannins and moderate oak. Exceptional nose, lots integrated complex scents.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216245
San Simeon
2013 Stormwatch Paso Robles
Opaque deep purple color. Fruity, toasty, minerally, earthy aromas of mocha - dark chocolate, huckleberries, spiced plums, and planked oak - clay with a chewy, tangy, dry full body and a warming, subtle finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Exceptional nose.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216230
Casa Larga
NV Cab-Merlot Finger Lakes
Bright ruby garnet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate covered berries and nuts with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a polished, captivating, breezy marinated beets, roasted nuts, dried sour cherries, and hint of spinach finish. A delightfully savory and piquant red that will cover a lot of bases.
90 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216417
Slow Press
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dusty garnet color. Fruity, toasty, creamy aromas and flavors of spiced huckleberries, creamy oak, baked, and potters clay with a slightly chewy, bright, dryish full body and a peppery, amusing, buoyant finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak.
90 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216313
Caricature
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque brown brick red color. Oaky, fruity, sweet aromas of spiced black currants, green olives, planked oak, and pressed linen - turned earth with a slightly chewy, lively, dryish full body and a warming, elegant, breezy finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Complex, interesting nose has a nice impression of sweetness and the wine opened up with air.
90 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216429
Penman Springs
2012 Merlot
Nearly opaque dusty garnet color. Fruity, candied, toasty aromas and flavors of candied dark plums, fruit cake, blackberries, and planked oak with a slightly chewy, tart, dryish full body and a peppery, complex, rapid finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Lovely integration of dark fruits and Christmas themed cakes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216603
Mossback
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby color. Aromas and flavors of nut brittle, honeyed dried berries, and chocolate coffee beans with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, engaging, medium-long blueberry-currant cobbler, toffee, and dusty earth finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A chewy, satisfying cabernet with structure for aging too.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216533
Schug
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nearly opaque dusty ruby color. Fruity, floral, oaky, minerally aromas and flavors of ripe black currants, green olives, delicate floral note - violets, and potters clay and planked oak with a slightly chewy, lively, dry full body and a warming, nuanced, breezy finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Nice persistence of authentic flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216456
Pollak Vineyards
2013 Meritage Estate Monticello
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of cranberry yogurt, lemon herb muffin, and hint of wax with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a captivating, medium-long pomegranate, spiced melon, cocoa-dusted chestnuts, and cedar finish with well-integrated, fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A polished, piquant dry red wine that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216452
GiaDomella
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright brown brick red color. Fruity, earthy aromas and flavors of ripe huckleberries, tootsie rolls, planked oak, and potters clay with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry full body and a warming, layered, quick finish with firm, earthy, woody tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216481
Davis Estates
2012 Merlot
Dusty garnet color. Fresh, spicy aromas and flavors of berry yogurt with granola, baking spices, melon, and waxy honeycomb with a round, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, engaging, breezy creamy vanilla, nuts, and wood finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A smooth, polished merlot with fine, lively tannins and acidity; let this open up a bit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216458
Pollak Vineyards
2013 Estate Reserve Cabernet Franc
Nearly opaque dusty garnet color. Floral, sweet, woody aromas of raspberry with a lightly tannic, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a captivating, medium-length cherry soda, green pepper, and gardenias finish. Beautiful bouquet, soft, balanced red
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216147
Sunstone
2014 EROS Estate Red Santa Ynez Valley
Bright burnt sienna color. Fruity, woody aromas and flavors of candied raspberries - candied violets, dark plums - cassis, sandalwood, and potters clay with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry full body and a warming, elegant, breezy finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216288
Matchbook
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark dusty garnet color. Fruity, toasty, earthy aromas and flavors of ripe blackberries, planked cedar - parchment, dark cherries, and turned earth with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry full body and a peppery, complex, brisk finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216231
Casa Larga
NV Meritage Finger Lakes
Dark brick red color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of boysenberry preserves, dried cherries, nougat, and lilacs with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, easy roasted nuts and leafy earth finish with soft tannins and light oak. A chewy, savory dry red blend for the table.
