Vineyard 2006 Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
Sourced from selected blocks from the winery's original
estate, this latest Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon
is a fine expression of the area's terroir. Swirl a glass
to release aromas of ripe bramble fruit, black currants,
dark chocolate, coffee, clove, and licorice. Full-bodied
with a firm structure, the wine is still rather smooth with
blackberry, plum, semi-sweet chocolate, and roast coffee
flavors drifting across the palate. There is great aging
potential here. Ten years in the cellar would do wonders.
Vineyards 2006 Trout Gulch Vineyard Pinot Noir /
Ben Lomond Mt.
in the sub-AVA of Ben Lomond Mt., the Pinot shows superb
color in a glass. Swirl and take in the rich aromas
of damp earth, ripe cherry, and raspberry, as well as
sweet hints of vanilla, clove, and cola. A sip brings
a rush of red berry flavor and creamy, toasty vanilla
that move into notes of truffles, spice, and a kiss
of minerals. A very nice wine that paired well with
grilled chicken seasoned with thyme.
Ridge Vineyards 2006 Viognier / Santa Cruz Mountains
Brosseau's first effort as winemaker, this Viognier
presents with a vibrant burnt-golden hue. Aged in a
combination of French oak and stainless steel, a freshly
swirled glass releases a full bouquet of honeysuckle,
melon, peach, and vanilla. With a sip, this crisp, light
wine delivers flavors of ripe pear, creamy vanilla,
tart critus fruit, and a touch of orange blossom. A
fresh zip of acidity brings the wine to a bold, refreshing
finish. It is quite suitable for an warm evening on
the back porch.
Ridge Vineyards 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon / Santa Cruz Mountains
from entirely estate fruit, this Cabernet Sauvignon was
accented with a touch of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, then
aged in French oak for 20 months. In a glass, this ruby-violet
wine opens up with rich cherry aromas, followed by deeper
notes of rose petal, tar, and earth. On the palate, flavors
of blackberry, cherry, truffles, and hints of spice unfold
with each slow sip. A soft wine with light tannins makes
for great drinkability. Try it with a plank steak with
onions and cumin seeds.
Ridge Vineyards 2006 San Andreas Red / Santa Cruz Mountains
blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet
Franc, and 1% Petit†Verdot presents with a lovely
deep red-purple hue. Swirling unfurls rich cherry, blackberry,
and raspberry aromas, along with softer hints of oak and
pepper. Firm tannins provide a solid backbone as the same
berry flavor envelopes the palate. Touches of vanilla,
coffee, and black pepper round out the profile. Drink
it now with a dry aged rib eye steak baked in rosemary
salt or cellar it for later. Either way, it promises not
Ridge Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Franc / Santa Cruz Mountains
exclusively for members of the Black Ridge Circle Wine
Club, there were only 61 cases of this wine produced.
Produced from estate grown fruit, the wine is rich and
well-structured with ample tannins. Flavors of ripe cherry
and black currants flow into notes of earth, roasted coffee,
and black olive. This is a fine example of the varietal
for the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Doon Vineyard 2005 Le Cigare Volant / California
we have a lovely, layered old world blend of 50% grenache,
24% mourvËdre, 22% syrah, 3% carignan, 1% cinsault.
Swirl a glass and indulge in the effervescent herbal and
floral aromas, with highlights of cherry and bacon. A sip
brings back the red berries and flows into notes of lavender,
chocolate, cinnamon, truffles, and a touch a cigar. The
finish is smooth, yet bright with the lingering essence
of minerals. Cook up some lamb chops seasoned with dill,
or spoil your taste buds by pairing it with a Chef Pascal
truffle from Vosges Chocolates, a superb blend of Kirsch,
dark chocolate, and dried Michigan cherry.
Doon Vineyard 2007 Le Cigare Blanc / Arroyo Seco
keeping with the great tradition of blended wines of Ch‚teauneuf-du-Pape,
Le Cigar Blanc is a blend of 64% Roussanne and 36% Grenache
Blanc. Swirling a glass releases a rush of fresh mineral
aromas complimented by hints of apple and pear. The wineís
fresh acidity carries crisp flavors of pear, apple, and
peach with the pronounced mineral accents to a dry, hot
finish. Anything from fresh seafood to a basic roast chicken
would make great accompaniment for this wine.
School Vineyards 2005 “Teacherís Pet"
Chardonnay / Santa Cruz Mountains
from their estate vineyard located at over 1500 feet in
the Santa Cruz Mountains, this lively Chardonnay shows nice
flavor development, as well as a crisp, refreshing acidity.
When sipped slowly, the wine unfurls with layers of flavor,
opening with ripe red apple, apricot, and toasty oak, then
flowing into enriched hints of citrus, caramel, and nut.
A lovely, bright wine that deserves the company of lime
and ginger grilled prawns with cilantro-garlic butter. Enjoy
a bottle now or cellar it for 3-5 years and see what treat
School Vineyards 2005 “Principal's Choice"
Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
together four different French clones and aging in French
oak for 18 months have produced a very nice wine. A very
bright Pinot, with excellent structure, swirling a glass
releases delectable aromas of plum, strawberry, raspberry,
and cola along with gamy notes. The palate is rich with
red fruit flavors, with hints of rose petal, sweet spice,
and chocolate adding a nice depth. Only 720 cases were
produced, so get a bottle or a case before they sell out.
School Vineyards 2005 “Extra Credit" Cabernet
Santa Cruz Mountains
on the Estate Pichon Vineyard and aged in American oak
for 18 months, this is the wineryís vintage of
Cabernet Franc. And fittingly, it is quite charming. An
alluring nose of boysenberry, raspberry, sweet tobacco,
and cedar-spice, along with subtle floral notes rise from
a freshly swirled glass. When sipped, red berry flavors
pack the palate, with deeper accents of earth and sweet
spice flowing into a lovely, lingering finish. Only 480
cases were produced, so get a bottle while you can.
School Vineyards 2005 “Honor Roll" Merlot / Santa
grown fruit was aged in French oak for 24 months for this
vintage. The resulting wine is big with bold, deep flavors.
