Hot Picks Dec. 2nd

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2005 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge (Rhone Style Red) Paso Robles

This amazing Chateauneuf-du-Pape styled red is rich, lively and full of fruit and texture with super balance and focus. This is one of the best red wines for all around quality out there. All red drinkers will find something to love about this wine, and I rate it as one of the top wines of the vintage period! This wine has power, depth and class with lovely perfume and a super long finish and is a wine that goes beyond the varietal and showcases the purest nature of terroir. There is lots of plum, black cherry, bramble berry and grenadine flavors up front with smoke, cassis, pepper and spicy oak notes in the background. The wine uses the best of its make up to be everything to every person with a combination of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and a few other Rhone grapes that all add to the pleasure here. Finally Tablas has full-filled its mission, we have now the American Chateauneuf that is not a copy but a true expression on that theme! ($45-49 Est.) 96 Points, grapelive

*Just being released

Bouchee Wines

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2005 Willowbrook Pinot Noir Morelli Vineyard Russian River

This lovely and round Pinot is totally enjoyable and lush in fruit and full in body. There is lots of raspberry, and a big burst of cherry fruit with toasty sweet oak giving creamy vanilla which make this a modern wine, but with classy style all the same. There is a background of spice, cola and mocha that just add to the tastiness! I really enjoyed this Pinot, the only problem is finding it again, as it is very limited and hard to find. Check good old Google or your local wine merchant. The winery only makes a tiny amount sadly, but they do produce a another couple of single vineyard and estate Pinots. 93 Points, grapelive

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