- Item #: i_241360Bottle Size: 750MLIn the wind-swept, rolling hills of western Santa Barbara County, you will find one of the best cool-climate growing regions on earth. And in this area, you will find one of the more consistent Pinot Noir producers in California!
Ron Melville and his family have been farming high quality grapes for over 30 years. After finding success in Sonoma County, Ron's desire to grow cold-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah brought Melville Vineyards to the Sta. Rita Hills. The Sta. Rita Hills AVA is unique, as it is one of the few grape growing regions in California whose valley runs west to east. In doing so, the cooling air from the Pacific Ocean is able to rush through the area, keeping the daily temperatures low, and providing a long growing season that maximizes flavors. The soils at Melville are a mix of sand and clay, giving Pinot Noir beautiful aromatics combined with ripe, but not overpowering fruit. In addition, Melville plants their vines at a denser spacing than most. In doing so, root systems must compete with each other, inhibiting rigorous growth, naturally lowering yields and furthering the development of flavor and concentration. Farming at Melville is sustainable at a minimum, but often done organically.
Melville's "Estate" Pinot Noir is a collection of 16 different Pinot Noir clones fermented in small 1.5 ton open-top fermenters. Yields were just 1.5 tons per acre! This is the type of small yields that you typically see for Pinot Noirs selling for $75-$100+...but Melville's wine sells for way less than that! Combine that with the stellar 95 point score from critic Antonio Galloni, and you'll see why this has been one of our favorite wines to sell for the past several years! This is the first vintage "from grape to glass" that Chad Melville has produced since taking over from Greg Brewer, and if this is any indication, the Melville wines are destined for continued greatness!
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Estate is a blend of the seventeen clones on the property. Freshly cut flowers, spice, mint, blood orange and dried flowers give the Estate beguiling aromatic complexity and nuance. There is a sense of translucent beauty in the 2016 that is fabulous, while the 40% whole clusters are very nicely integrated. This is such a tremendous wine."
- Item #: i_241220Bottle Size: 750mlThe fruit for this wine comes exclusively from Melville's Sta. Rita Hills estate and is a combination of two different Syrah clones (Estrella and Clone 99). The Estrella is from Donna's block which is planted on well drained, nutrient deficient sand. The neutrality of this soil always lends an intoxicating and high toned bouquet of flowers and spice while the Clone 99 from Block I is planted on denser sandy loam soil, bringing depth and richness to the resultant wine. 60% of the fruit was gently de-stemmed with 40% remaining as whole clusters and was fermented in small 1.5 ton open top fermenters.
ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2016s are the first wines Chad Melville made at his family's estate after taking over from Greg Brewer. I thought the 2016s were promising when I tasted them from barrel last year. The bottled wines are every bit as impressive."
"The 2016 Syrah Estate (Sta. Rita Hills) is fresh, nuanced and distinctive. There is an element of freshness and vivacity to the 2016 that is incredibly appealing. Blueberry, lavender, violet, spice and mint notes are nicely lifted in this precise, strikingly beautiful Syrah from Melville. The 40% whole clusters are felt, but also nicely integrated within the wine's fabric."
- Item #: i_241870Bottle Size: 750mlNamed in honor of Rolando Herrera's Father and their ancestral hometown in Michoacan, Mexico, "La Chole" is a blend of Syrah, Malbec, and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. Napa Valley's "sweet spot," fruit from the Oak Knoll AVA ripens slowly, maintaining freshness and aroma lift, while developing a soft mouthfeel with balanced alcohol and acidity. The Coombsville AVA lends soft but significant tannins, which provide excellent structure and mouthfeel, along with underlying layers of earth and mineral flavors. Approachable yet, sophisticated and layered.
Harmony in a glass, the bouquet has wisps of vanilla and caramel with ripe red fruits, violets, dried roses, white pepper, espresso, and coffee. Silky and elegant on the palate, the well-balanced flavors of black cherry, dried fig, and ripe plums, along with a kiss of oak, seamlessly integrate and carry though to the lingering finish.
