2014 Peter Michael Winery Les Pavots Proprietary Red Wine $179.99 (Wine Advocate 95 points)
The 2014 Proprietary Red Les Pavots (3,570 cases) is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot aged in mostly Taransaud barrels with a small helping of Darnajou thrown in. This wine is fabulous in the vintage, although certainly less profoundly concentrated and extracted, as well as structured, compared to the 2013, which was off-the-charts fabulous. This is a brilliant wine, charming, with front-end loaded plum, blackcurrant and black raspberry fruit interwoven with graphite, tar and truffle notes. The wine has sumptuous texture, sweet, velvety tannin, and a long, full-bodied finish. It should drink well for at least two decades.
2009 Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva $59.99 (Wine Advocate 96 points)
The most classic cuvée was not produced in 2007 or 2008, so we jumped to the phenomenal 2009 Prado Enea. It was produced with grapes from cooler vineyards that enjoyed 20 extra days of slow ripening compared with warmer zones, which provided them with perfect ripeness and deep flavors. This blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and the remaining 10% between Mazuelo and Graciano had an extended élevage, in this case no less than three years (alternating newer and older barrels). This is still a baby and I know Winemaker Jorge Muga would like to keep it in bottle for longer before selling it, but the commercial pressure is tremendous, as there has been no wine since 2006. The wine has 14.1% alcohol and a surprising 3.34 pH, especially considering 2009 was generally a warm and ripe year. But somehow this cuvée seems to work very well in ripe vintages. The wine feels even younger on the palate, and it still needs to develop some further complexity and the silky texture for which this wine is famous. There is good balance here and all the elements are in place for a nice development in bottle. In fact, it feels like one of the great recent vintages of Prado Enea. There will be no Prado Enea in 2012 and 2013 either, but it’s produced in 2010, 2014 (small quantities) and 2015. At this quality level, the price seems like a real bargain. 90,000 bottles produced in 2009.
2014 Domaine du Pegau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée $42.99 (Wine Spectator 93 points)
A gutsy style, with a frame of brick dust around a core of steeped cherry, plum and blackberry fruit. The back end pulls in dried sage, savory and tobacco notes. The finish lingers over a singed chestnut hint. Rock-solid and unabashedly old-school. Best from 2020 through 2030. 5,800 cases made.
2013 Jonata Todos Proprietary Red Wine $45.99 (Wine Advocate 94 points)
Lastly, the entry level 2013 Todos Proprietary Red Wine is a smokin’ wine that’s made from 78% Syrah, 15% Sangiovese, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Viognier, 1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Merlot. Full-bodied, supple, elegant and concentrated, with impeccable balance, it offers lots of purple fruit characteristics, spice, dried flowers and underbrush aromas and flavors. It’s one of the more approachable wines in the lineup, yet it will evolve for a decade or more on its purity and balance.