Sunfish Cellars $10 Tasting (The best deal of the Year!)

It is amazing to me that so many in the wine scene did not promote this event. This event was $10 and you got to keep your Riedel glass. There were 10 stations set up and many wines I had to revisit at this event as they were that fantastic! The spit bucket got a heavy workout and the teeth were stained but found some really nice new wines for future purchase. Here are the highlights.

Best under $20 wines:

2017 Saint-Cosme Cotes du Rhone $13.99
I had this wine about a year ago. This is showing much better. Rustic with spice, floral, raspberries and a bit of funk. Drink now to 2021. (88 pts.)

2017 Tuck Beckstoffer Cabernet Sauvignon Est. 75- USA, California, North Coast $19.99
My value wine of the tasting. Nothing off the charts but no desirable flaws. Nice fruits, spice and good use of oak. Medium finish. (90 pts.)

Note: The Tuck was my value wine of the night.

2016 Dante Rivetti Barbera d’Alba Mara Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d’Alba $15.99
This is really nice. Chery, spice, floral and minerals. Medium finish. Good every day wine. (90 pts.)

2018 Triennes Viognier Sainte Fleur France, Provence, Var $17.99
Very clean wine with lemon, orange peel, spice and floral notes. Short to medium finish. (89 pts.)

Best Wines Over $20

2015 Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford $59.99
This is drinking well today. Balanced with cherry, plum, mint, oak, vanilla and earth. Picks up some nice chocolate notes on the finish. Medium plus. Should age for a decade. (93 pts.)

2010 Revana Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley,
St. Helena
$140.99
This wine stood out at a tasting of over 100 wines. On a pop and pour this was rocking. Blueberries, cherry, mild oak, pencil lead, chocolate and spice. Medium to long finish. Balanced and in the perfect drinking window right now. I would not wait too long on these. (94 pts.)

The wine of the tasting

2016 Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape $45.99
Had this at a tasting and this was amazing. Spice, red currants, floral, stone and minerals. Medium to long finish. Balanced wine and drinking amazingly well right now. This should drink well now to 2025.
80% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah (93 pts.)

2016 Mickael Bourg Cornas Les p ‘tits bouts France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
One of my favorite wines today. Olives, pepper, stone and red currants. Vibrant wine and good acidity. Medium plus and complex wine. Should age for another decade. (93 pts.)

The Rest of the Wines

2013 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Drinking well right now. Funk, floral, spice, raspberries and green olives. Medium finish and balanced. Drink now to 2022. (92 pts.)

2017 Elouan Pinot Noir – USA, Oregon
No Oregon character. Sweet, spice and floral notes. Short to medium finish. For those who like sweet wines. (83 pts.)

2018 Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé – USA, Oregon, Willamette
Rose wines from Oregon have been disappointing for me. This is drinkable but for $15.99 a bit pricy. Floral, light fruits and some spice. Short to medium finish. (87 pts.)

2016 Luca Malbec Old Vines – Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco
Excellent Malbec for under $30. Nice fruit, earth, minerals and floral notes. While a fruit forward style it is not jammy and balanced. Medium plus finish. Drink now to 2023. (91 pts.)

2013 Venturini Massimino Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Campomasua – Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
Raisins, floral, spice and raspberries. Medium finish. Solid overall.
(90 pts.)

2015 Casa Silva Cabernet Sauvignon S38 Los Lingues – Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
Blueberries, spice, pepper, floral and earth. Medium plus finish. Solid wine for under $30. (90 pts.)

2016 G.D. Vajra Barbera d’Alba Superiore – Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d’Alba Superiore
Minerals, rustic, cherry, rose petals and plum. Medium plus finish. Nice wine and should improve with some age. (90 pts.)

2015 Domaine de Font-Sane Gigondas Tradition – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas
This represents a good value from the Southern Rhone. Dried herbs, spice, stone, Garrique and raspberries. Medium plus finish. Drink now to
2024. (92 pts.)

