Grand Daddy of California Wine Events: Family Winemakers San Francisco

2013 Family Winemakers at San Francisco's Fort Mason

2013 Family Winemakers at San Francisco’s Fort Mason

The two-day annual Family Winemakers of California Tasting in San Francisco (FW) is the most comprehensive showing of California wines in the state. The event is mainly for trade and media, but it’s open one day to the public for three hours. It’s the one event all year in which great small producers like Paloma and Seavey regularly participate, and is also a forum often used by new labels to debut, hoping to garner distribution and/or retail awareness.

Over 500 wineries belong to the organization, and over 215 were on hand for the event this year, offering about 700 wines.

It is impossible for one person to taste more than a fraction of the wines poured during this event. This year I cheated: Besides participating in both days of the tasting, I also attended the Napa Vintners Association event two days before, at which a lot of the same wineries were represented. I also regularly receive samples from a number of FW participants, and made recent strategic visits to other regular attendees. All in all, from the two-day event and other tastings over the past few months of producers represented there I put together 372 tasting notes on wines from 98 producers, virtually half of those in attendance—i.e., an impossible number to taste and analyze during the course of the two days.

In selecting the producers to taste through at this event, I focus on the strongest, most consistent ones in my tastings over the years whose wines I haven’t otherwise reported on recently, as well as on labels I haven’t tried yet, especially those showing their wines at FW for the first time.

Among the latter group, the standouts for me this year, with one or more wines rating 92 points or higher, were Herb Lamb (93 point Cabernet Sauvignon), Kaena (93+ point Grenache), Somerston (92 point Cabernet Sauvignon) and Valance (92 point Cabernet Sauvignon).

The major stars of the tasting for me, with strong lineups overall and one or more wines rating 93 points or higher, were Bien Nacido, Benovia, Chateau Montelena, Grgich Hills, Herb Lamb, Kaena, Keenan, Ladera, Lagier Meredith, Lamborn Family, L’Aventure, Ottimino, Paloma, Saxon Brown, Seavey, Thomas Fogarty and Vino Noceto.

Among the most exciting new finds at the tasting for me were Kaena’s Grenaches, which are among the best of that varietal I’ve ever had from California.

Mikael & Sally Sigouin of Kaena

Mikael & Sally Sigouin of Kaena

Kaena is the project of Mickael and Sally Sigouin in Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley. Mickael is also winemaker for Beckmen. All of their Grenaches were strong, but the 2010 Larner Vineyard and 2010 Tierra Alta Vineyard were particularly impressive (93+ and 93 points respectively). The couple really need to work on their website, however, which currently offers no way to order the wines online.

I was also very impressed by the complex and delicious Zinfandels being made by Ottimino, especially the 2010 Biglieri Vineyard (93+ points, $38 from the winery), and the very strong lineup of single vineyard Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from Thomas Fogarty, a Santa Cruz winery I profiled here, including the very ageworthy 2011 Pinot Noir Henry Ayrton’s Block Rapley Trail Vineyard (94 points, $80 to mailing list members only).

Carole Meredith & Steve Lagier of Lagier Meredith

Carole Meredith & Steve Lagier of Lagier Meredith

Also amazing, as usual, was the lineup from Lagier Meredith. These are the wines created by U.C. Davis Professor Emeritus Carole Meredith and her winemaker husband Steve Lagier. Their Syrah, made from fruit grown on their estate vineyard, has long been one of California’s most complex and ageworthy. They are also now making a terrific Zinfandel, the first in the U.S. to employ on the label the name reported in Jancis Robinson’s recent book on wine varieties as the earliest confirmed one used for the variety in Croatia where it originated, Tribidrag. In partnership with talented winemaker Aaron Potts, the couple also make delicious wines under the Chester’s Anvil label, including what I think is California’s best Malbec ($40).

My highest rated wines of the entire event were the 2010 Lagier Meredith Syrah (95+ points, $48 from the winery); 2010 L’Aventure Estate Cuvée (95 points, at an average of $74 from U.S. retailers); 2010 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (94+ points, and a good value for highly rated Napa Cab at $46); and 2010 Paloma Merlot (94+ points, $54).

IMG_2560
Barbara Richards and son Sheldon of Paloma

These tastings also reconfirmed a major conclusion of my report on last year’s FW—that California wines are exhibiting more balance—higher acidities and lower alcohol levels, resulting in wines with more vivacity and less heaviness—than was true just a few years ago.

This continues to be facilitated by cool recent vintages—2010 and 2011—but is also attributable to conscious decisions on the part of winemakers and growers, reacting in part to consumer demand.

The result is a lot of really delicious wines that are fit for drinking in the nearer term, good partners for food that don’t knock you out with the high alcohol levels of the past.

This is really notable in Cabernet Sauvignons from cool 2010. Many of these exhibit the kind of savory, loamy character one gets from old-style California Cabs, i.e., from the ‘60s and ‘70s–before the super ripe style of the ‘80s took over.

Good examples of young Cabs in this style besides the Chateau Montelena are the 2010 Arrow & Branch Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (91+ points, pre-release); 2010 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Napa (93+ points, $51); 2010 Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon HL Herb Lamb Vineyard (93 points, $150); and 2010 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Mountain Estate Bear Point (91+ points, $49).

For my ratings and tasting notes on all 372 wines, see below.

Ahnfeldt

  • 2011 Ahnfeldt Chardonnay Provocative – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; ripe pineapple nose; ripe pineapple palate; medium finish 84 points

  • 2010 Ahnfeldt Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; brett, VA nose; brett, tart currant palate; medium-plus finish 85 points

Amapola Creek

  • 2010 Amapola Creek Zinfandel Monte Rosso – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Medium dark red violet color; tart berry, briary nose; tight, briary, tart berry palate, licorice palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2009 Amapola Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Dark red violet color; black currant, tar nose; black currant, tar palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot) 91 points

Anakota

  • 2004 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
    Dark ruby color; mature, black currant, oak nose; mature, black currant, oak palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points

Ancien

  • 2011 Ancien Chardonnay Carneros Estate – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Light yellow color; almond, hazelnut nose; almond, hazelnut, tart apple palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Ancien Pinot Gris Sangiacomo Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Light yellow color; tart peach nose; tart peach, tart apple palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2011 Ancien Pinot Noir Jouisance Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; tart red fruit, sous bois nose; tart cherry, cranberry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Ancien Pinot Noir Shea Willamette Valley – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; savory, tart red fruit, cranberry nose; savory, tart red fruit, cranberry palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2010 Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Lifted, ripe red fruit, tart cherry nose; ripe red fruit, tart cherry, strawberry, black cherry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Ancien Pinot Noir Coombsville – USA, California, Napa Valley, Coombsville
    Dark cherry red color; floral, tart cherry nose; floral, tart cherry, roses palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2011 Ancien Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
    Dark cherry red color; tart cherry nose; tart cherry, tart raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

Arger-Martucci

  • 2008 Arger-Martucci Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; VA, tart currant nose; tart currant palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2008 Arger-Martucci Odyssey – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; tart black currant, tart black fruit nose; tart black currant, tart black fruit, tar palate; medium-plus finish (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, 5% Syrah; 22 months in mainly French and Hungarian oak) 89 points

  • 2008 Arger-Martucci Cabernet Franc – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Dark red violet color; tart red currant, menthol nose; tart red currant, menthol palate; medium-plus finish (95% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot) 90 points

  • 2007 Arger-Martucci Petite Sirah Old Vine – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; brett, tart currant nose; brett, tart currant, tobacco palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points

Arrow & Branch
IMG_2570

  • 2012 Arrow & Branch Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light green-tinged yellow color; aromatic, green melon nose; lime, ripe green fruit palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2010 Arrow & Branch – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; tart black currant, leafy nose; tart black currant, leafy palate; medium-plus finish (60% Cabernet Franc, 26% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec) 90+ points

  • 2010 Arrow & Branch Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Pre-release (Oct ’13 release) – very dark red violet color; black currant, tart black fruit nose; tasty, black currant, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot) 91+ points

Bacio Divino

  • 2011 Bacio Divino Pinot Noir Lucie Bacigalupi Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; tart cherry, raspberry nose; tart cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish (14.5% alcohol) 90+ points 90 points

  • 2010 Bacio Divino Vagabond – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; VA, tart plum, pepper nose; tart plum, pepper palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (14.9% alcohol) 90 points

  • 2009 Bacio Divino Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; tart black currant, loam nose; tart black currant, loam palate; medium-plus finish (14.6% alcohol) 91 points

Bailiwick
IMG_2572

  • 2011 Bailiwick Wines Vermentino – USA, California
    Light yellow color; aromatic, tart pear nose; tart pear, herbal palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2010 Bailiwick Wines Pinot Noir Foray – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; tart black cherry nose; tart black cherry palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2010 Bailiwick Wines Cabernet Franc – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; red pepper, jalapeno, olive nose; red pepper, jalapeno, olive palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2010 Bailiwick Wines Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; tart cherry, apple nose; tart cherry, apple palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points 90 points

