Uncorked: Week of November 13

As we approach the holiday season, there is no doubt you’ll be opening a few great bottles to share with friends and family. Here are a few handpicked favorites from this week’s stack of samples.

Of note, I’m experimenting with a different wine review style. It’s a method I used on my wine lists when I worked as a sommelier. For years, I used to give my guests a lengthy review for each wine, until they asked for snippets of the information. Hence, the new format was born, and the guests loved it because it was easy to digest. Let me know your thoughts on the new format.

Outstanding

2013 Peju Merlot, Napa, California ($38)
Masculine / chocolate / dark fruits / lively acidity

2015 Dutton Goldfield Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California ($38)
Zesty / spirited / refreshing / tropical fruit / green apple / vanilla

2013 Gundlach Bundschu Vintage Reserve, Sonoma Valley, California ($100)
Dark / round / black fruits / herbaceous / chocolate / expressive

2014 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard, Chile ($100)
Profound / velvety / vigorous / robust / black fruits / tobacco

Excellent

2015 Catalina Sounds Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand ($19)
Lively / stylish / soft / fruity

2015 Dutton Goldfield Pinot Noir, Russian River, California ($44)
Concentrated / red currant spice / plum / licorice

Rogue Brewery Cold Brew IPA ($10 six pack)
Bold / hoppy / punchy / coffee

2016 Nanny Goat Vineyard Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand ($24)
Refreshing / red fruits / dark fruits / herbaceous

2014 Hess Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Veeder, Napa, California ($65)
Velvety / blue fruits / violets / roses / espresso

2015 Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, California ($32)
Bright / black fruits / licorice / spices / mocha

2015 Hess Chardonnay, Napa, California ($22)
Balanced / mango / tropical fruit / vanilla / lemon zest

2015 Novelty Hill Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington ($23)
Engaging / smooth / complex / chocolate / cherry / spice

2014 Januik Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington ($25)
Weighty / polished / black fruits / plums

2014 Gundlach Bundschu Merlot, Sonoma Valley, California ($35)
Warm / enticing / black olives / spice / black fruit

2014 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, California ($46)
Lively / velvety / powerful / balanced / spiced / cacao

2015 Marques de Casa Concha Carménère, Chile ($25)
Jammy / silky / black fruits / round

Very Good

2015 Crowded House Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand ($19)
Earthy / spicy / red fruits /  pretty undertones

2014 Corner 103 Corner Cuvee, Sonoma County, California ($45)
Rich / coffee / pomegranate / plums

2013 Corner 103 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, California ($40)
Layered / tropical / apricot / apples

2015 Ferraton Pere & Fils “La Matiniere” Rouge, Crozes-Hermitage, France ($23)
Masculine / dark berries / spice / minerals

2015 Scheid Family Wines District 7 Pinot Noir, Monterey, California ($20)
Light / Cherry / cola / strawberry / light spice

2015 Scheid Family Wines District 7 Chardonnay, Monterey, California ($18)
Ripe / citrus / apple / vanilla

2015 Scheid Family Wines District 7 Cabernet Sauvignon, Monterey, California ($20)
Layered / cherries / spiced / herbs

2015 Gran Resera Serie Riberas Carménère, Chile ($17)
Clean / dark chocolate / red fruits / round

2016 Kunde Block 4SB20 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Valley, California ($25)
Festive / Lime zest / fun / refreshing

2015 Kunde Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley, California ($18)
Snappy / zesty / lemon / apple /melon / vanilla

2014 Kunde Reserve Century Vines Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, California ($50)
Delightful / red fruits / plum / clove / chocolate

Best Buys

2016 Catalina Sounds Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand ($16)
Texturally pleasing / tropical / grapefruit / herbaceous / mineral

2014 Cannonball Merlot, Sonoma County, California ($14)
Dark cherry / plum / vanilla / spice

2015 Ferraton Pere & Fils “Samorens” Rouge, Cotes du Rhone, France ($14)
Fruity / pear / apple / frisky

2016 Scheid Family Wines District 7 Sauvignon Blanc, Monterey, California ($16)
Bright / tropical / passion fruit / refreshing

2016 Crowded House Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand ($13)
Citrusy / festive / honeydew / fruity

2015 Casillero del Diablo Reserva Carménère, Chile ($11)
Spicy / toasty / soft / ripe fruits / coffee

2017-11-14T17:14:18+00:00

About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of Enobytes.com, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.

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