Honeymoon Wine Tasting

California - Napa & Sonoma Counties

Tasted June 25, 2012 - July 3, 2012 by GoBlue2002 with 2,039 views

Introduction

We stopped at 21 wineries over 8 days during our honeymoon. Listed below are our tasting notes for the wineries. Tasting notes for restaurant-purchased wines are combined in the last flight.

Flight 1 - Shafer Vineyards (6 notes)

Visited 6/25/2012 @ 2pm. A classy and fun tasting with a group of 9. The wines were pretty good, with a surprising merlot and spectacular Hillside Select.

White
2010 Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Light golden color, with aromas of green apple, melon, and some citrus. Notable yet balanced acidity, with the fruit predominating over oak; great balance. 75% new french oak 13-14 months + 25% stainless steel, no malolactic. Long finish with some complexity and vanilla. Overall an excellent non-ML Cali chard which should pair very well with food, especially fish and shellfish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Shafer Merlot USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Mild aromas of ripe dark fruit. Flavors of plum and prune with a firm body and fine tannic grip as well as slight dryness. Well balanced with a medium length finish which has some interesting spice. Overall an excellent merlot with Shafer flair.
Red
2009 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Mild aromas of oak, dried fruit, and green pepper with some leather/earthy notes. This wine spent 22 months in 100% new french oak barrels and is 98% cab sav and 2% malbec/petit verdot. Flavors of dried fruit and prune/plum. Still quite tannic at this stage, but hopefully it will improve after a few years. The finish was of moderate length and was smooth and dry, but lacked complexity. At this point not impressive at this price point.
Red
2008 Shafer Relentless USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark purple in color, with big and powerful aromas of spice, pepper, ripe & juicy fruit. This wine has a fresh light body while still possessing strong tannins. The finish is incredibly long. Very good now, but hold 2+ yrs if you can.
Red
2007 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
94 points
Tasted at Winery. 32-34 months in all new french oak. Intense purple color, with powerful aromas of green pepper, dark fruit/blackberry. This wine had a filling mouthfeel with a firm tannic structure, but those tannins were already fine and silky smooth. The finish was incredibly long with some complexity. Overall this wine is drinking very well now and has amazing aging potential.
Red - Fortified
2008 Shafer Firebreak Dessert Wine USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Aromas of prune and raisin. Quite sweet without much body, but was still super smooth and paired incredibly well with the chocolate's provided at the tasting.

Flight 2 - Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery (4 notes)

Visited 6/26/2012 @ 10am. An educational and enjoyable tour of the winery and estate grounds with a small group. The wines were somewhat disappointing at their price point, although the Cab Sauv Estate may evolve into a blockbuster in many years.

Red
2010 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
Tasted at Winery. Barrel taste, 98% of complete blend. Dark purple in color, with aromas of blackberry and some oak. The tannins were beyond firm at this point. This one will be an ager for sure.
White
2011 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, North Coast
88 points
Tasted at Winery. A blend of 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Sauvignon Musque. Light yellow/gold in color, with moderate aromas of hay, grass, lemon, melon, and grapefruit. The weak flavor was predominately grapefruit, with some bracing acidity to go with it. The finish was short, simple, and smooth. If you like Sauv Blancs with a lot of grapefruit you will love this wine, otherwise you can find a more complex wine at this price point.
Red
2009 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Lyndenhurst USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
89 points
Tasted at Winery. 97% Cab Sauv and 3% Cab Franc. Light purple in color, with a moderately intense nose of strawberries, red berries, and oak. This wine tasted slightly sweet with oak and cherry flavors and gritty tannins. The finish was still smooth and of moderate length. Needs a couple years of cellaring, but I'm not sure much complexity will evolve. Overall a simple wine at this point in its development.
Red
2009 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
90 points
Tasted at Winery. 95% Cab Sauv, 4% Cab Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Very dark purple in color, with powerful aromas of dark dried fruit, oak, earth, and herbs. The flavors are much the same, but are dominated by the heavy tannins and mouthfeel at this point. The finish is long but very dry. Overall this wine may evolve into a blockbuster, but do yourself a favor and don't even think of opening it for the next 5+ years, unless you are a fan of big tannic cabs. (Score is for current wine tasting, not including potential to improve.)

Flight 3 - Opus One Winery (2 notes)

Visited 6/26/2012 @ noon. Great views, but an impersonal tasting.

Red
2003 Opus One USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Ruby red with bricking at rim. Aromas of raspberry, cassis, currant, red fruit, and a hint of chocolate. The fruit flavor was faded but still very much in balance with the oak and earth flavors present. The finish was very long and complex, ending with chocolate. Overall this wine is drinking very well right now, but I don't expect it to improve as the fruit flavors continue to fade. Drink now.
Red
2008 Opus One USA, California, Napa Valley
93 points
Tasted at Winery. 86% Cab Sauv, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, 1% Cab Franc, and 1% Malbec. Very dark purple in color, with a nose of bright red fruit, blackberry, and oak. The tannins are already silky smooth and in balance with the acidity, although both are slightly overpowered by the fruit at this stage. The finish is of moderate length and complexity, which could improve with ageing. Overall this wine is drinking very well now but should improve greatly with just a couple years age.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - Seavey Vineyard (4 notes)

Visited 6/26/2012 @ 3pm. Thoroughly enjoyed our personal tasting/tour with Alex. Also an enjoyable drive into the mountains!

