Bodegas El Nido ‘Clio’, Jumilla, Spain
2010 Bodegas Muga “Selección Especial” Reserva Rioja
The 2010 Reserva Selección Especial is always the most food-oriented of their reds, a blend similar to the one found in the Reserva, 65% Tempranillo with some 20% Garnacha, 10% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, but here the grapes are sourced from older vineyards in higher-altitude terraces where there are poorer soils and the grapes have an extra degree of freshness. The wine is also aged for longer in barrel and it’s slightly marked by toast aromas, but the bright fruit underneath is quite pure, and comes through very recognizable as Rioja. A second bottle showed fresher (the cork on the first one was a bit dry), even brighter and more transparent fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannins that would benefit from some more time in bottle and have a long life ahead. There is very good acidity and fine balance. It’s a wine that is perfect for the table. A great Selección Especial
1927 Alvear Pedro Ximenez Solera
The impressive 1927 Pedro Ximenez Solera, from a Solera begun nearly 80 years ago, boasts a dark amber color as well as an extraordinary nose of creme brulee, liquefied nuts, marmalade, and maple syrup. Huge and viscous, yet neither cloyingly sweet nor heavy, it is a profound effort priced unbelievably low. It is meant to be drunk alone at the end of a meal.
NV11 Cain Cuvee Napa Valley
If you have enjoyed our prior “vintages” of Cain Cuvée, you will want to follow the thread with NV11. The NV11 is a blend of wines from both the 2010 and the 2011 harvests, two of the cooler years in the past two decades. Expect freshness and a bit more structure than usual. All of the Cain Cuvée series have aged well. The NV11 will age particularly well, but you can drink it tonight.
Those of you who have followed our Cain Cuvée know that it is not your typical Napa red wine; no big, inky, oaky blockbuster here. Our Cuvée is intended to sit lightly, refreshingly on your palate. There is all the fruit that you could want, but the Cain Cuvée is not fruit juice. It is, most assuredly, fine wine for serious wine-lovers who value complexity, balance, and finish. The Cain Cuvée is for those who know that wine doesn’t have to be big to be good.
The Cain Cuvée project began over twenty years ago and it is still a work in progress. That is the beauty of wine: each vintage is new, and each vintage is different. We have been blending two harvests since 1998. Although they always balance one another in the composition, the function of each wine in the blend will be different. Typically, it is the mountain vineyards, at York Creek and at Cain, that deliver the bigger wines that come from the earlier year.
Year after year, most of the Cain Cuvée is drawn from the same vineyards—the exact same rows of vines—to compose our blend. A minority is contributed from the Cain Vineyard. Even so, each year these same vines are a year older and the grower may also have learned a thing or two. We have been working with most of our key growers of the Cain Cuvée for ten years or more: York Creek (1994), Nord (1995), Gallegos (2002), and Stanton (2006). So even if the vintages were precisely identical, and we did everything the same way in our cellar, the wines would still be different.
Of course, we continue to evolve; we are always making adjustments in an effort to get closer to our goal. Even the goal evolves. Don’t we all?
76% 2011, 24% 2010
Merlot 46% Cabernet Sauvignon 33%
Cabernet Franc 15% Petit Verdot 6%
Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville,
Spring Mountain, and Los Carneros
May 1, 2015
Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.
2013 NICKEL & NICKEL
BRANDING IRON VINEYARD
The 2013 Branding Iron Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon offers mixed berry aromas accented by an element of char. On the palate, juicy raspberry and blackberry flavors mingle with green olive, rhubarb and toasted oak. Moderate tannins, enhanced by the ripe fruit of this lively wine, inspire sip after sip.
Jonata Todos 2011 Santa Ynez Valley
75% syrah, 13% cabernet sauvignon, 4% grenache, 4% sangiovese, 2% viognier, 1% petit verdot, 1% merlot 50% new French oak and 50% neutral French oak
Fresh raspberries, candied strawberries, charred steak and a hint of jasmine from the viognier. Upfront and personal. A classic Todos with an extra layer of finesse and charm. So refreshing and approachable. The perfect wine for barbeques this winter and beyond. Displays the similar streak of finesse and refinement evident in all of the 2011 vintage. Juicy and savory on the palate. A big and generous wine with a delicate and deft touch on the finish.
2013 GALERIE PLEINAIR NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Pleinair presents Laura’s interpretation of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. The name refers to the French painters’ method of painting outdoors (en plein air), which developed around the same time as Napa’s first European-style vineyards in the 1800s. Laura blends fruit from vineyards with diverse soil types to bring complexity and depth to the finished wine, which shows rich black fruit, spice and floral notes with a firm tannin structure and balanced acidity.
“A combination of red-black wild berries with sweet toffee, cacao and cedar aromas precede elegant notes of forest floor (herbs de provence) and smashed rocks, graphite. Silky, well balanced round mouth-feel with a mineral background and ample elegant tannins. Nice and balanced with natural acidity that promises many years to enjoy.”
– Winemaker Laura Díaz Muñoz