SYRAH, GRENACHE, VIOGNIER, ETC
- Item #: i_276470Bottle Size: 750mlBursting with aromatic white peach and orange blossom, this Rhone blend of Viognier and Roussanne offers succulent flavors of pineapple and creamy baked apple with a streak of minerality and a bright, honeysuckle finish. Pair with macadamia chicken with orange-ginger sauce and ahi poke. Drink now through 2025.
- Item #: i_209820Bottle Size: 750mlAfter graduating from Cal Poly SLO, winemaker Denise Shurtleff worked at a local winery as a lab tech during harvest, and was quickly introduced to the intensity and passion associated with fine winemaking. She worked all aspects at the winery, learning how each and every part of the winemaking process affects the final wine. The sustainably-farmed Tempusquet Vineyard in Santa Maria produces grapes of intense quality, and Denise knows just the methods needed to get the vineyard's best into the bottle.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Syrah Tepusquet Vineyard is the most impressive wine in the range today. Powerful, dense and explosive, the 2015 pulses with both energy. An exotic melange of inky dark fruit, creme de cassis, lavender, black pepper and spice builds as this striking wine shows off its pedigree."
- Item #: i_209690Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93When the Wagner family started Caymus Vineyards 45 years ago, their little town of Rutherford - the center point of the Napa Valley - was a very different place than it is today. People were just beginning to plant grapes instead of more traditional crops like prunes, walnuts and grains. The Valley had no famed restaurants luring people to visit, and traffic on the roads was light. Everyone seemed to know everyone else. With all its natural gifts - from its climate to its farm land to its quiet beauty - "Napa" was still largely undiscovered and felt full of possibility.
That same look and feel back in 1972 exists today in a place that is only a 40-minute drive from Rutherford. Suisun (su-soon) Valley lies to the southeast, separated from its more famous neighbor only by a county line. It, too, has a maritime climate, with warm days and cool nights, due to its proximity to the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays. About one and a half times the size of the Rutherford AVA, the Suisun AVA has rich soils and historically is known for growing stone fruit. The domain is also ideally suited to growing certain varieties of grapes. The Wagner Family searched high and low for vineyards growing grapes on a level worthy of bearing the Caymus name.
The Wagner family began an in-depth search of "the Suisun" in early 2014 and identified a few top-quality Durif vineyards in the hidden corners of this small picturesque place (Durif is synonymous with Petite Sirah). As they set their sights on producing a Caymus-style wine from one of the world's heavyweight varieties, they made a promise to themselves that the new wine bearing the Caymus name would have to be great - or, it would not be bottled. We are pleased to announce that this wine has made the grade!
Caymus-Suisun Grand Durif features a deep, majestic purple, with a nose of blueberries, wet earth and saddle leather. The initial impression on the palate is broad, smooth and weight, then springs into gear with rich and harmonious tannins. The key notes of this wine are the lush textural tannins that push the limits on arrogance yet also display friendly supple qualities. It's truly difficult to explain its singular style - firm structure yet super-abundant fine textural softness. Oak plays a significant roll in providing a vanilla character. This wine can be enjoyed now, though it is still quite a baby.
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Dark and plush, this combines structure with polish, offering notes of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, grilled herb and toasty spice that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025."
- Item #: i_230210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "Of these three offerings from Horsepower, the 2015 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard will require the most time, as it's the most tight-knit at this early stage, slowly unwinding in the glass with savory aromas of raw cocoa, tapenade, nori and ripe blackberries. On the palate, it's full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a rich chassis of satiny structuring tannins and a layered, umami-laden core of fruit. At 13.6% alcohol, it's also beautifully balanced."
