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Relic - Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Always a top value for domestic pinot (well for pinot from anywhere) and for the price point this really sings again in 2013. Lovely floral nose. Clean pure fruits on the taste buds with loads of red berries and a hint of rhubarb. Delicious and an exceptional deal at this price.
Venge Family Reserve - Cabernet Sauvignon
WA 98-100 (Robert Parker): A wine I have purchased and followed, and never been disappointed with, is Venge's Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve. The 2012 is another killer effort. It possesses sensational ripeness, brilliant purity, a seamless integration of acidity, wood, alcohol and tannins, full-bodied splendor and gloriously pure blackberry, blueberry and cassis fruit intermixed with a whiff of smoky oak in the background. This is a great Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from the heart of the valley. It should last for 25-50 years!
Cirq - Pinot Noir Treehouse Vineyard
Made by the team at Kosta Brown, the 2012 Pinot Noir Treehouse Vineyard comes from iron-rich, red soils and vines at an elevation of 750 feet. It's a beautiful Pinot Noir that offers up classy cassis, liquid flowers, rose petal and ground herbs in its gorgeously textured, layered, and vibrant personality. I love the core of sweet fruit here, and it has integrated acidity and a terrific finish. Hard to resist now, it will evolve nicely for upward of a decade.
Croix de Labrie
WA 94-96 (Parker): One of the tiniest production as well as most seductive, opulent wines in all of Bordeaux, only 200 cases of the Croix de Labrie are made in most vintages. I was only able to taste the 2010 on one occasion and the aromatics revealed some oxidation, but the palate exploded with blue and black fruits intermixed with hints of coffee, chocolate and exotic Asian spices. Opulent, dense and super-concentrated, it should merit a mid-ninety point rating.
Croix de Labrie
WA 95 (Parker): Always one of the sexiest wines from Bordeaux, and probably best drunk in its first decade of life, this hedonistic fruit-bomb offers up oodles of jammy black cherry and black currant fruit interwoven with some floral notes, subtle oak, lead pencil shavings and a bit of toast. Voluptuous, full-bodied and silky smooth, with no aggressiveness, the tannins seem to melt on the palate, while the finish is long, supple and extravagant. Drink it over the next decade.
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