Posts tagged as:

Napa Valley

USA, Red Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, The Hess Collection, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, 2014

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Red blend of 81% cabernet sauvignon,16% malbec, and 3% petite verdot C/ Squid inky bloody beet juice. Impressive – and I can’t explain how a color can be this, but it is seductive. N/ The smell of freshly printed money – i.e. big wafts of oak. Big ones. Barrel room dampness at it most alluring. […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Markham / Napa Valley, California

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I had the distinct pleasure of tasting through a wide selection of Markham wines with the absolutely entertaining and knowledgeable winemaker that is Kim Nicholls. Markham wines represent some of the finest quality to price ratio offerings in Napa Valley. One thing that helps them achieve this is the fact that Markham owns over 350 […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Artesa, Carneros, Napa Valley, California, 2013

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N/ While she certainly has the deep notes of butter one expects in most ripe and malolactic California chardonnays, she also has lovely aromas of flowers, toast, fresh rain, and pineapple. Delightful. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Rich flavors of pineapple, passion fruit, and other tropicals. A clean and limey acid cuts through the fruit and […]

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USA, Chardonnay, Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley and Bien Nacido Vineyard, 2013

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First off, if you’ve never been to the Castle near Calistoga, you must give it a visit. Here is my earlier write up on it… http://www.brainwines.com/winery-visit-castello-di-amorosa-calistoga-napa-valley-california/. CdA offers a wide selection of wines, and here I want to compare and contrast two of their 2013 chardonnays… Napa Valley 2013 chard… ($29) N/ Fresh rain, river […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Artesa, Estate Reserve, Carneros, Napa Valley, 2013

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N/ Bright cherries, raspberries, and cranberries. Light barbecue smoke and bacon. Forest floor and damp soil. Hints of vegetal, bell pepper, and crushed roses. T/ Medium to medium for the field. Moderate plus acid, cherries, black cherries, and raspberries. Inorganic and organic earth notes. Probably not truly here, but seems almost like residual sugar sweetness. […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montes, NapaAngel, Napa Valley, California, 2008

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Suggest decanting and waiting at least two hours before enjoying this wine. N/ Deep barrel room aromas, black fruits like black currants and black cherry. Bell peppers and the smell of a freshly grilled steak. Black soil, forest floor, pine needles, freshly crushed granite, flint, and gunpowder oh my. T/ Moderate plus tannin and moderate […]

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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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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, 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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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Gallegos, St. Helena, Somerston Estate, Napa Valley, California, 2012

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N/ Thankfully, no cat aromas whatsoever. Fresh rain, pears, wet concrete and crisp, dried hay. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Clean, acid dancing, layers of light yellow fruits, soft hay notes, and hints of pineapple. An extended lime juice and light mineral close. Very impressive, this would be absolutely perfect on a warm sunny day, […]

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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, Sauvignon Blanc, “Fume Blanc,” Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley, California, 2011.

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I was pleasantly surprised by this Mondavi offering and enjoyed it on the night of what would have been Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday.  N/ Soft hay notes…. lightly smoked, sugared, and salted. Light yellow tropicals, lime zest, with a faint layering of petrol, which is much more common in a riesling rather than a sauvignon blanc. Aromas of old […]

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USA, Rosé (Syrah), Stepping Stone, Cornerstone Cellars, Corallina Rose, Oak Knoll, Napa Valley, California, 2012

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N/ Rose petals, red berries, herbs, and strawberries. Light caramel and barrel room. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Nice mix of red berries, strawberries, and a touch of a cranberry bite and citrus zest. Ample acid and mineral/rock notes play and please. Dry, lively fun. Another great wine from Cornerstone. Winemaker = Jeff Keene http://www.cornerstonecellars.com/2012corallina Alcohol = […]

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, Malk Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll District, California, 2012

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N/ As with all her previous vintages, thankfully zero cat/ammonia wafts. Soft, clean, cream and toast notes layered over gorgeous, dripping, aromas of pear and yellow tropicals. Freshly steeped hay. Citrus zest over crushed river rocks. Yellow flowers. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Multiple layers of tropicals, soft citrus, pear, lychee, and yellow flowers. Honeydew melon with a spritz […]

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USA, Franciscan, White Blend (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat), Equilibrium, Napa Valley, California, 2012

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A white blend of: 72% sauvignon blanc, 17% chardonnay, and 11% muscat. N/ Crushed river rock dust sprinkled over crisp, fresh yellow hay. Green melons, pear juice, white flowers, and yellow tropicals dance on on bit of lime. Crushed oyster shells. A touch of powdered sugar. Absolutely delightful. Wow, I love this nose. T/ Medium mouthfeel. […]

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USA, Rosé of Syrah, PINK Girl, Napa Valley, Coombsville, California, 2012

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N/ She starts with aromas of clean hay and crushed river rock. Nice acidic raspberry wafts bring the fruit. Some jolly rancher strawberry aromas also play. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Acidic popping and slighlty effervescent – with flavors of strawberries and raspberries.  Red apples and ripe watermelon.  Hint of herbs. Well balanced. Thinner, but […]

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