Allowed to unwrap in a glass, fruit layers of black cherry
and plum flow into floral notes, with subtle hints of cocoa
as well as vanilla rounding out the palate. Full flavored
and well structured, this wine would stand up nicely to
a cumin crusted lamb loin. 575 cases were produced.
School Vineyards 2005 “Detention" Zinfandel
/ Amador County
historic Ryan Oaks Vineyard in Amador County provided
the fruit for this Zinfandel. From its bold ruby-purple
hue, aromas of plum, baked currants, cherry, and smoky
tobacco rise up. A sip carries zesty dark fruit flavors,
with accents of cinnamon and black licorice drifting across
the palate. A robust wine, pair it with grilled baby back
ribs with green onion, chiles, and lime and enjoy.
School Vineyards 2005 Estate Pichon Syrah /
Santa Cruz Mountains
at 1,200 to 1,800 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the
Pichon Vineyard has a history that dates back to the 1800ís.
This current offering of Syrah presents with an attractive,
soft garnet hue. Done in an elegant French style, the bouquet
opens up with ripe red berries. Notes of hickory bacon,
leather, white pepper, and licorice follow. Pair it with
pan-fried chicken breast in a red-wine and applewood-bacon
sauce and enjoy with some good friends.
School Vineyards 2005 ìDeanís Listî
Cabernet Sauvignon /
Santa Cruz Mountains
from fruit grown on the Pichon and Luchessi vineyards,
this blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and
5% Cabernet Franc was aged in French oak for 24 months.
The resulting wine unfolds with rich fruit flavors of
cherry, plum, and blackberry. Vibrant herbal notes, black
pepper, licorice, and smoky leather add a very nice depth.
Supple tannins and good structure promise this wine will
age quite nicely, so enjoy a bottle now, but save another
for the cellar.
School Vineyards 2005 “Schoolyard" Petite Sirah
Santa Cruz Mountains
is the first time Burrell School has released a Petite Sirah,
so only 61 cases were produced. Aged in American oak, the
wine presents with an elegant, deep purple color. The nose
is full of dark berries, vanilla, and bacon. A sip, and
the dark berries return alongside black plums, with complicating
gamier notes and a touch of white pepper. Try it with a
Venison Loin with tangerine, black pepper and cranberry
Winery 2006 Viognier / California
a grape commonly bottled on its own in California, this
offering was aged in French oak to bring out its soft, revitalizing
palate. From its pale, straw-colored hue rise up vibrant
aromas of honeysuckle, orange-blossoms, and vanilla. When
sipped, its crisp acidity carries bold tropical fruit and
subtle floral notes across the palate. Serve this wine with
a carrot, orange, and tarragon soup and enjoy. 146 cases
Winery 2006 Chardonnay / Santa Cruz Mountains
from the Redwood Hill Vineyard, the fruit was aged in
French oak prior to bottling. Swirl the glass and enjoy
the rich aromas of creamy oak and tropical fruit that
rise up. With a sip, smooth flavors of apple, pear, apricot,
and vanilla drift over the palate. Full-bodied with a
slightly creamy mouthfeel, this wine would pair well with
braised shrimp pasta in a creamy sauce.
Winery 2005 Alliage / Paso Robles
Bordeaux style blend combines Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
and Cabernet Franc from six different vineyards. Aged for
18 months in French and American oak, the wine has a rich
bouquet of sweet cherries, cedar, raspberry, and oak, with
hints of licorice and spice. Supple tannins and a nice acidity
make this wine quite drinkable with great potential for
aging. Open a bottle now with a thick New York steak and
keep one in the cellar for 5 to 10 years from now.
Winery 2004 Bates Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon /
Santa Cruz Mountains
we have a fine example of a Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernet.
Swirl and sip to discover the rich layers of flavors,
with black currants, truffles, earth, lavender, cherry,
and chocolate all mingling together. A concentrated, bold
wine now, it also has the structure to age for up to 10
years. 500 cases were produced to get a bottle to try
now and another to save for the cellar.
Winery 2005 Reichel Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon /
2000 feet above the Sonoma Valley in Geyserville, Byington
has been producing Cabernets from the fruit since the beginning
of the winery. After 20 months of barrel aging and no filtering,
the resulting wine is concentrated with supple tannins.
Allowed to open in a glass, deep flavors of cherry and blackberry
mingle with notes of lavender, cocoa, spice, and cedar.
Laid down properly, this is a wine that could age quite
Winery 2005 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon / Paso Robles
from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon fruit, with only seven barrels
chosen for the final blend, this is a bold, yet nicely
balanced wine. Aged in new oak, the wine opens nicely
in a glass, revealing ripe fruit flavors of blackberry
and boysenberry that wrap around soft notes of vanilla
and bright highlights of spice. With a full-body and supple
tannins, there is great promise for aging. Grill up a
couple of peppercorn seasoned steaks and uncork a bottle
Del Solo Estate Vineyard
Del Solo Estate Vineyard 2008 Muscat / Monterey County
to express the terroir of Monterey County, the winemaking
philosophy for the Caí Del Solo Vineyard is a ìhands
offî approach. The resulting wine has a vivid, fresh
bouquet dominated by honeysuckle and orange blossoms, with
more subtle notes of citrus fruits, sweet spice, and a touch
of must. Brighter and more acidic than most Muscats, flavors
of peach, apricot, and tangerine mingle with lively floral
notes on the palate. Pair a bottle with a fresh, homemade
apricot torte and indulge.
Del Solo Estate Vineyard 2008 Albarino / Monterey County
one of the rarer varietals in the world, it was rarely
seen outside the northwest Iberian Peninsula until 1989.
Crisp and fresh, the nose carries fresh fruit aromas of
lemon and grapefruit. Herbaceous notes and hints of exotic
spice round out the bouquet. When sipped slowly, refreshing
citrus flavors flow into subtle floral notes that come
to a very dry, punchy finish. Proscuitto or your favorite
shellfish are excellent parings for this wine. If you
love dry whites, give this a try.
