2015 Outpost Zinfandel Howell Mountain, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a great take on Zinfandel using mountain fruit which gives it a bit more concentration and less exuberance.  Purple in color.  The nose  has black raspberries, some blueberries, a bit of bramble and spice and slight black pepper.  On the palate, this has a great dense and lush texture.  Lots of black raspberry fruit.  This is still young and should broaden out over the next decade with cellaring.  That said, it presents a really powerful and enjoyable Zinfandel right now as well.  Works with hearty foods.

2015 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is their basic Cabernet in addition to the single vineyard wines that they make.  It sells for around $65.  Purple in color.  The nose is very nice.  More black cherry, some cassis and with air some plum.  Also spice and slight cedar.  It sounds lighter perhaps from those descriptors, but that is certainly not the case.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Plenty of black cherry fruit along with some cassis.  Very intense and focused right now.  It opens nicely in the glass.  Nice finish.  This should improve a bit over the next few years as it matures and comes to

2014 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is their basic wine (they also make some single vineyard releases).  it sells for around $65.  Purple in color.  The nose is very nice with cassis, cedar, some chocolate and slight pencil lead.  On the palate, this has a nice juicy acidity.  Firm tannins at this point.  Cassis, slight chocolate and spice.  Long finish.  Still quite young, this needs another three years to open and really won't peak for ten.  That said, it is delicious now with some air.  Certainly some upside improvement likely.  

2017 Bevan Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Dry Stack, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Russell Bevan makes one of the best California Sauvignon Blancs but this may be the best vintage yet.  Pop and pour and this was off and running.  Light golden in color, slight green.  Gorgeous nose of tangerine, floral notes, slight vanilla and caramel.  With air, a bit of clean pine as well.  Great texture.  Slightly oily, full bodied and lush.  Deep and powerful.  Flavors of tangerine, pine, vanilla and slight papaya.  Persistent and fresh.  Worked great with food.  Got better with air.  At around $35, this is well priced.  

2001 Araujo Estate Syrah Eisele Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, black pepper some grilled meats and just a bit of bacon.  On the palate, this is fully mature but not past.  Black raspberry fruit layered with charred earth.  Nice complexity.  Good acidity.  Still fresh.  Nice finish.  This wine is drinking great and much younger than I might have expected it to.  Bottles vary though and I wouldn't wait too long on this one.  

2001 Paloma Merlot, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2001
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

This is a former Wine Spectator Wine of the Year.  It was nice to revisit this wine.  It seems to be at peak and drinking as good as it will get.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cherries, spice, chocolate and dried cherries.  On the palate, this is full bodied with a lush texture.  Just a wisp of tannins.  Layers of chocolate covered cherries and slight earth.  Long finish.  Food friendly.  Certainly one of the best California Merlot's I have had.  Even Miles from Sideways would like it.  It still has five to ten years, at least, left if well stored.  

2014 Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a $30 Napa Cab.  While perhaps a good price point for Napa, that is not a cheap bottle.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, spice and fresh cut lumber.  On the palate, this has one dimensional fruit but a fair amount of it.  Lots of oak showing as well.  Medium tannins.  Not much acidity, this is made to enjoy on its own on the back deck.  It is a solid wine for that purpose and for those who like fruit and oak, this is one to look for.  

2014 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A

Realm is at the top of their game, making some of the best wines in the world.  This is one of my favorites though expensive, it is doable unlike so many of the top luxury wines.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with cassis, pencil lead, cedar and spice.  On the palate a wonderful juicy almost seamless texture.  Deep, if tightly packed.  It drinks deliciously now but really won't peak for ten or fifteen years (depending on how you like them).  Juicy black raspberries, char and slight earth open in the glass.  Long finish.  Gorgeous wine.  Can a wine be worth $125?  It depends, but this

2012 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc Oakville, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

From the heart of the historic To Kalon vineyard on the Napa Valley floor.  This is made in limited quantities although they also make an even more limited version.  This is $80 which is pretty fair for one of the best Cab Francs that Napa produces.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, slight cigar box, and some anise.  On the palate, this is young but drinking well.  Black cherries, some cherries, forest floor and spice layered in the glass.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Certainly some upside to this as this should mature and age for another decade or more.  

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