- Item #: i_245240Bottle Size: 750MLJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsThe Double L Vineyard is well situated to produce Chardonnay of the highest caliber. Located near the northern tip of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, the vineyard receives brisk afternoon breezes from nearby Monterey Bay. North-south vineyard row orientation allows for optimum sun exposure on the Highlands’ east - facing terraces. Wind and sun combine for a long growing season, resulting in vibrant fruit flavors with balanced acidity. The vineyard was certified organic in 2002, although it has been conscientiously farmed in this method since the original plantings in 1997.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "Limpid yellow. Powerful, mineral-accented Meyer lemon, pear and vanilla scents show very good clarity and complicating suggestions of fennel and toasty lees. Minerally and focused in the mouth, offering pliant citrus and orchard fruit flavors; deeper suggestions of honey and buttered toast emerge on the back half. Shows impressive depth as well as energy and finishes smoky and very long, with a suave floral nuance hanging on."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Aged 10 months in 15% new French oak, the 2016 Chardonnay Double L is a step up in quality and is a more serious, layered Chardonnay. White peach, white flowers, honeysuckle, and a touch of brioche all emerge from this silky, elegant effort that has racy acidity, terrific balance, and a great finish. Drink it any time over the coming 5-7 years, and I wouldn/t be surprised to see it keep longer."
- Item #: i_247750Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsThe soils of Kick On Vineyard are composed primarily of ocean floor sandy loams. Because it is the most westerly vineyard in the area, it is perhaps the most maritime of all vineyards in this growing region. With the Pacific coastline only miles away, a constant maritime influence results in wines of crisp acidity, bright fruit and an inherent balance. This soil stresses the vines somewhat, resulting in grapes of greater flavor and concentration. While the yields tend to be low to moderate, the concentration and extraction of the grape materials tends to be intense and quality-driven.
JEB DUNNUCK 92+ POINTS - "The medium-bodied, vibrant 2016 Pinot Noir Kick On is another age-worthy effort that has everything in the right places. Perfumed notes of mulberries, dried flowers, strawberries, and menthol, medium body, bright acidity, and fine tannins all make for a beautiful Pinot Noir that will benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for a decade."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Kick On Ranch is another pretty and highly expressive wine in this range. Done in a slender, slightly nervous style, the 2016 is built on expressive aromatics and notable persistence, with the fruit lying more in the background. It will be interesting to see if this reticent, tightly wound Pinot gains a bit more flesh with time in the bottle."
- Item #: i_248800Bottle Size: 750MLThis dazzling Pinot Noir offers beautiful aromas of black cherry, cranberry and cinnamon, as well as deeper notes of mulled spice, black licorice, dark chocolate and earthy forest floor. On the palate, it is light on its feet, without ever being light, displaying wonderful drive and dense, fine-grained tannins that add structure and sophistication to layers of lush fruit and enticing spice. Complex and compelling, it captures both the elegance and energy of great Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.
- Item #: i_249600Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsPeake Ranch is a boutique winery owned by John & Gillian Wagner. Like all of us who have visited Santa Barbara County, the couple fell in love with the beautiful country side and the friendliness of the people.. They purchased Peake Ranch with a vision of building a winery and a house on the property. Years later they are in their third vintage garnering rave reviews from the top critics. Paul Lato leads the team as winemaker and with nearly two decades of experience, has earned critical acclaim with top critics along with placements of his own wines in top restaurants in the United States, Europe and Japan!
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "There are three Pinot Noirs from Peake Ranch, all brilliant wines. Black cherries, black raspberries, smoked herbs, and hints of licorice define the bouquet of the 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills, which is the entry level Pinot Noir of this estate. It's a rich, concentrated, powerful Pinot Noir that has moderate tannins, good acidity, and beautiful upfront charm. Aged 18 months in 62% new French oak, drink it any time over the coming 6-7 years."
