Double Gold International - 2016
Up to $8.00
NV Barefoot Cellars Argentina Cabernet Sauvignon
Lovely composition to this sweet and also sassy cabernet presenting ripe, racy, high-altitude demeanor and great suavity. Plum and cherry pastille flavors in a soft, easy-drinking style of broad appeal and application. No need to wait for Sunday; put some burgers on the grill any day of the week.
2014 Jacob’s Creek Classic outh Eastern Australia Shiraz/Cabernet
That sweet, alluring fruit-pastille aroma marks this an Aussie classic, mate. This is all about uncomplicated, pure pleasure. Soft and gentle on the palate, full flavored, and lasting, thanks to its linear fruit acidity. The flavor and texture goes on and on. An all-occasion deck red with mixed grill.
NV Barefoot Cellars Rich Red Blend, California
A velvety red wine blend with bold aromas and flavors of blackberries, blueberries and vanilla. Hints of caramel and oak complement the smooth finish. Spicy steak fajitas, grilled vegetables and pizza would all marry nicely with it.
2015 Jacob’s Creek Classic South Eastern Australia Shiraz
Mmm, a warm red-raspberry tart of a nose defines this garrulous Aussie take on syrah. Deep and savory spices augment its rich fruit flavors. Flecks of black pepper tingle the palate, and a cooling mint highlight emerges on the palate, both adding to the wine’s entertainment value. Enjoy with beef heart.
NV Barefoot Cellars White Zinfandel, California
Huge aromatic nose of fresh strawberry jam with melon subtleties and orange candy, salt water toffee and gum drops in the finish. Decidedly sweet but refreshingly crisp, balanced and could be a nice partner with Caesar salad.
NV Easley Reggae Red, Indiana
This easy drinking labrusca based wine offers up the smell of vineyard fresh grapes. A ripe sweet grape juice mid palate with a clean appetizing finish. Enjoy it either as a sipping wine or with soda in a spritzer.
$8.01 to $10.00
2015 Baron Herzog Clarksburg Chenin Blanc, California
With pineapple, citrus, grass after a spring rain in the nose and apple, pear highlights balances the very supple and soft palate; it finishes clean and dry. A nice herb crusted roast chicken would be a great pairing.
2015 Cedar Creek Winery Pinot Grigio, Wisconsin
Pink grapefruit, wet stones and lemon grass fill the nose while refreshing acidity and hints of orange peel finish it off. This crisp white is ideal with broiled Lake Michigan whitefish.
NV St. Julian Winery Red Heron Sweet Red, Michigan
Cherry, grape jam and candied fruit aromas run through the strawberry and lemon drop flavors, while crisp acidity nicely balances the semi-sweet, refreshingly tart finish. Try it with pastas, burgers or a fruit and cheese platter on a warm summer’s afternoon. Serve slightly chilled.
NV Anthony’s Hill Gewurztraminer, California
Fine mild musky perfume with hints of sweet gum drops make the nose compelling. Kiwi and orange peel come across on the palate along with a nice balance of bitter, sweet and acid. This would be a star with Asian cuisine such as coconut shrimp or sushi with wasabi and soy sauce.
2014 Peller Estate Baco Noir, Ontario, Canada
The deep, black red color and dense dried cherry, plum and fig aromas are nothing short of remarkable. We can’t say we’ve ever enjoyed a Baco Noir with a nicer tongue coating texture, balanced all the while with juicy acidity and very soft lovely tannin that stays all the way to the end of the finish. Serve it as you would a fine Rhone with Coq au Vin or any dish with lots of garlic and intense broth.
2013 Harlow Ridge Lodi Petite Sirah, California
Beautiful rich red/black color gives notice to the baked cherries, kirschwasser, pomace-like essence that follows. This is a huge wine with a full, long dry aftertaste. Excellent value. Enjoy it with succulent Swiss steak.
