2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Judge Family Vineyard – $15.00


My comments

I grabbed a few bottles of this wine during a Novy sale where you received a bigger discount based on how many bottles you purchased.  I think I ended up with an extra 25% off.  A single vineyard, Novy Syrah for $15?  Stock up time.


Winery history

Our winemaking goal is to produce wines that best capture the distinct flavor and character of a given vineyard site.  To that end, we focus on sites that provide us with exceptional fruit.  We are fanatical in our protection of the vineyard flavor and are determined not to let any overt winemaking components mute the personality of an individual site.


In the cellar, we vinifiy each wine separately by block, clone and barrel type in order to maximize the individual components and provide greater complexity to the final blend.  This approach also provides us with much more flexibility in crafting a wine using only the best and most harmonious lots.


Given that the majority of our wines are single vineyard offerings, it is critical for us to maintain the site’s individual character in order to provide you with a truly diverse offering of wines.  To that end:


  • We believe in minimal intervention, “gentle” winemaking.  In other words, we let the wine make itself.  We do not want to do anything to the wine that isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • We believe in bottling our wines unfiltered and unfined whenever possible, convinced as we are that fining and filtering strip wines of flavor and character.
  • We believe that the best wines express their origins.  Our goal is not to produce the world’s best Syrah or Zinfandel but rather to produce the very best wine from a given site.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a dark ruby to maroon color.  The very nice nose has blackberries, fresh cracked black peppercorns, smoke, charred meat, cherries, dried herbs, and a touch of earthiness.  This has medium to full body with fairly solid, ripe tannins, and nice acidity.  On the palate the berries, black pepper, and meaty elements hit the palate first with dried herbs and a bit of earthiness coming in on the back end.  The finish is fairly long with the savory elements providing most of the flavor.  Still seems to be on the young side but very enjoyable now with some air.  (90 pts)

2007 Novy Family Wines Syrah Judge Family Vineyard




2006 Viña Cobos Cabernet Sauvignon Cocodrilo – $14.99


My comments

It was a fairly easy decision to grab a few bottles of this wine after enjoying the 2005 vintage.  This is from Paul Hobbs’ winery in Argentina.  A Paul Hobbs’ cab for under $15?  Like the Novy Judge Family Vineyard Syrah above, this was a no brainer.


Winery history

Paul Hobbs visited Argentina in 1989 and he became immediately interested in both the terroir and Argentine culture, noticing the unique potential for Malbec and other varietals in the region.  In 1997 Andrea and Luis met Paul in California and they decided to found Viña Cobos.  Since then, Paul and his Argentine partners have grown their portfolio of ultra-premium wines to include Cobos Nico, Bramare, and Felino which continue to receive even greater accolades.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep maroon color.  The very open and pleasing nose has cassis, minerals, fresh ground espresso, dark chocolate, cherries, vanilla, and a bit of earthy underbrush.  This has medium body, integrated, ripe tannins, and good acidity.  Plush and rich on the palate with dark chocolate, berries, and coffee up front with some vanilla and earthiness on the back end.  The finish has nice length with the dark chocolate and fruit hanging on nicely.  (90 pts)

2006 Viña Cobos Cabernet Sauvignon Cocodrilo




2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine – $9.49


My comments

The local store brought some of this in when the distributor was looking to clear out some wines.  I was able to get several bottles of this gem for under $10 a bottle.  Now it’s time to sample a bottle to see how long to save the remaining bottles.


This is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre.


Winery history

Robert Parker on Domaine André Brunel

André Brunel is more renowned as a progressive producer of high-quality Châteauneuf du Pape, where he fashions the superb Les Cailloux.  But readers looking for a value-priced introduction to his fine winemaking should seek out his red Côtes du Rhône, bottled under the name Domaine André Brunel, and his white Côtes du Rhône, Domaine Becassonne.  These are forward, rich, fruity wines that are meant to be drunk early. The red Côtes du Rhône is a delicious, peppery, complex wine that will drink well for 5-6 years.  Desiring to capture the full pleasures of his vineyard, Brunel bottles this wine without fining or filtration.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a deep violet color.  The dark and meaty nose has black cherries, minerals, charred meat, blackberries, licorice, potpourri, and earthy underbrush.  This has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and good acidity.  On the palate the minerals, earth, and fruit flavors slowly give way to meaty elements.  The finish has nice length but gets a touch thin.  This is still very young and will reward another year or two in the cellar.  The time in the cellar should add some complexity and help fill out the finish.  (90 pts)

2009 Domaine André Brunel Côtes du Rhône Villages Cuvée Sabrine




2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia – $16.62


My comments

I grabbed several of these based on recommendations from a few people.  I’m a big fan of Malbecs from Argentina.  I generally open one when I’m in the mood for something different.


Winery history

Our family venture, is a Boutique Winery which is only devoted to produce high quality wines.


We combine valuable resourses to satisfy discerning palates, sophisticated experts,

who enjoy of a genuine and thousand-year old beverage, but more contemporary than never.



Our production capacity is about 500.000 litres of wine. They are storaged in 25.000, 20.000, 10.000, 5000 and 2500 stainless steel tanks.

This allows a better and thorough quality control.

The select wine is also put in 225 litres barrels of French and American oak.


My Tasting Note

The wine a very deep and dark purple to black color.  The outstanding nose has blackberries, freshly sharpened pencil, dark chocolate, fresh ground espresso, dried herbs, and leather.  The wine has medium to full body, fairly solid tannins, and very nice acidity.  The rich and velvety palate has loads of berries and dark chocolate up front with dried herbs and a touch of earthiness coming in on the back end adding a lot of depth.  The finish is fairly long with the chocolate, berries, and dried herbs slowly giving way to a touch of excess oak.  This is still a baby and will greatly reward some cellar time, that said, other than a bit of oak on the finish this is already stunning.  (92 pts)

2008 Bodega Sottano Malbec Reserva de Familia




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Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.





Wines bought or received this week

No new purchases this week, mainly because I’ve been on the road since Sunday morning.




Remember to support your local wine store!




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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.