Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bodegas Artadi "Viñas de Gaín" Rioja Tempranillo Red Wine (DOCa)





Bodegas Artadi "Viñas de Gaín" Rioja Tempranillo Red Wine (DOCa),
$24.64-$31.99, 87 points, poured core black transitioning to candy-apple red toward the still broad clear wine ring.
The slightly funky, perfumed aroma blended just okay with red cherry and a hint of bell pepper.
Medium-plus bodied, fair-plus acidity, supportive mild tannin, and flavors of plum, black cherry, blackberries, tobacco, and licorice were good and smoothly displayed; flavors were superior to the aromas.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a hint of mint, and a well integrated 14% alcohol.

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Spanish Rioja Red Wines






Bodegas Abanico "Hazaña Viñas Viejas" 2014 Rioja Red Wine, $9.99-$15.99, 87+ points
Bodegas Artadi "Viñas de Gaín" Rioja Tempranillo Red Wine (DOCa), $24.64-$31.99, 87 points
Bodegas Obalo 2011 Rioja, $13.00, 88 points
Campo Viejo Rioja 2012 Garnacha, $4.94-$10.99, 87 points
Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2003 Tempranillo, $14.99-$18.99, 90 points
Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva 2006 Red Wine, $9.99-$13.99, 89 points
Coto De Imaz 2008 Rioja Reserva, $19.99-$24.99, 90 points
EL PUNTIDO Rioja 2005 Tempranillo, $35.74-$47.00, 93 points
Heras Cordón 2005 Rioja Reserva, $19.99-$39.99, 92+ points
La Maldita Rioja 2014 Granacha Red Wine, $8.49-$12.99, 86 points
Marqués de Cáceres Gran Reserva 2008 Rioja, $24.99-$29.99, 92+ points
Marqués de Cáceres Reserva 2004 Tempranillo, $18.74, 90 points
Marqués de Cáceres Reserva 2008 Rioja, $17.99-$19.99*, 90 points
Muga Rioja Reserva Unfiltered 2008 Tempranillo, $17.84-$27.99, 92 points
Muga Rioja Reserva Unfiltered 2010 Tempranillo, $20.99-$22.99, 91 points
Muga Rioja Reserva 2007 Tempranillo, $21.24-$27.99, 90 points
Raiza Rioja 2007 Tempranillo Reserva, $13.50-$18.00, 90+ points
Ramon Cardova Rioja 2011 Garnacha, $15.99-$17.99, 89 points
Rio Madre Rioja 2011 Graciano, $8.99-$11.99, 87 points
Telmo Rodríguez LZ 2012 Rioja Red Wine, $7.99-$18.99, 88 points

All Other Spanish Red Wines

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bodegas La Cartuja 2013 Priorat Red Wine



Bodegas La Cartuja 2013 Priorat Red Wine,
$14.99-$19.99, 90 points, poured opaque reds trending deep cranberry red toward the glass bowl and transparent wine ring.
Subtle aromas of chocolate, violets, and black grape were good.
Medium to medium-plus body managed firm tannins with good acidity.
Flavors of cola, a wet warm stoniness, with eucalyptus and boysenberry were excellent.
Finished on the trailing palate, a warm 14.5% alcohol, white pepper, and anise were excellent as well.
Varietals were 70% Garnacha and 30% Cariñena .
Paired perfectly with my barbecued baby-backs.



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Spanish Priorat Red Wines






Yes!
Priorat is also my favorite red wines of Spain!


Bernard Magrez Herència del Padrí 2014 Priorat Red Wine D.D.O.C. (Spain), $16.14-$18.99, 91 points

Bluegray Priorat (Spain) 2012 Red Wine, $15.29-$17.99, 92 points

Bodegas La Cartuja 2013 Priorat Red Wine, $14.99-$19.99, 90 points

Bodegas Mas Alta (Black Slate) Lavilella Alta Vi De La Vila D.O.O. Priorat 2013 Red Wine, $16.99-$21.99, 90 points

Cesca Vicent D.O.Ca. Priorat 2009 Red Wine, $15.30-$21.25, 91 points

Clos De L'Obac 2005 Priorat Red Wine, $38.24-$49.99, 93+ points

Ferrer Bobet 2005 Priorat Red Wine, $36.54, 92 points,

Mas Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles Priorat 2006 Red Wine, $74.99-$119.99, 95 points

