Red | Proprietary Red | Italy | Tuscany | 750ml
The 2008 Tignanello is unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage. The 2008 isn't a huge or obvious Tignanello, rather it is a wine that impresses for its sublime elegance and precision. Understated layers of fruit caress the palate like cashmere in this impeccable, soft wine. There is not a hard edge to be found. Black cherries, tobacco, smoke and licorice are some of the notes that come through on the finish. The flavor profile is decidedly on the dark side, but the wine's structure is medium in body and intensity. In 2008 the Tignanello has more energy, focus and length than the Solaia. It is a fabulous achievement! The 2008 Tignanello is 80% Sangiovese aged in 300-liter French oak barrels (1/3rd new), 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc, both aged in 100% new 225-liter French oak barriques. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
Red | Proprietary Red | Argentina | 750ml
Red | Proprietary Red | France | Bordeaux | 750ml
The wine hits all cylinders in 2010. The average alcohol for the bottled wine is 14%. It has a gorgeously sweet nose of creme de cassis, spring flowers, subtle barbecue smoke and charcoal followed by full body, beautiful intensity, great purity, stature and length. The influence of any oak is minimal, despite the fact that 90% new French oak was used. Needless to say, this is an example of modern-styled winemaking at it's finest, and arguments that such wines will not age well, do not represent their terroir , and are soul-less, are totally groundless. Give it 5 or so years of cellaring and drink it over the following 25-30 years. This is one of the great Margaux wines of the vintage.Probably the greatest Lascombes made to date, the 2010 is a blend of 55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot. The production from this huge estate totals nearly 400,000 bottles.
As usual, this superb Pauillac possesses an inky/blue/black color in addition to a big, sweet nose of graphite, charcoal, burning embers, black currant liqueur, and toasty vanillin from new oak casks. Full-bodied with high but sweet, well-integrated tannins, the 2005 Pichon Baron is more backward than the blockbuster 2003 or prodigious 2000. Nevertheless, it is a superb effort whose power, length, and tannic structure suggest it should be at its peak between 2015-2035.Robert Parker 94 Points
What sumptuous pleasures await those who purchase either the 1996 or 1995 Pichon-Lalande. It is hard to choose a favorite, although the 1995 is a smoother, more immediately sexy and accessible wine. It is an exquisite example of Pichon-Lalande with the Merlot component giving the wine a coffee/chocolatey/cherry component to go along with the Cabernet Sauvignon's and Cabernet Franc's complex blackberry/cassis fruit. The wine possesses an opaque black/ruby/purple color, and sexy, flamboyant aromatics of pain grille, black fruits, and cedar. Exquisite on the palate, this full-bodied, layered, multidimensional wine should prove to be one of the vintage's most extraordinary success stories. Anticipated maturity: 2001-2020. The 1995/1996 vintages are two of the greatest back to back efforts Pichon-Lalande has ever produced, including the 1982/1983 vintages.Robert Parker 96 Points
The 1996 Pichon-Lalande is just as awesome from bottle as it was from multiple cask tastings. For Pichon-Lalande, the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon is atypically high. This wine normally contains 35-50% Merlot in the blend, but the 1996 is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot. Only 50% of the estate's production made it into the grand vin. The color is a saturated ruby/purple. The nose suggests sweet, nearly overripe Cabernet Sauvignon, with its blueberry/blackberry/cassis scents intermixed with high quality, subtle, toasty new oak. Deep and full-bodied, with fabulous concentration and a sweet, opulent texture, this wine was singing in full harmony when I tasted it in January. Given the wine's abnormally high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon, I would suspect it will close down. It possesses plenty of tannin, but the wine's overwhelming fruit richness dominates its personality. Anticipated maturity: 2004-2025.Robert Parker 96 Points
Red | Proprietary Red | United States | California | 750ml
The 2005 Dominus continues to strut its stuff, tasting like a Napa hybrid blend of a St.-Emilion and Pomerol. Its dark ruby/purple-tinged color is followed by notions of cedarwood, spice box, roasted herbs, sweet black cherry and cassis fruit, licorice, and truffles. Full-bodied with excellent fruit intensity, complex aromatics, supple tannins, and a long finish, this 7,000-case blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot should drink well for two decades or more. When I am tasting at Dominus, they always present a wine opened the day before and decanted, and one just opened, and the extended aeration version always seems to be the better example of the wine, so plenty of decanting seems to be in order. 95+
The Dominus 2009 exemplifies the finest qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon from an ideal vintage. The nose, at once powerful yet restrained, is dense and filled with pure dark berry fruit and hints of sandalwood. On the palate is a harmonious blend of fresh plum and focused minerality with tannins that are firm, round and elegant. Spherical in quality, this wine is complete from start to finish. A sublime vintage. Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot
