August 7, 2018
Coho Headwaters

COHO “Headwaters” Napa Valley 2014

“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 Napa AVA. The likes of dark tobacco, bittersweet chocolate, espresso and truffle shake hands with ripe blueberry and black cherry. Vibrant acidity, medium/full body, careful use of French oak. It’s all there. This is a sleeper wine for the cellar. Pull this out in 2030, […]
August 7, 2018
Steady State Red Wine

STEADY STATE Red Wine 2015

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 cocoa. I call this a “generous” wine as it shows everything its got. Still, it has just enough restraint (i.e. not sweet nor jammy) with acidity and tannins to support the wine. More Information Collusion is one of the wines owned/made by Grounded Wine Co […]
March 24, 2018
villa ragazzi faraona

Villa Ragazzi “Faraona” Napa Valley 2014

“Super Tuscan” style blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is powerful like a lady gymnast rather than a male weightlifter.  Black currant, dark raspberry, cedar, orange tea and tobacco smells and flavors all tightly packed into this intense, youthful wine whose best days are well ahead of it (2025-2030 best drinking I think). 13.6% alcohol, medium/high tannins, low oak influence by Napa standards. If I had a child born in 2014 this would definitely make my birth year collection.   The Rodeno Family, owners and winemakers of Villa Ragazzi, take Sangiovese seriously. Their Oakville home and vineyard […]
March 4, 2018
Dan Dawson's Wine Advisor

TETHER Napa Valley Red Wine 2014

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, then Petit Verdot & Malbec. All five of the (modern day) Bordeaux grapes used. Howell Mountain, Calistoga and St Helena fruit (all vineyards with reputations of making bold, dark, structured wine). Bullseye hit by Tether in making a rich, strong, lush and accessible Napa Cab style, at a relatively accessible price. All dark, sun-soaked, deep black berries/cherries with fragrant Indian spices, toasty barrel, vanilla bean and dark chocolate all over the place. This is a rock-solid Cab Sauv based blend recommendation for $50. The talented Anna Monticelli, winemaker and co-owner (with Napa […]
February 20, 2018
massiglia red Napa

Massiglia Red Napa Valley 2014

“Massiglia” (the ancient name of Marseilles, the French Mediterranean home-town of owner Maurice Marciano) is a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Cabernet Franc. It is owned, grown and made and by Marciano Estate Winery in western St Helena. This is a generous, very rich, provocative red that, at first whiff, you know it’s one of Napa’s top-tier wines. Deep, strong dark red and black cherry liqueur, cocoa, baking spice and cola aromas move gracefully to a rich, lush, deep and frankly “yummy” flavor and texture. Mocha, cedar and warm chocolate croissant also come to mind, then a finish of […]
January 17, 2018
Petit Batard Red Wine

PETIT BATARD Red Wine 2012

This blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon and 21% Merlot, all from St Helena’s “Lewelling Ranch,” represents one of Napa Valley’s best Cabernet values. And, for your cherry on top, note that it’s from the showy 2012 vintage. Generously endowed with toasty new French oak, get vanilla bean, cola, cinnamon, allspice and 12 year barrel-aged Bourbon, the fruit measures up. Concentrated black cherry, currant and blackberry mostly. If you like your Napa reds lavishly oaked, this is definitely for you. Petit Batard is the second label for XTANT winery.   Total production is tiny: under 500 cases for both wines. Jeff Gaffner, […]