The Buzz 2016

 


:Nota Bene Arianses Vineyard

Wahluke Slope, 2016

 

Gold Medal at 2021 Cascadia International Wine Competition

 

90 Points

  

Reviewed on 4/15/2020

The 2016 Arianses Vineyard checks in as a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot, and 11% Cabernet Franc. This medium ruby/purple-hued effort offers lots of smoked black currants and tobacco notes as well as a touch of chocolatey oak, medium to full body, a rounded, nicely textured style, and outstanding length. It's another solid, thoroughly enjoyable red from this estate. – Jeb Dunnuck

 


:Nota Bene Cabernet Cabernet Sauvignon - Dineen Vineyard 

Yakima Valley, 2016

 91+ Points

 

Reviewed 4/15/2020

All Cabernet from a site in the Yakima Valley, aged mostly in neutral barrels, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Dineen Vineyard is a classic, well-made Cabernet that has plenty of spiced red and black fruits, some tobacco and spicy oak, medium body, a rounded, nicely textured mouthfeel, and a great finish. It's a classic, impeccably put together Cabernet that will drink well for 10-12 years or more. Drink 2020-2032. – Jeb Dunnuck

 


:Nota Bene Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Blend

Red Mountain, 2016

 92 Points

Reviewed on 4/15/2020

Lastly, the 2016 Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard comes from a great vineyard on Red Mountain and is 50% Cabernet, 33% Cabernet Franc, and 17% Merlot. Cassis, candied violets, lead pencils, and hints of orange zest all emerge from the glass, and it's more medium-bodied, with a great mid-palate, ample concentration, and that classic sense of minerality that I almost always find from Red Mountain fruit. As with the other wines here, it's beautifully balanced and will evolve gracefully for 15 years. Drink 2020-2035. – Jeb Dunnuck

 

90 Points

Reviewed on 14th Oct 2021

Displaying a dark ruby color, the 2016 Ciel du Cheval has the immediate sensation of a well put together wine with a seamless flow of characteristics of high-toned dusty red fruit and mineral tension. Dark cherry, black raspberry and dusty red plum waft out of the glass with elegant aromas of oak spice. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is expressive, balanced and seamless, showing the classic terroir of Red Mountain. The wine lingers with a well-balanced finish and lifting tannins. It's a tasty wine! Anthony Mueller

 


:Nota Bene Cabernet Sauvignon - Heart of the Hill Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2016

92 Points

Reviewed on 14th Oct 2021

Beginning with high-toned, dark red fruit aromas, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Heart of the Hill offers elements of black raspberry compote, dark cherry skin and dusty purple flowers before nuances of bitter dark chocolate, dried herbs and pencil shavings float out of the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the palate first displays tight tannins followed by flavors of crème de cassis, dusty blackberries and dried currants that pop across the mid-palate. The wine evolves and somersaults to a long-lingering finish and remains persistent with flavors of just-ripe black cherry and plum skin. The wine rested for just under two years before being bottled and then was left in bottle for an additional 10 months prior to release. Only 900 bottles were made. It’s a magnificent wine that begs me back for a second sip. Give it a try. - Anthony Mueller

 


:Nota Bene Malbec - Heart of the Hill Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2016

91 Points

Reviewed on 14th Oct 2021

Almost opaque at its center and with a magenta rim, the 2016 Malbec Heart of the Hill Vineyard is lush, vibrant and generously layered with aromas of blackberry skin, spiced dark cherry compote and roasted plums on the nose, with elements of resinous purple flowers, cinnamon and baking spices and dust-covered violets. Full-bodied and generously layered, the palate offers a compact fruit frame that evolves into layers of fresh red and black fruit tones and buttressing tannins that will remain food-friendly, perfect for fire-grilled chops. The wine continues to evolve with persistence for more than a minute on the delicious and delightful finish. This delicious Malbec is punching above its weight class. Only 600 bottles were made.Anthony Mueller

 

 89 Points

 December 2019

Bright, deep ruby-red. Crushed blueberry and blackberry aromas are joined by hints of violet, bitter chocolate and menthol. Fine-grained and moderately dense, showing riper fruit and more mid-palate presence and thrust than most of Nota Bene's other 2016 reds. A step up in concentration and length too, even if it doesn't have the complexity for 90 points. This distinctly dark wine finishes with rather suave tongue-dusting tannins. (15.4% alcohol)-- Stephen Tanzer

 


:Nota Bene Merlot - Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2016

91 Points

Reviewed on 14th Oct 2021

A gorgeously aromatic wine in the glass, the 2016 Merlot Ciel du Cheval Vineyard displays lush, ripe aromas of spiced plum, dusty blackberry and resinous purple flowers. Medium to full-bodied, the Merlot shows impeccable balance with a frame of energetic acidity and delightful succulent tannins. Flavors of graphite and bitter dark chocolate linger on the elongated finish. This will continue to be food-friendly well past its 10th birthday. Only 600 were bottles made. It’s delicious. Anthony Mueller

 


:Nota Bene Mourvèdre - Heart of the Hill Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2016

