2003 Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14.5/20 — Exhibiting a dense palate of fleshy blackberry and currant flavors, this Cab’s seductive finish is accented by notes of cedar, herbal minerality and mocha.
J. Lohr Vineyard & Wines
2006 Fog's Reach Vineyard Pinot Noir; $35
13/20 — Exhibiting a nose of strawberry and rhubarb, this Pinot Noir features flavors of cherry, raspberry and spicy oak and pairs well with grilled lamb.
2006 Carneros Pinot Noir; $28
14/20 — This Pinot Noir exudes a nose of plums, roses and violets, which echo in the silky and elegant blueberry flavors. Pairs well with grilled salmon.
Contra Costa County
2006 Live Oak Zinfandel; $30
14.5/20 — With a nose and palate of sweet berries, spice, coffee and licorice, this Zin displays fine-grained tannins and pairs well with peppercorn-encrusted filet mignon.
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Iron Horse Vineyards
2006 Estate Pinot Noir; $40
13.5/20 — Possessing a nose of black licorice, raspberry and roasting herbs, this Pinot Noir exhibits a palate of sweet cherries and soft tannins. Pairs well with lamb tenderloins and pork ribs.
2006 Napa Valley Chardonnay; $38
14/20 — Aromas of ripe pear, citrus, flowers and oak precede this Chardonnay’s flavors of lemon zest, melon, white peach and vanilla.
2005 Syrah; $45
13.5/20 — Exhibiting flavors of currant and blackberry with notes of smoke, licorice and spice, this pen ink purple Syrah features a lingering finish and pairs well with chargrilled steak.
The Hess Collection
2005 Hess Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; $50
14/20 — Revealing aromas of cassis, mountain blackberry and black cherry, this red is layered with chewy tannins and a medium-bodied mid-palate that builds through the finish.
Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyards
2007 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc; $16
14/20 — This velvety Cab displays aromas of blackberry, currant and toasted oak, and flavors of cherry, plum and toasty vanilla.
2006 Maquette; $40
12.5/20 — An easy drinking wine, this red blend offers a palate of ripe raspberries and cherries along with a finish of velvety tannin, black pepper, smoke and espresso.
Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards
2005 Merlot; $20
13.5/20 — Flavors of candied cherry fruit and baking spices complement this Merlot’s firm tannins and smooth mouthfeel. Pairs well with a wide range of grilled meats and spicy vegetable dishes.
Clos LaChance Winery
2004 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14/20 — Big and bold, but not overpowering, this layered Santa Cruz Mountains Cab features cassis and blackberry on the palate.
Clos LaChance Winery
2005 Biagini Vineyard Chardonnay; $35
13/20 — Crisp green apple and citrus aromas highlight the nose, while more citrus and pear are present on the palate.
14/20 — Infused with scented geraniums and damiana, a Latin American herb, this Orange Muscat dessert wine exhibits peach aromas and pairs well with dark chocolate torte.
Barossa Valley Estate
2005 E Minor Shiraz; $12
13.5/20 — This medium-bodied red exudes aromas of cherries, plums, pepper and sweet oak. Pairs well with spicy Asian cuisine.
Vin de Pays d'Oc
2007 Rosé de Cabernet; $10
12.5/20 — This Rosé exhibits expressive red fruit on the nose and good balance in the mouth. While suitable as an apéritif, this pink pairs well with grilled meat and fish.
2007 Viognier; $11
14/20 — Displaying a strong nose of pineapple, lychee and apricot, this refreshing, fruit-forward white wine from France exhibits a straw yellow hue and is enjoyable with fish.
2005 Pinot Noir; $22
14/20 — A light Pinot Noir with a nose of delicate, earthy minerals and cherries. On the palate, this red shows fresh cherry, coco and tomato flavors.
2006 Weinheimer Riesling halbtrocken; $15
14/20 — Exhibiting flavors of peaches, apples and mint, this off-dry Riesling pairs well with smoked sausage or a chicken salad.
1995 Duas Quintas; $34
14.5/20 — This nicely aged blend of Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional exhibits soft fruit flavors and good balance.
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(Updated 09/30/08 SCV)