JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS FOR JULY 2021

Bougetz ‘Eminence’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Napa Valley (Coombsville), California

Cash Price $59.84

I really take pride in finding smaller wineries that are ‘off the radar’ but making spectacular wine that drink above their price point. This wine is from one of the best vineyards in all of Coombsville. Caldwell vineyard is well noted for producing dynamic Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is 90% Cabernet/7% Petit Verdot/3% Cabernet Franc and was aged for 22 months in 75% new French oak. Thomas Bougetz makes Eminence and only produces 150 cases. The wine has medium plus intensity with finely grained tannins that will give this wine a nice long life. Rich flavors of blackberry and cassis envelope the palate that shows balance and power from start to finish. Notes of cigar box and tobacco show on the mid palate. The finish is long with tinges of raspberry compote, vanillin, and cedar. Barlow Score: 95 Points.

Lagier Meredith Tribidrag (Zinfandel) 2017

Mt. Veeder, California

Cash Price $42.99

This winery is a new edition to our portfolio. It’s located high up on Mt. Veeder and is owned by Steve Lagier and Carole Meredith. Carole is the famed grape geneticist that discovered the origins of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and others. Her Zinfandel uses the ancient name of the variety,Tribidrag, from the Dalmation Coast in Croatia. Steve worked for Mondavi for 14 years before he left to start Lagier-Meredith with Carole. The don’t produce a lot of wine, but what they do produce is absolutely stunning. This Zinfandel is deliciously perfumed from start to finish. Flavors of Lavender and blackberries sink easily into the palate with medium intensity. Hints of potpourri and baking spices waft through the mid palate. The finish is balanced and spicy with hints of licorice and blueberry compote. I really enjoyed this Tribidrag aka Zinfandel! Only 118 cases produced. Barlow Score: 93 Points

Manzoni Pinot Noir 2014

Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Cash Price $29.99 But only $24.99 with a $5.00 Spec’s Key for a limited time

Good aged Pinot Noir can be hauntingly delicious. Santa Lucia Highlands is a perfect micro climate for producing age worthy Pinot Noir. This 2014 is peaking right now! Black cherry and blackberry pop into the palate with finessed tannins. Hints of red plum and wild berries show in the mid palate with medium minus intensity that tickle touches of exotic spice. The finish is soft and refined with hints of vanilla, toasted oak and cola. Barlow Score: 89 Points

Devil’s Candy Red Blend 2017

California

Cash Price $29.99

This wine is a new edition to our portfolio. The blend is primary Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon with a smidge of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono sourced mainly from Oakville and Calistoga. The wine is nearly opaque in the glass. Rich, hedonistic flavors of blueberry and bramble pound into the palate with medium intensity. Neon purple fruit round into the mid palate with hints of exotic spice. The finish is thick and rich with plenty of blackberry and touches of cedar and vanilla. Barlow Score: 90 Points

Snowden Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $28.49

Diana Snowden-Seyess is one of my absolute favorite wine makers. She and her brother Randy get this 100% Sauvignon Blanc from a small parcel called Sunninghill that is only 1 acre in size. The wine was fermented with wild yeast and aged on the lees for 6 months to offer a softer style of Sauvignon Blanc. Flavors of citrus, green apple skin and melon flow easily into the palate. The mid palate offers deliciously refreshing acidity that is slightly tamed by the lees aging to offer a softer roundness. The finish is clean and lip smacking with notes of white peach and apricot with just a whiff of papaya. Barlow Score: 92 Points

Brooks Winery ‘Sweet P’ Riesling 2017

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $24.99

Brooks winery produces 21 Rieslings varying from bone dry to cloyingly sweet. The Sweet P is an estate wine that offers medium sweet texture, but has excellent acidity to keep it from being cloying. Delightfully fleshy flavors of white peach, quince and orange blossoms flow into medium intensity. Hints of beeswax and sweet tarts pop into the mid palate with whiffs of honeycombs. The finish is soft and supple with tinges of baking spices and the tell tale hints of petrol. Impressive. Barlow Score: 93 Points