Chestnut Run Farm Shiro Plum Wine, New Jersey
Lovely, definitive essence of shiro plum. All fruit. None of that oft-found almondy plum-pit smell that, to my mind, detracts from plum wine’s fleshy purity. Delicious, spot-on flavor. Impeccable balance of sweetness and acidity. Perfect for a plum flan.
$10.01 to $13.00
2013 Wagner Vineyards Riesling Select, New York [Finger Lakes]
This Riesling is lush and fruity with acidity to balance the sweetness. Tropical fruit aromas with citrus and pineapple flavors are accented by rich honey overtones. Delicious by itself or a wonderful accompaniment to chicken, pork or Asian dishes.
2015 Fenn Valley Winery Edelzwicker, Michigan
Relatively dry with aromas of rose petal and honeysuckle, touches of green apple and citrus fruits with a spicy and long floral finish. Have this Riesling/Traminette blend with spicy Asian foods.
2014 Raven Wines Wicked White, Niagara, Canada
Apples, spice and foxy fill the nose, a touch of sweetness precedes the spice and apple flavors with an excellent acid balance and long spicy finish. Serve as a chilled aperitif or companion to seafood in a cream sauce. It will also go well on the Thanksgiving table.
2014 Coyote Moon Vineyards Fire Boat White, New York
The distinctive labrusca, Riesling-like diesel aromas of the Niagara grape permeates the nose, while honeysuckle and flowery jasmine are pleasing on the palate. Serve slightly chilled to go with pizza, hot wings or hard cheeses.
NV Chateau Fontaine Cherry Wine, Michigan
Experience the precise reflection of Northern Michigan Montmorency cherries in the nose. On the palate, hints of cinnamon and clove add interest. In the middle, a watermelon-like freshness carries the flavors and smells to the finish as cleanly and as balanced as the finest varietal grape wines. Though not a bit sweet, there is no bitterness to hide. Enjoy it as an aperitif with cold cuts or sushi.
2014 Treleaven Winery Wobbly Rock Riesling, New York [Finger Lakes]
Aromas of lemon cake, melon, peach with a crisp, fruity medium body and a tangy sweet citrus, green apple, and mineral driven finish. Perfect for oriental or Mexican spicy foods.
2015 Domaine Barrien Cellars Seyval Blanc, Michigan
Luscious flavors of honey, Valencia oranges and juicy, ripe apricot with a smooth, lingering finish. This sweet wine is fine by itself and makes for a great summertime wine.
NV St. Julian Sweet Nancie Sparkling Peach, Michigan
The peach aroma is explosive. Sweet on the palate, yet balanced with fresh citrus notes. The blood orange and peach schnapps-like intensity offers celebratory drinking on happy occasions.
$13.01 to $16.00
2013 The Crusher, Petite Sirah, Clarksburg, California
Juicy cherries and crème brûlée perforate the senses. Dense flavors of milk chocolate, blueberry and clove mingle to create this deep, rich and expressive wine. Pair with steak from the grill or an herb crusted lamb loin.
2015 St. James Winery Frontier Selection Semi-Dry Vignoles, Missouri
A lovely Vignoles expression combining a dash of the citrus facet it displays in its cooler growing range and its warmer, riper pineapple expression. Very bright varietal character. Comfortable balance at the semi-dry level of sweetness thanks to brisk acidity. Chicken with fruit.
2014 Purple Cowboy Trail Boss Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Warm, enticing Paso Robles ripe, ripe fruit. Stewed blackberries and plums. Just a suggestion of barrel aging. Oh, so enticing and soft, but also 2014 fresh, elegant, racy. Wonderful textural play between rich fruit and racy fruit acidity. A hallmark Paso cabernet. For juicy, medium-rare, grilled gourmet burgers.
NV Eagle City Winery, Chokecherry, Iowa
The pure essence of cherry aromas (chokecherry is a relative of black cherry) permeates the nose, while it coats the palate with a slightly tart finish. Match with most any fruit based dessert.
