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Reviews for 2017

December 2017 - Stellar Cellar Selection

December 2017 - Stellar Cellar Selection
This month's Wine feature is Stellar Cellar Selection Wines

Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews

Nordby Vineyards 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$37
Black ruby color. Aromas of new car, patent leather, moth balls, and boysenberry handpie with a satiny, crisp, dry full body and a smooth, interesting, long dried cherries, suede, and freshly grated spices finish with chewy tannins and heavy oak. A leatherier wine there may not have been; we’re excited to see this develop!
Athenaeum 2015  Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$39.95
Deep purple color. Spicy aromas and flavors of pickling spices, dried cassis, black licorice, and wild berry taffy with a velvety, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a tingling, distinctive, medium-long grilled plum, wet leather, and foraged mushrooms finish with firm, grippy tannins and heavy oak. A concentrated wine that will be a dream with steak or blue cheeses; give the oak some time to mellow.
94 points $39.95
Taylor Made 2016  Malbec
93 points
$22
Deep purple color. Fruity aromas of juicy sweet blackberry, cranberry bread pudding, eucalyptus, and cocoa powder with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, appealing, medium-length fresh beets, pomegranate glaze, roasted carrot, and toasty oak finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A lush malbec with layers of rich flavors.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$22
Black violet color. Spicy aromas of menthol-mint, dried blueberries, ginseng, and lemongrass with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a peppery, complex, long mixed peppercorns and fine leather finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. An exotic, spicy cab that will develop into an excellent, distinctive cellar selection.
Wine Spots 2014  Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$29
Black violet color. Jammy aromas of blueberry oatmeal bar, chocolate covered cherries, and peony with a round, crisp, fruity full body and a warming, nuanced, long leather, mulberry, salted caramel, and earth finish with earthy, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A delicious, intriguing cabernet with shining fruit and earthy accents.
Wine Spots 2014  Merlot
93 points
$29
Ruby color. Oaky, elegant aromas of polished fine furniture, ripe forest berries, curaçao oranges, and white peppercorns with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and an effortless, involved, medium-long cranberry relish, walnut, and blackberry finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A rich and dry, sophisticated Merlot full of exquisite oak.
Awards: 2017 Top 6 Best Merlot
Ledson 2014 Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$70
Opaque black ruby color. Elegant aromas of humidor, dried fruits, bacon jam, and leather book cover with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, complex, medium-long chocolate genache, paprika, mincemeat pie, and cranberry finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich and serious Sonoma Cabernet with great aging potential.
Scattered Peaks 2015  Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$40
Black garnet color. Aromas of raspberry jam, fresh roses, vanilla bean cream, and blueberry gelato with a tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a subtle, medium-long leather, cedar box, and tobacco finish with cottony, firm tannins and heavy oak. A tight Cab for cellaring; this will become beautiful.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 St Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$50
Black violet color. Aromas of ripe red cassis, cherry preserve, pickling spices, and earth with a round, fruity medium body and a polished, involved, medium-long fine furniture, mixed fruit leather, and rosemary finish with well-integrated, grippy tannins and moderate oak. A lovely juicy Clare Valley Cabernet with bright acidity that will stand the test of time.
Makana Cellars 2013  Cabernet Franc
92 points
$70
Black ruby color. Herbal aromas and flavors of bay leaf and sage with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long spiced blackberry jam, dark chocolate, and dried cherry finish with well-integrated, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A multilayered cab franc with great herbal notes that never venture into "too-green" territory; a must-try.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 Reserve Parcel Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$22
Black garnet color. Spicy aromas and flavors of jalapeño, balsamic reduction, dark chocolate, and dried berries with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a sleek, intriguing, medium-long spiced blackberry jam and coriander seed finish with well-integrated, silky tannins and moderate oak. A zesty Cab packed with savory spices; Latin steaks will pair perfectly.
The Weasel and the Cork 2016  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$29.95
Nearly opaque black violet color. Attractive aromas and flavors of spiced blackberries, tamarind chutney, sautéed mushrooms, and smoky tobacco with a chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, layered, medium-long black pepper and leather finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A steak-worthy wine that hits all the right notes.
91 points $29.95
Athenaeum 2015  Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$54.95
Black ruby color. Fruity aromas of dried cherries, patent leather, and crushed blackberries and raspberries with a chewy, fruity medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-long suede finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A fruity Cab that will transform with time.
91 points $54.95
Ledson 2014 Ti Amo Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$86
Opaque black violet color. Fruity, herbal aromas and flavors of ripe dark berry melange, patent leather, rosemary, and India ink with a chewy, vibrant, dry full body and a warming, charming, long coconut cream pie finish with harsh tannins and heavy oak. An inky, intensely structured cabernet to lay down and enjoy in a few years.
Wakefield/Taylors 2015 St Andrews Shiraz
90 points
$50
