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Top 10 Wines of the Week

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Napa Valley and particularly Mount Veeder star on this week’s list, which also features a pair of Pinot Noirs. As always, you’ll find my complete scores and reviews in upcoming issues of Wine Enthusiast. Have a great weekend!

Mount Veeder 2006 Reserve (Napa Valley). $80, 3,000 cases, 14.5%. A big, tannic, vital wine for the cellar.

Diamond Creek 2008 Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). $175, 490 cases. 14.1%. Also Gravelly Meadow and Red Rock Terrace. All three of Diamond Creek’s 2008s are big, tough, substantial wines packed with youthful tannins and bright fruit. All three need serious time in the cellar.

Robert Mondavi 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). $135. 7,715 cases, 15.5%. Made in the ripe style that Mondavi’s been seeing lately, this Cab will nonetheless develop over the decade.

Brandlin 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder). $90, 500 cases, 14.5%. Hard mountain tannins make this Cab chewy and astringent. Needs plenty of time.

Robert Craig 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder). $70, 846 cases, 14.8%. They knocked the heck out of those Veeder tannins and as a result the wine is softly drinkable on release. But it will age.

Fess Parker 2009 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County). $50, 596 cases, 14.9%. Fess Parker and Bien Nacido make for a great combo in this richly voluptuous Pinot.

Franciscan 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). $27, 110,000 cases, 13.5%. What a great value. This wine sneaked into a blind tasting with other Cabs on the list and did just fine.

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2007 Cyrus (Alexander Valley). $60, 2,900 cases, 14%. I’ve always been a fan of Cyrus despite its dry herbaceousness that makes it lean compared to Napa. The wine is a Bordeaux blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon.

Alpha Omega 2008 Proprietary Red Wine (Napa Valley). $88, 1,500 cases, 14.1%. It’s a rich, softly delicious Bordeaux blend that shows well now.

Lucienne 2009 Lone Oak Vineyard Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands). $50, case production not revealed, 14.5%. Flashy, but a bit disjointed. Needs 2-3 years to come around.

  1. Since I became familiar with it I have appreciated the quality of Franciscan Cab. They used to produce a Zin that I liked quite a bit.

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