Kale “Home Run Cuvee” 2016

Kale Home Run Cuvee

Rhone-style wine specialist Kale Anderson’s Syrah/Grenache blend (about half of each) from the hillside “Kick Ranch” vineyard is outstanding. After just 20 minutes of breathing it shows lots of black pepper, kalamata olives and smoke accessorizing a the rich, ripe dark berry fruits (blackberry, mulberry, blueberry). Expansive in the mouth with fine tannins and a […]

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Dry aged-beef, black licorice and dried wild mushroom (umami!) generously frame black cherry liqueur and dark pomegranate smells and flavors in the 2003 Pella Cabernet Sauvignon. This hefty, rich Cab is in its prime: softened tannins, medium acidity, lovely bottle bouquet, plenty of youthful fruit swirling about. Drink this classic, aged Napa Cab with a […]

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Showing focused dark red cherry, plum sauce and raspberry liqueur, the 2006 Pella Cabernet is keenly focused and impressively fresh 15 years post-harvest. Cedar, cassis and cigar wrapper aromas complement the lovely, deep fruits. Bottle age gifts the wine with the slightest cremini mushroom umami-ness that will assuredly develop over time. While on its long […]

Brockmeyer Blanc de Grenache 2020

Brockmeyer Blanc de Grenache

125 year old vine Grenache Noir from a 2 acre plot in Fresno. Pressed off immediately to keep away the color. White pepper spice aroma along with some pear, yellow banana and green tea smells and flavors. A peach pit-like gentle bitterness on the finish. Interesting how the wine starts austere then broadens out when […]

Brockmeyer Grenache 2020

Brockmeyer Grenache

Family vineyard, 2 acre plot of 125 year old vines in Fresno. Picked at low resulting alcohol (under 13%) before the Central Valley heat turned the grapes to raisins. A red wine by winemaking definition, it falls in between red and rose on the appearance, flavor and texture spectrum. Intriguing flavors of hibiscus tea, raspberries, […]

Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon

Loaded with ripe, dark, enthusiastic cherry and pomegranate flavors, the Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 leads with the fruit and follows it up with spice and sweet barrel. Cola, musk, vanilla bean and clove frame all its fruitiness: that cherry & pomegranate plus blackberry and plum preserves. Smooth, ample tannnins, vibrant core of acidity and a […]

Stellareese Grenache 2018

Stellareese Grenache

Loads of cracked black pepper, black licorice, caramel and berry liqueur smells introduce the Stellareese Grenache 2018. Spice and intense red fruits continue on the strong, high-octane palate. Wild mini-strawberries, hard raspberry candies, jasmine, lavender, grated ginger root, cinnamon and anise flavors dominate. With fine and firm tannins, good acidity and a 15 second spicy […]

Katnip Rosé 2020

Katnip Rose

An intentional Rosé made from Sacramento Delta Mourvèdre and Tempranillo, the Katnip has a brilliant, rusty peach skin color, a peppery wild strawberry, jasmine & melon nose and a spicy, dry, barely-fruity flavor. A dead-ringer for Bandol/Provence Rosè (no kidding) at a 2010 price for one of this quality, this is an easy pick-up for […]

Read Holland Pinot Noir “Deep End” 2018

Read Holland Pinot Noir

Snappy, bright cherry and raspberry pre-breathing soon turns to summer-ripe red cherries and raspberries, cherry liqueur, black truffle, black tea, dried red rose petals and minerally earthiness. The wine gets richer and more layered as the wine hangs out in the glass…gets better over 5+ hours of ample air exposure. Medium bodied, high intensity, youthful […]

Read Holland Chardonnay Peter Martin Ray 2018

Read Holland Chardonnay

First pass, just-opened and poured, has the roasted nut/roasted peach and lemon nose. With air the fresh citrus and orchard fruits jump out. Macintosh apples, white peaches, Meyer lemons, touch of grapefruit: classic. Gets more and more viscous as the hours pass. Caramel, clover honey, river rocks, sweet butter. So much texture and complexity. This […]

Belharra Rose of Syrah 2020

Belharra Rose of Syrah

This “intentional Rose” made from 100% Syrah from “Las Madres” smells of raspberries, yellow plums, cracked peppercorns and pink rose petals. Textural and a little creamy in the mouth, it reminds me of the more substantial Provence Roses in this way. I taste red apple, apricots, blood orange and tarragon along with perky acidity and […]

Belharra Syrah Las Madres 2017

Belharra Syrah

A big nose of smoky, peppery, licoricey blackberries and violets introduce you to the 2017 Belharra Las Madres Syrah. Berries galore in the mouth, yet Syrah’s distinctive character is the star: bittersweet chocolate, smoked strip steak, leather handbag and anise. This cohesive, intense, “very Syrah” Syrah is a delicious, rich red wine. French oak aged…20% […]

