2018 Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$46.00USD

This is a classic California Chard in style and pedigree.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has butter, spice, lemons and slight white flowers.  Full bodied.  Rich, full bodied texture.  On the palate, this is round and full of fruit and structure.  Lemons, slight smoke and spice.  A nice backbone of acidity counters the oak nicely.  Long finish.  This should continue to integrate over the next ten years with the oak taking a step back.  Whether to wait or not really depends on how you like your Chardonnay.  This drinks well on its own and will work well with sea food but also p

2017 Keplinger Hangman's, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$69.00USD

Very impressive Syrah with about 5% Viognier added.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, blueberries, white pepper, black olive and roasted meat.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the black raspberries and blueberries are intense but concentrated.  A bit of pepper and some underlying char and meatiness.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This will still get a bit better but is drinking well now.  Maybe another five years of cellaring and drink for fifteen to twenty after that.  This drinks well on its own and will work well with fattier meat dishes and stews.  

2014 Mahoney Vineyards Pinot Noir Las Brisas Vineyard, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
78
Grade: 
C+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Purple/ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is dusty with some cedar and alcohol.  Just a hint of cherries.  On the palate, just a touch of cherry cough drops.  Firm tannins.  Shorter finish.  Certainly drinkable if at a wedding but this seems past prime.  Drink now.  Better on its own than with food.  

2013 Apsara Cellars Syrah Las Madres Vineyard, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2021
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is a lovely cooler climate Syrah made in a more elegant, lower alcohol style.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has boysenberries, white pepper and slight char.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is nice black raspberry fruit with mild tannins.  Some underlying earthiness and char.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This seemed to be about at peak but shoudl drink well for another five to seven years.  It works better with food.  This will work well with pastrami or other "deli" meats.  

2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah T Block Hudson Vineyard, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This took a while to come around, but it is finally showing the promise it showed on release.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, a touch of black olives and sandalwood.  Full bodied.  Lovely acidity.  On the palate, great black raspberry fruit with underlying earthiness.  Concentrated fruit that unwinds in the glass.  Nice finish.  This appears to be at or close to prime and should continue to  drink well for 8 to ten more years.  A nice wine on its own and will work well with roasted meats, fowl or veggies.  

2019 Prisoner Wine Company Chardonnay, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

The Prisoner Wine Company makes, ironically, a "Take No Prisoners" style of wine.  They are lush, big and delicious and make no apologies for their style.  And, why note,  millions of people love them.  This Chardonnay with a touch of Roussanne, and Gewürztraminer) is no exception.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is big with oak coming off as vanilla and crème brûlée, along with some lemon cream.  With air, some baked apple notes emerge.  Full bodied with light oak tannins.  On the palate, this has a lot of oak but enough acidity and fruit to give some balance.  Lots of vanill

2018 Robert Mondavi Winery Pinot Noir, USA, California, Napa, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

One typically doesn't think of Pinot Noir and Napa, but the district of Carneros spans into both Napa and Sonoma and is the home of many excellent Pinot Noirs.  This is a very pretty, elegantly styled Pinot.  Ruby in color, clear and bright and a touch lighter.  The nose is nice with bright cherries, macerated cherries, sandalwood and a touch of chervil.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this has cherries and cherry cough drop notes with a touch of anise.  Light tannins.  Very smooth and easy to sip.  Nice finish.  This drinks great on its own and would work well with salmon or roasted fowl. 

Inconnu Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Los Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$52.00USD

This is a lower alcohol wine (12.5% abv).  It was tasted with other Cabs which is probably a disservice to it.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries along with a brine note.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, black cherries come thru.  Medium tannins.  Slight mint on the finish.  It will benefit from some air at this point but should make nice drinking for the next decade.  A nice match with chili or stews.  

2016 Campesino Syrah Las Madres, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Another great Syrah from Campesino.  This is in the vein of the Northern Rhone but with lots of good California sunshine.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is very nice with black raspberries, black olives, slight dried lavender and a hint of moist turned earth.  On the palate, this is smooth and easy to drink.  But, there is also nice depth with good acidity.  It opens beautifully in the glass showing black raspberry fruit and underlying earthiness.  Nice finish.  This may still improve but it will make nice drinking for another ten to twelve years.  A great match for f

2017 Jax Vineyards Cabernet Franc 4 Barrels, USA, California, Calistoga, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

A nice in between style of Cab Franc.  Not super ripe but nothing green either.  Purple in color, maroon at the rim.  The nose is nice.  Dusty with black cherries and slight cigar tobacco.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Nice black cherry fruit.  A bit of tobacco underneath.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well now and should continue for the next five to seven years.  It drinks easy on its own but will also work with grilled foods and roasts.  

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