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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2017

VINTAGES

31

UNCORK SOMETHING GREAT • SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2017

SHAFER MERLOT 2014

Napa Valley

TASTING NOTE: Tart black cherry meets plum,

strawberry and clove, while softened tannins belie

the wine’s overall density and sense of generosity.

A smoky waft of cigar amplifies the power and

sinewy nature of the full-bodied wine, which is ready

to lie down for a rest. Enjoy best 2020 through

2024. Cellar Selection. Score:

93

(Virginie Boone,

Wine Enthusiast

, June 1, 2017)

Full-bodied & Smooth

346262

(XD)

750 mL

$79.95

3

OREGON

FORIS PINOT NOIR 2014

Rogue Valley

TASTING NOTE: Vivid ruby. Sexy, spice-tinged

red and dark berry aromas, along with hints of

candied lavender and allspice. Sweet, seamless and

expansive on the palate, offering intense black

raspberry and spicecake flavors that are sharpened

by a core of juicy acidity. Tightens up slowly on the

finish, which hangs on with very good, spicy tenacity.

Drinking window: 2018-2022. Score:

90

(Josh

Raynolds,

vinous.com

, Dec. 2016)

Medium-bodied & Fruity

937128

(XD)

750 mL

$23.95

2

LA CREMAWILLAMETTE VALLEY

PINOT NOIR 2015

Willamette Valley

TASTING NOTE: This has a lovely, soft, ripe nose of

black cherry, very subtly fitted with vanillin, spice and

a touch of earth. A bit more subdued than La Crema’s

California counterparts. It’s medium-full, fairly rich

and soft and a touch sweet. Tannins are very fine; the

length is very good to excellent, with some chocolaty

sweetness on the finish. Score:

90

(David Lawrason,

winealign.com

, Oct. 19, 2016)

Medium-bodied & Fruity

385757

(XD)

750 mL

$39.95

2

RENWOOD PREMIER

OLD VINE ZINFANDEL 2014

Amador County

TASTING NOTE: Subtle oak shadings add welcome

complexity to this medium-bodied, well-balanced

and delicious wine. It has hints of vanilla, nutmeg

and cinnamon, ripe blackberry fruit and maple-like

sweetness, but firm tannins keep it appetizing.

Editors’ Choice. Score:

90

(Jim Gordon,

Wine

Enthusiast

, May 2017)

Full-bodied & Smooth

450510

(XD)

750 mL

$26.95

2

RIDGE LYTTON SPRINGS 2014

Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County

TASTING NOTE: The 2014 Lytton Springs is another

absolutely gorgeous wine. Perhaps because of its

relatively recent bottling, the [2014] feels a bit com-

pressed, but there appears to be plenty of complexity

and depth hiding behind the acidity and tannin. Far

from an easygoing Zinfandel, the 2014 Lytton is a

wine to buy and cellar for at least a handful of years.

The wine’s richness, persistence and vertical intensity

all lead me to believe it will be special in time. Black

cherry, pomegranate, mint and sweet spices meld

into the resonant finish. A kick of tannin from the

Petite adds personality, something the 2014 has in

spades. Drinking window: 2019-2034. Score:

94+

(Antonio Galloni,

vinous.com

, July 2016)

Full-bodied & Firm

982413

(XD)

750 mL

$64.95

3

RODNEY STRONG RESERVE

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013

Alexander Valley, Sonoma County

TASTING NOTE: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Reserve (Alexander Valley) offers striking aromatic

presence to play off its intense dark red and purplish

fruit. Smoke, tobacco, lavender, licorice and crème

de cassis add mid-palate sweetness and unctuosity.

This is a gorgeous wine from Rodney Strong, not

to mention a terrific value. Drinking window: 2018-

2028. Score:

92

(Antonio Galloni,

vinous.com

,

Jan. 2017)

Full-bodied & Smooth

382325

(D)

750 mL

$64.95

2