Posts tagged as:

$40-$60

USA, Chardonnay, La Rocca, Castello di Amorosa, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Napa Valley, California, 2013

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N/ Tropical fruits, green apples, seaspray, and fresh canvas. Incense and chamomile. Fresh rain with a hint of flint. 2-3 out of 10 on the butterscotch scale, which is perfect. Beautiful and complex. T/ Medium mouth feel. Delicious green and yellow apples with some light tropical fruits and lime notes as well.  Lasting mineral close. […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Freemark Abbey, Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, 2013

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N/ She starts with lovely river rocks, granite, and a soft minerality. Crisp hay, white flowers, honeysuckle. Marine wafts. 1 out of 10 on the butter scale, which is perfect for me. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Delicious lime and light yellow grass notes. Clean, with lovely crisp green apple and light citrus fruits. Solid […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Antica an Antinori Family Estate / Napa Valley, California

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                                        Antica Napa Valley is an Antinori Family Estate located a lengthy, but beautiful, drive up Soda Canyon road in Napa. If you want incredible, even for Napa, scenery make an appointment and go.  I won’t wax on […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Faust, Napa Valley, Coombsville, California, 2012

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Red blend of: 80% cabernet sauvignon, 16% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot. Note: over 50% of the fruit for this vintage came from the 110-acre Faust Vineyard in the Coombsville district, which is the highest percentage that has ever made it into the final blend for this wine. I’ve enjoyed almost every wine I’ve had from Coombsville. […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Jamieson Ranch, Double Lariat, Napa Valley, 2011

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N/ Plum skins and black, brooding fruits dominate. Cassis, black cherry, pine needles, wild herbals, and brick dust as well. Barbecue. Cedar. Robust and complex. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Massive black fruits, cassis, and black cherry. Ample acid work, with some nice defined layers of flavor intermixed with the more amorphus big fruit […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Bruliam Wines, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, California, 2010

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N/ Deep black cherries and plums. Musky spices, clean oak, and perfumed lavender delight. Pine needles stored in a cigar box. T/ Full mouthfeel. Acids are still dancing after a fair amount of bottle rest. Herbed, complex cherry and soft plum skin flavors. Elegant. Clean. Rich. Two years ago this wine was absolutely delicious… and she […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Faust, Napa Valley, California, 2011

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N/ Right after opening she had some smoldering campfire aromas that I typically associate with carmenere rather than cabernet, but, as I thought, these dissipated over the next 20 to 30 minutes. In short, open up well before you intend to enjoy this bottle – she needs some airtime in order to blossom. Her nose is […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Winemaker Focus / Cornerstone Cellars / Jeff Keene / Napa Valley, California & Oregon

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I had the privilege of sitting with winemaker Jeff Keene for an extended tasting of Cornerstone wines. The offerings were delicious, impressive, and showed a broad range of styles. The wine also importantly showed restraint in all the right places. Jeff was 100% delightful and explained his winemaking philosophy beautifully. Passion is an over-used word in the […]

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Winery Visit / Winemaker Focus / Abiouness Wines / Nicole Abiouness

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I was at a fab party in Sonoma a few months back that was bursting at the gills with great, and varied, wines and local winemaker royalty.  Admission price to the party was an interesting bottle of wine. Aside from two that were clearly jokes, there were approximately 40 other fascinating offerings. I was, predictably, like […]

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Winery Visit, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Healdsburg, California

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Jordan Vineyard & Winery The Jordan grounds are a sight to behold.  The approaching road winds through beautiful country and lulls one into the thought they must be approaching a modest farmhouse teeming with disheveled chickens pecking about, goats with neck bells clanging, and wafts of barnyard. Instead, the road takes a decidedly manicured turn […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pine Ridge, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California, 2010

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Rated 45 minutes after opening the bottle, no decant necessary. Red blend of: 90% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petit verdot, 1% cabernet franc, and 1% merlot. N/ Deep notes of black cherry and rich cassis, with mature, and in this one case, delicious tomato leaf aromas. Black soil. Forest floor. Mesquite wood. Baker’s chocolate and slate. […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Smith Madrone, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 2009

