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  • pinitbutton Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso   Wine of the Week Review
susana balbo brioso 90x300 Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso   Wine of the Week Review

Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso

Price: $45

Rating: 15/20

Region: Mendoza, Argentina

Varietals: 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 percent Malbec, 10 percent Merlot, 10 percent Cabernet Franc & 5 percent Petit Verdot

Production: 600 cases

Alcohol: 14.5 percent


Tasting Notes: Having worked as a consultant winemaker for 20 years, Susana Balbo struck out on her own in 1999 by founding Dominio del Plata. The winery produces a variety of wines under four different labels: Benmarco, Crios, Nosotros and the eponymous Susana Balbo. The 2008 Brioso is a well-balanced Bordeaux-style blend. It offers earthy aromas Continue reading “Susana Balbo 2008 Brioso – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Gemstone 2009 Estate Red   Wine of the Week Review
2009 gemstone estate red wine1 99x300 Gemstone 2009 Estate Red   Wine of the Week Review

Gemstone 2009 Estate Red Wine

Price: $80

Rating: 14.5/20

Region: Napa Valley (Yountville), California

Varietals: 71 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 21 percent Merlot, 4 percent Petit Verdot, 4 percent Cabernet Franc

Alcohol: 15.4 percent


Tasting Notes: Gemstone, a small, family-owned vineyard, concentrates on making red wines from Bordeaux varietals. The winemaker, Philippe Melka, consults on many estate wineries including Vineyard 29 in addition to running Melka Wines (makers of Métisse and CJ Cabernet Sauvignon) with his wife Cherie. The fruit for this red blend was grown on six small estate blocks on the sixteen-acre Gemstone vineyard along the Silverado Trail near the town of Yountville in Napa Continue reading “Gemstone 2009 Estate Red – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Moraga Vineyards 2005 Red   Wine of the Week Review
moraga 2005 red 200x300 Moraga Vineyards 2005 Red   Wine of the Week Review

Moraga Vineyards 2005 Red Wine

Price: $125

Rating: 15.5/20

Region: Los Angeles, CA

Varietals: 56.1 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 43.7 percent Merlot, 0.2 percent Cabernet Franc

Production: 1,200 cases

Alcohol: 14.2 percent


Tasting Notes: The 2005 Red from Moraga Vineyards shows excellent balance of fruit, acidity and tannins. Its complex flavors are primarily of blackberry and boysenberry with some herbal and mineral notes. This finely crafted Meritage finishes full and long.


Food Pairings: Grass-fed beef, black truffle pizza


Other Meritages we have tasted

Check out GAYOT’s Los Angeles Travel Guide

Continue reading “Moraga Vineyards 2005 Red – Wine of the Week Review” »



  • pinitbutton Blackbird Vineyards 2010 Arise   Wine of the Week Review
blackbird arise 98x300 Blackbird Vineyards 2010 Arise   Wine of the Week Review

Blackbird Vineyards 2010 Arise

Price: $50

Rating: 15.5/20

Region: Napa Valley, California

Varietals: 61 percent Merlot, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon & 19 percent Cabernet Franc

Alcohol: 14.8 percent

Production: 2,867 cases


Tasting Notes: This well-balanced Bordeaux-style blend (Meritage) boasts bright cherry and blackberry flavors up front, soft tannins in the mouth and more earthy notes emerging toward the back of the palate.


Food Pairings: Rack of lamb, grilled chicken, roasted vegetables


Other Meritages we have tasted

Check out our Napa Valley Travel Guide

Continue reading “Blackbird Vineyards 2010 Arise – Wine of the Week Review” »