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Aubert Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2007

Aubert Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2007

Now a decade on, the 2007 Aubert Sonoma Coast Chardonnay slowly unfurls to reveal lemon curd, poached pear, and baked apple notes, couched in mellow and toasty tones of salted butter, brioche, caramel, and vanilla. Nice delineation on the palate, where voluptuous spiced orchard fruit is neatly intersected by a firm acidic spine and beautifully integrated toast. The persistence on the finish is impressive, it goes on for over a minute, an alluvial fan of lemon zest and oyster shell. Aubert Wines 94 Points...

William Hill Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

William Hill Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

A winery that narrowly avoided last October's fire, William Hill Estate has been turning out solid Napa Valley Cabernets for more than thirty years. The 2013 vintage is opaque in the glass with a violet to the edge to the rim. Dusty blackberries, plums, and black currants with a decidedly savory edge. In the mouth, its full of soft, jammy fruit neatly wrapped in velvet and toast. Nicely balanced despite a hefty 15.2% ABV—you'd never know it's there. Cedar, and a touch of mocha on the finish. Sample  William Hill Estate Winery 8.9 Points  ...

Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

One of Napa Valley's best kept secrets, Louis M. Martini's 2013 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is brimming with juicy blackberries, blackcurrants, and cassis. Leather, dried leaves, and trail dust along with an attractive top note of vanilla round out the nose. It's sleek and softly textured on the palate with fine tannins and a medium+ finish. At this point in its evolution, it's totally accessible and offers real drinking pleasure for a modest price. Sample Louis M. Martini 9.0 Points...

Au Contraire Pinot Noir 2014

Au Contraire Pinot Noir 2014

The 2014 Au Contraire Pinot Noir is vastly more charming than I expected it to be given the price point. A well-crafted Pinot for less than $25.00 is a rarity and this bottle exceeds expectations. Swoon-worthy aromas of seedy raspberry, black cherry, underbrush, dried rose petal, and warm spice surge from the glass. In the mouth, caressing layers of silky tannins gracefully enfold raspberry turnover and rhubarb compote. It's well-balanced and admittedly hard to put down. 14.3% ABV | Sample Palm Bay International 9.0 Points  ...

Ellipsis Lovett Vineyard Petite Sirah 2014

Ellipsis Red Hills Lovett Vineyard Petite Sirah 2014

Lake County wines are admittedly a new discovery for me. Thus far, the feeling is that the appellation deserves more attention than it currently sees, at least outside of California. Known for it's high-elevation mountain vineyards with predominantly volcanic soils, the wines from the AVA are graced with intensity and poise. The 2014 Ellipsis Red Hills Lovett Vineyard Petite Sirah is no exception—a powerhouse wine that conveys both richness and freshness—it's a fruit-laden core of roasted strawberries, raspberry turnover, and blackberries that is rendered more complex by a resonant undertone of blackstrap molasses that dissolves into damp earth, coffee grounds, and char. Ellipsis Wines 9.2 Points...

Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

Tasted in Transylvania of all places at the ROVINHUD wine show, during a master class led by MW Patrick Farrell. The 2014 proves to be as sumptuous and profound as the 2013. Opaque as a starless night, it's a deep plunge into blueberry and crème de cassis bliss, followed by sandalwood and vanilla, dried mint and spice. Full, luscious and round on the palate—firm, chewy tannins hint at its youth—I'd give it another decade or so in the cellar. A wonderful expression of To Kalon. Sample Robert Mondavi Winery 9.6 Points...

Cave Dog Albariño 2016

Cave Dog Albariño 2016

Yet another unexpected find from acclaimed winemaker, Michael Havens. The 2016 Cave Dog Albariño, like his Godello is a complete surprise—pure sunlight streaming through a glazed window pane—the interplay of lightness and texture here is just beautiful. Equally nuanced on the palate with plenty of lemony acidic lift and mineral nuance. It’s not an overtly fruity wine, but there is elegance and finesse. Wet shell. Buddhas hand lemon. A garland of white flowers and fresh herbs. Cave Dog 9.1 Points...

Cave Dog Godello 2016

Cave Dog Godello 2016

From acclaimed winemaker, Michael Havens—Cave Dog is his latest project and this micro-lot of Godello proved surprising for many reasons. The nose is nuanced, almost hard to pin down with notes of pear, lemon sorbet, buttercup, honeycomb, malt and a delicate savory edge. It's equally nuanced in the mouth, with unbelievable, glorious texture offset by silky creaminess. It's got a rare (for Sonoma) mouth-coating minerality that whispers of eras long ago. Kumquat pith, fossilized shell, sea salt. 13.3% ABV | Sample Cave Dog 9.2 Points ...

Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier 2010

Morlet Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mon Chevalier 2010

My first Cabernet Sauvignon from Morlet Family Vineyards—I've only been lucky enough to taste and have been dazzled by their sublime Chardonnays. That said, the 2010 Mon Chevalier didn't disappoint, displaying classic Knight's Valley character, it's a treasure trove of cassis, black currants, incense and sandalwood, tar and menthol. Black pepper and spice box. The palate is a layered as the nose, with a dark-fruited succulent core framed in an understory of fine, mouth-coating tannins. 15.0% ABV Morlet Family Vineyards 9.5 Points ...

Barra Of Mendocino Petite Sirah 2014

Barra Of Mendocino Petite Sirah 2014

From old vine, estate fruit that's been organically farmed, Barra Of Mendocino's 2014 Petite Sirah is a deep dive into ruby-hued velvet. Palate drenching black cherries, plums and steeped blackberries are couched in velvety tannins. This is a soulful, baritone, and smoldering wine, imbued with incense, smoky dark chocolate, and a pinch of dried herbs and bay leaf at the close. 14.5% ABV | Sample Barra Of Mendocino 8.9 Points...