MacRostie Winery and Vineyards
2006 Chardonnay Carneros; $23
14.5/20 — The soothing pale-gold color of this Chardonnay is enticing, but not as much as the layered flavors. Apple and spice mingle, with a crisp, clean finish.
2005 Petite Sirah, Limited Release; $14
13.5/20 — Concannon, creators of America's first Petite Sirah, announces this vibrant vino. Intense, with berry fruits and a full body, this bottle pairs well with wild game, herb-rubbed lamb and dark chocolate.
Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards
2006 Pinot Noir; $25
13/20 — A lovely balance of fruit, spice and oak. A blend of fruit from many Central Coast appellations, this wine goes well with salmon, lamb, or even grilled vegetables.
2006 "Trois Filles" Pinot Noir; $39
14/20 — Only 390 cases of this Pinot were produced. Rich in fruit (namely, cherries) and crisp oak, this wine will only become more expressive after time in the cellar.
2006 "The Shell Mound " Riesling; $22
13.5/20 — Not your classic Riesling. Sustainably grown, like all of this label's wine, this wine is dry, with a delightful crispness. Pair this vino with seafood, or a spicy Asian dish.
Chappellet Vineyard & Winery
2005 Napa Valley Merlot; $32
14.5/20 —A sleek Merlot with a noticeably high alcohol content. Once mellowed, however, it offers a notes of Maraschino cherries, cola and vanilla notes.
Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards
2007 Dry Chenin Blanc, Old Vines; $24
14/20 — This dry Chenin Blanc is a great sipper. Made from the oldest Chenin Blanc vines in the country, a green apple nose gives way to flavors of anise and melon. Great with seafood.
Cabernet Sauvignon; $35
14/20 — Big, ripe, sweet fruit characteristics in the
front of the mouth move right into a smooth and lingering
finish. Will age well for years to come.
Honig Vineyard & Winery
2006 Sauvignon Blanc; $16
13.5/20 —A true-to-type Sauvignon Blanc. The distinct nose and fizzy mouthfeel are rarely found in California-grown wines of this varietal. Has fruity notes of grapefruit and papaya.
2005 One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon; $70
14/20 —A thick mouthfeel stands in contrast to a noticeably high alcohol content. The jammy nose is quite pleasant, though this wine will certainly benefit from additional aging.
2006 Chardonnay; $11
13/20 —An appealing Chardonnay. Crisp and acidic, the surlie barrel aging imparts a vanilla flavor. Aromas of fresh green apple and ripe pear only add to freshness.
Little Black Dress Wines
2007 Pinot Grigio; $12
13/20 — A perfect choice when you're in the mood for white wine. Balanced fruit aromas blend seamlessly with the light mouthfeel. A great warm-weather sipper.
Donati Family Vineyards
2005 Chardonnay; $18
13/20 — Sweet with the bright taste of oak, this is a great basic Chardonnay. Pairs well with roasted chicken, or light, grilled fare.
2006 Pinot Grigio Arroyo Grande Valley; $19
13/20 — A crisp, classic selection. Cool, with hints of kiwi and litchi flavors, this white will pair well with spicy, grilled food, or is lovely on its own on a hot summer evening.
Tablas Creek Vineyard
2006 Roussanne; $27
14.5/20 — The fifth national release of Tablas Creek's 100% Roussanne. Vibrant and exuberant, this wine has pear, honeysuckle and hazelnut flavors.
2001 Monopole Pinot Noir, Estate Bottled; $48
15.5/20 — A truly luxurious Pinot. Given time to age gracefully, this wine has a fruitful nose of strawberries, with a strong cherry taste, subtle spiciness, and an enjoyable, lingering aftertaste.
2006 "Frisquet" Pinot Noir; $39
14.5/20 — Another limited-edition beauty from Pey Vineyards. Well-rounded with sumptuous flavor, this is a delightful Pinot, for now or years down the line.
