2005 Sassolino; $18
13/20 — Made from 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 34 percent Colorino and 6 percent Sangiovese, this red blend reveals black cherry flavors with hints of chocolate and oak, and a finish with soft round tannins.
2005 Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Cuvée Carlotta Chardonnay; $63
15/20 — Lemon zest, pear and nutmeg aromas frame this Chardonnay’s bouquet, and gives way to pineapple, peach and hazelnut flavors and a round palate.
2000 Optimus; $45
14/20 — Consisting mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with a touch of Petit Verdot and Zinfandel, this red blend features blackcurrant, berry jam, plum, tobacco and vanilla flavors.
2006 Huerhuero Cabernet Sauvignon; $19
14/20 — Displaying a deep shade of red, this full-bodied Cab exhibits sweet oak, dark fruit, blueberry and tobacco flavors in addition to ripe tannins and a long finish.
Santa Lucia Highlands
Hayman & Hill
2007 Reserve Selection Pinot Noir; $17
12.5/20 — Strawberry and raspberry scents and flavors complement this Pinot’s dusty overtones and sweet smokiness. Pairs well with seared duck breast.
2005 Maximus; $35
14.5/20 — A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, this red feasting wine’s cocoa, plum, black cherry and vanilla scents give way to velvety tannins, and plum, cherry, blueberry, cinnamon and cedar flavors.
Frank Family Vineyards
2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon; $45
15/20 — Displaying an inky purple hue, this Cab exhibits berry, chestnut and sandlewood aromas, which are echoed on the palate with cranberry and watermelon flavors.
Hayman & Hill
2006 Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
14/20 — Blended with 12 percent Merlot, 5 percent Syrah and 4 percent Petite Syrah, this Cab is characterized by chocolate, blueberry and raspberry flavors. Pairs well with a hearty stew.
Long Meadow Ranch Winery
2006 Ranch House Red; $19
13.5/20 — This Cabernet Sauvignon, which contains Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Petite Syrah, features black currant, black tea and earth flavors in addition to soft tannins and a lingering finish.
Mount Veeder Winery
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14.5/20 — Blackberry, red plum, bay, chocolate and coffee scents complement this full-bodied Cab’s dark cherry and cassis flavors, well-structured palate and fine tannins.
Brut Prestige; $19
13.5/20 — Opening with white blossom, vanilla, citrus and melon scents, this medium-bodied bubbly shows off a crisp structure and a lingering finish.
2006 Merlot; $48
14/20 — Dark fruit aromas and black berry, licorice, pepper, strawberry and plum flavors characterize this red wine. Pairs well with a roast chicken.
2004 Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $60
15.5/20 — Blended with small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec, this red features cinnamon, blackberry, cocoa, cranberry and licorice aromas and flavors.
2007 Sauvignon Blanc; $20
15/20 — Entirely estate grown, this Sauvignon Blanc shows off passion fruit, lemon, grapefruit and herbal aromas, which are mirrored on the wine’s crisp palate.
2005 Estate Merlot; $45
14/20 — Tending towards an Old World style, this estate-grown Merlot is deliciously tart with great acidity and fine-grain tannins. Serve it with an elegant dinner of roast duckling.
Louis M. Martini
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; $17
14/20 — Blended with a touch of Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Tannat, this Cab exhibits layered aromas and flavors of cherry, blackberry, sage, chocolate and vanilla.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
14/20 — With just a touch of Cabernet Franc and Merlot blended in, this Cabernet Sauvignon features cassis, black currant and cherry aromas, silky tannins and cherry and vanilla flavors.
2007 Estate Chardonnay; $24
14/20 — Exuding aromas of pineapple, sweet white corn and spicy Asian pear, this pale gold wine shows off a medium acidity with flavors of oak, pineapple, pear, lemon and spice.
2006 Chardonnay; $48
14.5/20 — Honeysuckle, ginger and white peach aromas precede this creamy white wine’s Asian pear, jasmine, apple and oak flavors, earthy minerality and crisp acidity.
Russian River Valley
2006 Bella Luna Vineyard Pinot Noir; $49
13/20 — Marked by bright red fruit flavors and a firm structure, this Pinot shows off soft, chalky tannins, and spicy, earthy tones on the finish.