Julien 2005 Bravura / Monterey County
from fruit grown on the winery's Monterey County Estate
Vineyard, this out of the ordinary blend of Merlot and
Melbec spent twenty-two months aging in fine French
oak. Allowed to open in a glass, this bold, dark ruby
wine unfolds with powerful red fruit flavors of plum,
cherry, and raspberry, accented by intrepid notes of
clove, earth, and smoke. Firm tannins and a vibrant
acidity give this wine a full, lingering finish. Drink
it now with a well-seasoned, tender roast, or let it
age in the cellar.
Julien 2005 3.2 Ton Merlot / Monterey County
lush, wet winter and modified pruning method helped bring
an early and full canopy development for all the varietals.
Prime Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from the Estate
Vineyard were then aged in the finest French oak for thirty
months. The resulting wine is a bold violet with a full
bouquet of ripe cherry, raspberry, pepper, vanilla, and
spice. Solid tannins and a bright finish give the wine
a full, yet supple character, and a good structure gives
it great potential for aging.
Julien 2006 Black Nova / Monterey County
grand blend of 60% Zinfandel and 40% Syrah, made from
exclusive Estate grown fruit, this is a lush, big, and
ripe wine. Twelve months of aging in New American Oak
brought out great complexity. Leisurely swirled and sipped,
rich layers of flavors unfurl with cherry and raspberry
flowing into deeper notes of vanilla, clove, oak, and
spice. Bright, smooth, and lingering at its finish, this
is a wine not soon forgotten. Only 300 cases were produced,
so get yourself a bottle while you can.
Vineyards & Winery
2006 Chardonnay / Santa Cruz Mountains
varied during the 2006 growing season, but overall the year
was long and dry with the fruit maturing at a leisurely
pace. Rich, creamy vanilla, butterscotch, oak, apple, and
peach aromas encompass a layered bouquet. When sipped slowly,
apple, pear, vanilla, banana, and a dash of sweet spice
drift over the palate. Smooth, with just the right zip of
acidity, this wine is highly drinkable. A chicken Caesar
salad would be a very nice pairing for this wine. Open a
bottle now, or give it a few years to develop.
2006 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Cruz Mountains are known for producing first-class
Pinot Noirs, and this bottle does not disappoint. From its
deep purple hue, fragrances of black cherry, dark plum,
a touch of lavender, and spice rise up. When sipped, a very
warm palate delivers ripe dark fruit flavors with nuances
of truffle oil, cloves, and minerals. Matched with a roast
pork tenderloin in a blackberry sauce, the wine promises
not to disappoint. Only 400 cases were produced, so get
a bottle while you can.
2004 Limited Production Petite Verdot / Lodi
from the banks of the Mokelumne River, this wine spent 30
months in American oak before bottling. Thus, only 250 cases
were produced. Swirling a glass opens up layers of aromas
with blackberry and baked currants flowing into jammy plum,
truffles, coffee, and licorice. Rich black fruits dominate
the palate, unfolding into deeper notes of coffee, tar,
and truffles. A nice, well-balanced wine that is great for
food. Roast beef anyone?
LaChance 2006 Chardonnay / Santa Cruz Mountains
from ten select vineyards and aged in oak for ten months,
the resulting wine presents with a lovely, soft straw color.
A classic Chardonnay nose of peach, granny-smith apple,
pear, and creamy oak rises from a freshly swirled glass.
The palate recreates the nose with the same fruit flavors
touched by hints of sweet spice, vanilla, and oak. Open
a bottle and sit down to enjoy some honey roasted walnut
LaChance 2007 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
a glass and the lively floral nose of rose, geranium, and
lavender can transport you to a warm spring day. The palate
has a nice depth with herbaceous notes flowing into flavors
of plum, brown sugar, coffee, and hints of spice. Open a
bottle and unwrap a Calindia Bar from Vosges Chocolates.
The flavors of cardamom, eucalyptus, and citrus fruits,
along with the robust finish of Venezuelan dark chocolate,
blend splendidly with the wine.
Del Sol Vineyards
Del Sol 2008 Malbec Reserva / Mendoza, Argentina
from 100 percent Malbec grown in the high elevation Lujan
de Cuyo area of Mendoza, winemaker Matt Parish has produced
a rich, flavorful wine. Swirling a glass unfurls a layered
nose of ripe dark fruit, earth, licorice, and burnt spice.
Smooth and not overly tannic, the palate is ripe with blackberry,
cherry, and blueberry notes with subtle hints of oak, dark
chocolate, and floral nuances that lead into a bright fruit
driven finish. This is a wine made for red meat, and itís
a good value in the $12 range. Score:
2006 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
fruit sourced from two different Santa Cruz Mountains vineyards,
the wine strikes a nice balance with ripe fruit flavors
playing off a pleasant acidity. Red berry aromas dominate
the nose, with notes of smoke and cola in deeper pockets.
On the palate, vibrant flavors of cherry and strawberry
flow into notes of truffles and earth that mingle together
on the lingering finish. This wine would pair nicely with
variety of dishes ñ from salmon to lamb to a white
2004 California Port / Amador Valley
blend of 50% Souz„ o, 50% Tinta C„o varietals,
this port spend 18 months aging in barrels. In a freshly
swirled glass, aromas of black current, cherry, and creamy
chocolate envelope the senses. Once sipped, the black cherry
and currents return unfolding into deeper notes of toffee,
dark chocolate, and prunes. A lush, smooth port with a touch
of acidity, it is well-suited as a relaxing after dinner
2006 Orange Muscat / Amador Valley
slowly at cool temperatures, this a smooth, markedly sweet
dessert wine. From its soft golden hue, a bouquet of orange
blossom, cinnamon, clove, and hazelnut unfolds when a glass
is swirled and sipped. Enjoy this wine on its own, with
your favorite fresh fruit torte, or a coconut-cream pie.
Only 265 half-bottle cases were produced, so try one before
they run out.
