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Alpha Estate Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro 2015 (Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece) - [RP 90] [WE 90, #99 Top 100 of 2018]
Alpha Estate Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro 2015 (Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece) - [RP 90] [WE 90, #99 Top 100 of 2018]
Retail Price: $27.00
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90 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"The 2015 Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard was aged for 12 months in an equal mixture of new and second use French oak and comes in at 12.8% alcohol. If you want to know why this region and grape have a reputation for acidity, this issue certainly shows you. This is one good example. Alpha's Axia is another and the Kir-Yianni Kali Riza yet a third. Silky yet fruity, without a lot of concentration but with enlivening lift to the fruit and plenty of power, this has all those old-school Xinomavro nuances of earth and amber to go with the big hits of acidity. These types of Xinomavro make me think "Nebbiolo" every time. In fact, this often seems to have more rusticity than Alpha's upper-level (and typically more refined) Vielles Vignes bottling. When these old-school types come down the road, you are best off letting them rest a bit and coming back in a few years. The acidity and tannins will preserve them for a long time, perhaps longer than expected, so there is no rush. This is a fine value that does a lot of great things that wines in this price category often do notÑbut you will need some patience, and it does have to be your style." - Mark Squires (29th Jun 2018)

Alpha Estate Turtles Vineyard Malagouzia 2017 (Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece)
Alpha Estate Turtles Vineyard Malagouzia 2017 (Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece)
Retail Price: $24.00
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89 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2017 Malagouzia Turtles Vineyard is unoaked and comes in at 13.2% alcohol. As with most of the better versions of this grape, it is fun just to smell. It could, perhaps, use a little more intensity, but the purity of fruit is impressive, and the concentration is reasonable for the grape. Particularly enjoyable are the dry, controlled bursts of pear and peach mingling together on the finish. I wouldn't say this is their best-ever version, but it is still a hard-to-resist, refreshing white at a nice price. As always, drink it young and fresh for best results. It will be great this summer." - Mark Squires (29th Jun 2018)

Kir-Yianni Paranga White 2016 (Macedonia, Greece)
Kir-Yianni Paranga White 2016 (Macedonia, Greece)
Retail Price: $22.00
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Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"The 2016 Paranga white is mostly Roditis, with 20% Malagouzia added in. It is unoaked and comes in at just 11.5% alcohol. Sourced from vines at 700 meters in Amyndeon and using this grape blend, this is always going to be a lighter-styled, fresh white. If that's your style, this does nicely as a classic summer refresher. Relying more on aromatics, acidity and a tasty finish than fat and rich fruit, this drinks easily but always seems very appealing. It is enlivening and hard to resist, with a dry and clean finish. Drink it young for best results, but it can hold well for a couple of years." - Mark Squires (31st Aug 2017)

Arinzano "Hacienda de Arinzano" Blanco Vino de Pago 2014 (Navarra, Spain)
Arinzano "Hacienda de Arinzano" Blanco Vino de Pago 2014 (Navarra, Spain)
Retail Price: $24.00
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About the Wine:
Ageing:
12 Months in French oak barrel. 30% new, 70% second year.
Alcohol:
13.5% Vol.
Colour:
Bright yellow colour with green hues.
Nose:
Intense citrus notes with light toasty hints, coconut, honey and dried fruits, like hazelnuts and almonds. Flower essences, like lavender and chamomile.
Palate:
Sucrosity. Round, elegant, citrus and very fresh in the mouth.
Justin Vineyards Proprietary Red "Savant" 2014 (Paso Robles, California) - [WE 91] [RP 90] [JD 90]
Justin Vineyards Proprietary Red "Savant" 2014 (Paso Robles, California) - [WE 91] [RP 90] [JD 90]
Retail Price: $70.00
Artisan Wine Depot Price: $49.99
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Notes from the Winemaker:
The 2014 SAVANT is a bold, complex wine that combines the intensity of a Paso syrah with the complexity that cabernet sauvignon brings to the table. Speaking of the table, this wine is great with the usual grilled meat like trip-tip or lamb with herbs and garlic, or try matching it with the rich flavors and layered spices found in Moroccan and Middle Eastern stews like a lamb tagine, or roasted cauliflower with chickpeas or lentils and a ras el hanout spice blend

Appearance: Deep, nearly opaque, purple ruby core lightening toward the rim with thick, slow forming moderately stained tears on the glass.

Aroma: Intense and layered with black berry jam and ripe black cherry jam fruit, sweet spice of vanilla and cinnamon, with smoky oak notes, cracked pepper, leather, and in time some hints of smoked meat mixed with complex red and purple floral accents.

Palate: Full on the palate with very ripe lush black fruit and baking spice on the entry followed with dried savory herbs, cracked black pepper and smoky elements going into the mid-palate. The finish is very long and complex with a mix of returning ripe fruit, chocolate and chewy tannins as it slowly unfolds.

