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The Wine Advocate
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USA, Northern California: Part III - Focusing Primarily on Sonoma
2015 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Jos. Belli Vineyards

The two vintages of Chardonnay I tasted come from the Jos. Belli Vineyard in Russian River. The 2015 Chardonnay Jos. Belli Vineyards was made from small yields, and according to Dick Arrowood, it is one of the top three vintages in his 50 years of experience. This wine offers loads of peach, honeysuckle, delicate apricot, caramelized citrus and apple blossom in a full-bodied, rich, discreetly oaked style. It is long, promising and super-concentrated. If this is an example of just how strong many 2015s will be, we’re in for another treat from Northern California. - Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #223, March 2016


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2015 Rose Cuvée, Amapola Creek Estate Vineyard

For starters (and it’s a shame he doesn’t make more of it), the 2015 Rosé Estate Cuvée, a Grenache/Mourvèdre/Syrah/Viognier blend, is just delicious. It is relatively low in alcohol but very fragrant, with loads of strawberry, cranberry and kirsch-like notes, crisp acid, and a fresh, lively mouthfeel with much more flavor depth than one might expect from a rosé. Drink it over the next year.- Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #223, March 2016


The Wine Advocate
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USA, Northern California: Part III - Focusing Primarily on Sonoma
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, Amapola Creek Estate Vineyard

Arrowood deserves a lot more credit than he often gets for his Cabernet Sauvignons, which are long-lived. Some of the early Château St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignons have stood the test of time, and those made under the Arrowood label, especially his Reserves, are 30+ year wines at the minimum. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, which is 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot, is brilliant. Notes of graphite, crème de cassis, blueberry and blackberry along with some espresso are all present in this dense, full-bodied wine with great fruit, beautiful purity and moderately high tannins. There are just under 1,600 cases. This wine ideally needs another 2-3 years of bottle age and should drink well for 25-30 years. - Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #223, March 2016


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2013 Cuvée Alis, Sonoma Valley, Amapola Creek Estate Vineyard

The 2013 Cuvée Alis Estate (66% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre and 12% Syrah) is a hefty, high-octane style (15.6% alcohol) with loads of kirsch liqueur, pepper, lavender, earth and underbrush. It is Provençal, deep, full-bodied, and a total lusty treat. Drink it over the next 5-6 years. - Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #223, March 2016


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USA, Northern California: Part III - Focusing Primarily on Sonoma
2013 Petite Sirah, Sonoma Valley, Monte Rosso Vineyard

Lastly, the Petite Sirah is another wonderful wine coming from the Gallo-owned Monte Rosso Vineyards. The 2013 Petite Sirah Monte Rosso Vineyard is a tiny production of 100% Petite Sirah and realistically priced. This wine offers terrific lead pencil notes intermixed with camphor, asphalt, blueberry and blackberry liqueur. The wine is full-bodied, super-rich and extracted, but has no hard edges, which is somewhat surprising, given its richness. It should drink well for 20-30 years as well. - Robert M. Parker, Jr., The Wine Advocate, Issue #223, March 2016