  • 2010 Bailiwick Wines Pinot Noir Michaud – USA, California, Central Coast, Chalone
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; savory, tart cherry, red berry nose; savory, tart cherry, red berry palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2010 Bailiwick Wines Pinot Noir Silver Pines Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Mountain
    Light medium red color with pale meniscus; smoky, red fruit nose; smoky, red fruit palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2010 Bailiwick Wines Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Light medium red color with pale meniscus; savory, tart cherry nose; savory, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

Balverne

  • 2012 Balverne Sauvignon Blanc Forever Wild – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Very light yellow color; aromatic, very tart peach, citrus, tart grapefruit nose; tasty, juicy, intense, tart gooseberry, tart citrus, ripe grapefruit palate; medium-plus finish (13.7% alcohol; $25 SRP; sample provided by winery) 91+ points

  • 2012 Balverne Chardonnay Estate Grown Unoaked – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; ripe apple, green apple, tart pear nose; tart apple, very tart pear, mineral, saline palate with near medium acidity; medium-plus finish (13.8% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 88+ points

  • 2012 Balverne Sangiovese Forever Wild – USA, California, Sonoma County, Chalk Hill
    Medium dark orange pink color; tart red berry, cranberry nose; tasty, juicy, tart cranberry, tart currant palate with medium acidity and drying tannins; medium-plus finish (good pairing with tomato dishes and pizza; 14.1% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 90 points

  • 2010 Balverne Pinot Noir Estate Grown – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; black cherry, vanilla, black cherry syrup, watermelon nose; ripe black cherry, black raspberry, tart berry, ripe watermelon palate; medium-plus finish (13.8% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 89 points

Barlow

  • 2012 Barlow Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Pale green-tinged yellow color; appealing, ripe lime, green melon nose; tasty, focused, lime, tangy citrus palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2009 Barlow Vineyards Barrouge – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; lifted, tart black currant nose; tart black currant, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2009 Barlow Vineyards Merlot – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; berry, violets, black fruit nose; berry, violets, black fruit palate; medium finish 91 points

  • 2009 Barlow Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; tart black currant nose; tasty, tart black currant, violets palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

Barr

  • 2011 Barr Estate Winery Albariño – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light yellow color; tart peach, tart pear nose; tart peach, tart pear palate; medium finish 88+ points

  • 2008 Barr Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; maturing, tart black currant, licorice nose; maturing, tart black currant, licorice, tar palate; medium-plus finish (42 months in oak) 86 points

  • 2008 Barr Estate Winery Malbec – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Medium dark red violet color; tart berry, tar nose; tart berry, tar palate; medium-plus finish F(90% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) 87+ points

  • 2007 Barr Estate Winery Jubilado – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Medium dark red violet color; black currant, tar nose; tar, espresso palate; medium-plus finish (60% Petit Verdot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon) 88 points

Benovia

  • 2011 Benovia Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium ruby color; appealing, cherry pie, pie crust, baked berry nose; rich, tasty, ripe cherry palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2011 Benovia Pinot Noir Cohn Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Medium ruby color; ripe cherry, baked cherry nose; tart cherry, raspberry, tart strawberry palate, rich but balanced; medium-plus finish (vineyard planted in ’70s; 20% whole cluster) 92+ points b>

  • 2011 Benovia Pinot Noir Bella Una – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium ruby color; savory, herbal, light coffee nose; tasty, complex, tart red fruit, coffee, dried herbs palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2011 Benovia Pinot Noir La Pommeraie – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium ruby color; rip cherry, cherry pie filling nose; tasty, rich, balanced, tart cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 93 points

Bien Nacido
IMG_2584

  • 2011 Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart pear, almond nose; tasty, tart pear, almond palate; medium-plus finish (from Block W) 92+ points

  • 2011 Bien Nacido Vineyards Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Light yellow color; almond, tart pear nose; juicy, almond, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2009 Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Medium ruby color; ripe cherry, baked raspberry nose; tasty, tart cherry, strawberry, rhubarb palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (14.1% alcohol; old vine Pommard from Q Block, with small amounts from Block G and Block 40) 93+ points

  • 2009 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Dark cherry red color; tart cherry, baked cherry nose; rich, baked cherry, sour cream palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

Bjorn
IMG_2583

  • 2010 Bjorn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    From magnum – very dark purple red violet color; VA, tart black currant nose; tart black currant, violets palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish 91 points

Blair

  • 2012 Blair Estate Pinot Gris – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Seco
    Light yellow color; Rainier cherry, ripe peach, apricot nose; rich, Rainier cherry, ripe peach, apricot palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Blair Estate Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Seco
    Medium orange red color; baked cherry, tart cherry nose; baked cherry, tart cherry, black cherry, apricot palate; medium-plus finish (planted in 2007) 90+ points

Ca’ Momi

  • 2012 Ca’ Momi Bianco Di Napa – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light green-tinged yellow color; fresh, orange blossom, tart pear nose; fresh, orange blossom, tart pear palate; short-medium finish 86 points

  • 2012 Ca’ Momi Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; ripe pear, oak nose; oak, baked pear palate with some residual sugar; medium finish 84 points

Cain

  • 2007 Cain Vineyard & Winery Cain Five – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; pencil lead, tart black currant, tart black fruit nose; tight, dense, tart black currant, pencil lead, tart black plum, light cedar palate with medium acidity; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc) 92 points

  • 2008 Cain Vineyard & Winery Cain Concept The Benchland – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; appealing, tart black currant, tart blackberry nose; tight, tart black currant, tart blackberry nose; tight, tart black currant, tart blackberry, light espresso palate with density and medium acidity; medium-plus finish (48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot) 91 points

  • 2008 Cain Vineyard & Winery Cain Five – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark purple red violet color; pyrazine, tart red currant, bell pepper nose; tart red currant, bell pepper, pyrazine palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot) 87 points

Castello di Amorosa

  • 2012 Castello di Amorosa Gewürztraminer – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Light yellow color; aromatic, appealing, ripe apple, tart pear, light cinnamon, lychee nut, gardenia nose; very tasty, spicy, juicy, ripe pear, lychee nut, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (14.5% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 92 points

  • 2011 Castello di Amorosa Chardonnay Reserve Bien Nacido Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Light lemon yellow color; tart pineapple, ripe pear, almond nose; juicy, tart pineapple, ripe lemon, almond palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (14.8% alcohol) 90+ points

  • 2011 Castello di Amorosa Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light lemon yellow color; lemon gelee, tart pear, almond nose; tasty, medium bodied, tart lemon, tart pear, vanilla, almond palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (14.4% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 89 points

  • 2012 Castello di Amorosa Pinot Grigio – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Light yellow color; tart pear, green apple nose; tasty, tart apple, pear palate with crisp acidity; medium-plus finish (14.5% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 90+ points

  • 2011 Castello di Amorosa Pinot Noir Los Carneros – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Medium dark ruby color; ripe cranberry, tart cherry nose; silky textured, tart cherry, tart cranberry, strawberry rhubarb, oak palate; medium finish (14.3% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 88 points

Ceja

  • 2010 Ceja Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Light yellow color; reduction, tart peach, ripe lemon nose; rich, creamy textured, tart peach, ripe lemon, reduction palate; medium finish (no malo) 88 points

  • 2009 Ceja Pinot Noir – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Dark cherry red color; reduction, menthol, red fruit nose; reduction, menthol, red fruit palate; medium-plus finish (13.7% alcohol) 88 points

  • 2008 Ceja Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium ruby color; tart black currant, berry nose; tart black currant, berry, loam palate; medium-plus finish (13.9% alcohol) 90 points

Center of Effort

  • 2010 Center of Effort Chardonnay – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
    Light yellow color; almond, baked pear, baked apple nose; almond, baked pear, baked apple, hazelnut palate; medium-plus finish (14.6% alcohol) 89+ points

  • 2009 Center of Effort Chardonnay – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
    Light lemon yellow color; tart pineapple, guava nose; tart pineapple, guava, oak palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (10 months in French oak; 14.5% alcohol) 89 points

  • 2009 Center of Effort Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
    Dark cherry red color; oak, cola,, blackberry nose; oak, cola, blackberry, black cherry palate; medium-plus finish (14.5% alcohol) 89 points

  • 2010 Center of Effort Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
    Very dark cherry red color; black cherry, cola nose; black cherry, cola palate; needs 1-2 years to integrate; medium-plus finish 90 points

Cenyth

  • 2009 Cenyth Proprietary – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Dark ruby color; tart berry, black currant, brett nose; mature, tart berry, black currant, bret palate; medium-plus finish (47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 8% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec) 88 points

Chacewater

  • 2012 Chacewater Riesling – USA, California, North Coast, Lake County
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart peach, ripe pear nose; juicy, tasty, tart pear, tart peach palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (13.8% alcohol) 91 points

  • 2012 Chacewater Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, North Coast, Lake County
    Very light yellow color; smoke, lemon grass nose; tart citrus, lemon grass, gooseberry palate; medium-plus finish (13.8% alcohol) 90+ points

  • 2011 Chacewater Cabernet Sauvignon Sierra Foothills – USA, California
    Medium ruby color; redolent, berry, black currant nose; baked berry, black currant palate; medium-plus finish (90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot; 13.7% alcohol) 87 points

