2004 La Sirena Syrah, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

From Magnum.  This is the home vineyard for Heidi Barrett, former winemaker for Screaming Eagle.  I think sometimes, her wines get short shrift as they are not Screaming Eagle.  At age 15, however, this one was outstanding.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper, and some roasted meats.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Energy, it dances across the palate.  Flavors of black raspberries, slight chocolate over gravel and char.  Nice finish.  Tasted again on day 3, it was just as strong (out of magnum).  Nice finish.  This will go

2009 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$189.00USD

Another gorgeous California Cabernet.  They are blessed in Napa.  This one is drinking very well right now.  Cassis, pencil lead and cedar on the nose.  With air a slight cigar box emerges.  On the palate, this is ripe but not over ripe.  A classic example of Napa without being too far to the extreme.  Cassis with some tobacco and fresh turned earth.  Nice balance.  The layers unwind in the glass; cassis, tobacco and cedar.  Medium tannins still.  This will certainly mature more over the next five years.  Not sure it gets better.  No hurry though, this has a decade left and likely more.  It

2016 B Cellars Blend 27, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This a blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petite Verdot.  A Napa version of a Right Bank Bordeaux wine but this is really a pretty big wine.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, plums, slight spice and char.  On the palate, the black cherries continue.  There are firm tannins.  Low acidity.  A bit of underlying forest floor comes out with air.  Medium finish.  This makes a nice drink on its own.  It should continue to evolve and become more food friendly with age.  Another five years to peak and then another seven to ten after that.  This was around $80 on releas

2015 Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This is one of the gems in the Kendall Jackson portfolio.  This is a world class Cabernet.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cedar, milk chocolate, and a bit of char.  On the palate, this has a wonderful muscular texture.  Firm tannins.  Lots of cassis fruit.  Deep and complex if still tight.  Lively with great balance and precision.  Long finish.  This is delicious but grabs your attention.  It still has some upside as it ages and probably at least seven to ten years from peak.  It should easily last two more decades, plus.  It should be versatile to go well with most medium and heav

2006 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Shafer Hillside Select is one of the great wines in Napa and the world.  It is priced accordingly, but every once in a while, it is worth splurging on a bottle with friends.  This bottle was decanted for sediment (there was very little) and allowed to breathe in the cellar for four hours prior to consuming.  A magnificent showing for this wine from admittedly, not one of their best vintages.  Purple in color with some ruby hues to it.  The nose is wonderful with cassis, slight pencil lead, a bit of coffee grounds and a slight salinity.  On the palate, lots of cassis.  Deep with layers of gr

2013 Grgich Hills Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This has come together nicely in the last few years.  It is drinking quite well now.  Slightly lighter golden in color.  The nose is nice.  There is still some obvious oak, but that is more about house style and it is not over the top.  Aromas of lemon cream and slight vanilla with a bit of baking spice.  Full bodied.  The lemon carries thru to the palate with a hint of vanilla.  No heat showing.  Good acidity.  There is some depth and development.  Nice finish.  Classic Napa Chardonnay.  This should still have five to ten more years left at peak.  It will go well with seafood, salads and m

2010 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Callistoga,Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

Nice to try a Hobel with some age on it.  This was purchased on release.  Still youthful though it is drinking well with a bit of air.  This was made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is very nice with cassis, cedar, leather, and spice.  On the palate, this still has medium tannins.  cassis fruit with some underlying dry earthiness.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  It unwinds a bit in the glass showing some layering.  Overall, this is maturing nicely.  It won't get better but should keep maturing.  No hurry, this has at least another decade in it.  It wi

2015 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon Tanbark Hill, USA, California, Napa, Spring Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

Phillip Togni's wines often need a long period of cellaring before they are ready.  Not so with this one.  Although still young, it is drinking well and quite enjoyable right now.  Deep ruby with purple swirls in color.  The nose is pretty with cassis, cherries, and dust.  On the palate, this is soft with lighter tannins.  Plenty of black cherry fruit and some cassis.  Good finish.  This will go with a wider variety of foods than most Cabs and probably is helped by serving with food.  It should be enjoyed over the next decade.  

2014 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Corona Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

The home winery for winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.  This Cabernet is exceptional if still young.  Deep purple in color.  The nose has plums, cassis, coffee and slight pencil lead.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Lots of cassis, some plums intertwined with some char and earth.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  Firm tannins.  This needs about five more years to sort things out and should be good for ten to twenty years after that.  It will go well with grilled meats and roasted fowl, meat or veggies.  It may still get a bit better.  

2013 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon The Arsenal Greer Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$190.00USD

This was the last vintage for this wine.  Rob Greer now makes his own eponymous label wines which are also excellent.  Purple in color.  The nose is wonderful with cassis, coffee, mocha and slight floral notes.  With air a bit of cedar comes out.  On the palate, this has a wonderful full bodied texture.  Lots of cassis with and underlying coffee grounds and earthiness.  Long finish.  This will still develop and may improve a bit.  it is drinking very well now as well.  Drinks great on its own but will work with a steak or roasted meats and veggies.  

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