Eagle Castle Winery
12/20 — This sweet and crisp sparkling wine displays aromas of pear, which are echoed in the classic white fruit flavors.
2008 Tower Road Petite Sirah; $35
14.5/20 — A toasted hazelnut bouquet with aromas of blackberry pie and bread dough form a dense, finely textured wine with a fruit-forward finish.
Santa Lucia Highlands
Patz & Hall
2008 Pisoni Vineyard Sant Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir; $80
15/20 — Compelling depth and mouthcoating strawberry pie flavors strike a balance between round, soft tannins and fresh acidity.
Santa Ynez Valley
2007 L'Avion; $40
14.5/20 — Spicy aromas of lemon and licorice are followed by juicy citrus flavors, building up to a long, penetrating finish.
2009 Elysium; $25
13/20 — With an aroma reminiscent of roses, this dessert wine displays rich and sweet berry flavors.
2007 Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir; $75
15.5/20 — A juicy core of berry fruit is supported by excellent tannins and undercurrents of mushroom, charcuterie and oak.
Canihan Family Wines
2006 Exuberance Syrah; $40
15/20 — Ripe berry aromas and flavors intermingle with earthy notes of smoked meat. A hint of white pepper makes the tongue tingle.
2007 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon; $80
15.5/20 — This Cab offers rich, earthy characteristics of bramble, blackberry and tobacco.
2006 South 40 Ranch Syrah; $40
14/20 — Oak-barrel aging marries the bold fruit flavors with notes of earth and spice.
15/20 — Luscious aromas of raspberries, wild blackberries and mocha are followed by a palate of black currant and subtle tobacco.
2009 Sauvignon Blonde; $16
13.5/20 — A zippy number with grapefruit, lime and pineapple flavors with an invigorating tropical fruit finish.
2009 Flirtation Rosé; $30
13.5/20 — Made from Merlot grapes, Flirtation is a dry rosé with teasing strawberry and pomegranate flavors.
2008 Championship Cuvée Cabernet Sauvignon; $100
16/20 — Ripe purple fruit is chased by blackberries and hints of bittersweet chocolate, balanced with racy acidity and soft tannins.
2007 Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14/20 — Up front, the flavors are fruit-driven but then its dark, earthy notes emerge toward the back of the palate and linger on the finish.
Russian River Valley
2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir; $28
14/20 — Traditional Pinot Noir flavors of cherry and strawberry combine with subtle oak tannins, opening to hints of caramel, cinnamon and cloves.
2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay; $38
14/20 — This wine starts with lovely ripe white peach and honeysuckle aromas, echoed in the palate and citrus finish.
Clos Du Bois
2009 North Coast Chardonnay; $12
13/20 — This wine's silky-smooth texture is overlaid with bright juicy fruit flavors as well as hints of butter, toasty oak and spice, all lingering into a satisfying finish.
Iron Horse Vineyards
2006 Wedding Cuvee; $38
14/20 — Rich and creamy like strawberries and cream, this sparkling wine is a romantic Iron Horse selection.
2008 Sangiacomo Chardonnay; $25
15.5/20 — This classic Californian Chardonnay displays flavors of green apple, nectarine, cinnamon and vanilla.
2008 Tease Riesling ; $18
13/20 — This wine offers tart pineapple and sweet stone fruit flavors with just a hint of musky perfume.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; $45
14/20 — Earthy aromas of gravel, chocolate and mushroom round out the nose, complemented by flavors of red currant, raspberry and fig.
Cougar Crest Winery
2005 Reserve Syrah; $60
14/20 — This syrah displays smoky, white pepper and leather notes with a sultry mouthfeel.
2009 Gruner Veltliner "Ausstich" DAC; $16
13.5/20 — This crisp and fragrant Gruner offers delicate fruit and a lightness on the palate.
Varichon & Clerc
Privilege Blanc de Blancs; $12
12.5/20 — A rich fragrance of hazelnuts and toasted grain are followed by flavors of poached pears.