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N/ Right after decanting she started off a bit rough with a couple off aromatics reminiscent of tomato leaf and  green bell pepper. However, after about 30 minutes all those vapors vanished and out blossomed a lovely Napa Cabernet. Lightly smoked cassis and black cherry. Canvas, slate, and light gunnysack. Suggest decanting and waiting at […]

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USA, Red Blend, Acorn Hill, Acorn Winery, Alegría Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Healdsburg, Sonoma, California, 2009

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A red blend of: 54% Syrah, 44% Sangiovese, 1% Viognier, 0.5% Canaiolo, and 0.5% Mammolo. N/ Clean, inviting, barrel room wafts layer perfectly atop blackcherry, plum skin, and savory notes.  Wet earth, wild herbs, and aged leather delight. She closes with a touch of sage and wild prairie. Complex countryside aromas here. Love it. T/ Medium […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Tendril Wine Cellars, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2010

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N/ Fresh herbs dance on light cedar. A nice introduction to ample cherry, red apple skin, and red berry aromas. Black tea and pine needles. Dry forest floor. Delightful. Complex. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Warm cherry flavors framed by a nice acid presence. Her flavors linger and then finish with just a touch of cranberry pucker. […]

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USA, Red Blend (Meritage) (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec), Magnificat, Franciscan, Napa Valley, California, 2009

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Red blend of: 64% cabernet sauvignon, 26% merlot, 5% petit verdot, 3% cabernet franc, and 2% malbec. N/ Black cherry, black currant, plum skins.  Cedar, vanilla, and coconut. River rock. Wild herbs, pine needles, and dried sage. Barrel room lingers. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Medium plus tannins. Medium plus acid. Dry, angular, plum, cherry, and a […]

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USA, Zinfandel, Gary Farrell, Bradford Mountain Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, California, 2010

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N/ If I were to wax a bit… she presented as a bright compote of lush red and black berries smeared across a sun bleached river rock. White pepper, copper, and orange zest also waft about. Seductive. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Bright acidic boysenberry triggers a mouthwatering introduction to raspberries, black cherries and a nice cranberry […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Gary Farrell, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, California, 2010

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N/ Smoky cedar and flint introduce nice black cherries and stewed red berries. Mesquite flamed pork. Crushed pine needles. Cherry taffy. Canvas. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Stewed black cherries with light tobacco notes, cola, black tea and mouthwatering lime juice.  Clean lines of pleasant woody flavors. Delicious, yes, but I expected a bit […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Gary Farrell, Stiling Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2010

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N/ Soft, clean, acid-kissed wafts introduce you to lightly smoked raspberries and red berries. Rhubarb. Cedar and hints of pine. Sage. Autumn leaves. Hints of tea. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. She starts softly, with similar mouthwatering acids like other Gary Farrell pinots I’ve recently had, but this time, she is decidedly more limey in taste. Nice […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Gary Farrell, Carneros, Ramal Vineyard, Napa Valley, California, 2010

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N/ Yum. Clean, acidic, raspberries and cherries. Cedar and vanilla dance. Crushed leaves. Dry forest floor. Wild herbs. Hint of cardamom. Tangerine zest. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. She starts with mouthwatering acids and beautifully restrained bing and black cherries. Ripe, tart, cranberry also delights. Angular, but again mouthwatering, on her finish – she offers up […]

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USA, Petit Verdot, Steven Kent, Ghielmetti Vineyard, Livermore Valley, California, 2009

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Rated one hour after decanting. If you’ve never had a pure petite verdot, I’d strongly suggest you start with this beauty…. C/ Brick dust and neon squid ink. Awesome color. N/ Deep, brooding woods. Stewed plum and black cherry with caramelized sugar. Exotic spices. Sage. Rosemary. Cracked flint. Forest floor. Oyster shell. Wonderful. T/ Full […]

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