Red
2009 Seavey Vineyard Merlot USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark purple in color, with aromas of dark berry and oak. The wine was well-balanced, with some firm tannins. The finish was of moderate length, smooth, with some lovely spice. Good now, but could use a year. Good merlot at the price point.
Red
2009 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Caravina USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Red/Garnet in color. Aromas of ripe berries, red currant, and oak. Smooth and well-balanced with firm structure and slightly gritty tannins. Flavors of ripe fruit, oak, with some spice. Nice now, but will improve with time.
Red
2006 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Caravina USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. 96% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Dark red with some bricking on rim. Aromas of earth, loam, cherry, oak, and currant. Slightly sweet yet well balanced, with strong structure and grippy tannins. The finish is long with moderate complexity. This wine is drinking very well now and may continue to improve.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2008 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Young dark purple in color. Powerful aromas of blackberry, licorice, oak, dried fruit, and earth. The wine is not so approachable yet, but even now possesses a filling mouthfeel. Well-balanced with smooth yet drying tannins. The finish is long but simple and drying. This wine needs 1-3 years to age minimum.

Flight 5 - Astrale E Terra (3 notes)

Free tasting provided by the Milliken Creek Inn during "Magic Hour", 6/26/2012 @ 6pm.

Red
2007 Astrale e Terra Arcturus USA, California, Napa Valley
87 points
Blend of syrah, cab sauv, merlot, and petit verdot. The wine was fairly dark in appearance, with weak aromas of cherry and dark berries. Some spice was present on the tongue, and the finish was short and simple.
Red
2007 Astrale e Terra Syrah USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Big bold aromas of earth, berries, and some floral notes. The wine had smooth tannins which should allow some additional ageing. The finish was of moderate length with minimal complexity. Overall a pretty decent wine for the price.
Red
2007 Astrale e Terra Cabernet Sauvignon Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Purple with some bricking. Aromas of oak, blueberry, and cherry, with additional spice and red currant flavors. The smooth tannins were in balance with the wine, and gave the effect of a medium bodied wine. The finish was long. Overall a decent cab.

Flight 6 - Pride Mountain Vineyards (4 notes)

Visited 6/27/2012 @ 10am. Jay provided an educational and enjoyable, albeit very scripted and commercialized, tour. The wines were good but not outstanding. Our first of 3 Spring Mountain wineries this day.

White
2010 Pride Mountain Vineyards Viognier USA, California, Sonoma County
88 points
Tasted at Winery. This wine had a clear golden color with aromas of melon, citrus, and floral notes. Slightly sweet with some acidity to back it up but not quite enough. The finish was somewhat crisp and very simple.
Red
2010 Pride Mountain Vineyards Syrah USA, California, Sonoma County
88 points
Tasted at Winery. French style with 99% syrah and 1% viognier. Inky purple in color, with aromas of blackberry and spice and additional flavors of oak and dark berries. This wine currently is quite tannic with a very heavy mouthfeel. The finish is of medium length and simple. If you like chewy rustic syrah's you will love this wine. I'll pass.
Red
2009 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
91 points
Tasted at Winery. 88% Merlot, 9% cab sav, 2 1/2% petit verdot, and 1/2% cab franc. Ruby red in color, with aromas of raspberry, spice, and oak. Nice layered structure with a full mouthfeel yet seeming light in body. Currently fruit-forward yet still showing firm tannins, this could use a year or two. Smooth short finish without much complexity. Tasty now, but hold 1+ yrs.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
91 points
Tasted at Winery. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Dark purple in color, with aromas of black currant, bramble, blackberry, and cherry and additional flavors of spice and berry. This wine currently has a slightly tannic mouthfeel, and will benefit greatly from a minimum of 1-3 yrs ageing. The finish is moderate/long, but lacking complexity at this point. I could easily see this wine as 93+ in 2+ years.

Flight 7 - Behrens Family Winery (7 notes)

Visited 6/27/2012 @ 12:30pm. We tasted through 7 wines in a 1970's-esque trailer with a total group of 6 people. The winery grounds had lovely views of Spring Mountain, and the wines were surprisingly tasty and easy to drink.

