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Saint-Peray "La Belle de Mai"

2015 France Rhone Valley
90 Points

Pale yellow-gold. Mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruit aromas, along with hints of beeswax, quinine and dusty minerals. Chewy and focused on the palate, offering bitter lemon peel and pear skin flavors that flesh out and become sweeter with air. The mineral note drives a long, focused finish that leaves a suggestion of fennel behind.

Vinous July 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Saint-Peray "La Belle de Mai" bottle Platinum

"Amour de Dieu" Condrieu

2014 France Rhone Valley
91 Points

Green-tinged yellow. Fresh orange, white peach and honey scents are sharpened by a smoky mineral note that builds with air. Fleshy and seamless in texture, offering sappy orchard and pit fruit flavors and a bracing jolt of citrus zest that adds back-end cut. Shows very good energy and strong thrust on the long, mineral-laced finish, which leaves behind an exotic honeyed note.

Vinous July 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo "Amour de Dieu" Condrieu bottle Platinum

Saint-Joseph "Les Lauves"

2014 France Rhone Valley
90 Points

Full ruby. Aromas of ripe, smoke-accented black and blue fruit, espresso and licorice are sharpened by a peppery nuance. Smooth and supple on the palate, offering gently sweet blackberry and cassis flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Finishes sweet and gently tannic, showing a touch of warmth and lingering smokiness.

Vinous July 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Saint-Joseph "Les Lauves" bottle Platinum

Cornas "Terres Brûlées"

2014 France Rhone Valley
91 Points

Inky ruby. Smoke-accented scents of blueberry, mocha and black olive are sharpened by a zesty mineral quality. Smooth, focused and gently warm, showing a light touch to the fresh dark berry, black pepper and violet pastille flavors. Silky, slow-building tannins add shape to the smoke-accented finish, which echoes the olive note. The fruit that would normally go into Colombo’s Marquee Vallon de Aigle bottling wound up in here this vintage.

Vinous July 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas "Terres Brulées" bottle

Cornas "Terres Brûlées"

2014 France Rhone Valley
91 Points

Inky ruby. Smoke-accented scents of blueberry, mocha and black olive are sharpened by a zesty mineral quality. Smooth, focused and gently warm, showing a light touch to the fresh dark berry, black pepper and violet pastille flavors. Silky, slow-building tannins add shape to the smoke-accented finish, which echoes the olive note. The fruit that would normally go into Colombo’s Marquee Vallon de Aigle bottling wound up in here this vintage.

Vinous July 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas "Terres Brulées" bottle Platinum

Cornas "Les Ruchets"

2014 France Rhone Valley
92 Points

Opaque ruby. Smoke-accented black and blue fruits, spicecake, cola and licorice on the pungent, expansive nose. Appealingly sweet, mineral-accented cassis and blueberry flavors show impressive depth and pick up a suave floral quality with aeration. Displays excellent detail and lift on the youthfully tannic, persistent finish, which features echoing blue fruit and licorice notes.

Vinous July 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas "Les Ruchets" bottle Platinum

Cornas "La Louvée"

2014 France Rhone Valley
93 Points

Youthful purple. A powerful, highly perfumed bouquet evokes dark fruit preserves, olive paste, candied flowers and star anise, backed by a suave vanillin oak nuance. Sweet and expansive on the palate, offering sappy blueberry, cassis and spicecake flavors that are lifted and given a spicy edge by a jolt of cracked pepper. Quite rich for the vintage but lively as well. Finishes very long and smoky, featuring mounting tannins and a lingering floral note.

Vinous July 2017
Cornas "La Louvée" Platinum

Bertani Soave Vintage Edition

2015 Italy Veneto
89 Points

Bright yellow-green. Very fresh aromas of pear and peach, plus flint lifted by white flowers. Sweet on entry, then strong acidity and citrus peel and stone flavors make for a slightly austere combination. This fresh, stony wine finishes a little short and simple, but offers early appeal and plenty of charm.

Vinous June 30, 2017
Bertani Bertani Soave Vintage Edition bottle

Sereole Soave

2016 Italy Veneto
90 Points

Pale, green-tinged yellow. Aromas of apricot, lime oil and herbs, complicated by a subtle resiny nuance. Tactile and firm, with broad flavors of apricot, lime, apple, and spices. With its sound acidity, this firm-edged wine finishes clean and fresh with noteworthy grip.

