2005 Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noir; $75
14.5/20 — This medium-bodied red from Anderson Valley exhibits bright cranberry and raspberry flavors and features tannins as plush as a velvet couch.
2005 Gowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir; $75
16/20 — Exuding dusty and woodsy aromas with hints of jasmine tea, sweet cocoa and bramble, this strong red exhibits complex flavors of blackberry, black cherry and blueberry.
2006 Arroyo Vista Vineyard Chardonnay; $25
14/20 — Lime, lemon custard and tangerine aromas complement this white’s crisp acidity. Pairs well with roasted chicken or pasta dishes.
2006 Pinot Noir; $30
15/20 — Dark garnet in color, this full-bodied Pinot shows bright black cherry scents, a velvety mouthfeel, and fruit and toasty vanilla oak flavors.
2006 The Slammer Syrah; $14
13.5/20 — Sweet blackberry jam scents give way to a full-bodied Syrah, which reveals flavors of blackberry and cassis, and pairs well with barbecued chicken.
2006 Arts & Crafts Red; $20
13/20 — Consisting of 75 percent Merlot and 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, this red blend displays soft tannins, ripe black cherry, rhubarb and currant aromas, and cassis and cherry flavors.
2006 Selected Vineyards Merlot; $11
13.5/20 — Containing ten percent Petite Sirah, this medium-bodied Merlot exhibits dark cherry, cassis and raspberry flavors in addition to smoky and toasty oak aromas.
Sterling Vintner's Collection
2006 Pinot Noir; $13
12.5/20 — Made with fifteen percent Syrah and two percent Lagrein, this Pinot Noir displays silky cherry flavors with hints of oak. Pairs well with grilled ahi with ginger.
2005 Sangiovese; $18
13/20 — A blend of 78 percent Sangiovese and 22 percent Merlot, this red’s palate displays cranberry and Morello cherry flavors with undertones of anise.
2007 Rosato; $15
14/20 — This crisp Rosé, made completely from Dolcetto grapes, features flavors of wild berries and ripe strawberries. Enjoy paired with lighter cuisine or by itself.
Master’s Red Blend Cask 4; $10
13/20 — Tasting of cherry and plum with hints of earth and spice, this budget-friendly red blend of mostly Merlot, Zinfandel, Dolcetto and Sangiovese pairs well with a plate of barbecued ribs.
Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Iron Horse Vineyards
2003 Russian Cuvée; $33
13/20 — A nose of yeast, honey and vanilla aromas precede a mouth of ripe red apple and fig flavors. Pairs well with almonds and ricotta cheese.
2005 Merlot; $14
13.5/20 — This medium-bodied red’s aromas of cassis, hazelnut and laurel give way in the mouth to flavors of plum, blackberry and a hint of oak spice.
2005 Pinot Noir; $36
13.5/20 — This crisp, fruit-forward Pinot Noir shows off black cherry and wild berry aromas and flavors along with a lingering finish.
2005 Cuvée Audrey Chardonnay; $75
15.5/20 — Along with exhibiting a creamy mouthfeel, this white wine displays flavors and aromas of white peaches, lemons and almonds.
2005 Diamond T Estate Chardonnay; $63
14.5/20 — This holiday-friendly Chardonnay shows off nutty, yeasty aromas and tropical fruit flavors, including pineapple and guava.
2005 Maximus; $35
14.5/20 — Composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, this blend shows off cocoa, plum and black cherry scents, which echo in the mouth with blueberry, cinnamon and cedar flavors.
Casa Nuestra Winery & Vineyards
2007 Napa Valley Riesling; $22
13/20 — Showing a nose of spicy aromas, this off-dry Riesling exhibits flavors of pineapple and tangerine with a lingering finish. Pairs well with Fuji apples and mild cheeses.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
2007 Eisrébe; $50
15/20 — Made from 100 percent Scheurebe grapes, this saccharine dessert wine exhibits honeyed aromas and ripe apricot flavors.
Long Meadow Ranch Winery
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon; $42
14/20 — This Napa Valley red demonstrates a fruit-forward style with powerful black currant, tart cherry and blackberry aromas and flavors.
