Showing posts with label california. Show all posts
Showing posts with label california. Show all posts

Monday, March 25, 2019

2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

I have never sat in a French bistro overlooking the Champs Elysees while enjoying the finest cuisine.  I have never read a first print of The Call of the Wild while sitting amongst the finest literary classics a prestigious library.   But those are two feelings that I get when tasting the 2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine is an extraordinary example of winemaking with passion, care and diligence.  Many Napa Valley Cabernet examples are very fruit forward, but this one is more reserved, a big and powerful statement that is held back by the door of opportunity in a wine that can be enjoyed now or for the next 20+ years.  Dark purple, almost inky, this wine has a balance of dark cherry, tobacco leaf, cassis, and antique spice cabinet with satin-like tannin.  This wine was tasted at room temperature multiple times (hence, the wine streaks on the label!) with and without food and was a true champion every time.  I would recommend this with braised short ribs or venison.  Absolutely wonderful!

2016 Boeschen Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.6%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $110.00

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100


Monday, March 18, 2019

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon

Every once in awhile you taste a wine, taste it again, and then have to scratch your head at the price tag.  Could a wine this wonderful, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, really be just $50 retail?  Am I seeing that correctly?  The 2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon is an unfiltered beauty that really pushed be back in my chair!  Absolutely mouth-coating and full of delicious dark fruits, dark chocolate, whisps of dried spices and incredibly satisfying tannins that dance on the palate from beginning to end.  I'll be honest with you.   I spent minutes just swirling and smelling this wine, both at the beginning and throughout the tasting experience.  It's that good.  And remember, you could go to a restaurant and spend $12 - $16 for a glass of wine from a $20 bottle that is mediocre or you go visit the Priest Ranch Winery web site and purchase a few bottles of this Cabernet, knowing that you are getting more than your money's worth!  Highly recommended.

2016 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


Monday, March 4, 2019

2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard

2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard

Admittedly, I am not a huge Cabernet Franc fan because historically most of it has left me wanting more, often wondering if all Cab Franc was lackluster or if I had just been unlucky.  After today, I am putting all of that behind me and all Cabernet Franc will be judged against this 2016 Coquerel Bennett's Vineyard Cabernet Franc.  Yes, you read that right.   This wine spoils you because it is a 100% varietal and made from a single vineyard - and it shows!   Incredible dark maroon color with lifting aromatics of very ripe blackberries, cassis, hints of barn wood and cherry show the same on the palate with very juicy tannins and a finish that is surely a fist clencher.   I know it was for me.  This wine would pair well with braised short ribs but if you truly love Cabernet Franc, I would recommend this wine with a good book or a lazy Sunday on the sofa.   It's truly a work of art and at only 96 cases you should grab this quickly!


2016 Coquerel Cabernet Franc Bennett's Vineyard label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  SOLD OUT

Drink The Bottles score:  96/100


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Arns Winery NV Impromp2 2 Cabernet Sauvignon

Arns Winery NV Impromp2 2 Cabernet Sauvignon
This non-vintage 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery started out as an experiment in wine aging and Sandi Belcher and her team have hit a home run.  This wine is a fine example of smart blending, expert wine making and risk taking that paid off in a big way.  This wine has three separate vintages in a single bottle.  This wine is rooted in a gorgeous purple color and presents lung-filling aromas of ripe blackberries, chocolate, saddle leather and toasty cedar.  There's a great mid palate feel with this one and generous flavors of dark berries, cedar, dark chocolate, tar and spice box.  This is everything you want to see in a quality Cabernet Sauvignon and I think this is an experiment that went extremely well!  I love seeing winemakers step outside of the box and I think you'll love this too.  Only 200 cases were produced and at this price point, it won't last long.

