Author: odedi's Wine Reviews

Stags’ Leap Winery Napa Valley Merlot 2013, California


It’s time for some Merlot on this #MerlotThursday

Dark ruby in color with a short reddish rim.

Fruity nose of black plums, cooked cherries, cedar, light vanilla, licorice, alcohol, tobacco, dark chocolates, Sherry liqueur cordials, dark coffee and spices.

Full bodied with medium plus acidity.

Dry on the palate with plums, black cherries, oak, light vanilla, spices, dark chocolates, tobacco, herbs, coffee and peppercorn.

Tangy finish with round tannins and tangy cranberries.

This 9 year old Merlot from Napa Valley is still drinking nicely.

Showing some acetone notes, that might go away with longer decanting, which I did not have the time for.

Good right out of the bottle, and better after an hour of airtime. Not as complex as I wanted it to be, but still drinkable.

This 2013 was a great vintage, but it is not showing in this bottle.

Good by itself and better with food. Will pair nicely with a nice piece of steak. I paired it with short ribs with polenta.

14.1% alcohol by volume.

89 points.

$28 (current vintage).

Chateau Montelena Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay 2013, California



This is a wonderful Chardonnay from the very famous Chateau Montelena. Exactly 40 vintages later, I could see how it won the Judgment of Paris wine competition, with it’s 1973 vintage.

Full bodied with medium plus acidity.

Showing lemons, apples, pears, melons, light tropical fruits, herbs, cedar, light vanilla, spices, light earth and black pepper.

Long finish with limes and light almonds.

This 9 year old still feels very young, with lots of complexity and a soft mouthfeel.

Will continue to age nicely in the next 5 to 7 years. Has potential to become a 95+ point wine.

Good right out of the bottle, and a great sipping wine. Showing great balance, so there is no need for food here.

Elegant and rich. Fruit forward, powerful and exciting.

I paired it with a Caesar salad with blackened Mahi. Great lunch.

Aged in (10% new) French Oak barrels for 10 months.

13.8% alcohol by volume.

93 points.

$65.

Optio Vineyards Inmesceo 2020, Paso Robles, California



Dark ruby in color with a wide reddish rim.

On the nose blueberry jam, black currants, plums, baked cherries, light oak, spices and light pepper.

Full bodied and soft, with medium acidity.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blueberries, currants, cooked cherries, light oak, spices, light alcohol, peppercorn, chocolates and light tobacco leaf.

Nice length on the finish with fine grained tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a very tasty Mourvedre blend from Paso Robles. Easy drinking and good by itself. Feels like a Spanish Monastrell with a new world twist.

Better after 90 minutes of airtime, but good right out of the bottle as well.

Still young and will continue to age nicely in the next 5 years.

Already showing nice complexity with a nice mouthfeel. Tangy and rich. Fruit forward and smooth.

Good by itself or with food. Would pair nicely with burger and fries.
I paired it with a Charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

A blend 50% Mourvedre, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petite Sirah. Aged for 17 months in (15% new) oak barrels. A tiny production of only 63 cases.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

91 points.

$58.


Arling blaze Wines Hope Dies Last 2018, Napa Valley, California



This is a tasty Cabernet Sauvignon based blend from Napa Valley.

Full bodied and smooth, with medium plus acidity.

Showing black fruits with dark chocolates, coffee, peppercorn, alcohol, cola, licorice, light oak, vanilla, earth and spices.

Nice length on the finish with round tannins and tangy raspberries.

Easy drinking and good right out of the bottle, but better after 45 minutes of airtime.

A good party wine, and good by itself as a sipping wine. A little hot at the back of the throat, though.

A little unbalanced, but works well for parties.

Thanks Elvira for sharing this with me.


A blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Zinfandel and 25% Merlot.

14.4% alcohol by volume.

90 points.

$20.

Zwebner Estate Vineyard Judean Mountains 24.19 2019, Bethlehem




Pale yellow in color with a golden tint.

Sweet nose of honeydew, citrus, lemons, honey, spices, apples, herbs, light earth and minerals.

Light to medium in body with medium plus acidity. Crisp and refreshing.

Very dry on the palate with green apples, limes, spices, light earth, herbs, light vegetables and white pepper.

Tangy finish with grapefruits and light almonds.

This is a very nice white Bordeaux blend from israel. Nicely balanced with nice complexity and a crisp mouthfeel.

This 3-year-old is drinking very nicely now and better than a year ago.

Peaking now, but would be interesting to try it again in a couple of years.

Feels like a Bordeaux white with a Vouvrey twist. Loved the nose here.

Good right out of the bottle and good by itself or with food.