Winery 2006 ìAlessiaî Barbera / Amador County
on small batches and attention to detail winemaker Frank
Ashton has produced a wine with an intoxicating, bright
nose. Itís perfumed with bright floral and mineral
notes, alongside zesty cherry and hints of provolone cheese.
The mouth-filling flavors of raspberry, cherry, bold spices,
and herbaceous notes make this an excellent food wine. Enjoy
it with a mushroom risotto or a proscuitto appetizer.
2007 Chardonnay / Monterey County
from their Pinnacles Vineyard on the east side of the Salinas
Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands, this 2007 Chardonnay
is a nice, full-bodied wine with a pleasing hint of acidity.
From its soft golden hue, rich aromas of tropical fruit,
apple, oak, and vanilla open up. On the palate, crisp apple
and lush tropical fruit return, with hints of creamy oak
and minerals lingering at the finish. Pair with an heirloom
tomato and chicken pasta.
2006 Reserve Pinot Noir / Santa Lucia Highlands
from fruit grown at Estancia's Stonewall Vineyard, where
morning fog and cool breezes make for ideal growing conditions.
After harvest, the wine was aged for nine months in French
Oak. Out of the bottle and in a glass, this deep, ruby
wine entices drinkers with rich aromas of dark cherry,
plum, blackberry, and sweet spice. Deep dark fruit flavors,
cola, and nutmeg drift across the palate after that first
sip. A very nice, medium-bodied wine, it would pair quite
nicely with a tender lamb chop.
2006 Reserve Meritage / Paso Robles
nighttime layers of ocean fog and plentiful sunshine during
the day, the Paso Robles appellation is known for its
grand temperature swings. After harvest, the fruit for
this vintage was aged fourteen months in French and American
oak. Now mature, the wine has a deep, black-purple hue.
Rich aromas of cherry, blackberry, plum, and chocolate
rise out of a freshly swirled glass. A sip and soft tannins
carry rich dark fruit flavors over the palate, with accents
of mocha and oak. A smooth, supple wine that pairs very
nicely with tender rib-eye. Drink it now or give it some
time to age.
2006 Merlot / Central Coast
from fruit grown in Monterey County, as well as Paso Robles,
and aged for fifteen months in French and American oak,
this Estancia Merlot is a pleasing wine with a fruit driven
character and supple tannins. When sipped, cherry and plum
dominate the palate, with notes of chocolate and coffee
lingering at its finish. Pair with an indulgent dark chocolate
mousse and enjoy.
Jenkins Vineyard & Winery
Jenkins 2007 Chardonnay / Santa Cruz Mountains
fruit for this wine was grown on a sloping one-acre vineyard
in the foothills, 1,400 feet above the city of Los Gatos
where temperatures range from the mid-fifties to nearly
one-hundred degrees. The resulting wine is crisp, yet rich,
as fresh peach, apple, and creamy oak highlight the bouquet.
A sip, and vanilla, tropical fruit, ripe melon, as well
as notes of oak, drift over the palate. Enjoy this wine
on its own or pair it alongside your favorite cut of fish
in a creamy lemon and herb sauce.
Jenkins 2006 Madden Ranch Syrah / Livermore Valley
from grapes grown on John Maddenís vineyard, the
fruit was cold soaked for 3 days prior to being aged for
14 months in French Oak. From its deep violet hue, notes
of blackberry, cherry, and brown sugar dominate the nose,
with gamier accents floating beneath. A vibrant, rich wine
with supple tannins, the palate is nicely layered with dark
berries, coffee, and white pepper, that finish on bold notes
of smoky earth. This is a wine that can stand up to zesty,
Jenkins 2006 Black Ridge Vineyard Syrah / Santa Cruz Mountains
to hang for longer than the Madden Ranch Syrah, fruit from
the Black Ridge Vineyard was aged for 14 months in French
oak before bottling. In a freshly swirled glass, ripe aromas
of dark fruit mingle with accents of spice, smoke, and subtle
floral notes. When sipped slowly, a richly layered palate
unfolds with flavors of black cherry, blackberry, plum,
cinnamon, vanilla, and spice drifting across the palate.
A long, lingering finish and ample tannins make this a great
wine to serve with hearty red meat recipes.
Jenkins 2005 “Choreography" Cabernet Blend /
Nord family vineyards near Yountville provided the fruit
for this blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc,
9% Merlot, and 1% Malbec. Aged for twenty months in French
oak, the resulting wine is rich and possesses great depth.
Swirling a glass releases indulgent aromas of sweet cherry,
plum, currents, and coffee, alongside hints of mint and
cedar. From its deep ruby hue, flavors of red and black
fruit drift over the palate, with accents of spice and earth
adding a nice complexity. A smooth, lush of lingering fruit
rounds out a sip. Winemaker Greg Jenkins deserves notice
for this effort.
Springs Winery 2006 Rutherford Hills Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Sourced exclusively from their famous J block, this vintage
delivers another classic Rutherford Cabernet. The bouquet
is striking with strawberry jam and black cherry mingling
with musty earth and cocoa. When sipped, black currants
and cherries flow into bright notes of minerals and hints
of truffles building to a signature dusty finish. While
very nice now, ten years in the cellar would do nothing
but good for a bottle.
Family 2006 Winston Hill Red Wine / Rutherford
A blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with splashes
of Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc added for complexity.
Allowed to open up in a glass, a rich, intoxicating nose
of strawberry, cherry, blueberry, dark chocolate, sweet
oak, and woodsy notes wraps up your senses. A sip brings
very smooth, very elegant flavors of ripe black cherry,
blueberry with highlights of toasty oak and mocha providing
a nice balance to the lush fruit. With such silky tannins
and soothing flavors, this wine begs for a rich chocolate
dessert. Savor this one. Score:
SLH 2007 Pinot Gris / Santa Lucia Highlands
from 100% Pinot Gris fruit grown on the gentle slopes of
the Lone Oak Vineyard, the resulting wine entices drinkers
with a lovely translucent-gold hue.
