- Item #: i_200660Bottle Size: 750mlBibiana Gonzalez Rave crafts her Alma de Cattleya wines as high-quality offerings representing the uniqueness of northern California's Sonoma County. Alma means "soul" in Spanish - and Cattleya is the national flower of her native country, Columbia. These wines are the perfect accompaniment to everyday meals and relaxing moments.
The grapes are sourced equally from vineyards across the Sonoma Coast and Russian River AVAs of Sonoma County, favoring vineyards at close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Aged for 16 months in French oak barrels, this wine is beautifully pure, with notes of macerated strawberry, raspberry, and red cherry that are perfectly balanced by savory notes of baking spice, sage, and sou bois, as this wine finishes with bright acidity and velvety tannins.
- 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 - "Fruit for this was harvested on September 8th, and the wine was bottled six months ago. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana Vineyard gives up exuberant notions of warm blueberries, creme de cassis, lilacs and chocolate box with hints of fertile loam, licorice and menthol. Medium-bodied, elegant, very fresh and juicy, the palate has beautifully ripe, fine-grained tannins supporting the generous fruit, finishing long and perfumed. 1,200 cases produced."
- Item #: i_200770Bottle Size: 750mlAlthough Sonoma County appears as just a small puzzle piece in the northern reaches of the state, its unique geography, from its coastal mountain ranges and gaps, to its inland valleys makes for an incredibly diverse and dynamic growing region. Using this to the winery's advantate, Angeline toook careful consideration in selecting each of their vineyard sites throughout the county in order to both showcase its breadth and scope as well as how these different microclimates can complement each other. Rooted in the Russian River Valley, but with sources as far north as the warm, sunny slopes of the Dry Creek Valley, this Sauvignon Blanc pays due homage to its unique home.
Crafted from cool-climate Sonoma County vineyards, our Sauvignon Blanc has notes of granny smith apple, bright citrus zest, underripe kiwi, fresh honeydew, and a touch of lemongrass.
- Item #: i_200500Bottle 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.
- Item #: i_201600Bottle Size: 750mlLast year we attended the inaugural Sonoma County Barrel Auction. This was an event where wineries from throughout Sonoma County gathered to showcase wines that they have not bottled before, and to keep their wines unique, they don't plan on bottling them again! Last week we showcased the unique Pinot Noir from Patz & Hall, perhaps the best Pinot Noir they have ever made. This time, it's an amazing Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon blend from one of our favorite Sonoma County producers...Arrowood!
Arrowood Winery is pure Sonoma. The winery's influence in the region endures since the first wines were made three decades ago. Created exclusively for the Sonoma County Barrel Auction, Winemaker Kristina Weerner selected the top lots from the vintage to craft a unique blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Syrah comes from the Russian River Valley's acclaimed Saralee's vineyard. It is not uncommon for Arrowood's Syrah from this vineyard to score in the "outstanding" range with famed critic Robert Parker, and the Syrah for this blend was co-fermented with Viognier, which actually makes the wine darker and gives it more aromatics and texture. With that, they blended in 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Smothers-Remick Ridge Vineyard, a phenomenal property that sits roughly 600 feet above the valley floor in the northern Sonoma Mountains. It features 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon divided into 11 distinctive blocks that mirror the terroir. Known for its small, flavorful berries, this mountain site produced balanced wines with refined tannins. In the end, Kristina decided the best wine was blended of 70% Syrah and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon...and that's what we have here!
Only 10 cases were bottled, and you can't get this wine at the winery, even if you're a member of their wine club! This is a gorgeous red blend, and it displays a lovely ruby/garnet color with aromas of freshly crushed cherry, raspberry, red currant, strawberry shortcake, vanilla, and hints of oak. After a short bit of time to breathe, aromas of smoke, Asian spices, and grilled meat begin to emerge. On the palate, the subtle hints of spice continues, along with black fruit, black cherry, a briary quality, cured meat, and plum. The finish is fairly long, with pronounced tannins that give a nice frame to the wine. Absolutely delectable, this is a wine that can easily be enjoyed now, but will continue to develop nicely in the cellar for another 7-10 years!
