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We are humbled to have received some great scores from one of the most talented palates in the business, James Suckling.
James Suckling has dedicated his entire life to tasting wines. Suckling estimates he has tasted close to 225,000 wines over the past 25 years. It all began in 1981 when Suckling started as Assistant Editor at Wine Spectator magazine. Four years later he was asked to start up the Wine Spectator's European bureau. Living in Paris while reviewing all European wines, especially Bordeaux, Italian, and Port wines for the publication. Today, Suckling still lives near Florence, Italy, part of the year, as well as in Hong Kong and Napa Valley.
The James Suckling points system uses a 100-point scale and notes that, a wine rated at 90 points or more is considered outstanding.
We love to receive praise and critique from industry experts, so that we are continuously pushed to improve our wines. All grapes from Medlock Ames are organically farmed and grown at our Bell Mountain Ranch in Alexander Valley. The dedication to sustainably farming the land gives our wines great quality and uniqueness. The secret to outstanding wines is outstanding grapes.
The 2018 vintage was an incredible year on many levels – mother nature cooperated throughout the growing season, it was the biggest harvest on record at Bell Mountain, and the quality of fruit was fantastic. The summer was quite cool compared to previous years. This means the grapes had more time to slowly ripen and develop rich flavors over time. In return, we produced wines with great body and backbone. Due to the slightly more moderate temperatures, the grapes retained a fresh, elegant fruit character. Our vineyard team and winemaking crew crafted exceptional wines, as James Suckling agreed.
Read more about the Suckling ratings here.
We encourage you to grab hold of these favorites before we tuck them into the cellar for further aging.
For more information on how to join the Bell Mountain Preservation Society please visit here. Our membership program grants access to our low production wines from the incredible 2018 vintage.
2018 Estate Red | 92 Points
A soft, juicy red with light jam and berry character. It’s full and round-textured. Flavorful finish. Drink or hold.
2019 Lower Slope Chardonnay | 92 Points, aquire here
A full-bodied, crisp white with lots of ripe peach, apricot and mango. Praline and vanilla, too. Creamy and delicious. Drink now.
2018 Cabernet Sauvignon | 94 Points, aquire here
2018 Heritage Merlot | 90 Points
A medium-bodied red with light, juicy tannins that coat the palate, which shows berry, chocolate, and hazelnut character. Drink now.
2018 Secret Ingredient Malbec | 92 Points
A tight, delicious malbec with plenty of blackberry and blueberry character and hints of walnut and vanilla. It is medium-to full-bodied with firm tannins and a delicious finish. Drink or hold.
For the Cabernet Lovers:
2017 Fifty Tons Cabernet Sauvignon | 92 Points
A dense and beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon with tension and focus, showing crushed berries, dried herbs, and licorice undertones. Full and layered. Fresh and tight. Drink or hold.
2018 Fifty Tons Cabernet Sauvignon | 93 Points
2017 Kate's & B's Cabernet Sauvignon | 93 Points
A lovely wine with tobacco, black olives, and juicy fruit. Medium to full body. Fine tannins and a caressing finish. Savory. 83% cabernet sauvignon, 12% malbec and 5% merlot. Drink now.
2018 Kate's & B's Cabernet Sauvignon | 94 Points
Our Rarest Wines:
2018 Bywater Syrah | 94 Points
2018 Right Bank Red | 92 Point
Photo by: Jordan Wise
No matter how you’re celebrating or coming together this year, this is a time to reflect on everything we are thankful for. While you may not be getting together with your extended family or your closest group of friends, there is an opportunity to create new traditions and make new memories. Whether you’re toasting from afar or enjoying an intimate takeout dinner for two, we’ve put together a collection of Medlock Ames wines to pair with everything on your table and bring warmth to your holiday celebration.
2017 Fifty Tons Cabernet Sauvignon
Named for its structure, the muscular Fifty Tons Cabernet Sauvignon is harvested from steep hillsides that consistently produce fruit with incredibly intense flavor. A member-exclusive wine, the 2017 Fifty Tons Cabernet offers aromas of blackberry and blueberry accompanied by a powerful palate. Deep berry flavors mix with fresh, juicy red fruit elements and a luxurious chocolate character, kept in check by silky tannins and integrated acidity.