Arns Winery NV Impromp2 2 Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.5%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $65.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

2013 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery is another fine example of a powerfully restrained, still young wine with tons of potential.   I "Drink The Bottles" when I get them, so unfortunately, sometimes I miss out what are probably the best years of many stellar wines.  I think that is the case here with the 2013 Estate Grown Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery.  This wine has a gorgeous, sexy black color and a depth that you can see and feel.  Layers of chocolate cake, tobacco leaf, spicy paprika, and cherry cola marry with ease on the nose and in the mouth.  I feel like this wine has so much more to offer and the flavors will explode out of the glass in the next 3-5 years.  But who can wait??  This is a wine that is very tasty now, but will probably bring tears of joy to your eyes if you hold onto it and save it for that special occasion or special someone in the not-so-near future.  With only 300 cases produced, you better grab this quickly!
Arns Winery logo
ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $90.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


2012 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 was a mixed year for many wine producers.  Some soared and some struggled.  Those who did soar rose way above the competition and this 2012 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon from Arns Winery is a fine example of wine made gorgeously and with style.   There is a big contrast in color from the 2011.  This was is very dark and inky, leaving behind a beautiful stamp on the cork.  I decanted this wine for about an hour but couldn't help myself to get lost in the aromas dark fruits, black licorice and damp, loam earthiness.  Solid mouthfeel and the aromas carry over to the same flavors, but add in some cocoa powder and hints of sweet berries on the finish for a mouth covering and memorable drinking experience.   Arns Winery wines are those that you want to take with you to a dinner party.  These are also great wines to share with folks who are not traditionally "wine people", but beware that those folks may think that all wines are this delicious!

2012 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $90.00

Drink The Bottles score:  94/100


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

2017 Farmhouse White

2017 Farmhouse White wine

The 2017 Farmhouse White from Cline Cellars mixes it up and stands out from most white blends because of the uniqueness of the six varietals that are the backbone of this refreshing beauty.  Medium golden with loads of honeycomb and warm tropic fruits on the nose.  Hints of wildflower appear as this wine warms to (my) proper drinking temperature (which is room temperature).  Blended with Palomino (41%), Muscat Canelli (25%), Roussanne (22%), Marsanne (6%), Viognier (5%) and Riesling (1%), this wine provides a crisp and slightly sweet flavor profile of tropical fruits, pear preserves, key lime pie and cantaloupe. The finish is solid and this wine should be taken seriously, because it is one that will bring you back over and over again.  I would recommend this with raw veggies and dill dip or bruschetta that is high in garlic content.

2017 Farmhouse White wine label

ABV:  13.5%

California

Suggested retail price:  $15.00

Drink The Bottles score:  87/100


Monday, July 2, 2018

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese Sonoma Coast

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese Sonoma Coast

I am really digging this 2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese and think it is drinking very well right now.  This is definitely a great Chicken Parmesan pairing now or you could hold it for 5 years to enjoy more depth and less brightness.  This wine is slightly peppery with berries and a bit of funky, wet earth on the nose.  In the mouth, this light-to-medium wine shows off some gorgeous dried cherry bits, hints of candied apples and vanilla.   There's a suggestion of cedar box towards the end and I think it would be great to taste this vintage again in 3 years to see where that goes.  This is a very flavorful wine and one that I think is best enjoyed with the aforementioned meal.  Great value!

2016 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese Sonoma Coast label

ABV:  15.0%

Sonoma Coast, California

Suggested retail price:  $25.00

Drink The Bottles score:  89/100


Sunday, June 10, 2018

2015 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

2015 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.  This 2015 Petite Sirah from Galante Vineyards is presented in a shorter bottle outside of a traditional bottle (but it's still 750ml).  Clever marketing and it confirms that good things are indeed found in small packages.  Jack and Dawn Galante really have wonderful wines and this 2015 PS is no exception.  Medium to dark purple with flowery fragrances of rose petal and dusty spring flowers combine with blackberries that are so ripe I picture them being as dark as night.  The flavors are well defined and don't mess around.   Cherry, blackberry, vanilla and peppery braised brisket are distinct and welcoming.  Sweeter on the exit and very memorable with a lingering finish.  This is my type of Petite Sirah.  Just over 250 cases made, so get it quickly!

