COHO “Headwaters” Napa Valley 2014

Coho Headwaters

“Most representative of Coombsville wine I’ve released,” states owner Gary Lipp. Ironic, since it’s not labeled as Coombsville (sometimes Coho Headwaters doesn’t hit the 85% AVA threshold – it does in 2014). The blend is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 11% Petit Verdot. Speaking of Coombsville style, you get the savory character of the southeast […]

Y ROUSSEAU Colombard 2017

Y Rousseau Colombard

Napa Valley Winery Y Rousseau ventured up to Ukiah, Mendocino County to procure these Colombard grapes. Why Colombard, see my next paragraph. Drink as you would a Sauvignon Blanc – bright acid, no barrel flavor, citrus and orchard fruit-heavy and pleasing green notes. The Y Rousseau Colombard is similar yet different to Sauv Blanc: lemon […]

FROG’S LEAP Zinfandel 2016

Frog's Leap Zinfandel

Co-ferment with 20% Petite Sirah and 2% Carignane (the Petite, interestingly, lightens the wine due to its growing season in conjunction with the Zin). Frog’s Leap Zinfandel is “Old Style” Zin in the best sense. Under 14% alcohol, bright and concise berry flavors, especially dark raspberry and strawberry, with potpourri, dry Asian spices, white pepper […]

Mike & Molly Hendry Zinfandel “Moore” 2015

Mike Molly Hendry Zinfandel

Husband/Wife owned wine…only wine they make. It is “Estate Grown” Zinfandel: owned by Bill Moore, Molly’s uncle. Farmed by Mike Hendry.  Planted in 1905, “R.W. Moore” is head pruned, dry farmed and sprinkled with Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mourvedre and Valdiguie (5% combined of these four). I totally dig this wine (as Greg Brady would say). […]

GREY STACK Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Grey Stack Sauvignon Blanc

The Grey Stack Sauvignon Blanc captures the entire fruit spectrum of Sauvignon Blanc. Citrus, tropical, orchard fruits all team up to make a delicious drink. Lemon zest, kaffir lime and cilantro peak through if you open your mind to them. I dig the acidity – mouth watering without being tart. About Grey Stack Grey Stack […]

COHO Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch 2014

Coho Pinot Noir Stanly

Warm and cozy, this vintage of Coho Pinot Noir Stanly Ranch is showing off its generous dark cherry/berry fruits, pie spices, cocoa, licorice and toasty barrel smells and flavors. Obviously a California Pinot Noir UNTIL the finish, when a handful of dark soil and amaro-like bitter quality makes an appearance. Almost 4 years removed from […]

STEADY STATE Red Wine 2015

Steady State Red Wine

Steady State Red Wine is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. Put this in your Cabernet Sauvignon section as the dark fruit flavors and the chewy texture point to Napa’s “King Grape” in style. Smell and taste black cherries, blueberries, some mint, vanilla bean and […]

TORRE ZAMBRA Cerasuolo d’Abbruzzo 2017

Torre Zambra Cerasuolo

A Rosé with a darker hue…Cerasuolo is the grape (the name comes from cerasa, which is cherry in the local dialect…gives you an idea of the taste). Yep, the wild red cherry pops out along with fresh raspberry, pomegranate, fresh violets and a little black pepper on the Torre Zambra Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo. Very fine tannins […]

d’Or et GUEULES Rosé “Les Cimels”

d'or et gueules Rose Les Cimels

Southern Rhone Valley, very dry Rosé made from Cinsault, Mourvedre mostly, with a little Grenache and Syrah. Smell and taste dried orange zest, dried pink rose petals, white pepper, crushed thyme & tarragon on the Chateau d’Or et Gueules Rose Les Cimels. Has higher acidity (I call it mouth-watering acidity) and a less fruit/more earthy […]

GIBBS Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley 2017

Gibbs Sauvignon Blanc

I like a fresh & fruity Sauv Blanc just as much as the next guy. That’s why I like the Gibbs Sauvignon Blanc so much. I feel like I get my daily RDA of fruit with a couple of glasses! Smell and taste nectarines, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, pineapple and green apple. In classic Sauvignon Blanc […]

LE MARCHESINA Franciacorta Brut

Le Marchesina Franciacorta

The Le Marchesina Franciacorta cuvée is 70% Chardonnay followed by Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. It’s fresh and lively with floral (jasmine) and fruit basket (peach, nectarine, apple, Meyer lemon) smells and flavors. Light texture, dry, very easy to enjoy. I’m definitely going to buy some of this for my home…delicious Franciacorta (which is a […]

LOCALISM Torrontes 2017

Localism Torrontes

Napa winery Localism ventures out to Lodi (“Silvaspoons Vineyard,” although this is not stated on the label) for their Torrontes, a wine grape most associated with Argentina. The Localism Torrontes sports awesome aromas of citrus blossoms, grated fresh ginger, lemon cucumbers and honeysuckle. Light and easy-going in the mouth. Bright acidity, very light bodied (I’d […]

