- Item #: i_200480Bottle Size: 750mlII by Alpha Omega is the culmination of the two worlds, the Alpha and the Omega, the Old World and the New World. Winemakers Jean Hoefliger and Michel Rolland worked to create a wine that is not only opulent, fruit forward and generous, but also has the backbone of European acidity and elegance. A reflection of both worlds, II is a wine that is built to be approachable, both in taste and price, and consumed early.
This Chardonnay has a pale yet brilliant white gold color with touches of green. The nose displays intense green apple, pear, vanilla and white chocolate with minerality, bubble gum and jasmine mingled with fresh flavors of pear, apricot, honeysuckle and starfruit lingering on lemon and vanilla. Full-bodied, rich, and luscious, this is the quintessential wine for California Chardonnay lovers!
- Item #: i_200520Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Alpha Omega's Chardonnay is naturally fermented, unfined and unfiltered. The integration of six different clones of Chardonnay brings unique characteristics to this multifaceted wine. They achieve precision and balance by an 18-month aging process in French oak with constant stirring. The result is an elegant and finesse driven Chardonnay that embodies Meursault with a California accent.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2015 Chardonnay displays compelling white peach, honeyed pear and melon notes with underlying cashews, struck match and lightly browned toast. The medium-bodied palate simply sings with rich stone fruit and savory flavors, lifted by a racy acid line and finishing with lingering mineral notes. Impressive!"
- Item #: i_200290Bottle Size: 750mlWinery's Tasting Notes: "Vibrant and rich with enticing aromatics that lead to a firm core of pear, apple and apricot flavors shaded by light spicy oak. On the palate, the wine offers layer upon layer of lingering flavors. The wine highlights varietal purity, elegance and a freshness on the palate."
- Item #: i_201230Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Arietta's 2014 Merlot Hudson Vineyards is gorgeous. Surprisingly, it is also richer, deeper and more pedigreed than the Quartet and Cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage. Exquisitely layered and supple, the 2014 possesses striking depth to match its creamy, inviting personality. Layers of plum, black cherry and mocha built into the supple, inviting finish. Naturally, the 2014 is quite young. It can be enjoyed today, but readers who appreciate the complexity that develops only in bottle will have to be patient."
- Item #: i_201290Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2016 Quartet is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Deep purple-black in color, it features youthful, vivacious black and red currants notions with an undercurrent of black plums, mulberries, Indian spices and fragrant earth plus wafts of tobacco and new leather. Full-bodied and laden with decadent black fruit and spicy layers, it has a velvety backbone and long spicy finish."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot, aged 22 months in French oak, the 2016 Red Blend Quartet reveals a deep purple color, beautiful notes of cassis, tobacco, iron, and sweet spice, a full-bodied, voluptuous, layered, sexy texture, and a big finish. As Napa Cabernet goes, this beauty is a value. Drink this hedonistic, pleasure-bent beauty any time over the coming 7-8 years."
- Item #: i_200330Bottle Size: 750mlThe focus of this two person operation is on small lot, single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, as well as several other varieties uncommon in Northern Californian vineyards. Sites are carefully chosen and are generally on the cooler end of the spectrum for the planted varieties. Collaboration with dedicated and passionate growers is paramount in the farming of these sites.
Duncan and Nathan grew up around winemaking in the Napa Valley. Nathan is a second generation cooper and personally builds all of the French oak barrels that are utilized in the ageing of all Arnot-Roberts wines. Over the years Duncan has worked making wine in the Napa Valley in wineries like, Caymus, Groth, Acacia, Kongsgaard. Total production of Arnot-Roberts is around 2,000 cases per year with thirteen individual wines.
The Watson Ranch Chardonnay comes from one of the southernmost vineyards in Napa Valley AVA. The vines were planted in 1990 and dry farmed in clay over limestone with a view of San Pablo Bay. The wine was whole cluster pressed, fermented in stainless steel by native yeasts and aged in neutral French oak barrels.
- "The 2018 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is a gorgeous wine. Apricot, chamomile, dried flowers, sage and dried pear are all laced together in this super-expressive, inviting Chardonnay. Readers should be prepared to cellar the 2018, as it is quite closed today. Bright saline notes add freshness and zip to this super-expressive Chardonnay."
