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

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Limerick Lane, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

One of the better single vineyard Bedrock Zinfandels.  While this could age well for a decade or more, there is something about the energy and fruit of consuming them young.  It just depends on what you like.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, spice and bramble.  On the palate, there is some black raspberry but a bit of strawberry in the back ground.  Underlying some smoke/fireworks.  Great texture.  Delicious wine that makes it hard not to gulp.  This will work with BBQ, meat dishes or pizza and roasted vegetables.  Think fun.  But if this is not y

2015 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

12/28/2018 - So glad I was able to try this again.  A friend offered it up and I jumped at the chance to try a clean bottle.  The cork was clean to the top with just a bit of red stain on the bottle of the cork.  Purple in color.  The nose has nice cassis and a fair amount of oak showing itself as spice and cedar.  On the palate, this is clean with a nice full texture.  Cassis fruit with some lumber and some cedar.  There is a nice depth here.  Firm tannins.  Long finish.  It needs a couple of years in a good cellar to come together.  Requires big bold food right now.  Cellaring for five ye

2013 Kapcsándy Family Winery Vino Del Sol State Lane Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Yountville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

A Port styled wine made from a blend but mostly Merlot.  Purple in color.  The nose has cherry liqueur, chocolate and slight raisin.  Full bodied.  Slightly sweet.  Raisins, chocolate and cherries.  Relatively simple and not a lot of depth.  Worked well as a desert wine and would match a more savory dessert.  

2010 Joseph Phelps Insignia Proprietary Red Wine, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

This is made from 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and the rest Merlot and Malbec.  Insignia is one of the First Growth wines of California.  Its great just about every vintage and has been for decades.  This one is no exception.  Inky purple.  The nose has cassis, graphite, blueberries, leather and cigar box.  On the palate, this is still young.  Medium tannins.  Great balance.  Lots of cassis and some blueberries with underlying damp forest floor.  Long finish.  Delicious.  Will work great with heartier foods and certainly with meat dishes.  The price on these is up to around $250

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

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is a blend of 97.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2.5% Petit Verdot from Heidi Barrett.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, slight smoke, bell pepper and tobacco.  On the palate, this is nice and everything is in proportion.  Not a lot of depth.  Tannins mostly resolved.  Worked well with vegetarian stuffed mushrooms.  A fine wine but its price tag on release was $250.  Granted 2011 was a difficult vintage, but that is a lot of money for this wine. 

1982 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1982
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

From Magnum.  This has held up nicely and is drinking well.  Like and older Bordeaux.  Ruby in color, slight bricking at the rim.  The nose is nice with cassis and cherries along with some tobacco and dust.  On the palate, this has layers of fruit and earthy forest floor.  Good balance.  This seems very food friendly.  Probably a bit past prime at this point, but still with lots to offer.  

2012 Sine Qua Non Grenache Stein, USA, California, Central Coast, Ventura, Wine review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Deep ruby in color.  The nose has nice cherries, black cherries and black raspberries with baking spice and a bit of pepper.  Full bodied with a great texture.  Nice backbone of acidity.  On the palate, black raspberries with some black cherries.  This is young and needs a few years to develop but quite tasty right now.  Not a monster wine by any means.  Will work with medium and big foods.  

2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

This continues to improve.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper and grilled meats.  On the palate, this has a nice juicy acidity.  Medium tannins.  Black raspberries layered with char and earth.  Good finish.  No hint of alcohol or heat.  Needs bigger and/or spicy foods.  This wine still needs about five years to peak.  Then should be good for another 15 after that.  Very concentrated.  

2003 Bond Pluribus, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

This is from Bill Harlan.  At age 15, this wine seems to be at peak and is singing.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, slight smoke, slight vanilla and slight cigar.  On the palate, this has a nice silky texture.  Slight wispy tannins.  Lots of cassis fruit.  Plenty of depth and tight layering that unwinds in the glass.  This drinks like a almost mature Bordeaux wine.  Will work with meats and heartier foods.  

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