  • 2011 Chacewater Merlot Sierra Foothills – USA, California
    Medium ruby color; appealing, cherry, red berry nose; tart cherry, plum palate; medium-plus finish (13.9% alcohol) 90 points

  • 2012 Chacewater Syrah Estate – USA, California, Sierra Foothills
    Light medium cranberry red color; cranberry nose; tart cranberry palate; medium finish (13.9% alcohol) 87+ points

  • 2011 Chacewater Syrah – USA, California, North Coast, Red Hills Lake County
    Dark ruby color; baked black fruit, smoke nose; baked black fruit, smoke palate; medium-plus finish (13.9% alcohol) 88+ points

  • 2010 Chacewater Petite Sirah – USA, California, North Coast, Red Hills Lake County
    Very dark ruby color; tart berry, black fruit nose; pepper, tart black fruit, tar palate; needs 3-4 years; medium-plus finish (94% Petite Sirah, 6% Petit Verdot) 91 points

Chateau Montelena

  • 2010 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon (Non Estate) Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, wild berry, mulberry, tart blackberry, violets nose; tight, tasty, ripe mulberry, violets, tart black currant, blackberry palate with sweet tannins; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish (91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc; 14 months in French and Eastern European oak, 12% new; 13.9% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 94+ points

Coquelicot
IMG_2580

  • 2011 Coquelicot Winery Riesling Coquelicot Estate Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Light yellow color; appealing, ripe peach nose; tasty, ripe peach, pear palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2010 Coquelicot Winery Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Light yellow color; tart gooseberry, guava nose; guava, ripe gooseberry palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Coquelicot Winery Sangiovese Santa Ynez Valley – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; red berry, juniper berry nose; juicy, ripe red berry, juniper berry palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2011 Coquelicot Winery Pinot Noir Coquelicot Estate Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Dark cherry red color with pale meniscus; appealing, blackberry, lavender nose; blackberry, lavender palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2010 Coquelicot Winery Mon Amour – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Dark red violet color; aromatic, tart berry, black currant nose; tasty, tart black currant, berry, bramble palate; medium-plus finish (38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 20% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot) 91 points

Darms Lane
IMG_2568

  • 2012 Darms Lane Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oak Knoll
    Light yellow color; apple, almond nose; apple, almond palate; medium-plus finish (10 months in French oak, 40-50% new) 91+ points

  • 2011 Darms Lane Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; appealing, black cherry, cola nose; creamy textured, black cherry, cola palate; medium-plus finish (10 months in 50% new French oak) 91+ points

  • 2008 Darms Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Linda’s Hillside Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; baked berry, black currant nose; baked berry, black currant, oak palate; needs 3 years to integrate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2009 Darms Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Bon Passe Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark maroon color; appealing, tart black currant, loam nose; tart black currant, loam palate; medium-plus finish (90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc) 92 points

Donelan

  • 2011 Donelan Chardonnay Nancie – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Light yellow color; appealing, pear, vanilla, pear cream nose; creamy textured, tart pear, vanilla, pear cream, apple cream palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (13.7% alcohol; sample provided by winery; sample provided by winery) 92 points

  • 2011 Donelan Venus – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Light yellow color; tart pear, pear cream, almond nose; rich, creamy textured, almond, tart pear palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (12.5% alcohol; Roussanne fermented in stainless steel and neutral oak with some skin contact; sample provided by winery) 92 points

  • 2011 Donelan Pinot Noir Two Brothers – USA, California, North Coast
    Medium dark cherry red color; ripe raspberry, tart cherry nose; juicy, ripe red raspberry, ripe cranberry palate; medium-plus finish (14.4% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 90 points

  • 2009 Donelan Cuvée Moriah – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Dark red violet color; dried black fruit, dried fig, violets nose; tar, dried berry, tart berry, licorice palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Dutton-Goldfield

  • 2011 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Rued Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley
    Light yellow color; aromatic, baked apple, tart pear nose; tasty, baked apple, tart pear, almond palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2011 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Dutton Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; almond, tart apple nose; tasty, juicy, almond, tart apple, baked apple palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2011 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Fox Den – USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; black cherry, black raspberry nose; black cherry, black raspberry palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch/Freestone Hill – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light medium ruby color; black cherry, baked cherry nose; black cherry, baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium cherry red color; aromatic, baked cherry, cinnamon nose; baked cherry, cinnamon palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Edict

  • 2011 Edict Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; guava, lanolin nose; rich, guava, lanolin palate; medium-plus finish 86 points

  • 2011 Edict Framed – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Light yellow color; citrus, lemon nose; citrus, lemon palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2011 Edict Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Light yellow color; lemon grass, ripe citrus nose; lemon grass, ripe citrus palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2010 Edict Pinot Noir – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Dark cherry red color; baked cherry, nose; baked cherry, brown sugar palate; medium-plus finish 87 points

  • 2010 Edict – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Opaque purple red violet color; black currant, cedar, tobacco, violets nose; black currant, cedar, violets, tobacco palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2009 Edict Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; cassis, cedar, oak nose; cassis, cedar, oak palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

Ellipsis

  • 2012 Ellipsis Wine Company Chardonnay Laguna Nueva Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; lemon, citrus nose; tart apple, citrus palate; medium finish 88+ points

  • 2012 Ellipsis Wine Company Rosé of Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light pink color; tart cranberry nose; tart cranberry, ripe red berry palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2011 Ellipsis Wine Company Pinot Noir Tina’s Block de la Montanya Vineyards – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; cherry cider, VA nose; cherry cider, light brett palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2011 Ellipsis Wine Company Rosé of Sangiovese – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Light pink orange color; tart orange, blood orange nose; tart orange, blood orange palate; medium finish 88 points

EONIAN

  • 2010 EONIAN – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Nearly opaque purple red violet color; roasted berry, smoke, tart black fruit nose; roasted berry, smoke, tart black fruit, tar palate; medium-plus finish (80% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) 88 points

Field Recordings

  • 2011 Field Recordings Wine “Fiction” – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light yellow color; aromatic, floral, ripe pear nose; tasty, floral, ripe pear, licorice palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Field Recordings Wine Chenin Blanc Jurassic Park Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Light yellow color; oxidized apple nose; oxidized apple, lanolin palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Field Recordings Wine Pinot Gris – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light yellow color; peach, ripe apple nose; peach, ripe apple palate with lowish acidity; medium finish 87 points

  • 2012 Field Recordings Wine Pinot Noir Wonderwall – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cherry, menthol nose; ripe cherry, menthol palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Field Recordings Wine Zinfandel Almanac Old Potrero – USA, California, Central Coast, Arroyo Grande Valley
    Dark magenta color; appealing, violets, brambley, berry nose; tasty, violets, brambley, berry palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2011 Field Recordings Wine “Chorus Effect” K.O. Koligian Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; baked black fruit, black currant nose; baked black fruit, black currant palate; medium finish 87+ points

Flying Horse

  • 2010 Flying Horse Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; black currant, loam nose; black currant, loam palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2009 Flying Horse Petit Verdot – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Very dark red violet color; lifted, VA, ripe currant nose; ripe currant palate; medium finish 87 points

Fog Crest

  • 2011 Fog Crest Vineyard Chardonnay LAGUNA WEST – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; tropical fruit, papaya, passion fruit nose; tropical fruit, papaya, passion fruit palate with low acidity; medium finish (neutral oak, 100% malo) 87 points

  • 2011 Fog Crest Vineyard Chardonnay Estate Bottled – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; ripe pear, papaya nose; ripe pear, papaya palate with lowish acidity; medium finish (6% new French oak) 89 points

  • 2011 Fog Crest Vineyard Pinot Noir Estate – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart cherry, raspberry nose; tasty, rich, tart cherry, raspberry, black cherry palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2011 Fog Crest Vineyard Pinot Noir LAGUNA WEST – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; strawberry jam, cherry nose; strawberry jam, cherry palate with good acidity; could use 2 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Frank Family

  • 2012 Frank Family Vineyards Chardonnay Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; ripe pear, apple nose; rich but balanced, tart lemon, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2010 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; appealing, ripe black currant, ripe black fruit nose; tasty, ripe black currant, ripe black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Cabernet Franc; 20 months in oak, 30% new) 92 points

  • 2011 Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; tart berry, ripe black fruit nose; tart berry, ripe black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (89% Zinfandel, 11% Petite Sirah) 87 points

Freemark Abbey

  • 2012 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; tart apple, tart pear nose; tart apple, tart pear palate with lowish acidity; medium finish 88 points

  • 2012 Freemark Abbey Viognier – USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Light yellow color; aromatic, ripe pear, floral nose; poised, tasty, creamy textured, ripe pear, apple palate; medium finish 91 points

  • 2010 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; cassis, black currant nose; rich, ripe black currant, cassis palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2011 Freemark Abbey Merlot – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium ruby color; appealing, cedar, plum, cassis nose; tasty, cedar, plum, cassis palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Fulcrum

  • 2011 Fulcrum Pinot Noir ON Point – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium ruby color; oak, tart cherry nose; oak, tart cherry palate; needs 1-2 years to integrate; medium finish 89 points