2015 Galante Vineyards Olive Hill Petite Sirah label

ABV:  14.1%

Carmel Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Monday, June 4, 2018

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious

This wine makes me super happy.  I'll be honest, I had to look up the meaning of the word Bodacious to even see if it was a legitimate word.  I found very quickly that Bodacious should not be the name of the wine, but rather the wine review.   Bodacious.   That's all you need.  Holy cow, this wine from Jon Nathaniel Wines is a head turner!  I'll tell you what's in it soon, but what you really need to know is how it tastes and feels.  This wine pops in the mouth with cherry cola, black raspberry jam, chocolate bits, some hints of coffee and what I can only describe as dust from an old book depository at the tail end of the finish.  Weird?  Sure.  But accurate?  You bet.   Aromas of ripe red fruit, funky earthy dampness, cedar, vanilla and mocha are most prevalent.  This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Syrah (29%), Cabernet Franc (19%), Petit Verdot (11%), Merlot (10%) and Malbec (1%).   Can you cram anything else into the bottle?   Maybe, but why would you?  Deep red to medium purple in the glass and unmistakably memorable, you'll be sad when you tip this bottle for the last time.  Super easy drinking and one that I think you can enjoy right now!  If you love wines with tasty fruit, get it!

2015 Jon Nathaniel Bodacious label

ABV:  14.2%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $60.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100





2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

It had been a spell since I had enjoyed any wine from Frog's Leap Winery, so I was really pumped about the opportunity to taste their latest Cab.   The 2015 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (78%), Merlot (13 %) and Cabernet Franc (9%).  Selfishly, I wish I had a case of this wine and if you want to invest in something that will pay you back ten fold in taste over the next 10-20 years, this wine is for you.  It's super young now, but you can discover some great  mocha, saddle leather, dark plum and medium spice on the nose.  Some might find full bodied flavors that you usually expect from a Cabernet at first, but thing wine is young and the Merlot addition adds structure and balanced flavors of black cherry, gravel, licorice and grilling spices.  I found this finish to be very long with a hint of peppery spice.  I'm loving this wine and I think it will continue to be fine polished if you give it some time.  Eat this one with a rare to medium rare ribeye and some hearty, starchy side dishes.   As a side note, I think this is an incredible value for a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.   If you're looking for a fine wine that won't break your budget, this is a very smart choice!

2015 Frog's Leap Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon label

ABV:  13.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $55.00

Drink The Bottles score:  93/100



Thursday, May 24, 2018

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Bel Sogno Pinot Noir

2106 Dawn's Dream Winery Bel Sogno Pinot Noir

So, here's the deal.  I've been lucky enough to taste several Pinot Noir from Dawn Galante's amazing team at Dawn's Dream Winery and each one is unique and pretty special.  Some are more fruit forward, some smoky, but this 2016 Bel Sogno Pinot Noir takes its own beaten path and stands out from the rest.  Wonderful dark purple in the glass with aromas of muted currant, black cherry, rose petal and vanilla cream.  This wine isn't a high acidic bomb and has a more mellow characteristic in the mouth, creating a finish that is welcoming and leaves you yearning for more.  The flavors are muted at first, but mid palate the sour cherry, black raspberry and red currant jelly blend for a tasting experience that really is satisfying.  When Pinot Noir is made this well, I prefer to sip it with good company, sans food.  I do think that a lighter, brothy soup would be a good pairing as would a braised duck breast or just good 'ol fried mushrooms!  Lovely bottle.

2016 Dawn's Dream Winery Bel Sogno Pinot Noir Label

ABV:  14.1%

Santa Lucia Highlands, California

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

2016 JACK Reserve Sauvignon Blanc

2016 Jack Winery Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
I had the pleasure of tasting this 2016 JACK  Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, but I missed the mark by not enjoying it over a major league baseball game.  (Check out their story to see what this means!).  What first catches the eye on this specimen is the beautiful golden color and the logo that ties into the story of the founders.  This bottle is as handsome as Vernon and Chris are and popping the cork permeates the air with wafting aromas that suggest something special is about to happen to you.  I love California Sauvignon Blanc because it doesn't express overly grassy aromas like its New Zealand counterparts and it spotlights more fruity and floral aromas, which is the case here.  Honeysuckle and spring bouquet are dominant and inviting.  In the mouth is a silky example of a wine that has been well refined and initially has me dreaming of pineapple whip ice cream. This wine has bits of honeycomb and loads of baking spices along with a crisp green apple finish that is long and does not overpower the pineapple and spice.  I taste nearly all wines at room temperature so the flavors aren't muted, but I suspect this wine would be enjoyed best slightly chilled with a couscous salad or accoutrement of cheeses and herbaceous breads.  This is such a wonderful wine and I think it will drink amazingly for 3-5 years without hesitation!

