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

2007 Saxum James Berry Vineyard

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+

What an amazing wine.  One of the GREAT wines of the 21st century so far.  Certainly in contention for the best!  Yes, that is how good it is.  Still youthful, it is starting to round into maturity but not quite.  Purple in color.  The nose is intoxicating.  One of those wines you could sniff all night without even sipping.  Black raspberries, decayed meats (in a good way), roasted meats, slight bacon fact, white pepper and violets.  On the palate, this is seamless.  Juicy black raspberries, layers of fruit, charred earth, leather.  Some spice.  Lots of energy and almost weightless yet powe

2007 Saxum Broken Stones, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

Purple in color.  The nose is intense with black raspberries, charred meat and black pepper.  On the palate, this is tight and concentrated.  Pin point black raspberries with underlying char.  It opens a bit in the glass.  Very deep, with air it unwinds in the glass.  Not opulent but by no means shy either.  Good finish.  Needs big or spicy foods but great on its own.  Lots of alcohol but not noticeable in the wine.  

 

 

2007 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

2007 was the best vintage for Saxum up to now.  And, that is saying a lot.  This was just stunning.  It is in a great place right now, but, depending on the bottle, not quite at peak.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, black cherries, slight cedar and spice and bits of plums and peppers.  On the palate, this is lively yet weightless.  Almost seamless.  Delicious with energetic black raspberries, black cherries and underlying charred meats.  Long finish.  Great with heavier or spicy foods.  Each sip makes one want another.  

2014 Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This was consumed over two days and distinctly better on Day 2.  Purple in color.  On Day 1, there is a lot of oak showing.  The fruit is tight.  On Day 2, the nose has nice cassis with spice and underlying char.  On the palate, medium tannins.  They integrate on Day 2 with nice cassis, black cherries and char.  Some level of complexity.  This needs a couple of years in the cellar.  The difference between day 1 and day 2 was probably 3 points in terms of accessibility, complexity and friendliness.  For a wine that retails for $40, show some patience.    Might even have more upside to it in

2010 Novy Family Wines Syrah Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Screw capped.  This retails for around $35.  It is really very good.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight black olives and a bit of black pepper.  On the palate, this has a nice sinewy texture.  Light tannins.  It is drinking quite well right now but no hurry.  Black raspberry fruit.  Good acidity.  Slight complexity.  Nice finish.  This will work with a wide variety of foods.  Drink now thru 2023.  

2016 Cooper & Thief Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend, USA, California

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is quite interesting.  They apparently take a wine called Dark and Jammy and age it in Bourbon Barrel's for 3 months.  The result is a unique wine that was quite popular when served to friends.  A little goes a long way and it works more like a "port" than a dinner wine.  Nicely packaged in a shorter stout bottle.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has vanilla with black cherries and slight sweet bourbon notes.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Lots of jammy black cherries, vanilla, some bourbon/alcohol notes.  Overall though, it is smooth and the 16% Alc is not a problem.  It w

2016 Treasury Wine Estates emBrazen Red Blend, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is a series of new wines honoring "Brazen" women.  This one honors Josephine Baker whit was a 1920's showgirl and spy.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is a bit dusty with tart cherries.    It is better on the palate.  Dark cherries, some cassis.  Easy drinking but some depth.  Sour cherries on the finish.  Some alcohol shows despite it being listed at 13.5%.  This is a solid wine that needs some hearty food.  It will benefit from a bit of air.  

2017 7 Moons Dark Side Red, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Grenache.  It is a very drinkable wine that lists 13.5% Alc.  It retails for around $10 and this is a great value.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, cocoa and plums.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet.  Light tannins.  A nice varietal complexity.  Tart acidity. Long finish.  This probably should be drunk in the next few years.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.  Easy drinking and fun.  

2016 Miriam Alexandra Cabernet Sauvignon Napa County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty with cassis, slight tobacco and slight cocoa.  A bit drying on the palate.  Nice cassis fruit.  Some depth, there may be some upside to cellaring this wine for a few years.  Light tannins.  Not a huge wine at all.  Will work with a wide variety of foods.   Available at Nakedwines.com.  

2016 Camille Benitah Cabernet Sauvignon Foncé, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has cassis, dust and a bit of spice.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Slightly tart acidity.  Plenty of cassis fruit with an underlying grittiness which is interesting.  It is a big and easy to drink Napa Cab but should have some upside over the next few years.  Plenty of fruit and not over ripe.  Will work with medium and heavier bodied foods.  Available at Nakedwines.com.

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