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 […]

Parador Tempranillo Napa Valley 2016

Parador Tempranillo

Begins with a dark berry, cocoa powder, black licorice, tobacco and roasting lamb leg aroma. Taste, too, is rich, spicy and earthy with loads of deep berry fruitiness. Light oak, adding a subtle note of vanilla toast. With fine tannins and healthy acidity, the Parador Tempranillo 2016 is drinking fantastic these days and will be […]

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 […]

RAGBAG Albarino Terra Alta 2017

Ragbag Albarino

Here’s a tasty, dry, no-oak Sauvignon Blanc-alternative white wine to check out. From the hills east of Lodi where Spanish varietals, like Albariño, have established a strong foothold. Smell and taste lemon verbena, grapefruit, fresh sliced peaches and a whisper of chalk dust. Medium acidity. Orange wedges and citrus blossoms on the finish. Have with […]

FERDINAND Albarino 2016

Ferdinand Albarino 2016

The Spanish grape Albariño has found if not a home then a vacation getaway in California. Napa producer Ferdinand acquires Albariño from Lodi’s “Vista Luna Vineyard” to make this crisp, aromatic, texturally pleasing white. I love its fresh floral, citrus basket and Granny Smith apple smells and flavors plus the crunchy-ness and mouth-watering acidity. Still, […]

KONGSGAARD Albarino Napa Valley 2017

Kongsgaard Albarino 2017

From a tiny plot of Albariño in “Hudson Vineyard” planted specifically for Kongsgaard. Orange zest, mineral and citrus blossom nose. Then take a sip: tangy! Almost, but not quite, tart. First sip grabs you with acidity, then the palate adjusts and it’s a joy. Lemonheads, yellow grapefruit, Macintosh apple, lemongrass flavors come to mind. Lees-stirring […]

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 […]