- Item #: i_201100Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92This appellation is widely described as "sprawling" as it encompasses half or more of the county. Anthill Farms' fruit comes from two of the coolest, most coastal parts of this appellation: the low coast, west of Sebastopol on the edge of the Petaluma Gap; and the high coast, the first or second ridge inland from the ocean farther to the north. These sites are united by the direct influence of the Pacific's cool, marine air, delaying ripening well into October.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a pretty big, dark wine relative to prior editions. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, sage, spice and menthol shape this brooding appellation-level Pinot from Anthill Farms. Readers will find an especially potent, virile Pinot with tons of character."
- 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_275444Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94+Wine Spectator: 94WINE SPECTATOR #37 WINE OF 2020!
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Dynamic yet harmonious, with expressive raspberry and rose petal aromas, accented by flavors of orange peel and dusky spice. Builds richness toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2028."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir Cumberland Reserve takes its time to unfold to notes of earth, tar and blue and black berries on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied, firm and seamlessly fresh with intense dark fruits and a peppery finish. It's youthfully coiled and will have more to show with another couple years in bottle."
- Item #: i_275937Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94People 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:
2017 Vintage - 93 Points
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 - "The classic Napa release from this estate, the 2018 Chardonnay Private Reserve has lots of beautiful golden apple, caramelized citrus, toasted nut, and hints of acacia flowers. With a rich, textured style, it still stays beautifully fresh, balanced, and layered. It's a brilliant effort."
- Item #: i_207600Bottle Size: 750mlChardonnay grapes grown in the bottom half of the valley tend to produce rich, ripe, elegantly structured wines that are delicious on release, but also age well in the bottle; this gem is no exception! And while 75% is fermented in French oak, only 11% goes through malolactic fermentation in order to produce a full-bodied wine that's food friendly. The nose offers vivid, creamy aromas of green and golden apple, pear and citrus with supporting scents of beeswax and mineral. Full-bodied and vibrant on the palate, with bright, intense, apple, citrus and melon flavors, Cakebread's 2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay is remarkably persistent on the palate, culminating in a long finish showcasing pleasing spice, yeast and mineral tones. Released soon after bottling, it will hit its stride after 6-8 months and reward 5-7 years' aging.
- Item #: i_210160Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Estate has lush scents of baked apples, honeysuckle, honeycomb and hay with notes of quince paste and almonds. The palate is medium-bodied, rounded and slightly buttery with a long, uplifted finish. 10,000 cases produced."
- Item #: i_213980Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 90This wine is Paul Hobbs' companion label that complements his eponymous line of wines. This Pinot Noir was produced using hand-harvested fruit from carefully selected vineyards within the Sonoma Coast region, and receives the same techniques as its big sister.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "Medium ruby, the 2018 Pinot Noir is made with about 72% estate fruit and very little oak. It's a fresh style with open-knit aromas of roast cranberry and rhubarb with touches of dried leaves, soil and tar. The palate is medium-bodied, bright and juicy with good concentration and spiciness and a lifted finish. Enjoy it over the next two to three years. 19,500 cases produced."
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast comes from multiple sites on the Sonoma Coast and saw a touch of stems and 9 months on lees in 11% new French oak. Its ruby hue gives way to a pretty, strawberry, spice, and brambly, forest floor-laced Pinot Noir that has good acidity, plenty of sweet fruit, no hard edges, and a clean finish. It's well worth seeking out."
- Item #: i_214750Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93When Georges and Daniel Daou were children, the Daou family was forced to flee Beirut at the advent of the Lebanese Civil War. Their mother, Marie Daou, summoned her innate courage and strength, leading the family to safety in France where they would build a new life. It was here, in the south of France, that Georges and Daniel first dreamt of a life in wine.
Bodyguard honors the love and hope that defined this impactful time. True to form, this wine marries two varietals of tremendous power: A blend of 59% Petit Verdot and 41% Petite Sirah. Bodyguard showcases Daniel's mastery of high phenolic grapes-allowing him to create rich, powerful wines with elegance, restraint and complexity. Daniel uses his winemaking artistry and phenolic mastery to tame these dark, tannic grapes, creating a beautifully balanced and accessible cult wine.