- Item #: i_232280Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 100 PointsStarted by Charlie Banks and Stan Kroenke of Screaming Eagle, the Jonata wines epitomize what is possible when one truly has the dedication to producing only the best! The vineyards are located near other notable vineyards such as Larner and Stolpman in Ballard Canyon. This limestone rich valley runs north/south, bisecting the Santa Rita Hills AVA from the rest of the Santa Ynez Valley. Matt Dees has been the talented winemaker behind the wines since their debut vintage in 2004, teaming up these days with Sonoma County native Drew Pickering as his assistant winemaker. This is one of the most stunning Syrahs we have had in quite a while out of California! It is a bold Syrah that is packed with powder, yet still retains elegance and charm...but it won't last long!
JEB DUNNUCK 100 POINTS - "Even better than the crazy-good 2007, the 2015 La Sangre de Jonata is sheer perfection in a glass and up with the finest Syrahs ever made in California! Checking in as a blend of 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier, aged in barrel, its saturated purple color is followed by out of this world aromatics black raspberries, smoked earth, graphite, game, violets and freshly crushed rock-like minerality. Possessing huge concentration, building tannin, and yet a seamless, ethereally pure texture, it needs 2-4 years of bottle age to become approachable. It is unquestionably the finest vintage for this cuvée today and hats off to the team at Jonata for this beauty!"
- Item #: i_232300Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsOwned by Stanly Kroenke, the same gentleman that owns Screaming Eagle, Jonata has catapulted itself to the forefront of Santa Barbara County winemaking! Their vineyards are sustainably farmed, the wines routinely received high scores from the critics, and it was their "Todos" blend that really struck a chord with us this year! "Todos" translates to everything, and no, Jonata didn't just blend every single barrel of the leftovers. There were fantastic barrels of Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, etc., so winemaker Matt Dees did blending trials with specific quantities of each varietal, and for the past few years, Todos has been an incredible wine for the money! It has earned 93 points from Wine Advocate and is a great way for consumers to sample the "house style" at a fraction of the price of the top bottlings.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "Blended of 47% Syrah, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 3% Sangiovese and 2% Viognier, the 2014 Todos Proprietary Red Wine reveals a medium to deep garnet-purple color and a pronounced blackberries, blueberry pie and cassis-scented nose with an Indian spices and black pepper-laced undercurrent, plus a waft of lavender. Soft, medium-bodied, perfumed and elegant in the mouth, this finely crafted beauty offers great seamlessness and harmony, finishing long and spicy."
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "It's always a fun tasting with winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and they continue to keep this estate at the top of the hierarchy in Santa Barbara County. Located in Ballard Canyon AVA, they pull only from their estate vineyard (planted on incredibly sandy soils) and make a wide range of cuvées, from a red and white Bordeaux blends, to a 100% Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and a number of terrific Rhône blends. The common thread is incredible quality."
"Graphite, pencil, lead, smoked earth, tobacco and assorted dark fruits emerge from the 2015 Todos, and it's its usual, crazy blend of just about every varietal. This beautifully pure, fresh, focused blend has fine tannin and a great finish, and is another stunner from this estate. The full blend is 56% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot, 10% Sangiovese, 7% Petite Sirah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the balance Viognier."
- Item #: i_234080Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsCharles Smith's K Vintners lineup of wines are among the more highly sought-after wines from Washington State. Charles isn't just a one trick pony, as he receives high scores and praise on his Viogniers, Merlots, Cabernets, and even his Chardonnays.
That being said, Syrah is truly his strong suit. Charles gets his grapes from some of the best vineyards in Washington State, but these are not necessarily well-known vineyards. Some of these vineyards are "out of sight" for other wineries, yet they produce some of the best Syrah in the state. So Charles gets the grapes for a very favorable price, and he keeps his prices favorable to you...the consumer! And when you couple these prices with the scores he receives from the critics, these are some of the best values you will find...anywhere!!! Supply is never high on these wines, so we do expect these to GO FAST!!!
JRB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2015 Syrah River Rock is another rock star Syrah from this estate and it's just about overflowing with Rocks character. Currants, smoked herbs, olive brine and some peaty notes all give way to a ripe, concentrated, seamless beauty that has loads of charm and character. With fine tannin and a layered style, it will keep for 10-15 years."