Varietal Compostion: 62% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Grenache


Ratings & Reviews

91 Points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"This blend of 62% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Grenache shows relatively restrained aromas of dark chocolate, blackberry, crushed asphalt and baking spice. There is decent tension to the sour and ripe elements of the palate, with hearty flavors of black cherry, black pepper, fennel and vanilla." - Matt Kettmann (11/1/2017)

90 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
"Composed of 62% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Grenache, the 2014 Savant Proprietary Red reveals a deep garnet-purple color and notes of cassis, black berries and black forest cake plus touches of cedar, toast, cinnamon stick and mocha. Very big, full-bodied, rich and concentrated, the opulent fruit is supported by firm, chewy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing on a lingering peppery note." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown (29th Sep 2017)

90 Points - Jeb Dunnuck:
"The 2014 Savant (a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache) more blackberry, peppery spice, ground herbs and spice in a ripe, sexy, nicely textured style. It's already drinking nicely, yet has plenty of underlying tannin and should easily keep through 2024." - Jeb Dunnuck (8/10/2017)

Wine Spectator Magazine:
"A sturdy red, with broad notes of black currant, bitter chocolate and smoked pepper and herb. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. Best after 2018. 2,400 cases made." – TF (Web Only - 2017)

Ca' Marcanda (Gaja) "Promis" Toscana IGT 2015 (Tuscany, Italy) - [JS 93] [RP 91] [WS 91] [AG 90]
Ca' Marcanda (Gaja) "Promis" Toscana IGT 2015 (Tuscany, Italy) - [JS 93] [RP 91] [WS 91] [AG 90]
Retail Price: $66.00
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93 Points - James Suckling:
"An extremely floral and almost pinot-noir-like wine with fresh rose petals, wild strawberries and red cherries. Medium to full body, fine tannins, a pretty line of acidity and a succulent finish. Drink now." (Aug 2017)
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge "La Migoua" 2016 (Bandol, France)
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge "La Migoua" 2016 (Bandol, France)
Retail Price: $95.00
Artisan Wine Depot Price: $79.97
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Notes from the Winemaker:
Charming wine combining style and complexity. Wild in character, yet balanced, this wine only gets better with time.
Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Pinot Noir 2015 (Willamette Valley, Oregon) - [WE 94]
Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Pinot Noir 2015 (Willamette Valley, Oregon) - [WE 94] [WS 94]
Retail Price: $90.00
Artisan Wine Depot Price: $74.97
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94 Points & Editors’ Choice - Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"This reserve is an excellent representation of the 2015 vintage. Firm, supple and loaded with brambly purple fruit, it carries a pleasing touch of fruit sweetness. It rolls gracefully into a tight finish, with layers of herb, earth, blueberry, black cherry and brown spice notes." - PG (Aug 2018)
Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Pinot Noir 2015 [375mL HALF-BOTTLE] (Willamette Valley, Oregon) - [WE 94] [WS 94]
Domaine Serene "Evenstad Reserve" Pinot Noir 2015 [375mL HALF-BOTTLE] (Willamette Valley, Oregon) - [WE 94] [WS 94]
Retail Price: $45.00
Artisan Wine Depot Price: $36.97
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94 Points & Editors’ Choice - Wine Enthusiast Magazine:
"This reserve is an excellent representation of the 2015 vintage. Firm, supple and loaded with brambly purple fruit, it carries a pleasing touch of fruit sweetness. It rolls gracefully into a tight finish, with layers of herb, earth, blueberry, black cherry and brown spice notes." - PG (Aug 2018)
Dow's Vintage Port 2016 (Portugal) [375ml HALF BOTTLE] - [JS 96]
Dow's Vintage Port 2016 (Portugal) [375ml HALF BOTTLE] - [VM 98] [WS 98] [JS 96] [RP 93]
Retail Price: $75.00
Artisan Wine Depot Price: $59.99
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98 Points - Antonio Galloni's Vinous Media:
"The 2016 Dow’s Vintage Port is based around the Vinha dos Ecos vineyard behind Bomfim, populated predominantly by mature Touriga Franca vines that were cropped at just 0.68kg per vine. It has a quite astonishing bouquet with layer upon layer of intense black cherry and cassis fruit, touches of clove, leather and a hint of over-ripe Satsuma. This is a mercurial bouquet that keeps changing in the glass, revealing smoky/burning ember scents with time. The palate is quite magnificent – perfectly balanced with a killer thread of acidity slicing through such pure intense black fruit that there is no heaviness at all. There is a sense of thrust on the finish as it fans out with almost careless abandon, a Vintage Port so self-assured that you can only sit back in amazement. Simply one of the best Dow’s ever made." - Neal Martin (June 2018)