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

2009 Futo Oakville, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$250.00USD

This winery really stepped it up after the first couple of vintages and are producing some great wines.  Deep purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, graphite, slight cedar and baking spices.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this is juicy with great cassis fruit.  A bit of underlying graphite and char.  Some complexity but more delicious than contemplative.  Nice finish.  This would match well with roasted or grilled meats or veggies but worked great with vegetarian chili.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  

2016 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$275.00USD

My wife's favorite winery!  Hard to argue with her on that.  This was stunning and still young.  Purple in color, opaque and shimmering bright.  The nose is great with cassis, graphite, cedar, slight coffee grounds and slight floral notes.  Full bodied with firm tannins.  Deep and complex; it unwinds in the glass.  Delicious.  Wonderful texture.  Cassis with char and slight oak notes.  Long finish.  Just fantastic but another few years of ageing will be even better.  This should drink well for another fifteen to twenty years.  

2018 Kutch Chardonnay Trout Gulch Vineyard, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

I just love this vineyard (across multiple producers) and Jamie's take on it is excellent.  Light golden in color.  The nose is beautiful with lemons, vanilla, a noticeable (but not overdone) note of toasty oak and slight almond flour note.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is on the bigger side but no bomb.  Great acidity.  Lively with energy.  It is delicious.  Lemon fruit with a touch of toast and vanilla.  Long finish.  This seems like it should easily go ten to fifteen more years.  It went wonderfully with a chopped veggie salad that included asparagus and drinks great on its own.  

2018 Turley Zinfandel Juvenile, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

From one of the top producers of Zinfandel, this is made from their younger vines.  Deep ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, black cherries, slight bramble and spice.  Medium bodied.  Light on its feet.  This has a lot of energy and drinks really easily.  The cherries and black cherries come thru on the palate.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This should drink well for the next five to seven years.  It will work well with pizza, pasta and burgers.  

1994 Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel Reserve San Lorenzo, USA, California, Sonoma County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1994
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B

Opened by a friend after a Lodi Zin tasting as an example that Zins last.  We all wondered if it were alive and, it was.  Purple in color, a bit flat but not really looking like it was 27 years old.  The nose is dusty with a bit of bramble and woodiness left but also some cherry fruit.  On the palate, there is still cherry fruit and some dried fruits.  Good balance.  Now, this was probably better twenty years ago, and I doubt ageing improved it much, but it clearly has lasted (stored in a wine fridge).  A real treat to try now.  

2017 Sandlands Chenin Blanc Lodi

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$46.00USD

As I said in a prior review. Sandlands makes my favorite US Chanin Blanc.  Light golden in color.  The nose is very nice  with wax, orange peel, minerals and slight lemon.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is a nice depth.  The orange peel comes thru with a slight waxy note.  Good energy.  Nice balance.  Long finish.  This drank great on its own after a tasting of 12 different Lodi Zins.  It really cut thru and cleaned the palate and was delicious.  drink over the next seven to ten years.  This is one mailing list I highly recommend that you join.  

2012 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine, USA, California, Lodi, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

Nice to try this with a bit more age on it.  Purple in color with some dark brown mix, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is tight but opens to show some black raspberries, dust and just a touch of cider.  On the palate, this has prunes along with a bit of green tomatoes although it is much better than that sounds.  It probably should be drunk up.  This works on its own and would work with a meat based stew.  

2017 Mt. Luxxe Vineyards Zinfandel Old Vine, USA, California, Lodi, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

I liked this (more than the people I was tasting with).  It is more claret styled than fruit filled.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has light cherry notes with a touch of smoke.  On the palate, a nice texture.  Tart and fresh cherries, slight pie filling.  Slight tannins.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This wine will do better with food.  Chili would work well.  Drink over the next few years.  

2016 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine Old Ghost, USA, California, Lodi, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$37.00USD

This is one of the consistently better Zinfandels from Lodi.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries and coffee along with a bit of an herbal streak.  Full bodied.  On the palate this has light tannins.  Nice black cherry fruit.  Maybe a bit of dates.  A bit of late heat on the finish.  This drinks well on its own and will work well with a steak or a burger off the grill.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2016 Klinker Brick Zinfandel Old Vine, USA, California, Lodi, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
84
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is dusty with sour cherries.  On the palate, this has a nice texture, but the palate lacks.  There is a bit of a tomato paste note along with some cough syrup.  It seems a bit thinner on fruit though there is some cherry quality.  A bit of menthol/alcohol on the finish.  Others I drank this with liked it more than I.  Drink in the next few years. It might work better with some spicy chicken wings.  

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