- Item #: i_235190Bottle Size: 750mlTom Kenefick's Ranch is one of the Crown Jewels Napa Valley's Calistoga AVA. The property is located off Picket Road, next to other noteworthy vineyards such as Araujo, Kelly Fleming, and Hundred Acre. Plus, Kenefick Ranch has been a source for top-notch wineries such as Lewis, Dalla Valle, and Behrens & Hitchcock.
On the nose, nuances of Kaffir lime zest and anise. The palate consists of orange blossom, lemon meringue filling and a crisp, underlined, well-balanced structure and mouthfeel. Dr. Kenefick enjoys sipping this on his patio in the Summer.
- Item #: i_253640Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 91The Mount Peak story begins more than a century ago at the celebrated Monte Rosso Vineyard (one of the truly great vineyards in Sonoma County) and culminates with the revival of Mount Peak Winery, a vistige of one of California's ghost wineries. These wines are inspired by this great place, and the new owners pay tribute to the extraordinary winery that once stood there by capturing its enduring spirit in the wine.
The Gravity blend is named for a remote, hart-to-reach Petite Sirah block on a lower slope of the Monte Rosso Vineyard. Its location on the edge of a canyon and its steepness produces grapes with exceptional intensity. Six varieties - Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache - create a vivid expression of the power and depth. This dark, dense wine is layered with stunning flavors ranging from boysenberry and bluebery jam to blackberry and fig. The dark berry and fig flavors pull together with accents of black truffle and dusty cocoa that create a full-bodied mouthfeel framed by assertive tannins and a long, concentraged finish.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Mainly Petite Sirah blended with Sangiovese, the 2015 Proprietary Red Blend Gravity is deep garnet-purple colored with profound crushed black and red currants notes over chocolate box, beef drippings and scorched earth with touches of dried herbs and truffles. Medium to full-bodied, it's very firm and chewy with lovely lift and a long, earthy finish. 6,750 cases produced."
- Item #: i_252570Bottle Size: 750mlSeptember's always a tricky month for wine (well, not really, but theoretically!); with the kids back in school and the start of football, our minds tend to wander to Fall and cooler weather, heartier meals and bigger, redder wines. September, however, can offer some impishly hot, pernicious weather to hamper that Fall feeling and throw chaos into your cellar choices! It actually can be one of the best months to vacation as the summer sun still stands tall and the beaches aren't as crowded, the barbecue isn't ready for winter and neither, perhaps, are you, dear reader! So our goal was to find a lively red wine that wouldn't be a tannic monster, one loaded with fruit yet with some body to pair up with the last weekend get-togethers of summer. Sometimes, like the recent sun-and-moon show in August, the heavens align and it all just works. Our private store label, Rock Garden, arrived in time and with the right stuff to fit our Wine of the Month slot.
This is a great warm-weather red yet will transition well to cooling climes. The nose is loaded with bright red fruits, lots of raspberry and cherry, with a touch of sandalwood and dark spice. The sweet red fruits carry over to the palate with the same red berries above, adding a touch of white pepper and black tea that ride over a wave of easy tannins. Last round of grilled burgers? This is the wine. It has enough stuffing for lighter grilled fare but isn't heavy and too tannic-- warm weather red? You bet!
There is 15% Mourvedre in this Syrah with fruit coming from these vineyards: Hinrichs (Ballard Canyon), Stockdale (Paso Robles) and Santa Barbara Highlands. The wine was aged in once-used and neutral French barrels for 22 months. Pick up a few bottles (or cases!) and relax under the September sun with this soft, delicious, balanced wine...
- Item #: i_259790Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "Blended of 90% Syrah and 10% Petite Sirah, the deep purple-black colored 2015 Relentless has a total rock-star nose of flamboyant blackberry pie, plum preserves, mulberries and licorice scents with hints of Sichuan pepper, hoisin, Indian spices and smoked meats plus a waft of raspberry leaves. Very big, rich, full and decadently fruited in the mouth, the palate packs in black fruits and exotic spices layers with a firm, rounded tannin frame and just enough freshness to carry off the long, opulent finish."
