William Knuttel Petite Sirah 2016, D. Rafanelli Vineyard
We have long appreciated the wines that William Knuttel makes – always small production, high quality. Add in fruit from Rafanelli Vineyards and you have a winning combination. The 2016 Petite Sirah, D. Rafanelli Vineyard, Rex & Amarica Block has aromas of blackberry and ripe pomegranate, black plum and black cherry, with well-integrated oak and toast. The wine is opaque, nearly like India ink, with black and deep purple hues. The velvety tannins are meshed in intense blackberry, black cherry and licorice flavors, and the well-balanced finish lingers while concentrated fruit explodes on the palate.
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Bonny Doon Cigare du Volant 2017$55.00
Starting in late 1954 people throughout France began reporting UFO sightings. The sightings were popularized by heavy media attention, and became a concern for the citizens of France. The most common shape of the crafts reported were cigar shaped, called “Cigare Volant.” The people of Chateauneuf du Pape were so concerned by the sightings and the effects the UFOs may have on their wine, that the mayor banned the UFOs from landing in their vineyards. Tipping his hat to this story and the famous wine, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards named his Chateauneuf style wine Le Cigare Volant. The 30th Anniversary release of this, their flagship wine. A beautiful wine—dark and mulberry in color as in nose. One scents cool loamy earth with suggestions of raspberries and Damson plums. I do so love the largely Grenache vintages of Cigare; there’s an unmistakable spiciness to them—orange peel, cinnamon and black pepper. Grenache is not just about fragrance however; any synesthete worth his/her Maldon salt will know that the scent of Grenache is in part highly textural—soft and velveteen. And sure enough, on the palate the wine is also an essence of velours. “Exceptional” – Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences | “The classic Rhone-ish expression of Randall Grahm's fascination with wines of personality, the blend here is 55% grenache, 25% syrah, 16% mourvèdre, 4% cinsault. I have tasted many older versions of this wine and this one is set up to age a long time.” 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast.
Molly Dooker “The Boxer” Shiraz 2017$38.00
Complex and expressive, the 2017 Boxer exudes vivacity while maintaining great length. Bright maraschino cherry, fresh plum, rich dark chocolate and liquorice max out the flavour spectrum. The tannins are fine, the fruit is soft and the flavors tickle the taste buds. Consistently impressive and seriously good, this wine is not short of character. Bold, powerful, full body texture. Intense fruity flavors of ripe blackberry, plum, elderberry and dark bitter chocolate with intermittent tastes of clove. Fresh acidity, firm well integrated tannins and an explosive fruity finish. WOW, WOW a Shiraz that gives a whole new meaning to the term BIG and POWERFUL wine. The bold flavors are a perfect complement for the salt in stir fry soy sauce. Clearly not California sweet and clearly not from the Rhone Valley, but there was lots of BRIGHT sun on these Australian grapes and it’s POTENT fruit and IMPETUOUS taste really identifies its origin…there is nothing else quite like it!!! A vibrant Australian Shiraz that is a fantastic bargain!
Andrew Murray Roasted Slope 2017, Santa Inez Valley, CA$49.00
25 years ago, when Andrew Murray began his wine journey, Viognier was his muse. It was a vineyard nursery’s mistake that sent him down the Syrah path. That original vineyard block that was established, simply known as block 17, was planted as Viognier and cared for as Viognier for the first 3 years of its life. It was not until its first fall with grapes hanging heavy on the vine did we notice a few clusters turning red. At first it was in denial, thinking that we had planted a few Syrah vines among the Viognier. I was soon to find out, that we actually had clearly planted mostly Syrah with just a few Viognier vines. Rather than pout about it, they decided to begin to co-ferment the two grapes together, just like they do in the famed Northern Rhône appellation of Côte Rôtie. They decided to name this new wine Roasted Slope (a direct and literal translation of Côte Rôtie). Fans and critics alike fell in love with this wine, and it was always the most sought after wine each vintage. They have not produced this wine since 2005, but now have released the new and improved Roasted Slope, a blend of co-fermented Syrah and Viognier, all from three vineyard blocks along Alisos Canyon Road. 600 Cases Produced