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

2010 Bevan Cellars EE Cuvée, USA, California, Napa, Oakville, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$159.00USD

Expectations and hopes.  Its hard not to have them but they do affect ones enjoyment of wine.  This was an excellent wine but for whatever reason, vintage, cork, etc., was not up to expectations.  A blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, spice and some cherries.  On the palate, this is amazingly integrated and smooth.  Cassis with some underlying spice.  Not as deep nor complex as this wine can get in other vintages.  That said, it drinks so easily, the bottle is drained quickly.  I

2018 Orin Swift Mannequin, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$29.00USD

 This is a big California Chardonnay that checks in a 15.2% ABV.  It is made in a robust, over the top style that is not for everyone.  Light golden in color.  The nose has lemon curd, fresh cut lumber, butter and spice.  On the palate, there are earing oak tannins.  Also some nice yellow grapefruit.  Good acidity.

2013 Continuum Proprietary Red, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$195.00USD

A more elegant side of a Napa blends but outstanding.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, slight cigar, black cherries and spice.  Full bodied.  On the palate, moderate tannins.  Great texture.  This is young-ish but delicious and showing some complexity.  cassis and black cherry fruit that is concentrated and unwinds in the glass.  Long finish.  Give this another five years and it should be nearing in on maturity.  It should last another twenty after that.  Still some upside on this wine.  Great on its own or with food.  A steak or brisket would be a nice match.  

2013 Sinegal Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$270.00USD

Still young but drinking nicely.  Inky purple, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, char, and spice.  A slight horsey note.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Lush, velvety texture.  Lots of cassis with some spice and smoke.  Long finish.  Firm tannins.  This needs another five to seven more years to maturity and should drink well for fifteen to  twenty after that.  

2015 Saxum Terry Hoage Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

This is a blend of 50% Syrah, 34% Grenache, 16% Mourvedre checking in at 15.7% ABV.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black raspberries, plums, black pepper, slight roasted herbs and meats and a bit of violets.  Full bodied.  Great lush texture but with lively acidity.  So easy to drink with no noticeable alcohol on the nose or palate.  Black raspberries over roasted earth with some herbs.  Long finish.  This is young but accessible.  It should continue to improve over the next three to seven years and drink well for another ten to fifteen after that.  It dri

2019 Halcon Vineyards Prado Halcon Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is a happy accident.  This white Rhone Blend (65% Roussanne 35% Marsanne) and was bottled and it turned out to have a bit of trapped CO2 giving it a light fizz (frizzante).  The winery enjoyed it and it sold out quickly.  Light golden in color.  The nose has some minerality and pears.  Clean.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is indeed a bit of a fizz.  The wine is refreshing and goes down easily.  Some pears and plenty of minerals.  Shorter finish.  It drinks well on its own and will work with lighter foods.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2015 Maybach Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Materium, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
100
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$340.00USD

Wow.  This has really started to hit its stride with just a bit of air.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has cassis, pencil lead, violets, char and slight spice.  Full bodied.  Incredible texture plush yet slick.  On the palate, lots of cassis, a hint of blueberries layered with earth and char.  Great balance.  Light tannins.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This will continue to mature for another ten to fifteen years and drink well for twenty after that.  Yes, a thirty year wine, but it is so good right now.  Great on its own, this will work well with meat and fowl dishes on

2013 Saxum Heart Stone Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$275.00USD

From Magnum.  54% Syrah, 35% Grenache, and 11% Mourvedre.  Opened and allowed to breather for a few hours prior to serving.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, blueberries, char, and white pepper.  Full bodied.  Delicious.  On the palate, ever so slightly ripe/sweet black raspberries with some cassis and underlying char.  Deep.  Lush texture.  Great balance.  Long finish.  Still on the younger side of mature at least from Magnum.  Another few years and should be good for ten to fifteen more after that.  Great on its own, this  will work with ribs or full flavor

2011 Sine Qua Non Syrah Patine Eleven Confessions Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Rita Hills, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$525.00USD

Allowed to breathe for a couple hours before serving.  A blend of 97% Syrah, 2% Roussanne and 1% Viognier.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, roasted meats and roasted herbs, and some black pepper.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the boysenberries come thru with an underlying char.  This is deep with some complexity.  Not as intense or explosive as many of Manfred's wines but still a big wine.  15.5% abv but not noticeable on the nose or palate.  This is getting close to maturity but might still improve.  It drinks great on its own but will work with grilled or roasted veggie

2018 Peter Michael Chardonnay Ma Belle-Fille, USA, California, Sonoma, Knights Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$110.00USD

This is a round, rich Chardonnay from Sonoma.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has red apples, some peach, Crème brûlée and slight pineapple.  Full bodied.  Slightly oily texture.  On the palate, Crème brûlée takes the stage.  Modest acidity.  Some pineapple and peach.  Good finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue to do so for the next ten to twelve years.  It will drink better on its own than with food, but would work with salmon on the grill.  

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