Kale “Home Run Cuvee” 2016

Kale Home Run Cuvee

Rhone-style wine specialist Kale Anderson’s Syrah/Grenache blend (about half of each) from the hillside “Kick Ranch” vineyard is outstanding. After just 20 minutes of breathing it shows lots of black pepper, kalamata olives and smoke accessorizing a the rich, ripe dark berry fruits (blackberry, mulberry, blueberry). Expansive in the mouth with fine tannins and a […]

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Dry aged-beef, black licorice and dried wild mushroom (umami!) generously frame black cherry liqueur and dark pomegranate smells and flavors in the 2003 Pella Cabernet Sauvignon. This hefty, rich Cab is in its prime: softened tannins, medium acidity, lovely bottle bouquet, plenty of youthful fruit swirling about. Drink this classic, aged Napa Cab with a […]

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Pella Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Showing focused dark red cherry, plum sauce and raspberry liqueur, the 2006 Pella Cabernet is keenly focused and impressively fresh 15 years post-harvest. Cedar, cassis and cigar wrapper aromas complement the lovely, deep fruits. Bottle age gifts the wine with the slightest cremini mushroom umami-ness that will assuredly develop over time. While on its long […]

Brockmeyer Grenache 2020

Brockmeyer Grenache

Family vineyard, 2 acre plot of 125 year old vines in Fresno. Picked at low resulting alcohol (under 13%) before the Central Valley heat turned the grapes to raisins. A red wine by winemaking definition, it falls in between red and rose on the appearance, flavor and texture spectrum. Intriguing flavors of hibiscus tea, raspberries, […]

Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon

Loaded with ripe, dark, enthusiastic cherry and pomegranate flavors, the Stellareese Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 leads with the fruit and follows it up with spice and sweet barrel. Cola, musk, vanilla bean and clove frame all its fruitiness: that cherry & pomegranate plus blackberry and plum preserves. Smooth, ample tannnins, vibrant core of acidity and a […]

Stellareese Grenache 2018

Stellareese Grenache

Loads of cracked black pepper, black licorice, caramel and berry liqueur smells introduce the Stellareese Grenache 2018. Spice and intense red fruits continue on the strong, high-octane palate. Wild mini-strawberries, hard raspberry candies, jasmine, lavender, grated ginger root, cinnamon and anise flavors dominate. With fine and firm tannins, good acidity and a 15 second spicy […]

Read Holland Pinot Noir “Deep End” 2018

Read Holland Pinot Noir

Snappy, bright cherry and raspberry pre-breathing soon turns to summer-ripe red cherries and raspberries, cherry liqueur, black truffle, black tea, dried red rose petals and minerally earthiness. The wine gets richer and more layered as the wine hangs out in the glass…gets better over 5+ hours of ample air exposure. Medium bodied, high intensity, youthful […]

Belharra Syrah Las Madres 2017

Belharra Syrah

A big nose of smoky, peppery, licoricey blackberries and violets introduce you to the 2017 Belharra Las Madres Syrah. Berries galore in the mouth, yet Syrah’s distinctive character is the star: bittersweet chocolate, smoked strip steak, leather handbag and anise. This cohesive, intense, “very Syrah” Syrah is a delicious, rich red wine. French oak aged…20% […]

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 […]

David Clinton Zinfandel Teldeschi 2017

David Clinton Zinfandel Mounts

Exceptionally spicy from start to finish, the David Clinton Zinfandel “Teldeschi” comes from 130 year old vines on the Dry Creek Valley’s east side. Amaro, black licorice, black pepper and musk permeate the raspberry/cherry liqueur, wild strawberry and pomegranate fruitiness. Such spice, from black pepper to Moroccan spices to brown pie spices. Juicy, healthy and […]

Coho Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Coho Cabernet Sauvignon

The Coho Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 starts with a Bordeaux-ish earthy-minty spice and warm berry fruitiness. In the mouth the Cab is medium/full bodied, carefully extracted and layered. Deep red berry and pomegranate fruits, crushed bay and mint leaves, sassafras and toasty vanilla bean (50% new French oak aged). Exceptionally delicious at its relatively young age, […]

Coho Merlot 2016

Coho Merlot

Sweet, rich aromas of black cherry liqueur, black licorice, cinnamon sticks and roast coffee. In the mouth the 2016 Coho Merlot Michael Black moves to the dark red fruit spectrum with pomegranates, deep raspberry and very ripe plums on the fruit side & five-spice, cola, cinnamon toast and mocha on the non-fruit side. Pleasing core […]

