2007 American Ice Wine Vidal Blanc; $35 (375 ml)
12/20 — A sweet, full-bodied and golden-colored dessert wine featuring tangerine and honey scents with mineral, honey, citrus and floral flavors and a long aftertaste.
2007 Chardonnay; $18
13.5/20 — Lively tropical aromas of pineapple and mango give way to this Chardonnay’s apple, pear and lemon-zest-flavored palate. Pairs well with pork chops.
2007 Grenache; $21
13/20 — This bright, fruity Grenache offers ripe raspberry and blackberry flavors that mingle with delicate spice hints. Enjoy with a roast beef sandwich.
2008 Syrah Rosé; $16
12.5/20 — A touch of Gewürztraminer and Muscat Canelli enhances this Syrah-derived dry pink wine, which exhibits lavender, strawberry and citrus scents and smooth strawberry and cherry flavors.
Santa Lucia Highlands
2007 Lucia Highlands Vineyard Pinot Noir; $28
13.5/20 — This dark, concentrated Pinot Noir exhibits up-front cherry, raspberry and black currant aromas and flavors, with earthy violet and bark notes mingled with tart acidity.
2007 Black Mountain Vineyards Pinot Noir; $40
15/20 — Only available at the winery, this fresh and fruity Pinot Noir exhibits brown spice and cherry flavors. Pairs well with white meats or vegetables.
Santa Ynez Valley
2008 Viognier; $20
13.5/20 — Honeysuckle, white peach and citrus blossom fragrances reverberate with this dry Viognier’s apricot, lemon-lime and lychee flavors and long, mineral-laden finish.
2007 Chardonnay; $32
15.5/20 — A lush and layered Chardonnay characterized by pineapple, lime, nectarine, floral and toast aromas that reverberate on its creamy, fruity palate.
2006 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon; $80
14.5/20 — Touches of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec enhance this Cab, which shows off black currant, blueberry and cacao fragrances with a supple palate, fine tannins and juicy blackberry, cherry, espresso and baking spice flavors.
2007 Signature Chardonnay; $43
13.5/20 — Pear, orange blossom and macadamia nut aromatics give way to this Chardonnay’s Fuji apple, white apple and toffee flavors, bright acidity and lingering grapefruit and crème brûlée finish.
2004 Élu Napa Valley Red Wine; $60
15/20 — This juicy Bordeaux-style red blend exhibits a voluptuous mouthfeel with plum and blackberry flavors, dusty tannins and a hint of spice.
2002 Royal Cuvée Brut; $35
13.5/20 — Consisting of a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blend, this bubbly offers black cherry and strawberry aromas with apple, citrus, caramel and toast flavors and a long finish.
2007 Gewürztraminer; $19
13.5/20 — A dry, estate-bottled Gewurztraminer exhibiting a crisp character with citrus, tropical fruit and spice flavors and toasty hints.
2008 Edelzwicker; $13
14/20 — Affordable but well balanced, faintly sweet yet fresh, this traditional Alsatian white blend is the sort of aromatic low-alcohol wine that pairs well with a picnic or a big holiday feast.
Matanzas Creek Winery
2008 Rosé of Merlot; $17
13.5/20 — This turkey dinner and dessert-friendly Rosé offers raspberry and cranberry aromas with a lightly sweet palate comprising red berry, tart pomegranate and a citrusy zip.
2006 Estate Vineyard Selection Botrytised Semillon; $80 (375 ml)
14/20 — Honey and citrus scents complement this sweet, nectar-like dessert wine, which exhibits ripe pear, apricot, mango, caramel, vanilla and almond flavors.
Russian River Valley
Frei Brothers Reserve
2007 Syrah; $24
13.5/20 — With touches of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah and Cabernet Franc added in, this full-bodied Syrah features earthy aromas and a dark-berry-flavored mouth with soft tannins and baking spice, smoke and toast hints.
