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

2016 Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$465.00USD

So, after an amazing wine dinner with two other couples and my wife, we did the mistake of opening this.  It was amazing but this just arrived a few weeks ago and really needs time.  That said, it really was great, it just needs at least a few more years and really five to ten.  Oh well, it was fun.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, pencil lead, tobacco, smoke and cedar.  On the palate, this has big fruit and big tannins.  Not so much a fruit bomb as the intensity.  It must be like barrel tasting Latour in a great vintage.  The finish goes for for hours.  Give this some time and

2012 Sine Qua Non Petit Manseng Shackled, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$400.00USD

A fun way to end an amazing wine evening with friends.  i believe this is made in the traditional way where the grapes are dried on (straw) mats.  Served with a cheese course it worked well.  Orange in color.  The nose has lovely apricots.  Thick and viscous.  it is a bit cloying and a little goes a long way but it is also Delicious.  The palate has hints of acidity.  Nice orange peel notes. The cheese really helps.  i doubt it gets better and while it probably last twenty years, drink it sooner to enjoy the freshness.  From a 375ml bottle.  

2016 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$675.00USD

Drank this side by side with the 2012.  The 2012 was better tonight, but the 2016 is the better wine.  Hold for at least five years and patience will be rewarded.  Of course, if you can't - no worries.  It is amazing right now.  Inky purple, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cedar, clay, graphite and sandalwood.  On the palate this has firm tannins.  Tons of cassis with tight layering of charred earth.  Great balance.  Intense and concentrated.  Long finish.  Went great with Cauliflower steaks but would work well with grilled or roasted meats.  it kind of reminds me of Mouton in a grea

2012 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$600.00USD

Scarecrow is one of the best wines in the world.  It is always a pleasure to be able to share some with friends!  This bottle did not disappoint.  It is not a fruit bomb but there is plenty of fruit.  This bottle is still young with some upside but drinking great today.  Inky purple with a thin ruby band at the rim.  The nose is great with cassis, violets, spice and minerality.  On the palate, this has light tannins but persistent.  Intense cassis on the palate with underlying charred earth and a bit of dark chocolate.  Layers of fruit and earth.  Long finish.  Great balance.  Delicious.  W

2013 Dalla Valle Maya, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$499.00USD

This took a while to open up in the glass and then it was gorgeous.  It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (57%) and Cabernet Franc (43%).  One of the Iconic California wines.  Inky purple in color, magenta at the rim.  The nose is beautiful with cassis, cedar, anise, some charcoal and slight blueberries.  With air a woodsy quality emerges as well.  On the palate, this has nice depth and complexity.  Firm tannins.  Sweet cassis fruit with some fresh tobacco notes intertwined.  Very deep.  It needs a few more years or a nice decant now.  It requires big food but will work with it or as a glass

2011 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$280.00USD

Bryant is one of the classic Napa Cabs.  The wines generally take years to develop but this one seems to be about as good as it will get.  Of course, time will tell.  Inky purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, some celery, and a slight floral note.  On the palate, the green/celery note is gone and there is plenty of bright cherry fruit.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This is an excellent wine but knowing how good this wine can be in better vintages, this wine does not reach those heights.  Still, it worked well with a Roasted Eggplant dish and would work with roasted meats

2011 Au Sommet Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Atlas Peak, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

I didn't remember until I got home that I had this once before.  Probably because the last bottle was good but it did not show this well.  Not quite sure why.  It might have been me, the circumstances, the food or just bottle variation.  This bottle was opened and allowed to breathe for an hour so perhaps that had something to do with it.  That's why we pop the corks though.  This bottle was outstanding.  It is a project of the famous winemaker Heidi Barrett.  In a vintage like 2011, this one managed to be clean, ripe and without any green streaks.  Very impressive.  Purple in color, ruby a

2012 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Rhys is one of my favorite wines and this particular bottle was opened at a dinner alongside an Aubert and a Marcassin from the same vintage.  It was interesting for a few reasons.  It really demonstrated the "Burgundyness" of the Rhys wines.  It also showed that Rhys can hold its own against the best Chardonnays California produces.  It has a silvery green/gold color.  The nose has nice lemon cream and vanilla with underlying minerality.  Great mouthfeel and texture.  On the palate, the lemon cream with a touch of vanilla comes thru.  With air some green apple notes emerge.  Great balance.

2012 Marcassin Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$375.00USD

This wine took a long time to open up and was still improving four hours later when retasted at the end of the night.  The first impression score was maybe a 90 and eventually it got up to 99.  Really impressive but if opening, give it air or time.  Medium deep golden in color.  The nose has oak, vanilla and lemon.  With air a metallic not comes and goes.  Then a buttery quality which stays although moves more into the background.  Eventually, some orange citrus and floral notes with a great underlying minerality.  The palate also goes thru a wild ride starting off tight and oak driven, the

2012 Aubert Chardonnay CIX Estate Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$225.00USD

Light green/gold in color.  The nose is tight at first but opens quickly.  Showing dust, slight vanilla and lemons.  With air, more of the oak shows as fresh cut lumber.  It has a slightly oily texture which is very nice.  On the palate, more red apples.  As the oak subsides a bit with air, the depth and complexity take front stage.  This is really deep and complex and even at age 7, still needs a bit more time to get to peak though it is drinking well right now.  The finish is a bit sweet and very long.  This should go well with a wide variety of foods and in this case was perfect with a B

Pages