Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly clear and bright. The nose is very nice with black cherries, cassis, slight spice and slight black olives. Medium to full bodied. Light tannins. On the palate, this is still fresh and vibrant. Tasty. Some depth and complexity as it unwinds in the glass. Great balance. Good finish. Drinking well now, it should go another five to seven years with no trouble. Nice on its own, but better with food. It worked well with eggplant parmigiana.
There’s a certain comfort in knowing that when you open a Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc, regardless of vintage, it will always be excellent. I have had many vintages of this wine and the consistency of its excellence is borderline improbable – and yet they nail it year after year. The ’21 offers that beautiful crisp nose of lemon meringue, lime kefir, honeysuckle, guava and red delicious apple. That follows through on the palate along with light plum, crème brulee, toasted brioche and Asian pear.
Gary Farrell has always produced interesting Pinot’s – meaning, not the typical California strawberry driven kind. And this 2020 is no exception. Pulled from seven different vineyards, the art is in the blending. Upfront there is pomegranate, plum, green apple, then it turns to black tea, black raspberry, mild strawberry, dried tobacco, light cola and coriander. The acidity is solid and the tannins appropriate to the task. This is what comes from the art of the blend.
Landmark has consistently produced this affordable, classic California Chardonnay, and 2020 repeats history. A terrific balance of all the essentials for Chardonnay, good fruit sourced from well-established vineyards, malolactic fermentation, oak aging, natural yeast, all judiciously applied. This offers lemon, lime, white peach, Asian pear, guava, light mango, resin, a wisp of butterscotch while still providing a solid acidity. There is also a nice creaminess - a viscosity that makes this ideal with a variety of foods.
2012 Williams Selyem Chardonnay Olivet Lane Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review
What a treat to try this at age 10. Deeper gold but with a bit of yellow hues, clear and bright. The nose has lemons, minerals, slight hazelnut and some oak/spice. Full bodied. Nice velvety texture. On the palate, lemons and minerals. This is slightly past its prime but drinking well. Plenty of depth and interest. This drinks well on its own but probably better with food at this point. It would pair well with lobster. Drink over the next few years.
Beautiful example of a non-full throttle California Pinot Noir. Purple at its core, ruby toward the edge as it sits in the glass. The nose takes some time to open up and then cherries, strawberries, black cherries with some herbal notes and slight spice. Full bodied. On the palate, black cherries, cherries, slight cedar, and a bit of tarragon on the finish. Great texture. Long finish. Intense. This could use time or a few hours in a decanter but is drinking well with some air. It should drink well for the next twenty years. It would work great with roasted fowl.
2018 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Scherrer Vineyard Alexander Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review
Love these wines. They deserve more attention. A middle of the road Zinfandel in style. Garnet in color, clear and bright. The nose has black cherries, char, slight bramble and spice. Medium to full bodied. Light tannins. On the palate, this is delicious. Cherries, some black cherries with underlying char. Great balance. Long finish. This is drinking great now and should continue to for seven to ten more years. It drinks well on its own and would work great with a burger and roasted corn.
2017 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review
A nice Cab from California from this old school producer. Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose is classic with cassis, slight saddle leather, baking spices and slight cedar. Medium to full bodied, On the palate, cassis, some spice with underlying char and a slight herbal note. Some depth and complexity. Medium tannins. Nice finish. This will continue to age and mature for another seven to ten years. Great on its own and will work well with a burger or a steak.
Sonoma’s Alma de Cattleya wines have steadily proclaimed themselves and year after year, they turn out truly wonderful wines. The 2020 chardonnay is lively, light, delicate, hinting at fruit aroma but not coming right out and saying it. There is a simplicity to this, a subtle beauty. Yes there are the notes of lemon lime, guava, but it is more subdued creating an enjoyable drinking experience because it is not an overwrought wine.
2018 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Knights Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review
I am a big fan of this (and the regular bottling) and find it some of the best values in high end Cabernet from California. This is still young and tight and in need of some air or better, cellar time. Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright. The nose has cassis, coffee and char. Just a lovely texture hinting at a bright future. Tingly acidity. Firm tannins. Lots of fruit. Cassis with underlying char. Deep. Long finish. Delicious. This will drink well for the next fifteen, maybe twenty years. Great on its own, this would work great with a really great burger