89 Points

Reviewed on 14th Oct 2021

Starting with a deep ruby core and medium magenta rim, the 2016 Mourvèdre Heart of the Hill displays enticing and succulent dark red fruit tones of spiced black cherry, red and black peppercorn, dusty dried herbs and elements of cinnamon-spiced licorice. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is initially subdued before revealing complex layers of dusty potpourri, redcurrants and black plum. Concluding with a long, lingering finish, the persistent, dark red-fruited expression subsides to reveal elevated alcohol across the aftertaste. Only 600 bottles were made. Anthony Mueller

 


MCM Wine Company Majestica Red Blend

Columbia Valley, 2016

 

Double Gold Medal at 2020 Washington Wine Awards - Seattle Wine Awards

 


:Nota Bene Syrah - Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2016

 

Gold Medal at 2021 Cascadia International Wine Competition

 

90+ Points 

 December 2019 

Medium ruby-red color. Lovely floral lift to the aromas of blueberry, blackberry and spicy oak, complicated by a whiff of leather. Similarly a bit wild in the mouth, but with noteworthy intensity and grip to its black raspberry, blackberry and spice flavors Tighter-grained and more firmly tannic than the StoneTree Syrah and in need of some mellowing. But this savory, darker, nicely delineated Syrah finishes quite firm and persistent--again showing more concentration than the winery's examples from Bordeaux varieties. Excellent fruit here, but turned a bit tart with extended aeration, with the oak becoming more obvious. (14.5% alcohol; in contrast to the StoneTree Syrah, this wine got 25% new oak for aging, plus 50% once-used barrels)
-- Stephen Tanzer

90+ Points

Reviewed on 14th Oct 2021

Beginning with a ripe, juicy nose of fresh blackberries, blackcurrant and crème de cassis, the 2016 Syrah Ciel du Cheval offers a subtle, dusty floral frame with lifted aromatics before elements of black peppercorn and dried herbs flutter from the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the wine displays finesse, precision and focus with a balanced structure and buttressing tannins before delightful, energetic acidity expresses across the mid-palate. The wine concludes with a long, lingering and evolving finish that will continue to please for years to come. Only 900 bottles were made after the wine rested for 22 months in barrels. Anthony Mueller


MCM Wine Company Spectaculuxe Syrah

Columbia Valley, 2016

 88 Points

Reviewed on 4/15/2020

Violets, orange blossom, and exotic pepper as well as both red and blue fruits emerge from the 2016 Spectaculuxe, which is nicely balanced, with lively acidity and a clean, enjoyable style. Based on a mix of Syrah and Grenache, brought up in barrel, drink it over the coming 4-6 years. Drink 2020 – 2026. – Jeb Dunnuck

Double Gold Medal at 2020 Washington Wine Awards - Seattle Wine Awards

 


:Nota Bene Syrah - Stone Tree Vineyard

Wahluke Slope, 2016

 

Gold Medal from the 2021 Seattle Wine Awards/Washington Wine Awards

 

89 Points

 December 2019

Bright ruby-red. Deep, somewhat high-toned aromas of dark berries, black olive tapenade, menthol, dark chocolate and mocha. Fat, plush and broad, displaying slightly medicinal but fine-grained flavors of blackberry, black cherry, licorice, black olive, menthol and violet. This wine delivers more breadth and palate presence than most of Nota Bene's 2016s from Bordeaux varieties, not to mention length on the aftertaste. There's nothing over the top about this Syrah, which has a moderate pH of 3.61 (vs. 3.88 for the 2015 release!) and good density of material. Firm, dusty tannins should support several years of development in bottle. In addition to giving this wine 22 months in barrels, 20% of them once-used, winemaker Tim Narby gave this wine an additional oak infusion by adding one-inch round toasted oak balls from Canton Cooperage to the barrels. (15.1% alcohol)-- Stephen Tanzer

 

88 Points

Reviewed on 4/15/2020

Incorporating 5% Viognier, the inky colored 2016 Syrah StoneTree Vineyard offers a modern, slightly oaky style that carries lots of ripe black fruits, melted licorice, tar, and chocolate notes. This ripe, powerful effort lacks a touch of elegance yet certainly brings the fruit and richness. Drink 2020-2026. – Jeb Dunnuck

 

 


MCM Wine Company Terrifica Grenache

Wahluke Slope, 2016

 

2016 MCM by Nota Bene "Terrifica" Grenache - $25 
Very classic style for Grenache, with savory notes of sage, touch of cigar box cedar and tobacco on nose. A great value from Wahluke Slopes fruit! 90 Points in the $15-25 Category
- The Wine Panel. 

 


:Nota Bene Una Notte

Columbia Valley, 2016

 

Gold Medal at the 2020 Bellingham Northwest Wine Festival

 

2016 Nota Bene Cellars "Una Notte" Rhone Blend - $30 
Fruit forward and enjoyable, lots of zing & tang, this fun light-bodied Rhone style blend needs a little time to open up - so use your aerator or decanter - it will be worth it! A zesty spicy wine. 90 Points in the $25-$35 Category - The Wine Panel.