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Reviews for 2020

October 2020 - Stellar Cellar Selection

October 2020 - Stellar Cellar Selection
This month's Wine feature is Stellar Cellar Selection Wines

Stellar Cellar Selection Reviews

PONO 2016 Mana Cabernet Sauvignon
93 points
$110
Black garnet color. Aromas of ripe red apple, figs, dates, cocoa powder, polished oak, and warm cherry cobbler with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long black toast with orange marmalade and espresso bean finish with moderate oak flavor. A dry, spot-on Rutherford Cabernet with a long life ahead of it.
Publix Premium 2018  Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$34
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of boysenberry jam, maple drizzled pancakes, pecan shortbread, apricot, and coconut with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of parsley with moderate oak flavor. A bold and bright Napa Cabernet that will benefit from a slumber in the cellar.
Zonte’s Footstep 2018 Baron Von Nemesis Shiraz
92 points
$48
Black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of black plums, black cassis, pomegranate, green olive, grilled coffee-rubbed pork belly, and lemon zest with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long finish. A velvet monster of a Shiraz that will appeal to lovers of brawny, voluptuous wines.
Crane Family Vineyards 2015 Don Raffaele Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$65
Deep purple color. Inviting aromas of plum preserves, berry custard, sassafras, spice cookies, and artisan cola with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an effortless, complex, long pencil shavings, toasted challah, and cream puff finish with heavy oak flavor. A dreamy Napa Cabernet with creamy oak and sultry spiced fruit.
Crane Family Vineyards 2015 Cavaliere Reserve Red Blend Napa Valley
92 points
$75
Ruby black color. Fruity aromas and flavors of stewed plums, root beer float, flourless chocolate cake, rich chocolate-covered caramels, hints of spearmint, and cassis preserves with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, long finish manifesting notes of bacon-wrapped dates with well-integrated tannins and heavy oak flavor. A decadent Napa Bordeaux Varietal Blend.
Wakefield/Taylors 2016 The Pioneer Shiraz
92 points
$140
Black garnet color. Complex aromas of smoky pipe tobacco, plum dumplings, blueberry pie, black olive, vanilla bean, and gingersnap cookies with a slightly chewy, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, distinctive, long pickled beets, dill, and dark chocolate finish with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A bold, spice-laden Shiraz with a complex nose you can get lost in.
E Cellars 2015 Cuvee Bennett Valley Red Blend Sonoma County
91 points
$24
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of ripe raspberries, milk chocolate ganache, sarsaparilla, and toasted pecans with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, appealing, medium-length finish with heavy oak flavor. A fruity, velvety, spicy Sonoma Red that delights.
Sleeper 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
91 points
$175
Black garnet color. Inviting aromas of black plum, patent leather, dark chocolate ganache, roasted root vegetables, and clove with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, appealing, long hazelnut, black toast, and espresso finish with drying, firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A taut but expressive Cabernet Sauvignon best saved for a few years; expect this brooding Cabernet to come alive and be a centerpiece of a great meal in 3-10 years.
Paradise Ridge 2019 Grandview Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
90 points
$22
Straw green color. Aromas of hints of gooseberry, key lime custard, golden apple, and pickled tomato with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, compelling, medium-long pineapple, quince, tangerine, and slate finish with no oak flavor. A lovely New World Sauvignon Blanc with great varietal character, mouthwatering minerality and instant appeal; purchase liberally.
Ricossa 2015 Ca dei Mandorli Barbera
90 points
$34.99
Black violet color. Aromas and flavors of prune, black cassis, dark chocolate biscuit, vanilla bean, and spiced tea with cream with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a sleek, appealing, medium-length finish with notes of balsamic reduction and fig with moderate oak flavor. A bold, very fruity Barbera that will be a great pizza pairing
90 points $34.99
Sleeper 2019  Sauvignon Blanc
90 points
$45
Silvery straw color. Inviting aromas and flavors of ripe gooseberry, juicy peach, pear, lime rinds, and thyme with a satiny, lively, dryish medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long finish with notes of pico de gallo with no oak flavor. Big varietal character dominates this Sauvignon Blanc that is sure to please lovers of the grape.
PONO 2016 Hapa Red Blend Napa Valley
90 points
$80