89 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216236
Del Rio
2012 Estate Claret Rogue Valley
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of red berry tart, chocolate fondued pound cake, pickled cucumber, and vanilla candle with a silky, crisp, dry medium body and a polished, relaxed mulberry, apple core, and nutskin finish with chewy, crunchy tannins and light oak. A nicely layered, savory red blend that will shine at the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216495
Fritz Lane
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty garnet color. Fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of coffee and chocolate cherries with a satiny, crisp, fruity body and a smooth, breezy vanilla cream, spiced berries, and nuts finish with silky, chewy tannins and light oak. A well crafted, juicy cabernet that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216455
Pollak Vineyards
2014 Estate Cabernet Franc
Nearly opaque garnet color. Clean, fruity, herbal aromas of caraway and raspberry jam with a chewy, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a mixed berry compote finish. Well balanced and fruity
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216430
Penman Springs
2012 Meritage Artisan Cuvèe Paso Robles
Bright ruby black color. Toasty, fruity, earthy aromas of ripe mulberries, spiced dark plums, planked oak, and gravel with a chewy, bright, dry full body and a peppery, interesting, short finish with woody, earthy tannins and heavy oak. Nice nose and attack.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216310
LangeTwins Winery
2012 Midnight Reserve Estate Red Lodi
Black ruby color. Fruity, oaky, roasted aromas and flavors of pencil shavings, blackberries, pickling spices, and hint of fresh pavement with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length toasty cedar, craisins, and dark roasted nuts finish with crunchy, barky tannins and moderate oak. A plush, juicy-yet-firm red that will improve with age.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216248
Monte De Oro
2013 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet black color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of berry tart, spiced chocolate, floral honeycomb, and clay with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, relaxed marinated berries, pepper, and pencil shavings finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A rich, dry cabernet sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216491
Napa Highlands
2013 Meritage Napa Valley
Bright dusty ruby color. Fruity, spicy, grassy, green, herbal aromas of spiced dark plums, green hay - heather, sandalwood, and gravel with a slightly chewy, lively, dry full body and a peppery, layered, breezy finish with earthy, firm, woody tannins and moderate oak. Lovely, subtle, toasty framework and the wine revealed more flavors as it opened up.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216383
Yorkville Cellars
2013 M-PV Same Vine Rennie Estate Yorkville Highlands
Garnet black color. Fruity, herbal aromas and flavors of spiced pomegranates, chocolate craisins, pepper, and waxed wood with a round, racy, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, breezy vanilla toffee, cocoa, cedar, and earth finish with chewy, husky tannins. A big, brawny, chewy red that could use some time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216281
Grgich Hills
2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Indigo color. Aromas and flavors of berry compote, clay pot, toasted nuts, and hint of beeswax with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long cedar and sandalwood finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A well-made dry cabernet that will improve with age.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216405
AVA Grace
2014 Red Blend California
Brilliant violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of huckleberry jam, toasted orange meringue, and toffee with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, medium-long creme brulee, spiced craisins and dried blueberries, earth, and cedar finish with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nice juicy, jammy red for heightened everyday enjoyment.
88 points $8.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216516
Montpellier
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry compote with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a praline, chocolate cherries and apples, and delicate spice finish with a suggestion of oak. A very smooth, easy-drinking cab with nice fruit and balance.
88 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216509
Fat Cat
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Violet color. Attractive, fruity, floral aromas and flavors of huckleberry jam, apricot danish, and toasted meringue with a silky, vibrant, medium body and a smooth, breezy nougat and blood orange finish with fine tannins and light oak. A tangy, mouthwatering cabernet that drinks like an Italian wine.
88 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216520
Silver Ridge
2014 Merlot
Garnet black color. Interesting aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso bean, caramelized bacon, and dried berries and citrus with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, captivating, buoyant honeyed toast finish with soft, chewy tannins and light oak. A snappy, tasty merlot with a nice meaty note.
88 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216409
Blacklist
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Medium deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of blueberry pie a la mode, dark roasted nuts, and mocha with a crisp, fruity medium body and a graceful, buoyant plum, cocoa, cedar, and grape pips finish with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nice chewy, easy drinking, everyday cabernet.
88 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216426
100 Percent
2012 Red Blend California
Deep purple color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry sorbet and custard, spiced nuts, and hints of turmeric and curry leaf with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy marinated root vegetables and nuts finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and light oak. A smooth, savory red blend that will cover a lot of bases.
88 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216316
Four Vines
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dusty ruby color. Fruity, toasty, oaky, savory aromas of creme de cassis, lovely caramelized oak, red flowers - green olives, and gravel with a round, bright, dryish full body and a warming, brisk finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. All the lovely flavors are nicely knit together.
