EPISODE 12 – 2014 Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Oakville Merlot – $12.99

CONSENSUS: Aside from the laughter that emanates from the notion that this wine is from Oakville (swanky part of Napa), and that it is their “Grand Reserve”, this is actually a decent representation of Merlot. Value priced, it shows good varietal character and makes a nice option for budget Merlot shoppers.

Rob – 86                     Becky – 86

**Recommended Wine**

EPISODE 12 – 2009 St. Supéry Rutherford Merlot – est. $60.00prt_me12ru7_prtbigpic_20150519_161246

CONSENSUS: Harmonious and rich, this wine shows excellent balance, while having the power to hold up to any food you throw at it.   An absolute gem.

Rob – 92                     Becky – 91

**Wine Vault Hall of Fame**

EPISODE 13 – 2013 Viña Robles Paso Robles Cabernet – $19.9913_cabernetsauvestate_web-1

CONSENSUS: This is a Cabernet for wine drinkers who’d like to drink Cabernet, but aren’t fans of tannin. It showcases the softer, gentler side of cab, and does so fairly well.   Unfortunately for Viña Robles, other wineries also showcase that side of cab, and do so better, and cheaper.

Rob – 87                     Steve – 87                 Scott – 89

**Recommended Wine**

EPISODE 14 – 2013 Federalist Lodi Zinfandel – $14.99picture4

CONSENSUS: Medium bodied, leaner style of Zin, with nice raspberry and plum notes. Oak is lightly laced (got to love alliteration) throughout, and leads into a medium length finish. This is a solid choice at a solid price.

Rob – 88                     Scott – 89

**Recommended Wine**

EPISODE 15 – 2013 Beran Sonoma County Zinfandel – $29.99beran-sonoma-county

CONSENSUS: Huge blackberry and oak notes are followed by a spicy and tannic finish that goes on and on. This is a benchmark of a Zinfandel, one that we have compared other big framed Zins to.

Rob – 92                     Scott – 93

**Wine Vault Hall of Fame**

EPISODE 16 – 2014 Meiomi Pinot Noir – $19.99pinot-noir1

CONSENSUS: This wine is harmonious, with nice raspberry interlaced with mushroom and earth. The finish is dry (like it’s supposed to be), and long with a kiss of tannin. This is the Meiomi Pinot Noir we want, not the trash the 2015 was.

Rob – 90                     Steve – 90                 Scott – 90

**Recommended Wine**

EPISODE 17 – 2013 Columbia Cabernet – $13.99cabernet

CONSENSUS: Slightly rustic, with berry and cherry notes, the finish has a touch of tannin with a bit of notable acidity. While we found it interesting, it’s doubtful that your Cali Cab fan would feel the same.

Rob – 86                     Steve – 88                 Scott – 87

**Not Recommended**

EPISODE 18 – 2011 J. Lohr Hilltop Paso Robles Cabernet – $31.00sidebar_hilltopcabernetsauvignon

CONSENSUS: Black cherry and anise are framed by excellent oak and smooth tannin on the long finish. This wine shows the best traits of Paso Robles, and one of J. Lohr’s consistent best efforts.

Rob – 92                     Becky – 90

**Wine Vault Hall of Fame**

EPISODE 19 – 2014 Guenoc North Coast Victorian Claret – $9.99B010319

CONSENSUS: Dull and insipid, this wine is predominately Merlot, just not very good Merlot. At $9.99 I’d like to say it’s still a good vault, but I’d like to say a lot of things.

Rob – 82                     Becky – 85                 Cindy – 84                 Phil – 84

**Not Recommended**

EPISODE 19 – 2014 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel – $20.99unknown

CONSENSUS: Full-bodied Zin that is the epitome of cab style Zins. One of the Cali benchmark wines.

Rob – 89                     Becky – 90                 Cindy – 91                 Phil – 92

**Recommended Wine**

EPISODE 20 – 2014 Intrinsic Columbia Valley Cabernet – $19.99intrinsic-cabernet-sauvignon_medium_id-1791783

CONSENSUS: Full-bodied and dense, this wine has the fruit and tannin to age, but has the elegance to drink now. A special wine at an extra special price.

Rob – 90                    Scott – 89                     Steve – 88

**Recommended Wine**

EPISODE 21 – 2013 Dry Creek Vineyards Heritage Vines Zinfandel – $17.992015_heritage_bottle

CONSENSUS: Blueberry and spice upfront lead into leather and cigar box notes that open to the long, long finish. A real beauty.

Rob – 91                     Scott – 90                    Steve – 90

**Wine Vault Hall of Fame**

EPISODE 22 – 2016 19 Crimes Cabernet – $10.99unknown

CONSENSUS: Bloated and manipulated, the “winemaker” “crafts” a “wine” that features a medicinal “fruitiness” that is accented by wildly off putting chintzy “oak” notes that are overpowering. The “wine” finishes with a streak of balsamic vinegar (not a good thing). I assume since this “wine” was harvested in 2016, no time was available for the “winery” to sample this prior to shipping it.   Had they, I assume human decency would prevail and the earth saved. Alas.

Rob – 68                     Becky – 65                 Scott – 75

**Wall of Shame**

Categories: Blog, rob, Wine Vault

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The Wine Vault

The Wine Vault

Join us each week!

Welcome to The Wine Vault. Join us each week for a new episode highlighting some great (and not so great) wines. While we’ll focus on value wines, occasionally we’ll stray into the exotic. We are The Wine Vault, after all. Raise your glass and join us, on The Wine Vault. Cheers. -Rob and Scott

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