The SOMM Journal

April / May 2018

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Page 32 of 108

32 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } APRIL/MAY 2018 { price points } I TASTE ABOUT 5,000 wines every year. Some are priced around $5; others are $100 and more. The latter group is surpris - ingly large and varied in quality—some are outstanding and some, unfortunately, are not. Here are ten recent $100-plus releases I rated as outstanding (96–98 points) in alphabetical order : Clos De La Tech 2012 Domaine du Docteur Rodgers Vineyard Pinot Noir, San Francisco Bay ($102) The top wine of T.J. Rodgers, founder/retired CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, and his wife Valeta Massey is made on a steep, one-acre Santa Cruz Mountain vineyard. Smooth, supple, and juicy with a spicy cherr y nose, it shows elegance and fi - nesse as its length dazzles. Impressive. 97 Dal Forno Romano 2011 Amarone della Valpolicella DOC ($400) Wow! Dark, rich, velvety, and deep; spicy, concentrated, and long. This wine is made in the most exacting method imaginable, and it shows. 97 WILSON DANIELS Flora Springs 2014 St. Helena Rennie Re- serve Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($150) Silky with luscious flavors of plum, berry, and sweet oak; refined yet intense in its tanginess with hints of vanilla and spice. Long and balanced; fresh and elegant. 96 Maison Louis Jadot 2015 Chapelle- Chambertin Grand Cru, Burgundy ($285) Opulent, rich, and stunning; elegant and supple with notes of earth, oak, and bright raspberry. Showy with a lengthy fin - ish—there's enormous potential here. 97 KOBRAND WINE & SPIRITS Masi 2011 Campolongo di Torbe Ama- rone della Valpolicella Classico DOC ($160) Plush and spicy; rich and juicy with nuanced layers of flavor ; stunningly con - centrated yet balanced. Another great wine from this exceptional producer. 96 KOBRAND WINE & SPIRITS Patel 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ruther- ford, Napa Valley ($175) Deep, dense, and lush with a smooth texture and juicy, elegant fruit. Impressive structure and complexity from an under-the-radar producer. 96 Yangarra 2014 High Sands Grenache, McLaren Vale ($140) Floral nose; luscious, pure, and balanced; rich with depth and concentrated fruit. A dramatic demonstra - tion of the potential of this underrated variety. 96 JACKSON FAMILY WINES Highest of the High-Priced THE TOP TEN WINES OVER $100 IN 2018 (SO FAR) by Anthony Dias Blue Cardinale 2014 Caber- net Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($275) Bright ruby color with a soft plum nose; incredibly elegant, rich, and precise; gener - ous with bright plum, cherry, and boysen- berry notes with hints of vanilla, toast, and spice. Another Chris Carpen - ter masterpiece—deep, ageworthy, and long. 97 Dominus Estate 2014 Napanook, Napa Valley ($219) Christian Moueix shows us how it's done. Exquisite, smooth, and refined; structured yet silky and lush. Lovely now but should last 30 years. 98 MAISONS MARQUES & DOMAINES Tenuta di Biserno 2012 "Biserno," Toscana IGT ($175) Glossy and lush; sup - ple, elegant, and rich with hints of earth and spice. Seamless and generous; long and balanced. Shows great finesse. 97 KOBRAND WINE & SPIRITS

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