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

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.  

2018 Ceritas Chardonnay Porter-Bass Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This took some time to open, then drank very well.  A precise, concentrated wine.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is mineral oriented but with some bright lemon notes.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the minerals and lemons continue.  Bright acidity.  Long finish.  This drinks well on its own but shows better with food.  Seafood would be good but worked well with a  watermelon salad.  Drink over the next ten to twelve years.

2018 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Cruz, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Another great showing for this wine, but it did take some time to open.  In  addition, it seemed a bit different in profile than prior years (less oak and lemon, more grapefruit and salinity).  Not better or worse, just different.  Golden in color with a slight green hue.  On the nose, grapefruits, smoke/gunpowder with a streak of salinity.  Full bodied.  On the palate, tart grapefruit, a hint of almonds and some salinity.  Nice acidity.  Long finish.  This should drink well for the next 12 to 15 years.  This drinks great on its own but will be even better with food.  It worked well with qu

2018 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
98
Grade: 

Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great with vanilla, lemon cream, slight wax note.  Full bodied.  Great acidity.  Deep and complex albeit obviously young.  On the palate, the lemon cream takes the stage with some background vanilla.  Long finish.  This it rich without being overblown.  One of, if not the best RM Chard I have had.  This should drink well for another 15 years.  Great on its own, this will work well with lobster or salmon.  

2018 Gehricke Pinot Noir, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is a nice Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast.  Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose has cherries and some strawberries.  On the palate, this is a lighter, more elegant styled Pinot.  Nice cherry fruit with a touch of pomegranate.  Dry.  It finishes with tart cherries which wake up the palate.  This drinks well on its own and would work well with roasted (or fried) chicken.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

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