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

2016 Andremily Syrah No. 5, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$122.00USD

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite Syrahs.  This is a blend of 91% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black olives, chocolate and char.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  A lush texture but precise.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with underlying charred earth.  Some chocolate on the finish.  This is delicious.  Firm tannins.  This will continue to mature for another seven to ten years and be great drinking for another ten to fifteen after that.  It drins great on its own now and will work well with roasts of all

2016 Martinelli Pinot Noir Moonshine Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

This is a big, fruit styled Pinot Noir.  It is full of California sunshine and ripeness.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has bright cherries, baking spices and slight cedar notes.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Cherries and sour cherries.  Very clean.  Nice energy.  Right now, this probably works better on its own than with food, but with time, this should mellow a bit and work well with swordfish or even past dishes.  depending how you enjoy your Pinots, drink this over the next ten to twelve years.  

2008 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, USA, California, Napa, Rutherford, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$175.00USD

Tasted from a Magnum.  This old guard of Napa is doing just fine thank you.  Delicious at age 12.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, mushrooms, and dust.  With a bit of air, it wakens up showing some chocolate and black cherry notes as well.  Full bodied.  On the palate, sweet cassis fruit with some dark chocolate and slight spice.  It has a nice depth to it.  Medium tannins.  Nice acidity.  This got better all night long.  This should continue to drink well for ten to twelve years.  It works on its own and went very well with a veggie pizza.  

2012 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Colesworthy Beckstoffer Las Piedras Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$525.00USD

This was from Magnum.  Just a gorgeous, if young, wine.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, coffee, gravel and spice.  What a wonderful texture.  Lots of energy, lush but precise.  Almost understated at first on the palate, it just keeps its presence.  Not a fruit bomb but a lot going on.  Light to medium tannins.  Cassis, chocolate over a gravel base.  Long finish.  This needs a few more years until maturity and should be good for fifteen to twenty years after that.  Great on its own, it will work well with bolder food, say, ribs off the grill or roasted veggies

2012 Volker Eisele Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Chiles Valley, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$44.00USD

This is from the Chiles Valley in Napa.  It is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Merlot.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, dust, chocolate and still showing a fair amount of toasty oak.  On the palate, this black cherry fruit with a bit of cough medicine on the finish.  Showing some complexity as it unwinds in the glass.  This still has some drying tannins to resolve,  Long finish.  This should continue to drink well for another ten to twelve years.  It will work well with a smoked brisket.  

2016 Hayfork Cabernet Sauvignon Lewelling Ranch, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$85.00USD

Purple in color, slight ruby hues.  On the nose this has cassis, blueberries, dust and camphor.  Full bodied with firm tannins.  On the palate, black raspberries with black olives and an underlying minerality.  Slight alcohol on the finish but that blows off.  This is an outstanding Napa Cab and while it is expensive, it is still affordable and well worth it for the quality.  Still young, this should improve a bit.  It will need another five to seven years until peak and be good for ten to twelve more after that.  It drinks great on its own and will work well with a steak or a really good b

2016 Mount Veeder Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Another quality wine from this venerable Napa winery.  Sometimes in the rush to try something new, we forget about the old stalwarts.  And, sometimes, that means, the consumer can find some value.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis and baking spices.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Nice depth and complexity as it unwinds in the glass.   Plenty of cassis fruit with an underlying char.  Long finish.  This should continue to develop and improve for another five to seven years and be good for another seven to ten years after that.  It will g

2018 Prisoner Wine Company Saldo, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

What a great showing for this wine.  This might be the best vintage of it to date.  It is 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah and Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has plums, black cherries, cedar and bramble.  The wine sees 25% new oak.  It has a soft and accessible texture.  Delicious.  It is a jammy styled Zinfandel with black cherry fruit and underlying minerality.  There is a bit of warmth (almost a burn) that is actually very nice on the finish.  Served with a wide variety of wines, this was the groups favorite for the night.  Like many of this wineries wines, price

2018 Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Charbono.  It is made to be a fruit forward delicious blend that drinks well right away.  And it achieves that.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black pepper, slight black raspberries and roasted meats and herbs.  Very nice.  On the palate, this is big.  Tasty with a wall of fruit.  Medium tannins.  Long finish.  There is some complexity and depth to it.  It drinks great now on its own and will work with spicy barbecue.  It probably won't improve with cellaring, but should cellar wel

2018 Prisoner Wine Company Blindfold White Wine, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is a white wine made from Chardonnay blended with Rhone varietals.  Light golden in color.  The nose has toasty oak with a bit of nuttiness along with a lemon cream and spice.  Slight floral notes.  On the palate, this is a big wine and drinks better with a chill (say 50F).  The nuttiness carries thru along with the lemon y notes.  There is some oak on this as well.  Some warmth on the finish, but not over the top.  It is delicious on its own and will work with bigger foods such  as a burger or ribs.  It should be consumed over the next three to five years.  

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