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

2019 Scherrer Winery Zinfandel Old and Mature Vines Scherrer Vineyard Alexander Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

A lovely, old school Zinfandel.  Whether one thinks this is young or ready or old is a matter of preference.  For my tastes, this is drinking youthfully but ready.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has bramble, raspberries, slight black cherries and spice.  Light but present tannins.  On the palate, bramble and black cherries with spice and slight char.  Drinks well.  Not over the top.  Very nice on its own but better with food.  A great wine with pizza.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  

2019 Sandlands Chenin Blanc Lodi, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Sandlands makes some of the best Chenin Blancs in America.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with minerality/crushed shells, some lemon and lanolin.  Light to medium bodied.  Slightly oily texture.  On the palate, this young.  Vibrant.  The minerality continues thru but the lemon is more persistent.  Long finish.  Tasty.  This is nice on its own and should work well with all but the heaviest meat dishes.  It worked very well with Hunan food.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  

Flora Springs 2019 Holiday Blend – Two Turtle Doves

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Every year Flora Springs produces holiday wines, this year with a beautiful etched bottle (and a three pack of three different holiday etchings and blends) featuring turtle doves. A cabernet dominate blend, this offers soft, bright fruit of black cherry, blackberry, huckleberry, boysenberry, with back notes of green tea leaf, sandalwood, Asian pear, vanilla, camp fire and light dusty mocha. 18 months of aging in French and American oak barrels rounds out the fruit. They don’t make much but it makes a unique gift. 230 cases. ORIGIN: Napa Valley. ALCOHOL: 14.2

2020 Halter Ranch Libelle Sparkling Picpoul Blanc, USA, California, Paso Robles, Adelaida District, Wine Revieew

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

This is a really interesting wine.  It is made from 100% Picpoul Blanc in the Methode Champenoise style.  Picpoul Blanc isn't all that common but is usually found in the Rhone Valley or the Languedoc in Southeastern France.  This is (to the best of my memory), the only time I have seen a sparkling Picpoul.  The grapes are grown using organic and sustainable methods in California's Central Coast.  The wine is silvery/gold in color, clear and bright.  There is a nice mousse of tiny sized bubbles that are persistent in the glass.  Very pretty.  The nose starts out showing some tropica

2022 Sans Liege Cotes du Coast, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$23.00USD

This is a white blend using Rhone varietals and made in Tin City, Paso Robles, California.  It is a blend of 48% Viognier, 19% Marsanne, 13% Roussanne, 11% Grenache Blanc and 9% Clairette.  My first time trying this wine and producer and it is delightful.  Light golden in color with some green hues.  Clear and bright.  The nose has a whiff of fruit but then is dominated by wax, sea air and spice.  With air a bit more pineapple emerges.  Lovely slightly oily texture.  Drying tannins.  On the palate, more pineapple with some lime notes on the finish.  13.7%abv.  It is so hard to say how this

2021 Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is another wine from the Michael Mondavi Family of wines.  This is the inaugural vintage of this wine sourced from various vineyards around Paso Robles.  It will be interesting to watch as they get a handle on what the vineyard has to offer.  That said, this first vintage is a very nice value in California Cabernet.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, char, spice and slight coffee note.  Medium to full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, cassis, plums and char.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This is nice on its own and will work with gr

2021 Oberon Merlot, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$28.00USD

Oberon is part of the  Michael Mondavi family of wines.  This wine was quite good and very interesting.  It is of course, mostly Merlot (sourced in Oakville) but there is an undisclosed amount of Zinfandel and Syrah in the wine which seems to give it a bit more structure and likely a bit of acidity as well.  The people at Oberon feel it adds more lushness.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, spice and chocolate.  Full bodied.  Light to medium tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Flavors of black cherries, milk

2022 Oberon Sauvignon Blanc, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Oberon is a project by the Michael Mondavi family making quality wines from California. The winemaker is long time industry veteran Tony Coltrin. This is a reasonably priced Sauvignon Blanc that tries to forge its own identity from a grape that can be very distinctive depending on where it was grown and made. It is light green in color with a bit of silvery/gold hues. Clear and bright. The nose has a nice minerality, slight tropical fruit and even slighter grassiness. Slightly oily texture. Good balance. On the palate, the minerality dominates.

Cuvaison 2021 Chardonnay, Hedon

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

The Small Lot expressions of Cuvaison (wine typically under 200 cases and a focused identity) have become some of the most exciting and anticipated wines coming out of California. This latest Chardonnay expresses both traditional and non-traditional Chardonnay notes. Typical would be citrus, lemon lime, white peach and guava. Untypical shows kumquat, amber resin, a slight sour green apple and an even slighter butter rum hard candy.

Cuvaison 2021 Pinot Noir, Spire

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

What begins as a soft and velvety Pinot Noir, light and delicate, turns to a beautifully structured wine that offers excellent fruit, acidity, light tannins and layers of flavor. Typical of many Pinots, this begins with noticeable strawberry, red raspberry and black cherry notes, but then delves into more complex, green tea leaf, cedar plank, wild grass, light earthiness, cola, rhubarb and a hint of resin. At first blush this seems like a lovely Pinot Noir to have with dinner, but upon spending time with it, you realize the various facets.

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