- Item #: i_215492Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95Arrowood Winery is pure Sonoma, located in the historic Sonoma Valley, a swath of land tucked between the Mayacamas Mountains and Napa to the east, and Sonoma Mountain to the west. When Richard and Alis Arrowood started the winery in 1986, Richard was already experienced and quite revered from his stints at Korbel and Chateau St. Jean. The Arrowood winery first came to prominence by way of the single-vineyard Chardonnays and Reserve Cabernets that were hoarded by most of the savvy collectors, and this was at a time where Napa Cabernets were quite popular, but this wasn’t the case in Sonoma. Richard’s methods made people take note of Sonoma Cabernets, and the region owes him quite a lot! The Arrowoods have since retired and sold the property, but the new owners and their winemaker (Kristina Werner) have every intention of keeping this property a world-class winery, and judging by this bottling, they haven’t missed a beat!
Kristina crafted this 2014 Réserve Spéciale from the finest vineyard sources in Sonoma County, and this represents their very best barrels, and the finest Cabernet Arrowood produces. The majority of the fruit came from the Sonoma Valley AVA, where low-yielding, rocky growing sites bring balance and elegance to this very complex wine. A small percentage of fruit from the Knights Valley AVA offer the wine a darker aromatic profile and fuller tannin profile. Aged for 24 months in predominantly new French oak barrels, the nose introduces you to the wine with seductive dark fruit and aromas of blackberry, fresh fig, licorice, and is rich in complexities. Fresh notes of Bing cherry and violet also surface as the wine breathes. Framed by a firm structure and silky elegance, the persisting texture defines what makes this wine the Reserve Speciale. The power behind this wine ingratiates itself to the entire palate—dark chocolate and nutmeg outline baking spices and plum. And a lingering finish will carry on long afterwards. The long barrel aging and year in bottle before release guarantee its readiness to drink. However, those that hold onto it will be rewarded, with an aging potential of 20+ years.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Speciale has a black forest cake and creme de cassis-scented nose with touches of charcoal, black soil, mocha and salami plus a hint of cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with black fruit and savory layers with beautifully ripe, fine-grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing with great persistence. 1,103 cases produced."
- Item #: i_201500Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley) is very pretty. Bright, punchy and full of life, the 2016 has too much to offer. A rush of red berry fruit, flowers, savory herbs and crushed rocks runs through this super-expressive, delineated Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a gorgeous Knights Valley Cabernet. The mid-weight, energetic style is quite appealing."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "Similarly colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley is a bigger, richer wine loaded with notions of chocolatey dark fruits, notes of loamy earth and cedar, medium to full body, and a charming, delicious, mouthfilling style. It's another outstanding wine from this team that has loads to love."
- Item #: i_200615Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-98Vinous Media: 95-97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-98 POINTS - "A barrel sample, the 2019 Chardonnay UV-SL opens with compelling floral notes—honeysuckle and lime blossoms—over a core of red apples, green guava and honeydew melon with underlying suggestions of baking bread, allspice and marzipan. The full-bodied palate has a pleasant hint of phenolic grip to the texture with seamless acidity supporting the densely laden apple and tropical fruit flavors, finishing long and yeasty/toasty."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95-97 POINTS - "The 2019 Chardonnay UV-SL Vineyard is laced with the essence of tangerine oil, ginger, passionfruit and white flowers. Tropical and lush, yet also remarkably elegant, the UV-SL is so expressive today. A hint of reduction adds character, as does a slightly phenolic edge that drives through to the finish."
- Item #: i_204170Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91It’s easy to say that Morgan Twain-Peterson was born into the wine industry… so let’s start there. Morgan is the son of legendary Ravenswood winemaker and Zinfandel legend Joel Peterson. At the age of 5, Morgan was able to distinguish Merlot from Zinfandel, and being the son of Joel, that made for some early learning of winemaking basics and eventually the essential techniques for fine winemaking. But Joel didn’t stop there. He went onto other wineries and regions to learn other methods, like working in the McLaren Vale region of Australia, and even working as a visiting winemaker at Château Lynch Bages in Bordeaux. Oh yeah…and he passed the Master of Wine exam!
