2006 Pleasant Valley Pink Rosé; $12
13.5/20 — A lovely light-bodied Rosé with juicy strawberry, red currant and rose petal flavors and an interesting note of minerality on the finish.
San Luis Obispo County
2002 French Camp Vineyard Lagrein; $24
14/20 — A big, dark and fruity red wine with black cherry aromas, a soft mouthfeel, and a lingering finish.
Sta. Rita Hills
2007 Turner Vineyard Pinot Noir; $42
13.5/20 — Blackberry, fig, plum, leather, mint and sandalwood scents frame this rich, meat-friendly Pinot Noir, which offers concentrated plum, blackberry, black pepper, and tobacco flavors.
2008 Vintner’s Collection Reserve Chardonnay; $11
12.5/20 — A traditional Burgundy Chardonnay with rich, smooth apple, banana, vanilla, butterscotch and tropical fruit flavors and a crisp finish.
Lot XII Zinfandel Port; $35 (375 ml)
14/20 — Berry preserve, toffee and spicy oak aromas precede this elegant and weighty fortified wine, which lingers on the palate and displays a chewy yet supple finish.
2006 Merlot; $24
13/20 — With Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah traces added, this rich Merlot features polished currant and black cherry flavors with supple tannins and a lingering vanilla/chocolate finish.
Grgich Hills Estate
2005 Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon; $60
15/20 — Intensely concentrated black fruit, licorice and black pepper flavors characterize this full-bodied yet elegant Cabernet, which pairs well with roasted beef, cured ham and creamy cheese.
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon; $30
13/20 — Cassis, blueberry, boysenberry, black cherry, tobacco, sweet oak and chocolate aromatics give way to this Cab’s blackberry, red currant and raspberry flavors.
2004 Dollarhide Cabernet Sauvignon; $80
16/20 — This elegant Cab offers layered blackberry, anise, cassis and toast aromas with concentrated blackcurrant, truffle, raspberry and mocha flavors and firm, round tannins.
El Dorado County
2007 Red Alto Blend; $17
13.5/20 — Comprising Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Petite Sirah, this versatile red blend exhibits black cherry, plum, raspberry and spice scents with wild berry, earth and black pepper flavors.
2008 Vintner's Collection Reserve Pinot Noir; $11
12.5/20 — A delicate Pinot that displays strawberry and spice aromas with raspberry and cedar flavors.
Gallo Family Vineyards
2006 Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $15
14/20 — Red currant, raspberry, black cherry and spice scents reverberate on this medium-bodied Cab’s palate with the addition of vanilla and oak flavors and a smooth finish.
Dry Creek Valley
2006 Wine Creek Ranch Mourvèdre; $32
13.5/20 — This distinctive, surprisingly rich biodynamic Mourvèdre offers plum, earth and berry flavors, smooth tannins, and Middle Eastern spice aromas.
2007 Durell Vineyard Pinot Noir; $44
14.5/20 — A dark and ripe Pinot Noir with caramelized black fruit, blood orange and cracked pepper aromas, a lush mouthfeel, sweet plum and blackberry flavors, and moderate tannins.
2006 Van der Kamp Vineyard Pinot Noir; $46
14.5/20 — Smoked game meat, roasted coffee, and dark cherry scents give way to the Pinot Noir’s chicory and dark, spicy tropical fruit flavors, lush palate and layered tannins.
2006 Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir; $47
14.5/20 — Layered blackberry, cherry and spice flavors, with silky tannins and a long finish, define this deep Pinot Noir.
2004 Ian’s Reserve Chardonnay; $32
14.5/20 — This subtle Oregon Chardonnay offers an acidic bite, with intense yeast, citrus and roasted nut flavors, an oily texture and nice weight.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; $45
13/20 — A well-balanced Cabernet with smooth cherry, currant and tobacco flavors, supple tannins and a lingering aftertaste.
2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon; $40
14/20 — Plum, orange, spice and brown sugar scents complement this full-bodied Cabernet’s cherry, cranberry and blueberry flavors. Pairs well with hearty meats.
Bergevin Lane Vineyards
2006 Barrel Select Syrah; $55
14/20 — Concentrated and complex, this Syrah offers dark fruit, tar, earth and wood smoke aromas followed by fresh lavender and violet flavors with a long finish.
Walter Dacon Wines
2006 C’est Syrah Belle; $30
14.5/20 — Made with a touch of Viognier, this age-worthy and smooth Syrah features floral, game, and spice aromas, fine tannins, and plum and allspice flavors.
L'Ecole Nº 41
2007 Fries Vineyard Semillon; $20
14/20 — Crisp and lively, this aromatic Semillon shows off layered apple, pear, apricot, floral and honeysuckle scents with fresh fig and tangerine hints on a clean finish.
