- Item #: i_200340Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Located in an ancient volcanic zone in the Sonoma County, Knights Valley (pictured above) offers incredibly unique and diverse soils with a climate perfectly suited to Bordeaux varietals, as demonstrated by the delicious wines made by Peter Michael, Keplinger and Beringer. Anakota is one of Knights Valley's stars that produces wines that personify the rustic elegance and spirit of this volcanic area. With Mount St. Helena looking down upon the vineyard, prevailing westerly winds pass over a large, cold pond and blow uphill, parallel to the rows of vines. These cooling breezes slow down the ripening of the grapes and result in wines that are packed with elegance, complexity and finesse. The wines are crafted by Pierre Seillan, whose deft hand has also created 100 point wines at Verite!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana Vineyard (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) comes from a vineyard that contains more volcanic rock. Deep purple-black in color, it reveals slightly tarry notes to begin, soon opening out to beautiful black cherry, black berry and warm cassis scents with hints of cigar box, charcuterie, licorice and Indian spices. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and wonderful freshness supporting the densely packed earth layers, finishing very long and savory. This needs time! 920 cases produced."
- Item #: i_200830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-99 POINTS - "CIX stands for 109, because this was originally called "Parcel 109" when Aubert bought the vineyard. Planted in 2008 to Montrachet clone, the 2018 Chardonnay CIX Estate slips sensuously from the glass with beguiling scents of apple blossoms, honeysuckle and orange peel over a core of ripe Bosc pears, coriander seed, white pepper and shaved almonds plus a touch of talc. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has seamless freshness and the most beautifully perfumed personality, finishing long and fragrant."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay CIX Vineyard is a seamless, gorgeous beauty. Orchard fruit, mint, white pepper and floral notes all run through this super-expressive, alluring Chardonnay from Mark Aubert. In the glass, the CIX is understated and nuanced rather than overt. I find it absolutely mesmerizing."
- Item #: i_200615Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-98+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-98+ POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay UV-SL comes across as a little shy compared to the Napa Chardonnays, slowly unfurling to reveal oyster shells, peach blossoms, honeysuckle and brine notes over a core of lemon marmalade, creme brulee and pink grapefruit plus a touch of key lime pie. Full-bodied, the palate is like a tightly coiled spring with loads of tension between the racy acid and all the taut fruit, finishing very long and very minerally. This should be very long-lived!"
- Item #: i_228340Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Wine Spectator: 92ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "The 2006 Chardonnay (4,600+ cases) was 80% tank-fermented with no malolatic, and 33% spent 18 months in barrel. It possesses lovely white peach, pear, and crushed rock characteristics, full body, splendid acidity as well as purity, and a gracious integration of subtle oak. This beautiful white can be enjoyed over the next 5-6 years."
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Flinty, with a tight beam of mineral, white peach, nectarine, green apple and lime flavors that are concentrated, keeping the focus on the vibrant fruit. Drink now through 2014. 3,253 cases made."
- Item #: i_228010Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Comments: "With the complex fruit of a well grown, mature Chardonnay vineyard, coupled with the vineyard's inherent minerality and steely acidity, the intention is to cellar this rare wine, as it will develop over many years to come. With a beautiful pale straw and slight yellow color, this youthful beauty offers aromas of peach, meyer lemon, roasted hazelnut, crème brulee, douglas fir, baked apple and wet stone, and is classically Hanzell. It is full bodied with a very rich mouthfeel and an extremely long finish. If you are not a patient person, decanting this wine for a minimum of two hours prior to serving is recommended."
- Item #: i_228560Bottle Size: 750mlWinemaker's Notes: "The complex aromas of dried cherry, blackberry bramble, orange peel, cherry tobacco, cedar, sandalwood, cardamom, pink peppercorn and forest floor give a decidedly autumn impression. Amazingly silky across the palate with sweet red fruits on the mid-palate, plenty of fine textured tannins and a long toasty finish. This is one of the most elegant and approachable Hanzell Vineyards Pinot Noirs in recent memory."
- Item #: i_245330Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93This is the personal label of Luc Morlet and his wife Jodie. Luc created Newton Vineyard’s Chardonnay Unfiltered, a collector favorite that’s received 96 points from Robert Parker, Jr. He then became the head winemaker for Peter Michael Winery and crafted their wines from the 2001-2005 vintages, where he made a 98-point Cabernet-blend and a 99-point Chardonnay!
