Conrado Oak View Vineyards

Turley

Cedarman Howell Mountain Zinfandel 2008

David T
9.3

I view Turley Zinfandel much like Williams Selyem wines when they are young, good not great.

They need ten years plus to show you greatness. There is no faking bottle age properly stored.

I can’t drink their wine young. Too primitive, astringent, all tannin, wood & baking spices.

The nose reveals, ripe, ruby, candied fruits that are; stewed & naked, jammy fruit of; black plum, blackberry, black raspberries, plum, raspberries, mulberries, olallieberries, boysenberries, dark cherries, blue fruit mix, rhubarb & ripe date & some figs. Steeped black tea, creamy violet cola, black licorice to anise, sweet tarriness, tobacco leaf, dark spices, vapors of alcohol, dark spices, limestone minerals, moist, fresh forest floor, some mushroom, black pepper, clove, nutmeg & vanillin, rounded oak, spiced florals of; dark, red, candied florals with withering dark florals set in old violet & lavender.

The palate is full, round, ripe, candied, baked, stewed liqueured, ruby & lush w/ high viscosity. ripe, ruby. Jammy fruit of; black plum, blackberry, black raspberries, plum, raspberries, mulberries, olallieberries, boysenberries, dark cherries, blue fruit mix, rhubarb & black raisins, ripe date & some figs. The tannins, stern, tarry & chewy. Steeped black tea, creamy violet cola, black licorice to anise, dark chocolate/dry mocha powder, caramel, sweet, dark, chewy tarriness, tobacco leaf, dark spices, touch of alcohol burn, dark spices w/ soft heat, limestone minerals, moist, fresh forest floor, dry top soil & clay, some mushroom, black pepper, clove, nutmeg & vanillin, cedar/oak plank, spiced florals of; dark, red, candied florals with withering dark florals set in old violet & lavender. The acidity is like a fresh, clean river. The finish is a little too ripe, sweet but, well balanced with great complexity and persistent length.

I don’t drink a lot of Zinfandel but, this is the style that speaks to my origins. This is good with food or some berry desserts.

This still needed a two plus hour decant & has another 5-7 plus years of pleasure ahead of it. At its current evolution, it is bordering on dessert wine & should be treated as such going forward.

Photos of; Turley tasting room in Paseo, very old, taller & slimmer than normal grape press, 2008 Winemaker- Ehren Jordan and their Cedarman Vineyard on Howell Mtn.
— 3 months ago

Paul, Julie and 31 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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My favorite, like it young, love it old! We have a few older than this still in hiding.
Ming L

Ming L

I was at their Paso tasting room last year, and they have some 20-year old bottles available for sale at very reasonable price. I was tempted, but the tasting room staff told me these bottles most likely will be port like. So I was very hesitant and end up not buying any. Maybe I should grab couple bottles. Have a great weekend!

Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Hemel-en-Aarde Valley Chardonnay 2018

David T
9.3

Anthony took us to the tasting room in their Cellar to taste the Hamilton Russell line of wines.

Chardonnay are after Pinot’s in our tasting. This was one of my favorite Chardonnays out of all the ones we tasted.

Again, very Burgundian in style. Nice ripe, gentle fruit of citrus and tropicals. 13% ABV and mostly all neutral oak.

Photos of, the Hamilton Russell Vineyard, Anthony’s pouring our tasting, barrels around our tasting, and a long view of their property and house on the hilltop.
— a year ago

Ryan, Shay and 13 others liked this

Raats

Original Unwooded Chenin Blanc 2018

David T
9.2

Raats was an interesting visit from all our others. Raats is considered a small producer in the 8th ranked wine producing country in the world.

Raats buys the majority of their fruit. The vines around their tasting room, they work but, do not own. They produce their wines at another producer’s facility. It’s a daunting expense starting a Cellar Door or Winery. Custom wine crush facilities are a trend not just in Napa but, other parts of the world as well. In this particular case, it saves the owner enough money to drive the very nice cars parked outside their tasting room, one a Ferrari.

This is their no wood/oak Chenin Blanc.

The nose shows; soft tones of wet wool, peach, white, lemon, dry green herbs, grapefruit, chalkiness, volcanic minerals & yellow flowers.

The body is round, full and beautiful. Soft wet wool, peach, white, green melon, a little sour lemon, dry green herbs, grapefruit, chalkiness, palate pressing medium intensity volcanic minerals & yellow flowers. Nice round acidity and a well balanced, polished finish.

Photos of; the view from their tasting room, lots of beautiful original artworks from famous local artists...a few of them the Uncle of our host, examples of some of the soil structures around their tasting room vines and their upstairs tasting room.
— a year ago

Shay, Ryan and 11 others liked this

Tokara

Director's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Blend 2015

David T
9.4

The 2015 Directors Reserve is 71% Cabernet, 15% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and aged 22 months in 50% new French oak.

Beautiful floral ripe dark fruit nose. Blackberries, dark cherries, blueberries, black plum, black raspberries, dark chocolate, caramel, mocha, vanilla, dark, rich soil, soft granite soils, toast, dry crushed rock, tobacco with red, dark and purple flowers.