This wine is simultaneously big, bold, balanced, and elegant, calling for a food pairing with an equally strong personality. With the traditional Thanksgiving meal, we enjoy this wine alongside roasted potatoes or Brussels sprouts with bacon. The salty, fatty components bring complementary complexity to this stand-out wine.
2017 Snakepit Red
A lush blend of Bordeaux grapes, our Snakepit Red abounds with ripe fruit aromas. Pronounced blueberry, blackberry, and cherry notes intertwine with subtle, secondary aromas of cigar box, leather, and espresso. In this 2017 vintage, we upped the percentage of Cabernet, providing additional weight and power, resulting in a wine that bears the hallmarks of a cool climate Cabernet from a warmer vintage.
On the palate, the Snakepit Red is juicy, rich, and soft. An ideal wine to enjoy on its own cozied up by the fire, this beautiful Bordeaux blend is also indulgent paired with mushroom dishes and creamy cheeses.
2018 Estate Red
Your favorite red blend – 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec – the Medlock Ames Estate Red is a unique mix that is delicious right out of the gate, vintage after vintage. This wine hits on all cylinders: flavor, color, texture, depth, finish, and overall impression. “The alchemy and artistry of blending is something that challenges and motivates us,” says Winemaker, Ames Morison, and that motivation is clearly expressed through this wine.
This is a bottle that loves spicy, salty, and fatty food components, and pairs well with many of your go-to Thanksgiving dishes, from the main course of turkey and stuffing through dessert and beyond. If you’re opting for to-go over go-to, enjoy this wine alongside takeout Italian dishes like fresh pasta tossed in a Bolognese sauce or filet mignon from your local steakhouse.
2019 Sauvignon Blanc
Our 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, planted at a higher elevation with ample sunshine, opens up with aromas of ripe pear and grapefruit, lifted by notes of anise, confectioner’s sugar, and exotic flowers. Seeing brief skin contact to extract structural elements and intensify the character of our Sauvignon Blanc fruit, this wine is bursting with lively acidity that will cut through the heavy flavors on your plate. Try it paired with creamy mashed potatoes and you’ll be sure to go back for seconds.
If cooking isn’t in the cards, this wine shines alongside the bright flavors of citrus-forward Mexican dishes or the spicy, herbaceous flavors of classic Thai cuisine.
With so many flavors on the table, what you really need is a wine that goes with everything, and that wine is our 2019 Rosé. An incredibly food-friendly wine that pairs with a variety of dishes year-round, there’s no reason to leave this wine behind on the most food-friendly holiday of all. This Merlot-based Rosé has beautiful up-front aromas of rose petals, cotton candy, and fresh, ripe strawberries, with a faint note of cinnamon and orange peel. On the palate, rich berry and rose-water flavors meet a juicy acidity and round mouthfeel that balance the freshness. At the table, this wine enlivens your palate throughout the meal and pairs particularly well with turkey and cranberry sauce.
If you have of these wines or their past vintages in your cellar, we recommend pulling them out or chilling them down this season! If you’re still in need of holiday wines, there’s still time If you live in the area. On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we’re offering complimentary local Bay Area delivery on orders of $300 or more. Shop before 11:59 pm PST on Monday, November 23rd for delivery by Thanksgiving Day. Choose “pick-up” at checkout, add your delivery address in the notes section, and we’ll handle the rest. Cheers!
Join us as our Winemaker, Ames Morison, discusses why farming with nature - to preserve wildlife and enhance sustainability - is the solution in partnership with Wild Farm Alliance.
For this pre-Father's Day Celebration, we pulled from our library and magnum wines. Ames tasted through the 2017 Lower Slope Chardonnay, 2008 Kate's & B's Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon in Magnum (1.5L).
Grab your favorite wines and recreate this virtual concert anytime!
Winemaker Ames Morison and Dr. Lisa Micheli, CEO of Sonoma County's Pepperwood Foundation, discuss the intersection of climate change, sustainability and the role of vineyards. They share learnings from the Kincade fire in 2019 that burned through most of the Bell Mountain vineyard and how that's changed their view of land preservation, as they taste through two wines from that vintage while learning how Medlock Ames' mission of sustainability was put to action.