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

2021 Neal Family Vineyards Vermentino Rutherford Dust Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$38.00USD

What a beautiful take on Vermentino.  Decidedly California in style, but the wine bears some resemblance to the classic Italian versions.  Light golden in color with some green hues.  Medium bodied.  The nose has a bit of citrus (tangerine) along with slight guava notes.  Slightly viscous.  Excellent cut.  On the palate, more lemon than tangerine with nice underlying minerality.  Lively acidity but no sharp edges makes this very easy to drink.  The acidity and minerality set this apart from so many Napa whites.  Nice finish.  Consumed over two nights, this was even better on night 2.  This

2019 Turley Zinfandel Ueberroth Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Probably my favorite Zinfandel from the Turley offerings.  Deep garnet in color, Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has back cherries, black cherries, bramble and black pepper.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  Lots of energy.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Of course young, but drinking well.  Black cherries, cherries, spice and slight char.  Long finish.  This will drink well over the next ten years.  Great on its own, this would be perfect with a burger or ribs on the grill.  

2015 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon True Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

What a beautiful wine.  Inky purple in color, ruby rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is very concentrated with cassis, baking spice, slight chocolate and a hint of char.  Full bodied with a lush texture.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is concentrated as well.  It took a couple of hours to open up.  Once it did, lots of cassis with coffee, spice and chocolate.  Lots of energy.  Long finish.  This is drinking well now but should continue to for another ten to fifteen years.  It drinks great on its own and will work well with roasted meats and veggies.  

2013 Keplinger Sumo, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$87.00USD

This is a blend of 76% Petite Sirah, 20% Syrah, and 4% Viognier from Amodor County in California.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with blackberries, black raspberries, black pepper and cumin and cardamon.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is very primary still but delicious.  Loads of blackberries and black raspberries with exotic spices and pepper.  Enough acidity to carry through.  Long finish.  This is delicious on its own and would be a nice match with Indian cuisine.  Drink over the next twenty years.  

2013 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Moulds Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oak Knoll, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This was the first vintage of what has been a consistently great wine since.  Purple in color, some ruby, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, spice, slight coffee grounds and char.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is quite concentrated.  Not over blown but plenty of cassis fruit with underlying char and spice.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This is drinking well but no hurry.  It will easily last another ten to fifteen more years.  It drinks well on its own and is a great choice for a roast or even a burger.  

2013 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$165.00USD

This is a blend of 45% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 8% Counoise.  15.7% abv.  Just a beautiful wine, albeit a bit young at age 9.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, black pepper, plums and char.  Full bodied with a lush, rich texture.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Loads of black cherries and black raspberries with some pepper and spice.  Light to medium tannins.  Long finish.  This should drink well for the next twelve to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this will work well with meats or veggies off the grill

2017 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon The Reserve To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

This is a classic wine from a good if not great vintage.  The nice thing about that is the pricing may be better and the wine is drinking well earlier.  Purple in color with garnet swirls.  The nose is pretty with cassis, graphite, spices and slight roasted herbs.  Full bodied.  Lovely texture.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Deep with lots of cassis and spice.  Long finish.  This is drinking great now, but perhaps will still improve a bit.  It has a Bordeaux-ish personality but with California fruit (and sunshine).  Drink over the next fifteen to twenty years.  It will

2019 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Friends brought this over.  This winery is one a few that are generating lots of buzz for Cabernet Sauvignon in Paso Robles.  This is fruit forward in style but by no means a simple wine.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, tobacco, black cherry and spices.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, lush cassis and black cherry fruit.  Depth.  Long finish.  This drinks well now but probably should improve with a few more years of cellaring. Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  This would go great with a roast or a steak.  

2009 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This is in a great place.  Garnet in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, slight sour cherries and spice.  Medium bodied with light spice.  On the palate, this is starting to show a nice complexity.  On the young size, this is getting close to maturity but has plenty of time left.  Cherries, char, sour cherries, and spice.  Nice finish.  This should drink well over the next ten to fifteen years.  A nice match to roasted chicken.

2015 Spring Mountain Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Classic Napa Cabernet.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, spice and char.  Full bodied.  Nice complexity.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is still young, but drinking well.  Plenty of cassis with underlying char and spice.  Nice finish.  This is more old world in style but has a nice Napa ripeness.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  A classic steakhouse wine.

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