  • 2011 Fulcrum Pinot Noir Brosseau – USA, California, Central Coast, Chalone
    Dark cherry red color; soft, berry, oak nose; berry, blackberry, oak palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2011 Fulcrum Pinot Noir Gap’s Crown Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium ruby color; black cherry, black raspberry nose; tight, black cherry, black raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Fulcrum Pinot Noir Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Carneros – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Dark cherry red color; black cherry, cola nose; black cherry, cola palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Galerie

  • 2012 Galerie Sauvignon Blanc Naissance – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; ripe lime, ripe gooseberry nose; tasty, tart lime, lemon grass, lightly smoky palate with near medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2011 Galerie Sauvignon Blanc Naissance – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; smoky, white grapefruit nose; smoky, tart green melon, mineral, white asparagus palate; medium-plus finish (50/50 stainless steel and neutral oak; clones 1, 317 and 376) 92 points

Gauge

  • 2012 Gauge Wines Chardonnay 20 Gauge Chardonnay – USA, California
    Light yellow color; tart apple, tart citrus nose; tart apple, tart citrus, green herb palate; medium-plus finish (no malo) 86 points

  • 2010 Gauge Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 12 Gauge Cab – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark cherry red color; lifted, tart black currant, leafy nose; tart black currant, berry palate; medium finish 87 points

Grgich Hills

  • 2010 Grgich Hills Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light green-tinged yellow color; baked lemon, reduction nose; reductive, tart lemon, citrus palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2011 Grgich Hills Fumé Blanc Dry Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; smoky, very tart peach, tar pear nose; crisp, very tart peach, mineral, citrus palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points (13.2% alcohol; sample provided by winery) (90 points)

  • 2009 Grgich Hills Merlot Estate Grown – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark maroon color; tart berry, black fruit, violets nose; tight, rich, creamy textured, tart berry, tart black fruit, black currant, violets palate with balance; could use 2 years; medium-plus finish (14.8% alcohol; 18 months in mix of large and small French oak barrels, 30% new; 3.63 pH; sample provided by winery) 93 points

  • 2010 Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark maroon color; appealing, tart black currant, loam nose; tasty, tart black currant, loam, tart berry, blackberry, violets palate; could use 2-3 years; long finish (91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 1% Merlot; 21 months in French oak, 60% new; 3.72 pH; 14.7% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 93+ points

Handley

  • 2006 Handley Brut Rosé – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Light medium pink gold color with light mousse; baked apple, oxidized apple nose; baked apple, oxidized apple, tangy cherry palate; medium finish 85+ points

  • 2009 Handley Pinot Noir Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Medium cherry red color; reduction, lifted, tart cranberry, sous bois nose; tart cranberry, sous bois, mineral palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2009 Handley Pinot Noir RSM Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Medium cherry red color; rosehips, hibiscus nose; rosehips, hibiscus, tart cranberry palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points

  • 2012 Handley Pinot Noir Rosé – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Light medium pink color; tart cherry, orange nose; tart orange, tart cherry palate; medium finish 88+ points

  • 2009 Handley Pinot Noir Mendocino County – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Medium cherry red color; floral, rosehips, tart cherry nose; floral, rosehips, tart cherry, reduction palate; medium finish 87+ points

Hendry
IMG_2581

  • 2012 Hendry Albariño Hendry Ranch – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very light yellow color; clean, fresh, tart apple nose; tart apple, citrus, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Hendry Chardonnay (Unoaked) – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; tart lemon nose; tart lemon palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2010 Hendry Chardonnay Barrel Fermented – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; toasted almond, hazelnut nose; medium bodied, butter, almond palate; medium-plus finish (30% new oak; good for the style) 91 points

  • 2008 Hendry Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, black currant, blackberry nose; rich, black currant, blackberry jam palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2010 Hendry Zinfandel Block 28 – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; tart berry, wild berry nose; tasty, tart berry, wild berry palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2010 Hendry Zinfandel Blocks 7 & 22 – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium ruby color; aromatic, tart berry, briary nose; tasty, tart berry, briary palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

Herb Lamb
IMG_2564

  • 2012 Herb Lamb Sauvignon Blanc Two Old Dogs – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very light yellow color; aromatic, lemon grass, tart grapefruit nose; focused, lemon grass, tart grapefruit palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2010 Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon Two Old Dogs Herb Lamb Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; lifted, aromatic, tart currant, menthol, bay leaf nose; tart red currant, menthol palate; medium-plus finish (13.8% alcohol) 91 points

  • 2010 Herb Lamb Cabernet Sauvignon HL Herb Lamb Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; appealing, lifted tart red currant, menthol, mint nose; tight, tasty, balanced, tart red currant, menthol palate; needs 4-plus years; medium-plus finish 93 points

Hiatus

  • 2012 Hiatus Cellars Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; tart citrus, lemon nose; very tart citrus, sour lemon palate; medium finish (85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillon) 86 points

  • 2011 Hiatus Cellars Pinot Noir Griffin’s Lair Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium dark red violet color; tart cherry, oak nose; oak, tart red fruit, cranberry palate; medium-plus finish 87 points

  • 2007 Hiatus Cellars – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; VA, smoky, roasted black fruit, hickory nose; smoky, roasted black fruit, hickory palate; medium-plus finish (39% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Franc, 22% Petite Sirah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Zinfandel) 86 points

Hidden Ridge
IMG_2575

  • 2007 Hidden Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 55% slope, Hidden Lot N° 1 (Morton’s Bottling) – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Dark red violet color; appealing, red currant, tobacco, black currant nose; tasty, black currant, tart berry palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (14.9% alcohol) 92+ points

  • 2008 Hidden Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 55% slope – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Very dark red violet color; appealing, mature, black currant, black fruit, espresso nose; tasty, mature, black currant, black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (18 months in 80% new oak; 14.9% alcohol) 92 points

Hilliard Bruce

  • 2011 Hilliard Bruce Chardonnay – USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
    Light yellow color; appealing, ripe pear, apricot nose; rich, ripe pear, tart apple, baking spice palate with near medium acidity; medium-plus finis (14.3% alcohol) 91 points

  • 2010 Hilliard Bruce Pinot Noir Sun – USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
    Very dark ruby color; tart berry, berry syrup, baked berry nose; rich, berry syrup, baked berry palate; medium-plus finish (14.3% alcohol) 91 points

  • 2010 Hilliard Bruce Pinot Noir Moon – USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
    Very dark ruby color; black cherry, black raspberry, berry nose; rich, black cherry, black raspberry, berry, grapey palate; medium-plus finish (14.9% alcohol) 90+ points

Hopper Creek

  • 2011 Hopper Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; smoke, tart grapefruit nose; smoke, tart grapefruit, jalapeno palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2010 Hopper Creek Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown, Produced & Bottled – USA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville
    Barrel sample – very dark red violet color; tart black currant, menthol, oak nose; tart black currant, menthol, oak palate; medium-plus finish 89-91 points

  • 2007 Hopper Creek Winery Merlot Estate Grown, Produced & Bottled – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark ruby color; chocolate, mint nose; chocolate, mint palate; medium-plus finish (w/1.5% Cabernet Sauvignon; 14.1% alcohol) 88 points

  • 2011 Hopper Creek Winery Merlot Estate Grown, Produced & Bottled – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Barrel sample – dark ruby color; focused, ripe berry, oak, black currant nose; focused, ripe berry, oak, black currant palate; medium-plus finish 88-90 points

Houdini

  • 2009 Houdini Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Dark red violet color; tart currant, oak nose; tight, tart currant, cedar palate; needs 4 years; medium-plus finish (96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot; 24 months in oak; 14.8% alcohol) 90+ points

  • 2009 Houdini Merlot – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium red violet color; red currant, tart plum nose; ripe red currant, plum palate; medium-plus finish (24 months in oak; 15.2% alcohol) 91 points

J. Wilkes

  • 2010 J. Wilkes Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Bright light chartreuse yellow color; appealing, ripe pear, light honeysuckle, tart apricot nose; lush, rich, ripe pear, tart apricot, vanilla, white flower palate; medium finish (14.3% alcohol; 24 mos in oak, 50% new) 90+ points

  • 2012 J. Wilkes Pinot Blanc Bien Nacido Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Light green-tinged yellow color; clean, fresh, tart peach, ripe apple nose; tasty, light, clean, tart peach, applesauce palate with a touch of salinity; medium finish (13.8% alcohol; stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation; ideal with Thai food; good value at $15) 90 points

  • 2010 J. Wilkes Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Dark ruby color; ripe black cherry, ripe berry, black raspberry, light graham cracker nose; ripe black cherry, black raspberry palate with integrating French vanilla oak; medium finish (14.5% alcohol; 14 mos in French oak, 30% new) 87+ points

Kaena

  • 2012 Kaena Grenache Blanc La Presa Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Light peach yellow color; tart peach, apple nose; very tart peach, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish (13.9% alcohol) 89 points

  • 2012 Kaena Grenache Rosé – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Light medium orange pink color; ripe pink grapefruit nose; tasty, juicy, cranberry, ripe pink grapefruit palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2012 Kaena Sauvignon Blanc Ballard Canyon – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Light yellow color; aromatic, lemon grass, tart gooseberry nose; lemon grass, tart gooseberry, smoke palate; medium-plus finish (13.9% alcohol) 91+ points

