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

2005 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford - Wine Review

Gorgeous wine.  Still drinking quite youthfully, this has decades left.  Inky purple in color, magenta at the rim.  Great nose with cassis, blueberries, cedar and violets.  On the palate this has such a luxurious texture.  Lush with cassis.  Also some charred earth.  Tight layers that expand in glass.  Great precision.  Long finish.  This may yet improve a bit and will certainly gain in complexity.  Year n and out, one the best Cabs offered anywhere.  

2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River - Wine Review

Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has cherries, slightly sour and sandalwood.  On the palate, sour cherries with slight root beer note.  This is a big wine and ageing pretty slowly.  There is still a ton of fruit and the alcohol is in check, so I suspect this will continue to develop.  It will be interesting to see how much complexity it gains.  Like many wines that lean far to one style, if you didn't like this young, you probably won't like it old (and visa-versa).  There is some slight heat on the finish but that settled down with some air.  

2014 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay Cuvée Alyce, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley - Wine Review

This has really improved in the last 6 months.  This has some oak on it which may be a question for some, but if you like this style, it is impressive.  Deep golden in color.  The nose has vanilla and lemon cream.  Slight fesh lumber.  On the palate, there is a lovely oily texture.  Very lemony with a bit of sawdust as well as vanilla.  Very nice acidity.  Worked just find with some cheeses.  Still on the young side and plenty of fruit to hold up as the oak integrates.  It is delicious right now.  

2014 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Mendocino - Wine Review

Great example of a cooler climaate northern California Syrah.  This is tight and young and has a couple of decades left, so if opening now, give it some air.  Purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries and black cherries with black pepper, violets and charred meat.  On the palate, there is plenty of boysenberry fruit and a nice underlying earthy note.  Great sinewy tannins with plenty of structure.  Good finish.  Very enjoyable.  

2013 Liquid Farm Chardonnay White Hill, USA, California, Sta. Rita Hills - Wine Review

I love this bottling and vintage.  The oak treatment is perfect for the fruit.  Golden in color.  The nose is clean with peach and slight ginger.  Creamy texture.  On the palate, apples, peaches and just a bit sweetness.  Deep and complex.  Long finish.  Great acidity.  Worked great with food but was delicious on its own.  Very impressive.  

2014 Carlisle Zinfandel Old Vines, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley - Wine Reivew

This is such a tremendous value.  Around $30.  Purple in color.  The nose is great with raspberries, dark cherries, spice, bramble and char.  On the palate, what a great texture.  Juicy and full.  Lots of fruit, mostly raspberries, blackberries but also some sandalwood notes.  Great balance.  DELICIOUS.   Long finish.  I think these will age for a decade if only I could keep my hands off of them.  

2015 Woodwork Wines Chardonnay, USA, California, Central Coast - Wine Review

Plenty of value here for under $10.  First, the label tells you this has a vanilla and butterscotch oak profile with apple and pear fruit notes.  Both of those are pretty spot on.  The wine is deep golden in color.  The nose is red apples, with vanilla and slight butterscotch.  On the palate, this is simple and to the point.  Plenty of oaky notes; vanilla and some butterscotch with a bit of apples.  This is made for easy drinking and at that price, just fine for casual drinking or at a party.  

2013 Tangent Pinot Gris Paragon Vineyard, USA, California, Edna Valley - Wine Review

Really nice showing for this wine.  Light golden in color.  The nose has more fruit that the Italian versions of this grape.  Some tropical notes along with limes.  On the palate, the fruit parade continues.  A bit of underlying minerality.  Good acidity.  It has a nice freshness although I would drink these sooner than later.  Good finish.  Under $20.