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

2004 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

We had two bottles of this.  The first was just amazing while the second was merely quite good.  At age 16, bottle variation happens.  The first bottle actually appeared and tasted older, so perhaps we just caught the second one in a dumb phase.  Purple in color, a bit of bricking at the rim.  The nose has cassis, camphor, slight cigar box and a sweet perfume.  Full bodied.  Tannins resolved.  This is mature and at peak.  Notes of cassis with underlying tobacco and slight char.  Nice finish.  This won't get better and should be consumed over the next five years.  It will work great with gri

2015 Denner Theresa, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

One of my favorite Cal Rhone White wines.  I really need to let one of these age.  At age 5, this one is singing right from popping the cork.  It is a blend of 30% Roussane, 25% Marsanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 15% Picpoul, and 10% Vermentino.  Light golden in color.  The nose has peach, melon, slight vanilla candle, minerals and lime pith.  Full bodied.  This has a big mouthfeel.  Not quite viscous, but a strong presence.  Notes of peach, vanilla and wax with great underlying minerality.  A nice touch of acidity to keep things bright.  Depth and complexity.  Nice finish.  This is drinking you

2018 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Clark & Telephone Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Maria Valley, Wine Review

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

This is a huge, dark Pinot Noir.  Lovers of Burgundy should at least be forewarned if not directed away.  That said, to those looking for a bit dark, fruity wine, this is delicious.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, baking spices and a bit of licorice.  Full bodied.  Juicy texture.  On the palate, juicy black raspberry fruit.  Very primary although it will no doubt develop over the next five to seven years.  Light tannins.  This drinks nicely on its own and would work with bold spicy foods.  Drink now thru 2028.  

2012 Roederer Estate L'Ermitage Brut, USA, California, Mendocino, Anderson Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a sparkling wine from northern California.  Light golden in color with a lot of very small bubbles.  The nose is interesting with ginger, figs, toasted nuts, and nutmeg.  Full bodied.  Crisp.  On the palate, notes of figs and red apples.  Some ginger.  The finish is very long.  This is very lively.  It should continue to drink well for another five to seven years before slowly turning into a mature sparkling wine.  This will pair well with almost any food or on its own.  

2017 Keplinger Sumo, USA, California, Amador, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is 84% Petite Sirah, 13% Syrah and 3% Viognier.  It is probably my favorite wine in the Keplinger stable.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, gravel, anise and black pepper.  Full bodied.  Juicy acidity.  On the palate, black raspberries, blueberries over char and gravel.  Long finish.  This is open and drinking well now but will undoubtedly continue to develop and improve over the next seven to ten years.  It should drink well for ten to twelve more after that.  A nice match for burgers or ribs off the grill.  

2017 Keplinger Fuego y Mar, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

this is 100% Syrah.  Purple in color, some ruby, opaque and bright.  The nose is earthy with plums and roasted meats and herbs.  Black olives as well.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Black raspberry and black cherry fruit.  With air plums come out.  Great acidity.  A touch of salinity on the finish.  This comes across as a cooler climate Syrah more in the Northern Rhone style.  It will need some time flesh out, perhaps another seven to ten years.  After that it will drink well for ten to fifteen more years.  A nice match with brisket or roasted veggies.  

2014 Immortal Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Slope, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is the winery that used to be the Hidden Slope Winery.  They still make great Cabs.  It is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon with 3% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color,  ruby at the rim.  The nose has nice cassis, slight blueberries, baking spices and minerality.  On the palate, this is ripe/sweet and slightly jammy with cassis fruit and underlying minerality.  Nice finish.  Not quite at maturity, this will continue to develop and broaden out.  It should drink well fro ten to fifteen more years.  It drinks nicely on its own and will work well with a roast or steak.  

2016 Crescere Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

Another wine from this new producer.  Philippe Melka is the winemaker.  purple in color, opaque and bright.  More of a claret style of Cab than a fruit bomb.  The nose has cassis, graphite, rosemary and slight tobacco.  On the palate, there is cassis, camphor with a slight sour cherry note that is interesting.  Nice acidity.  Good finish.  This seems a bit more restrained and in need of air/time.  It should get better with about five to seven years of cellaring and then drink well for another seven to ten years.  It will work with a wide range of food.  

 

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