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November 07, 2017

The Wine Advocate’s Latest Issue 233

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On the 31st of October, The Wine Advocate released their latest Issue of the year focusing on some of the world’s greatest wine regions and their iconic wines. Headlining this Issue is the much anticipated annual California Report featuring Napa Valley Part One 2015 & 2016 which features some very attractive reviews. In addition to Napa, the report included Chateauneuf du Pape’s 2015 & 2016 wines, Burgundy 2014 from bottle (part two), the latest Penfolds’s releases, Chianti Classico’s new releases among many others.

With over 3,700 wine reviews spanning 11 countries, this is a monster report. We have listed below a few of the highlights…

Paul Hobbs Dr Crane 2014 – 100 Points, initial score (98-100), Released July 18th

Produced from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr Crane Vineyard offers up a profound and singular nose of loam, rocks and iron ore over a core of black cherries, baked black berries and preserved plums with hints of licorice, dark chocolate, cedar, sautéed herbs and beef broth. Full-bodied, rich and demonstrating great depth with a wonderfully compelling personality, it delivers a multitude of savory meat and toast layers, framed by firm, fine-grained tannins. It finishes with incredible persistence, allowing those provocative mineral nuances to shine through. 844 cases were made. 100, points Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Penfolds Grange 2013 – 100 Points, first score, Released October 19th

Remember that old Heinz Ketchup “anticipation” ad from the 1970s? The palate of this 2015 Grange does just that. It makes you wait with so much delicious promise being drip fed into the mouth at first—and then it bursts forth and delivers! This vintage is a blend of 96% Shiraz and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, coming from the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Magill Estate. Very deep inky purple-black colored, the 2013 Grange has a profoundly scented nose of crème de cassis, preserved black plums, blueberry pie and licorice over nuances of baker’s chocolate, smoky bacon and fragrant earth, plus exotic spice wafts of cumin seed, cardamom, fenugreek and star anise. Unfurling and slowly building in the medium to full-bodied mouth with wonderful grace and depth, it reveals an incredible array of ripe black fruit, spice, meat and earth-inspired flavors, with a rock-solid frame to support this beauty (it should easily cellar for 40+ years!), while previously latent flavors emerge fully on the epically long finish, culminating in that ultimate Grange experience. Oh, yes. 100, points Lisa Perrotti-Brown

Beaucastel Hommage a Jacques Perrin 2015 – 98 Points, initial score (97-99) Released September 14th

As this was bottled only a week before I tasted it, I suspect this rating will prove to be conservative once a few months have passed. The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin is another prodigious version of this wine. How many wines in this world can be so huge yet so lacking the feeling of weight? There’s plenty of layered spice but also a core of raspberries; rich tannins, yet no real astringency; and a long finish without any apparent heat. Wow! 98 points, Joe Czerwinski

Isole e Olena Cepparello 2014 – 95 Points, initial score (93-95), Points Released August 11th

The 2014 Cepparello is truly beautiful, and it absolutely transcends the expectation of the vintage. This beautiful Sangiovese is full and generous on all levels. It offers an upfront presentation with opulent fruit, deep layering and fine elegance. This is a special kind of magic. The wine opens to an inky dark appearance followed by generous flavors of dark cherry, black currant, red rose and cured tobacco. I just love the way this wine integrates with the palate, becoming one in soul and substance. This is a wine to put in your cellar.  95 points, Monica Larner

Le Serre Nuove 2015 – 93 Points, first score ,Released September 15th

The 2014 Cepparello is truly beautiful, and it absolutely transcends the expectation of the vintage. This beautiful Sangiovese is full and generous on all levels. It offers an upfront presentation with opulent fruit, deep layering and fine elegance. This is a special kind of magic. The wine opens to an inky dark appearance followed by generous flavors of dark cherry, black currant, red rose and cured tobacco. I just love the way this wine integrates with the palate, becoming one in soul and substance. This is a wine to put in your cellar. 93 points,  Monica Larner

Penfolds Bin 389 2015 – 93 Points, first score, Released October 19th

Blended of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon and 47% Shiraz and sporting a deep garnet-purple color, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz Bin 389 South Australia has a bombastic nose of crushed blueberries and black currants with hints of vanilla pod, dried Provence herbs, lavender and cigar boxes. Medium to full-bodied, the palate simply sings with exuberant black and blue fruits, supported by grainy tannins and a refreshing backbone, finishing with a pleasant herbal lift. 93 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown