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.

2015 Andremily Mourvèdre, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$165.00USD

Andremily makes some of the best Rhone varietal wines anywhere.  This on is 92% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah and 3% Viognier.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with  plums, black cherries, coffee, spice and anise.  Full bodied.  Medium to firm tannins.  On the palate, black cherries, plums and anise.  Some coffee/chocolate add to the finish.  Drinking well now if still a bit young.  This should drink well for another ten to fifteen years (and probably more).  Great on its own, this would go very well with a cassoulet.  

2018 Hayfork Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

This is is 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petite Verdot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, pencil lead, cedar and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is a big but not over sized Cab.  Lots of cassis with some char and minerality.  Drinking well now but may still improve a bit.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this would be a classic pairing with a roast or steak.  

2010 Saxum Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

This is a blend of 35% Zinfandel, 26% Mourvedre, 19% Tempranillo, 11% Syrah, and 9% Petite Sirah.      Purple in color with some ruby hues.  Opaque and dark.  The nose is nice with black cherries, plums, cherries, char and spice. Full bodied.  Light tannins.  Good balance.  On the palate, this is drinking at peak and delicious.  Complex and deep.  Notes of black cherries, cherries, and plums with underlying asphalt/gravel.  Long finish.  Drink over the next five to ten years.  Great on its own, this will need big food.  Ribs off the grill would be a good match.  

2015 Tensley Syrah BMT, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Tensley is an excellent source for excellent wines at fair pricing.  This one is a blend of 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache.  This was a Magnum only release.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black pepper, slight roasted herbs and a hint of floral notes.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Black raspberry fruit with some pepper and underlying char.  Nice finish.  Drinking well now and should continue for another ten to twelve years.  Very nice on its own, this would also be nice with roasted vegetables.  

2019 Double Diamond (Schrader) Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Of course, this is the "It" wine right now as it was just named the Wine Spectator Wine of the Year.  It proved to be love or hate at a recent tasting with many rating it as their favorite and a few putting it closer to the bottom.  Of course, even the later voters thought it was a fine wine overall.  It also proved pretty easy to pick out blind as most or the group was able to.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has a strong cotton candy note (others said sweet tarts or "Smarties) along with some cassis.  Medium bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palat

2016 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Lot C-91, USA, California, Napa,

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$72.00USD

This wine was originally released in the 1969 vintage and then not again until 2016.  It appears to be more consistent since then.  It is made to be a more ageable wine than their basic Napa Cab utilizing grapes from different areas in Napa.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has black cherries, slight cassis, cedar and minerality.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, cassis with good acidity.  Some underlying smoked earth.  Long finish.  Drinking well now and should drink well for another ten to twelve years.  Nice on its own, this will work well with roasted

2016 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$69.00USD

Very nice showing for this wine.  It has long been a steakhouse restaurant favorite yet its fans remain consistent and loyal.  It was a pleasure to drink this and it had been some time since enjoying this wine.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose is nice with cassis, cherries, cedar and spice.  It has a nice sinewy texture.  Softer with light tannins.  On the palate, there is some depth/complexity with cassis and char.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue to drink well for another eight to twelve years.  It drinks well on its own, and would certainly work we

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