Wine Reviews

Ratings Explained

84 & Below – Not Posted ‘cause we won’t drink it
85 + A good wine. Buy if the price is right
90 + A very good wine, in our humble opinion
95 + An awe inspiring wine – Possibly life altering

All wine reviews are based solely on the personal tastes of the authors.
Disclosure: Samples are designated by an “S” beside the wine reviewed.
We’re still objective. Robert Parker doesn’t buy his wines either

Dec 172013
2012 Dutcher Crossing Winery Stuhlmuller Vineyard Chardonnay, Alexander Valley, CA, $35 – Rating 91

A full bodied Chardonnay that exhibits beautiful balance. A nose of red delicious apple with highlights of caramel. A round mouth-feel with enough acidity for food pairing. The initial pour offers flavors of lemon creme but as it opens notes of red apple, caramel, pie spice and vanilla become more pronounced. Buy This Wine

Dec 162013
2010 Mercy Vineyards Zabala Vineyard Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco, CA, $38 (S) – Rating 91

A very well-made Pinot that causes pause for thought. Bright fruit on the nose with aromas of cherry, ripe strawberry and just a hint of leather. Soft tannins on the palate with balanced acidity. Flavors of red berry, cherry, raspberry and strawberry with just a kiss of sweetness on the finish. This wine is still quite young and should improve over the next few years. Buy This Wine

Dec 162013
J Vineyards & Winery Brut Rosé NV, Russian River Valley, CA, $38 (S) – Rating 91

Don’t wait for a celebration to enjoy this elegant and crisp rosé sparkler blended of 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay and 1% Pinot Meunier. A beautiful salmon color with a nose of raspberry, strawberry and brioche yeast. Juicy acidity precedes notes of strawberry, raspberry and a bit of bright cherry. Raspberry and toasty yeast on the finish. Pair with anything creamy or go out on a limb with fried chicken. Buy This Wine

Dec 162013
2010 Distant Cellars Drifter Red Blend, Amador County, CA, $28 (S) – Rating 90

A delicious blend of primarily Zinfandel and Syrah with lesser proportions of Cabernet Franc and Alicante Bouschet. Full-on aromas of cherry, milk chocolate and spice. A round mouth-feel with soft tannins and balanced acidity. Plenty of red fruit, black currant, plum and dark chocolate on the palate. A long finish with a hint of smoke and oaky vanilla. Buy This Wine

Dec 162013
2009 Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA, $145 (S) – Rating 93

This Napa Valley Cabernet has matured beautifully into a richly layered, complex yet approachable powerhouse. Give it 15-30 minutes to decant to its full glory. Luxurious nose of dark cherry, plum and dark spice. A plush mouth-feel with balanced acidity and round tannins. Full flavors of dark cherry, red fruit, blueberry with a earthy minerality to add complexity. Notes of dark chocolate and espresso in the long finish. Buy This Wine