Trentadue Chocolate Amore, Alexander Valley
This opulent dessert wine is produced from Merlot grapes grown on Trentadue’s Geyserville Ranch. Borrowing from the traditions of port making, they add neutral grape spirits to stop fermentation trapping a percentage of sugar in the wine. Once Chocolate Amore is finished aging and is ready for bottling, they infuse a tiny amount of natural chocolate extract to the final blend, creating the perfect marriage of food and wine. This Merlot-based, port-styled chocolate flavored dessert wine is great over vanilla ice cream or as a stand-alone dessert. You’ll be very popular when you bring it to the next dinner party!
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Banshee “Mordecai” Red Blend 2018$28.00
All of the elements of this wine are made with the house philosophy (think: bright flavors, focus, energy, good with food), with the overreaching mandate that it is absolutely delicious. The very rough and unscientific formula is this: about a third Bordeaux varieties, about a third Rhone varieties, and about a third other varieties dominated by Zinfandel with a bit of of this or that peppered in to add interesting accent notes. Carignan sourced from a 45-year-old, organically farmed vineyard in Redwood Valley continues to expand its influence in Mordecai, acting as a bridge between the Rhone and Bordeaux lots. The 2016 Mordecai has an enticing nose of pepper, violets, cigar and cassis. On the palate it is a mouthwatering mélange of red berry and plum flavors backed by earthy tones of herb roasted meat and fresh black trumpet giving way to a spice-laden finish.
Duckhorn Decoy Red Wine 2018, Sonoma County$28.00
Since the inaugural vintage of the Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than a quarter century ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy has established a loyal following for its distinctive style, which emphasizes ready-upon-release wines that are capable of expressing their full charm and complexity in their youth. After several years of working with its sought-after grapes, they acquire the renowned Ridgeline Vineyard in the Alexander Valley appellation—Sonoma County’s best region for growing Bordeaux varietals. Located on Oak Mountain, Ridgeline Vineyard is a steep mountainside vineyard with elevations ranging from 100 to nearly 2,000 feet.
The core blend for this appealing Decoy Red Wine 2018 pairs the elegance of Merlot with the complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon. Reflecting the character of each growing season and the diversity of our vineyard sources, Decoy has established itself as a wine of distinction. Rich and concentrated, this wine reveals voluptuous layers of blueberry, cassis and dark chocolate. On the palate, hints of salted caramel and exotic spices add depth and complexity to the fresh fruit flavors, while carrying the wine to a long and silky finish. 43% Merlot, 25% Zinfandel, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Tempranillo.
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge 2018$34.00
Patelin is French for village or community and the Patelin wines from Tablas Creek use fruit from neighboring vineyards as well as their own. The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas is a blend of four red Rhône varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. The wine incorporates fruit from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and a small addition of Counoise for complexity. The 2018 Patelin de Tablas has a dark, Syrah-driven nose that is creamy, meaty, minerally, and a little bit wild. A little blue fruit lurks underneath and comes out with air. The mouth shows both Grenache and Syrah's influence, with black plum, boysenberry, chalky minerality and nice powdered sugar tannins that come out on the finish. Decant if you're drinking now, or age for up to a decade for secondary and tertiary flavors of meat and earth. Very Highly Recommended – Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences.