- Item #: i_209820Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94After 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_232430Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97JEB DUNNUCK 97 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 cuvees, 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."
"All the 2015s were bottled just 5 weeks ago. Looking first at the 2015 Fenix, it's probably the best vintage of this cuvee to date and is made from 47% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Currants, violets, plums, earth and licorice notes all give way to a ripe, sexy, incredibly polished Merlot that has building tannin. It's tour de force that needs 3-5 years of cellaring and will keep for two decades."
- Item #: i_233980Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Keenan Winery is located in Spring Mountain District, high in the Mayacamas mountain range above the town of Saint Helena. Eleven acres of Merlot vines have been planted in the rocky soils surrounding the winery, and it is these vines that produce some of the finest Merlot in Napa. The vineyards are situated above the dense layer of fog that creeps up the Napa Valley most evenings. Consequently the vines warm up earlier in the morning and stay warm through the night. The combination of warm temperatures, steep hillside vine rows and gravelly soils promotes more stress on the vines leading to increased intensity in the finished wine.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Medium garnet-purple in color and composed of 100% Merlot, the 2015 Merlot offers a plums, blackberries and dried flowers-scented nose with touches of mossy bark and garrigue. Showing good expression in the medium-bodied mouth with plenty of plumy fruit, it finishes long and spicy."
- Item #: i_274320Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "This is a small new project for Scott Hawley and it's devoted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards in the cooler regions south of Paso Robles. Hawley says that he's really enjoying the chance to break away from making the powerful, brawny wines of his home region and "seeing how the other half lives." For an inaugural effort this is a very strong lineup and I wouldn't have guessed that they were made by a man who earned his fame by working with Rhone varieties."
"Light hazy yellow. Fresh melon, tangerine, jasmine and a hint of iodine on the highly perfumed nose. Silky and seamless in the mouth, offering intense, mineral-laced honeydew and orchard fruit flavors and a refreshingly bitter orange zest flourish that builds with aeration. Smoothly blends richness and vivacity and closes with impressive mineral lift and persistence."
- Item #: i_238840Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Like every top Chateau in Bourdeaux, the great Spottswoode Estate also has a second label: Lyndenhurst. The allure is that you get to taste a blueprint of the flagship bottling earlier, and in a very approachable fashion. The Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys the same pedigree as Spottswoode (which has earned a perfect 100 points score for their last two vintages) and shares characteristics easily recognizable to those already familiar with the essence of the Spottswoode estate. All organically farmed and aged in French oak barrels for 20 months, this wine truly shows the power and exceedingly high quality of the 2016 vintage!
On the approach, the 2016 Lyndenhurst sings a polished and youthful tone and soon reveals generosity and sophistication. The progression is long and opulent, punctuated by notes of cedar, winter mint, bergamot, briar, sandalwood, and chestnuts. There are layers of fruit-blueberry and soft, dark cherry open to aromas of blackberry, intermingled with warming notes of vanilla bean and cocoa powder. The wine is held together with a bright, linear acidity complemented by dark, silken tannins that together leave a lingering finish.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Another gorgeous wine in this range, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Lyndenhurst is wonderfully fresh, vibrant and nuanced. Black cherry, plum, spice, lavender, new leather and menthol overtones develop in the glass, but like so many 2016s, the Lyndenhurst simply dazzles with its exquisite balance and total class."
- 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."