NV St. Julian Winery, Solera Cream Sherry, Michigan
The brilliant amber and deep copper hues are captivating. The butterscotch, walnut and hint of caramel aromas prelude the sweet nut and caramel palate. Blue cheese, walnuts and candied orange will pair perfectly. Then again, perhaps a Cohiba robusto cigar.
NV Prairie Berry, Black Raspberry/Merlot Fusion, South Dakota
This fusion wine offers bright, young berry fruit followed by rich, dried plum and blackberry aromas, while vanilla, jammy blackberry and notes of dried plum coat the palate with a long finish. Enjoy it with smoked ribs or barbeque. Serve slightly chilled.
2014 Ch. Lafayette Renau, Dry Riesling, New York [Finger Lakes]
Peach and melon fruit with abundant citrus character, the citrus carries over with hints of apple and bright acidity for a perfect balance. Serve with fish, chicken and other light meats.
2009 Vino è Buono Zinfandel, Colorado
Rich coffee, chocolate, baked caramel and brandied cherries in the nose carry onto the palate. Certainly a mature wine, but it is not showing any sign of falling apart. It finishes with cinnamon, cloves and wild berry jam. Sausage with bell peppers and onions would be a good pairing.
2014 Simon Creek Untouchable Red, Wisconsin
Bright cherry color, full cherry aromas lead into flavors of strawberry, rhubarb and hints of cotton candy. Serve slightly chilled with smoked meats and barbeque.
2014 Cosentino The Dark, Lodi, California
This wine is both big and classy resembling a Cru Bordeaux with chocolate, lots of plum and red fruit in the nose. On the fat, ripe palate, big mouth filling tannin is balanced by the lush juicy fruit finish. Spicy, well-seasoned food such as fajitas would welcome this wine.
Dakota Sun Gardens Semi-Sweet Haskap Berry Wine, North Dakota
First experience with the haskap berry. I find this an intriguing and pleasurable aromatic treat redolent of blueberry, raspberry, and boysenberry suggestions, stunningly sweet. Welcome berry tartness tempers its sweetness, so the taste is not a bit sticky. A most well-crafted fruit wine that will likely fare well with flourless chocolate cake as well as berry-based desserts.
2014 Lakewood Vineyards, Borealis Iced Wine, New York [Finger Lakes]
Abundant aromas of sweet cherries and cotton candy, this iced wine is fruity and rich on the palate with a bright candy-like finish. This is dessert in a glass!
NV Lautenbach’s Orchard Summer Breeze, Wisconsin
Montmorency cherry in the nose with hints of purple plum and strawberry fill the palate. The full throttle ripe sweet flavors carry all the way to the finish and send the same message as the bouquet. It is clearly a summer sipping wine and would be nice with spicy appetizers.
2015 North Branch Vineyards New York Traminette, Vermont
The nose is pure Gewurz with pumpkin pie spice and a fresh zesty citrus peel bitter mid palate culminating in a remarkably soft, lush, ripe fruit finish that feels neither sweet nor dry. A slightly spicy version of Pad Thai with peanut sauce would bring out its best.
2014 Ferrante Finger Lakes Riesling, Ohio
The bouquet starts out with minerals and wet stones while quickly transitioning to unpeeled bosque pear with hints of green herbs and flowers finishing clean juicy with a yellow plum nuance. Serve this cleansing wine with scallops in a herbed butter lemon sauce.
$16.01 to $20.00
2013 Ray’s Station Merlot, Mendocino, California
This is a strong and vibrant wine, packed with scents of ripe black cherries, while hints of spice and bold, supple tannins offer strength and concentration throughout. Pair with grilled foods, ranging from fish to steak.
2013 Shelton Vineyards Two • Fine • Nine Tannat, North Carolina
Dusty cocoa, stones and earth start the bouquet while ripe red fruit, orange peel complete it. Chocolate cherries on the finish make it a great wine with BBQ pork or beef fajitas.
