Expert articles and wine tasting videos profiling wines from California, California wine regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & more.

Top Ten California Syrahs - 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year. I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.

Wine To Go Buy This Week – New Year’s Edition -Domaine Carneros 2008 Le Reve Blanc de Blancs – 90 Points

France’s Champagne Taittinger started its U.S label with the opening of Domaine Carneros in 1987 and has gone on to create world-class sparkling wines in America, of which their flagship Le Reve has always been a consistent standout. This Blanc de Blanc is comprised of five Chardonnay clones from the Domaine’s Carneros estate fruit.

2017 Ceritas Chardonnay Porter-Bass Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

Opened later in the night after a bunch of red wines, this really seemed fresh and lively.  It worked out great.  Light golden in color.  The nose has lemon chiffon with nice minerality.  Just a touch of vanilla.  Full bodied.  Crisp.  Delicious.  The lemon carries thru over a mineral bed.  Great on its own, this will work well with seafood, salads and certainly on its own.  It is very young now and worth drinking that way, but this should easily go another ten years and probably more as it matures.  

2008 Dehlinger Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

Pop and pour, this never really showed as much as hoped for.  Solid but not more.  Maybe just in a weird phase right now.  Purple in color.  The nose has nice cassis with a bit of baking spice.  Full bodied.  The cassis carries thru to the palate.  Clean.  No hard edges.  Nice finish.  Not a lot of complexity at this point.  Light tannins.  Moderate finish.  Worked well with some Italian food.  No signs of age, it might be better to wait a few years on this and check back in.  

2017 Atlas Wines Omen, USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is an easy drinking red.  It is uncertain what varietals.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose shows some cherries, black cherries with slight milk chocolate.  On the palate, the same flavors come thru.  This probably should be consumed in the next few years.  it drinks well on its own but would be fine with burgers.  

2005 Ridge Petite Sirah Dynamite Hill York Creek Vineyards, USA, California, Spring Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

The cork crumbled on opening and the wine was decanted.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has boysenberries, char, slight ink scent and a bit of blueberries.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, the blueberries are more pronounced and plenty of boysenberries with underlying char.  Still has youthful energy.  Good finish.  This is drinking well now but still young.  No harm opening or letting it age another ten to fifteen years.  It probably won't get much better.  It will work well with pizza, burger but also roasts and grilled foods.  

NV Meadowcroft Anniversary Cuvée, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$52.00USD

This is a non-vintage blend.  It was bottled in 2016.  Although it carries a Napa Valley designation, as it is mostly Mt. Veeder grapes, it has grapes from all over California.  A blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon,36% Cabernet Franc, and 23% Merlot.  Purple in color.  The nose has a mushroom note to it along with black cherry fruit and baking spices.  Warm.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Light tannins.  Nice black cherry fruit.  Some depth.  Easy drinking.  This probably should be consumed in the next five to seven years.  It will work well with stews and casseroles.  

2016 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is blend of 46% Mourvedre, 31% Syrah, 18% Grenache, and 5% Counoise grapes.  Tasted from a 375ml bottle.  In a full bottle, these will age wonderfully.  In this format, they should still age well, but this was a great chance to check in on the wine.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has plums, black raspberries, black cherries, spice and char.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Energetic.  Medium tannins.  Right now, the black cherries dominate but that will change as it ages.  Delicious.  Good finish.  This should be versatile with food and go well with fowl or meat dishes and r

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