Morgan only works with high quality fruit from high quality sites and ferments them in open top redwood and stainless steel fermenters then ages them in the sexiest French barrels from the coldest forests. The results are tremendous wines that range in style from opulent to elegant, yet taste exceptionally balanced!
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2018 Zinfandel Old Vine is bright, floral and beautifully perfumed. Crushed red berries, flowers and sweet spice give the 2018 a very pretty sense of lift. In 2018, the Old Vine is especially gracious and light on its feet. The blend incorporates fruit from a number of top sites, including Bedrock, Teldeschi, Esola, Pagani, Papera, Evangelho and Pato."
- Item #: i_204350Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine was made with grapes grown with certified sustainable farming methods. Benziger's sustainable philosophy promotes natural vineyard management, restoration of the land and biodiversity on the estate. Benziger's Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is very inviting with aromas of black olive and savory, dark fruit. Its well weighted structure and integrated tannins add a light chalkiness to the palate. Flavors of black currant, Bing cherry and juicy plum endure from start to finish, as hints of tea and cocoa help support the mid-palate.
- Item #: i_204330Bottle Size: 750MLFor those of you who are familiar with the Benziger line, you know by now that this family produces some of the best values from Sonoma and are fanatics amongst the wine world’s Green movements. In fact, the Benziger Family has been for years working on converting their vineyards to organic practices and recently has recieved for many of their vineyards “Certified Sustainable” designations.
- Item #: i_205310Bottle Size: 750mlBeringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960s, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbled, rocky alluvial soils were a great place to grow high quality wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. Beringer was instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as a premier wine growing region with the award of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation.
This approachable and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon is a generous Bordeaux blend, with soft and silky tannins and a plush, full mouth-feel. Although this wine is built to age and develop further complexity, the generous and juicy upfront fruit makes it extremely enjoyable in its youth. Aromas of dried herbs, lavender, fresh boysenberry and lanolin join flavors of dark fruit led by figs, black cherry, and currants. The pronounced oak spice notes work well with the more traditional Knights Valley tones of black olive, wild sage and mocha. The wine is well-balanced with good acidity, structured tannins and a superbly elegant finish.
- Item #: i_206140Bottle Size: 750mlBuena Vista joined the Boisset Family Estates collection in May 2011. Today, Jean-Charles Boisset is returning Buena Vista to its original glory with the complete restoration and re-opening of the champagne cellars, which have been unavailable to the public for over 20 years. Jean-Charles is 100% dedicated to doing whatever is needed to showcase the quality of the wines from this property. The wines of Buena Vista are being driven to greater heights under Winemaker Brian Maloney and Consulting Winemaker David Ramey, including the re-introduction of Sonoma wines, in honor of Buena Vista's role in the discovery of Sonoma as one California's great terroirs.
- Item #: i_208230Bottle Size: 750mlThis vintage comes from Cannonball's estate vineyard, Adam and Eve, in the Northern Russian River Valley, as well as some favorite vineyards in Sonoma Valley. Fermentation was controlled with a cold soak prior to yeast inoculation and draining and pressing at 2 Brix prior to seed tannin extraction. The 2014 is 91% Merlot blended with small amounts of Petite Sirah and Syrah for complexity.
The aroma of the wine shows fresh huckleberries, light brown spice and nuances of toasty oak. On the palate the wine is medium-full bodied with classic Bordeaux proportions, wonderful concentration, with flavors of cherry, rich chocolate and spiced cake. The wine finishes with perfectly balanced texture and flavor and a refreshing brightness. Enjoy with red meats, duck and pasta with rich sauces.
- Item #: i_274810Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 92Sean Capiaux launched his eponymous label in 1994 and he presently works as winemaker for O'Shaughnessy in the Howell Mountain appellation of Napa Valley. He has established a notable career that includes prominent wineries such as Jordan, Pine Ridge and Peter Michael. He specializes in small lots of vineyard designated Pinot Noir that express the unique location from which they came.