Swirling a glass brings fresh aromas of lemon zest, honeysuckle,
figs, and minerals. On the palate, the wine is light and
subtle, with citrus fruit and grassier notes building towards
a mineral finish. Pair with your favorite shellfish and
enjoy a bottle!
SLH 2007 Pinot Noir / Santa Lucia Highlands
sourced from four different Santa Lucia vineyards, with
sun drenched afternoons and cool ocean breezes, contributed
to this vintage. In sunlight, its bold ruby hue sparkles.
Swirl a glass and take in the rich aromas of cherry, strawberry,
plum, cola, and sweet spice. Sip and enjoy the deep red
berry flavors, with notes of spice accenting the earthy
finish. With a medium-body and firm tannins, this wine
can work well with grilled pork, salmon, or tuna.
Vineyards 2005 Belle Farms Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
the historic vineyard from the 1940ís in 1987, John
Shumacherís latest offering of Pinot Noir is worthy
of notice. The nose is lush with ripe black cherry, plum,
and lovely floral notes alongside hints of hickory meat
and soft earth. A sip brings lovely strawberry and cherry
flavors accented by nuances of cola and cinnamon. A bright,
crisp wine, it can be savored before dinner or enjoyed with
grilled lamb or a roast turkey breast or cellared for a
Vineyards 2004 Barrell Select Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
offering from the historic Santa Cruz Mountains Vineyard,
each bottle is commemorated with an individual number. A
California springtime nose of rose petal, lavender, and
bing cherry greets the senses. Plum, cherry, and floral
tones unfold into notes of minerals that build to a refreshing
spicy finish. A smooth, bright wine with a nice acidity,
it could be paired now with a grilled pork tenderloin or
cellared for further development.
Vineyards 2005 Barrell Select Chardonnay /
Santa Cruz Mountains
we have another fine offering from the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The nose is rich with creamy, spiced oak, tropical fruit,
apple, and just a tinge of smokiness. With a nice acidity
and a smooth, fresh mouthfeel, it is easy to savor the mixture
of apple, pear, and butterscotch flavors that flow into
a toasty oak finish. Pair this Chardonnay with anything
from a fresh salad to poultry to a creamy seafood dish.
Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
This is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon produced with 100% Rutherford
fruit that shows in its deep layers. Currents, plum, blackberry,
chocolate, clove, and cedar ascend from a freshly swirled
glass. On the palate, signature dusty tannins carry intense
black fruit flavors which unfold into notes of roast coffee,
vanilla, dark chocolate, and sweet spice. Quite dry and
bright, the wine can stand up to the hardiest of beef dishes.
Enjoy now or age a bottle for five years. Score:
Shack 2007 Roussanne / San Antonio Valley
the southern end of Monterey County, the San Antonio Valley
is the area's newest appellation, and it is starting to
gain notoriety for growing French varietals. For this wine,
a blend of 80% Roussanne and 20% Marsanne come together
to produce a soft, laidback wine. Slowly swirling and sipping
brings an array of flavors, with pinapple, pear, mango and
apricot mingling on the palate. The finish lingers, leaving
the soft touch of fruit and minerals behind. Pair with a
lighly seasoned, steamed-clam pasta and enjoy.
Shack 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / San Antonio Valley
the San Antonio Valley AVA is fairly new, this Cabernet
is one of the reasons people are taking notice. Hold a
glass up to sunlight and admire the deep purple hue. Sip
slowly and indulge in the rich flavors of black cherry,
plum, chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, and a hint of licorice.
Smooth and light on the tannins, this is a very nice wine,
particularly for the $20 range. Pair with tender lamb
chops with a baby artichoke sauté.
Prieta Winery 2005 Merlot / Santa Cruz Mountains
a small production winery, only 61 cases of this mountain-grown
Merlot were produced. Swirling a glass releases a full bouquet
of cherry, raspberry, burnt tobacco leaves, and earthy notes.
On the palate, the red berries return with hints of black
olive, spice, oak, and menthol. Grill up some tasty lamb
kabobs with rosemary pepper and open a bottle to enjoy.
Prieta Winery 2005 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
from fruit grown at a 700 foot elevation, this Pinot Noir
was aged in 100% new French oak for 10 months. Out of its
soft purple hue, bright aromas of red fruit, cola, and a
hint of rose pedal. When sipped slowly, plum and cherry
flavors dominate the palate, with subtle notes of earth
and creamy oak lingering at the wineís finish. A
light body and crisp acidity make this a highly drinkable
wine. Just 72 cases were produced, so get one before they
Prieta Winery 2006 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
at 2,400 feet, this 100% Pinot Noir was aged for 11 months
in French oak. The nose is full of ripe red fruit and the
palate conjures up flavors of raspberry, strawberry, and
plum, with accents of cola, orange peel, as well as a hint
of spice. A lovely, smooth wine with nice acidity, it can
be enjoyed on its own or paired with a Shiitake mushroom
and tofu stir fry with a sweet soy sauce. Just 195 cases
were produced of this very nice wine.
Prieta 2007 Saveria Vineyard Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
Saveria Vineyard has a history of producing first-class
wine, and this Pinot is not an exception. Its nose is a
deep blend of raspberry, strawberry, musty forest floor,
clove, and cinnamon sticks. The palate is light and smooth
with sweet red berry flavors that unfurl into notes of truffles,
figs, toasty oak, and spice. The wine closes upon notes
of strawberries and fresh minerals. Portabella mushrooms
or salmon with a balsamic vinegar marinade would pair quite
Prieta Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon / Santa Clara Valley
in a combination of French and American oak, this Cabernet
Sauvignon has supple tannins and a nice depth of flavor.
Allowed to open in a glass, flavors of currants and earth
flow into floral notes, with hints of tar, oak, and brown
sugar rounding out the profile. Pair this with a grilled
beef filet in a green peppercorn-brandy sauce and sit down
to a bottle.