2005 Napa Valley Red Wine; $48
14.5/20 — Consisting of Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon with a small amount of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this medium-bodied blend shows off scents of strawberry, plum and violet with flavors of raspberry, boysenberry and dark chocolate.
2005 Merlot; $40
14/20 — This seductive, handcrafted Merlot displays strong oak flavors, which will yield to hints of black plum, currant and tart cranberry after ageing for several years.
Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyards
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14/20 — Containing fifteen percent Merlot and three percent Malbec, this Cab exhibits blackberry, currant and oak aromas, velvety tannins, and cherry, plum and vanilla flavors.
2005 Cabernet Franc; $35
14/20 — This red is characterized by flavors of fig, black currant, Indian spice, and chocolate with toasty vanilla oak.
Russian River Valley
2006 Zinfandel; $30
15/20 — Raspberry aromas with notes of toffee and chocolate are followed in this Zin by candied cherry flavors, fine tannins and a creamy finish. Pairs well with Vermont cheddar.
Santa Lucia Highlands
2006 Double L Vineyard Pinot Noir; $62
14.5/20 — Anise, cassis, mint and cola scents give way to black cherry, vanilla, oak, cranberry, herb and leather flavors.
Santa Ynez Valley
2006 Cuvee Le Bec; $18
14.5/20 — A blend of 50 percent Grenache, 28 percent Syrah, 15 percent Mourvedre and 7 percent Counoise, this red exhibits flavors of raspberry, red licorice, grenadine and sweet cranberry along with bright acidity.
2004 Syrah; $22
14/20 — Blackberry, cassis, and sage spice scents and flavors characterize this full-bodied wine, which pairs well with rosemary-marinated lamb or peppercorn steak.
2006 Sonoma Heritage Vines Zinfandel; $15
13.5/20 — Featuring less than four percent Petite Sirah, this Zinfandel demonstrates a ripe blueberry, black cherry and spice character with a soft mouthfeel and lingering finish.
Patz & Hall
2005 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay; $44
14.5/20 — Multi-layered aromas of toasted brioche, crème brulée and pineapple precede this Chardonnay’s full-bodied palate, which exhibits flavors of tropical fruit and honey.
2005 Cabernet Franc; $45
14.5/20 — Currant, sage, and white chocolate aromas precede this Cab Franc’s soft tannins and black cherry, red apple, tobacco and black pepper flavors.
2005 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1886; $95
16/20 — Highlighted by black cherry, tarragon, floral and mint chocolate scents, this dense Cab’s mouth consists of juicy tannins, and raspberry, anise, currant and maple flavors.
Sta. Rita Hills
2005 Botella Pinot Noir; $40
14.5/20 — Expressing fruity aromas on the nose, this crisp Pinot Noir shows off a lively palate and lingering finish.
2006 California Merlot; $12
13/20 — This full-bodied, jammy Merlot offers blackberry and black cherry flavors, toasty aromas, and a lingering, smooth finish.
South Coast Winery
2007 Grenache Rosé; $14
13/20 — This vibrant pink wine features crisp berry flavors and pairs well with roasted duck or a wood-fired pizza.
Stone Hill Winery
2003 Norton; $18
13/20 — Made from a true native American varietal (the Norton grape), this full-bodied red displays spicy aromas, supple tannins and blackberry flavors.
Stone Hill Winery
2006 Traminette; $15
12.5/20 — Exuding scents of lime, rose petal and apple, this white wine has a touch of sweetness to balance its zesty acidity. Pairs well with seafood and Asian cuisine.
La Face Cachée de la Pomme
2003 Neige Apple Ice Wine; $30 (375 ml)
15/20 — Featuring a nose of fresh apple scents with a hint of caramel, this cider balances between sweet and tart with a lingering, concentrated flavor of ambrosial spice.
2006 Carmenère Merlot; $12
13/20 — Blackberry and plum aromas, with notes of menthol and dry leaf, complement this medium-bodied blend’s black fruit flavors, velvety texture and lingering finish.
2005 Gewurztraminer; $17
13/20 — Lychee, rose petal and orange peel aromas complement this white wine’s fruity flavors and crisp finish. Pairs well with Indian cuisine.
2008 Beaujolais Nouveau; $10
13/20 — This special, light red wine, made from Gamay grapes, is dominated by flavors of raspberries and strawberries. Sips well with a Thanksgiving turkey.