- Item #: i_201530Bottle Size: 750mlArrow and Branch proprietors (and Laguna Beach locals) Steve and Seanne Contursi share a great love for the wines of Bordeaux, particularly those produced with a large quantity of Cabernet Franc, such as Chateau Cheval Blanc. The couple sought out their Coombsville vineyard property with an eye to producing top-quality Cabernet Franc-based wines from Napa Valley. They bought the Arrow and Branch Vineyard in November 2007, as this vineyard was the source of Tony Soter's renowned and highly rated Little Creek Cabernet Franc. The Contursi's have maintained the organic farming and, through their work with the detail-oriented Viticulturalist Mike Wolf, are continually improving this wonderful vineyard site.
One of the rising stars of Napa Valley winemaking, Jennifer Williams, was named Winemaker for Arrow and Branch in April 2011. After years of working with and learning from legendary winemakers such as Rosemary Cakebread, Francoise Peschon, and the Novak family, Jennifer now brings her outstanding talents and experience to Arrow and Branch. In 2002, Williams joined Araujo and Spottswoode as a harvest intern, splitting her time between these two great winemaking estates. At Spottswoode, Jennifer was drawn to the philosophy of organic and sustainable farming, which Tony Soter had introduced in 1985. Following harvest, she joined their team full time, working under guru David Abreu in the fields and Rosemary Cakebread in the winery. In 2004, with a deeper understanding of the estate vineyard, she took over as Vineyard Manager and was Spottswoode's Winemaker from 2006 to 2011. The San Francisco Chronicle named Jennifer a "Winemaker to Watch" in 2007.
From their high elevation vineyard about 1300 feet atop Atlas Peak, this is their second vintage fully sourced from Stagecoach Vineyard. The cool evenings and temperate days make for ideal Sauvignon Blanc conditions. This vineyard produces fruit full in flavor while retaining a bright acidity that is signature of Arrow and Branch Sauvignon Blanc. Fermented in oak and stainless to preserve the freshness and lees aged to give the wine some roundness.
- Item #: i_208450Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 95 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - "Sinewy, earthy and full of spice, this well-made wine is lush and sumptuous, with firm, focused tannins and integrated oak. Black cherry, cinnamon and nutmeg meld on the structured, fullbodied palate, with a graceful hint of dark chocolate on the finish. This will do well in the cellar; enjoy 2025–2030."
Many years of farming and crafting Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley across appellations as diverse as Oakville, Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District and St. Helena, has helped the Nickel Family to intimately know the very best sites — each with its defining characteristics — from which to create Bella Union Cabernet.
Upon first sip, Bella Union offers exuberant plum and black cherry aromas, signature notes of the Bella Union Vineyard. The wine is luscious with supple tannins that provide a framework for longevity. The finish lingers with persistent fruit flavors and notes of toasty oak, black pepper and espresso bean.
- Item #: i_275937Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsPeople in the wine world always want to talk about the "new kid on the block", but what needs to be remembered is there are a few of the "old guards" that will go toe-to-toe with those "young guns" and give them a run for their money! For decades, Beringer has been making phenomenal, world-class wines utilizing time-honored techniques that are still used today by virtually all the high-quality producers…even by those "young guns"!
Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay highlights the richness and complexity of this varietal and has been one of the benchmark Chardonnays since its first vintage in 1978. Just to give you an idea of the quality, let's take a look at the scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate for the past few years:
2016 Vintage - 90-92 Points
2015 Vintage - 91 Points
2012 Vintage - 93 Points
2011 Vintage - 95 Points
2010 Vintage - 87 Points
2009 Vintage - 93 Points
2008 Vintage - 94 Points
2007 Vintage - 92 Points
2006 Vintage - 92 Points
These are scores that most producers receive every so often…but not with this consistency. This is one of the reasons why Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay is such in demand. And how do they do it? Well, winemaker Laurie Hook ferments the juice in French oak barrels to enhance the natural richness in the wine. Weekly lees stirring enhanced the toasty notes, and integrated the oak flavors for an overall balance. All of the wine was put through malolactic fermentation to encourage a lush creaminess. After 9 months aging, Laurie chose the most expressive lots and blended them to create this richly layered wine.
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "A different animal, the 2017 Chardonnay Private Reserve is richer and more opulent, with Montrachet-like caramelized lemon, tropical fruits, and brioche aromas and flavors. Nevertheless, it's still more elegant and vibrant than past vintages, with medium body, a layered texture, and good acidity. I love its balance and it can be drunk any time over the coming 2-4 years, although there's no need to delay gratification."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The 2017 Chardonnay Private Reserve aged for ten months in 100% new French oak. It opens with beautiful creme brulee and candied ginger notes over a core of pineapple and green mango with a waft of brioche. Medium-bodied, satiny and with fantastic freshness, it delivers loads of tropical layers and great length. 8,100 cases produced, to be released in March 2019."