Wine Advocate June 2017
Bertani Sereole Soave bottle Platinum

Reserve Merlot

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
88 Points

The 2013 Merlot Reserve Manara Vineyard was aged for 18 months in new French barriques. It comes in at 14.3% alcohol. Rather sedate, this lovely Merlot is all about its understated and restrained demeanor. It is in perfect balance, with a pointed and clean finish, nice texture and a tasty, dry finish. There's nothing fat and sweet here. This is a food wine all the way, but it goes down easy and it has good concentration for the level. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Reserva Merlot Bottle

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Israel Upper Galilee
87 Points

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve David Vineyard was aged for 18 months in French barriques (40% new) and comes in at 13.5% alcohol. This is along the same lines as the Merlot, but with more power (not unusual) and a surprisingly crisp edge. A touch herbal, this is modest in the mid-palate, the tannins overshadowing the fruit just now. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Cabernet Sauvignon Bottle

Special Reserve

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2014 Special Reserve red, set for release in September, is a blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 17% Petite Sirah, 13% Carignan and 10% Marselan, aged for 18 months in new French oak. It comes in at 14% alcohol. Of all of Recanati's wines, this is the one I expect to demonstrate, usually, the most upside potential. I'm not completely positive about this year, though. If anything, it is a bit too straightforward for the level, although the tannins are there. It has the most depth and power of the group, but not by a whole lot, while it generally lacks the brightness and personality of the Marselan and Carignan. Overall, this is still pretty good—so don't misunderstand—but it does need to show me a bit more in the cellar, acquiring some complexity and harmony as it goes along, to justify an uptick. At the moment, I'd probably pick the Carignan among the current releases as my favorite.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Special Reserve bottle Platinum

Wild Carignan Reserve

2015 Israel Judea Hills
91 Points

The 2015 Wild Carignan Reserve was aged for eight months in 50% new French barriques and comes in at 14% alcohol. This has quickly become one of my favorites in Recanati's lineup for its freshness, sunny demeanor and character. Showing mid-palate finesse, it nonetheless has more weight than the Marselan this issue, fine focus and an earthy conclusion. Very Burgundian, this is all about that finesse, but there is plenty of flavor, too, some dark plums and baked cherries to go with the earth. There is a backbone, too, and the texture is rather sexy, pure velvet at the moment. Like pretty much all of Recanati's releases, this has a refined and sophisticated feel to it. This is set for release in January 2018. It should be very approachable by then.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Wild Carignan Reserve 2009 Bottle Platinum

Syrah / Viognier Reserve

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2015 Syrah / Viognier Reserve (with a token 3% Viognier) was aged for eight months in 40% new French barriques. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. It does have a bit of sex appeal, but the flavors are controlled and it finishes seriously, too, supported by a reasonable backbone. There's nothing fat, sweet or over the top here. It's just a fine food wine. Although this isn't released yet, it certainly could be. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Syrah / Viognier Reserve Bottle Platinum

Special Reserve White

2014 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2015 Special Reserve white is a 60/40 blend of Roussanne and Marsanne, aged for six months in 30% new French barriques. It comes in at 13% alcohol. Beautifully constructed, this controls its oak well while still seeming substantial. The finish lingers nicely on this perfectly balanced white. It is always refined, with enough weight to hold up to food. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Special Reserve White 2010 bottle Platinum

Reserve Petite Sirah

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
89 Points

The 2015 Petite Sirah Reserve, set for release in September, was aged for eight months in a mixture of French and American barriques (40% new). It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. Always one of my favorites near Recanati's value end of the spectrum, this is sexy but subtle. The caressing texture makes it sensual, the sweet edge of oak on the end gives it just a little verve and the wine is perfectly balanced, with controlled tannins. I don't ever expect this understated red to make "old bones," or turn into anything more special, but it should hold on decently for several years, at the least. Don't hesitate to drink it on the younger side, though.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Reserve Petite Sirah bottle Platinum

Reserve Marselan

2015 Israel Upper Galilee
90 Points

The 2015 Marselan Reserve was aged for six months in 40% new French barriques. It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. I really like what Recanti is doing with this grape. This is a good example. Showing bright red fruit, it shows finesse in the mid-palate, seeming very elegant, but it has a backbone, persistence and a lingering finish, with lifted fruit. The lively nature and fresh flavors here might be enhanced if you just try this a bit cooler than normal.

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Recanati Reserve Marselan Bottle Platinum

Reserve Marawi

2015 Israel Judea Hills
88 Points

The 2015 Marawi Reserve was aged for six months in mostly (90%) used French barriques. It comes in at 12% alcohol. This interesting indigenous grape is a bit on the different side, with some hints of musk and maybe a bit of a Chenin character. 

