Category Archives: Napa Valley

Cornerstone Cellars | Two Sophisticated Reds from Napa Valley’s 2012 Vintage

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Merlot | Oakville Station | Napa Valley | California | 2012 | $75 92 Points | “Highly Recommended”  (A Cellar-Worthy Selection) This 100% Merlot is sourced from Oakville Station Vineyard blocks in the celebrated To-Kalon vineyard in Oakville, at the … Continue reading

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Avenel Cellars | Cabernet Sauvignon | Reserve | Oakville | Napa Valley | California | 2012 | $45 | 90 Points

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Avenel Cellars Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted by veteran California winemaker Marco DiGiulio. Marco is a native San Franciscan and U.C. Davis graduate who has devoted years to mastering the oenological art that is Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. His influence … Continue reading

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Low Places | Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley | California | 2012 | $45 | 91 Points

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“HIGHLY RECOMMENDED” Named for the valley floor vineyards from which it was sourced, here is a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that we think hits all the right notes for fans of the “benchland” style. This is a Full Monty Cabernet … Continue reading

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PICKS of the RACK: Cornerstone Cellars | Two Rosés for Summer Sipping (and Beyond)

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Cornerstone Cellars | “Corallina” |Syrah Rosé | Napa Valley | California | 2014 | $25 90 pts | “HIGHLY RECOMMENED” A selection from Cornerstone Cellars’ Artist Series, Corallina is sourced from the Oak Knoll District AVA on the southern end … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Ceja Vineyards | Vino de Casa | Napa Valley | California | 2009 | $25 (Avg.) | 88 pts

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An unusual blend of Pinot Noir (60%) and Syrah (40%), the Ceja family’s “house wine” fulfills its self-designated role with equal measures of refinement and dexterity. Syrah is dominant on the nose, offering brawny aromas of dark fruit, smoked meat, … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Honig | Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley | California | 2012 | $35 (Avg.) | 91 pts

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Honig Vineyard & Winery, located in Rutherford, Napa Valley — family-owned and operated since 1964 — focuses its production on two varieties that flourish particularly well in the region:  Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is Honig’s most attainable Cabernet, sourced from select … Continue reading

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PICK of NAPA VALLEY: Selections from pureCru | Vintage 2010

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Last February we introduced you to pureCru, with our review of their impressive 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (93 pts). Several years ago, veteran Napa Valley winemaker Mitch Cosentino founded pureCru with several partners with an ambition to produce small-lot wines with fruit … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Cochon Wines | Syrah | Phoenix Ranch | Napa Valley | California | 2010 | $30 | 91 pts

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Aromas: boysenberry & black cherry; cured tobacco; smoke; hint of lime zest Character: dry; full-bodied; savory & layered; fruit-earth-and spice balance; moderate tannins; zesty acidity; moderate oak Flavors: blackberry & black cherry; Nicoise olive; clove; black pepper; iron; touches of bitters and lime zest Food … Continue reading

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NAPA VALLEY WINE PICK: pureCru | Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley | California | 2009 | $42 | 93 pts

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A number of years ago, long-time Napa Valley winemaker Mitch Cosentino relinquished his remaining interests in the winery he established in the 1980s — Cosentino Winery, on Highway 29 in Yountville — and along with several partners founded a new venture called pureCru Napa Valley.  … Continue reading

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VERTICAL TASTING: Saddleback Cellars | Cabernet Sauvignon | Napa Valley | California | 2004 – 2007

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In terms of size and style, Saddleback Cellars is quite modest by Napa Valley standards.  The winery, located in Oakville and nestled about halfway between Napa’s iconic Route 29 and Silverado Trail, has only 15 acres planted to vine — most devoted to … Continue reading

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PICK of the RACK: Burgess Cellars | Syrah | Napa Valley | California | 2009 | $28 | 92 pts

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Aromas:  dried dark fruits; black pepper; graphite; touch of smoke Character: dry & full-bodied; extracted and intense; firm tannins; medium acids; mineral earthiness; toasty oak Flavors:  black currant; dried dark fruit; black cherry cola; ground coffee; kalamata olive; sweet cured tobacco; hint of … Continue reading

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A BEAUTIFUL WINE: Rubicon Estate (Now Inglenook) | Cabernet Franc | Rutherford | Napa Valley | California | 2007 | $56 | 95 pts

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Aromas: perfumed; lavender; thyme; tea leaves Character: medium-bodied; elegant, harmonious & plush; medium tannins & acids; subtle oak Flavors: raspberries; clove; red bell pepper; graphite; black forest cake Food Pairing: versatile; roasted lamb; grilled salmon; Beef  Stroganoff   Much has been … Continue reading

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