  • 2012 Kaena Viognier – USA, American
    Light yellow color; appealing, honeysuckle, ripe pear nose; honeysuckle, ripe pear palate; medium-plus finish (13.9% alcohol) 91 points

  • 2011 Kaena Hapa Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Light yellow color; ripe pear nose; juicy, tart pear, apple palate; medium-plus finish (84% Grenache Blanc, 16% Roussanne; 13.9% alcohol) 90+ points

  • 2010 Kaena Grenache Larner Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Dark ruby color; baked berry, charcoal, clove nose; tasty, rich, baked berry, clove, charcoal, tart berry, black cherry palate; medium-plus finish (15.2% alcohol) 93+ points

  • 2010 Kaena Grenache Tierra Alta Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Medium dark red violet color; lifted, baked berry, clove, licorice nose; tasty, baked berry, clove, licorice palate; medium-plus finish (15.1% alcohol) 93 points

  • 2010 Kaena Grenache – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Dark cherry red color; floral, tart berry, berry jam nose; tasty, tart berry, berry jam, tart black currant palate; medium-plus finish (14.9% alcohol) 92 points

  • 2011 Kaena Syrah Tenth Anniversary Tierra Alta Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    From magnum – very dark ruby color; roasted black fruit, tar nose; tasty, roasted black fruit, tar palate; medium-plus finish (14.9% alcohol) 92+ points

  • 2010 Kaena Hapa – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Dark ruby color; tart berry, tar, charcoal, roasted fruit, brett nose; tasty, tart berry, tar, charcoal, roasted fruit, brett palate; medium-plus finish (50% Syrah, 38% Grenache, 12% Mourvedre) 92 points

Keenan
IMG_2555

  • 2011 Keenan Winery Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
    Light yellow color; ripe pear, yellow apple nose; tasty, creamy textured, tart lemon palate; medium-plus finish (no malolactic) 91+ points

  • 2009 Keenan Winery Mernet Reserve – USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
    Dark red violet color; menthol, tart currant nose; tasty, tart black currant, menthol palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2009 Keenan Winery Merlot Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; appealing, black currant, loam, cedar nose; tasty, ripe black currant, blackberry, loam, espresso palate; medium-plus finish 93 points

  • 2009 Keenan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; black currant, loam, cedar nose; black currant, loam, cedar palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2009 Keenan Winery Merlot Reserve Mailbox Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
    Dark red violet color; appealing, black currant, black fruit nose; tight, tasty, black currant, black fruit, saline palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points

  • 2009 Keenan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Spring Mountain District – USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
    Very dark red violet color; lifted, leafy, black currant nose; black currant, leafy palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2009 Keenan Winery Syrah – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; roasted black fruit, light pepper nose; roasted black fruit, light pepper, tar, iodine palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Kendall-Jackson

  • 2009 Kendall-Jackson Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Reserve – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Very dark purple red violet color; tart black currant, cedar, violets nose; tasty, ripe black currant, cedar palate; medium finish (88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc; good value at $19) 89 points

Ladera
IMG_2566

  • 2012 Ladera Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; lemon grass, grapefruit nose; ripe, juicy, tart peach, papaya palate; medium finish 89 points

  • 2011 Ladera Pinot Noir Pillow Road Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, tart cherry, sous bois nose; tasty, tart raspberry, tart cherry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2009 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; cassis, cherry nose with a little heat; cassis, cherry palate; medium finish (97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot) 88 points

  • 2009 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    Very dark red violet color; appealing, black currant, violets, berry nose; rich, black currant, berry, violets palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 93 points

  • 2010 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon Stile Blocks – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    Dark maroon color; rich, black currant, mulberry, berry nose; rich, black currant, mulberry, berry palate; medium-plus finish (98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot) 92+ points

Lagier Meredith

  • 2010 Chester’s Anvil Gewürztraminer – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino
    Very light yellow color; very aromatic, lifted, gardenia, citrus nose; fresh, ripe white grapefruit, citrus palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Lagier Meredith Rosé – USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
    Light pink color with pale meniscus; appealing, focused, watermelon, tart cherry nose; tasty, juicy, cranberry, tart red currant palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (70% Syrah, 20% Zinfandel, 10% Mondeuse) 92 points

  • 2010 Chester’s Anvil Malbec – USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
    Very dark purple red violet color; earthy, tar, tart plum nose; tasty, tart plum, currant, Maraschino cherry palate; medium-plus finish 93 points

  • 2011 Lagier Meredith Zinfandel Tribidrag – USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
    Dark red violet color; aromatic, hibiscus, tart cherry, red berry nose; tasty, balanced, hibiscus, tart cherry, red berry palate; medium-plus finish (reminiscent of an Occhipinti Frappato) 94 points

  • 2010 Lagier Meredith Syrah – USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
    Very dark red violet color; tar, pepper, tart black fruit, clove nose; tight, tar, roasted black fruit, pepper palate; needs 4 years; medium-plus finish 95+ points

  • 2010 Lagier Meredith Precious Bane – USA, California, Napa Valley, Mt. Veeder
    Opaque red violet color; VA, baked berry nose; baked black fruit, licorice, clove palate; long finish 91+ points

Lamborn Family
IMG_2567

  • 2009 Lamborn Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage VII Proprietor Grown – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    Very dark red violet color; lifted, black currant, violets nose; plush, tasty, black currant, violets palate; medium-plus finish 93 points

  • 2010 Lamborn Family Vineyards Zinfandel “Middle-Aged Vine” – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    Medium dark red violet color; appealing, ripe berry, brambly, black currant nose; balanced, ripe berry, brambly, black currant palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

L’Aventure

  • 2010 L’Aventure Estate Cuvée – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Opaque black red violet color; roasted black fruit, tar, espresso nose; delicious, rich but structured, dense, tar, roasted black fruit, espresso palate; needs 5 years; long finish (42% Syrah, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot; 100% new oak) 95 points

  • 2010 L’Aventure Côte-à-Côte Estate – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Opaque purple red violet color; very appealing, roasted black fruit, dark chocolate, tar nose; intense, tar, dark chocolate, roasted black fruit, tart berry palate; needs 4-5 years; long finish (42% Grenache, 34% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre; 50% new oak) 93+ points

  • 2010 L’Aventure Optimus – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Opaque black red violet color; roast coffee, espresso, tar, roasted plum nose; tasty, tart black fruit, roasted plum, espresso, roast coffee palate with good acidity; needs 3-4 years; medium-plus finish (55% Syrah, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Petit Verdot; 50% new oak for 15 months) 93 points

  • 2010 L’Aventure The Sibling – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Opaque ruby color; appealing, tart cherry, ripe red berry nose; tasty, rich, tart cherry, baked cherry, berry palate; accessible now but should age well for 4-5 years; medium-plus finish (70% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache; 14 months in 50% new French oak) 92 points

  • 2010 L’Aventure La Suite – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Opaque ruby color; appealing, lifted, baked cherry, ripe berry nose; rich, silky, ripe berry, baked berry, baked cherry palate; tasty now; medium-plus finish (43% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, 17% Syrah; 50% new French oak for 14 months) 91+ points

  • 2010 L’Aventure Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Opaque red violet color; appealing, mocha, chocolate nose;p rich, dark chocolate, mocha, tart black fruit palate; ready now; medium-plus finish (15.3% alcohol) 91+ points

Law Estate

  • 2010 Law Estate Wines Audacious – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark ruby color; VA, berry nose; ripe berry, baked raspberry palate; medium finish 86 points

  • 2010 Law Estate Wines Intrepid – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Opaque purple red violet color; VA, baked berry, black fruit nose; baked berry, black fruit palate; medium finish 86 points

  • 2010 Law Estate Wines Beguiling – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Medium dark red violet color; tart black fruit, berry nose; tart black fruit, berry, clove palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2010 Law Estate Wines Sagacious – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark ruby color; baked berry, black fruit nose; tart black fruit, baked berry palate; medium-plus finish 87+ points

Lost Canyon

  • 2011 Lost Canyon Chardonnay Ruxton Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light lemon yellow color; pineapple, ripe lemon nose; tart lemon, tart pineapple, mineral, ripe lime palate; medium-plus finish (13.9% alcohol; sample provided by winery; great pairing with lemon chicken) 91 points

  • 2010 Lost Canyon Pinot Noir Morelli Lane Vineyard Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Very dark cherry red color; intense, green bean casserole, baked cherry, raspberry jam, tart red berry nose; tight, tart cherry, raspberry jam, green bean casserole palate with firm texture; could use 1-2 years bottle age; medium-plus finish (14.5% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 83 points

Macauley
IMG_2578

  • 2012 Macauley Chardonnay California Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; almond, tart pear nose; tasty, tart pear, almond, saline palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2009 Macauley Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark ruby color; tart black currant, loam, berry nose; tight, tobacco, tart black currant, loam, berry palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2010 Macauley Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Pre-release (Sept. 2013) – very dark red violet color; appealing, black currant, blackberry nose; juicy, tasty, black currant, blackberry palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2011 Macauley Petite Sirah – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark purple red violet color; appealing, lavender, violets, baked berry nose; rich, lavender, violets, baked berry, mulberry palate; needs 4-5 years; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2011 Macauley Zinfandel Old Vines – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark cherry red color; tart berry, bramble, raspberry jam nose; tasty, tart berry, bramble, raspberry jam palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

