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

2013 Vineyard 7 & 8 Cabernet Sauvignon Correlation, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is heavily oaked.  Also plenty of cassis and some pencil lead.  On the palate, this is more integrated.  Black raspberries, underlying graphite.  Thick tannins.  Some depth.  Good finish.  This is a rich, huge wine.  It will take some very hearty food to stand up to it, but it is delicious on its own.  Those who love Napa fruit bombs will indeed enjoy this a lot.  It retails for around $100.  

2009 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Drop dead gorgeous wine.  Still not quite fully mature but close.  The only trouble with this wine is it get's drunk so quickly.  A super crowd pleaser.  Purple in color, slight ruby at the rime.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black pepper, drilled meats and slight violets.  Wonderful velvety texture.  Great balance.  Juicy black raspberry fruit with grilled meats underlying it on the palate.  Long finish.  Each gulp begets another.  Works with hearty or spicy foods.  Long finish.  Just a superb wine.  

2016 Treasury Wine Estates emBrazen Cabernet Sauvignon, Wine Review

emBrazen is a new line of wines honoring bold women who were trailblazers in their fields.  This one honors Nellie Bly who became a Foreign Correspondent.  This wine was a step up from the Chardonnay.  Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is dusty with black cherries and some tobacco.  On the palate, the black cherries continue.  Good acidity.  Some depth.  This would work with BBQ and other summer/autumn fare.  It retails for $16 which is a very nice value.  

2016 Treasury Wine Estates emBrazen Chardonnay, California, Wine Review

emBrazen is a new line of wines honoring bold women who were trailblazers in their fields.  This one honors Celia Crus, salsa singer originally from Cuba.  Look her up.  Yellow gold in color.  The nose has slight grapefruit.  On the palate, this is easy.  Not a lot of acidity here.  Slight grapefruit.  This retails for $16 which is a fair price.  The label is sure to start a few discussion.  

2014 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Outpost wines are made by Thomas Rivers Brown, a sensational winemaker.  They are made up on Howell Mountain from mountain fruit and are very intense yet also generous.  This one is of course young, but delicious.  Consumed over two days, it was just as good on either day if different.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, graphite, blueberries and slight spice.  On the palate, this is concentrated and intense.  Firm tannins.  Cassis and blueberry fruit with some spice.  Really delicious.  On Day 2, some leather notes emerge.  It will take some hearty meat dishes to stand up to it at this

2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Bedrock Heritage Wine, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is really in a nice place right now.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black cherries, spice and a bit of char.  On the palate, this has a really nice texture.  Despite the vintage, a lot of Sonoma Zins did just fine in 2011 and this is one.  Black cherries and black raspberries with some char.  Good finish.  Not a monster Zin but plenty of fruit too.  Works well with food.  

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Anderson Valley, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, slight cola and a bit of roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Black cherry fruit.  Very clean.  Still not yet at maturity, it may still have some upside.  Good balance with nice acidity.  Would work great with steakfish or fowl.  Rhys started commercially in 2004 and there wines have gotten better over time, but even the earlier ones seem to age quite well.  

2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Just a beautiful wine.  Drinking youthfully but showing some development.  Open for business.  Purple in color.  The nose has leather, bramble, black raspberries.  Very deep.  With air, some graphite.  On the palate, black raspberries with an underlayer of charred earth.  A lovely texture; both velvety and intense.  great finish.  This would pair with heartier foods and certainly spicy foods.  This may not get better but has five to seven years left at peak easily and probably more as it morphs into more of a claret styled Zin.  So good right now though.  

2003 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir The South Slope Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Purchased on release, this is holding up and in fact, drinking quite well at age 15.  It did need about 20 minutes to shed some bottle stink though.  Purple in color.  The nose has nice cherries, slight sour cherries, and some barnyard funk.  There is some Brett on the nose and palate showing as barnyard and slight band-aid.  On the palate, drying tannins.  Slightly sweet cherries.  And a bit of barnyard  comes through.  This is not drinking old, but probably never was a top level Pinot Noir.  Still, it has a nice complexity right now and seems in balance.  Would work well with fowl.  There

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