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

2017 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 

This is the basic (non-single vineyard) wine from Rivers-Marie.  To me, this is usually only a notch or two behind the amazing single vineyard releases and priced a bit better.  It probably doesn't get the respect it deserves because of that.  Deep purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, slight blueberries, spice and slight fresh lumber.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Good cassis fruit with underlying minerality and spice.  Good finish.  This needs time of course to develop.  About five to seven to get close to peak and should have ten to fifteen after that.  Nice f

2017 Mending Wall Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This is the basic Napa Cab from Mending Wall.  In general, I found it to be a bit tighter and less opulent than the single vineyard ones.  It is still an excellent Cabernet and, of course, a bit less expensive.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is tight but shows some cassis and spice.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  Firm tannins.  Deep with tight layers of cassis, spice and slight earthiness.  Good finish.  This needs about seven to ten years until peak and should be good for another ten after that.  

2017 Mending Wall Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$150.00USD

Oakville Ranch Vineyard is a gorgeous place and I always wondered why the wines were not more consistently great.  This is my first time trying a Mending Wall utilizing their fruit and it is great.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, blueberries, baking spices, and slight pencil lead.  On the palate, this is deep and somewhat concentrated.  Lots of cassis fruit with some blueberries over a bit of dry earthiness.  Firm tannins.  Good finish.  This will need five to seven years and then should be good for another ten to fifteen.  There is a nice complexity to this wine as it unwinds

2017 Gemstone Cabernet Sauvignon Heritage Selection, USA, California, Napa, Yountville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Inky purple at the core, ruby at the rim.  The nose has raspberries and black raspberries with spices and a bit of char.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Nice black raspberry fruit over baking spices.  Lively acidity gives this a nice energy level.  Medium tannins.  Good finish.  This probably needs another five to seven years until peak and then should be good for at least ten after that.  It will drink well on its own or with medium and heavy foods.  

2017 Stone the Crows Cabernet Sauvignon Three Twins Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Another wine made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  This one is a bit more elegant than many of his wines but it is still a powerful wine.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with cassis, a bit of cedar, slight plums and a bit of char.  On the palate, this is more advanced than many of the TRB 2017's I have tasted so far, but still needs another five to seven years.  Once there, it should have another ten years or more.  Cassis over cedar and slight dry earth.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This will work well at a steakhouse or with roasted fowl or vegetables.  

2016 Selah Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This is another new wine for me that is made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  The winery is owned by Joe and LeeAnn Blanton up on Howell Mountain in Napa.  Purple in color.  The nose is a bit dusty with cassis, black cherries, an interesting orange peel note, and mint.  With air, the fruit seems a bit darker on the nose.  The palate has firm tannins.  Plenty of depth although concentrated.  Cassis with underlying tea and leather.  Good balance.  Long finish.  I think this will still need another four to six years to really open.  It should be good for another ten to fifteen after that.  This will g

2017 Pine Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Ampére, USA, California, Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a new winery for me.  It is in the newly established Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak AVA which is on the Sonoma side of Pine Mountain.  The wines are grown at between 2,200 and 2,800 feet above sea level.  The winery is owned by Hien Nguyen who grew up in France and made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  The wine is inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight minty notes and a bit of baking spices.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Tannic.  Lots of depth.  Cassis with underlying baking spice and slight forest floor notes.  It is hard to say how this would evo

2017 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

From the eponymous winery of Thomas Rivers Brown.  They make some stunning Cabs and this one is always one of my favorites.  The 2017 version is no exception.  The only real question is just how good it will get.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, blueberries, slight floral notes, sandalwood and a roasted wood quality.  This is one wine where the descriptor of sexy will work.  The palate is tight but in the glass opens with cassis, slight blueberries over a a nice hard, dry earthiness with gravel and graphite.  Some sandalwood on the finish.  Medium to full tannins.  This should c

2017 Outpost Zinfandel Howell Mountain, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This is consistently one of my favorite Zinfandels.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose is nice with cherries, slight wintergreen, and sandalwood.  On the palate, this seems a bit lighter than prior years.  Good acidity.  Light tannins.  Nice cherries and raspberries with some underlying bramble.  Good finish.  Drinking well right now, it probably should be consumed in the next eight to ten years.  It will be interesting to see if it develops more or puts on body.  It is actually very food friendly and will work with a wide variety of medium and heavier foods.  

2017 Seaver Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon GTS, USA, California, Napa, Diamond Mountain District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

This is former baseball great Tom Seaver's wine project.  He may be a celebrity but this is a serious project with the wines being made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with minerals, cassis, roasted herbs and a slight minty note.  On the palate, this is concentrated.  Black raspberry fruit over a dry forest floor.  The roasted herbs carry thru to the finish.  Firm tannins.  This needs five to seven more years to really open and then it should be good for another twelve to twenty.  A delicious wine on its own, with air or cellaring this will work

Pages