2006 Russian River Selection Pinot Noir; $42
14.5/20 — Ripe cherry, raspberry and strawberry aromatics precede this Pinot Noir’s silky, dark berry flavors and spicy oak hints.
J Vineyards & Winery
2007 Pinot Gris; $16
14/20 — White peach, honeysuckle, mango and floral fragrances match this Pinot Gris’ velvety palate of summer melon, lemon cream and honey flavors. Pairs nicely with Thai cuisine.
2006 A by Acacia Chardonnay; $10
13/20 — Exuding toast and pear fragrances, this Chardonnay exhibits apple, citrus, pineapple and tropical fruit flavors with spice and vanilla oak hints. Pairs well with pasta and shellfish.
2007 Big House Red Wine; $9
12/20 — A blend of sixteen different varietals, this dry red wine offers wild cherry, tobacco and pepper aromas, giving way to a cherry, plum and candied apple-laden palate.
2006 Beastly Old Vines Zinfandel; $20
13/20 — With a touch of Mourvèdre added, this spicy, full-bodied Zinfandel features blackberry, oak, vanilla and dry herb flavors. Pairs well with grilled pork and barbecued ribs.
Peter Vella Vineyards
Chardonnay of California; $16 (5 L)
9.5/20 — Dark in color, this boxed Chardonnay features green apple, pear and oak flavors with a clean finish.
Peter Vella Vineyards
White Zinfandel of California; $16 (5 L)
9.5/20 — Fresh strawberry and watermelon flavors define this light and crisp White Zin. Best for sangria or blended drinks.
2008 Windust White; $10
12/20 — A dry Sauvignon Blanc (with 10 percent Chardonnay) exhibiting apricot, nectarine and cinnamon scents with slightly sweet cherry, maple and mint flavors.
The Foreign Affair
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; $38
14.5/20 — This dry, full-bodied Cab was made in the famous Amarone style with partially dried grapes and exhibits blackcurrant, baking spice and oak scents with its plum, currant and berry flavors.
2007 Rosé; $5
12.5/20 — Made completely from Shiraz, this dry, pink-hued vino features fresh red fruit scents with cherry and strawberry flavors. Pairs well with Caesar salads and chicken wraps.
Vignerons de la Méditerranée
Les Petits Grains Muscat de St. Jean de Minervois; $13
14/20 — This sweet Muscat from southern France showcases orange blossom and honey aromas with citrus, apricot and mineral flavors.
2006 Tempranillo; $7
12/20 — Silky raspberry, strawberry and cherry flavors with vanilla hints define this Spanish Tempranillo, which was aged for a year in American oak barrels.
2005 Magia; $72
14/20 — Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot comprise this Bordeaux-style red blend, which exhibits a smooth palate of earth, mushroom, blueberry, oak vanilla, cinnamon and licorice flavors.
2008 Sauvignon Blanc; $8
13/20 — Tropical fruit aromas continue on this Sauvignon Blanc’s palate of zesty green pepper and garden herb flavors. Pairs well with salads and seafood.
2005 Red Blend; $37
15/20 — Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec meld together in this red Bordeaux-style blend, which features plum, cherry, blackberry, fruitcake and oak spice scents, a silky palate and a sweet tannin aftertaste.
2005 Syrah; $65
14/20 — Concentrated with smooth tannins and a lingering aftertaste, this full-bodied Syrah features rich dark fruit, chocolate, mocha, violet, and ground pepper flavors.
2006 SMG; $22
14.5/20 — A medium-bodied red blend of Syrah, Mourvedre and Grenache, exhibiting pepper, mineral, floral and earth aromas with smooth black cherry, cinnamon spice and mocha flavors and a firm finish.
2007 Malbec/Bonarda; $2
13/20 — Comprising 60 percent Malbec and 40 percent Bonarda, this full-bodied red blend offers smooth blackberry and raspberry flavors with spicy hints.
Releases Main Page
(Updated 11/30/09 SV)