Nita Priorat 2007 Red Wine, $22.94, 90 points

Noster Inicial Priorat 2009 Red Wine, $15.99-$18.99, 90+ points

Scala Dei Garnatxa 2013 Priorat Garnacha Red Wine D.O.Q. Denominació d'Origen Qualificada (Spain), $16.14-$18.88, 91 points


All Other Spanish Red Wines

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Haywood Los Chamizal Sonoma Valley 2009 Zinfandel



Haywood Los Chamizal Sonoma Valley 2009 Zinfandel, $15.99,$29.99, 89 points, poured mostly ruby red with flashes of maroon up to the thin clear wine ring.
Aromas of marzipan, flowers, blueberries, and rich wild blackberries were quite good.
Very soft, supple (atypical) medium-plus bodied wine with fair acidity and easy early palate tannin, carried good flavors of mulberry, briar-berries, damson plum, and truffle.
Finished okay on easy spice notes (the label says pepper flavors), a more pronounced tannin, and a cool, but insidious 14.1 alcohol (I think it was higher).
Paired perfectly with our pepperoni pizza.
Commentary: This one was an unusual Zinfandel, but I liked it very much, and for the $16, you will too; if Big alcohol Zins bother you, and fruit bombs aren't your thing, then this should be a no-brainer! 


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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Nickle & Nickle Far Niente Napa Valley 2008 Chardonnay





Nickle & Nickle Far Niente Napa Valley 2008 Chardonnay, $48.44-$56.99, 94 points, poured out of the smelter's crucible a rich gold color.
An aromatic array unusual to most Cali Chardonnay managed lime, flowers, saffron, and melon notes, all most pleasant.
Medium-bodied, fair-plus acidity, clean flavors, as if tasted through the looking glass of the aromas, were glossed in gossamer inkling(s)* of wet stone.
Finished long on the trailing palate, a blended 14.3% alcohol, and warm black pepper with hints of ginger.
Good wine is the consternation of good palates and costly to the poor purses.

*For British conversation.

Music apropos for our wine tasting:
We Are Family

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Groth Napa Valley 2012 Chardonnay






Groth Napa Valley 2012 Chardonnay, 
$25.49-$31.99, 93 points, was a light gold color trending water clear at the glass bowl.
Lovely aromas of honeysuckle, melon, and the slightest hint of vanilla were quite good.
Medium-bodied with fair-plus acidity and flavors reflective of the aromas including a touch of oak impressed me as what a very good Cali Chardonnay should be.
Finished incredibly long on black pepper, ginger, and a warm 14.3% alcohol.
The contradictions of this Chardonnay might be seen as: while being unctuous, it is steely, while subtle, it is powerful, and while still flavor neutral, it is quite grapey.
Paired perfectly with a rotisserie chicken and broccoli in a cheddar cheese sauce.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Wine's saintly music





 
 
 
I'm not sure what it was
that made me think of pairing music with wine,
but  Vinsanity's miracle had something to do with it.
My first thought was Vespers!
Being a Protestant
and loving both wine
and vespers seems oxymoronic,
but as I was finishing my supper with a glass of Pinot Noir,
and feeling ready to retire, it came to me.
Off to Google-land, and lo and behold I found:
 
 
 
With thoughts of heaven, harmony, harvest, and sleep I bid thee good night!

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Alderbrook Vineyards Russian River Sonoma County 2011 Pinot Noir







Alderbrook Vineyards Russian River Sonoma County 2011 Pinot Noir, $17.99-$29.99, 86 points, poured a cloudy garnet with a clear wine ring.
Funky smells greeted me upon opening with developing red cherry, clove, and plum notes.
The medium body carried fair acidity, mild tannin, and flavors fit to the aromas with a bit of toasty pomegranate. Subtle spritz, not as uncommon with Cali Pinot Noir as some would admit to, altered a rather smooth texture.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a well integrated 14.2% alcohol, licorice, and hints of mild spice.
As Autumn and my seasonal Pinot Noir tasting accelerates, I must admit my disappointment with this one.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Château Le Prieuré Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Émilion 2009 Bordeaux Revisited







Château Le Prieuré Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Emilion 2009 Bordeaux, Reviewed 01/28/2013
was my cellared choice for our celebration and family wine tasting.
My opinion of this wine changed little in two years, and as for me, my  2013 review will stand, however others found it too tannic (I have already noted my preference for tannic wines, including Brunello DI Montalcino and good Cali-Cabernet Sauvignon wines among others).
My son identified six out of six unidentified wines (Ethan has an amazing palate for a 26 year old), and noted this Saint-Émilion showed great complexity and depth throughout, while others commented on its peppery finish.
Keep in mind that these wines are intended to be cellared for 10-30 years, and that professional reviews were not so kind to this wine (CT with nine reviews averaged 91 points).
"To thine own self be true."


