A few highlights from last weeks tastings.

We discovered a new gem (Linked), tasted a new vintage of a price to quality monster (Wine Spectrum Pinot), and had some fun with some old favorites (Branham and Saddleback).

2008 Linked Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley

LinkedWine Spectrum 97 The 2008 Linked Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon takes the Linked style of powerfully elegant Cabernet to the next level. Made with 100% estate Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine showcases beautifully ripened fruit that came from near perfect growing conditions. The intense ruby color hints at the depth and complexity of this wine: layers of juicy blackberry and black cherry, red currant and raspberry give way to hints of warm spices, dark chocolate and graphite. Floral notes and lovely acidity add to this wine’s multi-dimensional profile. The big round flavors and soft, supple tannins create a wine that makes you eagerly anticipate the next sip as you are savoring the last one. While this wine is rich, ripe and drinkable now, it has the potential to age 15-20 years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 122 cases produced. 

2009 Linked Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley

wine-bottle-sidebarWine Spectrum 96: This may be the finest expression of the vineyard to date. Spring fog and a cool summer season were offset by bursts of warm weather. This resulted in August verasion and perfectly ripe fruit in mid-October. In the glass, you are immediately struck by the depth of color. Winemaker Luc Morlet calls it violet fonce. The intensity of the color is a tantalizing promise of the aroma and flavors to come. The nose is filled with wild berries, Santa Rosa plums, cassis and allspice, with undertones of dried mushrooms and light floral notes. A sip reveals a complex symphony of boysenberries, blackberries and dark Bing cherries blended with layer of pepper, warm spices, graphite and mocha. Beautifully structured tannins and an easy minerality lead to an exceptionally long silken finish. This well-structured wine is eminently drinkable now, but will age gracefully over the next 15-20 years. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 139 cases produced. 

2012 Wine Spectrum Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

2012 Anderson Valley WSI Pinot W768Wine Spectrum 93+: The long anticipated 2012 vintage of the Anderson Valley Wine Spectrum Pinot Noir is definitely worth the wait. Produced exclusively for Wine Spectrum by our anonymous celebrity winemaker, the 2012 vintage has all the exciting components that we expect from this AVA. The use of traditional old world techniques such as open vat fermentations, punch downs, and pump overs by hand result in a refreshingly delicate and flavorful wine with tart Ranier cherries, wild cranberry and red plum aromas. The 2012 is a high-toned, expressive Pinot Noir, with mouth-coating black peppery spice and hints of lean, earthy minerals. Bright acid, smooth tannins, and a long, mouth watering finish, this wine instantly wins you over with its finesse and grace. Outstanding quality at a very affordable price! 

2012 Black Rock ‘Cougar’s Cuvee’ Red Blend, Lake County

nils hat wine on tableWine Spectrum 93: An extremely special blend of 54% Zinfandel and 46% Tempranillo.  A dark, purple-red color, the appealing aromas of ripe fruit, spice-dipped figs, and cigar box greet you. Firm and sturdy tannins are wrapped in red cherry, tobacco, and toasted oak flavors   The wine provides a wonderful accompaniment to lamb shank,  wild boar, grilled steak with a hickory rub, and herb-roasted  chicken. 150 cases produced.

2013 Branham Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Wine Spectrum 93: The Obsidian vineyard sits in the heart of the Napa Valley AVA, bounded by the Silverado Trail, the Napa River and Selby Creek. Fruit from this vineyard comprises fifty-percent of the blend. The remaining fifty-percent is from the historic Taplin vineyard in St. Helena. Balanced tannins and acidity, with dark, layered fruit propel the elegance of this consistent Napa Valley gem. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petite Verdot. 450 cases produced. 

2012 Branham ‘Jazz’ Red Blend, Napa Valley

IMG_4808Wine Spectrum 92+: Jazz! Our 2012 quartet continues to show its “chops.” Presenting our group from the Napa Valley: zinfandel (45%), petite sirah (10%), syrah (20%), and cabernet sauvignon (20%). Sitting in for a short solo is the accomplished “Branham Rockpile fruit.” Encore after encore, this proprietary blend never fails to satisfy the eye and palate. Refined melodies of black-plum, dark berries and coffee notes are enhanced by a purposeful symmetry of balanced tannins and acidity. Pair with music!

2013 Saddleback Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley

attachmentWine Spectrum 92+: The nose emits aromas of pear, lemon rind, and brioche.  The taste echoes the lovely nose and has a viscous mouth-feel due to the battonage (stirred sur-lees) process. The long finish has aftertastes of peach, pear, lemon and a hint of toast.  A perfect accompaniment with dried fruit, cheese, crab, or lobster. 100% Chardonnay. 

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