- Item #: i_211280Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91Each 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.
- Item #: i_215515Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsDierberg 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_245570Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Vinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 96 PointsJEB 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_251390Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsFounded 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_266510Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsStonestreet 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_268600Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 95 PointsANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "(5% whole clusters and 30% new French oak) Deep bright-rimmed red. A highly complex, mineral-tinged bouquet evokes candied red fruits, cola, Asian spices, mocha and potpourri. Seamless and sharply delineated on the palate, offering appealingly sweet Chambord, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen on the back half, with no loss of energy. Fine-grained tannins frame a strikingly long, smooth, smoke-accented finish that leaves a juicy raspberry note behind."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "One of the standouts is the 2016 Pinot Noir Rincon Vineyard, which comes from a hillside site in the Arroyo Grande and vines planted in 1982. Aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, it's a powerful, opulent wine (especially when compared to the East Rincon release) and has awesome notes of ripe strawberries, red and black currants, spice, and forest floor. Elegant yet concentrated, medium-bodied, beautifully balanced, and with fabulous intensity, drink this gorgeous Pinot Noir any time over the coming decade or more."
- 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 92 POINTS - "(15% new French oak) Lurid red. Spice-accented raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by hints of cola, candied rose and smoky mineral notes. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering lively red berry flavors and suggestions of floral pastilles and blood orange that emerge with aeration. Nicely concentrated but vibrant and precise in style, delivering solid closing thrust, while smooth tannins lend shape to the long, spice-accented finish. This wine is composed of 65% Rincon and 35% Rosemary's fruit and, like the Chardonnay, it's extremely impressive for what might be called an entry-level bottling."