88 points $15.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216501
Bordeleau
NV Cabernet Franc
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate espresso beans and dark cherry compote with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length mocha cream, candied yams, carrots and dates, and fine spices and herbs finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A juicy, flavorful cabernet franc with good varietal character and sense of place.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216518
Rutherford Vintners
2013 Merlot
Ruby black color. Toasty aromas and flavors of crusty blackberry pie a la mode, chocolate toffee, and spice with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a polished, engaging, snappy creme brulee, cedar, mocha, and gravel finish with firm, crunchy tannins and light oak. A crunchy merlot that needs some time.
88 points $19.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216507
Antares
2013 Malbec
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of berry custard pie, nougat, hint of bbq rub, and root beer float with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, medium-long boysenberry, vanilla cream, spiced nuts, and cedar finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nicely poised malbec that will be very versatile.
88 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216232
Casa Larga
2013 Sunrise Hill Cabernet Sauvignon
Garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of dried berries, creme brulee, waxy honeycomb, and olive with citrus zest with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, relaxed spiced berries and cherries, vanilla nuts, honey roasted beets and carrots, and earth finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and light oak. A polished and savory cabernet that will shine at the table.
88 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216233
Casa Larga
2013 Sawmill Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Brick red color. Minerally aromas and flavors of limestone, dried berries and grapefruit, grass herbs, and marinated peppers with a silky, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a silky, interesting, breezy red cherry, ruby grapefruit, nuts, and cedar finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and light oak. A charming, light and table-friendly cabernet that drinks like an Italian wine.
88 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216556
Heritage Vineyards
2013 Cabernet Franc
Dark garnet color. Roasted, savory aromas and flavors of chocolate nuts, dark berry pie crust, and tomato sauce with a satiny, bright, dryish medium body and a smooth, appealing, medium-length nutskin, spiced apples and sweet potatoes, and earth finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A smooth, savory cabernet franc with plenty of earthiness.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216557
Heritage Vineyards
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet color. Fruity, roasted aromas and flavors of coffee bean, berry pie a la mode, toffee, and peppers and olives with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, appealing, crisp herb marinated tomatoes and cherries, cedar bark, and grassy earth finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A round, savory, oak-accented cabernet for now or later.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216269
Bar Z
2010 Newsom Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright burnt sienna color. Fruity, spicy, toasty aromas of spiced red berries - currants, bramble , Brazilian rosewood, and red licorice with a slightly chewy, soft, dry full body and a sleek, stimulating, breezy finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. Funky in a fun smooth way and the wine improved in the glass.
88 points $26.23
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216247
Opaque
2011 Petit Verdot
Indigo color. Fruity, earthy aromas and flavors of dried mulberries, clay, spiced prunes, and ink with a supple, bright, dryish medium-full body and a warming, interesting, breezy roasted nuts, cedar, pomegranate, and minerals finish with firm, coating tannins and moderate oak. A very concentrated petite verdot that needs some time to blossom.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216407
Ancient Roots
2014 Red Blend California
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of olive skin, wax, and toasted wood with a supple, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length black raspberry jam on raisin toast, praline, and pepper finish with light oak. A fruity, scintillating, crowd-pleasing red wine.
87 points $7.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216406
AVA Grace
2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Straw green color. Aromas and flavors of citrus and custard with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length tropical fruits, dried peach and kiwi, and reduced lemon finish with fine, fruit tannins and no oak. A nice mouthwatering white.
87 points $8.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216511
Forest Glen
2014 Merlot
Dark ruby black color. Herbal, sweet, overripe aromas of blackberry, black pepper, and blueberry pie with a slightly chewy, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-long date pudding and baked dark fruit finish. Powerful, on the sweet side, but fairly balanced
87 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216238
Del Rio
2014 Rouge Jolee Oregon
Dull dusty garnet color. Smoky aromas and flavors of crispy bacon, berry-rhubarb tart, and sundried tomato with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, charming, breezy smoked nuts and cucumber-pepper relish finish with well-integrated, fine, chewy tannins and a suggestion of oak. A nice tangy, savory red with an interesting, smoky sweet and sour character that will be great with bbq.
87 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216297
MYKA Cellars
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Medium garnet black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of dried berries, buttery praline, spicy marinated carrots, and incense with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, breezy chocolate nuts and sour cherry tart finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nice supple red with chewy tannins.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216513
Green Truck
2014 Organic Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright dusty ruby color. Fruity, creamy, toasty aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries, planked oak, dark cherries, and gravel with a slightly chewy, lively, dry full body and a warming, complex, medium-length finish with earthy, woody tannins. Like the juicy attack and lengthy rich mid-palate.