Winery Notes - A compelling example of what can be achieved with Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills, this wine captures the natural balance and complexity of this special appellation. The aromas blend bright cherries and blueberries with a subtle and distinguished earthiness expressed as dried oregano, white pepper and black tea. An engaging, seductive texture is supported with a backbone of French oak and finely- grained tannins.
- Item #: i_249790Bottle Size: 750MLPeju's 2016 Merlot is spectacular, offering up fragrant, layered aromas of juicy pomegranate, baking spice, and a hint of cedar. Lush fruits of cherry and blackberry envelop the palate. Soft hints of toasted almond and vanilla culminate with an elegant finish. Delicious now, this Merlot will continue to mature for the next 6-8 years.
- Item #: i_248410Bottle Size: 750mlThe only thing really changing at Prisoner Wine Company is their level of awesomeness! In fact, these wines still continue to receive the same scores that were awarded at the inception of Prisoner! Since that time, they produced two new wines; the Cuttings Cabernet-Blend and Blindfold White. These wines are following suit, and have come some of our better sellers at their respective pricepoints. Jen Beloz is Prisoner's winemaker, and she worked with Dave Phinney to keep the "house style". So…Prisoner wines are still rockin'!
Based on the success of their newer bottlings, we have been very eager to get our hands on the Thorn Merlot. There are a few vineyards in Napa Valley that are so amazing, they only go to wineries that will do the fruit justice. Whenever we see these vineyard sources, we know there's something delicious in the bottle! Prisoner's Thorn is comprised from fruit from a few of these vineyards; family-owned vineyards of varying ages and soils, lending to the layers of character and complexity. These vineyards are Hudson, Stagecoach, Antica, and Trefethen; these vineyards also sell fruit to other notable wineries, such as Arietta, Kongsgaard, Lewis, Pahlmeyer, and Paul Hobbs!
Aromas of savory spice, black cherry, and mocha with cedar and blackberry. The entry delivers an elegant balance with flavors of black plum and anise, along with hints of grilled rosemary and toasted oak. Velvety, chocolate tannins develop into a robust finish. Bravo Prisoner…keep sending us more wines like this!
- Item #: i_252050Bottle Size: 750MLThe expansive aromas and flavors of Provenance Vineyards Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon are filled with brambly blackberry, dark plum, black cherry and cassis character. Hints of clove, black pepper and mocha add warmth to the aromas, while toffee and hazelnut notes from oak aging linger on the dark-fruit palate. Cocoa powder tannins, a signature of Rutherford terroir, firmly frame the generous, mouth-filling flavors.
- Item #: i_252850Bottle Size: 750mlWine maker - Our Claret follows the Bordelaise model of blending different Bordeaux varietals. Malolactic fermentation is completed in barrel, and the blend is assembled early so it is “elevated” as the finished wine. Our 2016 Claret rested on its lees twelve months in French & American oak barrels, only 13% new, with monthly bâtonnage to coat the tannins, producing a luscious, cushioned mouthfeel. This wine was lightly fined with egg whites and bottled without filtration in February 2018.This soft, easy-drinking Cabernet is a good introduction to the vintage, and while it will improve over the course of three to eight years, it is not a wine intended for long-term cellaring.
- Item #: i_258370Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 91James Suckling: 91Wine Enthusiast: 93 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 93 POINTS, WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS, JAMES SUCKLING 91 POINTS
This pioneering Napa Valley sparkling wine house has been on quite a tear lately with their rose cuvees and this edition could be our favorite to date. This rose's multi-faceted palate presents a cornucopia of succulent red summer fruits that are just the thing to complement the salt infused flavors of your Easter ham. Robert Parker really flipped for it as the below review suggests.