Red
2009 Behrens Family Winery Sainte Fumée USA, California
89 points
Tasted at Winery. 36% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 9% Cinsault, 9% Tempranillo, 8% Petite Sirah, 1% Cab Sauv, 1% Petit Verdot. Dark purple in color, with a strong nose of black/dark fruit, smoke, and leather. Tannins still dominate the mouthfeel and finish, with some spice creeping in at the end. Needs a couple years, but could improve.
Red
2010 Behrens Family Winery Syrah Resurrection Kick Ranch USA, California
91 points
Tasted at Winery. 79% Syrah, 21% Cab Sauv (sourced from Oak Knoll AVA). Very dark red/purple in color, with moderately intense aromas of dark fruit and ripe juicy red berries. The flavors were mostly bright fruit with mild tannins. The finish was long but still simple, dominated by the fruit with some slight spiciness. This one needs 2+ yrs.
Red
2009 Erna Schein Cabernet Sauvignon Spare Me USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cab Franc, 10% Merlot; from 7 different vineyards. The color was somewhat light for a cabernet-based wine, but the strong aromas of red fruit and flowers showed the fruit-forward nature of this wine. Additional flavors of blueberry and raspberry melded well with silky smooth tannins. This was very smooth and easy drinking for a cab, while still possessing firm yet silky tannins. Very impressive at this price point. Drink now or hold for a couple years.
Red
2008 Behrens & Hitchcock "The Heavyweight" USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cab Franc, 10% Merlot (same blend [from different vineyards though] as Spare Me but a totally different wine). The color was garnet with this wine showing a little bit of age already. The aromas of blackberry, spice, and oak lead into a full-bodied wine with firm yet smooth tannins and a very long mid-palate heading towards a long, smooth, and spicy finish. This wine is good now, but should improve if held at least 1-3 yrs.
Red
2009 Behrens Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Crowley Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
93 points
Tasted At Winery. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon - single vineyard on Spring Mountain. The color was light purple/red, with aromas of red currant, dried berries, and oak. This wine is very well balanced with a nice firm yet silky tannic structure. The fruit is evident on the palate, which shows as a slight sweetness. The finish is dry with nice spice and dried fruit, and is long and complex. Drink now or wait for tertiary flavors to develop as the fruit recedes a bit. An outstanding wine.
Red
2009 Behrens Family Winery Labor of Love USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. 67% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 13% Petit Verdot, all from Pritchard Hill Martinez Vineyard. The deep purple color and aromas of dark & juicy berries, oak, and floral lead into a big yet well balanced wine. The flavors are strong, with firm tannins present but in the background. The finish is long but quite tannic. This wine needs a minimum of 2 yrs, if not more, but it could develop into something special.
Red
2009 Behrens Family Winery Petite Sirah Kick Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County
90 points
Tasted at Winery. 95% Petite Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is very deep dark purple, with a nose of oak and bramble. BIG flavors of dried berries, spice, and oak. However, the tannins somewhat dominate the wine (great if you prefer rustic chewy wines). The finish is long but very tannic. Hold 2+ yrs, and enjoy a wonderful wine.

Flight 8 - Smith Madrone Vineyards & Winery (3 notes)

Visited 6/27/2012 @ 2pm. Tasted with Charles Smith. Great views, and very old-school wines.

White
2009 Smith-Madrone Chardonnay USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Light gold in color, with aromas of apple, oak (but no butter), and citrus. The moderately intense flavors were balanced between fruit and oak and the acidity provided some grip. The finish was of moderate length and smooth, albeit lacking in complexity. Overall a good chard for the price.
Red
2006 Smith-Madrone Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
86 points
Tasted at Winery. This all comes down to style preference. This is a big, oaky, tannic monster -- very old-school. If you are a fan of silky smooth cabs stay far far away. This wine is built for ageing. Personally I wouldn't touch it for 10-15 yrs, 5 at a absolute minimum. This wine had an aged appearance of brick and aromas of diesel and dark berry. The tannins dominated the fruit in the mid-palate as well as finish. An old-school cab, not my style. (Score for current wine, not taking ageing potential into account).
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2011 Smith-Madrone Riesling USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Light golden or yellow in color. Bright and crisp, with some floral notes. This wine has a nice crisp acidity, lacks overt sweetness, and has peach/pear flavors. The simple finish is long, crisp, light, and refreshing. Outstanding QPR.

Flight 9 - Lynmar Estate (5 notes)

Visited 6/28/2012 @ 10am. Enjoyed our tasting in the outdoor patio area, although the wines were average at the price point.

White
2010 Lynmar Estate Chardonnay Laguna Ridge USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Golden in color, with aromas of buttery oak, mineral, and peach/pear. Similar flavors, including melon and some citrus, without much butter. Well-balanced, with crisp acidity and fruit. The finish was of moderate length, clean and simple. Good QPR.
Red
2008 Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Light rub red in color with slight bricking at rim. Moderately intense aromas of earth, raspberry, and red berries. Light in body but not in taste with fresh berry flavor and smooth tannins. The moderate length finish was smooth with earth leading into fruit. Probably the best value of Lynmar's Pinot lineup.
Red
2008 Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir Freestone USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Ruby red in color with some bricking. Powerful aromas of earth, red fruit, currant, oak, and floral notes. This wine was tannic and cloying, but also had red currant/berry and oak flavors which may present after additional ageing. I'd hold it for another year or two and hope it improves. The finish is long but too tannic at this point. Overall a disappointing wine in Lynmar's lineup.
Red
2008 Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir Hawk Hill Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Light brick/tawny red in color. Moderately intense but lasting aromas of earth, ripe red berries, and oak. Strong initial flavors of red currant, raspberry, oak, and flowers combine with well-balanced acidity very well. However, the wine just falls off to a weak finish.
Red
2009 Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir Quail Hill Vineyard Summit USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Ruby red in color, with an aroma of bright ripe fruit, cherry, and currant. The flavors also included juicy red berries and some oak. Very smooth, but the acid sticks out slightly on the long finish.

Flight 10 - Paul Hobbs Wines (7 notes)

Visited 6/28/2012 @ 11am. They were having a new member event, and our small group of 6 to start (ballooned to 12 by end) toured the winery and chatted with Megan, the winemaker, and the rest of the winemaking team. The wines were free-flowing, tasty, and a couple of verticals were also poured.