2006 Santa Lucia Chardonnay / Santa Lucia Highlands
mornings, moderate afternoons, and cool evenings are trademarks
of the Lucia Highlands. After a late October harvest, French
Oak and stainless steal were used for fermentation. The
resulting wine has a soft golden hue that releases deep
aromas of tropical fruit, with caramel and yeasty notes
lingering around the edges. When sipped slowly, pineapple,
pear, and a touch of honey drift over the palate, finishing
with a hint of oak. Medium-bodied, with a nice acidity,
this wine rates well in terms of drinkability. Try it with
sole baked in a creamy butter sauce.
2006 Santa Lucia Pinot Noir / Santa Lucia Highlands
blend of two French clones, this estate grown pinot matured
for nearly a year in oak before being bottled. In a freshly
swirled glass, the elegant violet-ruby hue conveys rich
fruit aromas of cherry and plum, with accents of spice,
lavender, and cola. The palate is fruit forward and bright,
unfolding layers of flavor as plum, strawberry, and spice
mingle together. Slightly sweet but balanced by a firm
acidity, this is a highly drinkable wine. Pair it with
a pork-tenderloin in a maple-chipotle sauce and enjoy!.
Vineyards 2005 Estate Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
2005 harvest produced small, concentrated berries, and the
quality of the fruit translated into this flavorful and
complex wine. The bouquet opens up with ripe spiced cherries,
cinnamon, cola, and raspberry. Highlights of cinnamon and
lush black cherry unfurl into pockets of rose petals and
finish with lingering fresh mineral notes. A bright wine
with a nice clean acidity, it is great as an aperitif. The
wine would also pair superbly with smoked meats or a fine
2006 Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
Sourced entirely from their Morisoli Vineyard this Cabernet
is available exclusively to the winery mailing list. Rich
black fruit dominates the nose with currants, plum, and
blackberry showing through. Hints of earth and mocha rise
up from deeper pockets. The palate reflects the dark fruit
aromas on the nose, with notes of clove, licorice, chocolate,
and bright minerals nuances proving some zip. Score:
Vineyards 2006 Tietjen Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
A grand expression of the winery's trademark elegance, the
2006 Tietjen Vineyard Cabernet is a lush, very smooth wine.
It opens with a lovely nose packed with sweet cherry and
raspberry, with soft hints of vanilla and spice. Sleek tannins
carry ripe berry flavors across the palate with lovely notes
of vanilla, toffee, oak, and herbs providing a very nice
depth. Only 224 cases were produced, so enjoy this one while
it is still available. Score:
Eden 2006 Estate Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
in the Los Gatos area, sandwiched between the San Francisco
Bay and the Pacific Ocean, the fruit produces vibrant, crisp
wines. Swirling a glass releases a nose of wet earth, raspberry,
cherry, and exotic spice. The palate is quite bright with
the cherry and raspberry flavors returning, unfolding into
notes of earth and vanilla, which close upon a cocoa powder
finish with lingering accents of minerals.
Wine Works 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Proprietorís Reserve
/ Mendocino County
not just organically grown grapes but also organic methods
of production, Organic Wine Works is an atypical label.
The wineís connection to the earth is clear in the
stout earthy nose that layers sour floral notes, with herbal
nuances, a touch of feta cheese, and ripe dark fruit. Blackberry,
sour cherry, forest floor, and a hint of toffee make up
the palate. Fans of robust, earthy wines wonít be
Wine Works 2007 ”Radical" Cabernet Sauvignon
is a totally organic wine from start to finish. Swirling
a glass opens up a nose of dark plum, black currants, and
cinnamon, with hints of tobacco, black olive, and floral
notes. A sip of this easy drinking wine brings forth smooth
red fruit flavors that mingle with accents of lavender and
olive. Try a glass with a rich, sharp cheddar.
Wine Works 2006 Zinfandel Proprietor's Reserve / Lake County
John Schumacher has been producing organic wine since 1989
when he founded the label. This Zinfandel has a ripe red
fruit nose with rich, complicating notes of elegant mountain
spice and earth. When sipped, the wine wraps the senses
in raspberry, cherry, and blackberry flavors. Deeper notes
of leather, sweet tobacco, and spice flow into a pleasant,
lingering finish. A smooth mouthfeel and silky tannins make
this wine easy to drink and enjoy.
Wine Works 2007 Zenful Zinfandel / California
in a long line of organic wines from John and Lorraine Schumacher,
this Zinfandel opens up with a palpable nose layering smoked
meat, menthol, herbaceous notes, and dark spiced plum. The
palate combines plum and cherry fruit flavors with earthier
tones of herbs, truffles, and coffee that flow into a slighly
Wine Works 2007 Maverick Merlot / California
a glass releases a powerful nose with heavily perfumed floral
tones mingling amongst chemical and mineral notes. A sleek
wine without heavy tannins, the mouthfeel is quite smooth.
Red berry flavors along with gamy notes flow into hints
of coffee and minerals, which give the wine a kind, soft
Wine Works 2007 Notre Terre / California
of the Organic Wine Works special blends, as the name suggests,
it is true to the earth. The nose is dominated by inky grape
and blueberry aromas, with pockets of earth, herbs, clove,
and a woodsy element merging together. When sipped, blueberry
and boysenberry flavors flow into notes of earth and green
olive, which close upon a soft minerally finish. A light
wine with mellow tannins, it could pair with a variety of
Vineyards 2007 Riesling / Santa Lucia Highlands
forty acres of Paraiso's Riesling vines are now thirty-five
years old, and the fruit for this vintage was selected from
Block One of the hillside vineyard, after conditions allowed
it to hang until early November. Bright flavors of apricot,
tropical fruit, pear, and a touch of honey drift over the
palate before finishing with a kiss of minerals. Quite crisp,
with a bold acidity, light and refreshing, this wine would
pair well with fresh, ripe figs or a spicy Asian dish.
Vineyards 2005 Syrah / Santa Lucia Highlands
David Fleming selected fruit from Blocks Fifteen and Seventeen
of the vineyard's "Wedding Hill" section. Bottle-aged
for a year prior to release, the wine's nose is dominated
by perfumed blackberry and cherry, with pockets of vanilla
and pepper accenting the bouquet. Solid tannins unfurl a
palate of rich dark fruit that finishes dynamically upon
notes of oak and earth. This potent wine ought to accompany
a hearty, well-seasoned roast.
