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Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Editor at Snooth Happy to answer all your wine related questions.

Top Scoring Bordeaux Blends

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Winston Hill (2008)
Comments: Closed on the nose and a bit inky with slow to emerge black raspberry, currant and pomegranate aromas tinged with a hint of violet and some sweet gum tree notes. A bit thick in the mouth but not heavy, this is kind of silky with rich, lush fruit. There’s enough acid to keep this bright, lending the fruit a touch of a raspberry coulis cast. The tannins are very well managed, keeping this rich yet approachable and letting the toasty, raspberry rugelach flavors ooze over the palate. The finish shows nice shavings of bitter chocolate and wood spice accenting the fruit. Fairly long and a touch sticky on the finale with cinnamon and blueberry grace notes. Culty kind of flavors and feel. 93pts
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2 Buty Red Bordeaux Blend Columbia Valley Merlot/Cabernet Franc (2009)
Comments: Deep blueberry, raspberry, tobacco leaf and pencil lead notes greet the nose, along with some nice toasty cookie notes. A touch sweet up front, this is rich yet transparent with fine tannins and well-integrated acidity. The fruit is lovely, fresh and focused with red plum and wild raspberry notes. This is elegant and finely balanced with lovely mineral and very lightly herbal notes on the back end. That leads to a tight, focused finish which fades into a bit of an oaken wash on the finale. Give this a bit of time for the wood to integrate and this should be fabulous. Little bit of black cherry cough syrup on the finale. 93pts
Previously available for $39.99
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3 Trinitas Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley Meritage (2008)
Comments: Tight on the nose and showing a leading edge of fine French oak without much to cover it at this stage, though some ivy and candied black plum notes do emerge with air. On the palate, this is classic California Cabernet: rich, round, with bright acid and some assertive wood tannins at this young age but a core of black cherry, currant and blueberry fruit. If this stays well balanced and loses some baby fat it could be great. Even now it delivers plenty of enjoyment with a particularly long, well-fruited and ever so tactile finish. A bigish wine but one that really has its stuff together. 93pts
Previously available for $42.99
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4 Donati Family Ezio Paicines (2008)
Comments: A nice loamy note greets the nose along with hints of graphite, mint and loads of cedar spice. This has a sweet/sour thing going on the palate with a bit of Tootsie Roll over the base of pomegranate and sour cherry fruit. There’s a touch of meatiness on the back end and a touch of wood tannin that emerges along with it. The fruit is red and fresh, if a little subdued, though the fruit does linger on the palate with a fine base of wood spice, which pops on the finale. Fairly lean if well integrated with a lovely Cabernet profile. 92pts
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5 Muratie Wine Estate Red Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch Ansela Van de Caab (2007)
Comments: This is nice and soil-driven with a noticeable bed of oak topped with lovely dried herb, red currant, mint, pepper and gentle toffee aromas. Rich and velvety, this has a lovely muscular yet wiry feel with earthy, slightly roasted red fruits and rich coffee bean and dried herb nuances. The tannins seem fairly resolved here and the acid is bright and well integrated lending this a fine, fresh feel. There’s a real base of earthy, perhaps slightly funky flavors here that sets off the fruit particularly on the cranberry, cherry-toned finish, which shows a top note of dusty minerality. This is old school and not fruit-driven, but is also complex, refreshing and wonderfully succulent. 92pts
Previously available for $41.99
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6 Seven Hills "Pentad" Walla Walla Valley Washington (2007)
Comments: Lovely, taut nose is a bit matte but surprisingly attractive with cocoa, caramel and vanilla grounded in lovely spicy black fruits. Full and broad in the mouth, with an open knit feel about it. There’s enough acid but it is covered by the rich fruit here, showing real restraint. The back end reveals deep cherry and black currant fruit with a touch of pluminess that transitions into a lightly spiced, oak-driven note on the long, toasty, raspberry jam finish. Elegant and refined while remaining rich and powerful. 92pts
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7 Terlato Vineyards Angels' Peak (2008)
Comments: Bitter chocolate and mushroom aromas dominate the nose along with black currant fruit. There's a nice cigar wrapper aroma on entry here which precedes the delivery of rich bitter chocolate-dusted black currant and plum fruit, but this is a touch dense on the palate featuring some acidity and rich, quite ripe fruit in both texture and flavors. Some vanilla on the back end shows a little oak influence, along with some spice on the admittedly fresher finish, but this is a touch overdone and ponderous for my palate. 88pts
Average price: $41.99 from 16 stores
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8 Ferrari Carano Tresor (2007)
Comments: Meaty and earthy on the nose with sweet molasses aromas and a real herbal edge. There’s even a little Bovril here adding complexity to the core of dark fruit. This is velvety, smooth, rich and polished with nary a seam showing. A bit weighty and rich, the fruit is low in the mouth with more meaty, herbal and chocolate nuances providing some relief from the pressure of the fruit. People are going to love this, though for me it is a bit thick and shows a lot of oak on the back end and through the long, spicy finish. Not my style but very well done. 92pts
Average price: $57.99 from 6 stores
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9 Urraca Familia Langley Reserva (2007)
Comments: Dusty, lightly smoky oak topping fresh wild cherry and plum, with a fine green herb edge. Carob and lots of spice here. A bit sweet and richly jammy, this is packed with remarkably fresh raspberry fruit. Bright acids and polished tannins make this easy to drink. There’s light cigar box shading on the palate, which really is zesty, and a nice light dusting of grabby tannins on the moderately long, citrusy and wild raspberry-toned finish. Really lively and red-fruited. 92pts
Average price: $39.99 from 1 store
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