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

2010 Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Basic Bottling.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, leather, slight cedar.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Very concentrated.  On the palate, this is just hitting maturity.  Cassis with some leather notes.  Good energy and balance.  Nice finish.  A classic Napa Cab.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  A nice match with grilled meats or just on its own.  

2015 Realm Cellars The Tempest, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$165.00USD

This is 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  One of the truly great Merlots out there.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, black cherries, baking spice, chocolate, and smoke.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, this is flat out delicious.  Cherries, chocolate, slight cassis and spice.  Deep and complex.  Long finish.  This is drinking great now but should have another fifteen to twenty years.  Great on its own, this will work well with Ham or Chicken.  

2018 Detert Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc Oakville, USA, California, Napa, WIne Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

Detert makes some of the best Cabernet Franc in California.  Purple in color with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, cassis, fresh tobacco, spice and slight mocha note.  Full bodied.  Wonderful lush texture.  Great balance.  On the palate, this is young with firm tannins.  Loads of black cherry fruit (although certainly not a fruit bomb), along with some cassis and some underlying char.  Long finish.  Delicious.  It really unwinds over a few hours.  Drink over the next fifteen to twenty years.  Great on its own, this will work well earthy dishes s

2014 Myriad Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Georges III Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

Great showing for this.  Still young but starting to show development.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, coffee, baking spices and char.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, cassis, slight blueberries with spice.  Deep.  Long finish.  No harm drinking now, but this has another twenty years in it.  Great on its own, this will work well with roasted or grilled meats.  

2013 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek District, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$145.00USD

This is a blend of 48% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah, 17% Grenache, 6% Mourvedre, 4% Tempranillo, and 3% Roussanne.  Wonderful wine that is just entering its prime drinking window.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black cherries, spice, chocolate and char.  Lovely full bodied, almost seamless texture.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, loads of fruit but plenty of energy to keep it from being burdensome.  Layers of black raspberries, black cherries with underlying gravel and char.  Delicious.  Long finish.  This drinks great on its own and would w

2012 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$349.00USD

The label on this bottle (bought at auction) was very wrinkled which was quite worrisome.  No need to worry, the wine was stunning.  Purple in color, magenta at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is deep with cassis, coffee beans, spice and slight graphite.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  On the palate, complex and deep.  Notes of cassis, chocolate and coffee.  Long finish.  This is delicious.  Great on its own, at age 11, this is starting to show a nice complexity that will work with food.  Beef stroganoff would be interesting.  

2020 Aubert Chardonnay UV-SL Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$135.00USD

Green/gold in color, slightly cloudy.  The nose is very nice with vanilla and lemon cream.  Full bodied.  Slight tannins.  On the palate, this is complex and delicious.  Lemon cream with a touch of limes.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is very young but has such precision that its worth opening now.  Delicious on its own, this works with assorted cheeses and lighter foods or sea food.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  

2019 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This continues to be the best value in the Bevan catalog.  Perhaps a little behind the single vineyard wines in quality.  Perhaps not.  It is expensive but half the price of those.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, cedar, baking spices and slight dark chocolate.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  This is obviously young, so decant for a few hours if drinking now.  On the palate, it is lush with loads of cassis, some chocolate and spices.  Deep.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This is probably better on its own right now, but that will change as it ages.  Drink over

2020 Calera Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir, Reed Vineyard

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

Calera has farmed their separate but distinctive vineyards since 1973. Limestone rich soil, high elevation, native yeast and whole cluster pressed are just some of the attributes of Calera’s program. These work together year after year to produce stellar wines. The Reed Vineyard fruit has more of an earthy quality to it. There are darker notes of black cherry, blackberry, huckleberry, raspberry and faint herbs The acidity is mild as are the tannins, yet it drinks very well, and cries out for food to help show off the fruit.

Duckhorn 2020 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

More mature than past vintages, this has nice tight tannins and acidity to make the fruit work well for aging long-term. The dusty fruit of blackberry, black cherry, blueberry and huckleberry gives way to light vanilla from the oak influence and slight cocoa notes. The oak certainly plays a major influence here, but it does not detract from the beautiful fruit that has been harvested for this wine. Though this wine has a lot of production, the quality is still amazing for the number of cases it produces That takes control, and focus by the winemaking team at Duckhorn.

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