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


February 2005

February 4, 2005

Wild Horse – 2003 Viognier Central Coast

You may have hard time pronouncing this varietal’s name but you won’t have a problem enjoying this Viognier. Made from a blend of the estate’s organically farmed grape in Paso Robles and blended with cool climate fruit, the 2003 is true to type and reveals all the positive characters of this Rhone Valley acclaimed white. Winemaker Mark Cummins did an outstanding job. Expect the great aromatics and charm of ripe apricots, nectarine and honeysuckle. We picked up sweet licorice, peach and lychee in mid-palate and ginger and other spicy things leading to a long finish. Pair it with a steamed snapper in guava sauce and mango salsa.

Rating: 14.5/20
Price: $18

Other Viogniers we've tasted
To purchase, visit

February 11, 2005

Chumeia Vineyards – 2002 Syrah Paso Robles

Among the many wineries that have sprouted in Paso Robles in the last few years, you will find Chumeia (koo-may-a), which means “alchemy” in ancient Greek, situated between Tobin James and Meridian. Overall production hovers around 12,000 cases, but at only 450 cases for the recent release of their premium Syrah. This is for sure a food wine and would get along with steak or more spicy foods. After a big burst of flavors along the lines of dark berries, you get an equally big mouthful of a full bodied vino. Your tongue will navigate through layers of crushed red fruits, chocolate caramel and vanillin. Some smokiness escapes on the lingering finish---yes, gentlemen, we’ve got some wood in here.

Rating: 13.5/20
Price: $20

Other Syrahs we've tasted
To purchase, visit

February 18, 2005

Bennett Lane – 2002 Maximus Napa Valley

A new and progressive winery in Napa delivers fast and robust wines. With loads of bright, vibrant fruit and exotic spices, this voluptuous wine is highlighted by ripe tannins and balanced by a hint of oak. With this unique-to-Napa blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, Winemaker Dave Phinney’s goal is to marry approachability with structure. The three varietals in the Maximus – 43 percent Sauvignon, 33 percent Merlot, 24 percent Syrah – are aged in seasoned oak for 18 months. A powerful aroma of chocolate, vanillin and dark berries, followed by cherry flavors, greet you at first sip. The wine is a bit hot and needs food like a spicy sausage dish or barbecue. The long finish unravels a bit of bitterness.

Founded by Randy and Lisa Lynch in 2003, Bennett-Lane’s off-the-beaten track location and friendly tasting room offer Napa visitors a “secret gem” and a great way to learn about their wines in a more intimate setting. Randy and Lisa are also the first California vintners to sponsor a NASCAR team, which proudly sports the winery’s logo as it tours the Western United States. In 2004, the winery was also the first to sponsor a Nextel Cup car at the highly regarded Infineon Raceway, which is located at the gateway to Northern California’s wine country.

Rating: 13/20
Price: $28

Other red blends we've tasted
To purchase, visit

February 25, 2005

Montecillo – 1996 Gran Reserva Rioja Alta

We are advocates of letting wine age, and in the case of this Tempranillo, we think that theory pays off. This is wine the way it’s supposed to be: elegant and easy to drink, yet complex with aromas. Aficionados of red wine with fish will find this a perfect complement, and the Rioja still pairs well with foods like skirt steak and sharp cheese.

A deep ruby color with hints of brick introduces the sophisticated beverage. Sweet ripe fruits enter your nose followed by juicy and concentrated flavors. The wine reminds us of a small but powerful and graceful athlete, perhaps a champion figure skater; it has solid body with mature tannins and a winning finish with a bit of seductive spice.

Generally speaking, 1996 was a good year for Riojas. “I am extremely pleased with the results of this vintage. Despite a slow start, La Rioja experienced favorable conditions, which for us has resulted in a spectacular wine,” says Winemaker Maria Martinez-Sierra.

Rating: 14.5/20
Price: $23

Other Reds we've tasted
To purchase, visit



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)