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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley 2006 Merlot






Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley 2006 Merlot, $94.99-$125.00 (1.5L), 90 points, poured a deep purple/red color with a thin clear wine ring.
The nose was a splendid licorice, plum, black cherry, and vanilla which carried well onto the palate. The 2006 Duckhorn was typically Merlot smooth despite the noticeable acidity; that smoothness was in part due to the now mostly tamed tannin.
Finished well on a warm 14.5% alcohol, a bit herbaceous, and good pepper notes.
This was a favorite of at least two of us at the wine tasting, especially this guy:





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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Carpineto 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva



Carpineto 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva, $16.14-$23.99, 89+ points, appeared bright with various reds trending orange/red at the leggy glass bowl and moderately broad clear wine ring.
Upon opening, the aromas were dominated by violets, but after breathing for some hours they transitioned to subtle red fruit notes with a hint of sweet tobacco.
Early flavors too, were florally dominated, and that transitioned as well to tame red fruits with a good balance of bourbon.
Finished long on the trailing palate, warm peppers, coffee notes, and a sweet-spot 13.5% alcohol.
The medium body was typically mouth-watering acidic and supported by manageable, yet strident tannins.
Paired well with spinach pie and a rare spice-rubbed Angus rib-eye steak.



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Monday, September 21, 2015

Honig Napa Valley Rutherford 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve







Honig Napa Valley Rutherford 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, $18.99-$22.99, 91+ points, was a bright brass color trending water clear at the glass wall.
Fresh melon smells dominated this white wine, but honeysuckle and orange peel were mysteriously subtle.
Light-bodied with good acidity with an early crisp texture transitioned to quite creamy on the end palate and into the finish.
Flavors of cantaloupe, watermelon, a touch of oak, and flowers were very good.
Finished fine on the trailing palate, a hint of white pepper, and a well integrated 14.1% alcohol.
Paired very good with oysters on the half-shell and fried fresh Atlantic cod, or solo.
Varietals were 88% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon, and 2% Muscat.
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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Two Hands Ares 2006 Shiraz





Two Hands Ares 2006 Shiraz, $149.99-$229.99, 94 points,  poured black throughout, except near the heavily draped glass bowl and clear wine ring.
Smells of dusty blackberries and cocoa-powder with whiffs of alcohol (16%) black currant, fresh laundered-linen, and a floral component were rather deep, complex, and unusual.
Full-bodied with firm tannin, good acidity, and flavors reflective of the nose, as well licorice and dark fruit notes were outstanding.
Finished hot and strong on spice, black pepper, and alcohol.
This was a special occasion wine shared with family members, of which this was the favorite of at lest three of us.






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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Banfi Castello 2010 Brunello DI Montalcino






Banfi Castello 2010 Brunello DI Montalcino, $29.99-$32.99 (375ml), 94 points, poured a lovely ruby trending pomegranate red toward the leggy glass bowl and broad clear wine ring.
Loads of red fruit, truffle, and cedar on the nose were quite good and dramatic for such a young Brunello.
The medium body, with layered grainy tannins trending deep and accentuated into the finish, were perfectly complimented by good food friendly acids.
Bourbon flavors augmented with pomegranate, red cherry, and hints of strawberry and mint were excellent.
Finished long on the trailing palate, a warm 14% alcohol, just a touch of tar, and crisp spice notes.
Just maybe the best Banfi Castello Brunello I've tasted (excluding Poggio Alle Mura).