Localism Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2018

Localism Cabernet Sauvignon

Cut from the same cloth stylistically as Heitz and Chateau Montelena, but from a different part of Napa, the Localism Cabernet Sauvignon is super-aromatic, layered and classy. Smell the blueberry, pomegranate, bay laurel, leather handbag and toasty five grain bread. The taste quickly evolves into ripe blackberries, cocoa, earthy tobacco and pomegranate. Like an outdoor […]

Dancing Crow Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Dancing Crow Cabernet

Smell cassis, fresh blackberry, plum compote and crushed garden herbs. In the mouth the 2018 Dancing Crow Cabernet Sauvignon, albeit young, is mouth-filling and flashy. Doses and dabs of cedar, cigar box included, all with a warmth from careful use of French and Hungarian oak. Tasty now, but the takeaway is the delicious future of […]

Dancing Crow Old Stake 1901 2018

Dancing Crow Old Stake

Eight principal grape (+ a couple dozen other red and white grapes) field blend, co-harvest, co-ferment. The old vines date as far back as 1901.  Refreshing, briary red berry fruits and sun-dried garden herbs the initial impressions. Starts quite tight, almost light. An hour of splashing or open bottle overnight brings deeper color, darker fruit […]

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 […]

Post & Vine Old Vine Field Blend 2017

Post & Vine Red 2017

The 2017 Post & Vine Old Vine Field Blend is a blend of Zinfandel (34%), Carignane (32%), Petite Sirah (30%) and Grenache (4%) from 65 year old vines in Mendocino’s Redwood Valley. In true field blend method, all four varietals are harvested and fermented together. The old vines give the wine its spicy, earthy soul. […]

BOHÈME Pinot Noir Taylor Ridge 2018

Boheme Pinot Noir Taylor Ridge

The Bohème Pinot Noir Taylor Ridge 2018 has an honest Burgundy-like savory-ness from start to finish. Wild red cherries, blood orange, bone broth, cracked peppercorns, cola, black tea and cooking herbs please the senses and take me on an olfactory journey. Is it Sonoma Coast? Is it Old World? Texturally Bohème Taylor Ridge Pinot is […]

BOHÈME Pinot Noir Occidental Hills 2018

Boheme Pinot Noir Occidental Hills

The Bohème Pinot Noir Occidental Hills comes from an undisclosed vineyard farmed by Kurt Beitler. The site’s particularly cool micro-climate allows for extended hang time, resulting in a nicely developed, ripe and beautifully balanced Pinot Noir. Ripe red cherries, brown pie spices, anise, blueberres, black tea and cola flavors are generous and expressive even in […]

Fortunati Pinot Noir 2018

Fortunati Pinot Noir 2018

2021 addendum to April 2020 posting: Re-tasted with Gary Luchtel then took it home to make video below. Youthful glow remains. Has the same arousing aromatics noted last year as well as its bright, intense berry/darker citrus and herbal tea flavors. It was a most enjoyable drink. That said, I’ve recalibrated my optimum drinking zone […]

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 […]

Prima Materia Aglianico

Prima Materia Aglianico

Dark color, spicy ripe berry nose, strong flavor with low acid and soft tannins. The dark cocoa, wild mushroom and black licorice complement the oodles of concentrated blackberry, black currant and dried black fig flavors. While not so many wine drinkers know Aglianico, many do know strong red wine and like it. Such drinkers will […]

Jolie Laide Grenache Syrah Mourvedre 2018

Jolie Laide GSM

Ripe and sweet-smelling blueberries, black licorice, dry-aged beef, violets and lavender and earthy spices come to mind on the Jolie Laide GSM’s deep, complex nose. In the mouth, the wine is layered, intense and youthful. Red berry and plum fruits peek through along with mandarin orange, new leather and cracked black pepper. Built to last […]

Jolie Laide Gamay 2019

Jolie Laide Gamay

Stealing from co-owner/winemaker Scott Schultz, the Jolie Laide Gamay “Barsotti” 2019 is “Wild strawberry and summer herbs with cranberry tartness.” Running alongside the strawberry nose is watermelon Jolly Rancher, dried orange peels, violets and black tea. Tartness indeed, although I prefer tangy…same thing but sounds better. Because I know the vines grow in granite, I […]