Bright purple- almost sparkly in the glass. The nose is full-on Napa cab. Rich plums, blackberries and cedar. The palate mirrors- and it’s super smooth with a gentle ramp up of tannins. The mid palate continues the dark fruit theme but this is where the black tea, crunchy tannins and Maduro leaf appear. The finish is very dry, long and filled with blackberry jam, more tea and a touch of oak. Delicious and worth 91 points in my book. The only thing holding it back is the slight greenness of the tannins. I’m serving up Sunday roast with this beauty. 4 stars for this $40 Cabernet that can be cellared or drunk till 2028. Salut….
A quick note from a party…. Unbelievable nose- black fruits galore, chai tea, olives and blueberry jam. On the palate I get gorgeous blue fruit ganache, really tight knit tannins – crunchy acidity. Sublime wine that is full bodied and long. It shows off bright Napa sunshine in the fruit which I think will evolve nicely in the next 10-15 years. Drink till 2030. 93 points if not 94 for this bold $45 effort. 5 Stars. Salut….
Cherry nose. Iodine, plum and cigar box on the initial. Nice gentle tannins introduce themselves on the midpalate alongside bramble. The plums are really juicy in this wine. The finish gives me prune, black cherries and tobacco. Really tasty and easy to drink. Till 2024. 89 points and 3 stars for this $14 wine. Salut….
Nearly black in the glass. Blackcurrant and smoky wood on the nose. On the palate it offers black cherry, dark currants, superb tannins and olives. The midpalate gets a dose of dryness from the tannins to go with more dark berries. The finish is blackberry coulis, tea and a touch of wood. Overall a very good but young wine that needs two to three years in the cellar. After that- drink till 2028 with heavy duty meat dishes. 91 points for now. I would love to revisit in 3 years. $55 makes this a 4 star effort. Salut….
I wrote about the 2016 Failla recently so it was interesting to sample the younger version. Strawberry coulis nose from this darker red Pinot Noir On the palate I get raspberry, strawberry and crunchy tannins. The mid palate has a pepper component alongside bing cherry. The finish is medium in length with that strawberry core flavor returning. The acidity is decent and the mouthfeel is good. A touch young- it could benefit from some cellaring. Drink till 2029. 89 points $39 make this a solid 3 star wine. Consistent with the previous vintage. Salut….
A very gorgeous dark yellow in the glass gives way to waxy lemon, peach stone and pineapple core on the nose. On the palate it is quintessential Napa Chardonnay. Citrus, yellow apple, pear and lanolin hit me on the initial palate. The wine has a medium weight mouthfeel, with decent but not piercing acidity. The mid palate is mostly lemon and grapefruit. The finish is quite long, with more of that citrus component as well as that waxy note. This wine is nice and will pair well with Salmon, Moussaka even Osso Bucco (Hard to believe I know). I am thinking this wine is worthy of 90 points and 3 stars for the $50 price tag. Drink till 2025. Salut….
Medium opacity, certainly not a light Pinot. Explosive nose of cherry, rhubarb and violets. On the palate, that old world nose gave way to new world juiciness, freshness and very integrated tannins. Flavors of cherry, bramble, pie crust and cinnamon hit me at the onset. Towards the mid palate it ramps up with a great acidity with some strawberry marching in. The finish is long, with Kirsch and plenty of pH, alongside some oaky nuances. I like this wine, a lot. 91 points and 4 stars- you can find it for $32 which places it in the 4 star category. Cellar some and drink till 2026. Salut….
I have previously had the Eagle’s Trace Cabernet, in Magnum. Dark purple with a touch of brick. On the nose it has a bit of funk- hoping it blows off. Black cherry, cola, eucalyptus hit me after a hard swirl. On the palate it shows red fruits- a rich acidity and fine grained tannins. Raspberry, cherries jubilee and an oak influence all hit. The mid palate gets me back to cola. Sassafras appears on the tail end where the tannins start to grip and the mouthfeel turns astringent. Enjoyable if you like a dry finish. 89 points and not a bad choice for Thanksgiving that included a smoked turkey as well as a deep fried one. It did not hold up as well as I had hoped. For $55 it gets 2 stars from me. Salut….
I have to remember that wine is very subjective, and what I like or dislike is often opposite of others. This one is a perfect example of that. It shows medium intensity in the glass. The nose has that candied oak waft that I don’t like. The palate mirrored that profile so I just spilled the glass and moved on to the next wine bottle at the tasting. A review of the web shows it available for $35. Salut….
The third wine in my Cali tasting adventure, and one that I returned to the store to re-try. It was that good.
Rich, brooding purple in the glass. Thick plum jam and spicy oak open up the nose. On the palate it is unctuous and full of blackberry reduction, vanilla, espresso and violet. Svelte tannins steer this wine to the delightful finish that is surprisingly short. 90 points. After a second try- 91 points. The nose is simply amazing. This is quintiscential Napa Cabernet, basking in the sun, ripening to perfection and then crafted into such a delectable drop. $65 makes it a pricy bottle, until you factor in the Napa appellation and quality. 4 stars and I would drink it alone. No pairing needed. Drink now till 2025. Salut….