2015 Taylor’s Clare Valley Merlot, Australia
The very fresh airy nose combines persimmon, Pimm’s cup, raspberry jam with a surprising lift in the middle palate of citrus and red fruit. The texture is long and persistent. Mediterranean cuisine with plenty of seasonings and garlic would match well.
NV Old Mill Winery Mountain Falls, Tennessee
The big labrusca aroma captures the essence of native grape species as well as a sense of the mountain terroir. Sweet, medium bodied and fresh make it an ideal sipping wine.
2012 L. A. Cetto Nebbiolo Private Reserve, Baja, Mexico
This wine has many traits of an old world Nebbiolo, similar fruit profile of ripe berries and black fruits although the nose is fuller and bigger as is the palate. A complex nose of red and black fruit are enhanced with a touch of leather. Pair up with lamb, veal or mature cheeses.
2013 Garnet Vineyards Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Dry, dark-fruited, and astute 2013 California cabernet style. Just the right degree of Paso Robles warmth and ripeness. Deep blackberry and black currant sensations, 2013 firm framing, and a lovely, subtle oak complement. This is serious stuff! Dry and firm on the palate still. These 2013s are keepers. Well balanced, so delightful at the table already. And, a cellar candidate. For seared Teres Major steak.
NV Old Mill Winery Little Pigeon White Table Wine, Tennessee
The winery is located at Sevierville TN on the original road into the Great Smoky Mountains, and darned if this Muscardine varietal doesn’t have a distinct aura of smoke hovering above its sweet, uber-ripe guava aromatic foundation. Woodsmoke and tropical fruits echo on the palate, joined by a cold cream sensation. Enjoy with a tropical fruit salad.
2015 Verterra Dry Rose of Pinot Noir, Michigan
Pale pink with strawberry, yellow plum and honeydew in the nose fits nicely with more of the same on the palate along with some nice dry red wine tannin and fresh acidity. This wine has enough mouth feel to go nicely with seared tuna and wasabi sauce.
2012 Beviam Bodega Cavas Del 23 Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Argentina
A very bright, black-fruited take on cabernet. High altitude cool and crunchy black currant meets Argentine Cabernet Sauvignon’s innate lushness. Oak contributes subtle sandalwood perfumes. So relaxed on the palate, so harmonious. Rich fruit and racy acidity in tandem. Full varietal flavor and wonderful oak embellishments that augment same. Ready to enjoy with a thick, broiled filet mignon.
2013 Treleaven Estate Cayuga Lake Cabernet Franc, New York
Sweet and fresh red fruit and ventilating crushed mint-leaf aromas introduce this Loire Valley Cabernet Franc look-alike. Add a light patina of oak toastiness, and you have a nose that will impress and astonish Francophiles. The palate too is breezy and bright, with bracing, welcoming northern-region fruit acidity. Oh, boy, does this welcome tarrragon chicken.
2015 Bragannini Reserve Late Harvest Vignoles, Michigan
Peach and apricot aromas fill the nose, while ripe pineapple and mango tones appear with honey and spice on the palate. Vibrant acidity follows through to a lingering floral finish. Serve chilled by itself, with soft cheeses or a peach tart for dessert.
2015 Prairie Berry Winery, La Crescent, South Dakota
Floral, fruit-forward, and citrusy aromas introduce the apricot and pear flavors with a long flora finish. This is a perfect summertime wine and will go with a host of summertime foods.
2013 Tabor Hill Kerner, Michigan
This grape captures the sweet pure white fleshed fruit essence when made well. With several decades of Kerner under their belt, Tabor Hill consistently combines lush kiwi, fresh green herbs, hints of minerality and a long, lush palate finishing as pure as it starts. In lieu of sake, try this delightful wine with hibachi shrimp.
