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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Becheur Syrah, Mt Veeder

Becheur Syrah

Deep, purplish-red color. Savory aroma full of Syrah goodness: dry aged beef, black peppercorns, oiled leather, black olive. Don’t forget the blackberry/blueberry…it takes a couple of minutes to emerge then BAM you get a basket of berries too. Everything’s integrated, soft tannins, dandy acidity, seamless transitions from nose to taste, taste to finish. Is this […]

Becheur Mourvedre 2018

Becheur Mourvedre

100% 100+ year old vine Mourvedre from the Sacramento Delta (vineyard is near the town of Pittsburg). Generous amounts of dark plum, blueberry and blackberry fruit, nicely complemented by Mourvedre’s black licorice, earthy truffle, crusty cigar wrapper and black pepper flavors. Good, brightening acidity and fine, firm tannins. Ready to enjoy now…fantastic choice for a […]

Argus Pinot Noir 2018

Argus Pinot Noir

Fruit-focused Pinot Noir with concentrated, dark red cherry and raspberry flavors and a gentle touch of sweet, toasty oak. Black licorice, cherry bitters and garden thyme flavors kick in as the wine gets more savory in the second half (i.e. back palate and finish). I found the grip of tannins when first opened quickly softened […]

Peter Paul Pinot Noir Gravenstein Hwy 2019

Peter Paul Pinot Noir Gravenstein Highway

The Peter Paul Pinot Noir Gravenstein Highway has a brilliant, translucent scarlet color. Smell tree-ripened red cherries, lavender, roses and blood oranges, then taste the cherries, some raspberries and black tea. With air the wine gets more fruity and layered (note it’s a 2019…not even a year has past since harvest). It’s light, but it’s […]

Peter Paul Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2018

Peter Paul Chardonnay

The Peter Paul Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2018 straddles the style-line between crisp/refreshing and rich/round. The difference between this and most others in this Chardonnay middle ground is cohesion. What’s that mean? Often, crisp and rich don’t work together. You get a mouthful of tang then a wallop of rude oak flavor. Or the other way […]

Cottebrune Faugères Rouge 2016

Cottebrune Faugeres Red 16

This Grenache/Syrah blend blend from the high quality yet relatively unknown Faugères appelation is a real gem. Growing in high density vineyards in the foothills of France’s Massif Central, Cottebrune Faugères “Les Moulins” is pure and pretty with loads of red plum, raspberry, strawberry and peppery spice pleasure. A subtle floral component-fresh violets and lavender-lurks […]

Cave Dog Godello 2019

Cave Dog Godello

Starts off with an engaging, controlled nose of dried flowers, candle wax and citrus zest. Tangy and rounded texture in the mouth as flavors of baked green apples, mangoes, Meyer lemons and river rocks take their turn. I really like the beeswax texture of the wine – I’d guess it is Semillon if tasted blind […]

Onward Malvasia Bianca 2016

Onward Malvasia Bianca

An “aromatic white” through and through, the Onward Malvasia Bianca 2016 smells of lemon verbena, wildflowers, coriander seeds and white pepper. The taste is intense, smooth and filled with fresh lemon zest, crisp pear and citrus bitters flavors. Medium/light bodied, pure and penetrating, it’s an ideal wine to pair with similarly light and strong flavored […]

Miss Olivia Brion Pinot Noir 2016

Olivia Brion Pinot Noir

More savory and spicy than fruity, the 2016 Olivia Brion Pinot immediately impresses with dried red roses, oil-cured olives, dry-aged beef filet and concentrated dark cherries. In the mouth black truffle, black cherry, blackberry, warm spices and roast coffee, all nicely married, make for a lot of pleasure. Rich, textured and bold with classic Pinot […]

Mi Terruño Malbec “Reserve” 2016

Mi Terruno Malbec

Strong red berry compote and toasty oak at first whiff quickly transforms to a layered, deep red fruit, strong yet balanced red wine. Get kirsch, fresh blueberries, licorice, mineral, crushed thyme and black pepper. Medium/full bodied with soft tannins and acidity that give the wine structure. I had this wine with grilled flap steak tacos. […]