- Item #: i_259000Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Wine Spectator: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Zinfandel Cortina offers more complexity in its earth dark fruits, underbrush, Caramelized cherries, and spice. Rich, medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins and a solid sense of purity and freshness, this is a classy yet pleasure bent Zinfandel that will keep for a decade."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90+ POINTS - "The 2016 Zinfandel Cortina is medium ruby in color and youthfully coiled on the nose, taking its time to release scents of sliced nectarine, rhubarb, boysenberry and blueberry accented by dried flowers, warm earth, garrigue and loads of spiciness. The palate is still tight and reticent to show its juicy fruits. It has a soft texture and very pleasing, juicy acidity, finishing long. I suspect this will reward another couple of years in bottle. 2,458 cases produced."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Brooding and appealingly briary, with dark cherry, fresh sage and smoked pepper flavors that persist toward broad-shouldered tannins. Best from 2020 through 2027. 2,458 cases made."
- Item #: i_259920Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 92WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Supple and elegantly complex, with silky cherry and blueberry favors, laced with black tea and spice notes that linger on the finish. Drink now through 2028. 4,027 cases made."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Medium ruby-purple, the 2016 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard has a nose of cranberry sauce and sliced blueberries over cinnamon stick and clove suggestions plus hints of potpourri and tilled earth. Medium-bodied, it has wonderful intensity of fruit in the mouth with juicy acidity and grainy tannins, finishing long and spicy. 4,027 cases produced."
- Item #: i_262440Bottle Size: 750mlThis vintage is loaded with aromas of lemon and lime, and accented with hints of Bosc pear, caramel, oak spice and the familiar, flinty, mineral notes that are a defining characteristic of the Les Pierres Vineyard. The citrus flavors of grapefruit and lime are complemented and balanced with toasty, caramelized oak, and spice. The careful approach to oak aging and fermentation creates a round, full mouthfeel with Sonoma-Cutrer's signature bright and lively citrus-laced acidity and a long, lingering finish of nice barrel spice.
- Item #: i_265290Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2016 Petite Sirah is made up of 79% Petite Sirah, 8% mixed Rhône varieties, 7% Grenache and 6% Syrah, aged for 12 months in 25% new American oak. Very deep purple-black in color, it opens with notes of freshly crushed black cherries and black berries with touches of plum preserves, baking spices and tar. The palate is medium to full-bodied, very firm and grainy with a lively line to lift the peppery black fruit to a long finish."
Deep and saturated with a core of blueberries, black plum, black cherry, lavender and pepper spice, this wine displays an extraordinary elegance and finesse for which our Petite Sirahs are known. The generous black plum and black cherry flavors are prominent on the palate, yet backed up with delicate cinnamon, clove and cedar spice notes from the oak ageing. There is also a freshness and vibrancy that makes it very inviting with restrained tannins and a generous lengthy finish, encouraging you to enjoy it now, but has the depth and complexity to age for many years to come.
- Item #: i_255280Bottle Size: 750mlThis is an elegant style of Zinfandel with up front aromas of cranberry, cherry, fresh cigar, chocolate and a subtle smokiness. On the mouth, note the impeccable balance between the use of French oak barrels 20% whole cluster fermentation, and great acidity. It finishes with silky, youthful tannins.
- Item #: i_266470Bottle Size: 750mlStoller's Reserve Chardonnay is a blend of their oldest Dijon vines on the property, which were planted in 1995. Whole cluster pressed to mitigate phenolics, this wine was barrel fermented. This wine aged in French oak for 11-months before spending another 6-months in stainless steel. Expressing aromatics of lemon curd, brioche and flint, the palate meets the nose with a citrus vibrancy and reveals a luxurious mouthfeel due to extended lees contact and balanced use of oak.
- Item #: i_266520Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Lisa Valtenbergs turned out a superb set of wines at Stonestreet. The Chardonnays are outstanding, but this year, I was especially impressed with the Cabernets, which seem less pushed than in the past. Perhaps that is a reflection of the very high quality of the 2016 vintage, or maybe there is a slight move towards a more nuanced style. Time will tell. Either way, the 2016 Cabernets are fabulous, and also some of the very finest wines I have tasted here."