A blend of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Fermented and aged separately in French oak barrels, on its lees. Kosher and not Mevushal.

13% alcohol by volume.

90 points.

$30.


Tank Garage Winery Pop Nat 2018, Sierra Foothills, California



This this is a very interesting sparkling wine (Pet nat) from Sierra Foothills in California

Pretty orange in color.

Drinking very much like a Champagne Rosé, with lots of biscuits, bread and yeast notes, especially on the nose.

Medium-bodied with bright acidity and small bubbles.

Showing limes, grapefruits, yeast, brioche, spices, minerals, sea salt, black pepper, green apples, pears and peaches.

I had it 3 years ago, and this time it feels like it lost some of its fruits, but kept the acidity. A Very unique wine.

Showing nice complexity at this point. Nicely balanced and good by itself.

100% Barbera grapes. A small production of only 430 cases.

10.8% alcohol by volume.

89 points.

$36.

The Vice Wines American Paradox Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Napa Valley, California





Dark ruby in color with a short purple rim.

Full bodied and smooth with medium acidity.

Dry and fruity on the palate with a great mouthfeel.

Showing black fruits with cedar, vanilla, earth, sweet spices, raisins, dried figs, milk chocolates, tobacco, herbs, smoke, licorice, light cola, cigar box and peppercorn.

Nice length on the finish with fine grained tannins.

This is a gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. I had it almost 2 years ago, and it is so much better now. The 17s Napas are starting to drink very nicely now.

This 5 year old is showing a great nose now. Good right out of the bottle, and so much better after an hour of airtime.

Will continue to age nicely in the next 7 years.

Good by itself as a sipping wine, and good with food too. Paired very nicely with the Capocollo dried meat.

15% alcohol by volume.

94 points.

$120.

Cuda Ridge Wines Livermore Valley Cabernet Franc 2016, California





This Cabernet Franc from Livermore Valley is drinking very nicely now, as a 6 year old.

Purple in color with a wide purplish /brick rim.

Showing a strong, pretty nose with violets.

Full bodied, dry, and very fruity on the palate with medium acidity.

Showing black plums, black cherries, blueberries, vanilla, licorice, spices, oak, dark chocolates, alcohol, peppercorn, herbs and light earth.

Spicy, interesting, and a little hot.

Good right out of the bottle, and better after 45 minutes of airtime.

Wine Enthusiasts 90 points.

I had it 3 years ago, and decided to wait for a few years. That was a good call. So much better now.

Peaking now, so drink up. Elegant and fruity. Rich and extracted.

15.7% alcohol by volume.

91 points.

$36.

Amphorae Winery Makura Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Israel





Here’s another beautiful wine from the Michel Rolland consulting collection.

Dark ruby in color with a short reddish rim.

Full bodied and smooth, with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with nice complexity and a great mouthfeel.

Showing blackberries, black currants, black plums, cooked cherries, oak, light vanilla, spices, alcohol, peppercorn, tobacco leaf, herbs and licorice.

This is a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel. Nicely aged with a beautiful nose, that I kept smelling on. Looks and feels much younger.

The alcohol is still noticeable, which surprised me a little.

I had this vintage before, and it seems like this 14 year old has reached its peak a year or two ago.

Feels like a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley with a splash of Bordeaux.

Delicious right out of the bottle, and better after 2 hours in the decanter.

100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were aged in French oak barrels for 36 months.

15% alcohol by volume.

93 points.

$55.

Mollydooker Wines Velvet Glove Shiraz 2018, Australia



Inky in color with a short reddish rim.

Fruity nose of blackberries, sweet plums, cooked cherries, raisins, dried figs, alcohol, licorice, vanilla, cedar, cola, spices, milk chocolates, tobacco and peppercorn.

Full bodied, smooth and bold, with medium acidity and long legs.

On the palate black currants, cooked plums, sweet cherries, vanilla, spices, cedar, espresso, cola, light herbs, licorice, mocha and red chili pepper.

Long finish with round tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a very tasty Shiraz from Australia. Big and bold, and somewhat sweet. Has a lot of acidity on the finish for all that fruit. Rich and extracted.

Very much “in your face” kind of wine, and not for the faint of heart. Feels very much like a Napa Syrah, with a teeth staining color.

Needs a couple hours to open up properly, which I didn’t have, as it finished too quickly.

Needs 5 years in the bottle to mature properly, and calm down a bit. Will be a 95+ wine in 10 years. Will age nicely in the next 15 years.

Wine Spectator 95 points. Robert Parker 96 points.

Good as a sipping wine, and good with food too. Will pair nicely with BBQ Meats. I paired it with a Charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

16% alcohol by volume.

92 points.

$215.