Kiona Riesling – WA State – 2012 – 12.57 – 93% Riesling, 7% Gewurztraminer. Kiona has been making Riesling for almost three decades. This Washington State version has smooth, light, spicy flavors with a slight sweetness and a nice tart acidity.A slightly spicy finish puts an exclamation point on the end of this delightfully charming and drinkable wine. The nose has compelling floral notes that highlight the fresh fruit flavors of pear and citrus on the palate. A tasty new addition.
Smashberry Red 2012 – Central Coast – 11.57 – This easy drinking California red table wine is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet and Petite Sirah. It has aromas of red cherries, red berries and coffee that fill the nose. On the palate, it is fruit forward with lots of Bing cherry, blackberry, and blueberry jam flavors with hints of sarsaparilla and coffee with very soft tannins and a nice finish. Merlot (40), cabernet sauvignon (30), petite sirah (30) East End Wines Top 200, #192.
Ballard Lane Cabernet – Paso Robles 2011 - 12.57 – This wine has cassis, black cherry, chocolate, and smoky oak aromas, good structure, firm tannins, and a lingering finish. The grapes were night harvested and cold soaked for several days to enhance color extraction, then fermented for 7 days. The wine was then aged on French and American Oak for 9 months. East End Wines, Top 200, #178. Ripe and round from warm Paso Robles, but made in a dialed-back manner.
Hugo Vision Quest – Napa Valley Red Wine 2009 – 20.57 – This is a dense red blend exhibiting round fruit…cherries, blackberries, currants; a beautiful assortment of fresh and dried herbs with aromatics of toast, warm fall spices and dark chocolate. Packed with texture, it fills your mouth with the soft notes of oak, vanilla extracted dark fruits. Houston couple, started in 2007. 75% Syrah, 12.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.5% Malbec. Fermented in open top barrels, aged in neutral oak.
VERY SPECIAL – TASTING ONE 375 ml BOTTLE – Clark Claudon 10 yr 2003 375 ml – 26.97 – “The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate exhibits an evolved dark plum/ruby color already revealing some lightening at the edge. Nevertheless, it is a tasty, seductive effort displaying notes of plums, licorice, black currants, figs, and soy. This medium-bodied, fleshy Cabernet appears to be on a fast evolutionary track, so consumption over the next 7-8 years is recommended. 89 points” – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate # 168, Dec 2006. 750ml selling for $89. 100% Cab, Howell Mountain, 800-1000 ft. elevation. French oak aging.