All the vineyards are contracted on a by-the-acre rather than a "per-ton" basis. This means he pays a set fee for the acreage guarantying the grower cash for his crop regardless of the tonnage. This allows him to prune, shoot-thin and drop crop for low yields that result in only high quality grapes. His winemaking style is a blend of classic and contemporary, utilizing cutting edge fermentation equipment paired with natural hands on winemaking, and an emphasis on balance. All the wines are naturally fermented and unfined and unfiltered to preserve their innate flavors and aromas.
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Sean Capiaux's 2018s are some of the best wines I have tasted from him. I won't be surprised if they show even better with more time in bottle. Capiaux describes 2018 as a year with a moderate temperature and a harvest that was 2-3 weeks later than what has become normal in recent times."
"The 2018 Pinot Noir Chimera is compelling. Bright, sculpted and energetic, the 2018 is just singing today. Sweet red cherry, mint, blood orange, spice and rose petal all race out of the glass. The Russian River Pinot here has often been a bit juicier, but the 2018 is done in a style that emphasizes aromatic depth and focus. Of course, the wines were just bottled about six weeks ago, so there may be some bottle shock. In any event, the 2018 is superb."
- Item #: i_207380Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 92Under the expert farming of organic specialist Phil Coturri, Rossi Ranch has quickly returned to its former glory. Lots to be excited about here, as the fruit comes from vines planted in 1910! Medium-dark ruby-garnet. With aeration and swirling, aromas of kirsch liqueur and briery spice emerge from the glass. On the palate, tightly coiled but at the same time very poised and polished with no rusticity. Red fruits are echoed in the energetic, mineral-laden finish. Exceptionally well-balanced, this wine will age well and develop further complexity. When to drink? Wait a couple of years and then enjoy from 2020 to 2026.
WINE SPECTATOR 92 POINTS - "Features briary notes in spades, plus vibrant black raspberry, cracked pepper and anise flavors. Best from 2019 through 2027."
- Item #: i_207430Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 94 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 94+ POINTS - "Coming from a single vineyard in the cooler Bennett Valley (although the site is so unique they don't label this wine as from Bennett Valley), the 2017 The Integral checks in as 62% Syrah and 38% Mourvedre that had the Syrah mostly destemmed and the Mourvedre fermented with 100% whole clusters. Deep purple-hued with notes of smoke blue fruits, bloody minerality, charcoal, and graphite, it's medium to full-bodied, concentrated, backward, and structured. Hide bottles for 4-5 years and it's going to keep for over a decade."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "A light-footed bruiser, opening with boldly expressive blackberry jam aromas before revealing a structured core wrapped in compelling currant, licorice and smoky beef flavors. Syrah and Mourvedre. Best from 2021 through 2028. 422 cases made."
- Item #: i_207610Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - "These bottled 2018s from Mike Officer and Carlisle are fabulous. Ordinarily, I would also report on the new vintage from tank, but the 2019s were just about to be bottled at the time of my tasting (on Zoom of course) so timing did not work out. Among these wines, the Carlisle Vineyard Zinfandel and the Syrah and Mourvèdre from Radiant Ridge are especially notable."
"The 2018 Syrah Radiant Ridge is fabulous. Inky, rich and savory, the 2018 captures all of the signatures of this cool site on the border of the Bennett Valley appellation. Black pepper, lavender, sage and spice add layers of dimension to a core on blue/purplish fruit. The 20% whole clusters are beautifully woven into the wine's fabric. What I admire most about the 2018 is the interplay of textural richness and cool-climate savoriness. The 2018 is a compelling wine. That's all there is to it."
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "From the cooler Bennett Valley in Sonoma, the 2018 Syrah Radiant Ridge Vineyard is all Syrah and has a cool-climate, complex, almost Cornas-like vibe that I certainly love. Black and blue fruits, olives, bacon fat, and ground pepper all dominate the bouquet, and this beauty hits the palate with loads of Syrah meatiness, medium to full body, ripe, polished (yet present) tannins, and a great finish. It's beautifully done and is undeniably California Syrah yet seems to have one foot in the Northern Rhone."