2014 Roccheviberti Barolo Bricco Boschis – Italy, Piedmont, Langhe,
Barolo
Very nice wine. Rustic, floral, raspberries, minerals and mushrooms. Medium plus finish. Should drink well to 2030. (92 pts.)

2017 Ottin Pinot Noir Valle d’Aosta – Italy, Valle d’Aosta
Not bad but stick to Italian varietals. Floral, earth and wet stones. Short to medium finish. (87 pts.)

2015 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Lower East – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
A good price at $31.99. Cherry, oak, vanilla, spice and dark chocolate. Medium plus finish. Buy at the price of $31.99. (91 pts.)

2015 Oddero Barbera d’Asti Superiore – Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d’Asti Superiore
Solid with cherry, floral, dust and earth. Medium finish. (88 pts.)

2016 Vini Biondi Etna Rosso Cisterna Fuori Contrada Ronzini – Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC
Nice wine but a bit pricy. Features floral, earth, spice, minerals and red currants. Medium finish. (91 pts.)

1995 Pertinace (Cantina Vignaioli) Barbaresco – Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
A bit on the decline but solid. Floral, funk, raspberries with a rustic edge. Short to medium finish. Drink immediately. (90 pts.)

2016 Duckhorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
This wine when first open was tight and tannic. Not my cup of tea. Came back at the end of the tasting and much better. Spice, fruits, minerals and earth. Medium plus finish. This needs some age. 88 to 91.

2016 Paetra Riesling Dry – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Eola – Amity Hills Orange peel, lemon and floral notes. Prefer a German Riesling over this style. (88 pts.)

2016 Paetra Riesling Dry – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley,
Yamhill-Carlton
A bit better than the Eola Amity Hills. A touch of sweetness, green apple, lemon and floral notes. Medium plus finish. (89 pts.)

2017 Paetra Riesling “<O>” – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley,
Eola – Amity Hills
Good but a bit pricing for a Riesling when I can get an excellent Spatlese from Germany for less. Pear, orange peel, floral and spices. Short to medium finish. (87 pts.)

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Little surprised at the low scoring on this wine. It is not a 90 but is certainly not an 80. Roasted meat, berries, spice and earth. Medium finish. Good every day drinker. (87 pts.)

2016 Argyle Pinot Noir Artisan Series Reserve – USA, Oregon,
Willamette Valley
Really liked the 2015. This is good also with cranberry, floral, strawberry and minerals. Medium plus finish. Good acidity. (91 pts.)

2016 Novelty Hill Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, Washington,
Columbia Valley
Well this is a good every day value Cab. Cherry, plum, minerals, chocolate and oak. Medium finish. Could benefit with some additional age as it is tight right now. 88 to 90. (88 pts.)

2016 G.B. Crane El Coco – USA, California, Napa Valley
This seemed really thin to me. Soft fruits, floral and earth. Nothing special and not worth the money. Not sure I would ever blend Zinfandel and Merlot together. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Merlot (84 pts.)

2016 Martinelli Pinot Noir Bella Vigna – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
This is excellent and not over the top which I find sometimes happens with Martinelli Pinots. Strawberry, cherry, floral, earth and minerals. Medium plus finish and pleasing to the palate. Drink now to 2022. (92 pts.)

2016 Domaine Raspail-Ay Gigondas – France, Rhône,
Southern Rhône, Gigondas
Solid wine with funk, stone, red currants and floral notes. Medium plus finish. Drink now to 2024. (91 pts.)

2017 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
89 which is the tracker average is a perfect fit for the wine. Not the rocks but not a cheap Washington State Syrah. Cherry, plum, spice and minerals. Medium finish. (89 pts.)

2017 Château Sainte-Eulalie Minervois Plaisir d’Eulalie – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Minervois
A easy drinking wine. Fruit, minerals and oak. Nothing bad but not inspiring either. Priced right. (86 pts.)

2016 Corazon del Sol Winery Malbec – Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco
Solid Malbec. Funk, gravel, raspberries, rose petals and pepper. Medium plus finish. (91 pts.)