MacRostie Winery and Vineyards
2005 Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir; $45
14/20 — The color of precious garnets, this complex wine has exciting flavor notes. With cranberry and espresso flavors highlighted by oak, this is a wine that will age well.
Carneros Cuvée; $50
14.5/20 — Striking wine with bright, exotic fruit elements
held together by an elegant, contoured structure. Asian
pear, kiwi and ginger aromas flood the bouquet.
Century Cellars BV
2006 Chardonnay; $6
13.5/20 — A phenominal buy. This true-to-type Chardonnay has apple and citrus aromas, with flavors of the same. An oak flavor at the finish is anything but overpowering.
Stone Hill Winery
2002 Blanc de Blancs; $16
12.5/20 — A sweet sparkler, made primarily from Vidal grapes. Crisp and delicate, this bottle would work well as an aperitif or pair well with any dessert.
Grand River Valley
1998 Riesling Reserve; $8
14/20 — Delicate peach and floral aromas make this wine perfectly sweet. Perfect for ageing, this wine could become a perfect dessert drink after another ten years.
Champagne de Venoge
Cordon Bleu Brut Sélect; $49
14/20 — Showing aromas of apples, lemon and honey on the nose, this wine is good as an aperitif, or with light starter dishes of veal, sweetbreads or crab.
Tenuta Rocca di Montemassi
2006 Vermentino; $11
13/20 —The straw-yellow color of this wine is captivating, and the subtlely floral nose alluring. Gentle citrus notes hit on the palate. Wonderful with fresh seafood.
Feudo Principi di Butera
2006 Insolia; $11
13.5/20 —A clean-drinking wine. The golden yellow color prepares the drinker for an exotic fruit bouquet. The flavor notes are rich and balanced, with the subtle hint of almond.
2005 Creu de Lavit; $15
13.5/20 — A brisk acidity is the mark of this wine. Perfect with grilled chicken or spicy Thai, this wine made from the Xarel-lo varietal has notes of pear, and a subtle oak flavor.
Ribera del Duero
Viñedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero
2004 Viñedos y Bodegas Garcia Figuero Noble; $160
15.5/20 — With a nose and palate of ripened fruit, jam, minerality and wood, this tempranillo packs a long finish and pairs well with the heartiest fare you can muster.
Bodegas Marqués de Cáceres
2006 Barrel-Fermented White Rioja; $12
13.5/20 — This golden-hued vino displays aromas of toasty vanilla and creamy pears, and reveals fresh fruit flavors in the mouth along with soft tannins. For a meal, pair this white with a seafood bisque, shellfish, lobster, sushi, rice and pasta.
Mission Hill Family Estate
2003 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon; $12
12.5/20 — A lively wine with hints of lime and green pear on the nose. Aged in new French oak barrels, this wine has been imparted with a subtle, refreshing vanilla taste.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; $12
12.5/20 — This deep-red wine has an intense, fruity aroma, with a jammy, fruity nose. On the palate, it is spicy with hints of mint. Pairs well with grilled steaks and roasted lamb.
2006 Cabernet Franc Carmenère; $12
13/20 — A remarkably complex wine for the price. The purple-red hue is sexy, and the chocolate-coffee nose exciting. The peppery, mineral palate is completed with the flavor of plums.
South Eastern Australia
2007 Merlot; $9
13/20 — A juicy, jammy nose captures the drinker's attention, and the dark red color is bold and eye-catching. Heavy tannins carry the fruit flavors well.
2005 Chardonnay; $30
14/20 — A subtle Chardonnay with a delightful, creamy mouthfeel. Citrus aromas on the nose prepare the palate for stone fruit and citrus notes.
Valli Vineyards Limited
2006 Bannockburn Vineyard Pinot Noir; $50
14/20 — A fine Pinot from this New Zealand vineyard. Boysenberry and plum notes dance on the nose, with a sweet and sinewy texture on the mouth.
Releases Main Page
(Updated 01/18/10 ET)