APSARA Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Apsara Sauvignon Blanc

Such a no-brainer for Sauvignon Blanc fans…owner/maker Robin Akhurst consistently nails it with this wine. 2016: rich ripe lemon, white peach, lemon tea, kiss of the tropical fruits. Lovely texture…more than most SBs (barrel ferment in neutral oak then tank aged for 6 months). “Fancier” wineries would sell this, easily, for twice the price. More […]



The grapres come from an organic vineyard in the moderate climate of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. 7 day ferment on the skins gives the wine a distinctive flavor and texture that’s akin to key lime, kiwi, green pineapple and crushed almonds. In the mouth you get aggressive acidity and a sharpness that many will like […]

CAVE DOG Albariño, Napa Valley 2017

Cave Dog Albarino

Lemony/orange-y citrus, chalky, grapefruit, tangy nose stays pleasantly, startlingly tart in the mouth. This wine is all about yellow citrus flavors, both the juice and the zest. A chalky note, along with a smidge of bread crust from lees-aging, describes the wine’s complexity. “Liveliness and aromatic zest” is how owner/winemaker Michael Havens describes it. Indeedy […]

TRINAFOUR French Colombard 2017

Trinafour French Colombard

This grape of Gascony, France origin is sporadically planted in Northern California. These vines are REALLY spread out (see note below) in Mendocino’s Redwood Valley. The Trinafour French Colombard is very high natural acidity (very tangy…some would say tart) is softened by neutral barrel fermentation and weekly lees-stirring before bottling. Smell and taste tart green […]

POST & Vine “Old Vine Field Blend” 2014

Post & Vine Old Vine Field Blend

The Post & Vine Old Vine Field Blend is equal parts Petite Sirah, Carignane and Grenache from 60+ year old vines in Redwood Valley, eastern Mendocino County (warm!). This is a special red wine that combines ripe berry fruits, healthy acidity, dried spice and exotic flower smells and flavors. The brambly berry, spicy, bold flavors […]

OLIVIA BRION “Taquine” 2017

Olivia Brion Taquine

Blend of Viognier, Chardonnay, Vermentino and Orange Muscat. Orange blossoms, honeysuckle, mango and Meyer lemon aromas move to tastes of the same with a food-friendly bittersweet note of lemon bitters and peach pit. Floral, exotic, fresh and MORE than just exotic and fun. The chalky/lemon herbal finish makes for an interesting wine for food pairings. […]


Mas Grand Plagniol Costieres de Nimes

Southern French white blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier. It’s fresh, aromatic, fruity, fleshy. Get fresh melons, peaches, pears, light floral and tropical. No oak. Medium acidity. Stood up to my squash ravioli in tomato sauce. This is my house white wine, and a Hall of Fame Value! If you’re looking for delicious, great […]

Clefs des Murailles Vacqueyras 16

Clefs des Murailles Vacqueyras

A tasty Southern Rhone Valley red from the highly regarded village/appellation of Vacqueyras. Typical blend of the area: 70% Grenache followed by Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault. This wine has loads of ripe, dark, slightly jammy blueberries and dark strawberries plus anise, lavender and cracked black pepper. A whiff of barnyard but no more. (Good bret, […]

FARELLA Sauvignon Blanc “La Luce” 2017

FARELLA Sauvignon Blanc

All Estate, Coombsville fruit. Year to year one of my favorite Napa Sauv Blancs. I like the 2017 at lease as much as any of its predecessors. Get ripe lemon, peach, Macintosh apples, spring flowers and chopped tarragon and lemon thyme from friendly nose to fruity, dry finish. This is an all-steel tank ferment and […]

PIEVALTA Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi 2016

Pievalta Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi

This is a delicious, light, crisp white wine from the Le Marche region in central Italy, Adriatic Coast on its east side. It’s a go-to fish wine of the area, and for Italian white drinkers everywhere. Smell and taste lemon zest, orange blossoms, tangy green apple skins & flesh, kiwi and nectarine. Bright for sure, […]

GEBESHUBER White “Klassik” 2017

Gebeshuber White Klassik

This is made from two native white varieties of Thermenregion: Zierfandler and Rotgipfler (50-50). See Austria wine map below and you’ll notice Thermenregion starts immediately Southwest of Vienna. It’s quite warm here for winegrowing – more like Bordeaux than Germany, which is rather surprising at first. This is a delicious, aromatic white wine with lots […]