IL BORGHETTO “Monte de Sassi” 2013

Il Borghetto Monte de Sassi

The Il Borghetto Monte de Sassi is 100% Sangiovese from Estate property within the Chianti Classico region (see below). Delicious, quite rich and ready to enjoy. Smell and taste dark red cherry liqueur, violets and red roses, nutmeg and new leather handbag. Fruity, round and gratifying in the mouth with just enough old world savory […]

CUVAISON Chardonnay “Kite Tail” 2016

From a small block of Cuvaison’s Estate Vineyard, “Kite Tail” sports refreshing perky acidity to complement its rich ripe orchard and citrus fruit, buttery side and toasty oak (50% new French barrels). Smell and taste fresh Meyer lemons, white peaches, crisp pineapple, buttered wheat toast and honeysuckle. While it’s a Chardonnay for fans of the […]

CUVAISON Syrah “Estate” Carneros 2015

Cuvaison Syrah

Cool Carneros Syrah from a warm, dry vintage equals a very tasty, spicy, deep red wine that’s honest to the Syrah grape but not “too much.” Get blueberries, black cherry, cracked black pepper, smoked bacon, licorice and bittersweet chocolate. Medium acidity, creamy texture and notably lush, this Syrah will please both lovers of the grape […]

FROG’S LEAP Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

FROG’S LEAP Cabernet Sauvignon

All Valley floor vineyards owned and organically/dry farmed by Frog’s Leap. 22% Merlot & Cab Franc combined included. Dark red and blue fruit-focused backed up by cassis, cigar wrapper, black tea leaves, mocha and bittersweet chocolate. Medium/high acidity for Napa Cabernet and smooth tannins that support the wine but don’t make it dry. The winery […]

FROG’S LEAP Merlot 2015


In classic Frog’s Leap style, the 2015 Merlot is about bright, fresh berry/plum and pomegranate flavors backed up by dry bay leaf, tarragon, cocoa, and vanilla bean/toasted bread from the barrel. Medium/high acidity (for Napa Merlot), fine tannins and a long fresh summer berry finish. This will age like a champ. Surprising for some, it […]

FROG’S LEAP Chardonnay 2016

Frog's Leap Chardonnay

All the grapes for Frog’s Leap Chardonnay come from the “Truchard Vineyard” in Carneros. 37 year old vines, organic and dry-farmed. Unique winemaking process: barrel fermented almost to dryness, then moved to concrete tanks and sealed for months to complete first and partial second fermentation. On the crisper side of Chardonnay. Smell and taste ripe […]

FROG’S LEAP Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Frogs Leap Sauvignon Blanc

All Rutherford Valley floor, organic, dry farmed vineyards used to make Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc. Steel tank fermented and aged. Lees contact during its short rest in tank before bottling. Harvest spanned early August to early September: perfectly ripe grapes, not raisins, with bright acidity = lower alcohol, refreshing, crisp and multi-layered white wine. Smell […]

MASSICAN Gemina White Wine 2017

Massican Gemina

¾ Pinot Grigio, ¼ Greco (Wine geeks, think Greco di Tufo white wine from Campania, Italy). Massican Gemina is an intense wine, full of palate-tickling acidity and all parts of the lemon (zest, juice, seed, and don’t forget the lemon blossoms!). It’s bright acidity/nervy energy and food-friendly mineral edge is what we’ve come to expect […]

NEYERS Sage Canyon Red 2016

Neyers Sage Canyon

Neyers Sage Canyon is a Rhone-style red blend of 45% Carignane, 25% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah. Napa vintners Bruce and Barbara Neyers and their winemaker Tadeo Borchardt get grapes for “Sage Canyon” from the Sierra Foothills, Contra Costa County, Sonoma Valley and Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey. I totally dig this wine: it captures […]

LARKMEAD Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2015

Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon

These are the heights Napa Valley Cabernet can reach. “Estate” Cabernet between St Helena and Calistoga. (Worth paying a visit, by the way). Get fruit flavors of black currants, boysenberries and blueberries. The Larkmead sets itself apart, as it usually does, with vineyard-driven sensations of roast fennel and rosemary, musk, black olive, oiled leather and […]

SEVENTY FIVE WINE Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Seventy Five Cabernet Sauvignon

This Tuck Beckstoffer owned & produced wine is mostly Lake County fruit owned and farmed by the winery. The Seventy Five Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon is very ripe, dark, a little sweet, creamy and super-lush. The oak pops out on the nose then melts into the fruit as you taste. Has a solid 20 second […]

R.H. COUTIER Champagne Blanc de Blancs

Coutier Champagne Blancs

A bit of an oddity as it is made from 100% Chardonnay in Ambonnay, a village in the Champagne region Montagne de Reims: definitive Pinot Noir country. (It’s Pinot country because the soils lend themselves to making great Pinot-based Champagne.) Get pear/apple, ripe citrus, stone fruits (apricot, peach), fresh tarragon and lemon balm. Burst of […]