- 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_206720Bottle Size: 750MLBlackbird Vineyards has provided quietly fruit to many of Napa's finest wineries: Lail, Pride, and Viader. Mia Klein, formerly at Dalla Valle, created a vineyard-designate for her highly acclaimed 1999 Selene Merlot. Three of the top critics (Parker, Tanzer and Wine Spectator), scored their first release in the 90s. Blackbird continues to provide fruit to such winemakers as Bob Foley (Robert Foley, Hourglass).
The Blackbird wines are crafted by Aaron Pott, a winemaker who has a one-of-a-kind pedigree and produces several highly sought-after wines. The grapes for the Arise bottling come brom Blackbird's own vineyards in the Oak Knoll District, augmented with fruit from Hudson Vineyard in Carneros, Stagecoach Vineyard in the Vaca Mountains, and Crocker and Starr Vineyard.
A blend of 38% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Cabernet Franc, , the 2014 Arise entices with aromas of black currant, freshly-picked summer blackberries, cedar stick, and roasted clove. With flavors of licorice, pipe tobacco, Bing cherry, and nutty fig, this wine has a richly layered mid-palate that is complimented by soft texture, good density, and a long, lingering finish.
- Item #: i_205880Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Bootleg Red is a new production by Jackson Family Wine Collection; these are the people who own and produce awesome estate wines like Freemark Abbey, La Jota and StoneStreet just to name a few. Trust us; there are too many "household" names you would recognize for us to list them all but you now have an idea of the quality they bring to the table.
This offering is their entry to the California "Red" category, a section of the domestic wine industry that has seen tremendous growth with labels such as "The Prisoner" and "Menage a Trois" becoming brands that everyone who drinks California wine has heard of. In terms of sales this category is as hot as Cabernet Sauvignon!
So what sets this apart from other blends and why should you try it? Fruit sources; using Vineyards they own, the Jackson Family sourced grapes from prestigious sub-AVAs within Napa like Atlas Peak, Oakville, Rutherford, Mt Veeder and Spring Mountain with the balance of fruit (25%) coming from their Sonoma and Mendocino Vineyards. The blending components going into this Red comes from outstanding vineyards of whom we all love. Plain and simple, you have outstanding winegrowing, winemaking and wine-blending with Bootleg Red!
ROBERT PARKER 90 POINTS! "The 2015 Red Blend is made up of 53% Merlot, 21% Petite Sirah, 20% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, aged 20 months in 28% new French oak and 2% new American oak. Deep garnet-purple colored, baked plums, warm blackberries and Black Forest cake springs from the glass with touches of Chinese five spice, dusty soil and garrigue with a touch of black tea. Full, rich and with an approachable chewy texture, it has great freshness and a long earthy finish. 3,046 cases produced."
- Item #: i_206620Bottle Size: 750MLIn 1980 when the Brown family stumbled upon their now renowned property in the Chiles Valley sub-appellation of the Napa Valley, it was but a ghost ranch up the hill east of Rutherford. Five years later they planted vineyards and for a decade they farmed and sold wine grapes. In 1995 the second generation, encouraged by growing demand for their fruit, established the Brown Estate label and began making their own wines.
Brown's flagship Napa Valley Zinfandel historically has borne the responsibility of being the ultimate representative of what their property and its unique microclimate have to offer — the cream of the Brown Estate zinfandel crop blended into one stellar wine. Rich magenta hue in the glass. Nose opens with abundant floral notes of hibiscus, dried rose petals, and violet followed by fruit notes of black plum, blackberry, and dried orange peels. Nose finishes with fresh cut wood/sawdust, fir balsam, and a hint of tangy soy/umami. Medium-plus palate layered with bramble fruit up front, leading into dried herbs, exotic spices, and dusty earth. Long finish with well-balanced acid and tannins. Drink now through 2028.
- Item #: i_206430Bottle Size: 750mlSituated in the mountains above Conn Valley and near the base of Howell Mountain, the Buehler Estate vineyards are planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon. The juxtaposed topography of steeply sloped hillsides with eastern exposures against very gently sloping hills with southern and southwestern exposures hints at the tumultuous geologic past of the Estate; extensive faulting resulted in at least three distinct soil types. Not surprisingly, grapes grown on the different soils give different characteristics to the finished wines; these differences are often as great as the differences across various Bordeaux varieties and allow Buehler to blend within the variety of Cabernet Sauvignon to craft a truly multi-faceted Estate wine.
