Wine Sample: Abadia Retuarda Seleccion Especial Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León

The Abadía Retuerta winery launched in 1996 during Spain's Ribera del Duero explosion onto the world market. Although relatively young, the winery inherits a long tradition of winemaking as the winery and vineyards are located on the former site of the 12th century Santa Marie de Retuerta Monastery in Sardón de Duero. Along the banks of the Duero River, "the monks of the order of Saint Norbert were given terras et vineas (land and vines) in Duero Valley and the second abbot brought the first French grape varieties from Burgundy that were planted in this famous Spain wine region. Since then, the land of our estate has been dedicated to the vine, to silence and to devotion."

Abadia Retuerta farms these same vineyard sites which today is located within the heart of the "Golden Mile", a "privileged strip of land it shares with some of the Ribera del Duero's ...

Three wines from Your Sommelier’s Bordeaux selection

These three are part of Your Sommelier‘s subscription service which costs £36 per month – so the average price is £12 per bottle Château Dubois Gramont Bordeaux Blanc 2015, France Rich but tangy style, with notes of ginger and honey alongside the herby greengage, plum and lemon curd. Nicely balanced, quite weighty but always fresh. […]

Havens Winery 2014 Merlot, Napa Valley

Havens Winery 2014 Merlot Napa Valley

Havens Winery 2014 Merlot Napa Valley

A stellar  bottle of Napa red.  All you merlot haters should pick up a bottle, just to see how wrong you can be. If Tom Hardy was a wine, he would be a bottle of this juice: muscular, dramatic, and brooding.  Toasted spice, belgian truffle, and creme de cassis. A famous wine writer said “the 2014 Merlot from Havens Winery remarkably celebrated their 30th vintage in Napa.” Sure, the sentence structure is a bit awkward, but the main point that the winery has been around for 30 years is a bit misleading.  Havens Winery went bankrupt years ago (I used to work there).  The former Havens facility in Napa is now owned by Trinchero Family Estates. Joel Gott is making wine there now. The Havens label –which includes this wine– is now part of Stonehedge Winery. That is pretty common these days. Wineries come and ...

Cabernet Sauvignon, Not Napa Valley: Alexander Valley, Chile and Other Places, Mostly 2012 & ’13

I launched the “Whither Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon” series in October 2014 as a way of focusing on cabernet-based wines from one the the world’s best places for the grape’s production into fine wine. Or not so fine, depending on one’s point of view about over-strict oak regimen, super-ripe, jammy fruit and alcohol levels that soar to 15 percent and beyond, characteristics that occur too often. But cabernet-based wines are made not only in other regions of California but all around the world. We look today at a baker’s dozen — the superstitious way of saying “13” — of non-Napa Valley examples, mainly from Alexander Valley in Sonoma County and from various spots in Chile. Some of these wines stuck me as being classic in proportion and balance, while a few leaned toward exaggeration; none, however, seemed beyond the pale, and most of the ratings are Excellent. With one exception, ...
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Cliff Creek Cab Sauv 2012
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Château de Haute Serre Grand Vin Seigneur Cahors 2012, South West France

Have been a bit tardy reviewing this, some Oddbins stores may already be on 2014… Château de Haute Serre Grand Vin Seigneur Cahors 2012, South West France (£20 Oddbins) Gushes with dark berry and plum fruit, with aromatic notes of violets, wild herbs and spices, and with a backbone of tannins that make their presence […]