Black violet color. Aromas of stewed plums, vanilla bean, pencil shavings, and hints of sun dried tomato with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long honeyed figs, chocolate wafer, spice rub, and licorice finish with heavy oak flavor. A solid Napa Bordeaux Varietal blend that hits all the notes.
Jaraman 2017  Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$22
Black garnet color. Herbal aromas and flavors of blueberry preserves, eucalyptus lozenge, chocolate mousse, mole-covered poblano peppers, and violet with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length finish manifesting accents of ginger and peppercorns with moderate oak flavor. A fresh, herbaceous Cab with a youthful appeal.
Jaraman 2018  Grenache
89 points
$22
Dark dusty ruby color. Aromas of bing cherry yogurt, compressed watermelon, mulled pomegranate juice, peppermint, and carob with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, captivating, medium-long milk chocolate, candied strawberry, and black licorice finish with light oak flavor. A balanced and pleasing Grenache to pair with herbed pork or pesto.
Jaraman 2018  Pinot Noir
89 points
$22
Garnet color. Aromas and flavors of cinnamon candies, dried cherries, spearmint, cacao bean, honey-eucalyptus tea, and foraged mushrooms with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, compelling, medium-length finish manifesting notes of fennel seed and flamed orange with light oak flavor. A very food-friendly Australian Pinot Noir with balanced and pleasing herbal character.
Château Guillaume Blanc 2018 1562 Bordeaux Supèrieur
89 points
$29.99
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate gelato, black cassis jam, chocolate-covered raisins, green peppercorns, and cured meats with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a crisp finish with moderate oak flavor. A simple, sturdy red that will stand up well to beef.
89 points $29.99
Williamsburg Winery 2017 Trianon Cabernet Franc
89 points
$40
Deep purple color. Earthy aromas and flavors of caramel-drizzled smoked cherries, blackberry preserves, cocoa powder, caramelized eggplant, raisins, pine nuts, and hint of barnyard with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-long finish that shows nuances of crystalized ginger with moderate oak flavor. A savory, rustic Cabernet Franc that sings; a delight from Virginia.
Williamsburg Winery 2017 Reserve Petit Verdot
89 points
$49
Indigo color. Funky, rustic aromas and flavors of plum butter, spice cookies, berry kombucha, and coconut cream with a slightly chewy, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish that shows overtones of tomato leaf with chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A funky Virginia Petit Verdot with Old World vibes.
Wakefield/Taylors 2016 The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$140
Black garnet color. Mature aromas of dried leaves, dates, prunes, stewed tomatoes, cornichons, peppercorns, and star anise with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length grilled bread finish with moderate oak flavor. A mature, high-octane Cabernet with lots of spicy character.
Wakefield/Taylors 2018 St. Andrews Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$50
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of cinnamon tea, spiced plums, dried orange, black cassis tart, and spearmint with a crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-length finish with suggestions of raisin bread pudding with medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid Aussie Cabernet that will pair effortlessly.
Bodegas Alto Moncayo 2017 Veraton Grenache
87 points
$24.99
Black ruby color. Fruity aromas and flavors of raspberry cake, pickled berry, berry pavlova, and white chocolate ganache with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, medium-length finish with suggestions of vanilla pudding with moderate oak flavor. A fruit-forward, vanilla-laden Grenache that will be a real crowd pleaser.
87 points $24.99
Château Guillaume Blanc 2014 La Réserve Merlot
87 points
$29.99
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate, carob, black tea, black pepper, dried berries, and bell pepper with a chewy, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, breezy finish imparting impressions of tart cherry and graphite with moderate oak flavor. A sturdy weeknight red for rich meals.
87 points $29.99
Blacklist 2018 Red Blend Lodi
87 points
$39
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of plum cobbler, paprika, mint, and honey with a chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, refreshing, medium-long finish with impressions of toffee and shortbread with berry sauce with grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A grippy, food-friendly Red Blend with sturdy style.
Wakefield/Taylors 2018 St. Andrews Shiraz
87 points
$50
Black violet color. Inviting aromas of juicy plums, caramel latte, ripe red apples, and lily with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, medium-long char roasted nuts, black cherries, and licorice finish with drying tannins and moderate oak flavor. A solid Shiraz for the meat-lover’s table.
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