- Item #: i_277784Bottle Size: 750MLThe name Rocky Reserve comes from the deep red, rocky soils of the Florence Vineyard, 1400 feet above Lake Sonoma and Dry Creek Valley. This is a more elegant and restrained Zin, worthy of five or more years of cellaring, though it is packed with fragrant black and blue berry fruits.Nice dark-red in color, big blueberry-blackberry fruit, spicy-chocolatey oak, nicely focused acidity enhances mineral flavors, elegantly structured tannins for aging, super plush long finish!
- Item #: i_212580Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Burghound: 91Vinous Media: 90ANTONIO GALLONI 90 POINTS - "These three budget-friendly wines from Peay's Cep sister label offer tremendous quality and value, with plenty of artisan character, a combination that's pretty hard to find these days."
"The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Hopkins Ranch from Peay's Cep sister label is bright, crisp and absolutely delicious. Drink it over the next few years. Lemon peel, sage, and mint add lovely shades of nuance to this brisk, finely cut Sauvignon Blanc."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc Hopkins Ranch is a wine for drinking young and fresh, made without malolactic fermentation and bottled the December after the harvest. The nose opens with fresh kiwi, chamomile and white peaches with a rocky undercurrent and notions of lime candy. The palate is light-bodied, bright, fresh and crisp with delicate green fruits and citrusy sparks, finishing uplifted and minerally. 700 cases produced."
- Item #: i_210200Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Chalk Hill's Estate is a compendium of unique microclimates, exposures and soil types. They are fortunate to be able to make everything from aromatic Sauvignon Blanc to big, bold Syrah. Nowhere is this ideal situation more evident than in their Estate Red, which is just that - the best blend of the red wines made from the estate. Each variety is perfectly matched to the vineyard site. The blend will also vary from year to year, as the vineyard yields and fruit quality depend greatly on the weather during springtime bloom and set, and during harvest. Cabernet and Malbec were the stars in 2016, and form the base of this Estate Red. Grapes grown on the rocky slopes of their Estate West vineyard make up the balance of the blend. This year, the final blend is comprised of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot, and 7% Merlot.
Chalk Hill's 2016 Estate Red opens with bold and intense aromas of blackberry, anise, tobacco leaf and dark chocolate. The palate is rich and savory, with layered flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate and leather with oak influences of vanilla and toast. Though firm, the tannins are rounded by a balanced acidity and a long and smooth finish. Though appealing in its youth, this wine will also age beautifully over the next 15 years.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Estate Red is a blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot and 7% Merlot. Deep ruby-purple, it's scented of pencil lead, cedar, cassis, maraschino cherry, cigar box and chocolate with touches of cardamom and dried spices. The palate is medium to full-bodied and lushly fruited, with a firm frame of very ripe, grainy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long. 4,998 cases produced."
- Item #: i_210105Bottle Size: 375ml**Please note, this is a half sized bottleSince its founding, Chalk Hill has been producing artisan wines from their estate vineyards in the hills of northeastern Sonoma County. For four decades they have studied, prodded and coaxed our complex terroir to ensure that their estate wines deliver vivid aromatics, commanding flavors, great character and regional accuracy. While their 300+ acres of vineyards surrounding the winery will always be the cornerstone of Chalk Hill's identity, starting with the 2011 vintage, in addition to their estate Chardonnay, Chalk Hill started producing their first Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
This 2017 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay comes from extraordinary vineyards throughout Sonoma County consisting primarily of Foley Family estate vineyards. This Chardonnay features fruit from some of the best sites in Carneros, Chalk Hill, and ouf course, Sonoma Coast. Rich, graceful and balanced are just some of the ways to describe this 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The wine is a light golden color and exudes aromas of apple and baking spice immediately upon entering the glass. The palate has a rich textural body composed by zest and acidity with flavors of toasted hazelnut, vanilla and creme brulee. With its cool-climate influences, this Chardonnay has remarkable varietal intensity, balanced acidity and minerality that complement the rich and full flavors on the palate.
- 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."