2018 Girard Chardonnay Russian River Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This was the winner of a recent tasting of California Chardonnays.  Very impressive showing and much better than expected.  I have always like their reds, but I believe this was the first Chardonnay I have tried from them.  Green gold in color.  The nose is really interesting with ginger ale notes along with nice minerality and slight pears.  On the palate, this is clean with great minerality.  Just a slight kiss of vanilla.  Deep with a nice complexity.  This didn't change much over night two.  It should make great drinking over the next five to seven years but likely longer if well stored

2018 Kutch Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Another quality wine from Jamie Kutch.  For the quality, this is a very good value.  Obviously very young, this showed better on day 2 although it was outstanding right on opening.  Green gold in color.  The nose has slight vanilla and lemons.  A bit of baking spices.  On the palate, this has a lemonade quality on day 1 and comes off as slightly sweet.  It all comes more into focus with air on day 2 showing dry with more depth.  Lemons and minerals.  A lovely texture.  Long finish.  This will need some time until peak, say three to five years and then should drink well for another ten to tw

2014 Hanzell Chardonnay Sebella, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

In a recent tasting of California Chardonnays, this was my favorite.  It should be noted that I liked it more than most in the group and that is, I am sure, a style thing.  This is a rich wine that is really firing on all cylinders though starting to show some middle age.  It was older than most of the wines at the tasting, so that may account for some of the various opinions.  Anyway, I found it outstanding.  Yellow/green in color, clear and bright.  The nose has grapefruit, vanilla, and citrus.  On the palate, this has a great, lush texture.  Creamy.  The grapefruit carries thru with a ni

2018 Landmark Chardonnay Overlook, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

Tasted this as part of a virtual wine tasting during the Covid 19 Shelter in Place Order.  These tastings are a fun and informative way to try some wines.  This is a blend of 23 different vineyards to make an affordably priced wine.  For those seeking a wine in this style, this offers a nice value.  it has a medium to deep gold color with some green swirls.  The nose has plenty of up front toasty oak along with a bit of lemon chiffon and a hint of baked apple.  On the palate, this has s very nice, slightly oily texture.  The palate is similar to the nose.  The oak is out front, but there is

2017 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is my favorite wine from all of the Carlisle offerings.  And, it seems that Mike Officer really seems to excel in "off" vintages such as 2011 or 2017.  While still very young, this is a beautiful wine.  Deep purple in color, a thin ruby rim.  The nose has black cherries, plums, slight cedar/bramble and just a hint of roasted herbs.  On the palate, the texture is the thing.  Almost seamless.  Of course, it is also delicious, if still young.  Firmer tannins for a Zin.  It takes about an hour or two to open.  This went great with some homemade pizza.  It should continue to improve for the

2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

What a great showing for this wine.  Gorgeous.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, char, bramble and baking spices.  Full bodied.  Lush and luxurious texture.  Lots of energy though.  It drinks (too) easily.  Delicious but also has a depth and complexity.  Lots of black cherries, black raspberries and black pepper on the palate.  Long finish.  This should continue to drink well for ten years at least but it will lose its vibrancy and be replaced with more complexity.  It would be a shame to miss it now.  It will work great with grille

2017 Gundlach Bundschu Tempranillo Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

There are not a lot of Tempranillo's grown outside Spain and few in California, so it's always a pleasure to get to try one.  I suspect they have a small plot for this to experiment with and bottle it as a winery only release (just a guess).  It is 90% Tempranillo, 6% Malbec, and 1% Petit Verdot.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries and baking spices with a bit of tea leaves and slight smoke.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Bold cherry fruit with light tannins and underlying roasted herbs.  There is little acidity or depth making me wonder how this might age

2015 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma Valley, Wine Review Valley

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

A very pretty, classically styled Sonoma Cabernet.  This is a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, and 2% Merlot.  Purple in color with some purple swirls.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, tobacco, slight bell pepper and spice.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Cassis with a nice underlying earthiness/forest floor.  Good balance.  Ripe but not over blown by any means.  This should drink well for the next fifteen years as it develops and matures.  Drinking great on its own, this will work well with roasts or casseroles.  

2016 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Joy Road Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is drinking very well right now.  Light golden in color.  The nose has lemon cream, brioche and slight orange/citrus.  Very nice.  Also just a bit of baking spices.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Still showing some oak that will integrate with further ageing.  Delicious.  Flavors of orange creamsicle and baking spices.  Great energy and precision.  Long finish.  This worked well with a vegetarian lasagna in bechamel sauce but will work with most seafood or fowl dishes.  it may yet improve a bit but should be great drinking for the next ten to fifteen years.  

2016 Gundlach Bundschu Gewürztraminer Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

An interesting take of Gewurtz.  Very different from the Alsatian counterparts.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has no lychee at all which is fine just a bit surprising.  It does have a floral quality to it, along with ginger and a strong mineral base.  Very nice.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  It is dry as a bone.  The minerality comes thru along with a granny smith apple note and a bit of orange peel.  Clean finish with no bitterness.  Overall, it is a very nice wine that worked excellently with a butternut squash soup.  It probably should be consumed in the n

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