Doran Vineyards Pinotage 2013

Nice, balanced offering of South Africa's patented Pinot Noir x Cinsault crossing from a fairly new domaine near Paardeberg Mountain (fun fact: at the turn of the last century, South African farmers had nicknamed Cinsault "Hermitage," so "Pinotage" naturally followed). Pale ruby with bright reflections and pink-ish rim. The nose at once shows ripe and … Continue reading Doran Vineyards Pinotage 2013

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Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2014

This is some of the best New Zealand has to offer for serious, food-friendly Chardonnay at an "everyday drinking" price point. The flinty, Chablis-esque nose entices with subtle aromas of crisp green apple and wet stones; as well as not-so-subtle aromas of aged sheepsmilk cheese. Concentrated but mineral-driven and bone-dry. Slightly spritzy feel on attack … Continue reading Kumeu Village Chardonnay 2014

Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Pale straw color and star bright. Pretty nose offering candied lime, grapefruit, melon, peach, citrus blossom and wet stones with the slightest hint of bitter herbs. Fresh and lively with a core of citrus wrapped neatly in minerality, the finish is bright and crisp. Beefed up a bit by a sprinkling of S millon and … Continue reading Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Sleight of Hand, The Sorceress. 2015

Killer juice from one of the great producers of Rhône varietals in Walla Walla. Don't let the cartoon-y branding fool you; the team at Sleight of Hand makes some of the most seriously delicious and food-friendly wines in WA State. This blend is sourced from old vine sites in the Columbia Valley. Pale ruby in … Continue reading Sleight of Hand, The Sorceress. 2015

Groth Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Valley Floor Sauvignon Blanc from one of Oakville's top grower/producers. Medium straw and star-bright. Mandarin, lime and grapefuit aromatics intermingle with tropical fruit, grass, wet stone and asparagus. Very energetic on the palate. Full-throttle citrus attack, followed by a seemingly soft midpalate leading to a crisp, herbaceous and bitter finish. Lipsmackingly fresh and DYING for … Continue reading Groth Sauvignon Blanc 2017

L’Ermitage Brut 1997

Top bottling from Roederer Estate's Mendocino property in the Anderson Valley. 50/50 Pinot/Chard topped with a "reserve dosage" aged at least 5yrs in French oak before an additional five months of bottle ageing before release. A gentle layer of fine bubbles appear upon pouring but quickly dissipate, revealing a medium-concentrated gold wine showing its maturity … Continue reading L’Ermitage Brut 1997

Beringer Chardonnay 2016, Oak Knoll District

The ‘terroir‘ and climate in California varies a lot, the Pacific Ocean brings cold winds that generates a temperate climate and fog nearby, while mountain barriers like in Sonoma and Napa keeps the weather warm. There are more then 100 AVAs in California among which the famous Napa, Russian River Valley, Rutherford and Sonoma. The … Continue reading Beringer Chardonnay 2016, Oak Knoll District

Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, 2016

This is a beauty from one of the most highly regarded California Pinot Noir producers. Ripe and expressive, there is no shortage of sweet citrus and tropical fruit on the nose, which is fairly intense. Very focused. Some wood frames the fruit nicely and adds a polished feel on the palate. The attack's initial richness … Continue reading Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, 2016

Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 1996

Drink now. Open and expressive, this Cab goes back to the days when the actual Mondavi family was still running things at Robert Mondavi Winery. Brick color gives way to a garnet rim. This is a dead-ringer for quality St. Julien with aromas of kirsch, tobacco and tomato leaf. Full but restrained with a dry … Continue reading Robert Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 1996

Stag’s Leap Fay. Cabernet Sauvignon 2002.

Dense, concentrated and still quite youthful, this wine hails from historic Stag's Leap Wine Cellars first Estate vineyard planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in the eponymous district of Southeastern Napa. Very balanced but still compact on the palate; the firmness of the tannins tells this taster that this wine is still in its adolescence. W.M.