2017 Tensley All Blocks – USA, California, Central Coast,
Santa Barbara County
Nice overall with black pepper, dust, blueberries, boysenberries and tar. Medium plus finish. Drink now to 2025. (91 pts.)

2015 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyards – USA,
California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Cellar Tracker is a great benchmark for wines. I was at a tasting today of 50 plus wines sampled and many of my scores and impressions are right about the medium scores. I was underwhelmed by this wine. Lacks depth and features floral, mild fruit profile and earth. Not that interesting but not terrible either. (89 pts.)

2014 Guarachi Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
I see James Suckling gave this a 90 point score so I knew I would love it. One of the best wines at the event with cherry, plum, chocolate, mild oak, rose petals and cigar. Medium to long finish. Complex finish. (93 pts.)

2010 Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna di Arcanum Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Black olives, blue currants, stone and earth. Medium plus finish. Drinking well right now. (92 pts.)

2012 Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Strada al Sasso Riserva – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
Really nice wine. Mushrooms, floral, earth and fruit. Medium plus finish and good acidity. Nice food wine. (92 pts.)

2014 Penner-Ash Syrah – USA, Oregon
Love US Syrah but this lacks something for me. Floral, olives and spices. Fruit is a bit thin. Medium finish. Good but would not purchase at $35. (88 pts.)

2016 Penfolds Bin 389 – Australia, South Australia
Don’t agree on the average on this one. Eucalyptus overload and I mean overload. Hot and ripe fruit. Pass and I usually love Aussie wines. (84 pts.)

2015 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve – USA, California, Napa Valley
Well Spectator did the best job reviewing this in regards to a score. This is over the top and oaked out. Big wine with ripe fruit, oak, vanilla and spices to the max. Medium plus finish. If you were to pop and pour and drink this you are not going to have the experience you will by cellar this for a decade. Too young. Not going to give an official score but somewhere between 88 to 90 for me.

2016 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
Never been a fan of the Cabs but the Chards are ok. This wine for the money is steep. Lighter fruits, oak, minerals and dust. Nothing bad but when it cost $75 a bottle it is hard to love this wine. (90 pts.)

2016 Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany,
Toscana IGT
Drinking well today. This got some air so it help open it up. Raspberries, blueberries, wood, floral and earth. Drinking well on the young side but I could see this going for another decade. (92 pts.)

2016 Craggy Range Pinot Noir Martinborough – New Zealand, North Island, Wairarapa, Martinborough
For an inexpensive Pinot from New Zealand I was pleasantly surprised. Good acidity, floral, bright fruit and balanced. Medium finish. Drink on the younger side. (91 pts.)

2017 Montes Syrah Alpha – Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley
Ripe and a bit over done. Cinnamon, cherry, floral and spices. Medium
finish. (87 pts.)

2016 Caraccioli Cellars Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
Nice overall with underbrush, violets, strawberries and minerals. Medium plus finish. (91 pts.)

2017 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Dundee Hills – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Dundee Hills
Flavorful with rose petals, strawberry, wood, underbrush and violets. Medium finish. (90 pts.)

2012 Ernie Els Signature – South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch
This is a solid effort with cherry, floral, blueberries, spices and earth. Medium plus finish and drinking well on a pop and pour. Should age for another 3 to 5 years. (92 pts.)

2018 Triennes Viognier Sainte Fleur – France, Provence, Var
Very clean wine with lemon, orange peel, spice and floral notes. Short to medium finish. (89 pts.)

2016 Fontanabianca Barbera d’Alba Superiore – Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d’Alba
Nice value with cherry, floral and spice. Medium finish. (88 pts.)

2016 Collazzi Chianti Classico I Bastioni – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
Spice, good acidity, floral and earth. Medium finish. (87 pts.)

2014 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Old Vine – USA, California, Sonoma County
Solid Zin with spices, floral, earth, violets and underbrush. Complex and medium plus finish. (92 pts.)

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