Madroña

  • 2012 Madroña Riesling – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County
    Light yellow color; tart peach, lime nose; tasty, tart peach, lime palate; medium-plus finish (.75 RS) 89 points

  • 2011 Madroña Riesling Dry – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County
    Light yellow color; lime, very tart peach nose; lime, very tart peach, lemon palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Madroña Cabernet Franc Estate Grown – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado
    Dark ruby color; tart red currant, green olive nose; tart red currant, green olive palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2010 Madroña Malbec – USA, California, Sierra Foothills
    Very dark ruby color; tart berry, horseradish nose; tart berry, horseradish palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2011 Madroña Zinfandel Estate Grown – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado
    Dark ruby color; tart red currant, pepper ose; tart red currant, pepper palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2010 Madroña Zinfandel Estate Grown – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado
    Medium dark ruby color; cinnamon, tart berry nose; cinnamon, tart berry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2008 Madroña New-World Port – USA, California, Sierra Foothills
    From 375 ml – very dark ruby color; port, baked berry nose; tasty, baked berry palate; long finish 91 points

Merryvale

  • 2011 Merryvale Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart pear nose; tasty, ripe pear, pear cream palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points 91 points

  • 2012 Merryvale Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; aromatic, lemon grass, tart gooseberry nose; rich, tart grapefruit, lemon grass palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Merryvale Pinot Noir Carneros – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; roses, cranberry, tart cherry nose; tasty, tart cherry, ripe cranberry palate with brightness; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2009 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; tart currant, loam nose; tasty, balanced, tart currant, loam palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2010 Merryvale Profile – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; cassis, red currant, cedar nose; tight, cassis, red currant, cedar palate; needs 4 years; medium-plus finish (92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot) 92+ points

Napa Cellars

  • 2012 Napa Cellars Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; aromatic, ripe grapefruit, citrus nose; ripe grapefruit, citrus palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2012 Napa Cellars Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; ripe lemon, oak, butter nose; soft, creamy textured, tart pear, oak palate; medium finish 87 points

Navarro

  • 2011 Navarro Vineyards Chardonnay Mendocino – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino
    Light yellow color; appealing, almond, tart pear nose; tasty, almond, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Navarro Vineyards Gewürztraminer Estate Bottled Dry – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Aromatic, floral, lychee nut nose; floral, lychee nut palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

Niner

  • 2012 Niner Wine Estates Sauvignon Blanc Boot Jack Ranch – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light yellow color; tart apple nose; tart apple palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2008 Niner Wine Estates Fog Catcher – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; black currant, baked black fruit nose; black currant, baked black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 87+ points

  • 2010 Niner Wine Estates Merlot – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; tart black fruit, loam nose; tart black fruit, loam palate; medium-plus finish 87 points

  • 2009 Niner Wine Estates Twisted Spur – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Very dark red violet color; tart red berry, cinnamon nose; tart red berry, cinnamon palate; medium-plus finish 87+ points

  • 2010 Niner Wine Estates Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; cassis, black currant nose; cassis, black currant palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points

  • 2010 Niner Wine Estates Sangiovese Boot Jack Ranch – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Medium red color; tart red fruit nose; tart red fruit, tar palate; medium finish 88 points

Ottimino

William Knuttel and Brad Alper of Ottimino

William Knuttel and Brad Alper of Ottimino

  • 2009 Ottimino Zinfandel Rancho Bello – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, lifted, tart berry, violets nose; tasty, tart berry, black cherry, raspberry jam palate; medium-plus finish (20 months in 35% new oak) 92+ points

  • 2010 Ottimino Zinfandel Biglieri Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, lifted, violets, floral, black raspberry nose; tasty, violets, floral, black raspberry, black cherry, berry palate; medium-plus finish (20 months in 35% new oak) 93+ points

  • 2010 Ottimino Zinfandel Ottimino Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; berry, briary, black raspberry nose; tasty, balanced, berry, briary, black raspbberry palate; medium-plus finish (20 months in 35% new oak) 93 points

Paloma

  • 2010 Paloma Merlot – USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
    Medium red violet color; appealing, tart cherry, tart black fruit, black raspberry nose; tight, tart cherry, black cherry, cassis palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish (85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon) 94+ points

Parallel

  • 2009 Parallel Cabernet Sauvignon Black Diamonds Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; lifted, currant, ripe red berry nose; plush, currant, ripe red berry, baked raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2009 Parallel Cabernet Sauvignon Estate – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, loam, tart black currant nose; plush, tart black currant, loam palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

Petroni

  • 2011 Petroni Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; lemon grass nose; lemon grass, grapefruit palate; medium-plus finish (14.2% alcohol) 90 points

  • 2010 Petroni Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Light yellow color; musky peach nose; musky peach, lemon palate; medium-plus finish (14.1% alcohol) 88 points

  • 2011 Petroni Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Dark cherry red color; black cherry, cola nose; black cherry, cola palate; medium finish (14.5% alcohol) 88+ points

  • 2006 Petroni Poggio Alla Pietra – USA, California, Sonoma County
    Dark red violet color; very ripe berry, blackberry nose; very ripe berry, blackberry palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2008 Petroni Rosso di Sonoma – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Very dark ruby color; tart berry, red berry nose; tasty, tart berry, red berry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (75% Syrah, 20% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; 15.5% alcohol) 90+ points

Picayune

  • 2012 Picayune Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very light yellow color; ripe lime, lemon grass nose; lime lemon grass palate; medium-plus finish (55% Sonoma, 45% Napa; 14.1% alcohol) 91 points

  • 2011 Picayune Cellars Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    From magnum – medium cherry red color; black cherry, tart berry nose; black cherry, tart berry, black cherry jam palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

Ramey

  • 2011 Ramey Claret – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium ruby color; appealing, lifted, black currant, loam nose; black currant, loam palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2010 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark ruby color; black currant, baked berry nose; tasty, black currant, baked berry palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2010 Ramey Syrah Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Very dark ruby color; roasted black fruit, violets nose; tight, roasted black fruit, violets palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

Rocca Family

  • 2009 Rocca Family Vineyards Merlot Grigsby Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville
    Medium dark ruby color; ripe berry, oak nose; ripe berry, oak, boysenberry palate; medium-plus finish (98% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon) 91 points

  • 2009 Rocca Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Grigsby Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville
    Very dark purple red violet color; black currant, cedar nose; black currant, cedar, ripe berry palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2009 Rocca Family Vineyards Vespera – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark ruby color; tart black fruit, tar, berry nose; rich, tart black fruit, tar, berry palate; medium-plus finish (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petite Sirah, 12% Petit Verdot, 1% Syrah) 89 points

Round Pond

  • 2012 Round Pond Sauvignon Blanc Estate – USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Pale yellow color; tart green apple nose; nondescript, tart apple, citrus palate with low acidity; medium finish 85+ points

  • 2010 Round Pond Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Very dark ruby color; ripe red currant, oak nose; tight, ripe red currant palate; medium-plus finish 87 points

Rutherford Grove

  • 2012 Rutherford Grove Sauvignon Blanc Estate – USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Light green-tinged yellow color; tart citrus nose; odd, tart citrus, oak palate; medium finish 84 points

  • 2007 Rutherford Grove Petite Sirah Spring Creek Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark ruby color; boysenberry, vanilla nose; boysenberry, vanilla palate; medium-plus finish 86+ points 86 points

Saddleback

  • 2011 Saddleback Cellars Viognier – USA, California, Central Valley, Clarksburg
    Light yellow color; baked pear nose; baked pear palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2011 Saddleback Cellars Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Light yellow color; poached pear, almond nose; tasty, poached pear, almond, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2010 Saddleback Cellars Merlot – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
    Dark red violet color; appealing, black currant, black fruit nose; black currant, black fruit palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2008 Saddleback Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; appealing, black currant, baked black fruit nose; tasty, black currant, tart berry palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (2 1/2 y;ears in oak, 1 year in bottle) 91+ points

Saxon Brown

  • 2009 Saxon-Brown Chardonnay Durell Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Light medium yellow color; appealing, lemon cream, nutmeg, light clarified butter, pineapple nose; tasty, tart lemon, full bodied, fleshy, mineral, light nutmeg, tart pear palate with firm texture and good balance; medium-plus finish (14.5% alcohol; 11 mos in barrel, 50% new oak) 92 points

  • 2009 Saxon-Brown Sémillon Fighting Brothers Cuvée – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Light medium yellow color; intriguing, lightly savory, citrus, lemon oil, tart peach nose; ripe, creamy textured, juicy, tart peach, ripe pear, apricot jam palate with residual sugar; medium-plus finish (would work with foie gras, crab cake) 90+ points

  • 2008 Saxon-Brown Zinfandel “Stonewall” Parmelee-Hill – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Dark purple red violet color; appealing, briary, ripe currant, black currant, violets, ripe berry nose; rich, briary, ripe black currant, tart berry, toast palate; needs 1-2 years; medium-plus finish (15.7% alcohol; aged in Burgundy barrels, 1/3 new) 91 points

