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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.  

2016 Orin Swift Mannequin, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This is a big Chardonnay that is not for everyone.  For those who like buttery, oaked Chardonnay, they will love this.  Light golden in color.  The nose has lemon curd, fresh cut lumber, butter and spice.  On the palate, there are some searing oak tannins to deal with.  Also some nice lemon fruit.  Good acidity.  This is probably not a great food match, but lots of people would love this on its own.  For my tastes, the oak is a bit too pronounced.  That said, a small glass was enjoyable.  

2009 Lagier Meredith Mondeuse Noir, USA, California, Napa Valley, Wine Review

Mondeuse is a bit of a different grape typically found in the French Alps region of Jura.  This is a version grown in the mountain sunshine of the Napa Valley of California which gives it a bit more ripeness while retaining the depth.  At 9 years from vintage, this is still youthful but in a good drinking window.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, tart cherries, slight floral notes and lots of minerality.  On the palate, this is more about tart cherries and minerality.  With air, it gains weight but the profile is the same.  No tannins to speak of.  Good with food.  Nice fin

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