$20.01 to $25.00
2013 Windsor Vineyards Pinot Noir, Sonoma County
Bing cherry, strawberry and rhubarb aromas are followed with bouquets of cinnamon and oregano. Bright cherry and juicy raspberry flavors are balanced by a layer of earthy mushroom. Smooth and silky, partner it with salmon or a rack of lamb.
2013 Los Noques Limited Edition Finca Don Juan Cabernet Franc/Malbec, Argentina
One year in French oak barrels, 40% new, gives a complex and lavish perfume to this already abundantly fruit-filled aroma. This is so gorgeous that I don’t want to stop smelling it and get on to the rest of the analysis! Oh, the palate rewards with equally broad and deep aromatic profiles, and it adds wonderfully balanced and lengthy textural display. For prime rib and all the trimmings.
2013 Victor Hugo, Malbec, Paso Robles, California
Wild sage and black currant aromas introduce a mouthful of spicy oak and blackberries and a sweet tobacco finish. Pairs well with meat dishes, strong cheeses and pasta with red sauces.
$25.01 to $35.00
2013 Santa Barbara Winery Petite Verdot, Santa Ynez, California
Rich aromas of black cherry, anise and violets greet the nose, while the palate is saturated with dried sour cherries, boysenberry, black pepper and tightly grained cedar flavors. A dry spiced rubbed pork tenderloin and grilled vegetables will do nicely.
2015 Gray Ghost Winery, Adieu Late Harvest Vidal, Virginia
Rich pear, honey, and apricot aromas and succulent pear and honey flavors make this a must for serving as an after dinner wine all on its own. If you feel the need for dessert, try pairing with a pear tart, fruit or lighter cheeses with French bread.
2013 Garnet Sonoma County Pinot Noir, California
Sweet cherry, dry spices, clove, cocoa ramp up a notch at the middle palate with big tannin, loads of chocolate and caramel finishes endlessly with a subtle note of anise. Plenty big enough to pair nicely with steaks and chops, but also, complex and elegant enough to serve with tuna or salmon.
2013 Ferrante Winery Vidal Blanc “Ice Wine,” Ohio
Aromas and luscious flavors of honey, melon, and brown sugar tantalize the palate and is simply dessert in the glass. A peach tart would go nicely if you just have to have something to go with it.
2014 B Side Napa Valley Red Wine, California
Fresh, clean red fruit airiness one associates with the Mediterranean fills the senses. Yet, big dense, saliva tingly, fresh red fruit essences abound. Balance and drinkability make it compelling and will make a great mate for pasta, chicken cacciatore or aged sausages and mature cheese.
2013 Navarro Vineyard Mendocino Petite Sirah, California
Sweet cassis, stone fruit, cherry pits and a huge mouth feel finish with tannins as smooth as silk. Enjoy this beauty with juicy Wagyu finger steaks.
2012 Captains Walk Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Wisconsin
This is a pretty wine with deep red color and a nose of fine red fruit, pomegranate and red currant. The medium body has ample tannin and will pair well with prime rib or beef chuck roast.
2010 Peter Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, California
A firm, deep, black-to-the-core cabernet showing Sonoma Valley berry-currant essences, this softens and broadens with aeration to offer lushness and generosity and a lovely French-oak patina. Oh, that cool currant and leaf, ventilating taste of classic Sonoma Valley cabernet. Good brace of fruit and oak tannins. Like many a 2010, this will thrive for years in the cellar. Will enhance a hearty beef stew without delay also.
St. Julian Grey Heron Grape Vodka, Michigan
Indeed, this is a vodka with flavor, aroma and fine fruit essence in the finish. It can certainly be enjoyed as you would an un-aged brandy (eau de vie) or incorporated as an ingredient into any vodka cocktail, especially those where reinforcing fruit flavors is a big plus.
$35.01 to $50.00
2012 Fazeli Cellars Meritage, Temecula, California
A true Meritage comprised of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, it is fruit forward with blackberry and raspberry aromas complemented by hints of vanilla, anise and allspice. It is medium bodied with soft tannins. Match this up with a juicy ribeye or leg of lamb from the grill.