- Item #: i_276508Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "The 2015 Entre Chien et Loup is a blend of 44% Chardonnay, 40% Roussanne, 8% Petit Manseng and 8% Viognier coming 44% from Bien Nacido Vineyard, 30% from the Cumulus (Estate) Vineyard and 26% from the Eleven Confessions (Estate) Vineyard. No settling was done to the juices—they were fermented as "dirty" as possible and, as usual, they were not racked. This wine was matured for around 19 months (bottled April 12, 2017), in: 19% concrete eggs, 20% stainless steel, 20% used barrels and 41% new French oak. It opens with a positively electric nose of ripe apricots, pink grapefruit and green mango with notions of candied ginger, honeycomb, allspice and baking bread. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a wonderfully satiny texture and incredible freshness, cutting through the dense tropical and stone fruit layers, finishing with epic length and many layers of savory and spice notions. By the way, I love the name of this wine and just wait until you see the label which, I'm happy to report, has already (somehow) been given the all-clear by the TTB. 811 cases were made. Drinking deliciously right now, it is built like a brick house and should cellar gracefully for 10-12 years+."
- Item #: i_270090Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The extended aged 2015 Syrah M is more backward and structured, with the 2015 vintage character front and center. Based on 90.6% Syrah and the rest Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Viognier, aged 38 months in 66% new oak, its deep purple color is followed by powerful notes of blackcurrants, blackberries, cedarwood, spiced meat, candle wax, and white flowers. It's deep and full-bodied, with a huge mid-palate, building tannins, and one serious finish. This rocking beast of a Syrah stays remarkably elegant and perfectly balanced yet needs 4-5 years or more of bottle age. It's going to evolve for two decades or more."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 99 POINTS - "This is a single-vineyard Syrah-dominant blend coming from the Eleven Confessions Estate vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills. It bears Manfred Krankl's initial and a provocative self-portrait on the label. The blend is 90.6% Syrah, 4.4% Petite Syrah, 2.6% Grenache and 2.4% Viognier. Forty-three percent was fermented using whole clusters. It was aged for around 38 months in French oak, 66% new."
ANTONIO GALLONI 98 POINTS - "The 2015 Syrah M will thrill Sine Qua Non lovers. Rich and sumptuous in the glass, with tremendous aromatic nuance from the whole clusters, the 2015 possesses mind-blowing intensity, yet also remains light on its feet. What impresses me most is how much energy and vivacity the 2015 shows given the tiny yields that year. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is yet another stunning wine from Sine Qua Non."
- Item #: i_268000Bottle Size: 750MLSwitchback Ridge Wines are sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson family since 1914 and encompasses nearly 100 acres located at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. For over 75 years the property was primarily maintained as a farm and plum orchard, with vines intermingled amongst the trees. In 1990, the orchards were replanted to vineyard, where there are currently 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah vines, in addition to a three acre 50+ year old Petite Sirah block that John Peterson helped plant as a child.
The wines are made by the ever-talented Bob Foley, who makes his own wines under the winery name Robert Foley, as well as the wines at Hourglass. He also made the wines at Pride Mountain for 15 years.
- Item #: i_270740Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 99 POINTS - "A blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2015 La Joie features a very deep purple-black color and almost electric nose of crushed blackcurrants, ripe black cherries and mulberries with sparks of raspberry pie, wild blueberries, unsmoked cigars, charcuterie and crushed stones. Medium to full-bodied and charged with the most amazing energy, the youthful, vibrant black-fruited palate is framed by very firm, very finely grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing with lingering crushed stones and earth layers. 4,000 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "Verite's 2015 La Joie is deep, powerful and structured, with tons of Cabernet savoriness running through a core of intense, dark fruit. Grilled herbs, leather, menthol and licorice all develop in the glass. Sumptuous and yet also structured, La Joie is another winner from Verite. "