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A classic Cabernet Sauvignon for lovers of Napa wines! Blended from vineyards throughout the Napa Valley appellation for balance, this vintage is comprised of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot. The nose is deep and intense with stewed blackberry, plum, and eucalyptus and French vanilla and cinnamon from their use of 50% new French oak. The palate is rich and voluptuous, with those stewed black fruits, and the freshness of raspberry and red plum. An excellent pairing for the classic American steak dinner! Michelle DeWyngaert
The Bedrock Heritage Bedrock Vineyard is from a Zinfandel based blend composed of 22 inter-planted varieties planted in the 1880s in Red Hill clay-loam soils, no-till cover crop farming, native yeast fermentation. Zinfandel really shines from these old, gnarled vines. The concentration of flavor that you get from the very low yields adds richness to the wines without having to pick them late and overripe. The nose shows a mix of violet, minty eucalyptus, and ripe, but not syrupy, purple plum. The palate shows additional complexity with a touch of cocoa powder, black tea, and black cherry. Rich and comforting, this will be excellent in the colder months! Michelle DeWyngaert
55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics from old vine plantings (up to 100 years old) around Sonoma County, fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel and raised in a nice bit of French oak for a bold, bright-fruited, silky, and satisfying wine that is unbeatable at this price.
An extremely rare thing to find is 50+ year-old, consistently dry-farmed California Cabernet Sauvignon. So when I heard about this very low yielding Monticello Vineyard, my ears perked up. Grown on the west-facing hillsides of Moon Mountain. The winemaker for Beta has been working tirelessly on his own estate vineyards on Diamond Mountain since 2008, and while the vines are not yet mature enough for a full release, he works with his mentor at the Monticello Vineyard on this bottling. Though I have not had the pleasure of trying this wine as it is very highly allocated, it has been described by Antoni Galloni as having "Savory, mineral and ferrous notes abound in a deceptively mid-weight yet explosive Cabernet Sauvignon." Michelle DeWyngaert
There is a lot of mystery surrounding the winemaker of Beta Wines, Ketan Mody. He lives alone at the top of Diamond Mountain dedicating his time to the creation and care of his 10 acre plot that he bought and planted in 2008, farming completely organically, with no tilling, or even mowing. While waiting for these vines to mature he has embarked on making wines from sites he deems worthy and this year's release now includes this bottling from the Vare Vineyard in Napa closer to the valley floor. As this wine is in very limited supply, I am obliged to trust the expert opinion of Stephen Bitterolf and this description from Antonio Galloni with notes of "Licorice, herbs and red stone fruits add nuance on the fleshy, expressive finish". Michelle DeWyngaert
A native of Oregon, but thoroughly inspired by Burgundy, winemaker Doug Tunnell has been farming his 40 acre estate vineyard strictly organically for the last 25 years, and more recently certified Biodynamic. This bottling is a selection of barrels from various plots throughout his vineyard to get a true representation of the vintage each year. This years "Select" Pinot Noir has a beautiful nose of fresh roses, stems and all, red currant, raspberry, and juicy pomegranate. Indeed this is very Burgundian in style with just a bit more focus on the fruit. The wine is fresh and lively; for me it conjures a crisp, fall, afternoon. Michelle DeWyngaert
Broadside is a project of very talented winemaker Chris Brock. The Cabernet is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in barrels, 10% of which are new. The resultant wine is remarkably fresh and full bodied with an interesting spicy character and plenty of bright, tangy dark fruit.
From the folks who run Hobo Wine Co., here we have the delicious new vintage of one of our favorite inexpensive Cabernets from California! Tart blackberry and ripe cassis mix with herbal hints and wildflower on the nose while broadly gracing the firm, rich, powerfully tannic palate. Sourced from many lesser known but sustainably or organically farmed vineyards throughout Sonoma county. Aged for nine months in neutral oak barrels.
Clos Saron is a small family-owned production whose mission is to create wines with "essence of place," as they call it, and work in a self-sustaining eco-system that's as non-interventionist as possible. They never add yeast, corrections, or additives except for occasionally a small amount of SO2, and they do not rack, fine, or filter their wines. The 'Black Pearl' is a co-fermentation of 50% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, and 10% Viognier aged for 2.5 years in oak before bottling.
Cooper Mountain Vineyards started in 1978 when Dr. Robert Gross and his wife, Corrine, planted the first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in the unique soils of Cooper Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Today, the estate has more than 100 acres dedicated to organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking. This Pinot Noir is refreshing and ripe, with brambly raspberry and cherry fruit, baking spice, and earthy flavors.
