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

2016 Bevan Cellars Ontogeny, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$96.00USD

Russell Bevan's wines are outstanding but they can get expensive.  This is expensive too, but half the price of his single vineyard releases.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has cassis, cedar, slight tobacco and spice.  Young, of course with firm tannins.  Wonderful lush texture.  Lots of juicy cassis fruit with some graphite and char.  Long finish.  This is delicious now but will continue to improve for the next five to ten years and be good for ten to twenty after that.  It will go well with roasts or heavier dishes.  

2013 Donelan Pinot Noir Two Brothers, USA, California, Sonoma County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a blend of grapes from Steiner Ranch, Devoto Vineyard, Walker Vine Hill and Perli Vineyard.  It is middle of the road on a California Pinot Noir scale.  Ruby in color with some purple swirls.  On the nose, this has nice cherries with some raspberries along with some nutmeg.  Medium to full bodied.  Nice texture.  The raspberries are more prevalent on the nose and even some boysenberries.  A bit of tea leaves underneath.  Good finish.  An interesting Pinot with some level of complexity.  It probably won't get better but should last another ten to fifteen years at it mature and trades

2012 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon Corona Vineyard, USA, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

This is the home vineyard of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.  His single vineyard wines Cabs are (for now) some of the most attractively priced top wines from Napa.  This wine has really improved since release and it was excellent back then.  Deep purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, blueberries, cloves and a slight menthol note.  On the palate, this has light to medium tannins.  Layers of cassis and blueberries with slight tobacco and cigar box.  A slight menthol note on the long finish.  This is drinking great but will continue to mature.  Maybe another 7 to ten years un

2007 Lillian Winery Syrah Blue Label, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

Although this is a California Syrah, Lillian is an Oregon producer.  This is great.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, gamey meats, roasted herbs, slight black olives.  On the palate, this is delicious.  it has complexity and depth too.  Black raspberry fruit with slight earthiness and a bit of grilled meats.  Long finish.  This is just about at peak now.  Light tannins.  Wonderful texture.  Juicy fruit.  Long finish.  It should be hear for another ten years or so.  It will work great with roasted fowl or meats or grilled foods.  

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Pleine de Chene Hudson Vineyard North, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$52.00USD

This is a delicious Syrah from the North side of the Hudson vineyard.  Bedrock made two different Hudson vineyard Syrahs.  This is drinking quite well now.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight roasted herbs and hints of bacon fat.  On the palate, this has juicy boysenberries with some black olives and slight grilled meats.  Very interesting and very delicious.  Good balance.  Long finish.  It took about an hour in the glass to really open up.  Maybe another year or two until peak.  A nice match to roasts and also to Indian or Thai foods.  

2008 Dehlinger Syrah, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This wine has really taken a long time to come around, but is now drinking great.  This is there basic Syrah.  Purple in color, deep ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, grilled meats and slight roasted herb.  On the palate, this is deep and complex.  Lovely medium bodied texture.  Black raspberry fruit layered with dry, charred earth.  Good finish.  This should continue to drink well for another ten to fifteen years.  A great match with Indian food, it should also work well with casseroles or roasts.  

2012 Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel St. Peter's Church Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 

Ulises Valvez was one of the great American success stories in the wine world.  An immigrant to this country, he built his vineyard and winery into a top notch winery.  Sadly, he passed away a couple of years ago at far too young of an age.  His winery carries on.  This is a Zinfandel blend that also has 17% Peite Sirah and 5% Grenache.  The vineyard was originally planted in 1888 and hand farmed by Ulises Valdez since 1988.  There are some very old vines.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, some raspberries, a bit of spice and bramble.  Nice texture.  Juicy acidity.  There is s

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$98.00USD

Pop and pour, this is still youthful and needs a bit of air.  Deep ruby with some ruby swirls.  The nose has cherries, strawberries, spice and a slight char to it.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Nice cherry fruit with just a hint of candied cherries over a mineral/earthiness.  Light tannins.  This is young and will continue to mature.  It drinks grat on its own now but another few years and it might still improve.  Either way, it has at least ten to fifteen more years at the top.  This will work well with roasted fowl, pasta or casseroles.  

2017 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is always one of the really good values in Zinfandel.  It is consistently a solid wine in every vintage and this is no exception.  A blend of 87% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 1% Syrah and 1% mixed reds.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, sandalwood and slight bramble.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Cherries and black cherries.  Slight tannins.  Easy drinking.  This will work great with burgers or pizza.  It should be drunk in the next three to five years.  

2015 Fait-Main Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, St. Helena, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$200.00USD

A beautiful wine.  This was shut down on opening but within about 30 minutes it opened and kept improving all night long.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, dark chocolate, slight cigar box and baking spices.  On the palate, this has a medium to full body with a lovely texture.  Lots of energy.  Cassis over minerals and char.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This still needs a few more years to reach peak and should be good for ten to fifteen more after that. Plenty of upside on the score.  

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