"The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is a gorgeous entry-level wine in this range from Stonestreet. A whole range of floral and savory notes give the Estate aromatic nuance to play off a core of vibrant red fruit. Medium in body and impeccably polished, the 2016 is flat-out delicious, even in the early going. "
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Moving to the reds, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 19 months in 37% new French oak) offers impressive notes of tobacco leaf, damp earth, cedar, and blackcurrants. It's look-alike for a top Bordeaux, has nicely integrated acidity, plenty of tannins, and is going to keep for over a decade."
- Item #: i_266970Bottle Size: 750MLThis is Storybook's primary estate wine from 100% Napa Valley organically grown estate grapes,. Here you will find all the richness and fruit for which Zinfandel is famous, plus the depth and structure associated with Napa hillside vineyards, and the balance for which Storybook wines are known. Crafted to be enjoyed on release, the wine's notable depth and balance will continue its appeal well into the future.
- Item #: i_267510Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Opaque ruby-purple, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers cassis, crushed blackberries, bitter chocolate and tobacco leaf with nuances of green bell pepper, red cherries and well-woven sweet spice. The full-bodied palate offers great fruit intensity and a firm but ripe frame, with good freshness matched by an herbal lift on the finish. 1,600 cases produced."
- Item #: i_269100Bottle Size: 750MLProprietors Timm and Sharon Crull have quite a special piece of land in Rutherford. Not only are they virtually across the street from Quintessa and next door to Heitz, they also sell their Cabernet to such prestigious wineries as Nickel & Nickel and Duckhorn. While we have been touting their reds for some time, they also have a refreshing white.
The property at The Terraces is more conducive to red grapes, so Timm and Sharon went "down the road" to Trefethen to find fantastic Chardonnay grapes. This southern valley floor vineyard has deep alluvial soils and warm temperatures, allowing the grapes to develop ripe stone fruit and pineapple aromas. This is a cleaner style; all tank fermented, no malolactic, and aged sur lie in neutral oak barrels for 6 months.
With a beautiful light straw hue and aromas of pineapple, guava, baked green apple and a hint of sweet woody vanilla the 2016 Chardonnay is sure to please. The palate has inviting characteristics of tropical fruit, crispy asian pear and bright green apple acidity. The vibrant mouthfeel showcases surprising weight and richness and a lively finish. Drink now or cellar for 8-10 years.
- Item #: i_269110Bottle Size: 750MLLocated in the Rutherford AVA of Napa Valley, next to wineries such as Quintessa, proprietors Timm and Sharon Crull grow some of the best grapes in the valley. Those grapes are so fantastic that most of them have gone to blue chip names such as Duckhorn, Nickel & Nickel, and Beringer! They do keep a bit for themselves and what they make is gorgeous!
The 2016 Petite Sirah is proving to be as complex as it is rich, offering everything one loves about this varietal. The inky hue invites you into the glass with aromas of ripe blackberry, blueberry and savory bacon with a touch of baking spice and maple. The palate features rich black cherry, blackberry and red plum complimented by dark chocolate with hints of espresso and spice. This full bodied wine is highlighted by balanced mouth-coating tannin, and bright acidity with a finish that lingers. Drink now or cellar for 8-12 years.
- Item #: i_268850Bottle Size: 750MLAnybody who has come into our store asking about Zinfandel has heard us raving about this gem for the past few years, which has been one of our favorite Zinfandels at the yearly Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (ZAP) tasting. Proprietors Timm and Sharon Crull's vineyards are in the Rutherford area of Napa Valley, a stone's throw from such big names as Quintessa, Heitz, and Sloan, just to give you an idea of how great these vineyards are!
One of the three estate grown varietals, Terraces Zinfandel is always a fan favorite. The 2016 vintage has a deep ruby color, with aromas of ripe raspberry, fresh blackberry, toasted cedar, vanilla and baking spice. The palate is bright with mouth-watering acidity and complex flavors of cranberry, baked red cherry, espresso, and a touch of white pepper. The generous finish and soft integrated tannin draw you back for the next sip. Drink now, or age for 5-8 years for optimum enjoyment.