- Item #: i_211280Bottle Size: 750mlEach year, Ancient Peaks crafts the limited-edition Oyster Ridge cuvee to exemplify their finest winemaking efforts. The name Oyster Ridge honors an outcropping that always astonishes visitors to their estate Margarita Vineyard. Here, large white oyster fossils are literally spilling out of the ground, fostering the type of calcium-rich soil that is coveted by winemakers worldwide. The 2016 vintage is a blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec, all from meticulously farmed vineyard blocks cultivated for the Oyster Ridge program.
The 2016 Oyster Ridge offers a sumptuous bouquet of black berry and black currant with notes of creme de cassis, violets, vanilla bean, cedar and graphite. On the palate, the wine is exquisitely dense and integrated, showing chewy layers of black fruits interwoven with accents of caramel, mint, cinnamon spice and new oak. Fine-grained tannins and sleek acidity bring a resounding conclusion to what is nothing less than a blockbuster vintage for Oyster Ridge. This is a wine that will generously evolve in the bottle for years to come.
2016 Oyster Ridge
93 Points - Wine Enthusiast
93 Points - Tasting Panel
92 Points - Vinous
- Item #: i_215515Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 93Dierberg has been on a roll the past few years! Other wineries have sourced fruit from this prominent vineyard and received high scores for their superbly crafted wines. Dierberg still sells much of their fruit, but they have begun to keep some of the better sections for themselves. That being said, their own label hasn't skipped a beat, and is receiving the same high scores as their customers!
Located 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean in one of the coolest wine-growing corners of California's Central Coast, Dierberg Vineyard is on the western edge of Santa Barbara County's Santa Maria Valley appellation, which is world-renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their vineyard is planted to newer "Dijon" clones, as well as other "heritage clones"; heritage clones whose roots go back to the Burgundy area of France, offering a clonal diversity unlike almost any other Pinot vineyard in California.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Moving to the reds, the 2016 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard comes from the estate vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and was 75% destemmed and aged 10 months in 25% new French oak. Ruby/purple-hued, with notes of raspberries, Asian spice, forest floor, and crushed flowers, it's medium-bodied and has a rounded, elegant texture, beautiful purity, and a great finish. It's a clean, classy, impeccably put together Pinot Noir to drink over the coming 7-8 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard aged 14 months in 35% new French oak. It's medium ruby with wonderful, layered perfume: dried rose petals, crushed herbs, woodsmoke, cranberry sauce, warm earth, red cherry preserves and hints of raspberries and orange peel. Light to medium-bodied, it offers delicate, layered intensity, a sturdy frame of grainy tannins and seamlessly woven acidity, finishing very long. Lovely! 1,700 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard is plush and inviting, with soft curves and plenty of immediacy. Dark red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, spice and rose petal all meld together in this attractive, fruity Pinot. Supple and forward, the 2016 will drink well pretty much upon release. The 25% whole clusters are not especially evident, at least not today."
- Item #: i_276347Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 93The vineyards of Calistoga, located in the northern Napa Valley, are prized for helping to produce wine grapes of extraordinary flavors, complexity and quality. Frank Family Vineyards are located in this region on the original site of the historic Larkmead Winery and owned by wine legend Hans Kornell. Rich Frank and his family farm this piece of land with great fervor, and with the help of their winemaker Todd Graff, the wines from Frank Family Vineyards have become a "go to" at several of the top restaurants, hotels and retailers.
Now why is that? It's easy; Frank Family produces wine that they like to drink and they don’t charge the proverbial arm-and-a-leg like some others tend to do. What you get here exceeds what you pay! In addition to their Calistoga site, they have acquired a few other vineyards in other Napa Valley regions (such as Rutherford and Carneros) that they farm with the same intensity as their Calistoga vineyard.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Containing a 2% splash of Petit Verdot, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford is very deep garnet-purple colored and opens with tar, black soil and truffles notes with a core of crème de cassis, stewed plums and baked cherries plus wafts of smoked meats and sauteed herbs. The palate is medium to full-bodied with good intensity and depth in the mouth, featuring very fine-grained tannins and a lively finish."
- Item #: i_228810Bottle Size: 750MLHartford Family Winery began back in 1994 by Don and Jennifer Hartford. Since their inaugural release in 1996, Hartford has continued to produce wines with lots of personality and charisma. The single vineyard wines they produce range from as little as 90 to 800 cases and receive high accolades from the top wine critics. The Old Vine Zinfandel is produced from true old vines planted 80-100 years ago from some of California's oldest Zinfandel vineyards.