ABV:  14.1%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $35.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100

Jack Winery


Monday, May 21, 2018

2015 Krupp Brothers The Water Witch

2015 Krupp Brothers The Water Witch
I have long been a fan of Krupp Brothers wines and absolutely love the story of the determination and passion behind how this winery became to be today.  Some of the best terroir in the area was there, but getting to it by removing a nearly infinite amount of rock and having little to no water were two huge obstacles.  This wine pays homage to the dowser that found water for Krupp Brothers and helped turn it into.......wine!  This 2015 Water Witch is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (38%), Malbec (24%) Petit Verdot (10%), Cabernet Franc (10%), Tempranillo (9%), Syrah (6%) and Merlot (3%).  This blend is a home run with a medium to dark ruby red color and long legs that run parallel to the glass stem. Aromas of cherry turnover, clove, cigar box and floral bouquet dance in the glass and sing loudly with some vigorous swirling.  This wine is very young but you know that it will continue to gain weight in the bottle over the next 10+ years.  Velvety in the mouth with a finish that seems to linger for minutes, the cherry leads the way with semi-sweet chocolate, cigar smoke and dried earthy spices falling in suit and helping create a memorable and delicious treat.  With just over 500 cases made, this wine is an exceptional value and would be a great accompaniment to smoked brisket if you're wanting to show off your taste of great wine to friends.
Krupp Brothers Winery logo
ABV:  14.8%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $70.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


Saturday, May 12, 2018

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the first selection I've had the pleasure of tasting from Arns Winery and I will say without a doubt that they have spoiled me.  Sandi Belcher, winemaker for Arns Winery, had a challenging year as did most in California for this vintage.  But persistence pays off and it has paid off in a BIG way with this 100% varietal 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon!  Bright garnet in the glass and solid to the rim, this wine is not a big fruit bomb and certainly doesn't present itself like a wine of this age.  This gorgeous Cabernet is more reminiscent of an old world Bordeaux style, with muted fruit being replaced by rose petals, barn wood, ripening vegetables and shoe leather.  Instantly, you are transported to a place that is surrounded by people who don't just pop and pour, but truly savor wines that are complex like this with chocolate bits, braised beef, crushed black cherries and again with that beautiful, old world style barn wood and damp earth.  The finish isn't exceptionally long, but it is satisfying and you'll be going back for seconds and thirds of this wine.  The tannins are small and juicy and this wine is absolutely perfect for drinking right now.  I anticipate that it will continue to age gracefully for another 10 years.  After this, I am super excited to taste the 2012 and 2013 vintages soon!

2011 Arns Winery Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.0%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $85.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100




Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2014 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

If you're looking for a very affordable and spicy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvinon, this 2014 Truchard Vineyards wine should be on your radar.  Forward aromas of cherry, plum and spice box are framed with similar flavors that also include raspberry marmalade, vanilla and red licorice.  While the flavors all blend very evenly and compliment each other, the finish on this wine is the star, in my opinion.  The finish is long, spicy and very memorable.  Some air time in the decanter or some intense swirling really opens up this wine and softens the focused tannins.  You really can't go wrong with this wine and it should age gracefully for a very long time.   This would be a fun one to try again in 5 and 10 years as I think it will go through a beautiful transformation that will only further reward the wine fanatic.  This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Cabernet Franc (11%), Petit Verdot (1%) and Malbec (1%) and is beautifully blended.  Well done!  We are planning a trip to Napa Valley this summer, and Truchard might just have to be on our "must visit" list.