2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
All the fruit was hand picked and hand sorted for this Cabernet,
and the extra care comes through in the quality. An invigorating
nose of ripe cherry, raspberry, plum, smoky oak, violets,
and vanilla greet the senses. When sipped, cherry, currants,
and plum unfurl into deeper notes of vanilla and a kiss
of toasty oak. Supple tannins and a very smooth finish make
this a lovely, elegant wine that deserves the company of
a juicy prime rib.. Score:
Winery 2006 Intrinity Chardonnay / Santa Lucia Highlands
from fruit grown throughout the Santa Lucia Highlands, the
Intrinity Chardonnay represents winemaker Steve Pessagno's
finest effort for the varietal, the name signifying the
endless pursuit of lofty goals. When held up to sunlight,
the wine glows with a soft golden hue. A sip brings ripe
flavors of crisp pear and tart apple, which flow into deeper
notes of caramel and smoke. A rich wine, with nice depth,
it would pair nicely with a fresh pesto and chicken pasta
salad. Only 396 cases were produced..
Winery 2006 Four Boys Vineyard Pinot Noir /
Santa Lucia Highlands
vineyard's name just happens to coincide with the number
of sons winemaker Steve Pessagno has. Handpicked block by
block as each reached maturity, the fruit was first cold-soaked
for up to six days and then aged in French oak for eleven
months. The resulting wine has a robust smoky, yeasty nose
with notes of plum and cola mingling together. A slow sip
and the lovely palate brings forth the soft, smooth flavors
of black cherry, plum, vanilla, and chocolate. A big wine,
with a nice depth of flavor, it would pair nicely with grilled
pork chops or lamb seasoned with rosemary and thyme..
Ranch 2005 Tempranillo / San Antonio Valley
has long been a flagship for Spanish wine. Pierce Ranch's
own take on the varietal was grown on the rocky slopes of
their "Y" Ranch Vineyard. After harvest, the fruit
was aged eighteen months in American, French, and Hungarian
oak. The resulting wine, with its deep ruby hue, conjures
up rich fruit flavors of cherry and strawberry. Hints of
vanilla, licorice, cocoa, and pepper complicate the palate.
A medium-body and soft tannins make this wine easy to drink.
Try it with a traditional Spanish paella with quail seasoned
by a touch of garlic, salt, and pepper.
Ranch 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon / San Antonio Valley
much wetter than average growing season meant careful crop
management to control yields. After harvest and an extended
cold soak, the fruit was aged 18 months in French oak. Swirl
a glass and soothing blackberry and dark cherry aromas rise
up to greet you. Sip and the cherry returns alongside boysenberry,
with subtler notes of cocoa and vanilla. Supple tannins
and a smooth mouthfeel give the wine a fine drinkability.
Try a bottle with a thick rib-eye steak with a garlic-salt
and pepper rub..
2006 Firehouse Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
A bold wine that packs a powerful nose filled with cherry,
raspberry, plum and currants, with hints of herbs and spicy
oak. On the palate the wine is well-structured with solid
tannins and offers the zip of dried red fruit flavors and
minerals that build to a hot, lingering finish. It is a
great candidate for the cellar. While good now, in five
years, it promises to be exceptional. Score:
Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
Small berries produced a layered, highly structured wine.
When swirled in a glass, a cascade of aromas pour out with
black cherry, plum, and dark chocolate leading the way.
Notes of roast coffee, smoky oak, and vanilla follow. After
a sip, ripe dark berries and plum unfold into notes of chocolate,
mint, and creamy oak. The bold tannins linger on the dry,
cherry finish. Serve now with a Steak Au Poivre or an elegant
cheddar and save a bottle for the cellar, too.. Score:
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
Sourced from multiple Vineyard blocks, the fruit spent 18
months in medium toast French Oak. In a glass, bold aromas
of plum and black currents greet the senses, flowing into
the concentrated palate of black fruit, with vibrant accents
of cedar, coffee, chocolate, and sweet spice. Generous dusty
tannins provide a nice structure, which promises graceful
aging. Enjoy a bottle now, or cellar it for five years,
and see what awaits. Score:
Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
After a mild spring and summer, the fruit was picked in
mid-October and aged 18 months on new French Oak. With a
fall release, date the wine is still a bit young, but the
nose is rich with layers. Floral notes, with a ripe cherry
and plum backing mingle with bold smoky accents and hints
of herbs and spice. Dried cherry and currants come to the
forefront of the palate, with hints of oak and spice passing
through on the way to a dusty finish. Classic Rutherford,
Family Wine Estates
Family Wine Estates 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
Genuine Rutherford Cabernet blended with a splash of Petit
Verdot spent 24 months in French Oak. Allowed to open in
a glass, the wine reveals a layered bouquet of cherry, currents,
blackberry, and plum, with touches of oak, vanilla, and
coffee providing nice accents. Full-bodied with supple tannins,
this wine shows good promise for the cellar. Score:
Pound Estate 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
The estate grown fruit was farmed sustainably using traditional
old-world methods as well as modern innovations. The wine
is rich with cherry, blackberry, plum, sweet spice, and
pepper rising out of a freshly swirled glass. On the palate,
plum and sweet blueberry move into hints of green herbs,
clove, and cocoa. This is a nicely balanced wine with a
promising structure for aging. Score:
Estate 2006 Rubicon / Rutherford
100% Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon with a splash of Petit
Verdot and Cabernet Franc comprise the 2006 Rubicon, which
was aged in French Oak for 22 months. In a glass, its bouquet
is deep with layers of cherry, blackberry and currents flowing
into rich notes of chocolate, coffee, and a hint of tobacco.