The Daou property lies on a bed of calcareous clay. This soil is found throughout western Paso Robles (as well as St. Emilion along the right back of Bordeaux), and is fantastic for growing wine grapes. Daou mountain rises 2,200 feet in elevation in the hills of the Adelaida District on the west side of the Paso Robles AVA. With its steep mountain slopes of up to fifty-six percent, DAOU Mountain rises dramatically above the Coastal Range with breathtaking views from the highest winery on the Central Coast of California. The warm area is is cooled by the Pacific Ocean, fourteen miles away, and gentle breezes that flow over the Templeton Gap. This helps to fashion wines with ripe, juicy fruit flavors that retain freshness and vibrancy, along with even ripening and vine balance every year. The Daou brothers are committed to sustainable farming practices. Daniel employs cold-soaking to extract more color from the grapes, and he ages the wine for 10 months in French oak barrels, of which 50% of them were new.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "...the Bodyguard By Daou releases are made by the Daou team and focus on value - and they succeed admirably! Based on 59% Petit Verdot and 41% Petit Sirah, the 2018 Proprietary Red is a ripe, sexy wine with loads of black fruits, espresso roast, chocolate, and a kiss of violets that give way to a full-bodied, balanced, impressively textured wine with silky tannins, a great finish, and just loads of character."
- Item #: i_218920Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93Mount Richmond sits at 300-500 feet elevation, lower than the vineyards planted at the winery, which allows for earlier ripening. Planted in a high-density format (2100 vines/acre), similar to Roosevelt, Mount Richmond sits in rolling hills just outside the town of Yamhill just East of the Coast Range Mountains. In addition to the old vine pommard selection, planted from select cuttings off of Roosevelt Vineyard, the blend now also includes equal parts of Dijon clones 115 and 777.
Fruit from Mount Richmond is fermented in small, temperature controlled steel tanks, hand punched down twice daily, and barreled in 50% new french oak barrels. After 10 months of aging in barrels, only the barrels that are most representative of the Mount Richmond profile are carefully blended to create a big, luscious Oregon Pinot Noir
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 93 POINTS - "Saturated crimson. Powerful, smoke- and spice-tinged cherry and blueberry qualities on the nose, along with building floral and vanilla nuances. Musky underbrush and licorice notes emerge with air and carry onto the palate, which offers bitter cherry, blue fruit, spicecake and floral pastille flavors. A sweeter cola note pops up on the impressively long, youthfully tannic finish, which echoes the cherry and floral nuances."
- Item #: i_219640Bottle Size: 750MLMedium ruby color; cherry, raspberry, graham cracker spice on the nose; dark cherry, raspberry, plum, redcurrant on the palate.This bottle is another reason to find Etude Carneros pinot noir. Grapes come from estate vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch where the vines produce small bunches and even smaller berries, generating small yields and intense, complex flavors. The vividly delicious and—at the same time, subtle—flavors are why are why you will enjoy this wine, also why you will pay extra for the privilege of doing so. The splurge is more than worth it.
- Item #: i_220510Bottle Size: 750mlThis smooth, rich Chardonnay is the wine for you if your palate tends toward the “buttery” and “oaky” side.
It would be hard to hear the name Ferrari- Carano and not think of world-class wine. From a small, 30-acre plot of grapes purchased in 1979, to today’s 1,500 acres in six different appelations, Ferrari-Carano owns some of the finest properties in all of California. Their wines are recognized by the critics and are listed on the menus of some of the finest restaurants in the world. While tasting through the current lineup at a recent luncheon, it was their Reserve Chardonnay that truly garnered the limelight.
Coming from their property in Carneros, the long, cool growing season matures the fruit slowly, giving it plenty of time to gain in richness and depth while retaining a higher acidity and tighter structure than fruit in warmer climate. Combine this with the wine’s aging in a high percentage in new oak, and you get a Chardonnay that is both fresh, lively, yet rich and decadent. This wine entices with aromas of quince, apple, cinnamon, caramel, citrus, butter, vanilla, and graham cracker complemented by elegant, upfront flavors of pear, peach, and a lingering, toasted oak finish.
- Item #: i_228000Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 95JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "The 2018 Syrah Alturas offers a more vivid, Cote-Rotie-like style and has beautiful notes of black raspberries, spring flowers, peppered meat, and violets. More sappy underbrush and even a kiss of bacon fat emerge with time in the glass. and it's medium-bodied, has a silky, elegant texture, wonderful mid-palate depth, and enough tannins to warrant a year or three of bottle age. Beautifully done, this complex, elegant Syrah is going to evolve for 10-15 years or more."
