2005 Davis Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa- An interesting 2 site cabernet that is very atypical in style. Some sweet aromas of black and currant filled fruits. A soft and easy going style with some dustiness and earthiness, there is a character not often found in the wines I regular and certainly merits further investigation….91/100
2006 Larkmead Firebelle Meritage Napa- Lush and full bodied, this had a light color with some sour cherry notes. All red fruits. With a hint of black cherry on the finish. Some leather and a decent finish. 91/100
2006 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon – all oak and a little messy, there was some black fruits but finding them was a chore. Time will tell. n/a
2006 Outpost Petite Sirah Howell Mountain – medium dark color, this was very generous on the palate with some black fruits and pomegranate. A touch of red cherry, this had a great mouthfeel with just a little burliness busting out of the edges. This will be phased out and the grafted to cab soon. A very nice Petite. 91/100
2006 Outpost Petite Sirah ‘The Other’ Howell Mountain- wow. Softer in style but more elegant than the regular above, this had smooth complex tannins and a lively acidity base. Lots of red fruits with some tar and earth. This is a winner. Makes me want to drink more Petite Sirah, and I will, this one… 93/100
2006 Outpost Zinfandel Howell Mountain- This had a very admirable sweet fruit profile with some spiciness. A very nice balanced Zin with tons of character that does not bruise the palate or the senses. Very nice. 90/100
2006 Gemstone Facets- Slightly brutish and austere in style, this had a very nice delineated fruit profile that was pure and crisp. Some black cherries with a hint of currant. There was lots of class and structure. In the past I have liked this better than the Gemstone, but the austerity keeps me from doing so right now.
2005 Gemstone- This is lush, pure, clean and elegant with tons of structure that push and pull you towards joy. A very intense wine that has some crushed stones, crème de cassis, and notes of kirsch. A big and complete mouth feel that grips you. Back on track. 92/100
2006 Realm The Tempest- Back to heavy Merlot recipe, this is a lovely and complex wine with some deep crimson color. Some tar and leather. The acid level is nicely balanced with some sweet tannins. I love this this year. I did last year as well when it had a higher % of Cab). 91/100
2006 Realm The Bard- Big and chewy, this had some angular edginess with pure black fruits. A bit austere, there is some undercurrents of great ness. Will be great in time. 90/100
2006 Realm Beckstoffer To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon- This seemed a bit closed, but from its track record should be a late comer star. I like what’s in here, and there is much. Some great black leaning fruits with some dustiness and soy, tar and leather. Lots to love. I will look deeper next week at the open house. 91/100
2006 Realm Farella- Very close (and closed) to what I found in the To Kalon with just a bit more red fruits. I will wait and look deeper after I let it sit in my glass a bit next week at the open house. Beauty under mask. 91/100
2006 Realm Beckstoffer Dr Crane Cabernet Sauvignon- Wow. This is incredible. I am such a fan of the crane bottlings, and this one just solidifies my though. Complex and plush with a deftly balanced fruit/tannin/acid tight-walk of a performance. An early favorite amongst this line-up. I am thrilled with the way all of the 2006 Realms have turned out. Nice guys making great wine. I am Realm cab buyer this year once again.
2006 Maybach Materium- year in and out one of my favorites, this is surely the best yet. Dark fruits intertwined with a soft red cherry with some camphor, this has a very lush/plush and complete profile and is truly mind boggling. It has structure, class with eleance. The balance is awe-inspiring and just pure lovely to drink. Having had dinner with the winemaker just a few nights ago I was able to ascertain his thoughts on this vineyard site and I know it is one of his favorite cabernets. Not to be missed. 94/100
2005 Ovid Experiment K1.5 Napa Valley- I can see how this can give some love, it’s just not the love I seek. It had a pretty floral nose of flower petals, violets and cherries. A very light bodied style that should appeal to someone with more Eurocentric sensibilities in 5-10 years. I don’t pretend to be him though. n/a
I have always been a fan of Charles Smith’s wines. He is a very interesting and lively guy with tons of enthusiasm and talent. This year’s line-up is no different. Sometimes when you catch him in a certain mood, he will not let you get away without tasting almost everything, even if you just request 1 sample. He was in that mood when we got to him yesterday. Glad he was.
2008 Charles Smith Wines Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Columbia Valley- What an amazing fruit filled nicely balanced Riesling. It’s fresh and enjoyable and will be in supply at Chateau Pobega this summer for any guest to sample. Oh, its $13 per bottle. Wow
2007 Charles Smith Wines Velvet Devil Merlot, Columbia Valley- Another of those wines where you just say “How does he do it?” Priced like the Riesling, this offered a full gamut of Merlot enjoyment that needs to be sampled to be believed. It’s plush and lively. A very different interpretation of what Merlot is or could be and I loved it for what it is, not for what tradition tells me it should be. 92/100
2007 K Vintners The Boy Walla Walla- Another favorite that is just downright….great. Sometimes words can’t convey what I want to say. Here’s a few. Buy this wine. 93/100
2006 K Vintners RC Syrah- Here is a very special offering that must not be ignored. It was dark, ominous, pure, elegant, super structured and just down right enjoyable. It is what many Syrahs can only dream of being. Look for it soon. It will be pricey $80ish) but well worth the tariff. 94/100
2006 K “Motor City Kitty”, Stoneridge Vineyard – Columbia Valley $30- Another winner in the Morrison/milbrandt style. Crush stones, candy and plain fun of a Syrah, this is a big fruited and nicely balanced Syrah that will bring love and joy to your BBQ this summer. Love and Joy. 91/100