Trig Point ‘Diamond Dust Vineyard’ Merlot 2017

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $18.99

Nick Goldschmidt is one of my favorite wine makers.  He consistently crafts wines of high quality in different climates and even hemispheres.  His father was a land surveyor and a ‘Trig’ is used to establish boundary lines.  Goldschmidt’s Trig Point wines show the unique soils of the area he gets the grapes from, namely Alexander Valley.  The vineyard is located on the southern (and cooler) end of Alexander Valley which makes it prime territory for producing low yield, high quality Merlot.  This 100% Merlot offers flavors of intense black cherry and rhubarb that jump into easy acids and well rounded tannins.  Notes of strawberry and freshly picked plum meld into the core of the wine with touches of spice and smokey minerality.  The finish is deliciously long with 12 months of French oak aging in 25% new barrels and just a touch of new American oak which gives hints of creamy vanilla bean, cinnamon, and cedar.  Barlow Score: 90 Points

Ca’Momi Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $19.89

Ca’Momi is a Spec’s gem Napa Valley Cabernet for under $20.  This American winery with Italian roots produces excellent value wines across the board.  This 100% Cabernet is wonderfully complex with flavors of ripe cassis and black cherry.  The wine has been aged for 18 months in oak and it shows on the palate.  Notes of spice integrate through the balanced tannins and acids.  The finish offers plush hints of currant, cream and toasted oak.  Chocolate mocha sits on the palate for a good long time.  This is a great value Cabernet Sauvignon.  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Borgo Magredo Prosecco Extra Dry NV

Prosecco DOC, Italy

Cash Price $18.99

I visited Borgo Magredo many years ago in Friuli. I was quite impressed with their attention to detail and the quality of their white wines. This Prosecco is Extra Dry (meaning more grams of sugar than a Brut) but the sugar in this wine does not equate to sweetness, but instead softens the acidity of the sparkling wine. Flavors of ripe lemon citrus pop into the palate with notes of green apple and grapefruit. The finish is light and refreshing with plenty of bubbles to cleanse the palate and leave you wanting more. Barlow Score: 89 Points

Summer Water Dry Rosé 2019

Central Coast, California

Cash Price $17.99

This Dry Rosé has become the blockbuster hit Pink of the summer. Sales have been like a wild fire. The wine is a Grenache and Syrah blend that offers vibrant flavors of citrus grapefruit, melon and white peach.  The mid palate offers mouthwatering acidity and absolutely no oak.  The finish gives zesty white flowers and crunchy watermelon. Yum! Barlow Score: 90 Points

Freelander Pinot Noir 2019

California

Cash Price $15.99

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this Pinot Noir. The grape can often taste ‘artificial’ or ‘grapey’ in less expensive versions, but this one was quite exuberant and lively from start to finish. Ripe flavors of red and black fruit turn into loads of red raspberry. Cherry compote flows into the mid palate with whiffs of blueberry cream pie. There is no noticeable oak on the finish, but notes of raspberry tea and cola tickle the palate. Super Fresh. Barlow Score: 90 Points

Momo Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Marlborough, New Zealand

Cash Price $15.99

Momo (meaning ‘offspring’ in Maori) has sprung from the Seresin Estate.  Momo wines are meant to be fun, enjoyable and a party wine.  All of the grapes from these wines are sustainably grown and Vegan friendly.  The wine is completely un oaked and tantalizingly tasty, Momo expresses flavors of lemon citrus and grapefruit that are encompassed by guava and pineapples.  The mid palate offers medium plus acidity with plush passion fruit quaffing throughout.  The finish is clean and thirst quenching with hints of lemon meringue and apricot. This is a perfect scorching hot heat white wine.  Barlow Score: 89 Points

One Flock Chardonnay 2017

California

Cash Price $14.99

This quintessential California Chardonnay is ready for you to pour early and often on days that end with ‘Y’. Ripe tropical fruits of pineapple and melon flow into plush hints of mandarin with a soft intensity. Hints of baking spice are an underlying current throughout. The finish shows papaya and mango with whiffs of creamy vanilla. Barlow Score: 88 Points

James Barlow, CWE, CSS

Spec’s Fine Wine Buyer

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS FOR JULY 2021

  1. dhwelsh says:

    How do I know where these wines are available? I live in The Woodlands.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

Leave a Reply to TheWineEpicure Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s