- Item #: i_228810Bottle Size: 750MLHartford Family Winery began back in 1994 by Don and Jennifer Hartford. Since their inaugural release in 1996, Hartford has continued to produce wines with lots of personality and charisma. The single vineyard wines they produce range from as little as 90 to 800 cases and receive high accolades from the top wine critics. The Old Vine Zinfandel is produced from true old vines planted 80-100 years ago from some of California's oldest Zinfandel vineyards.
- Item #: i_230190Bottle Size: 750MLMichael and James Stewart have teamed up with world-renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs to craft noteworthy Cabernet Sauvignons, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from California. The wines have become favorites with both customers and staff; a few years ago they came out with Hollis-- a second label to showcase their house style at a more affordable price.
Fruit forward, well balanced, with well integrated French oak, this wine is sure to be a crowd pleaser. With fruit sourced from Max Vineyard, Hollis is crafted with the help of their consulting winemaker, Paul Hobbs.
- Item #: i_235800Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 92 POINTS - "Kinero is the personal label of Anthony Yount, who is the winemaker at Denner Vineyards. Yount's new releases, all of them white this go-around, continue to rise to the challenge, if you will, of working with fruit from some of the Central Coast's most famed vineyards. Yount acknowledges and relishes the task and points out that 'if you have Rosemary's or James Berry Vineyard on the bottle, it better be really good, because you sure can't blame the fruit if it doesn't come out right.' "
"Limpid straw-yellow. White peach, pear nectar, tangerine and candied ginger on the deeply perfumed nose. Coats the palate with ripe, open-knit citrus and pit fruit, vanilla and honeysuckle flavors supported by a spine of smoky minerality. A sexy floral note emerges on the broad, silky finish, which clings with impressive, mineral- and spice-driven persistence. 40% new French oak."
- Item #: i_237240Bottle Size: 750mlCreme brulee opens into a candied pear bouquet. Fermented in stainless steel tanks on the leas and aged in neutral, French oak barrels, light hints of vanilla arise with more robust cantaloupe, citrus, and ripe melon notes. Balanced, fresh texture and crisp acidity harmonize this Chardonnay in a wonderful expression of the Russian River Valley.
- Item #: i_236780Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93Liquid Farm's "White Hill" bottling is the leaner and more Chablisiane of their two Chardonnay bottlings. Comprised of fruit from some of the best vineyards in the area, White Hill highlights the unique salinity that comes through in the ancient soils of Santa Rita Hills. The style of this wine will always be racier and predominately neutral barrel fermentation. Its profile is that of mineral, yellow peach, fresh Asian pear, salinity, linen, candied ginger, and lavender cream.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay White Hill is bright and beautifully focused. Lemon oil, white flowers and tropical accents give this mid-weight, layered Chardonnay tons of character. Chamomile, apricot, sage, crushed rocks and mint develop later, adding striking dimensions of complexity. The 2018 is a blend from Clos Pepe, Kessler-Haak and La Rinconada, sites that are so complementary."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Starting with the 2018 Chardonnay White Hill, which was brought up in a mix of neutral oak and stainless steel, it reveals a light gold hue to go with a great bouquet of caramelized citrus, white flowers, brioche, and salty minerality. Vibrant, fresh, medium-bodied, and elegant on the palate, it's beautifully done and should evolve for over a decade in cold cellars."
- Item #: i_242480Bottle Size: 750mlFloral notes, highlighted by heritage rose petals, are offset with white pepper and a touch of vanilla and oak spice. Silky tannins, with medium weight, it once came with a warning: beware, a glass of this wine seems to empty faster than most.
- Item #: i_275597Bottle Size: 750mlMartinelli's Bella Vigna label is curated from all of their estate vineyards in the Sonoma Coast appellation. They wanted to create an appellation blend that reflects the characteristics of their Sonoma Coast vineyards and is still true to our Martinelli style. Bella Vigna translates to "Beautiful Vines", so their winemaking team chose barrels that best denote the flavor profiles of their vineyards, showcasing how beautiful the fruit from the Sonoma Coast can be. The 2018 Bella Vigna Pinot Noir has a nose of dried cherry, licorice, and blueberry and ripe flavors of mouth-coating strawberry and dried cherry.
- Item #: i_216991Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90James Suckling: 94JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Impressive clarity and purity of red and blue-fruit aromas, as well as subtly earthy complexity. The palate has a beautifully silky core of ripe red and black cherries. Velvety tannins. Really even and long. Drink or hold."
Classic SONOMA COAST aromas of ripe red raspberry, Bing cherry and pomegranate explode from the glass. These vibrant red berry flavors are echoed on the lush, silky palate, where they mingle with notes of blackberry and hints of French oak-inspired spice.