- Item #: i_233950Bottle Size: 750MLANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Another of the highlights in this range, the 2016 Red Blend Mernet Reserve is wonderfully dense and fleshy in the glass. Succulent red cherry and pomegranate fruit fill out as this succulent, racy blend shows off its alluring personality. The Mernet is impeccable in its balance."
- Item #: i_236550Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Jeb Dunnuck: 96JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "One of the top Merlots in the report is certainly the 2016 Merlot Howell Mountain from La Jota. This fabulous wine boasts a deep purple color as well as a true 'wow' nose of blackberries, ripe cherries, spice, bay leaf, and ample savory, complex herbal notes. It's medium to full-bodied, has a layered, balanced style, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Drink it any time over the coming two decades."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "Blended of 90% Merlot, 5.5% Petit Verdot and 4.5% Tannat, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Merlot Howell Mountain struts out of the glass with vivacious notions of preserved plums, Black Forest cake and blackberry compote with touches of baking spices, black soil, truffles and licorice. The palate is full, rich, concentrated and earthy with firm, grainy tannins and great freshness, finishing long and earthy. 1,657 cases produced."
- Item #: i_277766Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "Saturated ruby. Powerful red and dark berry preserve scents are complemented by suggestions of exotic spices, incense and floral pastilles, and a smoky mineral flourish adds urgency. Sappy and seamless in texture, offering vivacious raspberry and cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors energized by a strong jolt of juicy acidity. The blend of power and energy here is really impressive. Smooth, harmonious tannins build steadily on a strikingly long, seamless finish that leaves behind candied lavender and juicy red berry notes."
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "I’ve written it numerous time, but Linne Calodo remains one of the reference point estates in Paso Robles. Winemaker/owner Matt Trevisan consistently puts together exotic and singular blends that deliver opulence as well as balance."
"The 2016 Rising Tides knocks it out of the park in 2016. A blend of 77% Grenache, 14% Mourvedre, and 9% Syrah, this ruby-tinged beauty boasts thrilling notes of black raspberries, crushed flowers, dried herbs, and incense. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and elegant, it's a sensational Grenache blend that does everything right. Brought up in a mix of concrete tanks and neutral larger French oak barrels, it's one of the finest vintages for this cuvee to date. Drink it any time over the coming 7-8 years."
- Item #: i_241190Bottle Size: 750MLA blend of 70% Syrah, 9% Mourvedre, 8% Grenache, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petite Sirah, 3% Zinfandel, and 2% Clairette Blanche, Beautiful Earth is Mcprice Myers' flagship Paso Robles Blend, and it represents the best lots from their favorite westside vineyards. Ripe berries, violets, rose petals, sweet tobacco, peach-blackberry cobbler, dried sage, dark chocolate, and leather are all present on the nose. The palate is juicy and voluptuous with hints of cocoa powder, it is opulent and lush with a vibrant beam of energy ushering in a tantalizing finish.
- Item #: i_245570Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 96JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "Starting with the 2016 Merlot Mt. Veeder, this brilliant wine is one of the top Merlots in the vintage. Purple-hued, fleshy, and beautifully full-bodied, it has terrific notes of black fruits, chocolate, and underbrush, fine yet building tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish. Even at $80, it's a screaming deal and has true Merlot opulence paired with considerable purity and elegance. It will keep for 15-20 years."
ROBERT PARKER's WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Composed of 82% Merlot and 18% Malbec, the 2016 Merlot Mt. Veeder has a deep garnet-purple color and opens with sexy spiced plums, warm blueberries and potpourri scents with hints of fragrant earth, violets and dark chocolate. Full, rich, firm and oh-so-plush, it has a decadently fruited palate and a very long finish with some licorice hints coming through. 547 cases produced."
"The 2014 Merlot (100% Merlot aged in 90% new oak) displays chocolaty blueberry and blackberry fruit, hints of roasted coffee and unsmoked cigar tobacco, medium to full body, soft, silky tannins and impressive intensity. Drink it over the next 10-15 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Merlot is a powerful, authoritative wine that conveys plenty of Mt. Veeder intensity, especially in its structure. Savory, deep and also quite tannic, the 2016 will benefit from a few years in bottle to fully come together. There is no shortage of depth or character here, that much is obvious. "
- Item #: i_229610Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is the appellation release from Hobbs, and it's brought up all in French oak. Black raspberries, bouquet garni, crushed flowers, and honeyed strawberry notes all emerge from this beautifully polished, medium-bodied, seamless effort. With lots of upfront fruit, plenty of underlying depth and structure, and a great finish, it's a winner. Drink it over the coming decade."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir is pale to medium ruby-purple colored and reveals gregarious notes of crushed black and red cherries, warm raspberries and mulberries with touches of baking spices, red roses and spearmint. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely packed with red and black berry layers, framed by plush tannins and a lively line, finishing long and spicy. 7,265 cases produced, to be released in March 2019."