"Made in a more masculine style, the 2008 Dominus has all of that along with bigger body and more structure, fat, density and texture. Both are brilliant wines and they represent the finest back-to-back vintages for Dominus since 2001 and 2002 or 1990 and 1991. Both the 2007 and 2008 Dominus should drink well for 25-30 years." Wine Advocate (99 Points)
"From another of the great vineyards in Westside Paso Robles, the 2010 Booker Vineyard comes across as big, dark and brooding. Black fruit, game, licorice and tar are some of the many notes that take shape in this huge, intense Syrah-based wine. The 2010 was aged in 350-liter barrels, 60-70% new, all of which the wine handles beautifully. Layers of fruit continue to blossom in the imposing, expansive ﬁnish." Wine Advocate (94-96)
"A sizable wine that's rich, intense and harmonious, with a nuanced mix of extracted blackberry, spice, plum, licorice and cigar box ﬂavors. Best to cellar. Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2014 through 2024." Wine Spectator (93)
"Inky purple. An explosively perfumed bouquet evokes spicy red and dark berry liqueur, Indian spices, vanilla and ﬂoral oils.Spicy black raspberry and cherry-vanilla ﬂavors are complicated by notes of violet pastille and show a plush, seamless texture.Gains weight with air but retains clarity. The spicy note carries through an impressively long, juicy ﬁnish, which features ripe, harmonious tannins." International Wine Celler (94)
"Saxum's 2010 James Berry Vineyard is endowed with serious energy and tension, dark red fruit, flowers and spices. Rose petals and a hint of sweet spices add lift on an energetic, intense finish layered with huge dark red fruit. The 2010 is 52% Grenache (done in concrete), 26% Mourvedre and 22% Syrah. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020." Wine Advocate (96+)
"The intense, vivid blackberry, blueberry, pepper and spice notes are tightly focused and persistent in this red, ending with a long ﬁnish and tannins that give the ﬂavors traction. Very pure and rambunctious, and should only get better with time. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Best from 2014 through 2026." Wine Spectator (94)
"Glass-staining ruby. Ripe blackberry and cherry on the intensely perfumed nose and in the mouth. Dense but surprisingly energetic, offering sweet black raspberry and candied lavender ﬂavors and a hint of cola. Supple tannins give shape to a long, sweet, strikingly lively ﬁnish, which echoes the ﬂoral note." International Wine Cellar (94)
The 2009 Paderewski Vineyard is a new bottling from a site Smith developed for Bill and Liz Armstrong, the owners of Epoch. Zinfandel, Syrah, Petit Sirah and Mourvedre are planted in separate plots but co-fermented. Layers of dark fruit meld into flowers, mint, sweet spices, menthol, eucalyptus and plums, with marvelous density and harmony. This shows superb aromatic complexity and tons of nuance to match its absolutely striking personality. It is a dazzling effort, especially for a young vineyard in just its third leaf. The blend was 39% Zinfandel, 38% Syrah, 13% Petite Sirah and 10% Mourvedre. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021.Wine Advocate 97 Points
The 2010 Paderewski Vineyard caresses the palate with layers of expressive, sensual fruit. Zinfandel plays the leading role in the Paderewski, and that comes through loud and clear in the wine's inner perfume and sweetness. The 2010 boasts gorgeous length and purity, even if it is a bit tight from its recent bottling. Paderewski is a little warmer than some of the other sites Saxum works with, which seems to give the wine a note of softness that is immensely appealing, especially with some time in the glass.Wine Advocate 95 Points
Red | Proprietary Red | United States | Paso Robles | 750ml
Here in its first vintage, the 2010 Terry Hoage Vineyard bursts onto the palate with rich, dark fruit. The weight power and richness of Syrah comes through beautifully in the layered, sumptuous wine. Flowers, licorice, mint, tobacco and grilled herbs wrap around the finish. The 2010 boasts serious density and fabulous overall balance. It is terrific first effort. The blend is 46% Syrah, 33% Grenache and 21% Mourvedre. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.Wine Advocate 94+ Points
This is the best young Sassicaia in years. It's the new 1988, which was great, and sometimes better than the legendary 1985. What incredible aromas here with blueberries, spices, licorice, plums. Graphite too. Subtle and complex. Full and silky with a beautiful texture of fine tannins and an ultra-fine finish. So beautiful now but will be much better in 2015. Owner Niccolo Incisa della Rocchetta says that Sassicaia is always great in years that end with eight: 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2008.
"The 2008 Sassicaia is a rich, deep wine imbued with notable class in its black cherries, plums, grilled herbs, minerals and smoke. The 2008 is a decidedly buttoned-up, firm Sassicaia that is currently holding back much of its potential, unlike the 2006 and 2007, both of which were far more obvious wines. Readers who can afford to wait will be treated to a sublime wine once this settles down in bottle." Wine Advocate (96 Points)