Wine Advocate June 30, 2017
Reserve Marawi

Single Vineyard Malbec

2014 Argentina Mendoza
87 Points

Healthy medium ruby. Some very ripe notes to the aromas of blackberry, violet, licorice and molten chocolate. Very plush, glossy Malbec with strong exotic oak tones of coconut and caramel currently overshadowing cassis fruit. Finishes with a bit of alcoholic warmth and an element of charred oak that soon turns a bit dry. A second bottle of roughly equal quality displayed some porty high tones.

Vinous July 2017
Salentein, Bodegas Single Vineyard Malbec bottle

Numina

2014 Argentina Mendoza
90 Points

Bright full ruby. Strong peppery/herbal lift to the aromas of blackberry, black cherry and menthol. Offers lovely density, pliancy and sweetness, but the wine's pungent fresh tobacco and herb elements currently clash with its sweet oak and rich cocoa flavors. There are some distinctly herbaceous notes here but I like the wine's generosity of texture and sweet tannins. not to mention its length.

Vinous July 2017
Salentein, Bodegas Numina bottle Platinum

Reserve Malbec

2015 Argentina Mendoza
92 Points

Bright ruby-red. Pungent scents of blueberry, violet and herbs. Densely packed, vibrant and sharply delineated, conveying superb inner-mouth energy and a resiny complexity to its concentrated dark berry, blueberry and violet flavors. There's a sweetness here and a pliancy to the sophisticated tannins that give this wine much more early appeal than the Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve but I'd still hold this for another year or two before pulling the cork. Finishes with compelling lingering perfume.

Vinous July 2017
Salentein, Bodegas Reserve Malbec bottle Platinum

Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Argentina Mendoza
89 Points

Bright ruby-red. Attractive minty lift to the aromas of cassis, licorice and tobacco leaf. Juicy, tight and penetrating, offering pure, well-delineated berry, herb and licorice flavors but limited pliancy in the early going. This intensely flavored, savory but backward wine is not quite ready for prime time but has the density and structure to last well. Most impressive today on the firm, ripely tannic, long finish.

Vinous July 2017
Salentein, Bodegas Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon bottle

Perlé Rosé

2010 Italy Trentino
90 Points

A mouthwatering rosé, with delicate, well-knit flavors of dried white cherry, fresh ginger, pastry cream and saffron riding the satinlike mousse. Drink now through 2022. 

Wine Spectator August 31, 2017
Ferrari Perlé Rosé bottle Platinum

Pinot Noir

2016 New Zealand Marlborough
90 Points

Juicy cherry and raspberry flavors are fresh and bright, with a smooth, supple body and notes of clove, cherry cola and vanilla bean. Polished and elegant, with a long finish. Drink now through 2027. 

Wine Spectator August 31, 2017
Platinum

Numina

2014 Argentina Mendoza
92 Points

Slightly over-extracted style, but there's lots of ripe fruit and spices. Full-bodied, juicy and intense. Walnuts and toasted oak. Give it time to come together. A blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and merlot. Drink in 2020.

JamesSuckling.com June 21, 2017
Salentein, Bodegas Numina bottle Platinum

Cornas "Les Ruchets"

2015 France Rhone Valley
95 Points

Dark and fleshy, with gorgeous blueberry reduction, warm fig and mulled blackberry flavors pumping through, inlaid with fresh bay leaf, lavender and charcoal notes. The long finish lets the fruit play out, with an added ganache detail. Best from 2020 through 2035.

Wine Spectator June 21, 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas "Les Ruchets" bottle Platinum

Cornas "Vallon de l'Aigle"

2015 France Rhone Valley
96 Points

This is intense, with layers of dark plum, fig and blackberry confiture flavors rolling through, carried by smoldering charcoal and bay leaf notes. Grippy throughout, but the integration is there, while ganache, licorice root and sweet tapenade details fill in on the finish. Impressive. Best from 2020 through 2040. From France.

Wine Spectator June 21, 2017
Jean-Luc Colombo Cornas "Vallon de l'Aigle" bottle Platinum

Cornas "La Louvée"

2015 France Rhone Valley
95 Points

Fleshy in feel, with a ganache edge around the core of warmed plum sauce, fig paste and blackberry reduction flavors. Loam and charcoal notes line the finish, while the fruit plays out wonderfully. Shows a touch more fruit than grip, but the fruit is really beautiful. Best from 2020 through 2035.

Wine Spectator June 21, 2017
Cornas "La Louvée" Platinum

Cornas "La Louvée"

2015 France Rhone Valley
95 Points

Fleshy in feel, with a ganache edge around the core of warmed plum sauce, fig paste and blackberry reduction flavors. Loam and charcoal notes line the finish, while the fruit plays out wonderfully. Shows a touch more fruit than grip, but the fruit is really beautiful. Best from 2020 through 2035.

Wine Spectator June 21, 2017
Cornas "La Louvée" Platinum