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

2014 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Joy Road Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$69.00USD

I had meant to open this with food, but we were starting to drink reds, and I wanted to open this earlier.  And the food was still being prepared, so we drank this as a cocktail.  It was very good that way, but luckily, there was a glass (or at least a few ounces left) to try with food.  Even better.  Light golden in color.  The nose is nice with lemon cream and slight vanilla.  It took a few minutes and then really picked up.  On the palate, this is crisp with good acidity.  Plenty of depth.  Lemon cream and slight vanilla again.  Good finish.  This is young and probably could use more air

2007 Schramsberg Vineyards J. Schram, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

California makes some mighty fine Sparkling wines.  Sometimes they get dismissed as do many wines not from Champagne.  The truth is that there are great sparkling wines being made all over the world.  Light golden in color.  A nice bead of small bubbles.  The nose is nice with some yeast, a bit of ginger and slight strawberries.  Also some muskiness.  On the palate, this is fresh and lively.  It has a nice depth and complexity.  Decent acidity.  Worked great to start the evening but would also work great with food.  It would be interesting to watch this develop and mature over the next few

2014 Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Vineyards, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This wine was stunning.  Seemingly in a great place right now.  Drunk alongside some their more higher priced wines, this seemed to be everyone's favorite.  Part of that was that the other wines need time but this was fantastic.  For $60, that is a great price for mountain fruit in Napa.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, sandalwood, blueberries, and spice.  On the palate, this has a nice juicy texture.  Medium tannins, but not rough.  Notes of cassis and blueberries over a nice mineral base.  Great finish.  This will work with medium and heavier foods.  Not sure if this gets bett

2013 Burgess Mountaineer Estate Vineyards, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$119.97USD

This is a blend of 45% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petite Verdot and it is delicious.  Drinking very well right now, it will change over time as different varietals take more of a lead.  Right now, the Syrah is dominant.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, blueberries and char.  On the palate, this is a big wine and full of fruit.  It also has plenty of depth and complexity.  Juicy texture.  Great balance.  Long finish.  This wine has great acidity that will work well with roasted meats.  Indian dishes should match quite well.  

2013 Burgess Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Estate Vineyards

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

Opened this and it was ok but very tight.  Checked in on day 2 and it was a bit better but not quite.  Finally on Day 3, this opened up and is drinking well.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, plums and tea along with a bit of spice.  On the palate, this is deep but will need some time to develop.  Still needs a bit more cellaring.  Medium tannins.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Hold for three to five more and then cellar for a decade or two after that.  This will drink great on its own or work with grilled meats.  Should be some upside.  

2016 Herzog Cabernet Sauvignon Special Reserve Lake County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is from one of the premier kosher wines in the US.  It retails for around $45.  Purple in color, with ruby swirls.  The nose has cassis, slight soap and cedar.  On the palate, this has nice cassis fruit with a bit of dusty earth underneath.  Light tannins.  This probably should be consumed in the ext five years or so.  It will work well with meats and roasts.  

2016 Burgess Cellars Chardonnay Burnside Road Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$42.00USD

This is drinking great at pop and pour though it seems like it will do five more years easily and probably ten.  Light gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has some grapefruit with a very slight vanilla.  Very clean.  On the palate this has ripe grapefruit, minerals, slightly chalky, with slight green apples.

2017 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Private Selection - Aged in Bourbon Barrels Monterey County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$12.00USD

This bottle was brought to our house by friends.  Frankly, I am not sure who as it was a party and then left unopened.  My wife was having book club, and so it seemed like a good choice.  This proved to be very popular and it was lucky I got a glass to taste.  A very interesting wine.  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, some dustiness to it, and just a hint of what can best be described as sweet oak.  On the palate, there are strong tannins.  The cassis follows thru but there is a sweetness to the wine that is similar to that of Bourbon Barrel Aged beers although not nearly as pronounce

2017 Shannon Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay High Elevation Collection, USA, California, Lake County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$14.00USD

Most of us have bottles laying around the house that either people brought over or they somehow ended up with.  So is the story of this wine.  It was actually won in a raffle.  Initially, the idea of actually drinking some cheap California Chardonnay seemed ridiculous.  Still, rather than be dismissive, the plan was to drink it.  After about a month of staring at the bottle, the time finally came.  And that good people, is why we need to open the bottle and taste.  Now, that is not to say this is going to blow away Montrachet or Rhys Chardonnay.  But, for under $15, this was solid.  No obvi

2017 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Old Vine, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

I try to buy a case of this every year.  You know how when you go to the wine cellar and you want something good but not too expensive.  Maybe you already had a glass or two and can't quite remember the pricing on every one of your bottles?  This is perfect.  Always good.  Always fairly priced.  I know it lasts a couple of years, and probably more, but mine never do.  I drink them too easily.  Readily available for around $25.  Bright purple in color.  The nose is great with cherries, black cherries, a bit of bramble.  It's almost jammy and almost sweet but not quite.  The black cherry frui

Pages