- Item #: i_200450Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - "A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Syrah, 22% Merlot and 5% Petite Sirah, the 2016 Apex Sonoma County Red Wine sports a deep garnet-purple color and a provocative nose of baked blackcurrants, Black Forest cake, tar and chargrill with hints of bay leaves, truffles and tapenade. Full-bodied, rich and decadently fruited in the mouth, it packs in the black fruit and savory layers with a firm yet plush texture and great length."
- Item #: i_200455Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+A blend of 35% Zinfandel, 30% Barbera, 13% Grenache, 12% Petite Sirah, and 10% Carignane.
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Red Blend Shift gives very pretty scents of violets and roses over a core of black cherries, cedar chest, dark chocolate and tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, it delivers mouth-filling black fruits with plenty of floral accents and a firm, grainy frame, finishing on a refreshing note."
- Item #: i_200660Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 92 PointsBibiana 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.
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "A classic, authentic Pinot Noir that brings the goods, the 2017 Pinot Noir has perfumed raspberry and strawberry fruits, forest floor, and spice notes as well a medium-bodied, layered, elegant style that shines on all accounts. It way over-delivers at the price."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Alma de Cattleya is a newer project from Columbia-born winemaker Bibiana González Rave. "Cattleya is the national flower of Columbia. Alma is the heart," she says. "I started this label a few years back. I wanted to make affordable wines. Working with fruit that produces a bit more volume per acre and showcasing larger AVAs. I tend to gravitate toward cooler areas within those larger AVAs." I'd say she succeeded—these wines hit at qualities way above their price points."
"Pale ruby purple in color, the 2017 Pinot Noir opens with Bing cherries, tart cranberry, blackberry, violet and tobacco leaf aromas with tangerine peel nuance. Light to medium-bodied, it's fresh and soft in the mouth with crunchy red fruits and citrus accents, framed by soft, grainy tannins and juicy freshness to lift the finish. 1,600 cases produced."
- 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_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.
With fresh tropical aromas of passionfruit and guava, followed by juicy green apple, gooseberry, and zesty citrus zest this wine is layered with a definitive minerality and subtle savory notes of lemongrass. An easy drinker with a round creamy palate, balanced by a bright acidity and a lingering ripened fruit finish.
- Item #: i_201100Bottle Size: 750mlThis 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.
- 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_201500Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "Dark cherry, plum, grilled herbs, game, smoke, licorice and lavender infuse the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (Knights Valley) with tons of character. Beams of tannin and persistent saline notes – both typical of Knights Valley – give the 2015 much of its character. There is so much to like."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is deep garnet-purple and gives very pretty notes of crushed red currants, black cherries and black currants with touches of camphor, pencil shavings, lilacs and cigar box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a taut structure of grainy tannins and great freshness supporting the muscular red and black fruits, finishing with a lingering minty lift. 2,500 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_215520Bottle Size: 750mlStructured and full-bodied with a subtle hint of spice. On the palate, dense, dark fruit characteristics are reminiscent of blueberry pie. Notes of toasted oak and vanilla meld with a plush, lingering mouthfeel.
- Item #: i_204170Bottle Size: 750mlIt’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_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_206100Bottle 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.
As the name would imply, this wine is in honor of The Count of Buena Vista, a tireless and passionate devotee of Californian wines. From prestigious vineyards across Sonoma, The Count's intriguing varietals intermingle seamlessly to produce an elegant and complex wine. Individual lots of Zinfandel, Syrah, and Merlot were fermented separately and aged for 16 months in American, Hungarian, and French oak barrels before final assemblage. The wine's bouquet opens beautifully with rich aromas of black currant, cherries, grilled meat, pepper, and just a hint of espresso. Smooth on the palate, the wine offers flavors of red fruit compote, plum, raspberries, and blackberry that give way to cardamom on the long, silky finish.
- 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: 750MLSean 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 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Pinot Noir Chimera is gorgeous. Dark, deeply spiced and pliant, the 2017 possesses terrific balance and plenty of appeal. In this vintage, the Chimera is a bit more generous than it usually is, but that is not at all a bad thing for a wine that is meant to be enjoyed upon release. "
- Item #: i_207260Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 39% Semillon from Monte Rosso Vineyard, 33% Muscadelle from Pagani Ranch, and 28% Colombard, Muscadelle, and Palomino from Mancini Ranch.
Winery's Tasting Notes: "Quinine, grapefruit, quince, and citrus pith all stand out in the engaging aromas. Medium bodied, yellow fruits mingle with a slight herbaceous note reminding me of newly baled hay. Plenty of verve and minerality in the refreshing finish. Fruitier (but not riper) than the ’14. There is precious little Derivative in 2016 so if you are a fan of this wine, this is your opportunity to stock up. Drink from release through 2024."
- 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_207420Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsCarlisle's not-quite-so annual QPR champ is back! Using some wonderful century-old Russian River Valley Zin not far from Limerick Lane and some relatively young, 64-year-old Zinfandel from Alexander Valley as a base, Carlisle stole bits and pieces of our Rossi, DuPratt, and Dry Creek Zins along with a little Petite Sirah from Two Acres to create this delicious over-achiever. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Tasting Note: Medium to medium-dark ruby-garnet. Intense aromas of red cherries, clove, and a pleasing earthy note. Medium-bodied, flavors of cherry and baking spices build to a gently tannic finish. Given its price point, one might conclude that this wine is meant for early consumption. Not necessarily so! While it can certainly be enjoyed now, this wine has plenty of structure to age and develop gracefully. Hence, we’d recommend giving it another year or two in bottle and then enjoying through 2028.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "While it was a difficult vintage for Zinfandel due to the heat, you wouldn't know that by tasting these Zinfandels from Carlisle. The 2017 Zinfandel Sonoma County offers a beautiful sense of elegance and purity as well as pretty cherry fruits, violets, flowers, and spice. It's not a heavyweight yet shines for its seamless texture, integrated acidity, and a great finish. It's a steal at the price."
ANTONIO GALLONI 90-93 POINTS - "The 2017 Zinfandel (Sonoma County) is pliant and super-expressive, not to mention incredibly delicious. A beam of bright acids gives the wine energy and a surprising amount of vitality as well. Medium in body and supremely gracious, the Sonoma Zinfandel over-delivers big time. The Sonoma County is built on a core of fruit from the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley, plus touches of Rossi, Du Pratt and Dry Creek Zinfandels and drops of Two Acres Petite Sirah. More importantly, the 2017 is an absolutely gorgeous wine. It's as simple as that."
- Item #: i_207460Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI 90-93 POINTS - "The 2018 Syrah (Sonoma County) is fabulous. If I were going to focus on only one wine in this range, it might very well be the Sonoma County Syrah, as it offers extraordinary value. Black cherry, plum, gravel, spice, chocolate and leather infuse the 2018 with remarkable intensity and power. The 2018 is built around a core of fruit from Radiant Ridge, in Bennett Valley, which will become a vineyard designate in this range at some point in the future. Quite frankly, the 2018 is a stunning wine."