Purple in color. The nose is nice with cassis and chocolate. Slightly tart acidity. Cassis. Tannins are all resolved. This certainly seems at peak or close to it. Nice fruit. Some complexity. Drink up. This is not a big fruity wine and likely never was. More Bordeaux-esque in style. Still it is very good if not for everyone.
Groth is one of those wineries that used to get a lot of buzz. Now, they are somewhat yesterday's news although the truth is, Groth is still making excellent California Cabernet and deserves to still be in the conversation. This one was from Magnum. Purple in color, ruby at the rim. The nose is dusty with nice cassis fruit. Some baking spice as well. On the palate, this is drinking well. Probably not at peak yet. Complex layers of cassis and spice with some dry earth. Medium tannins. There is a strong backbone of acidity here that is helped by fatty foods. Nice finish. At around
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.
Light green gold in color. The nose is clean and slightly grassy with minerals. More minerals driven on the palate. Not a lot of fruit here. For under $20, this is a nice summer sipper. Easy drinking on its own.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.