White
2009 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Light yellow in color, with aromas of green apple, peach, some oak, and slight citrus. The initial flavors are strong and complex and lead into oak and a long yet simple finish.
White
2009 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
93 points
Tasted at Winery. Appeared clear yellow (although it is unfiltered). Aroma of buttery oak, along with peach flavors. The acidity is in balance as well as the oak vs. fruit. The finish is long with some complexity. Tasty, if you like balanced buttery cali chards.
Red
2010 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark purple in color with heavy extraction, with aromas of black cherry and raspberry. The wine is structured, with a medium body and balanced acidity. The finish is of moderate length with minimal complexity. Needs 1-2 yrs.
Red
2010 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Hyde Vineyard USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
93 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark purple in color, with aromas of earth, oak, and deep dark fruit. The flavors also include cherry and surprisingly the deep flavors I typically associate with aged wine. This wine is smooth with low acidity, but still in balance. The moderate length finish has some complexity to it as well, but it could benefit greatly from ageing a minimum of 1-2 yrs. Hold, even though it's excellent now! 95+ potential.
Red
2009 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Very dark red/purple in color. Aromas of dark & dried fruit, with oak, vanilla, and some spice. The flavors also include prune, plum, and black currant, but without the vanilla. The firm tannins are obvious, but still smooth in this young wine. Well-balanced, with a moderate length and moderately complex finish. Decent now, but would improve in 1-2 yrs.
Red
2010 Viña Cobos Malbec Bramare Lujan de Cuyo Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Inky purple or dark ruby red in color. Aromas of ripe dark juicy fruit and spice lead to similar flavors on the tongue, as well as some oak. The body is quite heavy but the tannins are firm yet mild. The finish is very long, with moderate complexity and a slight dryness. Tasty now, but could improve with time.
Red
2007 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Cuvée Agustina Lindsay Estate Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
94 points
Tasted at Winery. Wow. Coming after we drank the outstanding lineup of 2010 pinot's, this wine was a stunner. Ruby red in appearance with evident bricking when compared to the 2010's, this wine sported aromas of earth and dried and dark fruit. The powerful flavors were of bright fresh fruit and earth as well as dried fruit. The finish went on and on and just sparkled on the tongue. Drinking incredibly well now, I can only imagine how it may improve with some additional age.

Flight 11 - Merry Edwards Winery (6 notes)

Visited 6/28/2012 @ 2:30 pm. Private tasting with the two of us and our guide. Great wines for the price.

Red
2009 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Light ruby red in color, with aromas of ripe red fruit such as raspberry and cherry. Light in body and tannins, this wine was slightly over-acidic. The finish was short to medium with minimal complexity. Unimpressive at the price point at this point - may improve.
Red
2009 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Georganne USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Ruby red and opaque in color. Aromas of earth, strawberry, and cherry. Light fruit flavors, with a nice mouthfeel. The finish was somewhat short and dropped off. Could improve with time.
Red
2009 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Klopp Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Ruby red in color with strong aromas of dark, dried fruits, oak, and floral notes. The smooth flavors also include bright fruit and berry flavors with mild tannins. The finish is very smooth and long -- sticks to the tongue. Good now, and should improve in 1-2 yrs.
Red
2009 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Meredith Estate USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Ruby red in color, with a strong yet complex nose of raspberry, strawberry, and earth. Very smooth bright & light red berry flavors combine with oak and balanced acidity. The long finish is smooth and very long. Tasty now, and should improve with time.
Red
2007 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Tobias Glen USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
93 points
Tasted at Winery. Light purple in color, with evident bricking on rim when compared to 2009 lineup. Powerful aromas of dried and red fruit as well as some oak. This wine is very smooth with well balanced acidity and well integrated tannins. The finish is very long and smooth. Excellent drinking right now!
White
2010 Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Light golden in appearance, with powerful aromas of citrus, grass, and hay. However, the flavors are peach, pear, citrus, with mild grass. This wine has the crisp acidity you'd expect in a good sauv blanc but also a creamy mouthfeel and very long finish. Tasty. Drink now!

Flight 12 - Hartford Family Winery (6 notes)

Visited 6/28/2012 @ 4pm. Public tasting room with ~10 people - busy for 2 pourers.

White
2009 Hartford / Hartford Court Chardonnay Fog Dance Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley of Russian River Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Golden yellow in color, with aromas of melon, citrus, and green apple. The flavors also included slightly buttery oak with nicely balanced acidity. The finish had decent length, but was very simple.
White
2009 Hartford / Hartford Court Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyards USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Golden in color and unfiltered. The nose was predominately oak along with some citrus. Smooth with well balanced acidity. The long finish was very simple. A good chard if you like them oaky yet not buttery.
Red
2009 Hartford / Hartford Court Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Light ruby red in color with some bricking; with fragrant oak, earth, and ripe red fruit aromas. The mild tannins were very smooth and lead into a moderate length finish. A tasty modern wine. Drink now.
Red
2008 Hartford / Hartford Court Pinot Noir Hailey's Block USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley of Russian River Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Brick red in color, with strong aromas of earth and oak and weak aromas of dried red fruit and cherry. The muted flavors were much the same, leading into a smooth yet short finish.
Red
2009 Hartford / Hartford Court Old Vine Zinfandel Dina's Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Slightly intense purple in color, with aromas of blackberry and dried fruit, and oak. This wine is super smooth, with the cherry and berry fruit in balance with the acidity and tannins. The smooth finish is of moderate length with some spice at the end. Should improve with a bit more time.
Red
2009 Hartford / Hartford Court Old Vine Zinfandel Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Moderately intense purple in color, with aromas of dried fruit, red berry, and spice. Slightly sweeter and richer than Dina's, this is another very smooth Zin lacking the jammy flavors I dislike. Smooth tasty finish. A great Zin.

