We taste 1000’s of wines each year. Highlighted below you will find a few of our favorites from this past week’s tastings.
2013 David Arthur ‘Elevation 1147’
Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley
Wine Spectrum Rated 96: The 2012 Elevation 1147 is a massive wine with a dense, deep ruby color. Aromas of spicy, brambly baked fruits of blackberry and currants that transition to earth driven aromatics of forest soil, cocoa nibs, and spicy tones like wild sage, bergamot and hints of cedar. The palate is rich, broad and fleshy with seductively fine grained tannins and a rigid texture finishing with notes of baked cherries and licorice candy. Best from 2016-2036. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 677 cases produced.
Robert Parker Rated 95+: Lastly, usually the most famous wine produced at this winery is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Elevation 1147. Clearly the most backward of the three wines, it possesses more tannin, structure and density. More of a long-term proposition than its two siblings, this wine has a dense purple color, good structure and ripeness, beautiful, flowery crème de cassis and spice. It is intense and full-bodied, but patience will be required. Forget it for the next 4-5 years and drink it over the following 25 or more.
2013 Martinelli ‘Three Sisters’
Pinot Noir | Sonoma Coast
Wine Spectrum Rated 96+: The climate is moderate in this area of the far western reaches of Sonoma County due to the closeness of the body of ocean. This grape studded view lies upon the second ridge inland from the coastline at Fort Ross. Here above the fog line the skies are clear and pristine, yet in the winter the rain falls harder and denser than anywhere else in Sonoma County. The 2013 Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir has a lovely nose with cranberry and rhubarb notes, Christmas spices, and hints of smoke, leather and earth. Medium weight on the palate with focused flavors and a long finish of cherries, plums and spices.
2012 Kenefick Ranch ‘Estate’
Merlot | Napa Valley
Wine Spectrum Rated 96: Copious notes of red fruit, strawberry jam and spicy notes. Fresh berry preserve shows on the entry, bright acidity integrates the oak tannin, creating a creamy mid palate. 90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. 300 cases produced. Made by winemaker Kent Jarman.
2013 Gamba ‘Estate’ Old Vine
Zinfandel | Russian River Valley
Wine Spectrum Rated 95: A delightfully brilliant, dark ruby-garnet greets your eyes. Aromas in the nose offer a buoyant perfume of ripe cherry, raspberry compote, cocoa and sweet toasted oak. Full to medium bodied on the palate, with deep and vibrant flavors of black cherry, dark berry bramble fruit, black olive, and a cascading spice, are wrapped in lavish, creamy toasty oak, and framed by a proportionate balance of acidity. Mouthfeel is rich and decadent, with a silky polished texture, rounded out with glycerin-like seamlessness that gracefully dances with finely integrated tannins. Sensuous, layered flavors of dark berry fruit and compelling, sweet toasty oak persist in a long, enjoyable finish.
In the heart of the Russian River Valley on gently rolling terrain above the valley floor, the Gamba Estate Vineyard has been organically grown and dry farmed since its original planting in 1900 – cultivated without the use of herbicides or pesticides, and relying on winter rains as its sole source of irrigation for over 115 years. This historic old vine vineyard produces very low yields of outstanding fruit, approximately one half ton per acre. The low yields provide concentrated flavors, and we strive each year to capture and bring these intense flavors to your glass. This historic, treasured, and spectacular vineyard site is truly a shining star among the relatively few truly old vine vineyards left in Sonoma County, and we are honored to share with you its glorious bounty.
2013 Martinelli ‘Lolita Ranch’
Zinfandel | Russian River Valley
Wine Spectrum Rated 95: An absolutely exotic and gorgeous Zinfandel. Aromas of fresh crushed blueberries, violets, wild fruits, black currants, and wild flowers flow through on the palate with plush flavors of boysenberry and plum fruits. This is a medium to full bodied Zinfandel with plenty of fruit that will seamlessly integrate and soften as the wine ages. Highly recommended! About 200 cases produced.
2011 Massimino Venturini ‘Semonte Alto’
Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore | DOC
Wine Spectrum Rated 94+: Through continuous research and a passion “for the art of winemaking”, Azienda Agricola Venturini Massimino has developed in their vineyards, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico region, a wine called “Semonte Alto.” It is a vineyard which produces a full-bodied red wine, with a rich, concentrated flavor and an intense and distinctive bouquet. In the traditional technique “Ripasso” the wine already obtained in the grape harvest is re-fermented by running it over the lees of the grapes used to make Amarone. This adds intensity, deep colour and body to the Valpolicella DOC Classico Superiore Ripasso, and makes it more suitable for maturing in Slovenian oak barrels.
The 2011 Venturini ‘Semonte Alto’ is a wine particularly well suited to accompany Mediterranean food, especially pasta and meat dishes. To appreciate it fully, it must be served at a temperature of 18/20°C and uncorked and allowed to breath for an hour or so. 70% Corvina Veronese, 20% Rondinella, and 10% Molinara.
2011 Francesco Rinaldi ‘Cannubi’
Nebbiolo | Barolo, DOCG
Wine Spectrum Rated 94, Antonio Galloni Rated 93: Rinaldi’s 2011 Barolo Cannubi shows the richer side of this site, with all of the typical flavors amped up by the richness of the year. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, mint, rose petal and spice notes flesh out in this decidedly ample, bold Cannubi. Sweeping in stature and proportion, the Cannubi is a terrific example of the year. It is also a touch fresher than the Brunate, which is one of the reasons I prefer it today, albeit slightly.
2011 Cascina Vale del Prete ‘Bricco Medica’
Nebbiolo | Roero, Piemonte
Wine Spectrum Rated 94: 100% Nebbiolo from the Roero district. The Roero is situated in the northeastern most part of the province of Cuneo and it owes its name to an ancient family that held the district, a hilly area, as a feudal possession. The sandy soil of the Roero hills yields an intense red wine, bearing the district’s name, that differs from other great Piedmontese wines in that it quickly attains good balance while others require aging. Roero Bricco Medica is a more delicate wine than that of the Roero. Showing suggestions of crushed flowers, sweet baking spices, red cherries and raspberries, all of which meld together nicely on a mid- weight frame that is more typical of Nebbiolo than the more exuberant, fruit-driven Roero. Over time the Bricco Medica reveals gorgeous inner perfume that adds to the open-knit, attractive finish. 100% Nebbiolo. Just 375 cases produced.
2014 Valle Isarco
Gruner Veltliner | Alto Adige DOC
Wine Spectrum Rated 92+: The 2014 Valle Isarco Gruner Veltliner is a fresh and crisp wine from the mountains of Alto Adige. Pleasantly fruit driven, with hints of spice, green apples and floral tones, this wine pairs wonderfully with soft cheeses, white meats, and fish.