- Item #: i_251390Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97Founded in 2003 by Washington State wine visionary Allen Shoup, the mindset behind the Long Shadows winery is quite simple; obtain the best grapes and get them into the hands of the best winemakers. However, easier said than done. Each of the Long Shadows wines have a different label, a different name, and a different winemaker. To make the best Merlot in Washington State, Allen Shoup employed the master of Merlot (Michel Rolland) and developed the Pedestal label. To get the best Cabernet Sauvignon, he brought on Randy Dunn and created the Feather Cabernet. And to make the best Washington State equal to Opus One or Joseph Phelps Insignia, he got Philippe Melka to create Pirouette, a Cabernet Sauvignon-driven blend!
Philippe Melka is a master of Cabernet Sauvignon and blends, and has crafted several wines that have earned 100 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. He has been trained and influenced by some of the most notable personalities in the wine world, including Jean Delmas and Jean Philippe Masclef from Haut-Brion, Christian Moueix and Jean Claude Berrouet from Petrus, Paul Draper from Ridge, Daniel Baron from Silver Oak. For Pirouette, a variety of fermentation methods were used to enhance complexity and richness in this classic Bordeaux blend. Hand-harvested Cabernet was fermented in 400L French oak barrels that were gently rolled throughout fermentation to integrate the oak with refined, dark fruit flavors and give the wine its silky mouthfeel. All other varieties were fermented in traditional stainless steel tanks, with select lots enjoying longer skin contact to enhance the wine's dark color and mid-palate. The finished wine was aged 22 months in French oak barrels (75% new) before bottling unfiltered and unfined.
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The talented Gilles Nicault continues to manage this estate and all its different cuvées brilliantly. The key factor to understand with these wines is that each is made with consulting advice from a different winemaker. Hence, the style of each is unique, yet the quality is top notch."
"The 2016 Pirouette is made by Philippe Melka and it's a total blockbuster based on 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, and the palate Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec that was fermented in barrel and aged 22 months in 75% new oak. Creme de cassis, blackberries, toasted spices, cedar, and forest floor notes all emerge from this deep, rich, opulent red that has sweet tannins, a thrilling texture, no hard edges, and a monster finish. This is another best-to-date from this estate and it's an awesome wine."
- Item #: i_253050Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsAbout 20 years ago, David Ramey was part of a select group of winemakers who became tired of "laboratory" or "squeaky clean" wines devoid of character. He wanted to bring terroir back into wines from California, and his success was the benefit of the consumer! David Ramey became known throughout the wine world as a winemaker associated with stellar quality, and he brought his expertise to brands such as Chalk Hill, Matanzas Creek, Dominus Estate, Rudd Estate, as well as his own brand. While the Ramey Chardonnays have been on the "center stage" for a few years, this release shows that his Cabernets can hang with some of the best in the Napa Valley...and at a MUCH lower price than others that sell for exponentially more!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 7% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. Medium to deep ruby, it has an incredible nose of licorice, dried flowers and mint chocolate over black berries and black cherries, cedar shavings and pencil lead, plus spicy clove and star anise touches. Medium to full-bodied, it floods the mouth with plush flavor layers wrapped in chocolate-textured, pixelated tannins and great freshness to counter, finishing long and luscious. 7,177 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a hot, sunny vintage yet has a pure, classy character. Notes of creme de cassis, tobacco, leafy herbs, and spring flowers are just some of the aromatics and it's medium-bodied, elegant, and incredibly polished on the palate. It's another wine from Ramey that's nicely balanced, with terrific purity and loads of class."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "David Ramey's 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) is racy and inviting, with all of its natural exuberance on display. Another year in bottle has really helped the 2015 come together. Pretty red fruit and floral notes add a kick of brightness to balance the natural exuberance of the growing season."