Flight 13 - Bevan Cellars (2 notes)

Visited 6/29/2012 @ 10am. We sampled from 3 barrels with Russel Bevan in his barrel room and then drank from 3 bottles he had brought (one was an unlabeled 2006 syrah - no tasting note written) . Minimal notes taken, but the wines were amazing -- probably the best of the trip, and definitely the tasting highlight.

Red
2006 Bevan Cellars Syrah Porter's Cuvée Dry Stack Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
92 points
Tasted with winemaker at custom crush facility. Smooth and silky tannins for a syrah, this wine was easy drinking yet still possessed a great deal of flavor. The finish was long with some complexity as well.
Red
2009 Bevan Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Julie's Cuvee Showket Vineyards USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
94 points
Tasted with winemaker at custom crush facility. No notes taken, but this wine had the most silky tannins I have ever had the pleasure to drink. 94+ now, with the capacity to reach 96+ in a year or two. Outstanding!

Flight 14 - Ramey Wine Cellars (7 notes)

Visited 6/29/2012 @ 2pm. Private tasting with us and our guide. All wines were poured prior to arrival, except the 2005 Larkmead, which was a surprise at end of tasting appointment. A great deal of wine to taste, but the tasting was done at our pace.

White
2009 Ramey Chardonnay Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Clear straw/yellow in color, with aromas of mineral and oak. This wine also had flavors of peach and oak with a bright acidity. The finish was of moderate length but quite dull.
White
2009 Ramey Chardonnay Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Clear golden yellow in color, with aromas of oak, rock, mineral, and a little fruit. The wine had nice acidity and a medium length finish. Just not that exciting compared to their single vineyard wines.
White
2009 Ramey Chardonnay Platt Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Light golden yellow in color, with some fruit, mineral and oak on the nose. This rich wine shows a great deal of oak/vanilla on the palate, but it is well integrated with the other flavors and acidity. The finish is long with some complexity. Tasty, if you like some vanilla in your chard. Drinks well now but will benefit from short ageing.
White
2009 Ramey Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Golden yellow in color, with powerful aromas of oak, fruit, nectarine, and peach. The flavors were much the same, as well as citrus, but the finish was dominated by unpleasant woody oak. Hopefully this integrates over time, because it faults an otherwise great wine.
Red
2008 Ramey Syrah Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark red/purple in appearance, with aromas of smoke, dark & dried fruit, and oak. Additional flavors include spice, cassis, & tobacco. The tannins are firm and slightly grainey, so I think this wine could benefit from a couple years of cellaring.
Red
2008 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cab Franc, 2% Petit Verdot. Purple in color, with aromas of blueberry, ripe fresh fruit, and oak. The initial taste is powerful but also acidic. On the finish it's a mix of fresh fruit, tannins, and acid. Hopefully this integrates in a few years because all the pieces are there. Hold.
Red
2005 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Larkmead Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Tawny red in appearance, with aromas of mellowed dried fruit and leather. Lovely spice on the mid-palate as well as smooth firm tannins. The finish is of moderate length with spice - quite nice! Good now, but may continue to improve as well.

Flight 15 - Martinelli Winery (8 notes)

Visited 6/29/2012 @ 3:30pm. Stopped here just before closing time, so the counter was busy. We still tasted through the lineup and had a few bonus pours as well.

White
2007 Martinelli Chardonnay Martinelli Road USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Aromas of mineral, buttery oak, citrus, and lemon with flavors of buttery oak and orange. The finish was of moderate length and toasty. Well balanced, but rather one-dimensional.
White
2007 Martinelli Chardonnay Sea Ridge Meadow Three Sisters Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Aromas of oak and vanilla with some peach. The flavors were much the same, as was the finish. This is a rich opulent buttery Cali chard, with a little bit of fruit. Great if you like the style, but otherwise pass.
Red
2010 Martinelli Pinot Noir Bella Vigna USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Light pink/red in appearance. Aromas of strawberry, raspberry, oak, and some earth. The intensity of the flavors belies the color of the wine, with light red berry and earth flavors dancing on the tongue. The finish is of moderate length and complexity. Overall a great pinot for the price.
Red
2006 Martinelli Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Light red with evident bricking. The aromas tended towards sherry or port, with flavors of earth and too much acid. The finish was acidic and dry. By far the least impressive Martinelli pinot in the lineup we tried.
Red
2009 Martinelli Pinot Noir Bondi Home Ranch Water Trough Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley of Russian River Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Light purple in color, with aromas of blackberry, raspberry, oak, and floral notes. The wine was very smooth and creamy with flavors of light berries and flowers, persisting on the finish for some time. An easy-drinking pinot which packs a lot of flavor without much color.
Red
2008 Martinelli Pinot Noir Zio Tony Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Purple/red in color, with an inviting aroma of ripe red fruit. Flavors included dark red and black fruits with balanced acidity and a smooth finish. Drinking well now, but should continue to evolve.
Red
2006 Martinelli Syrah Lolita Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark purple in color, with jammy/berry aromas. The flavors were mainly juicy fruit, backed with lots of tannin. The finish was of mix of bold fruit and harsh tannins. Hopefully this will resolve in a year or two.
Red
2008 Martinelli Zinfandel Vigneto di Evo USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
93 points
Tasted at Winery. Lighter than a typical zinfandel, with aromas of blackberry and red berries. Flavors of bright fresh red/black berries combine with firm acidity to balance out the fruit, although it does come across as slightly tart. The finish is long. Great zin for the price, without too much jam.

