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

2007 Easton Zinfandel Fiddletown Old Vine Rinaldi Vineyard, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This was the top wine in a comprehensive vertical of Easton Zinfandels.  Purple in color.  What a great nose; deep with black cherry fruit  notes.  On the palate, this is a claret styled Zin.  Deep and a nice complexity.  Wonderful texture.  Lots of black cherry fruit.  Nice finish.  A delicious wine that is drinking great today and should be here for a decade.  Food friendly or great on its own.  

2006 Easton Zinfandel Shenandoah Valley, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

Purple in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries and black olives.  With air, some tart cranberries on the nose.  Medium tannins.  Good black cherry fruit on the palate.  A bit clipped on the finish.  Overall, this is in a good place and drinking nicely but with some maturity.  Impressive at age 14.  Easily seems like it has a decade left.  

2006 Easton Zinfandel Old Vine, USA, California, Amador county, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color, with ruby swirls.  The nose has some volatile acidity but just a bit which serves to raise the aromatics in a good way.  Cherries and dust.  On the palate, this is less ripe than the other vintages in a comprehensive vertical.  That is not a bad thing.  There is still plenty of black cherry fruit with good acidity.  This may be one of the longer lasting wines.  Good finish.  It is also quite food friendly at this point.  Easily has a decade of good drinking left.  

2005 Easton Zinfandel Fiddletown Old Vines, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose is nice with dusty black cherries and slight volatile acidity.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet with slight tannins.  Ripe black cherry fruit.  Really delicious and drinking quite well right now.  Just getting to a mature claret style zinfandel.  Easily has a decade more of good drinking.  Food friendly.  

2015 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$133.00USD

Another spectacular Chardonnay from Rhys.  This is probably my favorite bottling.  Opened to celebrate a friend's 40th and finished the rest on the following night.  It was great both nights but a bit better on night 2.  Light golden in color.  The nose is sensational.  Yes, there is some oak showing but the nose is so pretty and enticing with lemon cream and vanilla.  On the palate, this has a slightly soft texture, with great lemon fruit.  Some vanilla as well.  Great acidity.  Plenty of depth.  Long finish.  This is not a fruit bomb but it does have a big personality.  It will go with al

2011 Groth Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Groth Reserve is one of the historically great Cabernet's from Napa.  2011 was a difficult vintage but, at least for the Reserve, Groth managed to make a great wine. Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, cedar, and green bell pepper.  While some might not like that green pepper note, other's will enjoy the classic version of an old school cab.  On the palate, there is nice black cherry fruit along with a bit of green pepper and also some cedar.  Medium tannins.  This should improve over the next few years with a point or two of upside.  

2012 Calla Lily Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Audax, USA, California, Napa, Pope Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

This is the high end Cabernet from Calla Lily.  It is a step up from the regular bottling.  It retails for around $120.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, toast, spice and vanilla.  On the palate, the oak is strong on this one.  There is also firm tannins.  Plenty of cassis fruit but the question is whether the fruit will out last the tannins and the oak.  It is a tight ball right bow, but a quite delicious tight ball.  It will be interesting to see where this goes from here.  

2013 Calla Lily Estate Ultimate Red Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Pope Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

This is a reasonably priced Cabernet from the Pope Valley, one of the less heralded places in the Napa Valley.  It is a very solid and enjoyable Cabernet.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, sandalwood and slight black cherries.  On the palate, this is easy drinking.  Some depth.  Light tannins.  Nice black cherry and cassis fruit.  Good finish.  A nice wine for a dinner party.  It sells for around $65 at the winery, but can often be found for a bit less in stores.  

2004 Pax Syrah Obsidian Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

From Magnum.  Wonderful aged Syrah but it is starting to show it's age.  Purple in color.  The nose has black olives, boysenberries, slight black pepper and a hint of bacon fat.  On the palate, this has a nice backbone of acidity.  Layers of black raspberry fruit with some earthiness, some black olives and a bit of pepper.  Long finish.  Worked well with a wide variety of foods.  This probably should be drunk up in the next five years or so.  

2003 Easton Zinfandel California Shenandoah Valley, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2003
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

I first tried this wine a few years ago and was impressed by how well it had help.  It has aged  a bit since then but still is remarkably fresh.  This was bolder in style than the Fiddletown.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries and bramble.  Juicy acidity on the palate.  More plum fruit as well.  Overall a very nice and delicious Zin  Food friendly and seemingly with another decade left.  

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