Inky ruby. Aromas of blackberry, cola and spicy oak. Sweet and intense in the mouth, offering weighty dark berry flavors complicated by Asian spices. The fleshy, broad finish features smooth tannins and appealingly sweet black and blue fruit qualities. 91 Points Stephen Tanzer
Fruit stars in this young, rich Cabernet. It's as good as young, drink-me-now Napa Cab gets, offering waves of blackberries, cherries, plums, sweet oak and spices that go on and on into long finish. The tannins are perfectly ripe, the acidity fine and brisk. 90 Points Wine Enthusiast
Rich, rounded and smooth, this is an exceptional value, with its black fruits, firm tannins and dense texture coming from Touriga Nacional and Cabernet Sauvignon. It feels rich, ready to drink now, likely to develop over the next several years.
A blend of 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Garnacha Tintorera aged ten months in 80% French and 20% American oak, this is a custom cuvee assembled for Eric Solomon. From 100-year-old vines planted at the highest elevation owned by Bodegas Castano in Yecla, it exhibits notes of roasted herbs, road tar, beef stock, bouquet garni, kirsch and black currants. Lusty, succulent and fleshy, this medium to full-bodied red should drink well for 4-5 years 90 Points Wine Advocate
Not shy, showing notes of ganache and toast, with layers of crushed plum, warm fig preserves and black currant. A charcoal edge gives the finish some cut and energy. Drink now through 2016. 88 Points Wine Spectator
Clos de los Siete is a perennial leader among under-$20 wines from Argentina. Blueberry and graham cracker aromas are ripe and a touch reduced. The palate is saturated yet juicy, while blackberry, boysenberry, cardamom and nutmeg flavors feed into a dark tasting, compact finish. For a 50,000-case wine, this is a prize to behold. 90 Points Wine Enthusiast
Sourced from 80-year-old vines planted on pure slate, it offers up an alluring nose of earthy minerality, lead pencil shavings, incense, and black raspberry. Ripe, lengthy, and supple-textured, it is a great value for drinking over the next 5 years. 90 Points Wine Advocate #33 on Marketview's 2013 Top 100
The 2012 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast exhibits lots of pear, caramelized lemon and apple blossom notes in a medium-bodied, intense yet finesse style with good acidity, purity and texture. Drink it over the next 3-4 years. 90 Points Wine Avocate
The 2012 Torrontes comes from Valle de Cafayate in Salta from ungrafted 40-year-old vines. It has another very expressive, almost Gewurztraminer-like bouquet of passion fruit, lychee and guava that is well-defined and effervescent. The palate is supremely well-balanced with crisp acidity, vibrant citrus lemon and orange zest that combine beautifully on the tense, sherbet finish. What a beautiful, life-affirming little Torrontes! Drink now-2017. 92 Points Wine Advocate
Tasted as a pre-assemblage from barrel, the Hecht & Bannier 2010 Cotes du Roussillon Villages is colorfully fruited with suggestions of black raspberry, blackberry, cassis, and blueberry, all alluringly wreathed in heliotrope and lily. Overtly chalky and smoky crushed stone and peat notes serve for counterpoint on a richly-textured, ripely-fruited yet vivacious palate, and hints of salt and dark chocolate at once add saliva-inducement, invigoration, and depth to a long finish. This impressive exemplar of vintage - not to mention Roussillon - virtues will hopefully gain in stature in the completion of its elevage and ought to be worth following for the better part of a decade. 91-92+ Points Wine Advocate
Hecht and Bannier's 2010 Minervois is as usual Syrah-dominated, with Grenache and Carignan (whose levels had yet to be fine-tuned) filling merely supporting roles, and despite my skepticism about the Syrah-centric appellation rules and official politics in this sector of the Languedoc, one has to say that Hecht and Bannier's bottlings make a strong case for that grape. (Mind you, a couple of their sources are growers in the La Liviniere sector whose top bottlings you will find lauded elsewhere in this report who are willing to sell-off some of their juice.) As with this team's 2010 A.O.C. Languedoc blend - and, for that matter, so many other wines of its vintage - this combines the extra measure of glycerin and jam-like touch to its dark cherry an...