APSARA Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014

APSARA Cabernet Sauvignon

On the dark red moving to black fruit spectrum of flavors. Smell and taste dark red cherries, blackberries, cocoa, black currant, black olive, tobacco, toasty vanilla and a smidge of dry-aged beef. Well-structured…plenty of fine tannins and acidity that tells me it will age gracefully for 15+ years. Definitely a Napa Valley Cab (St Helena […]

WATERMARK Cabernet Sauvignon Mt Veeder 2013

Watermark Cabernet Sauvignon

Deep, dark and dense from start to finish, the Watermark Mt Veeder Cabernet 2013 (from “Wildcat Vineyard” at 2000+ feet elevation) boasts smells and flavors of sun-soaked blackberries, dark chocolate, black licorice, cola, tobacco and black cherry compote. Thick and rich in the mouth with firm “mountain tannins” and quite low acidity, all inside a […]

Paul Dethune Champagne “Princesse des Thunes”

Paul Dethune Champagne

Released as a “mature” style of Champagne: 1/2 Chardonnay, 1/2 Pinot Noir. Barrel aged, including 30% “Reserve” wine that is a multi-vintage blend dating back to the 1970s. Nose has a light Fino Sherry character with preserved lemon zest, day-old green apple skins, and peach puree. Flavor is savory, earthy, and wonderfully developed. The mature […]

Hudson “White Study” 2017

Hudson White Study

Light, bright and intense, “White Study” is a unique, tiny-production wine that Hudson Vineyards makes as much for their own pleasure as to sell. Four grape blend: three Italian varietals Ribolla, Arneis and Friulano and Albariño (Spanish origin) finishing it off at 18% of the blend. Steel tank & neutral oak fermented and briefly aged. […]

LINGUA FRANCA Pinot Noir “Avni” 2016

Lingua Franca Pinot Noir Avni

Dark wild cherries, dried red rose petals, mincemeat and truffle introduce you to this “entry level” Pinot Noir from Master Sommelier-turned-vintner Larry Stone. The taste continues on the flavors above along with dark plums and a background earthy/rocky flavor that defines its Pinot Noir-ness. Excellent balance of ripe fruit, invigorating acidity and mouth-filling texture. Drinking […]

FORTUNE 1621 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

FORTUNE 1621 Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark berry and cherry compote, cocoa and cinnamon nose moves to more of the same fruits, pomegranate syrup, dark chocolate and blueberry pie flavors. Rich, smooth, and very satisfying. I am so impressed with how good this wine is, year to year, for under $30/bottle. Napa Cabernet fans looking for a reasonably priced “House Wine” […]

INNOCENT BYSTANDER Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Innocent Bystander Sauvignon Blanc

If you’re wary of Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, you’re not alone. It falls into the “too ___” complaint box, as in too grassy, too green, too tart. I suggest you give this a try as it possesses the distinctive flavors of NZ SB but not too much of anything. Smell and taste lime blossoms, […]

BROKENWOOD Semillon, Hunter Valley 2016

Brokenwood Semillon

If you’re a fan of bright-acid white wines that sing even sweeter with food, then quality Semillon from Australia’s Hunter Valley should be in your repertoire. And here’s an excellent one to start, or continue. Smell and taste grapefruit, crisp green apples, lemon oil, lemon/lime, kiwi (frankly, if you can think of a fruit that […]

ABIOUNESS “Amrita” 2017

Abiouness Amrita

Mighty floral and aromatic from start to finish. Get orange blossoms, lemon zest, fresh ginger, pineapple and honeysuckle…and lots of them. It sits lightly yet intently in the mouth with fruit, floral and spice all playing their part. Fermented completely dry. That said, this super-aromatic white wine is the type some will call “sweet” by […]

VILLA VARDA Friuli Grave – Refosco 2016

Villa Varda Refosco

Starts out with aromas of brambly berries (black and raspberries), anise, black pepper and rosemary. Taste is more of the same with no one flavor dominating the others. Summertime berries, rosemary/thyme, peppercorns and black truffle. All lightly polished by gentle winemaking and brief time in barrel. Reminds me of high quality Côtes du Rhône (which […]

Trinoro “Le Cupole” Rosso 2015

Le Cupole Trinoro

Since the late 1990s Tenuta di Trinoro’s Bordeaux-style red blends have been some of the world’s buys. The 2015 Trinor0 Le Cupole Rosso is 58% Cabernet Franc, 32% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petit Verdot. All “Estate” fruit located in the southeast corner of Tuscany. Powerful, dark, spiced and very structured (tannic) today, this is built […]