A very nice structure and a nice jammy character make the
wine highly drinkable. Enjoy it now, or save it for the
Vineyards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc / Monterey County
the 2007 vintage, fruit was sourced grapes from their Baja
Viento and Mesa del Rio vineyards and then aged in stainless
steel. Out of its vibrant white-gold hue, notes of bell
pepper, bright citrus fruit, and grassy tones envelope the
senses. With a sip, the lively citrus returns, alongside
gooseberry and herbier accents. A very crisp wine with a
firm acidity, it would pair quite nicely with shrimp cocktail
or scallops in a light white-wine sauce. 672 cases were
Vineyards 2007 Gewürztraminer / Monterey County
from their Greenfield-area vineyards (Viento and Scheid),
with the cooler, windier climate that Gewürztraminer
thrives under, was sourced for this vintage. Fermentation
took place at very cold temperatures to enhance the fruitiness
and mouthfeel. The resulting wine has a lovely, soft golden
hue. Rich layers of flavor drift over the palate as peach,
apricot, honeysuckle, and sweet spice unfold after a slow
sip. A nicely balanced wine, with just the right touch of
sweetness, it would pair very nicely with an elegant cheese
and fruit appetizer.
Grove 2006 Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon /
A blend of predominately Cabernet Sauvignon with the other
four Bordeaux varietals, it is unmistakably Rutherford.
Blackberry, burnt currant, and dark chocolate aromas rise
up from a glass with a lovely backdrop of dusty minerals.
The blackberry and currants return on the palate, with complicating
notes of vanilla, coffee, and cocoa. Rare grilled lamb or
juicy tri-tip would make excellent pairings.. Score:
Mountain Vineyards 2006 Estate Chardonnay /
Santa Cruz Mountains
from the Mount Eden clone, known for its small, concentrated
berries, this 100% Chardonnay was aged for 11 months in
oak. Swirling a glass lets loose sweet fragrances of orange
blossoms, notes of creamy vanilla, and hints of toasty oak.
The palate is packed with bright citrus fruit including
lemon and ripe orange that finishes with a pleasant touch
of acidity. Open a bottle now and pair it with grilled chicken
season in rosemary and garlic, or give it a few years in
the cellar, and see what awaits.
Mountain Vineyards 2007 Rosè of Pinot Noir / Central
has yet to have a love affair with Rosê, but this
wine may help them along the way. A blend of fruit grown
in Monterey County and the Santa Cruz Mountains, the wine
was aged 5 months in stainless steal. Ripe aromas of summer
drift up from a glass with cherry, cranberry, and watermelon
enveloping the sense alongside accents of lavender. When
sipped, the bright red fruit returns finishing on a lovely
hint of spice. This wine is the perfect companion for a
warm spring day.
Mountain Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
from Muns Vineyard 2,600 feet up in the Santa Cruz Mountains,
it sits above the fog line and enjoys gentle seas breezes
from the Monterey Bay, making it ideal for growing Pinot.
Swirl a glass and take in the rich aromas of cherry, strawberry,
cola, and truffles along with soft floral notes. Sip slowly
and allow the bright red fruit flavors to drift over the
palate flowing into a finish of rose petal and cinnamon.
Perfect to pair with roast chicken, grilled salmon, or bbq
pork, this wine may just become your weekend favorite.
Mountain 2006 Miller Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir /
Santa Cruz Mountains
Hill Vineyard is located less than a mile from the winery
at a 1750 foot elevation. In a freshly swirled glass, rich
aromas of black cherry, strawberry, and raspberry mix with
notes of orange peel, vanilla, and smoky oak. When sipped
slowly, red fruit flavors flow into hints of hickory, rose
petal, toasty earth, and orange spice. A crisp wine right
out of the bottle, giving it a day to breath brings out
its smooth and silky character. Grilled chicken with a touch
of mesquite seasoning makes for a very nice pairing.
Mountain Vineyards 2001 Alloy / Central Coast
together fruit from the Santa Cruz Mountains and Santa Clara
Valley, this Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon,
Merlot, and Petit Verdot was barrel age in French, American,
and Hungarian oak for 22 months. The resulting wine is smooth
and slightly jammy, with supple tannins and rich fruit flavors
of currents, cherries, and blackberries, with more herbal
notes lingering just beneath. A very nice wine to enjoy
with a fresh cut of lightly seared tuna.
Family Vineyard 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
Due for an October release, the 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
is accented with a touch of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and
Petit Verdot. The nose is pack with bright cherry and red
plum aromas, with hints of cedar, chocolate, and cassis.
Lush plum and currants flavors unfold into sweet cherry,
dark chocolate, and notes of sweet, smoky earth. A thick,
juicy rib eye would compliment a bottle very nicely. Score:
2006 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
from the southern part of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the
southwest-facing vineyards enjoy plenty of sunshine along
with Monterey Bay's cooling breezes. Bottled in mid-April
of 2008, the wine's nose is rich with bright red berries,
refreshing minerals, and a hint of mint that are balanced
nicely by a smooth touch of vanilla and chocolate. Cherry,
strawberry, vanilla, and red currants dominate the palate
with subtle notes of chocolate, spice, and earth rounding
out the flavors. The wine finishes with soft nuances of
minerals and chewy dried cherries. A light, elegant Pinot,
with just a kiss of acidity, it drinks quite smoothly.
Vineyards 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon / Rutherford
Blended in the tradition of France with Cabernet 75% Cabernet
Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc, the wine presents
with a rich, layered nose. Strawberry, cherry, and blueberry
move into notes of spice, clove, and smoky cedar. A soft
palate of ripe red berries with hints of orange peal, earth,
and pepper is balance by a nice acidity. Grill up some succulent
short-ribs, and enjoy a bottle. Score:
Vineyards 2005 Pinot Noir / Santa Cruz Mountains
is a rich, flavorful Pinot from the Skyline region of the
Santa Cruz appellation. The nose is ripe with black cherry
and raspberry mixing brilliantly with floral notes, traces
of earth, a touch of vanilla and dark chocolate, as well
as a sprinkle of allspice. Red berry flavors dominate the
palate flowing to notes of musty forest floor and sweet
spice. The finish is fresh with lingering notes of minerals.
An elegant, smooth wine with a nice hint of acidity, it
is easy to savor a glass. Paired with a mushroom and spinach
calzone, it was even better.