Flight 16 - Duckhorn Vineyards (Goldeneye/Migration) (8 notes)

Visited 6/30/2012 @ noon. This was an unscheduled stop as we happened to see them on our drive North to the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and I remembered they had some well-regarded wines. Beautiful patio where we had our flights served to us.

Rosé
2011 Goldeneye Vin Gris of Pinot Noir USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Standard rose in color, with aromas of citrus, melon, and grapefruit. A well-balanced light rose which had a moderate length yet very simple finish. A basic rose.
White
2010 Migration (Duckhorn Vineyards) Chardonnay Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Light gold in color, with weak aromas of mineral, oak, and some floral notes. The flavors also included earth and mild buttery oak, with a moderate length finish which was a little too tart. A mild flavored chardonnay.
White
2010 Migration (Duckhorn Vineyards) Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Light gold in color, with aromas of melon, peach, pear, and oak. The wine sported a creamy texture with some buttery oak on the mid-palate as well as mild acidity. Great chard if you prefer oak over crisp fruit.
Red
2009 Migration (Duckhorn Vineyards) Pinot Noir Anderson Valley USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Light red in color, with aromas of earth, dried fruit, oak, and red berry. The far too subdued flavors included earth, spice, and subtle fruit. This well balanced wine had a short finish.
Red
2009 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Light purple in color, with aromas and flavors of earth, fresh fruit, and juicy red/black berries. This wine was fairly full bodied for a point, and had a moderate length smooth finish.
Red
2009 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Confluence Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Red/purple in color and already showing age, this wine had a moderately weak aroma and flavors of juicy berries and earth. This wine just seemed watery and disjointed, with a moderate length finish. Hopefully it will come together in time.
Red
2009 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Gowan Creek Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Deep purple in color, this wine had moderately strongl aromas of cherry, leather, spice, and some earth. The flavors were mild at this point, with the earth dominating. The finish was of moderate length with some complexity. Give this full-bodied pinot a couple years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Ten Degrees USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
92 points
Tasted at Winery. This deep wine had powerful aromas of cherry, raspberry, and dried fruits. The finish was already quite long. Definitely full-bodied with ample tannic grip, lay this one down for a few years.

Flight 17 - Schramsberg Vineyards (5 notes)

Visited 7/1/2012 @ 10am. Very informative tour and tasting... we even heard a bottle explode while we were in the cellar. Group was a little large for my taste, around 16.

White - Sparkling
2009 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blancs USA, California, North Coast
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Clear straw in color, with light aromas of green apple, citrus, and butter. With minimal malolactic, this wine was crisp and slightly sweet on the palate but drying on the finish. Definitely needs a year or two. A fun light sparkler.
White - Sparkling
2005 Schramsberg Vineyards J. Schram USA, California, North Coast
92 points
Tasted at Winery. 84% Chardonnay, 16% Pinot Noir. Golden yellow in color, with rich aromas of butter/toast, nuts, and honey. Crisp, dry, bright and possessing a lovely almond flavor with a long finish.
White - Sparkling
2008 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Noirs Brut USA, California, North Coast
90 points
Tasted at Winery. 91% Pinot Noir, 9% Chardonnay. Light golden in color, with a mild aroma of fruit, buttery oak, and nuts. The flavor is predominately citrus, with a heavier mouthfeel. Sparkles on the tongue with sweetness. Moderate length finish with minimal complexity.
3 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2004 Schramsberg Vineyards Reserve USA, California, North Coast
93 points
Tasted at Winery. Clear golden in color with a slight amber tone. Strong yeasty/nutty aromas. Crisp and dry, this wine is full bodied, yet light. It should pair well with heavier foods. The finish is very long with moderate complexity. Great bubbly!
Red
2009 J. Davies Cabernet Sauvignon jd USA, California, Napa Valley, Diamond Mountain
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Strong purple in color, with aromas of dark dried fruit, spice, and bramble. The flavors included dark berries and vanilla. This is a well-balanced yet very light bodied cabernet with minimal tannins. The finish is short and simple. Don't wait too long on this one - it does not have the stuffing to age.

Flight 18 - Chappellet Winery (5 notes)

Visited 7/1/2012 @ 1pm. Nice view of the surrounding hillsides, but the 12 person tour/tasting went long and we had to leave a bit early. Overall the wines were tannic and need years before they can be drunk.

White
2010 Chappellet Chenin Blanc USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Aromas of oak, green vegetables, and peach. Flavors of mineral, and some buttery oak. This wine was bright with moderate acid levels. A very simple easy-drinking wine, without any complexity or significant faults.
White
2010 Chappellet Chardonnay USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Aromas of fruit, mineral, and a little bit of oak. This wine had heavy acidity, which lead to a firm bite on the short finish. An interesting style of chard.
Red
2009 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Signature USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Ruby red in color, with aromas of cherry, bramble, and red fruit. The body is astringent and dry, lacking much fruit on the palate at this time. Set this one down for a few years and hope the tannins mellow and the fruit makes a stronger appearance. The finish is dominated by the tannins at this time.
Red
2009 Chappellet Merlot USA, California, Napa Valley
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Only 76% Merlot, with the balance Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, and a small amount of malbec. Ruby red in color, with aromas and flavors of red fruit and spice. Strong grippy tannins overwhelm at this stage, so give it a few years and hope for the best.
Red
2009 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Pritchard Hill Estate Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot, 10% Malbec. Darker and more concentrated than its Signature cab little sister, this wine sports a very inviting aroma of deep dark fruit. However, slightly gritty tannins currently dominate the taste, but smooth out on the moderate length finish. Give this one 3+ years to come together, unless you enjoy a chewy wine.