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Paul Dolan Deep Red 2009 Mendocino Red Wine



Paul Dolan Deep Red 2009 Mendocino Red Wine, $15.99-$39.99, 89+ points, poured core black trending crushed black currant purple/red at the leggy glass wall and transparent wine ring.
Profuse aromas of clove, cinnamon, violets, sea breezes, and wild blackberries were very good.
Just shy of being full-bodied with fair-plus acidity and supportive mild tannin which carried flavors reflective of the aromas with hints of anise and pomegranate.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a warm 15.5% alcohol, and cayenne pepper.
Varietals were 60% Syrah, 30% Petite Sirah, 7% Grenache, and 3% Mourvèdre.
Paired just fine with Mexican cuisine.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Millet - Roger 2014 Sancerre








Millet - Roger 2014 Sancerre, $25.99-$27.99, 90 points, was a light gold color trending gray at the glass bowl.
Smells of cantaloupe and orange peel were very good.
Light crisp body carried good acidity with flavors of limestone, lychee, star fruit, and orange peel.
Finished long on the trailing palate, a touch of ginger, and a well integrated 12.5% alcohol.
Paired wonderfully with buttered wild mushroom ravioli and lentil crackers with sharp cheddar cheese, but Maine lobsters will do too.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Philippine de Saint Cyrille Grande Réserve 2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape








Philippine de Saint Cyrille Grande Réserve 2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (GSM), $24.99-$29.99, 90+ points, poured a moderately deep maroon all the way up to the broad clear rim and leggy glass wall.
Chocolate, roses, blackberry and boysenberry aromas were very good.
Medium-plus body managed fair to fair-plus acidity, layered mild tannin, and flavors which mirrored the aromas with licorice notes.
The texture was very silky.
Finished fair on the trailing palate, a good stony quality, an increased tannic presence with warm spices and a well integrated 14% alcohol.
Varietals were heavy-weighted Grenache with Syrah and Mourvèdre.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Viña Cobos El Felino 2013 Chardonnay







Viña Cobos El Felino 2013 Chardonnay, $16.99-19.99, 87 points, was a brass color tending a blue/gray toward the glass wall.
Aromatic melon, honeysuckle, and orange blossoms were very pleasant.
Near medium-bodied with fair acidity, a bit over oaky, and flavors reflective of the aromas were okay.
The long finish was the highlight of this wine with loads of white pepper, the trailing palate, and a slightly warm 14% alcohol.
Paired well with my breaded pork chops, fresh native spiced tomatoes, and buttered mashed potatoes.


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Monday, September 14, 2015

Sileni Marlborough 2014 Sauvignon Blanc






Sileni Marlborough 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, $10.99-$12.99, 87 points, poured quite gray with copper tones.
Smells of white grapefruit dominated here and carried into this Sauvignon Blanc throughout the flavor profile as well.
Very crisp, light-bodied, acidic and one dimensional.
Finished with consistence and a well integrated 11.5% alcohol.
Paired fine with fried scallops and a Maine lobster, but was not the Sauvignon Blanc I remembered the 2013 vintage to be.



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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast 2012 Pinot Noir







Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast 2012 Pinot Noir, $34.99-$49.99, 93 points, poured a lovely cranberry red right up to the transparent wine rim.
I use the term "dusty" rarely, but in this case dusty black cherry jumped out at me, and with the other aromas of sandalwood and truffle this Pinot Noir began beautifully.
The medium-plus body carried good acidity and moderately supportive tannins along with flavors of that same dusty black cherry, a floral underlayment, and slight notes of black currant and eucalyptus.
Finished warm on the 14.5% alcohol, a slight woody note, and an unusually wonderful hot spice.
It's hard to believe, but it's that time of the year (Autumn-Halloween-Thanksgiving and Christmas) when I start drinking Pinot Noir red wines, and this is a great way to begin.


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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Morgan Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands 2013 Riesling







Morgan Double L Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands 2013 Riesling, $19.54-$22.99, 86 points, appeared a burnished gold color trending nearly water clear at the glass bowl.
Aromatic ripe apple notes with a hint of pear were just okay for me.
Near medium-bodied with good acidity, a touch of sweetness, and flavors reflective of the aromas which trailed into the rather boring finish made for a rather provincial white table wine.
The 11% alcohol was nearly unnoticeable, while the Asian cuisine paired well.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Tenuta Santedame 2010 Chianti Classico







Tenuta Santedame 2010 Chianti Classico, $15.99-$19.99, 87+ points, poured a deep ruby red transitioning to orange at the clear wine ring.
The nose was a briny red cherry with hints of earth, mushrooms, and a floral note.
Tenuta Santedame 2010 Chianti Classico was medium-bodied with good acidity and appropriate tannin.
Flavors of strawberry, red and black cherry, with hints of mulling spices were good.
Finished warm on the 13.5% alcohol, cayenne pepper, and a building tannic presence.