87 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216237
Del Rio
2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Indigo color. Curious, smoky aromas and flavors of tar, grilled berries, Mexican spiced chocolate, and extinguished fire pit with a silky, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-length currants, dark roasted chestnuts, and toasted cedar finish with dusty, fine tannins and moderate oak. An interesting smoky cabernet for the bbq.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216146
Sunstone
2014 Estate Cabernet Franc
Garnet black color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of spiced berries, nut brittle, and dark chocolate with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-length pickled melon rind, raisinettes, vanilla yogurt nuts, and cedar dust finish with soft, dusty tannins and light oak. A tight and tangy red that could use a little time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216415
Firefly Ridge
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of strawberry preserves, cherry blossoms and aloe, nut brittle, and pencil eraser with a supple, crisp, fruity medium body and a seamless, relaxed watermelon sorbet and chocolate craisin finish with light oak. A fun fruity quaffer.
86 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216510
Forest Glen
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
Brilliant violet color. Fruity, nutty aromas and flavors of nougat, berry tart, chocolate, and toasty oak with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, buoyant coconut, sour cherry, and nuts finish with dusty, fine tannins and light oak. A solid everyday cabernet sipper.
86 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216414
It’s a Headsnapper
2013 Dark Red Blend California
Dark garnet black color. Toasty, fresh aromas and flavors of berry pie a la mode, toffee, and touch of Canadian bacon with a supple, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and an amusing, breezy ground nuts, caramelized carrot, and cedar finish with dusty tannins and light oak.
86 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216416
Pour Haus
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Medium ruby black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry jam, cinnamon raisin toast, and chocolate bar with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a silky, breezy chocolate cherries and strawberries, vanilla nuts, and spiced melon finish with fine tannins and light oak. A smooth, crowd-pleasing cabernet.
86 points $18.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216521
Three Knights
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Yellow straw color. Citrusy, herbal aromas and flavors of roasted grapefruit, raffia, and herb cream with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, cheery finish with no oak. A crisp, savory sauvignon blanc.
86 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216493
Stonehedge
2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of mixed berries, chocolate bar, and spice with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, brisk nuts and cassis finish with soft, dusty tannins and light oak. A soft, tangy cabernet.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216328
Chateau Niagara
2012 "Trinity" Reserve Red Blend
Ruby color. Earthy, savory aromas and flavors of pickles and borscht, dried cherries, and potter’s clay with a slightly chewy, tart, dryish medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length cranberries, nutskin, and leafy earth finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A tart, earthy, very savory table wine.
86 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216486
Narmada Winery
2013 Reserve Cabernet Franc
Nearly opaque brown brick red color. Grassy, herbal aromas of eucalyptus, black cherries, and wet slate with a lightly tannic, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, complex, medium-long cherry pie, hibiscus, butterscotch, and mocha finish with a suggestion of oak. Delicate and fruity, yet dry; subtle and tasty
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216202
Greyscale
2014 Cuvée Blanc Rutherford, Napa Valley
Bright golden straw color. Fruity, toasty aromas and flavors of lemon pith, pressed linen, lemon blossoms, and toast - salinity with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry full body and a warming, appealing, fleeting finish with papery, cottony tannins and a suggestion of oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216271
Bar Z
2006 Newsom Vineyards Cabernet Franc
Burnt sienna brown color. Unusual, rustic, umami aromas and flavors of tomato vine and nettles, stewed wild berries and green tomatoes, and spiced melon with a supple, bright, saline medium body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length olive-mushroom tapenade, pickled beets and okra, dried mulberries, and grassy gravel finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. An intriguing, rustic umami bomb of a red wine for the table.
86 points $35.98
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216413
It’s a Headsnapper
2014 Radiant Red Blend California
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of olives, pepper, meringue, and dried wildberries with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, breezy nutskin, cocoa, soil, and sour cherry gum finish with dusty tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, creamy fruity-driven red.