Flight 19 - Cade Winery (5 notes)

Visited 7/1/2012 @ 3pm. Our tasting group of 4 plus the guide. We enjoyed some mountain wines, which were drinking very well despite being young. In addition, their patio outside had our favorite view of the valley with an infinity pool overlooking the landscape.

White
2010 Cade Sauvignon Blanc Estate Oakville USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Aromas of melon and citrus lead to mild crisp flavors with some oak in the background. Well-balanced, but light in style. The finish is of moderate length and simple. An easy-drinking sauv blanc.
White
2011 Cade Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Napa Valley
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Aromas of hay and grass combine with moderate acidity to generate a slightly crisp sauv blanc which is simple and lacks distinction.
Red
2008 Cade Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Cuvée USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 5% Cab Franc, and 2% Merlot. This wine sports aromas of blackberry and cassis, with a firm tannic backbone which tastes slightly sweet. The long firm finish leads to a tasty wine now, which should also improve for at least a few years.
Red
2008 Cade Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark purple in color, with blackberry and oak aromas. This wine had finely polished tannins for such a young mountain wine, with a moderate length finish. Drinks well now, and will improve for several years.
Red
2009 Cade Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
94 points
Tasted at Winery. Deep dark purple in color, with aromas of dark fruit, tobacco, and coffee. Fine silky tannins surprised on the tongue, although still providing firm grip. The finish was long, silky, and not cloying. This mountain cabernet is drinking amazingly well at such a young age and should continue to improve.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 20 - Staglin Family Vineyard (5 notes)

Visited 7/2/2012 @ 10:30am. Private tour of the grounds and caves, plus a tasting. Great charitable family and quality wines.

White
2010 Staglin Family Chardonnay Salus USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Minimal notes. Only 10% malolactic, so a crisp, almost Burgundian style. Seemed sweeter and less focused and concentrated compared to the Estate.
White
2009 Staglin Family Chardonnay Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Minimal notes. Only 10% malolactic, so a crisp, almost Burgundian style. The aromas confused me, but my wife loved their unique style. Seemed more focused and concentrated compared to the Salus.
Red
2009 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Salus USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Purple in color, with mineral, dust, earth, green pepper, and berry on the nose. The flavors tended towards the earth more than berry side. This was a very light and approachable cabernet with minimal tannins. The finish was somewhat dry.
Red
2006 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Decanted prior to our arrival from 375 ml. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 4% Cab Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Dark purple in color with slight bricking at the rim when compared to the 2008. Aromas of earth and dried fruits. Well balanced with some moderate tannic grip, this cab showed flavors of spice and dark dried fruit. The finish was of moderate length and mildly complex. Overall a slightly milder cabernet with great sipping flavor.
Red
2008 Staglin Family Cabernet Sauvignon Estate USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Decanted prior to our arrival from 375 ml. 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cab Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Dark purple in color, with aromas of fresh ripe berries such as raspberry; and earth. This wine had more bright fruit flavors, along with mildly grippy tannins. Even at this young age this wine showed great acid/tannin/fruit balance. The finish is somewhat tannic for now, but shows enough structure for excitement. Hold for a few years before going after this one... then enjoy!

Flight 21 - Morlet Family Vineyards (8 notes)

Visited 7/2/2012 @ 1pm. Private tasting with Jodie Morlet in their barrel room. Jodie was very personable and shared some great stories about how she and her husband (the winemaker) met in France. Every wine was outstanding, and the cabernets were somehow tannic and not drying at the same time, a feat I have never before experience from a California cab.

White - Sparkling
2002 Pierre Morlet Champagne Brut Millésimé France, Champagne
92 points
Tasted at Winery. 77% Pinot Noir, 23% Chardonnay. Light gold in color, with aromas of honey, oak, apple, and nuts. The bright & crisp flavors were predominately yeasty nuttiness, without being overly heavy. The finish was long and lovely.
White
2010 Morlet Family Vineyards Chardonnay Ma Douce USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Gold in color, with aromas of buttery oak & fruit in the background. 100% malolactic. The acid seemed a little off at this stage, but the creamy mouthfeel along with citrus notes still left a pleasant moderate length finish. Needs time.
Red
2010 Morlet Family Vineyards Pinot Noir En Famille USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
90 points
Tasted at Winery. Light purple in color, with moderately intense aromas of raspberry, cherry, ripe red berry, and slight raisin. Although the wine seems quite fruit forward at first, some lovely earth then picks up as well as some spice. Well balanced with firm tannins. The finish is long and earthy. Hold for 2+ years, then enjoy. Great potential to improve.
White
2010 Morlet Family Vineyards La Proportion Dorée USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
90 points
Tasted at Winery. ~2/3 Semillon, 1/3 Sauvignon Blanc. Light gold in color, with aromas of grapefruit, citrus, and some grass/hay. Very smooth flavors of earth and grass and subtle citrus and grapefruit. Very easy and smooth finish without too much length. Overall quite a fun wine. It would be interesting to see how it develops.
Red
2009 Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Passionnément USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Deep purple in color, with powerful aromas of dark berries, earth, spice, and dried fruit. This wine possesses a lovely full mouthfeel and is already quite smooth. The finish is long and continues to coat the walls of your mouth. Give this wine a good number of years before you pop one, and I could easily see this one going 20+ years. Amazing potential here.
Red
2009 Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Cœur de Vallée Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
93 points
Tasted at Winery. 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cab Franc. Potent color extraction provides a deep purple color, with powerful aromas of deep dark berries and cherry. This wine was quite tannic with a firm gripping structure, yet not drying in the mouth; a sensation I've never experienced in a Cali cabernet before. The finish is incredibly long and filling. This one needs a few years to smooth out, but it easily has 95+ potential.
Red
2009 Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark extracted purple in color, with aromas of juicy dark berries and cassis. Seems sweeter with some mountain fruit, the tannins are very prevalent but still smooth. This one also has the stuffing to age 20+ years, and personally I'd wait 10+ on it, although my wife was ready to drink it now as she prefers the fresher fruit. In either case this wine is big.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2009 Morlet Family Vineyards Billet Doux USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
93 points
Tasted at Winery. Gold in color, with aromas of apricot, pear, and peach. Delicious light fruit as well as smooth and creamy with a filling mouthfeel. The mid palate is slightly weak and the acidity is low, but it didn't feel flabby. The finish is very long, smooth, creamy, and provides a kick of spice at the end.

