Ashton @thewineMBA Check

You can find me sipping on small lot, sustainably farmed wines - typically juicy unoaked reds, Provençal rosé, or bubbles!

Wine Heart

Wines I recommend

Heart
Ashton @thewineMBA Mar 30, 2021

"They say that Ibex is “a Cab-lover’s Merlot.” So when @smithdevereuxwines released a side by side gift set to taste their 2017 Ibex Merlot next to their 2016 Napa Cab, how could I say no? I thought it would be a fun family night activity to do a blind tasting and see what we thought of the two and what differences we could spot.⠀ ⠀ Well, folks, we definitely tasted differences...so much so that my cab-loving family went 0 for 8 in blind smelling and tasting calls. All four of us individually and CONFIDENTLY guessed wrong EVERY TIME in blind smell and and taste tests, even with a 50/50 shot 😂⠀ ⠀ And that should be super compelling to you! Besides the fact that I haven’t had Merlot in over a year and it was actually my first blind ever... @smithdevereuxwines wasn’t lying about Ibex “stacking up against” Napa Valley’s King, Cab.⠀ ⠀ Winemaking plays a HUGE part in the profile of any end product in-bottle. As for my calls, I over-indexed on the oak notes found in this Merlot, and the silkiness of the tannins of this Cab. I “felt” more grip in the Merlot, so assumed that + the spice oak notes were what made it a Cab...and because the Cab had such a smooth mouthfeel and finish, I associated that with Merlot. So, the winemaking techniques used basically flip-flopped my preconceived notions of what each would be.⠀ ⠀ These are both phenomenal wines. Sustainably farmed (and hand-picked!) in St. Helena, the Merlot is “luscious & complex,” while the Cab is “unique in its subtlety & grace.” 100% true on both accounts. In the Merlot, I picked up darker jammy plum and black cherry, vanilla, and oaky notes. I felt like the Cab was a bit spicier (potentially cedar or the classic green bell pepper, now that I know it’s a Cab), but almost had a floral lightness to it. Both are award-winning, and both are worth a spot in your cellar.⠀"

Heart
Ashton @thewineMBA Apr 14, 2021

"They say that Ibex is “a Cab-lover’s Merlot.” So when @smithdevereuxwines released a side by side gift set to taste their 2017 Ibex Merlot next to their 2016 Napa Cab, how could I say no? I thought it would be a fun family night activity to do a blind tasting and see what we thought of the two and what differences we could spot.⠀ ⠀ Well, folks, we definitely tasted differences...so much so that my cab-loving family went 0 for 8 in blind smelling and tasting calls. All four of us individually and CONFIDENTLY guessed wrong EVERY TIME in blind smell and and taste tests, even with a 50/50 shot 😂⠀ ⠀ And that should be super compelling to you! Besides the fact that I haven’t had Merlot in over a year and it was actually my first blind ever... @smithdevereuxwines wasn’t lying about Ibex “stacking up against” Napa Valley’s King, Cab.⠀ ⠀ Winemaking plays a HUGE part in the profile of any end product in-bottle. As for my calls, I over-indexed on the oak notes found in this Merlot, and the silkiness of the tannins of this Cab. I “felt” more grip in the Merlot, so assumed that + the spice oak notes were what made it a Cab...and because the Cab had such a smooth mouthfeel and finish, I associated that with Merlot. So, the winemaking techniques used basically flip-flopped my preconceived notions of what each would be.⠀ ⠀ These are both phenomenal wines. Sustainably farmed (and hand-picked!) in St. Helena, the Merlot is “luscious & complex,” while the Cab is “unique in its subtlety & grace.” 100% true on both accounts. In the Merlot, I picked up darker jammy plum and black cherry, vanilla, and oaky notes. I felt like the Cab was a bit spicier (potentially cedar or the classic green bell pepper, now that I know it’s a Cab), but almost had a floral lightness to it. Both are award-winning, and both are worth a spot in your cellar.⠀"

Heart
Ashton @thewineMBA May 13, 2021

"🎶3...ohhh it’s a magic number 🎶 Anyone? Anyone? Schoolhouse Rock for SURE helped me learn how to multiply, so if you don’t know this reference, I feel bad for how hard you must have had to work to learn those multiplication tables 🥺 Just like the song says, @smithdevereuxwines 2017 No. 3 California Red Blend is preeeetty magical. It’s deliciously diverse - a great food wine that can pair well with tons of different dishes, and pleases all sorts of palates. I took this over to my parents’ house for Filet Family Dinner night - everyone loved it, and HELLO did it make that steak sing 🤤 Good thing I bought multiples, because I have a feeling that this bad boy will be on repeat 🤘🏻 The wine itself is fruit forward with ripe, jammy red fruits like raspberry and red plum, but the Syrah and Zin give it a fuller body, well-integrated and balanced tannins with just enough hit, and a kick of Smokey spice on the back. A little something for everyone!"

Heart
Ashton @thewineMBA Sep 3, 2021

"While the winery itself has only been around a few years, the family's vineyards have produced grapes for some of Napa's most well-known / premium labels for decades. Only recently have they chosen to take their award-winning juice in-house to create their own label. Unfortunately, Ranch Roads was hit incredibly hard by the 2020 Walbridge Fire - the ranch was completely destroyed, and at least 2/3 of the vineyards were heavily affected. Fun fact re: quality - their cab grapes underwent a varietal assessment by UC Davis, and they found that the quality + health of the grapes are in the 99th percentile for Sonoma! No wonder they were able to sell to award-winning brands for so long, right? The Cab has graphite / pencil shaving notes to me, complemented by woody / redwood, blackberry, and plum notes with a slight vanilla finish. Madison told us the vineyard is not only filled with redwoods, but used to be plum fields - so it seems like the grapes have really soaked up and expressed their envirionment! The wine has super chewy tannins, but isn't overly heavy - the acidity is still bright enough to lift it up. This bottle can - and should be! - decanted for a while...at least an hour, maybe even 2. I coravined a glass an hour before I started sipping, and it still developed a ton during our hour-long conversation. It's an incredible value at the listed price and would be killer with a filet or - as we talked about on the meet and greet - chunky bolognese! My entire family LOVED this when we opened the rest of the bottle with filets!"

Heart
Ashton @thewineMBA Sep 3, 2021

"I had friends over to taste through 3 wines while catching up on life, jobs, trips, moving, and everything in between…and after tasting through a few bottles, I have to say, @ranchroadvineyards Chardonnay was 100% the star of the show 😍 I mean, wow, I forgot how incredible this Chardonnay is - crisp with just a hint of smooth creaminess…but a honey creamy, not buttery at all. A delicious minerality, some stone fruit…yum yum yum. One that's worth a spot in your collection!"