Farmstrong “Field White” 2016

Farmstrong Field White

Three grape blend of Grenache Blanc, Albariño, Verdelho, all from Suisun Valley vineyards. Orchard fruits and honeysuckle on the nose. Taste ripe pears and peaches, Meyer lemon and honeycomb (sans the sweetness). Creamy texture like Chardonnay yet with distinctly different flavor profile. Long, 20+ second finish of floral, fruit and pleasant lemon bitters. Really classy […]

Navarro “Navarrouge” 2018

Navarro Navarrouge

This blend of 46% Pinot Noir, 18% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Petite Sirah is out of the ordinary when it comes to red blends. Pinot Noir is rarely a blending wine, let alone the base wine. But if anyone is going to make such a blend, it’s Navarro because A) they […]

Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest Riesling

Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest

Botrytis-heavy, late harvest grapes from Navarro’s vineyards harvested primarily for their dry Riesling. Honeyed green apple, lemon-lime, mandarin orange, lemon verbena. High sugar, high glycerine, core of acidity to support the wine. This is a mouthful of fun. Navarro also bottles this wine in 750 ML bottles and sell it for $70. I base my […]

Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

Navarro Cluster Select Late Harvest

Awesome dessert wine. Harvested in mid-October with botrytis throughout the clusters. Honeyed pineapple, papaya, mango, heirloom apples, Meyer lemon. Very sweet and perfectly tangy too. May be the best California dessert wine I’ve ever had. I don’t care to fuss with food matches but prefer to drink it by its lonesome. If you do want […]

Decoy Red Blend 2017

Decoy Red Blend

I really like this wine. Smells and tastes of fresh red berries, French toast (just the smell), black licorice and pomegranate. This is ripe buy stays away from the popular over-ripe red blend style. I prefer the non-jammy character of the Decoy Red Blend. This can be found for under $20/bottle in some retail outlets […]

Quigley Family Pinot Noir “Hicks” 2018

Quigley Family Pinot Noir

New winery based in Napa buys two barrels worth of Pinot Noir from a vineyard near Aptos and the Pacific Ocean. The wine brims with fresh wild cherries, kirsch and blood orange with savory flavors of white mushrooms, fresh violets and light toast complimenting. A young pup, no doubt, and one that is best to […]

Quigley Family Chenin Blanc 2018

Quigley Chenin Blanc

The Quigley Chenin Blanc starts off with smells of crisp green apples and crunchy pears, lemon blossoms and oyster shells. The taste is full of citrus with some kiwi and honeycomb in there, too. What REALLY sets this wine apart for me is the expansive texture (“volume” is the word Patrick Quigley uses) this has […]

Decoy Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Decoy Sauvignon Blanc

A solid California Sauvignon Blanc start to finish, showing off smells and flavors of honeydew melon, papaya, lemon-lime and lemongrass. Pleasing tang of acidity in the mouth and a finish that fleshes out, leaving you with lemon zest garden herbs on the finish. Decoy’s umbrella-winery Duckhorn knows a thing or two about making premium Sauvignon […]

Mumm Napa Sparkling Wine “Brut Prestige”

Mumm Napa sparkling seems to be everywhere. If a store sells wine, good bet they sell Mumm Napa. Might make you think it’s mediocre, understandably, but not the case. It’s tangy, toasty, and like a good dog you can count on it being there to make you smile. The tang and toast make the Mumm […]

La Taille aux Loups “Triple Zero” Brut

Taille aux Loups Triple Zero

There’s hip wine and then there’s really really good hip wine. Jacky Blot and his son “J.P.” grow Chenin Blanc in Montlouis, Loire Valley. 40+ year old vine fruit picked at perfect maturity. A “Pet Nat” or Petillant Naturel: single fermentation (in barrel), transferred to bottle to finish its single ferment. Triple Zero as in […]