  • 2009 Saxon-Brown Pinot Noir Hayfield Block Durell Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Very dark cherry red color; baking spice, baked cherry, black cherry nose; youthful, ripe black cherry, black raspberry, red raspberry, baking spice, cranberry palate; needs 2-plus years; medium-plus finish (11 mos in French oak, 50% new, 50% once used; Pommard, 777, 115 and a little Swan clone) 91+ points

  • 2009 Saxon-Brown Syrah Owl Box Parmelee-Hill – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, tart blackberry, tart black fruit, tar, black pepper, white pepper nose; tasty, roasted black fruit, black pepper, tar, violets, tart berry palate with depth; long finish (Shiraz clone 1 with 3-4% Viognier and a little Marsanne and Roussanne to help set color) 94 points

  • 2009 Saxon-Brown Syrah Camp Block Parmelee-Hill – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Pre-release: very dark purple red violet color; appealing, roasted black fruit, pepper, tar, incipient bacon fat, violets nose; tasty, firm, tart black fruit, roasted black fruit, black pepper, black olive palate with good acidity; needs 1-2 years; long finish (Durrell selection clone; 14.7% alcohol) 93 points

  • 2009 Saxon-Brown Zinfandel Fighting Brothers Cuvée – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, ripe black currant, black fruit, light sage, violets, mulberry nose; very tasty, rich but balanced, juicy, violets, ripe black currant, ripe berries, blueberry palate; long finish (15.5% alcohol) 93+ points

Scott Harvey
IMG_2588

  • 2012 Scott Harvey Riesling Jana – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Very light yellow color; ripe pear, apple nose; ripe pear, apple palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2011 Scott Harvey Barbera J&S Reserve – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, ripe red berry, black fruit nose; tasty, tart berry, blackberry palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2009 Scott Harvey Zinfandel 1869 Old Vine – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
    Medium cherry red color with pale meniscus; berry, blackberry, ripe black fruit nose; tasty, tight, black fruit, tar, baked berry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Super Hero Wines InZINerator – USA, California
    Medium dark ruby color; carbonic maceration, red berry nose; carbonic maceration, red berry palate; medium finish (14.5% alcohol) 88 points

  • 2007 Scott Harvey Fortè – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
    Dark red violet color; VA, cherry, dried cherry, berry nose; cherry, dried cherry, berry palate; long finish 91 points

Seavey
IMG_2561

  • 2010 Seavey Vineyard Merlot – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium dark red violet color; lifted, leafy, tobacco nose; tasty, tobacco, leafy, tart currant palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (94% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon) 92+ points

  • 2010 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Caravina – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; cassis, tart red currant nose; tight, tart currant, tart cassis palate with good acidity; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2010 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; tart red currant, tart black currant nose; rich, tart black currant, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish; needs 3-plus years; medium-plus finish (90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot) 93+ points

Silver Trident

  • 2010 Silver Trident Pinot Noir Benevolent Dictator – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
    Dark cherry red color; ripe cherry, brown sugar, black cherry nose; ripe cherry, brown sugar, black cherry palate; medium-plus finish (clones 667, 777 & 115; 40% new oak) 91+ points

  • 2010 Silver Trident Cabernet Sauvignon Twenty Seven Fathoms – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
    Very dark ruby color; appealing, black currant, berry, loam nose; black currant, berry, loam palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Singer Cellars

  • 2010 Singer Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; leafy, black currant nose; leafy, black currant palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Singer Cellars Petit Verdot – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; licorice, spice, tart cassis nose; licorice, spice palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2010 Singer Cellars The Rhapsody – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; aromatic, black currant, tart berry nose; black currant, tart berry palaet; medium-plus finish (Merlot, Cab Franc blend) 91+ points

Somerston

  • 2009 Somerston Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Napa Valley Estate Grown – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; lifted, ripe blackberry, berry, violets nose; ripe blackberry, berry, violets palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
    Very light yellow color; ripe pear nose; tasty, tangy, tart pear, tart apple palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 89+ points

  • 2012 Priest Ranch Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
    Very light yellow color; tart apple, green apple nose; tart apple, green apple palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; appealing, cassis, loam, berry nose; tasty, ripe berry, cassis palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Stemmler
IMG_2589

  • 2011 Stemmler Pinot Noir Carneros – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Dark cherry red color; black cherry, black raspberry jam nose; black cherry, black raspberry jam palate; medium finish 89 points

  • 2011 Stemmler Pinot Noir Estate Grown – USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
    Medium dark cherry red color; aromatic, tart cherry, raspberry nose; tasty, tart cherry, raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2010 Donum Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium ruby color; baked cherry nose; baked cherry palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

Stone Edge Farm

  • 2009 Stone Edge Farm Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Very dark red violet color; lifted, tart black currant nose; tasty, tart black currant, raspberry jam palate; could use 2 years; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2009 Stone Edge Farm Surround – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
    Medium dark red violet color; mature, black currant nose; mature, black currant, tobacco palate; medium-plus finish (56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Merlot) 91+ points

Stonestreet
IMG_2590

  • 2011 Stonestreet Chardonnay Broken Road – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
    Light yellow color; lemon cream, pear cream, ripe apple nose; rich, creamy textured, apple, tart pear, tart pear cream palate with integrating oak; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Stonestreet Chardonnay Bear Point – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
    Light yellow color; almond, baked pear nose; tasty, almond, baked pear palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2007 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Monolith – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
    Very dark black red violet color; maturing, tart black currant, tart blackberry, berry nose; focused, tart black currant, berry, tart blackberry, mineral palate with firm, sweet tannins; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish (1800 foot elevation; 100% Cabernet Sauvignon) 92+ points

  • 2010 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Mountain Estate Bear Point – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
    Dark ruby color; herbaceous, tart currant, tobacco nose; herbaceous, tart currant, tobacco palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2010 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Monument Ridge – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
    Dark ruby color; cassis, herbaceous nose; cassis, herbaceous, loam palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish 91 points

Tablas Creek

  • 2011 Tablas Creek Roussanne – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light medium yellow color; almond, saline nose; almond, saline, tart green apple, cream palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Tablas Creek Vermentino – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Very light yellow color; almond, apple nose; almond, apple, spicy, green fruit palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2011 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light medium yellow color; green almond, hazelnut nose; green almond, hazelnut, saline, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light yellow color; ripe apple nose; ripe apple palate; medium finish 88+ points

  • 2011 Tablas Creek Esprit de Tablas Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light yellow color; green almond, tart pear nose; green almond, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rosé – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Light yellow pink color; almond, baked pear nose; almond, baked pear palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2011 Tablas Creek Côtes de Tablas – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark cherry red color; tart berry nose; tart berry, cranberry palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2011 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, tart berry nose; tart cherry, tart berry palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2011 Tablas Creek Mourvedre – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Medium ruby color; tar, red berry nose; tar, red berry palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Tantara

  • 2011 Tantara Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Light medium yellow color; oak, pineapple nose; oak, pineapple palate; medium finish 87 points

  • 2011 Tantara Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Medium dark ruby color; cranberry, tart red fruit nose; cranberry, tart red fruit palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Tantara Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
    Dark cherry red color; baked cherry, rhubarb nose; baked cherry, rhubarb palate; needs 2 years; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Taplin

  • 2008 Taplin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Terra 9 – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Dark red violet color; ripe black currant, ripe berry nose; tight, ripe black currant, ripe berry, loam palate; needs 3 years; medium-plus finish (28 months in 50% new French oak) 91 points

  • 2009 Taplin Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Terra 9 – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; black currant, berry nose; black currant, berry palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Thomas Fogarty

  • 2010 Thomas Fogarty Chardonnay Estate Grown Albutom Santa Cruz Mountains – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Light lemon yellow color; appealing, lemon gelee, lemon cream, sweet butter nose; tasty, tangy, creamy textured, tart lemon, sweet butter, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (11.9% alcohol; 3.27 pH, 7.3 g/L TA; sample provided by winery) 93 points

  • 2010 Thomas Fogarty Chardonnay Estate Grown Langley Hill Vineyard – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Light lemon yellow color; appealing, tart pineapple, ripe pear, light graham cracker nose; tasty, rich, poised, tart pear, ripe lemon palate with bright acidity and integrating oak; medium-plus finish (12.9% alcohol; 3.4 pH, 6.0 g/L TA; sample provided by winery) 92 points

  • 2010 Thomas Fogarty Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Light lemon yellow color; ripe pear, pineapple, tart peach nose; tasty, rich but balanced, tart lemon, mineral, very tart pineapple palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (13.5% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 91+ points

  • 2011 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Henry Ayrton’s Block Rapley Trail Vineyard – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, ripe cherry, clove, anise, black cherry nose; dense, tight, ripe raspberry, ripe cherry, tart cherry palate with sweet tannins; good now but could use 2 years; medium-plus finish (Martini clone; 12.8% alcohol; planted in 1983; sample provided by winery) 94 points

