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

2021 Crosby Roamann Syrah Rowan Vineyard, USA, California, Petaluma Gap, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is a new winery for me and the first Syrah I have had from this AVA.  This Syrah is quite good and well priced for the quality.  I was expecting more of a cool climate profile but this is sort of middle of the road in California Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, floral (purple?) notes, grilled meats, wild herbs and slight bacon fat.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Moderate acidity.  On the palate, there is juicy black raspberry fruit with some herbal notes and slight char.  This has depth.  Long finish.  Very tasty.  It drinks well on its own

2023 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2023
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great but not blowsy.  Melon, slight citrus and flint.  Light to medium bodied.  Crisp.  On the palate, this drinks easy but it also has some persistence.  Flavors of melon and lemon.  Nice finish.  This is very nice for drinking alone and will work well with cheeses or salads (such as crab or chicken).  Drink over the next few years.  

2019 Grgich Hills Sauvignon Blanc Fumé Blanc, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$27.00USD

Made with Estate grown fruit.  Light green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with limes, green apples and a touch of lemon.  Medium bodied.  Nicely balanced.  Refreshing.  On the palate, limes are the forefront with a touch of lemons on the finish.  This is easy drinking but has some substance.  It drinks well on its own and will work well with lighter foods.  A nice summer lunch wine.  Drink over the next couple of years although it is a bit past prime already.  

2017 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

These usually take a decade or so to round out into form so it was interesting to try this one a bit earlier.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black pepper, slight bacon fat, and roasted herbs.  Medium to full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this is still a bit tight but opens nicely in the glass.  Flavors of black raspberries with some char and a nice mineral streak.  Good finish.  No harm opening this now but it may still improve.  Drink over the next eight to twelve years.  Great on its own, but better with food.  Thi

2015 Outpost Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Howell Mountain, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$145.00USD

Another great Thomas Rivers Brown cabernet.  This is their basic Cabernet which has unfortunately gone up in price recently.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, cedar, with nice minerality.  Medium to firm tannins.  Nice balance.  On the palate, this is concentrated with cassis, some black cherries, spice and char.  Long finish.  This is still youthful but drinking well.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  Great on its own, this is in a great place to take to a steak house.  

2012 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

This is a blend of 43% Syrah, 41% Grenache, and 16% Mourvedre.  15.1% abv.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is complex and strong with black raspberries, blueberries, black cherries, roasted meats and herbs, and char.  Full bodied.  Plush texture.  Great acidity.  On the palate, this is still young at age 12.  Juicy black raspberries with blueberries and black pepper.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This is great on its own and will require bigger foods.  It would be great with a hearty beef or vegetable stew.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  

2022 Bedrock Wine Co. Sauvignon Blanc, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

Bedrock makes some of the best values in California wines.  Sometimes it seems though that the whites don't get the attention.  This is an excellent Sauvignon Blanc and great value.  Light gold with some green hues in color, clear and bright.  The nose is clean with good minerality along with a bit of lemon.  Medium bodied.  Nice texture.  Good acidity.  On the palate, this is crisp with minerality and citrus.  Long finish.  This is great on its own and will work with many foods.  It would be great with Tuna Salad.  

2019 Sandlands Chenin Blanc Amador County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$37.00USD

Sandlands is one of the premier producers of Chenin Blanc in California.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has red apples, minerality and slight orange citrus.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Nice mouthfeel.  On the palate, this is crisp and mineral driven with some apples.  Long finish.  Very food friendly.  This will work well with pork chops.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  

2019 Realm Cellars The Bard, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$140.00USD

One of the best vintages yet for this wine and one of the more affordable reds in the Realm portfolio.  It is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and 5% Petite Verdot.  Purple in color, opaque and shimmering bright.  The nose is great with cassis, blueberries, chocolate, graphite, and spice.  Full bodied.  Firm tannins.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Cassis, blueberries, some dark cherries with spice and slight char.  Long finish.  This is young and would benefit from additional cellaring.  It should drink well for another twenty years.  Great on its own, this would be great

Cuvaison 2022 Pinot Noir Debut Cru

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Cuvaison’s Small Lot program (typically wines produced under 300 cases) has been a goldmine for Cuviason and winemaker Steve Rogstad who shows his deft touch with nearly every wine in this portfolio. Using Pinot Noir heirloom clones (including Swan, a personal favorite of mine) this is clearly a step away from most Pinot Noir on the market. This drinks more Burgundian than California. The fruit is rather muted but more macerated (Steve calls it “elegant intensity”) and the support comes from the green tea leaf, light tobacco, earthy morel, dried thyme and spice notes.

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