Cathy Corison's wines eschew the bold, heavy-handed flavors and dollops of massive French oak embraced by her Napa Valley counterparts, instead focusing on teasing deeply concentrated, ripened fruit from the deep, stony alluvial soils of her vineyards in Rutherford and St. Helena. With dark fruit and violet notes, this Cabernet is nothing short of impressive with allusive black cherry and black tea flavors, and meaty undertones. A quintessential example of power intersecting with elegance.
This vintage of Division's Pinot Noir "Un" is quintessential Oregon Pinot Noir; that beautiful balance of riper, concentrated fruit and an earthy, savory quality imparted from the terroir of Willamette. All seven of the vineyards that Division works with are blended for this cuvée and then fermented in open top barrels. About 25% of the blend is whole cluster which allows for some of the grapes to go through carbonic maceration. The wine is then aged mostly in neutral French and Austrian oak, with 15% new wood and then the final aging is done in cement for a softer, more nuanced texture. The nose is ripe, almost stewed red cherry, raspberry, and damp earth. The palate is a balance of richness and freshness, soft tannins and a savory finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is a beautiful granitic Syrah from the Barsotti Ranch Vineyard. Classic Syrah aromas: smoke, cracked pepper, black and red fruit, and at the center, that same iron noticeable in the taste of the grapes. Youthful, quite fresh, with a brisk high note, faintly suggestive of roses. Energetically very tense in the mouth, slightly bloody (that iron!) and ever so vaguely feral. The first time I tasted this blind I called it for being a dense Cabernet Franc from the Loire, which surprised me. It is big and beautiful and absolutely built for cellar-aging. 208 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
This is a great example of Steve Edmunds no-fuss style of wine-making. Planted in 2005, these Gamay vines are producing bright, fresh wines that speak to the rocky, granite soils, similar to Beaujolais, in which they're grown. The high elevation of the vineyards keeps the grapes in balance despite the warm climate of El Dorado. It shows fresh and stewed cherry on the nose, with a bit of anise, and ripe cherry and red plum on the palate with a mineral finish. Drink this slightly chilled, and enjoy with friends as it'll be a nice pairing for a wide range of proteins. Michelle DeWyngaert
This 100% Gamay rosé comes from the Witters Vineyard of volcanic, clay soil and the Barsotti Ranch Vineyard composed of mostly granite soils. 2018 was a warmer vintage for El Dorado than the previous year, but the Gamay maintained a great balance of freshness and ripeness. I am a firm believer that rosé should be enjoyed year-round, and the Edmunds Bone-Jolly has a rich savory quality to it that makes it a perfect food-pairing for any season. The granite soils show through on the nose with a hint of that dark rocky minerality, mixed with ripe strawberry and watermelon juice. The palate has a nice weight to it and a salty finish. I will happily drink this alongside paella in the summer and butternut squash in the winter. Michelle DeWyngaert
Andrew Scott of Eminence Road prefers to let nature take its course while making his wines, and for this vintage, that meant waiting many months for his Elizabeth's Vineyard Cabernet Franc to finish fermenting. Because of that, this year's "Hector" is a blend of 50% Cabernet Franc and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are foot-stomped, fermented whole cluster, and aged for a year in neutral French Oak. I love the balance between juicy black currant and raspberry and the savory, roasted pepper quality that you get from the Cabernets. The palate is concentrated but not heavy with firm tannins that soften the longer it has to breath. I look forward to trying this bottling again after a few years in the cellar! Michelle DeWyngaert
I can't say that I've had much Syrah from Willamette, and indeed the Havlin Vineyard is relatively young (planted in 2009), but I'm already intrigued to find more. The vineyard is 100% dry-farmed and LIVE sustainable certified. The soil here is silt loam over ironstone bedrock, which not only helps keep the yields low on these younger vines, but also imparts a distinct mineral backbone to this wine. 20% whole cluster in the fermentation, aged for 18 months in neutral French oak, and then bottled with just a bit of SO2 in accordance with Mike Hinds' minimalist philosophy. The nose is rich with a touch of dark, bitter chocolate, and the palate presents a really beautiful, concentrated texture with black pepper and dried herbs. Perfectly savory, this wine is calling to be paired with something roasted. Michelle DeWyngaert