2008 Saint-Amour; $15
13/20 — On the palate, berries, cherries and spice are complemented by mineral notes and light, dusty earthiness.
Château Clos l'Eglise
Côtes de Castillon; $40
14/20 — This full-bodied and youthful wine has complex flavors of dark fruits and minerals, culminating in a long, satisfying finish.
Saint Julien; $120
16/20 — Floral aromas, subtle black fruit flavors and underlying earthiness are coupled with velvety tannins to provide a sensual experience.
Chambolle-Musigny aux Echanges; $30
14/20 — The intense bouquet of berry fruit and oak offers a fruity and soft palate, with a persistent, elegant finish.
2008 Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses; $150
16/20 — This voluptuous and silky wine displays aromas and flavors of violets and black fruits with the weight of minerality on the finish.
Cuvée Perle d'Ayala 2000; $150
16/20 — Aromas of ripe dried fruit on the nose present a harmonious palate of vanilla and toast which linger on the fresh finish.
Champagne Besserat de Bellefon
Cuvée des Moines Brut Millésime 2002; $70
15/20 — The expressive nose involves notes of pear and quince, leading to a rich and powerful palate of yellow fruits. The fruity finish is generous and persistent.
2002 Fleur de Champagne Rosé; $275
16/20 — Aromas of wildflowers, strawberries and vanilla are followed by red fruit and roses on the tongue.
2000 Millesimé Brut Blanc de Blancs; $80
15.5/20 — Ripe citrus, smoke and orchard fruit flavors combine for a rich and suave wine.
Château des Jacques
2009 Moulin-à-Vent; $17
14/20 — This full, robust Beaujolais offers a fleshy, almost fat texture with a fruitiness that will become mellow with age.
Domaine J.A. Ferret
2009 Pouilly-Fuissé; $30
14.5/20 — This vibrant wine displays notes of yellow fruits, flowers and hazelnuts with an intense and spicy finish.
2009 Veneto Pinot Grigio; $7
12.5/20 — This Pinot Grigio is crisp and refreshing with citrus aromas and flavors of ripe apple and pear.
12.5/20 — A sweet and light effervescent wine, the Moscato delivers aromas of acacia blossoms followed by flavors of peach and apricot.
Duca Del Frassino
2009 Cabernet Corvina; $20
12/20 — This boxed wine is a dry robust red blend with layers of lush dark fruit on the nose and palate.
Duca Del Frassino
2009 Garganega Pinot Grigio; $20
12/20 — Aromas of white flowers on the nose is followed by flavors of stone fruits in this fruit-forward boxed wine.
Musella Winery & Relais
2008 Valpolicella Superiore Vigne Nuove; $18
14/20 — Aromas and flavors of cherries and violets are accompanied by underlying vanilla and musky notes.
Jaume Serra Cristalino
Brut Cava; $10
13/20 — This sparkling wine is fresh and toasty on the nose with lively flavors of citrus, green apple and minerals.
2009 Chocolate Block; $28
14/20 — Syrah dominates the flavor with raspberry, blackberry and almond notes with just a hint of pepper and spice.
2008 Reserve Pinot Noir; $25
15.5/20 — This wine delivers flavors of pretty red fruit with hints of roses and chocolate on the finish.
13/20— A vibrant nose of strawberries and raspberries is echoed in the palate and followed by a long creamy finish.
2010 Sauvignon Blanc; $16
13/20 — Aggressive flavors of grapefruit and gooseberry are followed by a crisp, lingering finish.
2008 Te Muna Pinot Noir; $40
14/20 — Classic rose petal, cherry and blackberry aromas are joined by earthy notes of bramble and bark in the mouth.
2009 Waroo; $18
13/20 — Aromas of red berry freshness become soft and expressive in the mouth with flavors of earthy red berries and crisp acidity.
Releases Main Page
(Updated: 05/17/13 BH)