The aromas hint at black fruit: ripe black cherries and black plums. Enticing barrel qualities of cola and spice complement the fruit aromas. On the palate, the wine shows layers of deeply extracted flavors that only mature hillside vineyards can render. Buehler's Estate Cabernet is the most age-worthy wine they produce and may be enjoyed anytime over the next 15 years.
- Item #: i_206480Bottle Size: 750ML
The grapes are a mix of those off their estate vineyards and grapes from other select Napa Valley low-yielding vineyards. Dry-farmed for over 20 years, their 4.5 acre estate block consists of mature thirty-seven year old vines which typically yield around 2.5 tons/acre of hillside fruit. Interspersed among the head-trained vines are a handful of Petite Sirah vines representing perhaps 5% of the total vines in this block. A traditional field companion to Zinfandel in pre-prohibition California vineyards, Petite Sirah contributes pepper, color, and tannin structure to the wine.
- Item #: i_208505Bottle Size: 750MLANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep, powerful and intense. Wild cherry, underbrush, gravel, savory herbs, smoke and earthy notes give the 2014 much of its potent, virile profile. There is plenty to look forward to as the 2014 develops in bottle. This is a lovely wine with classically inspired proportions and plenty of structure."
- Item #: i_203260Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Reserve Tapestry is soft, pliant and supple, all qualities that make it an excellent choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. Sweet red cherry, plum, rose petal, mint and dried flowers are all laced together in this racy, super-expressive blend from BV. The Cabernet Sauvignon-based Tapestry is one of the hidden gems in the range."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2015 Reserve Tapestry Proprietary Red Wine is blended of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot aged in a mix of French, American and Hungarian oak (60% new) for 22 months. It has a deep garnet-purple color and quite a toasty nose to begin, giving way to a beautiful perfume of roses and lilacs with a core of cassis, redcurrant jelly and blackberry tart plus a touch of cedar chest. Full, velvety and seductive, it delivers layers of perfumed red and black fruit with a very long finish. 16,637 cases produced."
- Item #: i_207950Bottle Size: 750mlThis not-too-tannic melody of rich bramble and cassis integrate seamlessly into a subtle landscape of dark, sun-ripened berries, dusty earth and vintage leather. Smooth and supple across the tongue, making for the perfect accompaniment to a classic symphony or a playful springtime lilt.
- Item #: i_207960Bottle Size: 750mlA proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, & Petite Sirah, this is an extroverted dry red wine that is medium-bodied and rich in flavor. The nose exhibits fig, caramelized sugar, coffee, and chocolate, while the palate brings ripe cherries, berries, dark plum together with cedar, sandalwood and coffee. Powerfully engaging, and balanced with good acidity on the long finish.
- Item #: i_207100Bottle Size: 750MLIf you have enjoyed the prior "vintages" of Cain Cuvee, you will love the NV15. Those of you who have followed Cain Cuvee know that it is not your typical Napa red wine; no big, inky, oaky blockbuster here. Cain Cuvee is intended to sit lightly, refreshingly (dare we say, lovingly?) on your palate. There is all the fruit that you could want, but the Cain Cuvee is not fruit juice. It is, most assuredly, fine wine for serious wine-lovers who value complexity, balance and finish. The Cain Cuvee is for those who know that wine doesnet have to be big to be good.
- Item #: i_207510Bottle Size: 750mlCakebread's 2016 Napa Valley Merlot is a savory, bold and structured wine, with a firm foundation. Hints of dried herbs, along with aromas of deep blackberry and black cherry, are evident along with mineral notes of crushed stone. The flavors are deeply concentrated with black plum, as well as fresh blackberries to match the nose. Characteristic freshness and acidity are followed by silky textures and refined, elegant tannins.
- Item #: i_207520Bottle Size: 750MLPretty aromas of ripe boysenberry, dark cherry and cassis, coupled with scents of sweet oak and herbal spice, introduce plush, deeply concentrated, black fruit flavors bolstered by bright acidity and well-structured tannins. This classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon boasts a long, lovely finish featuring savory fruit, spice and mineral tones. Delicious now, it will age gracefully in bottle for another 7-10 years.