2013 Sagebrush Annie’s Stone Pine Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, California
That cool and exotic black currant and leaf sense of Santa Barbara cabernet. Both lush and ventilating. Attractive oak seasonings. Firm-figured 2013 style. Real power at 15.1% strength, and it carries it well. Balanced for drinking now; well framed for cellaring too. Roast leg of lamb with cumberland sauce.
2013 Hopkins Vineyard Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, Connecticut
Offering up a huge honey and sweet orange blossom nose with nuances of beeswax and resin. The palate chimes in with poached pear, baked apple and caramel on the finish. Enjoy it alongside a double espresso.
2013 Taylors St. Andrews Single Vineyard Release Shiraz, Australia
Impressively deep red-violet color. Wow, this is a real blue-blood Australian shiraz demonstrating the warmth and power of its terra rossa soil and the cool elegance of its limestone subsoil. A Clare Valley wine of place indeed! Oh, what a complex of fruit perfumes that of which are rarely coaxed from shiraz. An aura of wood spices completes the picture. Shiraz’ snappy black pepper and fruit and wood tannins offer textural spiel. The power is modulated, and the tannins are soft and sweet, so everything plays out right. Where’s the barbie?
2012 Lafond Winery Syrah/Grenache, California
Discreetly sweet and elegant, this surely speaks cool, coastal Santa Rita Hills. 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. A lot of the elusive aspects of northern Rhone syrah come forth here: black raspberry, white pepper, and lavender. Plus that sweet strawberry southern Rhone Grenache complement. Oh, a dazzling mouthful of sweet, super-ripe fruit flavors that extend for minutes on the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is full-textured, warming, and lengthy too. Pig roast time.
2012 Schulze Vineyards Vidal Blanc Ice Wine, New York
The nose has an intense peach brandy eau de vie quality to it with stone fruit essence along with sweet Muscat, cinnamon, raisin subtleties. Toasted waffles emerge in the middle with a surprise green herb nuance at the end. Enjoy this one after dinner with your favorite cigar.
$50.01 to $65.00
2013 Amizetta Complexity, Napa Valley
This wine is a harmonious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. It shows tons of finesse with chocolate tannins and well balanced acidity. Aromas of black cherry, raspberry, plums, and hints of date are followed with bouquets of leather and spice. Perfect for Steak Au Poivre and grilled asparagus.
2012 Schulze Vineyards Block Three Ice Wine, New York
A unique and lovely interpretation of German Eiswein using Catawba grapes. There is no ignoring the fascinating floral and subtle fruit aromatics of this absolutely delicious wine. An engaging sweetness with a balance of desirable acidity. Experiment with this wine beyond dessert. Try matching with ice cold shrimp or foie gras before the meal.
2011 Lange Twins Winery, Centennial Zinfandel, Lodi, California
Concentrated flavors of raspberry and black licorice seamlessly meld together with tones of warm spice and vanilla, and finishes with a touch of pepper and spice. This is a big Zin that will match nicely with bouillabaisse or a big juicy steak.
2013 Trefethen Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Grand, statuesque, important Napa Valley cabernet which emphasizes that cooly composed and confident nature of an Oak Knoll District wine. Utterly noble perfume that combines plenty of “oomph,” Napa Valley breeding, refined French oak, and 2013 firm constitution. Silky, sophisticated purple fruits and exquisite oak spices. Firm, fine tannins. Honestly, the best Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon I have tasted. For entrecôte with ceps.
2013 ZD 45th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Refined and sophisticated, utterly noble Napa Valley wine, a mark of ZD cabernets for 45 years. Deep, intricate, and elegant right down to its sweet center, like a fine, filled Belgian chocolate. Firm 2013 and ZD cabernet natures give great cellaring promise. The tannins are fine-grained, the oak extras well managed. All in proper proportion, this will accompany steak Diane in the near term and also supply years of pleasure as bottles emerge.