William Church Winery
2007 Malbec; $30
14/20 — Blueberry and blackberry flavors dominate this rich and complex Malbec. Pairs well with summertime barbeques.
WALLA WALLA VALLEY
L'Ecole Nº 41
2005 Seven Hills Vineyard Estate Perigee; $49
13.5/20 — Derived from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this red blend offers red fruit, cedar, mocha, nutty and smoky aromatics, giving way to a lush and smooth mouthfeel with spiced berry, plum and pomegranate flavors.
2005 Walla Walla Valley Merlot; $50
13.5/20 — Including 16 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 4 percent Petit Verdot, this satin-smooth Merlot features black cherry and leather flavors with a long, supple finish.
2006 Merlot; $50
14/20 — Touches of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc enhance this concentrated and smooth Merlot, which features complex currant, black cherry and plum flavors with hints of Asian spices and flowers.
Spring Valley Vineyard
2006 Frederick Red Wine; $50
13.5/20 — Consisting of 54 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 27 percent Cabernet Franc (with the remainder being Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec), this red blend offers almond, citrus, grass and spice scents with raspberry, black cherry and plum flavors.
SOUTH EASTERN AUSTRALIA
2008 Riesling; $8
12.5/20 — A pale, straw gold Riesling exhibiting smooth citrus and light tropical fruit flavors with a crisp finish.
Amarone della Valpolicella
2006 Amarone della Valpolicella; $n/a
14.5/20 — Created with Veronese Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes, this full-bodied red wine offers slightly bitter yet soft almond, plum, violet, raisin and dried cherry flavors.
2004 Alex; $23
15/20 — 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, this full-bodied sparkling wine has a bitter nose, but tastes yeasty and developed.
2005 Cabernet Franc; $75
14/20 — Raspberry, blackcurrant, white pepper, spice and violet flavors define this well-structured Cab Franc, which displays good density and a long finish.
2006 Serruria; $35
14/20 — Rich citrus blossom, nougat, flint and butterscotch fragrances complement this Chardonnay’s waxy mouthfeel; dried fruit, nut and orange flavors; and lingering aftertaste.
2007 Pinotage; $13
13.5/20 — A rich and heavy Pinotage defined by its sweet plum, black cherry, dark chocolate and mocha flavors and persistent aftertaste. Pairs well with veal.
N.V. Méthode Cap Classique Cuvée Cape; $12
13/20 — Composed of 80 percent Pinotage and 20 percent Chenin Blanc, this sparkling wine exhibits gooseberry, ripe fig and olive aromatics with elegant mousse and a sweet yeasty finish.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon; $47
14.5/20 — This elegant Cabernet Sauvignon shows off good depth and balance, along with cassis, blackcurrant and graphite flavors.
Franschhoek Pass Winery
Morena Brut; $n/a
13/20 — An elegant Cap Classique sparkler made from 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent Pinot Noir, featuring a super-dry and intensely flavored palate.
2006 Syrah; $52
14.5/20 — With a touch of Viognier added, this Syrah evokes a Rhône-styled red wine, showcasing plum and mulberry scents with orange peel and red fruit flavors and oaky tannins.
2002 Bonne Nouvelle; $50
13/20 — Crafted from Merlot, Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon, this full-bodied red blend features intense blackberry, black currant, mocha, earth and tobacco flavors with spicy wood overtones and juicy tannins.
2007 Galpin Peak Pinot Noir; $40
14.5/20 — Fragrant raspberry and cherry aromas match this elegant Pinot’s firm structure, cherry, blackberry and violet flavors, and lingering palate. Pairs well with fish and poultry.
N.V. Brut; $14
13.5/20 — Resulting from a blend of 54 percent Chardonnay and 46 percent Pinot Noir, this Méthode Cap Classique bubbly offers light, yeasty aromas with a creamy complexity and fine mousse.
2007 Shiraz; $14
14.5/20 — Displaying a bright ruby red hue, this Shiraz exhibits fruit cake, licorice and candied aromatics with layered spice and fruit flavors.
2008 Chardonnay; $13
13.5/20 — This wine exhibits flavors of ripe apple and tropical fruit. The finish is soft and has a hint of butterscotch.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon; $8
13/20 — Black pepper, cedar, herbs and berry aromas echo on this medium-bodied Cab’s soft palate. Pairs well with grilled steak.
2008 Syrah; $8
13/20 — Sour cherry and smoked spice scents continue in this Syrah’s lingering flavors and firm structure. Pairs well with lamb and smoked meats with mushroom sauces.
Releases Main Page
(Updated 10/12/10 MS)