Cheers to “The Calling”

The Calling 2015 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017 list.

“Ultrarich and extracted, offering a firm core of pear, apple, melon and spice flavors. A truly impressive effort, with depth and dimension. Drink now through 2022. 7,000 cases made.” —JL


Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate & James Suckling Scores


The Calling 2013 Our Tribute – 90 POINTS
Presents a charming, structured medley of red and dark berry flavors, casting a juicy mouthfeel and a firm tannic backbone. Ends with dusty, loamy earth and cedary oak notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2028. –JL

Clos de los Siete 2014 – 88 POINTS
This offers good cut to the savory flavors of dried beef, berry and red currant, showing zesty minerality. Sun-dried tomato accents emerge on the finish. Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2019. –KM


Clos de los Siete 2014 – 89 POINTS
Tasting multiple vintages of the same wine side by side is the best way to see the differences, so having this 2014 Clos de los Siete next to the 2013 confirms that the vintage was riper and warmer. The fruit tends more towards the black/darker/riper side of the spectrum and there are some heady and earthy notes, without the purity of the 2013. Having said that, the palate is soft and caressing, with fine-grained tannins, more in need of food than the previous year. The varietal breakup in this occasion was 54% Malbec, 18% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 3 % Petit Verdot and 4% Cabernet Franc. – LG


Clos de los Siete 2014 – 93 POINTS
A rich and dense red with lots of juicy fruit that delivers chocolate and spice. Full body, round and flavorful. This becomes more refined and focused each year. – JS


Wine Spectator & Wine & Spirits Scores


Peter Lehmann The Barossan 2015 Shiraz – 92 POINTS
Dense, with sink-your-teeth-into-them tannins and fleshy notes of spiced plum and wild blackberry. Tobacco espresso and nutmeg details add aromatic interest, but the focus and purity of the fruit flavors is the most powerful on the long finish. Drink now through 2029. – MW

Joseph Carr 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon – 88 POINTS
A stylish and well-constructed effort, offering a core of crushed rock and dusty dark berry flavors framed by firm tannins and acidity, ending with pencil lead notes. Drink now through 2023. –JL

Girard 2014 Artistry – 87 POINTS
High-toned aromatics offer floral and dark berry scents, with touches of bay leaf, mint and dried berry. Ends chewy and tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Merlot. Drink now through 2027. –JL


The Crossings 2015 Pinot Noir – 90 POINTS, Best Buy
Smoky at first, tough and tannic, this wine shows its oak, but not at the cost of its fruit.  Instead, the oak provides a savory grip to hold and lift the concentrated fruit, keeping it in line.  Pour the wine with grilled quail.


Wine Spectator & Wine Enthusiast Scores


Girard 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – 90 POINTS
Smooth-textured and easy to enjoy, with supple green and black olive, currant and spice notes. Offers a kiss of light oak and a finish that replays the fruit themes. Drink now through 2027. –JL

Clos de los Siete 2013 Red Blend – 90 POINTS
This offers good cut to the savory flavors of dried beef, berry and red currant, showing zesty minerality. Sun-dried tomato accents emerge on the finish. Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2019. –KM

Josh Cellars 2015 Chardonnay – 87 POINTS (web only)
A fruity and balanced white, with a mix of ripe apple and dried peach flavors, accented by buttery notes. Spicy finish. Drink now. 200,000 cases made. –KM

Villa Pozzi 2016 Nero d’Avola – 87 POINTS
A beam of ripe and juicy wild strawberry flavors leads the way in this medium-bodied red, framed by light, creamy tannins and hints of spice box, mocha and smoke. Easy-drinking and fresh. Drink now through 2019. –AN


Ramon Bilbao 2011 Reserva – 89 POINTS
The first take on this Rioja Reserva is of charred wood, then that’s backed up by piercing aromas of cherry and plum. This feels hard and abrasive, but powerful. Flavors of roasted plum, tomato and herbs finish with grating tannins and a lemony oak flavor. – MS

Josh Cellars 2015 Chardonnay – 88 POINTS
Bright lemon cream flavors follow buttery aromas in this bold, expressive wine. It’s showy yet maintains good acidity, its fresh apple notes balancing the butter, vanilla and cream sweetness. – JG

Chateau Bonnet 2016 Rosé – 88 POINTS
This is an attractive, ripe wine from the André Lurton group. It is smoothly rich, with balanced perfumed fruits and acidity. Full bodied and creamy, it is ready to drink. – RV

Kunde Family Winery 2015 Reserve Chardonnay – 88 POINTS
This wine’s tart, high-pitched acidity greets the palate with a youthful splash of lemon and lime before revealing its true concentration of rich toasted oak and baked apple flavor. Fulsome on the palate, it ends on a taste of the tropics. – VB

Joseph Carr 2015 Chardonnay – 87 POINTS
With its strong green olive aroma, this wine evolves into richly concentrated palate of anise, pineapple and pear, the fruit layered with vanilla. Light-bodied and supported by oak, it finishes bright. – VB


Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits Bolsters Whiskey Stable With Bib & Tucker And Masterson’s Brands

Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits has acquired the upscale Bib & Tucker Bourbon and Masterson’s Rye whiskey brands from 3 Badge Beverage Corp., owned by the Sebastiani family. The deal extends Deutsch’s presence in the fast-growing North American whiskey category, where it already owns the Redemption whiskey label. The price was undisclosed.

“Higher price segments are the most dynamic across the whiskey category and we’re bullish on the opportunity to grow these two great brands,” said Deutsch Family CEO Peter Deutsch. He added that the company intends to “create a diverse range of whiskey brands with different mash bills, places of origin and price points. There will be other additions in the future.”

Masterson’s is the first Canadian label to join the Deutsch Family portfolio. The pot-distilled, 10-year-old core rye is packaged in individually numbered bottles and retails at $70. Masterson’s was extended this spring with a trio of limited-production barrel-aged ryes. All three garnered scores of 90 points or above from Whisky Advocate. Bib & Tucker, a small-batch, six-year-old Bourbon sourced from Tennessee, retails at about $55 a bottle.

Last year, the two brands combined for less than 10,000 cases annually, according to Impact Databank. But Deutsch says Masterson’s has enough aged stock to “quickly expand the brand to national distribution,” and adds that Bib & Tucker will gradually ramp up supply over the next few years.

Meanwhile, Deutsch continues to build the Redemption whiskey brand, which includes MGP-distilled Bourbon, High-Rye Bourbon, Rye and a high-end Barrel Proof range. In 2016, Redemption (around $30) was at 33,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. For its fiscal year ending next March, Deutsch projects the brand to reach about 70,000 cases.

Exclusive: Shanken News Daily

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