Clos du Bois
2006 Reserve Pinot Noir; $25
13/20 — Exuding red currant, plum and rose petal aromas, this Pinot reveals silky, fine-grained tannins, blackberry and strawberry flavors, and a lingering finish.
South Coast Winery
2007 Chardonnay Sans Chêne; $15
13/20 — Aged without oak and marked by tropical fruit aromas, this fresh Chardonnay exhibits apple, pear and lemon flavors along with a crisp finish. Pairs well with vegetarian fare.
South Coast Winery
2007 GVR; $20
12.5/20 — A blend of 72 percent Grenache Blanc, 15 percent Viognier and 13 percent Roussanne, this white wine displays a lemon, raspberry, honeysuckle, pear and citrus character with a long, velvety finish.
A Donkey and Goat Winery
2006 Three Thirteen; $37
14.5/20 — Composed of 38 percent Syrah, 34 percent Mourvèdre and 28 percent Grenache, this silky red blend exhibits aromas and flavors of leather, spice, blueberry and graphite.
2006 Winemaker Select Merlot; $12
12.5/20 — Defined by blackberry and plum flavors with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, this Californian Merlot is soft in the mouth and features a lingering finish. Pairs well with grilled burgers.
2006 Zinfandel; $12
13.5/20 — Featuring blackberry, black cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavors, this BBQ rib-friendly Zinfandel also shows off a soft mouthfeel with black pepper and vanilla notes.
Willamette Valley Vineyards
2006 Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir; $40
13.5/20 — Reflecting Oregon’s terroir, this quality Pinot offers bright acidity, a tannic structure, strong alcohol content, and tart berry and earthy wild mushroom flavors.
Messina Hof Wine Cellars
2005 Paulo Shiraz; $44
13/20 — Restrained and beautifully balanced, this red exhibits sweet blackberry and tangy cranberry flavors with a distinctly petrol aroma, and a hint of vanilla and earth on the finish.
2005 Majestic Cabernet Sauvignon; $24
13.5/20 — Displaying a dark crimson hue, this full-bodied Cab features mulberry, blackberry and cedar aromas with layered tannins, and dark plum, blackberry and oak flavors.
2005 Steinklotz Gewürztraminer Grand Cru; $24
13.5/20 — Exuding wildflower and honey scents, this classic Alsatian wine shows off a mineral character, lively acidity and elegant structure on the palate.
Champagne Dom Pérignon
2000 Vintage Brut; $120
17/20 — Showing fine bubbles, this crisp Champagne shows off floral, pear and yeast aromas along with sweet citrus flavors and a long finish. Pairs well with lobster.
1998 Clos des Goisses Brut; $240
17.5/20 — This single-vineyard Champagne shows a lively, noticeably mineral character, and exhibits fruit jam scents and a fleshy palate of honey, almond and old brandy flavors.
Champagne Veuve Clicquot
2002 Vintage Brut; $75
16/20 — Made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a touch of Pinot Meunier, this fruit and mineral-driven Champagne features a silky mouthfeel with floral aromas and licorice and brioche flavors.
Domaine Saint Roch
2005 Fitou; $n/a
14/20 — Consisting of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, this round, spiced wine shows off red fruit flavors and pairs well with roast beef.
2006 Les Douze Fitou; $10
14/20 — Derived from Carignan, Grenache and Syrah, this medium-bodied red blend shows off a spicy and fruity character.
2001 Muscat de Rivesaltes Reserve; $32
13/20 — Made from Grenache, this red shows off full and soft red fruit flavors with hints of vanilla, caramel and nuts. Pairs well with blue cheese.
2004 Campaccio; $33
13.5/20 — Featuring 70 percent Sangiovese and 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, this red blend shows off dark berry fruit, cocoa, almond and leather scents and flavors.
2006 Rosé; $16
13/20 — This bright pink blend of Merlot, Garnacha and Syrah features strawberry, raspberry, pineapple, grapefruit and anise scents and flavors. Pairs well with a roast duck.
Celler de l’Encastell
2006 Marge; $25
14.5/20 — Composed of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, this full-bodied, purple-colored red shows off floral and cherry aromas, smooth texture, and a spicy palate.
Luján de Cuyo
Finca La Linda
2006 Malbec; $10
13/20 — Cherry and spice aromas precede this red’s balanced tannins and velvety mouthfeel. Pairs well with steak, chicken and hard cheeses.
Releases Main Page
(Updated 02/19/09 SV)