Wine News
Top 10 Lists
Food & Wine Pairing Shop/Gifts Top 10 Wine Lists Top 10 Wine Bars 1


October 2009

October 5, 2009

Antica 2007 Chardonnay

2007 Chardonnay

Napa Valley, California

Antica is the creation of Italian wine visionary Piero Antinori. Although Antinori had an interest in Napa Valley since 1966, the winery was not named (thereby officially established) until forty years later, making it one of the region’s newest estates. The name is simply a blending of Antinori and California. In fact, it was only in September 2007 that Antica released its first wines, a 2006 Chardonnay and a 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. Their 2007 Chardonnay has a big body yet relative restraint. Unlike so many Napa Chardonnays, this wine’s oak influence is refreshingly subtle and its fruit flavors are elegantly understated. A hint of vanilla and butterscotch on the nose repeats on the finish. In the mouth, the wine offers a soft, oily texture with flavors of pear, dried apple, sweet oranges and a touch of grapefruit. Pair it with white fish in lemon butter (or a simple clean tuna tartare), an herb-rubbed roast chicken or garlicky, vegetarian pasta.

Rating: 13.5/20

Other Chardonnays we have tasted
Check out our guide to Napa Valley
For more information, visit

October 12, 2009

Artisan Family of Wines' 2006 Seven Artisans Meritage

Artisan Family of Wines
2006 Seven Artisans Meritage

Suisun Valley, California

Artisan Family of Wines is run by Richard Burnley, a former Wilson Daniels marketing and sales executive, and his partner Jeff Miller, an attorney-turned-winemaker. The duo grows grapes on a 41-acre estate vineyard in Suisun Valley, an AVA adjacent to Napa Valley. The winery, focusing on making quality wines at prices that almost anyone can afford, produces a Rosé, a Petite Sirah and a Meritage blend. Their 2006 Seven Artisans Meritage is nicely structured, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in dominance. Its aromas and flavors are dark and masculine, exhibiting licorice, blackberry, black currant and curry powder. This Bordeaux-style red blend is a nice drink for the price, although it lacks the power we like to see in a Meritage. The wine’s best feature might be its packaging. A heavy, black and high-shouldered bottle with label information silk-screened in gold script, it reads more as an investment than its suggested retail of $18. A perfect gift for a dinner party, its sleek, expensive looks are guaranteed to impress. Pair it with hearty foods tinged with sweetness like Asian lacquered duck or a pork sandwich.

Rating: 13/20

Other Meritage & Bordeaux we have tasted
Check out our guide to Napa Valley
For more information, visit

October 19, 2009

Waterstone 2008 Pinot Gris

2008 Pinot Gris

Napa Valley, California

Founded in 2000 by two California wine industry veterans, Waterstone Wines strives to produce premium-quality vino at reasonable prices. Winemaker (and part owner) Philip Zorn worked at some of the more reputable wineries in Germany and Napa Valley before beginning this collaboration with partner Brent Shortridge. Shortridge, no stranger to the Napa/Sonoma wine scene, brings to Waterstone his experience as a wine chemist, former exporter and winery marketer. In addition to Pinot Gris, the duo produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Chardonnay. However, during 2008 they were challenged by Mother Nature to make any wine at all, with a deep spring frost followed by early and extreme heat. Despite the obstacles, their 2008 Pinot Gris is an elegant and easy-drinking white wine. In the mouth, it has a lovely zip of acidity with lemongrass, grapefruit zest, white peach and pear flavors and creaminess on the palate. A touch of minerality on the finish helps to make the wine surprisingly sophisticated for the price. Pair it with steamed shellfish dipped in lemon butter, autumn vegetable stew, a plate of soft cheeses or even lightly sweetened, poached pears.

Rating: 14/20

Other Pinot Grigio/Gris we have tasted
Check out our guide to Napa Valley
For more information, visit

October 26, 2009

Two Angels 2007 Mayacamas Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Two Angels
2007 Mayacamas Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

Sonoma County, California

Two Angels is part of Quintessential Wines, a group of small, family-run wineries whose common trait is that their terroir-driven wines express the characteristics of the appellation in which their grapes are grown. For the most part, Two Angels focuses on vino from their estate in the High Valley AVA of California’s Lake County. Here they grow Petite Sirah, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, the winery has also released two vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mayacamas Mountain region in Sonoma County. Their 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits generous aromas with notes of black currant, cherry pie, vanilla and cedar. Equally rich on the palate, it offers sweet black fruit flavors up front with more earthy, brambly notes toward the back of the palate. With its high acidity and gripping tannins, this red wine could use a little cellaring and would probably age beautifully for five or more years. A good choice for serving with hearty, fall fare, pair it with a Yankee pot roast, beef pot pie or a roasted winter squash soup.

Rating: 13.5/20

Other Cabernet Sauvignons we have tasted
Check out our guide to Sonoma County
For more information, visit



Read about the wine world's most influential critic: Robert Parker, Jr.

News / Tasting Notes / Features / Wine Map / Wine Events / Interviews / Community / Site Map / About Novus Vinum / Contact Us / Advertise

Copyright © 1996-2010 GAYOT ® All Rights Reserved; Privacy Policy; Disclaimer GAYOT (pronounced guy-OH)