  • 2011 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Block M Rapley Trail Vineyard – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Medium dark ruby color; appealing, aromatic, tart cherry, dried cherry, anise, ripe raspberry, black raspberry nose; tasty, balanced, juicy, ripe raspberry, tart cherry palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish (Martini clone; 13.3% alcohol; planted in 1983; sample provided by winery) 93+ points

  • 2011 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Estate Rapley Trail Vineyard – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Very dark cherry red color; tart cherry, black cherry, baked raspberry, light graham cracker nose; juicy, rich but balanced, ripe cherry, black raspberry palate with sweet tannins and bright acidity; good now but could use 2 years; medium-plus finish (Martini clone; 13% alcohol; planted in 1983; sample provided by winery) 93 points

  • 2011 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Estate Razorback Vineyards – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, tart cherry, ripe cranberry, strawberry rhubarb nose; juicy, tart cherry, tart raspberry, strawberry rhubarb palate with balance and lively acidity; could use 1-2 years medium-plus finish (Swan, 115, 667 & 777 clones; 12.7% alcohol; planted in 1996; sample provided by winery) 92+ points

  • 2011 Thomas Fogarty Pinot Noir Santa Cruz Mountains – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
    Medium dark ruby color; tart cherry, ripe strawberry nose; tasty, silky textured, ripe strawberry, tart cherry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (12.9% alcohol; sample provided by winery) 91 points

Trecini

  • 2012 Trecini Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; lemon grass, citrus nose; tart citrus palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2011 Trecini Cellars Pinot Noir Vicini’s Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; oak, tart berry nose; oak, tart berry, cola palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2008 Trecini Cellars Merlot Vicini’s Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Very dark red violet color; black currant, tart black fruit nose; black currant, tart black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

Tristant
IMG_2587

  • 2007 Tristant Vineyards Mirifice – USA, California, Napa Valley, Calistoga
    Dark red violet color; mature, currant nose; plush, mature, ripe currant, plum palate; medium-plus finish (80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot; 14.1% alcohol; 2 years in oak, 3 years in bottle) 90 points

Valance
IMG_2586

  • 2009 Valance Cabernet Sauvignon Valance – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; tart black currant, leafy, loam nose; tart black currant, leafy, loam palate; needs 2-plus years; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2007 Valance Cabernet Sauvignon Valance – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Very dark red violet color; black currant, loam, light eucalyptus nose; tart black currant, loam palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Victor

  • 2011 Victor Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California
    Dark red violet color; tart currant, leafy nose; tart currant, leafy palate; medium finish 85 points

  • 2011 Victor Vineyards Roadside Red – USA, California
    Medium dark red violet color; red berry nose; red berry palate; medium finish 84 points

  • 2011 Victor Vineyards Zinfandel “Old Vine” Zinfandel – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
    Medium dark cherry red color; VA, baked cherry nose; baked cherry palate; medium finish 84 points

Vinemark

  • 2010 Vinemark Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; black currant, baked black fruit nose; black currant, baked black fruit, saline palate; medium finish 85 points

  • 2011 Vinemark Cellars Pinot Noir – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Medium red violet color; VA, red berry nose; red berry palate; medium finish 85 points

  • 2009 Vinemark Cellars Primitivo – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; baked and stewed black fruit nose; baked and stewed black fruit palate; medium-plus finish 84 points

  • 2010 Vinemark Cellars Cabernet Franc – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; weedy, tart currant nose; weedy, tart currant palate; medium finish 84 points

Vino Noceto
IMG_2569

  • 2012 Vino Noceto Pinot Grigio – USA, California, Central Valley, Clarksburg
    Light yellow color; tart peach, apple nose; tart peach, apple palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2010 Vino Noceto Barbera Linsteadt – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, California Shenandoah Valley
    Medium ruby color; aromatic, ripe red berry, tart cherry nose; tasty, ripe red berry, tart cherry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2010 Vino Noceto Sangiovese – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, California Shenandoah Valley
    Dark cherry red color; aromatic, ripe red berry, dried cherry nose; tasty, ripe red berry, dried cherry palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2009 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Riserva – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, California Shenandoah Valley
    Medium red color with pale meniscus; tart berry, dried berry nose; tart berry, dried berry, licorice palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2009 Vino Noceto Zinfandel OGP Grandpère Vineyard – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
    Dark cherry red color; appealing, licorice, dried berry nose; tasty, licorice, dried berry palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points

  • 2012 Vino Noceto Moscato Blanco Frivolo – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, California Shenandoah Valley
    Light yellow color; aromatic, ripe pear, orange blossom nose; rich, ripe pear, orange blossom palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Violet-Green

  • 2006 Violet-Green Cabernet Franc Alder Springs Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Very dark red violet color; VA, tart currant nose; tart currant, green olive palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2007 Violet-Green Cabernet Franc Alder Springs Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Very dark red violet color; tart red currant nose; tart red currant, olive palate; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2006 Violet-Green Syrah Alder Springs Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Very dark ruby color; VA, tart berry nose; tart berry palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2010 Violet-Green UltraViolet Quercus Ranch – USA, California, North Coast, Lake County
    Dark red violet color; VA, baked red fruit nose; baked red fruit, ripe red currant palate; medium finish 88+ points

  • 2007 Violet-Green UltraViolet Alder Springs Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Very dark red violet color; VA, tart currant nose; tart currant, olive palate; medium-plus finish (50% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc) 88 points

Wait Cellars
IMG_2571

  • 2012 Wait Cellars Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Hazy light yellow color; almond, apple nose; almond, apple, saline palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2011 Wait Cellars Pinot Noir Green Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley
    Dark cherry red color; tart cherry, cranberry nose; tart cherry, cranberry palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2011 Wait Cellars Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Dark cherry red color; hibiscus, tart cherry, cranberry nose; hibiscus, tart cherry, cranberry palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Westerhold Family

  • 2011 Westerhold Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Westerhold Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Dark cherry red color; lifted, tart cherry, rhubarb nose; tasty, tart cherry, rhubarb palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2009 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Westerhold Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Very dark red violet color; baked black fruit, clove nose; baked black fruit, clove, pepper palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Westerly

  • 2010 Westerly Vineyards Chardonnay – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Light medium yellow color; ripe pear, almond nose; rich, ripe pear, almond palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Westerly Vineyards Fletcher’s White – USA, California, Central Coast, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara
    Light yellow color; smoky, lime, lemon grass nose; smoky, lime, lemon grass palate; medium finish 89 points

  • 2009 Westerly Vineyards Fletcher’s Red – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Medium dark ruby color; tart black fruit, roasted black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (46% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah) 91 points

  • 2010 Westerly Vineyards Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills
    Medium ruby color; black cherry, black raspberry nose; black cherry, black raspberry palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2010 Westerly Vineyards Syrah Côte Blonde Happy Canyon – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
    Dark ruby color; roasted black fruit, pepper, tar nose; roasted black fruit, pepper, tar palate; medium-plus finish (93% Syrah, 7% Viognier) 91+ points

William Knuttel
IMG_2573

  • 2012 Robin K. / William Knuttel Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light yellow color; tart apple, tart pear nose; tart apple, tart pear palate; medium finish 88 points

  • 2011 Robin K. / William Knuttel Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Light medium yellow color; green almond, apple nose; green almond, apple palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2011 Robin K. / William Knuttel Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Medium dark cherry red color; baked cherry, brown sugar nose; baked cherry, brown sugar palate; medium finish 89 points

  • 2011 Robin K. / William Knuttel Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Medium dark cherry red color; baked cherry, cinnamon, smoke nose; baked cherry, cinnamon, smoke palate; medium finish 87+ points

  • 2010 Robin K. / William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
    Dark ruby color; cassis, loam nose; cassis, loam palate; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2010 Robin K. / William Knuttel Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford – USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
    Dark ruby color; cassis, black currant nose; cassis, black currant palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

Zenaida

  • 2010 Zenaida Cellars Wanderlust Estate – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; baked black fruit, tar nose; baked black fruit, tar palate; medium-plus finish (50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre; 15.8% alcohol) 88 points

  • 2010 Zenaida Cellars Zephyr – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark red violet color; baked black fruit nose; baked black fruit, smoke palate; medium-plus finish (55% Syrah, 40% Zinfandel, 5% Viognier; 15.6% alcohol) 87 points

  • 2011 Zenaida Cellars Zinfandel – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark ruby color; baked black fruit, tar nose; baked black fruit, tar palate; medium-plus finish 88+ points

  • 2010 Zenaida Cellars ZC Red – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Dark ruby color; berry, black fruit nose; berry, black fruit palate; medium-plus finish (45% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Petite Sirah) 88+ points

This entry was posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, California Wine, Chardonnay, Napa, Paso Robles, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Rosé, Russian River, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, Sonoma Coast, Syrah, Zinfandel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Grand Daddy of California Wine Events: Family Winemakers San Francisco

  1. Amazing write-up (as always) for this huge event RJ! I too was impressed by the Kaena Grenache.

  2. John Taylor says:

    Hey Richard! Thanks for the terrific review of the wines. Would love to have you come by the tasting room next time you’re in Napa!

  3. Pingback: Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: Sublime Wine

Comments are closed.