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USA

USA, Syrah, Acorn, Axiom, Alegria Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2013

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N/ Deep, sweet oak and barrel room wafts. Sage and wild herbs do play. Plum skin reduction sauce. Amazing. Crushed granite. Wet black soil. T/ Plum, plum skins, complex earth and organic notes, and Maduro tobacco leaf notes. Another complex and fulfilling wine from the “field blend masters” at Acorn. 321 cases made 14.2% booze […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Thomas George Estates, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, 2012

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N/ Pure cherry, black cherry, black tea, bacon, game, sage, taffy, crushed flint, and forest floor notes. Lovely. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Cherry, black cherry, and game notes are framed by medium acidity. Clean mineral and organic Earth flavors. Delivers a well-made Russian River Valley pinot noir at a lower price point than most. Only detraction […]

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USA, Oregon, Pinot Noir, Left Coast Cellars, Cali’s Cuvee, Willamette Valley, 2014

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N/ Blackberry jam, lime zest, freshly crushed flint, and cigar box. T/ Medium mouthfeel. Blackberries and raspberry notes with a nice bouncing acidity. Wet organic soil notes and an extended earthy finish. Price = $24 http://leftcoastcellars.com/ N = B+ T = B+ I = B+ Overall = B+ This wine was a media sample kindly […]

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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, Pinot Noir, Anaba, Sonoma Coast, California, 2012

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N/ Cherry, raspberry, roses, cedar, a touch of white pepper, and cracked flint. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Clean cherry and raspberry flavors with nice wood tones. Mineral and acid presence very well balanced with the fruit. She closes with a pleasant lingering spice note. Very nice Sonoma Coast pinot example with an attractive price point. Alcohol […]

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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, White Blend, The Whip, Murrieta’s Well, Livermore Valley, California, 2013

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White blend of 28% Sémillon, 24% Chardonnay, 14% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Orange Muscat,11% Viognier, 11% Gewürztraminer and 1% White Riesling. N/ Gardenias, honeysuckle, white and yellow flowers, marine/beach and salt, fresh hay, honey and light confection. Complex and alluring. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Lightly sweetened honeysuckle, pear, limes, tropical fruits and melons. Some creamy butter […]

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USA, Riesling (Semi-Sweet), McGregor, Finger Lakes, New York, 2013

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N/ Pleasant florals, peaches, apricots, balsa wood, yellow grasses, and light vaseline. T/ Coating full mouthfeel. A fair amount of acid still shines thorough a full payload of sweet peach and pear juice, triggering a nice mouth water. Too sweet for me, but certainly not cloying, and many will enjoy the levels here. Simple but complete. A […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 Hands, Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2012

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Recommend decanting. This can be easily accomplished by pouring into a clean glass pitcher, if you do not have a “proper” decanter. Wait at least 30 minutes, preferably one hour before enjoying this. N/ Deep notes of slightly smoked plums skins dominate her nose. Ripe currant. Crushed fall leaves. Forest floor. Taffy. Suntan lotion. T/ […]

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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, Parducci, True Grit, Reserve, Mendocino, California, 2012

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Red blend of 80% cabernet sauvignon, 15% merlot, and 5% syrah. N/ Dusty plums, boysenberries, rhubarb, paprika, redwood sawdust, and slate. T/ Medium mouthfeel. She starts with a tart pucker leading to clean lines of black fruits, ripe cranberry, and red berries. Nice mineral notes, light tobacco flavors, and some sandy tannins close her out. […]

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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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USA, Moscato, 14 Hands, Columbia Valley, Washington, 2013

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N/ She is a wonderful gardenia and white flower explosion. Soft honeysuckle, sandalwood, and rock notes play second fiddle to the flower power. T/ Medium to full mouth feel. Round and coating. She’s dominating by a white flower reduction, that is delicious, but accounts for almost all of the show. Her close, however, saves the performance […]

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USA, Gewürztraminer, Snoqualmie, ECO, Columbia Valley, Washington State, 2012

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N/ Pine needles, lime zest, and light wafts of vaseline. The latter being a bit surprising as one typically finds those in riesling, not gewürztraminer.   She also has an interesting herbal and spice note that I frankly cannot quite put my finger on, my best guess is some mashup of tarragon and nutmeg, but it […]

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