Expert articles and wine tasting videos profiling wines from California, California wine regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & more.
Wine To Go Buy This Week – New Year’s Edition -Domaine Carneros 2008 Le Reve Blanc de Blancs – 90 Points
This is from the American sparkling wine outpost of Taittinger. Green gold in color with a nice mousse of very small bubbles. The nose has pears, slight lemons, toast and a hint of vanilla. Full bodied. Good acidity. On the palate, the pears with underlying char. Some lemon notes on the finish. Good finish. This is nice on its own and should be very food friendly. A great wine to share with popcorn when streaming a movie. Drink over the next three to five years.
My first time trying this wine and it is an excellent value in sparkling wines. It is a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, 48% Chardonnay, and 2% Pinot Meunier from various sites in California. It is quite frothy in the glass with lots of tiny bubbles. Golden in color, clear and bright. The nose is nice with vanilla, lemons and slight almonds. Medium to full bodied. On the palate, there is plenty of depth. Notes of lemons and oranges with a touch of char/toast. Long finish. This is a serious sparkler that will compete with wines twice the price. Very food friendly, this would be excellent w
Light golden in color with a bit of a copper hue, clear and bright. The nose is big with limes, peach and slight tropical fruit. Medium bodied. On the palate, the tropical fruit becomes more vivid along with limes. Slight minerality. Crisp. Long finish. This is drinking well on its own but would work well with lighter foods. A nice choice with a Cobb Salad. Drink over the next five years.
From one of the classic Napa wineries (and still producing great wines). This bottle was consumed on the Celebrity Millennium Cruise Ship off the coast of Alaska (off their list). Green/gold in color, clear and bright. The nose is nice with lemon cream and a slight pine note. Full bodied. On the palate, this is crisp. It shows just minimal touches of oak. Nice lemon/lime notes with good acidity. A bit clipped perhaps on the finish, but otherwise very impressive. Lovely on its own, this will work well with sea food or even Thai. Drink over the next eight to twelve years.
This estate Pinot is a lively compilation of black cherry, strawberry, plum, blackberry compote, with back notes of rhubarb, huckleberry and black tea. The acidity drives the fruit. This is not a shy Pinot, but an overt celebration of expressive fruit. The wine spent 10 months aging in French oak, 33% of which was new, therefore the fruit is more dominant. Using a variety of Pinot Noir clones, winemaker Steve Rogstad, has decades of experience working with his vineyards, and knowing how best to use the excellent fruit that grows on their property. ORIGIN: Napa Valley, Los Carneros.
MacRostie has long preferred high elevation vineyards where the vines are totally exposed. In this case, Nightwing vineyard sits at 1,200 feet, open to long sunny days and cool ocean breezes. This Chardonnay is in the vein of classic California Chardonnays - a wine that straddles all the elements of excellent fruit, malo-lactic, oak aging, stainless steel fermentation, and proper acidity. All these things come together seamlessly, which allows this to be an ideal expression of how good Chardonnay can be.
Though Zinfandel is California’s signature grape, much of what is made is simplistic, jammy and average. Good thing the folks at Quivera have always taken Zin seriously. Comprised of all Zin with 15% Petite Sirah, the Black Boar offers complex flavors of black cherry, blackberry, plum, bay leaf, current marmalade, with light green tea notes, rhubarb, smoked vanilla and subtle charred campfire. The overtness of the fruit is kept in check with moderate tannins and a smart oak program, which included French, American and Hungarian oak, for a total of just 18 months in barrel.