Dark black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of marzipan, blackberry, stable floor, and black cherry cola with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, compelling, medium-length vanilla, black pepper, allspice leaves, and cherry wood finish with earthy, medium tannins and moderate oak. A charming vanilla-kissed shiraz.
Arius 2014  Pinot Noir
89 points
$25.95
Dusty ruby garnet color. Aromas of cranberry sauce, forest fruits, buttered toast, and vanilla with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, delightful, medium-length dried herbs, cinnamon-spice cake, apple compote, and shaved coconut finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and moderate oak. An elegant, fresh pinot noir with aging potential.
89 points $25.95
Dusk to Dawn 2016  Pinot Noir
89 points
$29.95
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of raspberry muffin, leather, and whole peppercorns with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a warming, cheery toasty oak and mole finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A fruit-forward, party-friendly pinot noir.
89 points $29.95
Zina Hyde Cunningham 2014 Winslows Ridge Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$68
Opaque black violet color. Aromas of blackberry tart and vanilla gelato with a chewy, vibrant, dry full body and an even, elegant, medium-long tar, ink, leather, and whiskey barrel finish with chewy tannins and heavy oak. Dark matter colludes in this brooding cellar-worthy Sonoma Cab.
Makana Cellars 2013  Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$85
Opaque black violet color. Aromas of spicy peppers, cassis, boysenberry, and black pepper with a slightly chewy, lively, dry-yet-fruity full body and a peppery, refreshing, long black currant, semi sweet chocolate, and tobacco leaf finish with chewy tannins and heavy oak. A friendly, full-bodied red.
Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$90
Black garnet color. Inviting, elegant aromas and flavors of ivory, fine leather, tobacco, and dried cassis with a tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a charming, medium-long cinnamon and sage finish with gritty tannins and heavy oak. A dense, cellar-worthy wine.
Wakefield/Taylors 2016 Reserve Parcel Shiraz
88 points
$22
Dark black violet color. Aromas of blueberry gelato, chocolate coated berries, allspice, and peppercorns with a slightly chewy, lively, fruity medium body and a tingling, engaging, easy greens in vinaigrette, pickled plum, and hickory finish with medium, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A tasty and versatile Shiraz.
Wine Spots 2014 Cuvée 38 Red Wine Napa Valley
88 points
$29
Nearly opaque garnet black color. Aromas of mixed peppercorns and red berries, bay leaf, chocolate covered berries, and tobacco with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, captivating, medium-length rhubarb conserve and rum raisin finish with silky tannins. A lip-smacking red for grilled meats or salami.
Wine Spots 2016  Pinot Noir
88 points
$29
Opaque violet color. Fruity aromas of purple fruit, streusel, bramble, and vanilla steamer with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium body and a medium-length berry jam and toasted crumpet finish with well-integrated, dusty tannins and light oak. A full-bodied, unabashedly fruity pinot noir.
Wilson Creek 2014 Matriarch Vineyard Family Reserve Malbec
88 points
$58.99
Dark dusty ruby color. Fruity aromas of peach melba, vanilla wafer, and eucalyptus with a slightly chewy, crisp, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length juicy blackberries, cobbler crumble, cinnamon, and caraway finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A big, juicy malbec chock full of fruit and spice.
88 points $58.99
Kirkland Signature 2012  Brunello di Montalcino
87 points
$24.99
Medium brick red color. Mature aromas of cherry preserve, fresh fennel, leather, marinated mushrooms, and dried flowers with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length dried raspberry and tobacco finish with dusty, firm tannins and moderate oak. A table-worthy Brunello with divine cherry aromas.
87 points $24.99
The Weasel and the Cork 2016 Red Blend Alexander Valley
87 points
$29.95
Opaque black violet color. Fruity aromas of fresh blackberry jam with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a polished, medium-long dark chocolate, sanguine, burnt sugar, and leather patina finish with dusty, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, jammy Bordeaux varietal blend with deep concentration.
87 points $29.95
Trailhead 2015  Cabernet Sauvignon
87 points
$35.95
Dusty black ruby color. Jammy aromas of dried berries, sugared plums, fresh pies, and jalapeño seeds with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a polished, cheery cherry pie filling finish with cottony, fruit tannins. A mild Napa Cab for beginners.
87 points $35.95
Athenaeum 2015  Merlot
87 points
$39.95
Dusty garnet color. Aromas of fajita veggies, dried cranberries and blueberries, smoked coriander seed, and dry earth with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a sleek, relaxed dried orange peel and toasted Russian black bread finish with crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A chewy and savory merlot for the table.
87 points $39.95
Dusk to Dawn 2016  Chardonnay
85 points
$24.95
Clear light gold color. Aromas of matchstick, toasted marshmallow, diced apple, phyllo dough, citrus pith, and lemon curd with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium body and a snappy lemon meringue pie and lime curd finish with soft, fruit tannins. A smoky chardonnay with subtle fruit.
85 points $24.95
Calista 2016 The Coast Range Pinot Noir
84 points
$20
Ruby garnet color. Aromas of cherry hard candy, spiced nuts, and graphite with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length underripe plum, wet stone, pomegranate, and chalk finish with no oak. A mineral-forward, versatile pinot noir.
Wakefield/Taylors 2016 Jaraman Chardonnay
84 points
$22
Clear straw green color. Fruity, herbal aromas of apple pie, gooseberry pie, dank herb, and elotes with a soft, crisp, fruity medium body and a sleek, appealing, medium-length green apple and tarragon finish with silky tannins. A nice Chardonnay crossover for Sauvignon Blanc lovers; creamy, herbal, and full.
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