This latest Miscellaneous Report includes a true hodgepodge of wines and regions.
Looking at the wines from California, there are new releases from Bacio Divino, Cattleya, Morlet Family, Ridge, and Sojourn Cellars, as well as a handful of others. While 2017 was challenging throughout California, Ridge knocked it out of the park and made one of the finest vintages of their Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon I’ve tasted (and I’ve had most of them). This is a legend in the making that drinkers and collectors will want in the cellar. Rising star Bibiana Gonzalez Rave continues to make brilliant wines under her Cattleya label and I loved her latest Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as well as her Syrah from the Santa Lucia Highlands. These are tiny production wines so don’t miss a chance to try a bottle. Luc Morlet‘s 2017s from Napa and 2018s from Sonoma also deliver the goods. Luc’s La Proportion Dorée is the finest Bordeaux Blanc blend I’ve tasted from California and is as good as anything out there. Lastly, via a recommendation from Brad Grimes at Abreu, I was able to taste a full lineup from the young Matt Morris, who got his start in winemaking under the helm of Benoit Touquette at Realm. Matt decided to focus on heritage varieties from California, Charbono in particular, and this is a brilliant set of new releases as well as some of the finest expressions of Charbono out there. Unfortunately, these are tiny production releases, yet they’re worth the extra effort to track down!
From Italy, I was able to taste the newly released 2017s from Ornellaia and Masseto. This was a hot and dry vintage for Tuscany and these wines show sunny, perfumed characters yet have plenty of underlying tannins as well. I don’t think they match the 2016s but they’re beautiful wines that will be long-lived. While the focus here will always be the reds, don’t miss a chance to try their whites.
The report also includes the latest and greatest from Domaines Ott (some beautiful roses), terrific Ribera del Duero from Emilio Moro, a handful of South African wines from SpringFontein Wine Estate, new releases from the Languedoc’s Chateau Puech-Haut, and a handful of other miscellaneous wines.
As always, happy hunting,