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Monday, September 23, 2019

Best of Summer 2019!

It's the first day of Autumn so here are the Top 5 wines that I reviewed and rated this summer! Funnily, the top spot actually goes to the review that came out just two days into the season!

#5. Hazelfern Cellars Pinot Noir 2017

Region: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Review Release: June 30th, 2019

The color of the wine is ruby red with some pretty good clarity to it. And the nose is sooooo goooood with raspberries, cherries, mocha, toffee, wet dirt, and copper. Uuuuuungh. I don't even care about drinking this, I just wanna smell it all night. On the palate it's light bodied but has a rich mouthfeel with a bright acidity and grainy tannin. There's flavors of raspberries, strawberries, vanilla, cola, wet wood, and even some apple. It finishes with strawberries and cola, and with a silky smooth mouthfeel but with some heat to spice it up.

Wow. This is everything I expect out of an almost-$50 Pinot and then some. It's both elegant and rustic, while being both fruity and earthy, and both light bodied and rich in mouthfeel. This is a very well done Pinot and quite the enjoyable experience.


Price: $48
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

#4. VINI Pinot Grigio 2017

Region: Thracian Valley, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 18th, 2019

The wine has a 12% ABV and it's a light straw yellow in color. It still smells like those little prepackaged cups of sliced peaches in peach juice, with almonds and vanilla, but I'm detecting the addition of some pineapple and hay this time around. It's light to medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel and a nice acidity that's, yet again, rather mellow for a Pinot Grigio. The peaches come back on the flavor, but there's also melon, a tiny squeeze of grapefruit, and a little bit of spearmint.

Pour me this Pinot Grigio any day of the week, man, because it is excellent. For $10 you're getting a Pinot Grigio with character and life, and one that is well above the vast majority of its competition in the same price range. Kris? Ecco Domani? Put them down right now and pick this up.


Price: $10
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Region: Sonoma Valley, California
Review Release: July 4th, 2019

The color of the wine is ruby red with violet highlights. Speaking of violet, you get plenty of violet on the nose! But there's also strawberry sauce, orange rind, dark chocolate, beach sand, and of course that high ethanol presence that you expect out of Grenache. On the palate it's on the lighter side of medium bodied with a fluent mouthfeel, grainy but soft tannin, and an acidity that hides behind the effects of that high ethanol. There's flavors of cold brewed coffee, black cherries, strawberry sauce, graphite, and a little dirt. It finishes super silky smooth with just a little bit of grainy tannin standing up in protest.

Oh my goodness. Bart has truly made something special here. Valeria is elegant and smooth but it still has grit and heartiness.


Price: $40
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

Region: Thracian Valley, Bulgaria
Review Release: August 25th, 2019

The color of the wine is brick red but holy Moses just forget about color for right now! Chocolate liqueur. Raspberry liqueur. Cinnamon sugar. Cherries, mint, and graphite. God fucking damnit this wine has a sexy nose. On the midpalate it's medium to full bodied with a velvety and lush mouthfeel, with smooth tannin, tamed acidity, and just the right amount of umami. There's flavors of cherries, blackberries, chocolate, cinnamon, and sinful lust.

For the regular price of $26 I'd give this wine a 4.5/5 in price vs quality. It's outstanding. But you can get it right now for $18 (at the publication of this review) and that totally brings it up to a 5/5 and a no brainer. This is absolutely killer for the cost. Buy it up:

Price: $18
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

#1. Ashkar Shafaya 2014

Region: Galilee, Israel
Review Release: June 23rd, 2019

Now let's get to this friggin' kickass wine because OH MY GOOOOODNEEEEESSSS THE JUICINESS!

The color of the wine is a ruby red. It's so black peppery on the nose that it almost makes you want to sneeze! There's also aromas of cassis, plum, cigarette tobacco, and licorice. Oh lordy lordy this nose is STELLAR! I think I'm in love! On the palate it's full bodied with bright acidity, a fine dusty tannin, and a rich mouthfeel. The cassis and plum from the nose return on the palate super-juicy and explosive, and they're joined by blackberry, chocolate, and graphite. Then it finishes with big juicy plum, caramel, and graphite, and a little grip from the tannin. Oh man.

This wine is big, juicy, expressive, alive, and gorgeous! I simply can't rave enough about Shafaya!


Price: $24
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)
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