Flight 22 - Joseph Phelps Vineyards (6 notes)

Visited 7/2/2012 @ 3pm. Terrace tasting. No surprise that the highest production winery (50,000 cases/yr) had the greatest number of visitors. The views were decent, but the wine did not stand out when compared with the other wineries visited. We enjoyed their dessert wine the most!

White
2010 Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Clear light straw in color, with aromas of grapefruit and oak. This wine was somewhat flabby with a finish which quickly trailed off.
White
2009 Joseph Phelps Chardonnay Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
88 points
Tasted at Winery. Light gold in color, with an aroma of soft fruit and buttery oak. The wine also had a nice crisp acidity to it, and a very short and simple finish.
Red
2009 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
89 points
Tasted at Winery. Light red in color, with aromas of strawberry and raspberry. The flavors were light and included earth, oak, and some well-balanced fruit. The finish was smooth, short, and simple. An easy drinking pinot without much going on at the moment.
Red
2009 Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
90 points
Tasted at Winery. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot. Dark red in color with aromas of dried fruit. A smooth cab with polished tannins and some spice on a moderate length finish. Might integrate a bit with time, but don't hold past 10 yrs.
Red
2008 Joseph Phelps Insignia USA, California, Napa Valley
91 points
Tasted at Winery. Dark red in color, with nice fruit and oak on the nose. This wine already has silky tannins and structured fruit on the tongue. The finish is smooth and long. Drinkable now, but this should improve with age.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2010 Joseph Phelps Eisrébe USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
92 points
Tasted at Winery. Golden in color, with a nose of peaches and a little orange. Flavors of smooth and creamy peach with a fuller body than I would expect for a sweet wine (granted this is my first ice wine). I would imagine this would be an excellent pairing with peach cobbler. The finish was long without being too sweet or thick. Impressive. Don't wait too long to drink this one!
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 23 - Restaurant & Other Wines (6 notes)

Listed below are the wines we drank by the glass in restaurants over the course of our trip, as well as a bottle we received as a gift and consumed.

Red
2010 Recuerdo Malbec Argentina, Mendoza, Valle de Uco
89 points
Deep dark purple in color, with aromas of oak, blackberry, and dark fruit. A slightly sweet wine with some spice and dark ripe fruit flavors. The finish was of medium length and simple. Gift from Milliken Creek Inn which we drank at Tra Vigne Pizzeria (no corkage). Overall a fun malbec which we consumed with pizza!
Red
2007 Scherrer Winery Pinot Noir Sonoma County USA, California, Sonoma County
90 points
Drank at Winemaker Wednesday's at Scopa in Healdsburg. The color was fairly dark for a pinot, especially a Cali pinot. The mild aromas were of subdued fruit and earth. This wine reminded me more of burgandy than Cali -- old world earthy flavors with some new world fruit. The finish was of moderate length with some minor complexity. Overall a very pleasant wine which is drinking very well right now.
Red
2007 Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel Lancel Creek Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
85 points
Drank at Zazu restaurant. Aroma of dark fruit. This was a powerful over the top one-dimension wine. If you love hot, high-alcohol, jammy, raisiny zins this is your wine. The finish was all jam. Not my style.
White
2007 Stonestreet Chardonnay Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
91 points
Drank at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant in St. Helena. Golden yellow in color, with mild aromas of buttery oak and light citrus. Not as much buttery oak on the tongue as the nose, this balanced chardonnay had strong acidity which offset the oak. The finish was of moderate length and fairly simple.
Red
2009 DeBiase Pinot Noir USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Drank at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant in St. Helena. The waitress suggested this wine to pair with the duck. Dark and highly concentrated, yet showing some ruby red at rim. The moderately intense aromas of cherry, raspberry, and some earth lead to a well balanced taste between fruit and earth. The finish was moderate with some brightness as well. A good cali pinot tending towards more of an old-world style than new. Tasty.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Il Molino di Grace Chianti Classico Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Classico DOCG
89 points
Drank at Fino's in San Francisco. Purple in color with some slight bricking at rim. Aromas of ripe red and black fruit. A relatively simple fruit-forward wine made in the modern style, with low/moderate tannins. This wine was still very smooth and easy drinking, with a moderate length simple finish.

Closing

What a trip!

© 2003-21 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem

Close