Reviews US

Wine of the Week: : 2016 Murrieta’s Well The Spur, 90 Points

Though Livermore Valley has a long and enviable wine history dating back to the 1840s when grapevines went into the ground, it nonetheless has been overshadowed by its northern neighbors. That oversight is being corrected with a slew of exceptional wines.

Murrieta’s Well traces its heritage back to 1884, and though The Spur was only created as a blend in 2010, it shows what this Valley can produce.

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Levendi Legacy 15th Anniversary Edition, Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, 97 Points

This deep cherry colored wine, with the most subtle hint of amber makes for a wonderful pour. We let this breathe for a bit and it paid off in spades. Blueberry, blackberry, and currant turn to subtle licorice on the back palate. Cedar on the aftertaste. The flavors glide along and the mouthfeel is exquisite. This is a robust but graceful wine. A wonderful trade-up for Napa cab-loving customers. Get this one on your wine menu.

Levendi Sweetwater Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2016, 96 Points

Dark cherry red in color, this wine sparkles, adding to the appearance of any restaurant dining table. First impression on the nose is clove (in careful measure). Dry delivery to the palate, dark fruit aromas, followed by restrained mocha. This wine layers flavor without piling it on. Upon second entry, we noticed distinct dark cherry and blackberry notes. Ready to serve, but solid acidity and overall balance make this an age-worthy wine.

Levendi Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2016, 93 Points

Stunning clarity, in a straw crystal clear appearance, this chardonnay epitomizes what Napa fans hope for. Abundant ripe fruit on the nose in the form of dried pineapple is met with less-ripe flavors of apple to alert the senses that something wonderful is about to happen. You’ll spot the perfected balance on the palate, with that tropical fruit flavor bursting through, prompting immediate salivation. It holds back at the end though, so as not to build. Apple again on the aftertaste keeps it fresh. Upon each entry, the process starts again. This is a crowd-pleaser and a safe bet for any on-premise menu.

Hertelendy Vineyards 2014 Signature Mountain Blend – 96 Points

A beautiful example of high mountain fruit, the 2014 offers a deep and complex nose that shows the high-quality fruit at its peak flavor. Deep black in color, the fruit shines through with a well-balanced but subtle wine with character. Impressive and balanced tannins, with dark stone fruit, blackberry and a hint of black cherry, create an elite wine that stands near the top. A beautiful example of high mountain fruit, the 2014 offers a deep and complex nose that shows the high-quality fruit at its peak flavor. Deep black in..

Hertelendy Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay – 95 Points

Intense oak floods the glass with an opulent aroma. If you like big, oaky chardonnay this is the wine for you. Fruit forward with beautiful straw color and clarity, the wine over delivers with a lush viscosity that encapsulates the palate. Layers of rich fruit includes gooseberry and melon. A superb and richly made wine. Intense oak floods the glass with an opulent aroma. If you like big, oaky chardonnay this is the wine for you. Fruit forward with beautiful straw color and clarity, the wine over delivers with a lush viscosity that encapsulates the palate.

2013 Northstar Merlot: Finding True North

A silky smooth version from Washington State, this is a middle of the road Merlot, allowing non-Merlot folks to step towards this grape without sacrificing what they want in terms of flavor, structure and drinkability. There is plenty of boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry and black cherry, with back notes of resin, minerality, cedar and vanilla. 2013 Northstar Merlot is a blend in the truest sense of the word, Mainly Merlot with 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Petite Verdot, this is fruit from 10 different vineyards with vine age averaging…

Wine of the Week: 2015 Chappellet Cabernet Franc, 92 Points

Chappellet Winery has been crafting wine for over 50 years. It has always been a Cabernet Sauvignon house, but hiding in the shadows is its stellar Cabernet Franc. Made of Cabernet Franc with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% each of Malbec and Petite Verdot, this is a generous wine, popping with red and black berry flavor and giving you something different, something softer, smoother and more approachable. There are strong notes of blackberry, black cherry, boysenberry, sweet vanilla, smoke and anise make the wine in your glass immensely drinkable…

Bonfort’s Wine of The Week: Dutton Goldfield 2015 RRV Chardonnay, 91 Points

Dutton Goldfield has had a stellar reputation with Chardonnay since they opened their doors in 1998. The Chardonnay, actually a Chardonnay musque clone from their Rued Vineyard site, provides more aromatics than other Chardonnay clones. There is certainly an obvious malolactic element evident on the nose and in the palate, but it is tempered with zesty fruit, lemon-lime, manuka honey, tropical fruit mélange, tangerine, crème brulee, even wisps of gardenia…

Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, 88 Points

Lovely ruby red color. Immediate notes or raspberry and chocolate on the nose are reflected on the palate. A lot of vanilla in this one which will either really appeal to you or not. Super soft tannins sacrifice a little of the dimension, but do make for a gentle aftertaste which many consumers like. Blackberry and plum, mocha and ash/tobacco. For $12.99 this is a great value and since its label is also appealing, it’s a smart one to have on your shelf at this price point. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 5% Petite Syrah, 5% Zinfandel, 3% Other Reds…

Wine of The Week: Louis Martini 2015 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 90 Points

For eight decades Martini has been at it pressing grapes and making wine. Its Sonoma expressions of Cabernet have always been consistent and provide a hallmark of quality from the Dry Creek Valley. The 2015 vintage is no exception. Comprising mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Franc, this is a rich and layered wine offering notes of blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, and black cherry with a mild tannic structure that makes this extremely drinkable now and a great…

Wine of The Week: Dalla Valle 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, 94 Points

Dalla Valle’s nearly iconic Napa vineyard is surprisingly just 15 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon. From that they are able to extract excellent fruit and consistently craft excellent wines. Supple and earthy with restrained fruit and a surprising acidity, this 2014 fires on all cylinders. At first there are soft notes of black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, bing cherry and raspberry. As the wine graces the palate you pick up notes of cedar, wet earth, cocoa, resin and light tobacco smoke.

Wine of The Week: 2016 Calera Mt. Harlan Chardonnay- 92 Points

In 1975 Calera’s first wine made its way to the public. Calera, which is Spanish for “lime kiln” – a reference to the limestone kiln still on the property today – is located in the Gavilan Mountains, east of Monterey Bay in San Benito County. This site was chosen to plant Chardonnay specifically because of its limestone soils, which is clearly evident in this wine. What’s so compelling is the zesty-ness…

2016 Damarias Reserve Chardonnay Gives Truth To Balance

In 1974 Sonoma’s Landmark Vineyards was founded by a group that included Damaris Deere Ford, the great-great-granddaughter of John Deere, inventor of the first steel plow. Now she has a Chardonnay named after her. Pulling fruit exclusively from the cool Lakeville section of the Petaluma Gap this was aged for 15 months in French oak, just 35 percent of which was new. The Damarias is an amalgam of soft notes of crème brulee, guava, lemon custard, lime kefir, pear, red delicious apple, with back notes of pistachio…

Kutch McDougall 2016: Restrained, Quirky and Winsome

Jamie Kutch seems to love plots of land that reflect their unique characteristics. The fruit from this wine from McDougall Vineyard, an elevation of just over 900 feet and a scant three and a half miles from the Pacific Ocean on the Sonoma Coast, shows what he can do with the right fruit and vineyard. Dijon clone 114 was whole cluster pressed (and punched down by foot), then aged sur lie for…