Archive for the Napa Category

Saintsbury Winery Carneros Chardonnay 2008, Napa Valley, United States

This is a very well made wine.  The 2008 Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay doesn't break any new ground as far as tastes and textures go, but it pushes all the buttons you would want from a Napa Chard. They control the smoke scent well, and mix it in nicely with some baked apple.  The gulp is really satisfying.  Balanced fruit, citrus, apple and pear work around with some nice acid. The tasting notes are pretty generic, but like good pop music the gold is in the production.  They get their Read more [...]

Peter Franus Napa Valley Merlot 2007 Napa, California

The Peter Franus 2007 Merlot was harvested from Carneros, one of the prestige geographies in Napa. The wine smells just like you would want a top tier Napa Merlot to smell – I like to describe as tasteful cross between Bar-B-Que smoke, cherry cough syrup and potting soil. When it's done right, as it is with the '07 Franus, the aroma raises your eyebrows, and your expectations. Expectations that aren't always easy to live up to. I had matched the Peter Franus Merlot '06 batch to Bruce Springsteen's Read more [...]

Hendry Ranch Wines HRW Zinfandel 2007, Napa, California

HRW is the “Farm Team” range at Hendry Ranch Wines from Napa. The 2007 Zinfandel features vibrant fruits (cherry mostly), rosemary, cocoa and I caught a bit off Jamaican allspice hanging out in the barrel smoke. I call it “Farm Team,” because the price range is significantly lower than the Hendry branded wines that they sell at twice the price. If you do want to call this a minor league wine, think of it as Kevin Costner's distinguished minor leaguer Crash Davis in Bull Durham. A real pro Read more [...]

Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc 2009 Napa, California

Some California wines like to thumb their noses at their French ancestors, Duckhorn has decided to embrace and enhance the Sauvignon Blanc tradition, and have accomplished that with their 2009 offering. Truth be known, this wine is only ¾ Sauvignon Blanc, the remaining  ¼ comes from Semillon – which sets gives the wine an extra layer of complexity, without throwing the balance off. The range of tropical and tart fruit aren't forced to swim through a muddied river of residual sugar, and you get Read more [...]

Waterstone Carneros Pinot Noir 2007, Napa, USA

The 2007 Waterstone Carneros Pinot Noir from Napa Valley in California has some interesting German breakfast bun qualities to it. Hazelnut and vanilla showed an interesting flavour combo that reminds me of imported confections from the land of the Black Forest. On the nose I picked up some sweet tree fruits peach and cherry. On the mouth the wine rolled in with very soft tannins, and some unaggressive earthen aromas that suggested natural spring more than cow pasture. Oak was noticable, and it helped Read more [...]

Bennett Lane Wines Maximus 2006 Red Wine, Napa, California

When offered a 2006 Red Maximus by Bennett Lanes Winerey, the name suggested a mean, hardened Cabernet Sauvignon that had all machismo of Russell Crowe's Maximus Decimus Meridius from the silver screen epic Gladiator. What I got did have three names, 1) Cabernet Sauvignon 2) Syrah 3) Merlot. Bordeaux styled blend, yes! Bumbling idiot Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther? no. What the wine is: a 35$ ruby red on the eye, dark chocolate and flowers on the nose and not too dry on the nose value Read more [...]
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