Medium burgundy with hints of violet and a thin rim. Big spice immediately upon opening with some minerality, dusty roses, and jammy dark fruits. Once the blueberries hit, they do not stop.
This is not a dirty, funky Pinot. At all. This is the antithesis of Burgundian, or what passes for Burgundian domestically. It is clean, bright, and laser focused. It never strays into the barnyard or gets into that place I love but that’s really not a knock against it.
Proper acid and nicely rounded tannins. That black pepper erupts but quickly subsides. The fruit skirts the edge of elegance with black and blueberries, cherry cola, and a faint amount of smoke. Long peppery finish that adds some floral notes. Not usually my style but they nail what they’re going for. — 4 days ago
You already know what’s up. You know what it is and exactly what to expect. A soft translucent blush color in the glass with a very aromatic nose. Fresh strawberries and apricots combine with dried herbs and minerality. It’s easy to disdain porch pounders but it’s hard to when it’s actually good. Easy drinking but with some heft and depth to it, there is a lot more substance here than most supermarket Rosés. Nice acidity and balance, it’s just the right amount of dry for what it wants to be. The palate follows the nose closely, with more red and citrus fruits, green apples, and watermelon. — 7 days ago
Consistently my favorite domestic Merlot because it’s consistently a stellar wine. Beautiful medium purple with lighter lavender undertones. I love smelling this wine, it may be the best part of the show. Highly expressive nose that starts off with smoke, dried herbs, and blackberry cobbler. There are some really nice floral notes here too. Wonderful Coombsville fruit shining here, she’s not heavy handed or bloated. None of that “a Merlot that drinks like a Cab” happening, there’s a softness and a deftness despite the 14.5. So many other wines just can’t maintain this kind of balance: rich and deep without being heavy. Tons of black and red cherries on the palate, along with vanilla and just the right amount of oak. Year in and year out this is one of Napa’s great Merlots. — 24 days ago
Muted ruby red with traces of a darker garnet and a wide brim. Everything about this wine is understated and unassuming, in the best of ways. A remarkable nose of raspberry, dark cherries, and mulberry up front. Spice bordering on intense and violets also come to play. This is such a contrast of the huge, heavy California reds that I’ve had recently. It gives you nuance and character all while remaining a relatively simple Rhône Grenache. Powerful and intense without ever wanting to grandstand or slap you in the face. Just a little sweetness upon entry but that soon disappears and you get that wonderful earthiness and garrigue that I crave. The fruit is upstaged on the palate by that earth and minerality. Dried herbs, forest floor, and cinnamon shine. — 6 days ago
A light, bright ruby color in the glass with thin edges and slight violet undertones. Some really nice fruit on the nose with fresh strawberry, red cherries, and raspberries. There’s also dried earth and just a touch of mushrooms. An Italian Gamay you say? But of course, and of course it’s delicious. 100% organic Gamay, this is the real deal, not some pretender. Balance is the word of the day. It never dives headfirst into the customary funkiness of the French cousin, rather it maintains a really nice effervescent equilibrium throughout. Acidity bordering on zesty with soft tannins. Earth and red fruits abound on the palate with pleasant touches of herbs, black pepper, and menthol. A lovely, silky smooth pour. — 10 days ago
I’ve stayed away from Zinfandel because whatever it is that they’re doing with it nowadays just isn’t for me. But this? This producer? Yeah it’s different. A somewhat subdued purple with a crimson rim. Fruit and spice on the nose with blue and black berries along with some black pepper. This nose just never stops. And you don’t want it to. Just the faintest hint of forest floor. How solid of a Zin is this? Even clocking in at 14.9, it’s never overbearing or anything approaching too hot. Wonderful balance and acidity, I can’t stop smelling it though, it’s glorious. Cranberry and boysenberry prevalent on the palette but there’s also with the right amount of spice. This is a beautiful wine and has single handedly restored my faith in Zinfandel. Mike and Kara Dunn make the single best Petite Sirah you will probably ever drink and they’re expanding. Get on board. — 19 days ago
Impenetrably dark purple with medium blue undertones. Opens up to the pungent smell of muted blueberries, old cigarettes, and cheap candy. Oak, oak, and more oak fills your nose until that’s the only thing that exists. Nuance? What’s nuance. None to be found here. In every aspect, this wine feels focus grouped to death. Not made to represent the terroir of any particular locale, just assembled into a nondescript, seemingly pleasing package. Thick and syrupy, it’s unfair to other, brighter, wines to call this full bodied. The lack of any meaningful acidity really drives this point home. 14.5 on the label but I would have guessed higher. Dollar store fruit candy and clove cigarettes start to dominate the palate, but that oak creeps back in in no time. A lot of people like this wine, plenty love it. To me, it’s just the logical conclusion of creating a wine like substance specifically to appeal to everyone at the grocery store. — 7 days ago
A really pretty golden hue with a fine, moderate mousse. Tons of not quite tiny bubbles that last long enough. Plenty of floral notes initially on the nose with white flowers and lemon zest. The customary green apple and brioche bread notes are slightly subtle but become more pronounced over time. Exceedingly dry upon first opening, it relaxes into a much more round and fruity pour. Despite not being a top tier bottle of bubbles, this is a remarkably smooth sparkler. Clean and focused, there’s not an ounce of fat to be found. The palate follows the nose with superbly clean citrus fruit and an abundance of toasted notes, leading to baked bread and herbs. This is cheap, fun, and delicious. When you see it, buy it. — 16 days ago
Medium ruby with a wide brim and a slight lavender tinge. If you don’t like funk, don’t even step to this. Smoked tobacco, mint, leather, and dark berries initially on the nose. Funky barnyard starts to creep in and it never really leaves. Thankfully. This is big and quite bold Grenache, but it still maintains a freshness and effervescent essence. Plenty dense with a nice streak of acidity running throughout, this is super dry and a little tart. Blackberries and dried cherries show up on the palate but the star of the show is that barnyard with all the earthiness and funk you could want. This is a gorgeous Grenache, a beautiful wine. This guy just knows what the hell he’s doing. — 25 days ago