This Cabernet is sourced from a single block of the Bates Ranch Vineyard located above 1000 feet on the eastern flank of Mt. Madonna at the very southern extremity of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Farmed exclusively by winemaker Kenny Likitprakong, this dry-farmed block was planted in 1973 by local wine legends Val and Dexter Ahlgren. As with much of the Cabernet from this region, the emphasis is on structural tension. Not quite as histrionically robust or extracted as Cabernet from other parts of California, this wine has some muted cassis scarved in layers of dusty tannin and spice. This is a style of Cabernet that would have been much easier to find in these hills back in the 1970s. 207 cases produced, with shorter extraction time, 10% whole cluster fermentation, and 25% new oak. Andrew Farquhar
This cuvée is meant to be an overview of what the Santa Cruz Mountains have to offer, and is sourced from three different vineyards: 40% Upper Block Amaya Ridge, 35% Aptos Creek, and 25% Smith Road. While the blend varies a little vintage to vintage, the wine shows consistency in its expression of classic Santa Cruz restraint. Fine cranberry fruit with a hint of some baking and savory spices, this Pinot is finely structured, with delicate tannins and a fine acid backbone. Open and inviting now, this wine will also benefit from a few years of cellaring. Excellent with roast chicken, lobster rolls, or miso-broth ramen, this will work just as well without food, as it is aromatic and mesmerizing as a standalone experience. 600 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
This is a fun, super drinkable, glou glou wine from Contra Costa County in CA. Laura Bissell's intention with her Lalalu line is to be delicious, quaffable, and not overly complicated, and this Cabernet Franc is exactly that. Fresh, lively notes of juicy cranberry and fresh raspberry, with a touch of herbaceousness and fresh earth on the nose. The tannin is minimal, but enough to keep the wine in balance. The grapes are farmed organically and spontaneously fermented, then aged in neutral barrels. I love this wine slightly chilled with charcuterie, but can also see this being the perfect pairing for burgers (veggie or meat-based). Michelle DeWyngaert
Primal is the perfect descriptor for this savory wine. Made from 100% Tempranillo from the organically farmed Forlorn Hope Vineyard in Calaveras County, then fermented whole cluster and aged in puncheon. Hank and Caroline's "do nothing" philosophy translates into their wine as the flavors are unencumbered, raw, and full of flavor. The nose on this wine shows dried and fresh cherries, violets, and cured meats. The palate is juicy and textured owing to the schist and limestone soils of the vineyard. A perfect wine to pair with stews or game meats as the name of the wine suggests! Michelle DeWyngaert
One of the first wines I ever loved was old-vine California Zinfandel, so I was very excited to taste this expression from Maître de Chai. The Stampede Vineyard was planted in the early 1940s with own-rooted Zinfandel on decomposed granite. Inspired by the wines of the famous Ridge Vineyards, this bottling is a field blend of mainly Zinfandel, with a bit of Mission and Carignan. The fermentation is done with 50% whole cluster bunches in open-top neutral oak and then aged for one year. The wine is a classic Zinfandel mix of fresh, ripe, and also dried red plum and raspberry. The tannins are present and driving, but not aggressive, well balanced by its fresh acidity, and a peppery finish. This wine will be excellent with flavorful game meats, and I look forward to trying it again in several years to see how it has progressed. Michelle DeWyngaert
This is the ultimate bistro wine! Pour yourself a glass, close your eyes, and you're suddenly in a little French, or perhaps based on this blend, Italian bistro. This years "Tendu" is 47% Aglianco, 42% Montepulciano, and 11% Barbera from the Windmill Vineyard in the Dunnigan Hills AVA. Fermented in stainless steel, aged in neutral barrels, and then bottled with no additives and no sulfur, just pure, juicy goodness. Super pretty on the nose with violets, dried and fresh raspberry and purple plum. On the palate is a just the right balance of acidity, structure, and concentration with a dark, rocky finish. This is will be an excellent pairing for a wide range of savory fare from burgers, to stews, to roasted veggies! Michelle DeWyngaert
Sean Minor is a negociant production working with high quality vineyards throughout the central and north coast of California to create fresh, easy drinking, great value wines like this classic California Pinot Noir. Fermented with 100% de-stemmed grapes to emphasize the ripe fruit and aged in oak barrels to give it those quintessential sweet oak spices.
