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

2018 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$14.00USD

This used to be a go to wine but it had been about 15 years since tried.  Still a very nice Cab for the money.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, cedar and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, nice cassis fruit.  Drink over the next couple of years.  A nice wine for a party or cook-out.  It works well on its own and will work nicely with burgers or other foods off the grill.  

2018 La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is a nice, inexpensive Chardonnay.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has lemons, some apples and spice.  On the palate, this is crisp with apples.  Nice finish.  Serve chilled.  This should be consumed in the next year or two.  It is very food friendly and would work well with sea food or lighter foods.  

2016 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is the base Chardonnay from Rivers-Marie but it is not too far off from the single vineyard wines.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is very nice with lemons, slight grapefruits, a touch of toast with some butter and a hint of vanilla.  Medium bodied.  Lots of energy and vibrancy.  On the palate, this is crisp with nice lemons and some vanilla with underlying char.  Nice finish.  Drinking well but should easily go another seven to ten years.  This went very well with assorted vegetarian dishes including roasted asparagus and eggplant.  

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

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$142.00USD

Pop and pour. This is a blend of 91% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is intense with with black raspberries, black olives, roasted herbs, dark chocolate and char.  Full bodied.  Great lush texture.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with underlying charred earth. Some chocolate on the finish.  Delicious.  This is still young and will improve over the next five to seven years.  It should drink well for ten to twelve after that.  It drinks great on its own, with time this will work just as well with food.  It worked well with Indian food.  

2017 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$99.00USD

This continues to be one of the best Chardonnay's made anywhere.  Light golden in color with slight green swirls, clear and bright.  The nose has lemon curd, minerality, and vanilla.  Full bodied.  Good acidity.  On the palate, lemon curd and vanilla with great minerality.  Still quite young, this should drink well for the next ten to fifteen years.  It went great with soft cheeses and also some vegetarian Indian food.  

2013 Paul Lato Chardonnay Kokoro, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$65.00USD

This is a blend of fruit from Sierra Madre, Hilliard Bruce and Pisoni vineyards in Santa Barbara County.  Light golden in color.  The nose has grapefruits, minerals, baking spices and slight citrus.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is a big wine.  The grapefruit and slight lemons come thru with underlying minerality and oak.  Some acidity bit not a lot.  It works better with food, soft cheeses were perfect.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  

2019 Stolpman La Cuadrilla Red, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Ballard Canyon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is a blend of 70% Syrah, 15% Grenache, and 15% Sangiovese from Santa Barbara County.  It also a very good value.  Purple in color with some ruby hues, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black cherries, spice and slight forest floor.  Full bodied.  Medium silky tannins.  On the palate, this is open and drinking well already.  Nice black raspberry fruit with some cherries and black cherries.  A bit of black tea underneath.

2013 Theorem Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Voir Dire, USA, California, Napa, Diamond Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

Another wine made by Thomas Rivers Brown, this was the first time trying this one, and it is awesome.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with cassis, slight blueberries, cedar, slight dark chocolate and baking spice.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is concentrated.  Medium tannins.  Flavors of cassis, black cherries, slight licorice with some oak and a bit of minerality.  Great balance.  Delicious.  Long finish.  This drinks well with some decanting now, but may yet improve over the next five to seven years.  Either way, this should drink well for th

2020 Realm Cellars La Fe, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

Lovely Rosé blend.  This is 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Farella and Moonracer vineyards.  Due to the fires in 2020, Realm decided that they could not make all of their reds so this was harvested early and turned into a Rose which is less susceptible to smoke taint (due to less time on the skins).  The results are excellent.  This is the second time I have been lucky enough to taste this.  Some say this is made in a Provence style, but rather, this seems to have fresh vibrant fruit albeit on the softer side (likely due to the Merlot), but certainly of Napa.  Very pale pink/ora

2020 Simi Sauvignon Blanc, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$14.00USD

This has 99% Sauvignon Blanc and 1% Semillon.  A nice refreshing wine that is a great summer aperitif.  Very pale, slivery green in color.  The nose is interesting with orange citrus and lemon zest notes.  A nice, slightly creamy texture.  On the palate, flavors of grapefruit and grapefruit zest.  Some warmth on the finish.  With a bit of air, a Sweet-Tart quality comes out which is enjoyable.  This drinks nicely on its own but worked with tomato Bruschetta.  Drink over the next year.  Nice value.  

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