Gracenate Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2016, California

Ruby in color with medium intensity and a wide reddish rim.

Nice fruity nose with strawberries, cherries, raspberries, light oak, earth, vanilla, licorice, smoke, barnyard, bitter vegetables, herbs, spices and black pepper.

Medium bodied with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with strawberries, raspberries, wood, spices, peppercorn, green herbs, vegetables, earth, leaves, tobacco and dark coffee.

Medium on the finish with fine tannins and bitter greens.

This is a nice Pinot Noir from Napa Valley. Well balanced and fruity with mild complexity and a soft mouthfeel. Drinking nicely now.

Good by itself and good right out of the bottle. Better as it opens up and gets some tannins (30 minutes).

14.5% alcohol by volume.

85 points.

$35.

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Domaine Gaillard Les Crays Pouilly-Fuisse 2016, France

Deep gold in color.

On the nose, citrus, lemons, grapefruits, green apples, minerals, white pepper, spices and sea salt.

Medium-bodied with medium plus acidity, crisp and refreshing.

Dry on the palate with lemons, limes, grapefruits, green apples, bitter herbs, vegetables, spices and white pepper.

Medium finish with bitter almonds.

This Chardonnay from Burgundy is simple and refreshing. Not fully balanced and a tad too bitter for me.

A good food wine that will pair nicely with seafood. Needs to be very chilled. I paired it with soft and hard goat cheeses.

13% alcohol by volume.

82 points.

Kinero Cellars Alice Grenache Blanc 2017 Paso Robles, California

Very pale lemon in color.

Fruity nose with green apples, lemons, grapefruits, citrus, minerals, limes, light spices and white pepper. Nose calls for a Sauvignon Blanc from California.

Medium plus in body with medium acidity crisp and refreshing and a bit buttery.

Dry on the palate with citrus, green apples, grapefruits, spices, bitter herbs and white pepper.

Long finish with herbs and almonds.

This Grenache Blanc from California is a good surprise. Well balanced, crisp and refreshing, with a light watery mouthfeel. Showing nice complexity.

Drinking very nicely now and better when fresh and properly chilled. Very easy to drink. A good summer wine and good for parties.

I paired it with soft and hard cheeses, but it really went well with the French Brie cheese.

13.8% alcohol by volume.

88 points.

$25.

Barkan Vineyards Altitude +720 Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Israel

It’s Friday and it’s time for my #FridayCabernetfix. This time it is an Israeli Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

Deep ruby in color with a brick rim.

Fruity nose with blueberries, sweet black cherries, currants, earth, vanilla, licorice, cloves, spices, pencil lead, vegetables, vinaigrette, chocolates, tobacco and bell pepper. Nice nose.

Medium bodied and smooth with medium plus acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with blueberries, red currants, cranberries, licorice, light oak, spices, dark coffee, tobacco leaf, earth, wet leaves, vanilla, chocolates and peppercorn,

Medium plus on the finish with fine grained tannins and tart cranberries.

This is a nice Cabernet from Israel. Not fully balanced any longer, but still enjoyable. Showing nice complexity and a great, smooth mouthfeel.

Needed 30 minutes to open up, but died after 2 hours. This 7 year old was probably better a couple of years ago. I guess I kept it for way too long… this was a 90 point Cabernet, a few years ago.

Grapes are grown at 720 meters elevation (hence the name). Aged for 14 months in French Oak barrels and unfined. Kosher.

Better with food than just by itself. I paired it with small tapas, cheeses and a vegetarian flatbread.

14% alcohol by volume.

87 Points.

$40.

Milbrandt Vineyards Winery Columbia Valley Pinot Gris 2016, Washington State

Pale lemon in color with a yellow tint.

Light on the nose with citrus, grapefruits, lemons, pears, light melons and white pepper.

Medium plus in body with medium acidity, crisp and refreshing.

Dry on the palate with limes, grapefruits, citrus, green apples, light spices and white pepper.

Short finish with limes and bitter almonds.

This is a refreshing Pinot Gris from Columbia Valley in Washington State. Simple and drinkable.

Good for parties or as a sipping wine by the porch or pool.

I paired it with a spicy seafood dish.

13% alcohol by volume.

83 points.

$13.

Château Clinet Pomerol 2000 Bordeaux, France

Time for my #MerlotThursday… Here is a beautiful 18 year old from Bordeaux.

Dark ruby in color with a short purplish rim. Not showing age at all.

Great fruity nose with blackberries, blueberries, black cherries, vanilla, cedar, light vegetables, bell pepper, spices, toast, herbs, beef jerky, vinaigrette and black pepper.

Medium plus in body and rich, with medium plus acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with blackberries, black currants, plums, bell pepper, cherries, oak, vanilla, licorice, spices, green olives, chocolates, herbs, dark coffee, pencil lead, earth, wet leaves, light barnyard, leather, tobacco leaf, cola and black pepper. Very complex.

Long finish with round tannins and tangy cherries.

This is a great Pomerol. Not fully balanced yet, but already enjoyable even by itself or with food. Showing great complexity great power, an earthy palate and a grippy mouthfeel.

Needs 5 to 10 years to mature properly, as it is still young and a little acidic. This great vintage shows lots of power and richness.

Needs a couple of hours to open up properly, so take your time…

13% alcohol by volume.

90 points.

$160.

Bodegas Volver Wrongo Dongo Monastrell 2016 Jumilla, Spain

Dark inky in color with a short purple rim.

Fruity nose of black currants, blueberries, cherries, earth, light oak, light vanilla, herbs, vegetables, chocolates, light mocha, dark coffee, tobacco, pencil lead and peppercorn.

Full bodied with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, plums, bell pepper, cherries, oak, vanilla, licorice, cloves, spices graphite, bitter herbs, black tea and peppercorn.

Medium plus on the finish with firm tannins and tangy raspberries.

This Spanish Monastrell is always enjoyable. Nicely balanced and big, with lots of black fruits and earth notes all intertwined together.

Good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up and shows the big tannins.

This teeth staining red wine is drinking nicely now and could use one more year in the bottle to mellow out.

Good by itself or with food like BBQ Meats. I paired it with Spanish tapas.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

88 points.

$10.