David Clinton Zinfandel Mounts 2017

David Clinton Zinfandel Teldeschi

The David Clinton Zinfandel “Mounts” 2017 is a warm, rich, cuddly wine full of cocoa, kirsch and pie spice flavors. It leads with fruitiness and the spice backs it up (their 2017 Teldeschi is the opposite – spice then fruit). It has soft tannins and pretty low acid, making it a particularly delicious now, ready […]

David Clinton Zinfandel Teldeschi 2017

David Clinton Zinfandel Mounts

Exceptionally spicy from start to finish, the David Clinton Zinfandel “Teldeschi” comes from 130 year old vines on the Dry Creek Valley’s east side. Amaro, black licorice, black pepper and musk permeate the raspberry/cherry liqueur, wild strawberry and pomegranate fruitiness. Such spice, from black pepper to Moroccan spices to brown pie spices. Juicy, healthy and […]

Coho Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Coho Cabernet Sauvignon

The Coho Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 starts with a Bordeaux-ish earthy-minty spice and warm berry fruitiness. In the mouth the Cab is medium/full bodied, carefully extracted and layered. Deep red berry and pomegranate fruits, crushed bay and mint leaves, sassafras and toasty vanilla bean (50% new French oak aged). Exceptionally delicious at its relatively young age, […]

Coho Merlot 2016

Coho Merlot

Sweet, rich aromas of black cherry liqueur, black licorice, cinnamon sticks and roast coffee. In the mouth the 2016 Coho Merlot Michael Black moves to the dark red fruit spectrum with pomegranates, deep raspberry and very ripe plums on the fruit side & five-spice, cola, cinnamon toast and mocha on the non-fruit side. Pleasing core […]

Localism Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Localism Sauvignon Blanc

Meyer lemon, peach and mango smells and flavors are my first and lasting impressions of the 2019 Localism Sauvignon Blanc. Lemon zest, garden thyme and lemongrass aromas easily identify it as Sauvignon Blanc. Biting acidity and softened texture from oak aging makes for a strong, impressive bottle of Napa white. More Information This is Mom […]

Localism Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2018

Localism Cabernet Sauvignon

Cut from the same cloth stylistically as Heitz and Chateau Montelena, but from a different part of Napa, the Localism Cabernet Sauvignon is super-aromatic, layered and classy. Smell the blueberry, pomegranate, bay laurel, leather handbag and toasty five grain bread. The taste quickly evolves into ripe blackberries, cocoa, earthy tobacco and pomegranate. Like an outdoor […]

Dancing Crow Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Dancing Crow Cabernet

Smell cassis, fresh blackberry, plum compote and crushed garden herbs. In the mouth the 2018 Dancing Crow Cabernet Sauvignon, albeit young, is mouth-filling and flashy. Doses and dabs of cedar, cigar box included, all with a warmth from careful use of French and Hungarian oak. Tasty now, but the takeaway is the delicious future of […]

Dancing Crow Rosé 2020

Dancing Crow Rose

83% Syrah, grown intentionally for Rosé, 17% Sauvignon Blanc for cut and dimension. On the nose this could easily be mistaken for Provence with it’s savory, spicy, orange zest, not fruity nose. In the mouth it tastes like California with apparent ripe red berry/plum and mouth-filling texture. Yet dry – very dry, with the spice […]

Dancing Crow Old Stake 1901 2018

Dancing Crow Old Stake

Eight principal grape (+ a couple dozen other red and white grapes) field blend, co-harvest, co-ferment. The old vines date as far back as 1901.  Refreshing, briary red berry fruits and sun-dried garden herbs the initial impressions. Starts quite tight, almost light. An hour of splashing or open bottle overnight brings deeper color, darker fruit […]

Olivia Brion Tempranillo “Shake Ridge” 2016

Olivia Brion Tempranillo

Napa winery Olivia Brion stretches out by acquiring Tempranillo from the outstanding “Shake Ridge Ranch” near Sutter Creek in Gold Country, Sierra Foothills. Smells great, like red cherry compote, dark pomegranate, dried red rose petals and cracked black peppercorns. Medium-bodied, loads of fruit yet not overly fruity because of the floral/spicy/earthy flavors going on. Its […]

Post & Vine Rosé 2020

Post & Vine Rose

Old-vine Carignane was whole cluster pressed after a short soak on the skins. Dark-ish salmon skin color, peppery watermelon, raspberry and blood orange and herbs de Provence smells and flavors, all neatly packed in a dry, vibrant Rosé that’s equally fruity and spicy. I tasted this in early March 2021 and, typical of early release […]

Post & Vine Old Vine Field Blend 2017

Post & Vine Red 2017

The 2017 Post & Vine Old Vine Field Blend is a blend of Zinfandel (34%), Carignane (32%), Petite Sirah (30%) and Grenache (4%) from 65 year old vines in Mendocino’s Redwood Valley. In true field blend method, all four varietals are harvested and fermented together. The old vines give the wine its spicy, earthy soul. […]