2006 Beaujolais-Villages; $9
12.5/20 — This ruby-hued wine is made completely from Gamay grapes, and shows strawberry scents with zesty peppercorn nuances, gentle tannins and a clean acidity.
2005 Saint-Émilion; $27
13.5/20 — Made with Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this ruby-hued vino exhibits plum and blackberry aromas, firm tannins, and earth, herb and oak flavors.
2007 Sauvignon Blanc; $10
13/20 — Bright, fresh aromas of citrus, pear and dried herbs greet the nose, preceding this white wine's flavors of tangerine and apple.
2005 Bourgogne Chardonnay; $17
13/20 — White flowers, lime blossoms, vanilla and wood characterize this wine’s aromas and flavors. Pairs well with fish and chicken.
2005 Bourgogne Pinot Noir; $17
12/20 — Cherry, currant, raspberry and wood aromas complement this red’s ripe tannins and round fruit flavors. Pairs well with filet mignon.
2007 Laforet Chardonnay; $13
12/20 — Displaying a bright golden/green color, this Chardonnay shows fruity scents and crisp almond flavors. Pairs well with chicken, seafood and salads.
Champagne Moët & Chandon
N.V. White Star; $20 (375 ml)
13/20 — Exuding floral, apple, and pear aromas, this Champagne shows off peachy flavors and a soft, fruity finish. Pairs well with spicy Asian cuisine.
N.V. Brut La Française; $45
14/20 — Showing a pale gold hue, this bubbly wine exhibits fruit and toast aromas, and a crisp finish. Pairs well with caviar and sushi.
Côtes du Rhône
2003 Côtes du Rhône Red; $11
13/20 — This dark, full-bodied red blend consists of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, and exhibits fruity aromas and flavors with rounded tannins and a smooth finish.
Côtes du Rhône Villages
Perrin & Fils
2006 Côtes du Rhône Villages; $20
12.5/20 — Consisting of Grenache and Syrah, this dark red blend shows off cherry and licorice scents, elegant tannins, and a fresh palate. Pairs well with roasted lamb.
N.V. Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé; $18
12.5/20 — Made completely from Pinot Noir grapes, this crisp, pink-colored sparkly reveals light red berry scents along with strawberry and cherry flavors.
2005 Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Cuvée Constance; $16
12/20 — A blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah, this red wine exhibits cassis and raspberry jam scents along with dark fruit, chocolate and coffee flavors.
2006 Vin de Pays d’Oc Chardonnay; $10
13/20 — Vanilla, toast and ripe tropical fruit aromas on the nose give way to a round palate and a long, toasty finish. Pairs well with many types of cheese.
2006 Vallon d’Or; $18
13.5/20 — This pale gold Chardonnay exudes aromas of flowers, fruits, hazelnut and honey, and reveals a dry mouth with white fruit flavors. Pairs well with pork.
Castelnau de Suduiraut
2003 Sauternes; $20 (375 ml)
14.5/20 — Composed of 90 percent Sémillon and 10 percent Sauvignon Blanc, this gold-colored wine exhibits honeysuckle and baked pear aromas, sweet fruit flavors and a crisp finish.
Domaine Le Peu de la Moriette
2006 Vouvray; $13
13.5/20 — Composed entirely of Chenin Blanc, this wine exhibits Mirabelle plum, apple pie and pear aromas in addition to sweet peach and honey flavors.
2005 Scassino; $21
14/20 — This medium-bodied Sangiovese, which contains three percent Canaiolo, exhibits cherry and earth flavors, and pairs well with Asian cuisine.
"Six Grapes" Reserve Porto; $23
14/20 — A very pleasant "raisiny" and jammy Port to pair with foie gras.
1985 Vintage Porto; $82
14.5/20 — This full-bodied port displays violet aromas, firm tannins, and concentrated fruit flavors, making it a good pairing with a dark chocolate dessert during the holidays.
2004 Crianza; $15
13/20 — Made entirely from Tempranillo, this red wine’s aromas and flavors consist of black plum, black raspberry, rose petals, leather, tobacco and dried herbs. Pairs well with salmon.
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(Updated 07/28/10 ET)