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

2019 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$112.00USD

It was interesting tasting this side by side with the 2018.  Very similar, but I slightly preferred the 2019.  On the other hand, this was very different than the 2014 and 2018 Summa also tasted.  Purple/ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries and a cola note.  On the palate, this is big, fruit forward with black cherries, some cherries and char.  Full bodied.  Long finish.  This is delicious but clearly filled with sunshine and fruit.  Great on its own, this will also work with well roasted fowl but also a steak. Drink over the next ten to fifteen years.  

2018 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This is a much deeper, darker Pinot Noir than the Summa from 2018.  Purple/ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, spice and dust.  Medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, cherries and powdered cherry candy notes along with some spice.  Long finish.  This is still drinking very young.  Nice on its own, this will work well with food.  A nice with for Roasted Lamb Chops.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.  

2018 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A

This seemed to be a step up from the 2014 Summa.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is bigger and riper with cherries, candied cherries and sandalwood.  Medium to full bodied.  Soft texture.  Good balance.  Despite being a bit more blowsy in style, it is also deeper and more complex.  Flavors of cherries, cherry drink mix and a bit of char.  Delicious.  Long  finish.  This is drinking well on its own and would work well with food.  It would work well with grilled Portobello's.  Drink over the next ten to fifteen years. 

2014 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$80.00USD

Light ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose is lovely with cherries, cinnamon, and slight spice notes.  Medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, cherries, some rhubarb and slight cloves.  Long finish.  This has some depth and complexity.  Still on the younger side of peak but getting there.  Nice on its own but better with food.  Cheese worked well, but this would be nice with roasted duck or chicken.  Drink over the next eight to twelve years. 

2021 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

A couple  of steps up from the basic Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.  Light golden in color with some silvery hues, clear and bright.  The nose is great with lemon curd, slight pear, vanilla and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  Crisp acidity.  On the palate, this is concentrated but has some elegance.  Lemons, slight vanilla, a bit of toast and spice.  Complex.  Long finish.  For my tastes, one of the top Chardonnays out there.  It should easily drink well for ten to fifteen more years.  Great on its own, but better with food.  This would be excellent with grilled Salmon.  

2021 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The  nose is nice with limes, vanilla, and spice.  It has a leaner texture with crisp acidity.  On the palate, more lemon than lime along with a nice minerality and spice.  Clean finish.  This sees no new oak but certainly has a perception of some oak which is interesting.  It should work well with seafood or vegetarian fare.  Pad Thai would might be nice.  Drink over the next five to eight years.  

2018 Andremily Grenache, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Grenache seems to be one of the more difficult grapes to make wine with in California.  So many  are overdone and taste roasted while others are thin and insipid.  It is a grape that gets very ripe and matching that to the California sunshine is not easy.  Andremily is one winery that seems to achieve that balance.  They are big wines but not roasted or hot, but full of flavor and texture.  A blend of 80% Grenache, 14% Mourvedre and 6% Syrah.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The  nose has black cherries, black raspberries, dark chocolate and spice.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Great

2020 Sandlands White Table Wine Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2020
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

This is a blend of 67% Chenin Blanc and 33% Semillon from Napa Valley.  Very pale golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with a touch of red apples, orange rind and minerality.  Also a bit of wax.  Good balance.  On the palate, the minerality stands out.  Some apple notes.  Good finish.  This is a nice, lighter styled white wine that works well with lighter foods.  A nice wine with a Quiche.  Drink over the next five to eight years.  

2015 Torrin Akasha, USA, California, Paso Robles, Willow Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This is 100% Syrah.  Torrin wines are big, bold wines that really need at least a decade in most vintages to really come around for my tastes.  That said, at age 9, this was singing.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, smoked meats, slight bacon fat, black pepper and violets.  Full bodied.  Medium tannins.  Great energy.  On the palate, black raspberries, char, some blueberries and some minerality.  Long finish.  This is great on its own, but even at age 9 will be a difficult food pairing.  A nice BBQ Brisket would work.  Drink over the next ten to fif

Cuvaison 2022 Chardonnay, Kite Tail

Vintage: 
2022
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$70.00USD

Kite Tail has always been a very expressive Chardonnay and this iteration is no exception. It deviates from traditional Chardonnay and delves into richer, more mature elements. What’s surprising then is that this iteration has less oak and less malolactic time than previous versions. Yet this still retails a wonderful acidity, character and aroma, not to mention a palate experience that brings in oak-like notes, without the cumbersome oak heaviness. All estate grown, all Chardonnay, this offers a nose of soft muted lemon, resin and butterscotch/gardenia.

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