Pearl Morissette wines are proof that if you can grow it organically (and deliciously) in Niagara, you can do it anywhere. Typically the Metis Rouge is all Cabernet Franc, but this vintage Francois Morissette decided to add in a bit of Gamay and Pinot Noir, all fermented whole cluster, vinified separately, and then blended together. The nose leads with earth and garrigue, and follows with juicy raspberry and currants. The palate is structured and concentrated without being heavy, and just enough vegetal undertone to let you know it's Cabernet Franc dominant, but not enough to take away from how approachable this wine is. I'll be drinking this with grilled vegetables or salmon filet. Michelle DeWyngaert
Richard Luftig, one of New York's best sommeliers, has made a Cabernet known for phenomenal quality and price: Pied a Terre Cabernet! Always one of our best-selling American reds, 2015 is a deep, ripe, and focused vintage for Pied a Terre. This is a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon that has classic California character but more structure and reserve than a lot of riper wine. The tannic structure is tightly woven, with fine acid backbone and lush cassis, blackberry, and slightly redder berry fruit. This is a California Cabernet meant to be consumed with food, and will pear excellently with New York strip steak, pork loin, or coq au vin. Andrew Farquhar
80% old vine Carignan from the Trimble vineyard in Mendocino and 20% Zinfandel from Porter Creek's own vineyards, this dry rose is one of my favorites of the summer. Crackling with acidity, bright fruit and a lovely seam of minerality on the nose, this wine is complex and hefty enough to pair with grilled meats and barbecue, while also having the snappy mouthwatering agility to be drunk as an aperitif. Winemaker Alex Porter always creates balanced wines, and this is no exception. All the fruit is dry-farmed, whole cluster pressed, and aged in neutral oak before bottling. Andrew Farquhar
This is a great, aromatic example of Gamay from the Willamette Valley. Jess and Tom, the wine-making duo of Pray Tell source the fruit for this bottling from two Oregon vineyard sites, Tualatin and Havlin vineyards, both dry-farmed and certified sustainable, with an eye towards using only certified organic and/or biodynamic fruit for all future vintages. I love the bright, floral and raspberry notes on the nose that mingle with aromas of stems and leaves derived from half of the grapes being left whole-cluster. On the palate this wine is light and fresh, leaving a nice warmth in your chest on the finish. Enjoy this with roasted dishes, or as I did with a creamy, chicken chili, the white peppery quality in the wine complimented it nicely. Michelle DeWyngaert
The Estate bottling from Stolpman showcases a blend from each of the vineyard blocks. It's a real blessing to have complete control over their fruit each year and continue their commitment to dry-farming even in drought-ridden California. Their aim is to create a rich, concentrated wine without becoming jammy or viscous. The grapes are vinified 50% whole cluster in open-top fermenters and then aged in neutral barrels. The nose is unmistakably California Syrah with classic notes of cracked black pepper, fresh violets and rosemary, laid over stewed plums and ripe black cherries. The palate is rich with silky tannins giving it a gentle but firm backbone and a peppery finish. Michelle DeWyngaert
One of the best bottlings by Stolpman vineyards each year is the La Cuadrilla. Stolpman Vineyards has created a unique opportunity for their vineyard team by awarding them full control over "La Cuadra" a 2 acre block, to be managed and harvested according to the measures they see fit. These grapes are then blended with other Stolpman blocks, and the proceeds for this bottling go back to the members of La Cuadrilla. This year's blend is a55% Syrah, with 27% Sangiovese and 18% Grenache vinified mostly in concrete, some in stainless steel, and then aged in neutral oak barrels. The wine is rich and juicy with a nice color concentration from the Syrah. The nose is ripe, almost stewed red fruits, with soft, pleasant tannins and minty, eucalyptus finish. Incredibly balanced and drinkable, cheers to La Cuadrilla on another great vintage! Michelle DeWyngaert
This Turley bottling of Zinfandel comes from one of their most prized sites, the Hayne Vineyard. Located on the west side of St. Helena Mountain, the vines, planted in 1902 are dry-farmed and headtrained to allow the vines to struggle just enough to create exceptional grapes.
From one of the oldest vineyards in the Turley repetoire, the Ueberroth Vineyard was planted in 1885! The proximity to the Pacific, and the limestone soil makes this one of their most vibrant, high acid bottlings of Zinfandel. The vines are own-rooted, head-trained, gnarly vines that create concentrated, flavorful berries for this highly allocated wine.
This organically farmed Cabernet Sauvignon from the Stag's Leap District in Napa bridges the gap between an old school, restrained style of claret, with a more modern take devoted to ripeness and richness. Named for the white, volcanic ash soil that the vines are grown in, this is a wine that definitely tells the story of its terroir. There is a distinct powdery, white ash sensation that you get from the well-integrated tannins in the wine. On the nose are notes of plump blackberry, plum, and ripe blueberry, mingled with dried savory herbs, and the palate starts out with a bit of preserved, baked fruit, but the minerality gives it a savory finish. Nicely balanced with just the right touch of oak, this is a beautiful wine to drink right away, but definitely has the structure to develop over the next 10-15 years. Michelle DeWyngaert