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

2016 Rhys Alesia Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

From Magnum.  Very nice showing.  Light golden with green hues.  The nose is nice with slight lemon curd, vanilla, a bit of lemon rind and smoke.  Full bodied.  This is crisp and clean.  On the palate, plenty of depth  The lemon and lemon rind come thru with some underlying char.  The oak is there but deftly used.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This worked well with assorted cheeses, potato chips, and even a salad.  A 750ML will be more advanced but it seems like it easily has another eight to ten years.  

2018 Ferren Wines Chardonnay Lancel Creek Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Certainly not as good as the 2017, I am wondering if I got an "off" bottle although there are no noticeable flaws.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has pears, apples with some minerality.  Also some fresh cut lumber.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is solid.  Apples with a touch of cut.  Moderate finish.  This is should appeal to a wide variety of people (although the price won't).  Drink over the next ten years.  It works better on its own but would work well with grilled salmon.  

1999 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Selection, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1999
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

It is always a pleasure to drink an older Napa Cabernet.  This one is drinking beautifully today.  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, spice, some tobacco, cherries and slight chocolate.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is a bit past prime but offering up a lot.  Some fresh fruit (cassis and cherries) along with tobacco and slight funk.  Nice finish.  Good complexity.  This should be consumed sooner than later but all bottles will be unique.  It drank great on its own and worked with some soft cheeses.  

2016 Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon HãLo Hillspring Vineyard, USA, California, Napa, Oak Knoll, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$220.00USD

This is a luxury bottle from one of the oldest Napa producers.  It is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Merlot, and 1% Malbec.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, blueberries, cedar, and mocha.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, lots of cassis with some cedar and slight chocolate.  This is  still young but opens in the glass.  If drinking soon, a few hours in a decanter is a good thing.  Drink over the next twenty years.  It drinks well on its own but will require big flavors.  Fatty meats or roasted veggies would work.  P

2010 Unti Vineyards Rosso del Campo, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is a blend of 67% Barbera and 33% Sangiovese from Sonoma.  A very interesting take on "Italian Red".  Deep garnet in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, tree bark, and char.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, nice black cherry fruit with a touch of acidity.  A bit of smoke.  Nice finish.  This worked better with food.  It should be consumed over the next three to five years.   This worked well with pasta in a tomato sauce.  

2014 Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Chardonnay, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

This is a very nice Chardonnay in a middle of the road style.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has pineapple, toast, hazelnuts, and caramel.  Full bodied.  Nice texture.  On the palate, this round with no hard edges.  Drinks easy.  Apples, pineapple, and char swirls in the glass.  Enough acidity to work.  Nice finish.  Drink over the next year or two as its starting to show some age.  This drinks well on its own and will work nicely with salmon.  

NV Orin Swift Equinox Edition 3: The Commute, Wine Review

Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is a Rhone blend wine with 50% coming from California and 50% coming from France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Maury.  The grapes were from the 2013 vintage though that is not on the label.   This wine is only available to members of Orin Swift’s Equinox Wine Club.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, black raspberries, char, spice and black pepper.  15.4% ABV.  This is not a shy wine.  Great lush texture.  On the palate, juicy black cherries and black raspberries with underlying charred dry earth.  No noticeable alcohol on the nose or palate.  Thi

2019 Bedrock Wine Co. Compagni Portis, USA, California, Sonoma Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is a very nice white from the Bedrock stable of wines.  The vineyard was planted in 1954 as a field blend of Gewurztraminer, Trousseau Gris, Riesling, Roter Veltliner, and Chenin Blanc.  Light gold in color with some green hues, clear and bright.  The nose has minerality, peaches, and some grapefruit.  Light bodied.  On the palate, there is a nice complexity here.  Make sure it is not served too cold or that won't be as evident.  Notes of grapefruit, lemon and minerality swirl on the palate.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  Drink over the next few years.  This will work well with lighter

2017 Selah Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This is yet another wine made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is intense with cassis, blueberries, floral (violets?) notes and spice.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is concentrated and needs some time/air to unwind.  Lots of cassis and some blueberries with some underlying char and spice.  Long finish.  This will undoubtedly improve over the next five to seven years.  It should drink well for another ten to fifteen after that.  Drinks great on its own, this will require a big flavors to work with.  Roasts or grilled meats or veg

2013 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Great wine and an even better value.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black olives, black pepper and slight bacon fat.  Full bodied. On the palate, this is complex and deep.  Layers of black raspberry fruit, minerality, smoke and earthiness.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This is delicious.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  It will work great on its own and works well with roasted meats or veggies.

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