85 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216285
Northleaf Winery
NV Town Square Series Cabernet Franc
Dusty ruby color. Toasty, tropical aromas and flavors of vanilla toffee, coconut cream pie, and berry tart with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and an even, relaxed finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. A soft, juicy sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216270
Bar Z
2011 "Lil Hoss" Newsom Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Bright light garnet color. Funky, fruity, rustic, toasty, savory aromas and flavors of red currants, red licorice, attic beams - wood smoke, and toasted wild yeast with a slightly chewy, lively, dry full body and a warming, interesting, brisk finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216249
Monte De Oro
2012 Estate Grown Merlot
Medium brick red color. Fruity aromas of plum pits, toffee, spiced berries and nuts, and gravel with a chewy, dry-yet-fruity full body and a peppery, delightful finish with soft tannins and light oak. A mellow, mature tasting merlot with an Old World flair.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216201
Greyscale
2014 Merlot
Nearly opaque black garnet color. Fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of plum skin, boysenberry custard, and nougat with a supple, tart, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length pomegranate, nut skin and shell, earth, and hint of vanilla cream finish with firm, barky tannins and moderate oak. A mellow, merlot with a a very firm tannic structure that needs time to resolve.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216508
Carmenet
2014 Reserve Merlot
Dark ruby black color. Confected, candied, fruity aromas of plum, figs, and roses with a tannic, shy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a prune, caramel, and jam finish. A fruity, robust red that will pair well with meaty mains
84 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216517
Red Truck
2013 Merlot
Dark dusty garnet color. Peppery, perfumed, sweet aromas and flavors of candied cherries and cinnamon with a glycerous, shy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a finish. A merlot with enough body to stand up to hearty dishes
84 points $11.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216427
100 Percent
2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Clear straw green color. Citrusy, clean aromas of apples, lemons, and almonds with a round, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, medium-length lemon and oaky finish with fine tannins and light oak. A lemony, refreshing California Sauvignon Blanc
84 points $14.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216534
Schug
2012 Merlot
Dark garnet color. Green aromas and flavors of marinated olives, smoked berries, toasted oak, and caulk and clay with a supple, crisp, dryish medium body and a tingling, brisk berry vinaigrette, nutskin, cedar, and dried flowers finish with coarse, barky tannins and moderate oak. A bright structured merlot; give this some time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216185
Midnight Cellars
2013 "Nebula" Cabernet Sauvignon
Dark dusty garnet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of ripe mulberries, root vegetables - root cellar, planked oak, and dark plums with a chewy, dry full body and a peppery, appealing, finish with earthy, woody tannins and heavy oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216314
Sand Point
2013 Merlot
Garnet black color. Roasted, fresh aromas and flavors of char-roasted nuts, coffee beans, and bubbly berry pie crust with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a tingling, brisk sour cherries and raisins, nut skins, and cedar bark finish with light oak. An oaky fruity quaffer.
83 points $12.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216284
Northleaf Winery
NV Redhawk Reserve Merlot
Ruby black color. Creamy, fruity aromas and flavors of berry custard pie and vanilla toffee with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a graceful, brisk spiced apple and nuts finish with soft tannins and light oak. An easy merlot quaffer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216315
Ivory & Burt
2013 Red Blend Lodi
Black ruby color. Fruity aromas and flavors of berry bread, salt water taffy, and toasted wood with a supple, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, brisk blueberry cobbler, chocolate nut bar, and cedar finish with chewy, papery tannins and moderate oak. A sturdy everyday wine.
83 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216311
Caricature
2013 Red Blend California
Deep purple color. Floral, fruity aromas and flavors of dried lavender and citrus, berry sauce and jam, and marshmallow with a tannic, bright, fruity medium body and a smooth, brisk oak bark finish with clunky tannins and moderate oak. A jammy, easy everyday wine.
82 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216267
Bar Z
2005 "Reddy Cab" Reddy Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Burnt sienna brown color. Waxy, odd aromas and flavors of fig paste, chestnuts, suede, and pepper with a round, soft, medium-full body and a peppery, peculiar, brisk polished wood, pickled pepper, berry vinaigrette on greens, and praline finish with earthy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A rich, chewy, peppery red that drinks a bit like a fortified wine.
82 points $29.98
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216554
Heritage Vineyards
2015 Limited Release Semillon
Bright light gold color. Funky, fruity, toasty aromas of burnt matchstick, toasted yeast, dried figs, and lemon zest with a lean, crisp, dry full body and a warming, intriguing, short finish with firm tannins and a suggestion of oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216459
Pollak Vineyards
2014 Estate Petit Verdot
Black garnet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of dried berries, twigs, marinated root vegetables, and raw meat with a lean, flat, bone-dry light body and a short-lived pomegranate vinaigrette, newspaper, gravely earth, and bark finish with firm, dusty tannins and heavy oak. A dry, very earthy and tannic red for game.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
216266
Bar Z
2004 Newsom Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Dusty garnet color. Savory, vegetal aromas and flavors of black olives, barnyard, roasted chestnuts and bark, and chocolate yogurt with a supple, crisp, dry medium-to-full body and a warming, odd, dried goji berries, dusty earth, and baking chocolate finish with firm, papery tannins. A dry, earthy and funky wine for the table.
80 points $26.23
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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