Exciting Time for Wine!

March 1, 2016


Wow, it is already March and time seems to be flying! For wine lovers it is already an exciting year with so much great wine being available from all over the globe and more coming on the horizon.

From California there continues to be a wide selection of Cabernet Sauvignons from the lush and plush vintage of 2012 that are drinking wonderfully right now and everyone loves them; but be aware that 2013 in my opinion is even better, featuring a darker core of stronger fruit with better freshness and acid. Many of the early releases from 2013 are available now. The 2013’s Cabernets from Lamborn Family, Somerston, Priest Ranch and Kelleher should be spectacular wines and I am very excited to taste them all. I did just taste the 2013 Zinfandel and Pinot Noir made by Erik Miller at Kokomo and they are indeed outstanding.

The 2010 Brunello vintage continues to dominate much of the wine buzz at the moment as this great vintage arrives here in America and deservedly so! I tasted over 60 estates and I bought over 20 for my personal collection. These wines are world class and offer outstanding value; you can drink them young as they are already 5 years old or hold them for another 10 years easily. The problem is they are so hard to stay away from young; but I just drank 2001 Sesta di Spora and with 14 years of age it was just beautiful and a reminder to me how well they age and how all the developed aromas and flavors that only come from bottle development are worth the wait!

If you are a cagy Bordeaux buyer and passed on the 2012 and 2014 vintages from Bordeaux, you may want to reconsider and sooner rather than later!  Both vintages experienced difficult weather but both vintages in my opinion are much better than their ratings/scores. If you love to drink the wines of Bordeaux, instead of collecting highly rated wines and looking at them in your cellar, play close attention. The pricing is the key factor here because on the horizon from Bordeaux is the 2015 Vintage which will debut to the world professionals the first week of April. Just by watching the weather during the 2015 growing season on line you know it is going to be good. Just how good remains to be seen and tasted and I will give you a full report in my May blog. My experience in Bordeaux leads me to believe that for the famous estates the prices for the 2015’s will rise dramatically.

Drips, Sips and Trips…..

Where did El Nino go? After a good and wet December and January, the weather in February turned into summerlike weather with only .98 inch of rain; historically February averages over 4.0 inches. March is our last chance for to make a dent in our 4 year drought; so once again please pray for rain in California!

In preparation for my “Taste the Greats of Bordeaux Tour 2016” this June, I visited my partner in South Florida at Chez Levin with my close friend Jimmy Chanteloup and tasted a bunch of great wines and food. The highlights included dinner with Chantal Gonet whose family has grown and made Champagne since the 1800’s and drinking her 2002 Belemnita and the 2007 Millesime Brut with Stone Crab. 1989 Ch. La Croix de Gay, 2001 Ch. Certan de May, 2002 Clos Vougeot from Tardy, 2005 Pommard Epenots from Dom. Courcel were all delicious with Eggplant Parmesan and Risotto. The 1949 Ch. Cantemerle was an awesome treat at Jimmy’s retirement dinner but as good as it was it is hard to beat drinking, cold, fresh Sancerre with oysters while overlooking the beach on a beautiful day in Fort Lauderdale! (Picture taken afterwards is above)


Ralph Sands

PrimeCellar Consultant  




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