some of the best by the bottle:

400 f – Emidio Pepe, Montepulciano D'Abruzzo. Montepulciano, Abruzzi, Italy. 2003
90
"Pepe's 2003 Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a bomb. Tar, leather, scorched earth and black fruit emerge from this dark, imposing Montepulciano. The wine comes together beautifully in the glass, as the aromas and flavors gain breadth and dimension. Despite the rich style, there is nothing excessive or over-ripe here, just exceptional balance of ripe fruit as captured by a traditional approach to vinification. A final blast of tar informs the long finish. Pepe fans will flip over the 2003."
94/100 Robert Parker's TWA
401 f – Cayuse, Syrah "En Cerise Vineyard". Walla Walla, Washington, USA. 2011
130
"Thick, full-bodied and voluptuous, which is common for this vineyard, the 2011 Syrah En Cerise has fabulous aromas and flavors (black cherry, pepper, and olive tapenade), thrilling purity and a mouth coating, decadent profile that's hard to resist. Despite all of the richness here, it stays remarkably fresh and vibrant. Always one of the more approachable single vineyard Syrahs, it should shine on release and drink well through 2025."
97/100 Robert Parker's TWA
402 f – Saxum "James Berry Vineyard". Paso Robles, California, USA. 2012
165
"The 2012 James Berry Vineyard reminds me of the 2009 Janasse Chaupin (which is one of Justin's favorite wines). Incorporating more Mourvedre than normal, it's made from 43% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 10% Counoise that's aged in a combination of concrete and barrel. Rock star stuff, with fabulous black raspberry, cassis, spring flowers and charred meat aromas and flavors, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness and depth, yet stays lively, incredibly pure and elegant, with lots of fine tannin emerging on the finish."
97+/100 Robert Parker's TWA
403 f – Torbreck Run Rig, Shiraz. Barossa Valley, South Australia. 2009
200
"Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2009 RunRig opens with wonderful perfume, and though this label usually contains a splash of Viognier, which could account for the fragrant nose, it has none this vintage. Redolent of violets and blueberries it is very spicy with an undercurrent of anise and Indian spices muddled with mulberries. Taut and elegant on the palate, it gives plenty of concentrated fruit flavor with crisp acid and firm, fine tannins. It finishes long."
99/100 Robert Parker's TWA
404 f – Sine Qua Non B20, Syrah. California, U.S.A. 2008
275
"The Syrah B-20 is a cool, inward wine graced with layers of beautifully delineated, chiseled fruit. This is a distinctly mineral, precise style relative to the more outgoing 2009, but both are striking. Floral notes add lift as the finish turns explosive with a burst of dark fruit, tar, licorice and crushed rocks. This is one of the more understated wines readers are likely to come across from Sine Qua Non. It is gorgeous when given time to open up."
95/100 Robert Parker's TWA

THE WINES OF EBEN SADIE

Eben Sadie is considered a maverick and visionary in South Africa. After discovering a rich assortment of ancient and abandoned vines on the far west coast of the Cape; vines that were planted during the early experimental stage of South Africa's wine history; he proceeded to resuscitate these vines and start producing miniscule quantities of extraordinary and distinctive wines. From the outset these wines were met with universal praise so we're excited to be able to offer them for you to try…

whites

601 – Sadie Family Old Vine Series "T – Voetpad". Swartland, South Africa. 2013
80
"The 2013 T Voetpad is a blend of Semillon Blanc, Semillon Gris, Palomino, Chenin Blanc and Muscat d'Alexandrie. It has a beeswax and jasmine-scented bouquet that is very well defined. The palate is rounded and sensual on the entry, with Mirin, orange zest, mandarin, white pepper, rosemary and lavender notes. Long and persistent in the mouth, this is one of Eben's best Old Vine Series release this year. Profound."
95/100 TWA
602 – Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Kokerboem". Swartland, South Africa. 2014
80
"A blend of Semillon Blanc and Semillon Gris planted in the early 1900s, the 2014 Kokerboom has a very subtle bouquet, extremely nuanced with lanolin, beeswax, dried apricot and just a touch of brioche. The palate is very well balanced, slightly candied on the entry with dried orange peel and dried quince. There is a lovely texture here, just a mote of waxiness with a finish that is reposed and effortless."
94+/100 TWA
603 – Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Skerpioen". Swartland, South Africa. 2014
65
"Planted half a mile from the sea and 60 meters above sea level, the 2014 Skerpioen is a Chenin Blanc and Palomino blend. There's something quite feral about the bouquet: wet wool, a bit of sea-spray and damp earth. The palate is well balanced with a keen line of acidity, touches of smoke walnut and lanolin coming through with a nicely poised, lemon rind and nutmeg finish with a saline aftertaste."
93/100 TWA

reds

405 f – Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Poffader". Swartland, South Africa. 2014
70
"From 48-year-old vine Cinsault grown on slate soils, the 2014 Old Pofadder has an extremely pure bouquet, less tertiary than the 2014 Soldaat (grown on decomposed sandstone), with touches of pressed flowers infusing the fresh strawberry and redcurrant fruit. With aeration, there is an intriguing incense/potpourri note. The palate is taut and crisp, brimming over with tension and extremely focused with slightly more brittle tannins than the Soldaat -- lending the chalky-textured finish fine symmetry, albeit without quite the same sustain. It might sound odd, but it tastes fabulous."
93/100 TWA
406 f – Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Soldaat". Swartland, South Africa. 2012
70
"The 2012 Old Vine Series Soldaat (Grenache) has a distinctive tertiary and undergrowth-scented bouquet with gunflint/firecracker scents developing with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle, saline entry that is reminiscent of the sea. The acidity is nicely judged with a generous sprinkle of white pepper on the Chateauneuf-inspired finish. This is complex and cerebral. Gorgeous!"
93/100 TWA
407 f – Sadie Family Old Vine Series "Treinspoor". Swartland, South Africa. 2012
65
"The 2012 Old Vine Series "Treispoor" is made from a parcel of old bush vine Tinta-Barocca planted in 1974. It has a very pure, voluminous, billowing bouquet with red currant, strawberry preserve and a whiff of smoke that is beautifully defined. The palate is medium-bodied with a soft, rounded opening: plenty of dusky ripe red berry fruit, briery, cloves and bay leaf to enjoy, though it just needs a little more tension on the finish. That is but a minor quibble – another superb addition to Sadie's Old Vine Series."
92/100 TWA
408 f – Sadie Family Wines "Columella". Swartland, South Africa. 2011
120
"The 2011 "Columella" (Syrah, Mouvedre, Grenache) is more reticent on the nose when compared directly against the 2010: straight-laced and linear with subtle tertiary notes that unfurl with aeration. This seems more masculine than the previous vintage. The palate is vibrant and poised on the entry with fresh crisp tannins, effervescent citrus fresh red and black fruit, a dash of white and black pepper and a beautifully poised finish. Once those aromatics awaken with time, this will be a stunning Columella."
95/100 TWA


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