Expert articles and wine tasting videos profiling wines from California, California wine regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & more.

NV Meadowcroft Anniversary Cuvée, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$52.00USD

This is a non-vintage blend.  It was bottled in 2016.  Although it carries a Napa Valley designation, as it is mostly Mt. Veeder grapes, it has grapes from all over California.  A blend of 41% Cabernet Sauvignon,36% Cabernet Franc, and 23% Merlot.  Purple in color.  The nose has a mushroom note to it along with black cherry fruit and baking spices.  Warm.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Light tannins.  Nice black cherry fruit.  Some depth.  Easy drinking.  This probably should be consumed in the next five to seven years.  It will work well with stews and casseroles.  

2016 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is blend of 46% Mourvedre, 31% Syrah, 18% Grenache, and 5% Counoise grapes.  Tasted from a 375ml bottle.  In a full bottle, these will age wonderfully.  In this format, they should still age well, but this was a great chance to check in on the wine.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has plums, black raspberries, black cherries, spice and char.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Energetic.  Medium tannins.  Right now, the black cherries dominate but that will change as it ages.  Delicious.  Good finish.  This should be versatile with food and go well with fowl or meat dishes and r

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T 'n' S Blocks Hudson Vineyard South, USA, California, Napa, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is from the southern portion of the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros.  98% Syrah and 2% Viognier.  At age 10, this is just starting to open up and will still improve.  Inky purple in color with a thin ruby rim.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, smoke, slight bacon fat and roasted meats.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Cooler climate in profile.  Black cherries and black raspberries with underlying char and a bit of pepperyness.  Good energy once it opens.  Drinks well now but should be about five years until peak and then be good for ten to fifteen more.  It wil

2013 Hobel Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon Engelhard Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Nice to revisit this wine.  It is still young but has opened up a bit (as have many 2013's).  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, spice, slight hay note and a bit of toast.  On the palate, this took about an hour or so and then was drinking well.  Cassis with underlying dry earth.  Good balance.  Long finish.  This may still improve a bit more.  It has fifteen to twenty years of great drinking.  Think grilled foods or roasts, but also drinks well on its own.  

2013 Pott Wine Cabernet Sauvignon Kaliholmanok Kicu'me, USA, California, Napa, Spring Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$145.00USD

This was interesting.  Pop and pour and there were light notes of what might have been TCA.  Very intermittent.  I decided to let the bottle sit over night (closed with a neutral cork) and check back the next day.  If the bottle was off with TCA, it would be worse the next day.  On the other hand, the next day, this bottle was clean as a whistle and drinking quite well.  Not sure what was going on, but glad I waited and gave it a chance.  Dark purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose had cassis, char, and spice.  Just a hint of pencil lead and slight earthiness.  On the palate, this has

2014 Jaffurs High Tide, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$46.00USD

A blend of 57% Mourvèdre, 29% Grenache and 14% Syrah.  Deeper ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, some floral notes, black pepper and spice.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Black cherry fruit with some black raspberries over a slight char and a slight dried lavender note.  Good balance.  Lots of energy.   Good finish.  This is drinking well now and while it might not get better it should morph a bit darker with age.  It will work well with stews and casseroles.  It should drink well for the next seven to ten years.  

2012 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Very solid Napa Cab that is drinking quite well.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, slight cassis, baking spice and slight cedar.  On the palate, this has light tannins.  The black cherry fruit comes thru over the oak/spice.  Nice balance.  This is very food friendly but not for the lightest of foods.  It worked great with some spicy chili.  This should continue to drink well for the next five to seven years at least.  

2013 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Reviews

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$170.00USD

The 2013 Napa Cabs were released with a lot of fanfare, and justifiably so.  It seemed, however, that they shut down very quickly and hard.  Now, at age 7, they are starting to open back up and while, as a general rule they have lots left, many are drinking quite well.  I don't remember a Napa Cab vintage that shut down so hard so quickly and reopened so quickly as well.  In any event, this was opened and allowed to breath for 30 minutes and then served.  It was beautiful.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  On the nose, there is cassis, slight black cherries, roasted herbs, nice minerali

2017 Tablas Creek Esprit Blanc de Tablas, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This is a blend of Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul Blanc, Picardan, and Clairette Blanche.  From a 375ml size bottle which is a great format for early drinking or when one wants just another glass or two.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with pears, spice, slight wax, and slight honey.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  The pears come thru along with the baking spices.  Good balance.  Light tannins.  Long finish.  White Rhone varietals can be tricky to age, but this seems like it should be good for five to seven and probably more.  It will work well with sea

2013 Torrin Law Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$88.00USD

I have been beating the drum for Torrin wines for a while now. They do take a long time to open up, but this one seems a bit more open than most. Of course, we are now seven years from vintage. This is delicious. It is a blend of 76% Syrah and 24% Grenache. The label lists 16%ABV and although it is not noticeable on the palate, one does feel it. Inky purple in color. The nose is concentrated with black raspberries, iodine, roasted meats, char and spice. On the palate, this is full bodied with a lush texture. It is much wider on the palate. Lush black raspberries over char and spice.

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