2014 Truchard Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.2%

Carneros, Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $40.00

Drink The Bottles score:  90/100




Sunday, April 29, 2018

2016 1000 Stories Zinfandel

2016 1000 Stories Zinfandel

When we think of red wine, we commonly think French or American oak barrel aging.  We wouldn't normally think bourbon barrel aging in present day when the aforementioned are so prevalent and readily available, certainly more than they were 50 years ago.  But aging Zinfandel in new and used bourbon barrels in small batches is exactly what 1000 Stories Wines is doing.  The use of used barrels is smart because the barrels provide a mellowness that makes this wine ripe for immediate drinking and the barrels also add some character to the wine.  Not overly complex but beautiful in a medium red color, this California Zinfandel exhibits primarily bright cherry aromas with spicebox and vanilla.  In the mouth is a softer Zinfandel with flavors of cherry, strawberry hard candy, carmel and hints of vanilla syrup.  This is a fun and very drinkable wine that I personally wouldn't pair with a food due to it's softness and sweet flavor.  It packs an alcohol content that is nearly 16% but it is so mellow that it isn't a distraction.  Pick up a bottle and enjoy it for yourself!

2016 1000 Stories Zinfandel Label

ABV:  15.5%

California

Suggested retail price:  $18.99

Drink The Bottles score:  86/100


2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a wine that can be enjoyed immediately and often with its incredibly soft tannins and welcoming mouth feel.  Smooth and supple, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (87%), Merlot (6%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Petite Verdot (2%) offers a solid medium purple color and slender legs in the glass.  The aromas of rapsberry, cedar and licorice aren't necessarily the stars here, but rather the supporting cast to a wine that offers the same in the mouth and adds red licorice, roasted coffee beans and soft spices to the mix.  Even with the four blended grapes, I had anticipated a much younger feeling and more acidic wine that would be bright and benefit from a few more years in the bottle.  That was certainly not the case here!  This wine is completely approachable and one that I think you will enjoy with a pot roast dinner if you're looking for a food pairing.  But, it can certainly stand on it's own merit.

2015 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.3%

Knights Valley, Sonoma, California

Suggested retail price:  $36.00

Drink The Bottles score:  91/100

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

2014 Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

I was super excited to taste my first (and certainly not last) wine from Gamble Family Vineyards.  This 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a flavorful and classy blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (86%), Malbec (8%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Merlot (1%) and Petit Verdot (1%).  On the britgher red side in the glass with fiery red streaks at the rim, this wine expresses well-blended aromas of black fruits, blackberry jam, well toasted French bread and pencil lead.  In the mouth is a medium bodied wine that feels polished and refined.  It's really difficult to imagine that this wine is so young.  It drinks like a wine that has been in the cellar, aging appropriately and gracefully for ten or more years.  In the mouth are flavors of the same dark fruits, cocoa powder, mocha, clove and some sweet spices.  The finish isn't extremely long, but this wine is one that keeps you wanting to tip the bottle in your favor.  I am genuinely impressed!

2014 Gamble Family Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  14.1%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $50.00

Drink The Bottles score:  92/100


Sunday, April 15, 2018

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The best part of being a wine blogger is the discovery of all types of wines from all over the world.  Many of these wines are from small, boutique wineries and many are mass-produced, with appeal to everyone who loves wine.  The best part of the 2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is that it is such a special wine that anyone can purchase, share and enjoy.  This is an incredible wine from a Napa Valley icon.  I had the pleasure of tasting Cathy's wine back in 2011 or 2012 and fell instantly in love.  And again, several years later, this wine and I connected and the romance blossomed once more.  Not yet released (coming soon), I was honored to sample this medium-to-dark red wine with aromas of black raspberry, rose petal, cigar wrapper, vanilla and plum.  Swirling this young wine really opens up the flavor profile and layers of plum, blackberry pipe smoke, spice cake and dark chocolate shavings are incredibly blended and memorable.  If there is one thing you can guarantee from Cathy Corison, it is consistency and unparalleled quality in Napa Valley Cabernet.  While many wines are commonly enjoyed with great foods, I prefer to enjoy this one independent of any food to completely appreciate and enjoy the complexity and flavor that is in the craft!  The 2015 Napa Valley vintage was all over the board, but as expected, Corison comes out on top again. Cheers!

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Label

ABV:  13.6%

Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $100.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100