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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Innocenti Vignalsole 2011 Toscana IGT


 
Innocenti Vignalsole 2011 Toscana IGT,  $21.24-$27.99, 91 points, poured pristine and nearly opaque ruby trending sunburst orange/red at the clear wine ring.
Complex aromas of cedar, truffle, black olives, pomegranate, and roses were very good and propitious.
The medium to medium-plus body managed good acidity, layered and building tannins which were a bit more than supportive (I prefer my red wines with more rather than less tannins).
Robust flavors reflective of the aromas were excellent, and with a touch of plum, mint, and tar added a cerebral complexity.
Finished long on the trailing palate, hot spice notes, and a well integrated, but warm 15% alcohol.




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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Inman Family Russian River Valley, Sonoma, 2014 Rosé Pinot Noir






Inman Family Russian River Valley, Sonoma, 2014 Rosé Pinot Noir, $23.99-$27.99, 90 points, appeared a lovely peach pink trending clear toward the glass bowl.
Aromatic red cherry, a floral note, and hints of strawberry were quite good.
Light-bodied leaning light-plus carried fair acidity with flavors very much Pinot Noir (strawberry, red cherry. and jasmine), but a hint of watermelon was very refreshing.
Finished with some elegance, a hint of spice, and a well integrated 12.8% alcohol.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Roux Père & Fils Bourgogne 2013 Chardonnay (France)

Roux Père and Fils Bourgogne 2013 Chardonnay, $16.14-$21.99, 91 points, poured a brassy bronze color.
The aroma was soft pome blossom with an almost nondescript hazelnut aroma.
Less than medium-bodied, good acidity, having a light floral, stony, citrusy lime with a twist of crab apple flavors.
Pure long finish of ginger, a hint of juniper-berry. and a well integrated 12.5% alcohol satisfied.
I paired this with bone-in spiced pork chops, bread battered, and fried with bacon fat, but I'd pair this with most poultry dishes, mac-and-cheese, Asian cuisine, fish and seafood.
I couldn't find out much about this wine, but I didn't taste any oak at all: My kind of Chardonnay! So, if you're looking for big, buttery, butterscotch Cali Chardonnay here, forget it!

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Justin Central Coast 2014 Sauvignon Blanc







Justin Central Coast 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, $14.99, 89 points, was a light brass color trending gray toward the glass shallows.
The nose was quite grassy with a pome blossom component.
Cold, this SB was typically Cali crisp and acidic, but as it warmed became unusually creamy and slightly heavier than light-bodied while the flavors transitioned nicely from tart citrus, even a touch sour to more topical fruit flavors with a grand finish of ginger and white pepper with a kick-ass 14.5% alcohol.
Paired well with steamed Maine lobsters.
Bought at the Bedford Market Basket Super Market, but also found at the NHLS for $12.99.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Marcel Lapierre Raisins Goulois Vin De France 2014 Beaujolais







Marcel Lapierre Raisins Goulois Vin De France 2014 Beaujolais, $11.89-$13.99, 85 points, poured a slightly cloudy cranberry red with a clear wine ring and considerable draping.
The nose was pomegranate, red cherry jam, cotton candy with a hint of horse-hair (just okay for me).
Light-plus body with good acidity and very mild tannin.
Flavors mirrored the nose fairly well, and finished on that trailing palate, easy spice notes, tart citrus, and a well integrated 12% alcohol.







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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2014 Beaujolais





Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2014 Beaujolais,
$22,09-$25.99, 91 points, poured a cranberry red with flashes of maroon, a leggy glass wall, and a moderately wide clear wine ring.
Fragrant aromas of sea breezes, chocolate, and lingonberry jam were quite good.
Light-plus body with mouth-watering acidity, mildly supportive tannin, loads of red fruit with a balancing granite minerality reflected a straight-forward, yet delicious tipple.
Finished long on escalating spice notes and a well integrated 12% alcohol.



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