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Regusci is currently among my top 10 wineries in Napa. Their Cabs, Zins and Merlots are fantastic. This one was shared with friends over a fish barbecue. It's a great wine, though I was more impressed with it at the winery than at home. Maybe it was the relatively warm day. Still, it's a great Cab, very well-balanced and flavorful, some fruit, some nuances of spices. Definitely not an everyday wine, given its high price ($50 at the winery) but definitely a wine to be had more than once.
Peju is a boutique winery along Santa Helena Highway in Napa, CA. This 2007 Merlot has recently been released and it packs some massive tannins, thanks to its relatively high dose of petit verdot (13%, versus 84% merlot and 3% cabernet sauvignon). Nonetheless it's a pleasant, strong wine to be had with flavorful meats and cheeses. Definitely good, albeit on the high end of the price range for its class, $35 at the winery.
This Summers, 2007 is only the second Charbono I've tried. Both of them were from California. It's a grape I need to learn to appreciate. It's definitely delicate and nuanced. Very pleasant, but somewhat hard to describe why. I guess it doesn't oscillate in the palate and doesn't leave a different impression in the after taste but at the same time is not bland, like one would expect from such description. It's smooth throughout. I'd pair it with lighter foods, maybe pasta with pesto. Reminds me of some pinots, but that's just a rough approximation. Another gift from friends. Must try it again sometime.
This 2002 Cab from Napa Valley is very interesting. It definitely does not overpower the palate. It's almost with no strong distinctive flavors and nonetheless it's still quite pleasant. Its slightly old age did it some good and it seems the flavors settled among themselves. Not too sweet and not too tannic, this is a great wine to go with foods with delicate sauces and little spices, since it won't get in the way of the appreciation. Or a nice rib eye, which was the case today. This bottle was a present from good friends, aged at their cellar. I would definitely repeat, if only I could find more. Maybe I need to pay Kirkland Ranch a visit, in Napa.
Here's the younger brother of a wine I really like, the Tres Picos. This one is quite good, but is not quite the same pleasant wine as the 2008. The 2009 Tres Picos is still well-balanced and definitely not a strong wine. The nuances of spices are stronger in this one, which is quite interesting. It has a more caramel-y finish than the 2008 and it could age a bit longer into something quite exotic. Goes for the same nice price of $13. Definitely a wine to have available in the everyday cellar.
This wine from the Bodegas Borsao in Spain is made from the Grenache (Garnacha, in spanish) grape. It's the poor cousin of the Tres Picos wine. Despite its similarities to Tres Picos, it reminds me a lot more of the portuguese wines such as Capote Velho and Berco do Infante. This one too is a bit bitter and spicy but quite pleasant. Definitely not as good as Tres Picos, but not bad either. Should do well with pasta or chicken. For about $10, it's a good value.