- Item #: i_266510Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Jeb Dunnuck: 92Stonestreet Estate Vineyards stand on the western ridge of the Mayacamas Mountains towering over the Alexander Valley below. High elevations, volcanically derived soils and cooling maritime breezes give us a unique location from which to pursue the quest of mountain winegrowing. Of the 5,100 acres that make up the Estate, only 900 are planted to grapes (235 individual vineyard blocks) while the remaining land retains its natural biodiversity and abounds with streambeds and ancient oaks, providing a habitat to cougars, owls and black bears.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is a terrific introduction to the Stonestreet Chardonnays. Citrus, apricot, mint and a dash of new oak add nuance to this finely cut mountain Chardonnay. The Estate Chardonnay is another wine that delivers serious quality for the money. Silky and textured, the 2016 hits all the right notes. What a gorgeous wine it is."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Stonestreet falls under the Jackson Family umbrella and focuses on higher elevation, mountain sites. The wines, made by Lisa Valtenbergs, are rock-solid across the board."
"The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is another wine sourced from higher elevation sites and was barrel fermented and aged. It offers a classic style in its baked apples, spice, honeycomb, and marzipan profile. Deep, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and textured, it's a class act and should keep for 4-6 years."
- Item #: i_275640Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 93-94Jeb Dunnuck: 91Tablas Creek was founded by the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel and their importer, Robert Haas. The goal was to produce California's best examples of southern Rhône varietals and Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blends. The partners chose a 120-acre property in the hills of westside Paso Robles for its similarities to Chateauneuf-du-Pape: limestone soils, favorable climate, and rugged terrain. Tablas Creek emphasizes dry farming (no watering) to seek maximum expression from their grapes, and they farm organically. Their signature white is named Esprit de Tablas, and is modeled after the Beaucastel wines from the Rhone Valley.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93-94 POINTS - "Light green-tinged gold. Mineral-accented tangerine, melon and pear scents on the highly perfumed nose; a floral nuance gains strength as the wine opens up. Vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors are joined by bitter quinine and honeysuckle flourishes that build slowly with air. Shows impressive depth as well as nerviness on the finish, which hangs on with strong, mineral-dominated persistence."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2017 Esprit Blanc de Tablas is made up of 68% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 7% Picpoul Blanc, 4% Picardan and 4% Clairette Blanche. The nose features honey-drizzled apples, lychee, orange peel and musk with warm hay, crushed stone, quince and pie crust notions. Medium to full-bodied with intense honeyed flavors in the mouth, it has great juicy acidity to counter and a long, gently textured finish. "This is the first vintage of the Esprit de Tablas Blanc to have Clairette and Picardin," winemaker Jason Haas says, "because we wanted to include all the white grapes from Châteauneuf-du-Pape." 2,250 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Esprit De Tablas Blanc offers more richness and depth, which is largely missing from many of these wines. White peach, quince, honeysuckle, and hints of stone fruits all emerge from the glass, and it's nicely textured, medium-bodied, has good acidity, and a clean finish. The blend is 68% Roussanne, 17% Grenache Blanc, 7% Picpoul Blanc, 4% Picardan, and 4% Clairette."
- Item #: i_268440Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 93For three generations the Talley family has farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County, a tradition that began in 1948 when Oliver Talley founded Talley Farms and started growing vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. After witnessing the success of winegrowing in the neighboring Edna Valley, Oliver's son, Don Talley, became convinced of the potential for growing high-quality wine grapes on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. He planted a small test plot in 1982 on the west hillside of the Rincon Vineyard. In 1986 Don made 450 cases of wine, which sold out very quickly. Production increased over the next five years, until 1991, when a new winery was built at the foot of their Rincon Vineyard. Today, Don and Rosemary Talley's son, Brian Talley, runs the business after developing a passion for wine when he worked in a wine shop while attending UC Berkely.
The Talley family has a commitment to high quality and long-term sustainability which are the two principles that guide Talley Vineyards' farming decisions. Their vineyards are SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice) by the Central Coast Vineyard Team. Biologically based farming techniques and integrated pest management practices are employed throughout the vineyards. To improve soil conditions, prevent erosion and provide fertility, cover crops are maintained in all vineyard blocks. No herbicides are used.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "Deep glistening ruby-red. Vibrant, sharply focused aromas of cherry, potpourri and Asian spices are lifted by a smoky mineral flourish. Broad and concentrated on the palate, offering raspberry, bitter cherry and spicecake flavors that show impressive energy and focus. Rich yet lively in character, finishing with strong, spicy drive and fine-grained tannins that come in late. 26% new French oak."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The appellation release, the 2017 Pinot Noir Estate is all estate fruit that spent 15 months in 35% new French oak. Beautiful notes of red currants, raspberries, spring flowers, and ground herbs notes all emerge from this medium-bodied, fresh, racy effort that has bright acidity, fine tannins, and a great finish. This vibrant, age-worthy effort will keep for over a decade."