This Pinot Noir is made from the very best section of the excellent "Coteaux Nobles" hillside vineyard on the eastern slope of the second ridge from the ocean, on the Sonoma Coast. Hand-crafted using classical Burgundian techniques, this unique wine is also named after the seductive character of the Pinot Noir grape. It is the "Charming Character" or "Joli Coeur."
ROBERT PARKER 93 POINTS - "Luc Morlet (whose brother Nicolas Morlet is winemaker at Peter Michael) continues to fine-tune his beautiful historic stone winery on Rt. 29, just to the north of the Culinary Institute of America. His newest lineup of wines continues his production of three cuvees of Chardonnay, three cuvees of Pinot Noir, a Syrah, a Sauvignon/Semillon Blanc, five Bordeaux-inspired Cabernet Sauvignons and a Cabernet Franc. All of the Chardonnays are based around the Old Wente clone that is so popular with the top Chardonnay winemakers. Rumor has it that it probably came from the great Grand Cru vineyard known as Corton-Charlemagne in Burgundy in the 1930s, but no one has the evidence to prove it."
"Morlet's top selection is the 2014 Pinot Noir Joli Coeur. This has the darkest fruits, crisp acids, more minerality, structure and tannin with a more muscular, backward feel. This wine would benefit from a year of bottle age and drink well for at least 10-15 years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "Things seem quite busy at Morlet Family Vineyards. Luc and Jodie Morlet are developing an additional 3.5 acres of land at their estate vineyard in St. Helena. Last year, the Morlets planted a new vineyard in the heart of Oakville, so there will be a greater focus on estate fruit in the future, once those newly planted vineyards come on line. Stylistically, the wines offer plenty of textural richness and opulence, as they always have. At the same time, I see a bit more freshness in these wines than was common just a few years ago."
"The 2014 Pinot Noir Joli Coeur offers a super-appealing interplay of juicy dark red cherry and raspberry flavor, with striking inner sweetness and lifted aromatics. Dense, pliant and voluptuous, the 2014 is exceptionally polished."
- Item #: i_277084Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-99 POINTS - "A tank sample, the 2018 Chardonnay Belle Cote comes from a block planted to Old Wente and See Clone selections. In fact, this is from the oldest, 1990 plantings on the estate. Wow—the nose explodes from the glass with powerful scents of guava, quince, tangerine and lime blossoms plus touches of ginger ale, peach cobbler and creme caramel with a waft of struck flint. Medium-bodied, the palate features laser precision with a racy line cutting through the intense, tightly wound, mineral-laced fruit, finishing long and zesty. Should age incredibly! 3,100 cases are due to be made."
- Item #: i_241790Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-98+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-98+ POINTS - "A tank sample, the 2018 Chardonnay la Carriere comes from a block planted to Dijon and Hyde (Old Wente) clone selections. It sashays out of the glass with flamboyant notions of fresh ginger, lemongrass, allspice and orange blossoms over a core of peach preserves, pink grapefruit and apple pie with wafts of baking bread and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied, the texture is simply stunning—so satiny with fantastic tension to counter and layer upon layer of spices and savory flavors, finishing very long and very perfumed. 2,907 cases are due to be made."
- Item #: i_252930Bottle Size: 750mlRaen is a new project put out by Carlo and Dante Mondavi, grandsons of the famed Robert Mondavi. Carlo and Dante are fourth generation vintners born and raised in Napa Valley who "cut their teeth" working under Tim Mondavi at the Robert Mondavi Winery as well as Opus One. The two brothers credit their dad Tim for the passion they share for Pinot Noir, as Tim is a big Burgundy fan and was a pioneer for California Pinot Noir through the '70s. Raen's Sonoma Coast bottling has been named Royal St. Robert Cuvee, in the honor of Carlo and Dante Mondavi's grandfather (Robert Mondavi) who taught them to be committed to excellence.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir Bodega is the clear stand out in this range from Raen. Pliant and deep, with terrific presence, the Bodega is impeccably balanced from start to finish. I imagine it will be an even more compelling wine in another few years' time. Bright red cherry fruit, pomegranate, mint, spice and blood orange all infuse the 2018 with tons of character. This is such a pretty and expressive wine, but it needs time in bottle for some of its youthful austerity to soften."