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

2018 Myriad Cellars Sémillon McGah Family Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is a nice white from Mike Smith at Myriad.  Light golden in color.  The nose is a bit waxy with lemon (a slight furniture polish note) and nice minerality.  slightly viscous and slightly oily in texture.  On the palate there is a nice lemony note along with underlying minerality.  Crisp.  Good finish.  This is drinking well now.  it probably should be consumed in the next few years to enjoy its vibrancy but no doubt it can last longer.  It will go well with chicken salad or other lighter foods and sea foods.  

2016 Becklyn Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is Becklyn's base Cabernet.  Even so, it is still a great bottle and is expensive.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose has a lot of cassis, some cedar and spice.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Firm tannins.  Lots of cassis, some blueberries over some cedar/earthiness.  Lush and delicious.  Nice finish.  This drinks great on its own right now.  It will require some grilled or roasted meat.  This should continue to evolve over the next seven to ten years and become more complex and food friendly.  It will drink well for twelve to fifteen years.  

2014 Shafer Relentless, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

This is a blend of 89% Syrah and 11% Petit Sirah.  It takes time for the Petite to emerge and today, the Syrah is really the show.  And a great show it is.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, char, violets, slight roasted meats and herbs.  Full bodied with a lush texture.  On the palate, juicy black raspberries with slight blueberries, and some underlying char and earthiness.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  This drinks great on its own and went well with a chocolate cake but would work well with Indian food or roasts as well.  

2013 Carlisle Zinfandel Hayne Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Carlisle makes a variety of Zinfandels.  This is one of my favorites.  Great vineyard.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The  nose has black rasoberries, bramble, and black cherries.  Also a bit of char.  Great texture.   A nice complexity with layers of black raspberry fruit, black pepper and woodiness/sticks.  Nice finish.  This is just passing the exuberant stage for a Zin but should continue to evolve for the next ten to twelve years.  It worked great with a chocolate molten cake dessert.  

2013 Behrens Family Winery The Collector, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

My first time trying this wine.  Very nice.  A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petite Sirah and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, char and spice.  On the palate, the black cherries dominate.  There is some green bell pepper (in a good way) that is very traditional.  Some underlying roasted meats.  This already has a tight complexity that unwinds in the glass.  Nice finish.  This probably needs another five to seven to peak and should be good for ten to twelve more after that.  it is food friendly and wi

2016 Lewelling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Wight, USA, California, Napa,

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is a very decadent Cab that is drinking very well at this young age.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black cherries, cassis, dust, some graphite and hints of earthiness.  On the palate, this is soft and accessible.  It's a big wine but the tannins are soft and the fruit is ripe.  Lots of cassis, blueberries and plums.  Underlying  spice.  Nice finish.  Delicious.  This drinks great on its own and will work with roasts and grilled foods.  It should calm down a bit in five to seven years and be good drinking for the next twenty.  

2014 Raymond Vineyard & Cellar Merlot Reserve Selection, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$23.00USD

This is a nice value in inexpensive Merlot.  It is a blend of 88% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec.  Medium ruby in color.  The nose has plums, cherries and spice.  On the palate, this is light to medium bodied.  Light cherry fruit.  Easy drinking.  Nice finish.  This is made for immediate drinking.  It drinks well on its own and would be great with burgers or grilled chicken.  Drink over the next couple of years.  

2015 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

Nice to check in on this wine.  It is a spectacular wine now but its best days are still ahead.  Purple in color.  A thin ruby rim.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is huge.  Lots of cassis, black cherries, graphite, violets, and roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Plenty of cassis and black cherry fruit.  Underlying char and slight earthiness.  Deep and somewhat impenetrable.  it is delicious.  Gulpable, but once the seams meld together, this wine will be even better.  Try not to pop a cork now.  It will work well with a steak or roasts.  If opening now, give it a longtime

2011 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Panek Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$105.00USD

2011 was a challenging vintage in Napa.  as it nears the ten year mark, however, it appears that like 98 and 2000, those that were able to make more classic styled Cabs produced wines that have caught up with age.  True, these wines are not as good as the top vintages, but they are excellent wines and now is  the time to start checking in on them.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  What a great nose.  Not over blown but nice cassis fruit with some graphite and a hint of char.  On the palate, this is layered and complex.  Nothing under ripe.  Cassis intertwined with dry earthiness and a bit

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