Old Zin Vines OZV Old Vine Zinfandel 2015, Lodi California

My Rating 87 Points.
Price $13.

Deep purple in color with a purplish rim.

Strong and fruity nose of blackberries, figs, oak, tobacco, leaf, vanilla, spices, cloves, penicillin, black pepper, light vegetables, alcohol and strawberry puree.

Full bodied and bold with medium acidity and long legs.

Very fruity on the palate and dry, with black currants, sweet plums, figs, dried fruits, spices, wood, cloves, vanilla, cloves, pencil lead, beef jerky, bitter herbs and peppercorn.

Medium finish with soft tannins and tangy cranberries.

This is a very enjoyable, jammy and fruity, Zinfandel from Lodi, California. Well-balanced with mild complexity and a great mouthfeel.

Enjoyable by itself as a sipping wine and great for parties.

Good right out of the bottle as this is an easy drinking red, and would pair nicely with a grilled burger too.

13.95% alcohol by volume.

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J Portugal Ramos Vinhos Villa Santa Vinho Regional Alentejano Reserva Tinto 2013, Portugal

My Rating 84 Points.
Price $22.

Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim.

Stinky nose of blueberries, barnyard, currants, blackberries, oak, vanilla, earth, forest floor, green vegetables, graphite, black pepper, spices, chocolates, smoke and bitter herbs.

Medium plus in body with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with cherries, strawberries, raspberries, earth, green vegetables, beef jerky, spices, tobacco leaf and peppercorn.

Short finish with firm tannins, cranberries and black pepper.

This red blend from Portugal is showing nice complexity and balance. Earthy and tangy on the finish, and spicy with a nice mouthfeel.

Needs an hour to open up properly and show some tannins.

A blend of 25% Aragonez, 25% Alicante Bouschet, 20% Touriga Nacional, 20% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.

I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses.

14% alcohol by volume.

Bodegas Clop Y Clop Los Clop Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2011 Mendoza, Argentina

My Rating 85 Points.
Price $15.

Dark ruby in color with a burgundy/brick rim.

On the nose, black currants, alcohol, cherries, chocolates, wood, licorice, spices, dust, mint, earth, herbs, tobacco and peppercorn.

Medium plus in body with medium plus acidity and nice legs.

Dry on the palate with black currants, plums, raspberries, oak, leather, licorice, bitter herbs, bell pepper, peppercorn, spices, green vegetables, chocolates and tobacco.

Medium plus in finish with fine grained tannins and tangy cranberries.

This 6 year old Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza is earthy and balanced, with a gentle mouthfeel.

Needs a couple of hours to open up and balance itself out. Not very tasty right out of the bottle. Probably on its way out, so drink up.

Drinking nicely all by itself, but a good food wine too. I paired it with a cheese plate and grapes.

14% alcohol by volume.

Coastal Vines Cellars California Chardonnay 2015, California

My Rating 82 Points.
Price $5.

Pale lemon in color with a yellow tint.

On the nose, citrus, melons, lemons, yellow apples, vanilla and oak.

Full bodied, bold and buttery with medium acidity.

Dry on the palate with grapefruits, vanilla, limes, apples, almonds, wood, spices and black pepper.

Medium finish with bitter almonds and spices.

This Californian Chardonnay is simple and balanced with some spicy notes. A little bitter for my taste, but better with food.

12.5% alcohol by volume.

Château Élan Winery American Merlot Reserve 2014, Georgia State

My Rating 87 Points.
Price $27.

Dark ruby in color with a purplish/ reddish rim.

On the nose blackberries, black currants, sweet plums, barnyard, oak, earth, vanilla, licorice, chocolates, coffee, light vegetables, light alcohol, vinaigrette and black pepper.

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

Dry on the palate with strawberries, cranberries, earth, cherries, plums, wood, vegetables, bitter herbs, black pepper and dark coffee.

Long finish with medium minus tannins and tart cranberries.

This Merlot is drinking nicely now. Much softer than before. Showing a nice, gentle mouthfeel with a tangy finish, and a little bitterness on the ending. Enjoyable nonetheless. Not completely balanced, but has nice complexity.

Good by itself, but better with food. Needs 30 minutes to open up properly (The nose is not very appealing right out of the bottle).

14.5% alcohol by volume.

Pestoni Family Winery Rutherford Grove Spring Creek Vineyard Petite Sirah 2008 Napa Valley, California

My Rating 92 Points.
Price $40.

To support Napa and Sonoma County wineries, at this hard time they are facing, here is a beautiful Napa Valley Petite Sirah.

Dark inky in color with a short purplish rim.

Fruity nose with black currants, blackberries, figs, smoke, licorice, cherry pie, vegetables, tar, pencil lead, peppercorn and leather.

Full bodied with a great mouth feel, medium plus acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with blackberries, black currants, plums, bell pepper, cherries, oak, vanilla, licorice, cloves, spices, vegetables, vinaigrette, tobacco, bitter herbs, bell pepper, peppercorn and earth.

Medium plus in finish with round tannins and tangy cranberries.

This 9 year old, Single Vineyard Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, is still drinking nicely now with nice complexity and balance. Rich and extracted.

Needs 2 hours to open up properly and show some tannins. Peaking now and very enjoyable by itself or with food like BBQ steak.

I had this vintage over a year ago, and it’s still delicious.

I paired it with cheeses and light appetizers.

14.5 % alcohol by volume.

Amici Cellars Olema Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, California

My Rating 90 Points.
Price $26.

Time for my Friday’s Cabernet fix. This time it’s a tasty Sonoma County Cabernet.

Dark ruby in color with a purplish rim.

Fruity nose of blackberries, sweet cherries, black currants, cedar, earth, vanilla, licorice, spices, smoke, chocolates, mocha, coffee, leather, caramel and peppercorn.

Full bodied and smooth with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blackberries, black currants, black plums, oak, vanilla, licorice, cloves, herbs, spices, dark chocolates, coffee, peppercorn, light vegetables, earth and herbs.

Long finish with round tannins and tangy cranberries.

This Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is drinking very nicely now, with an enjoyable mouthfeel, nice complexity and balance.

Good by itself or with food. Needs 90 minutes to open up properly and show some tannins, but enjoyable enough right out of the bottle. A very typical (and enjoyable) Sonoma Cabernet.

Peaking now and it won’t be as good for long, so if you have one, drink up.

I paired it with a charcuterie board of cheeses and meats.

14.5% alcohol by volume.