The body is full, rich and lush. The tannins are round, meaty and tarry. The structure, length, tension are huge with nice balance. Floral, ripe dark fruit nose. Blackberries, dark cherries, blueberries, black plum, black raspberries, dark chocolate, caramel, mocha, vanilla, dark, rich soil, soft granite soils, toast, dry crushed rock, tobacco with red, dark and purple flowers. The acidity is round and excellent. The finish is elegant, round, well balanced in fruit & earth with beautiful polish. 94 now with a potential for more.

Photos of; Tokara Cellar Door, artworks inside & outside and the view of their property from the top of their vineyards.
— a year ago

P, Sharon and 14 others liked this
Greg Ballington

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Love this estate!
David T

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@Greg Ballington Really enjoyed the wines, property and Karl their GM. 👍

Tranche Cellars

Pape Estate Grown Columbia Valley Red Blend 2017

Dark purple in color with a wide purplish rim.

Fruity nose of blueberries, bing cherries, sweet strawberries, wood, licorice, spices, dark chocolates, dried figs, tobacco leaf, earth, leather, pencil lead and peppercorn.

Full bodied with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with blackberries, plums, cherries, currants, oak, vanilla, licorice, spices, tobacco, chocolates, light earth and peppercorn.

Long spicy finish with fine grained tannins and tangy raspberries.

This is a very tasty Syrah based Rhone blend from Columbia Valley. Nicely balanced with a nice mouthfeel.

Good right out of the bottle, but better as it opens up and shows the tannins and structure. Would be nice to revisit it in a couple of years.

Fruit forward with nice complexity. A good quality wine. Spicy, tasty and tangy.

I paired it with a beautiful view, but was even better with the Brie cheese.

A blend of 51% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre and 19% Grenache. Aged for 22 months in French oak barrels.

14.9% alcohol by volume.

90 points.

$35.
— 5 months ago

David, Dick and 12 others liked this

Moss Wood

Moss Wood Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Mid to dense Ruby. Herbaceous aromas with graphite and black currant. A sweet fluid palate showing black currant of medium plus intensity and partly resolved Tannins. Oak has been absorbed. In a great spot at the moment - excellent balance. Drink remaining 4 bottles in next few years but it is essentially at its peak. A really good wine but from an Aussie point of view tasting more South East than West Australia. — 6 months ago

Severn, Ira and 19 others liked this
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Alway good to have bottles to follow the changes.

Greenock Creek

Creek Block Shiraz 2005

David T
9.4

Tonight is a continuation of a walk down wine region visit memory lane. However, this one is a do over bottle. You see, our April 17 visit was ill timed, we visited when they were sold out of all good vintages. We were poured a lot of very green vegetal wines...a fair amount of 11??? I am happy to say this bottle is a substantially better experience. However, still at least 5-8 years early on the 05 and will last another 15-20 years properly stored.

The nose reveals; plumy & somewhat jammy fruits, alcohol vapors, ripe blackberries, black raspberries, black cherries, baked strawberries, blue fruits, cooked rhubarb to pomegranate, anise/black licorice, mixed dark berry pie, steeped fruit teas, black pepper, dark spices, sandstone/limestone, dry crushed rocks, very dry herb presence, dark fruit jam, dry underbrush/stems, moist clay, cherry kirsch notes, dark fruit roll ups with fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed in lavender & violets.

The mouthfeel is simply, ripe, jammy, rich & lush. The tannins are dark, chewy, tarry with adolescent teeth. The tension & structure have just started their beautiful integration but, have some years to go. The balance & length are closer to their top yet, will also benefit from a few more years in bottle. She is a ripe elegant beauty with alcohol & dark spice heat. Stewed plumy & somewhat jammy fruits, some alcohol heat but, not detracting, ripe blackberries, black raspberries, black cherries, baked strawberries, blue fruits, raspberries, cooked rhubarb to pomegranate, anise/black licorice, mixed dark berry pie, steeped fruit teas, black pepper, baking spices, fresh tobacco, used leather, dark spices, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon stick with just the right amount of vanilla, salted caramel, sandstone/limestone, lightly grilled meats, dry crushed rocks, very dry herb presence, dark fruit jam, dark chocolate, sweet tarry notes, oak barrel char, dry underbrush/stems, dry top soil, moist clay, cherry kirsch notes, dark fruit roll ups with fresh & withering; dark, red, blue, purple flowers framed in lavender & violets. The acidity is near perfect. It is a fresh river stream on the palate. The long finish is; ripe, dark fruits, well balanced with dry earth tones, dark spice with heat, elegance, delicious and persists endlessly.

Photos of; their tasting room bar, old wood fruit basket press, entrance sign and a long view of the Estate and vines.
— 8 months ago

Shay, Sofia and 26 others liked this
Bob McDonald

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@Ira Schwartz I’m fairly sure they did but not 100%. They were certainly trying to. There had been a lot of Chinese purchases in the Barossa in the past 12 months.
Ira Schwartz

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@Bob McDonald Thanks. I was totally unaware of the Chinese interest in the Barossa.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Bob is correct on both accounts. The Waugh’s did not sell. At least, yet. The Chinese have had great interest in Barossa, Bordeaux & Napa.

Davis Estates

Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015

David T
9.3

I have a thing for Davis Estates Chardonnay. It’s the quality & the $36 price point that does it. We like it even better with Jasper Hill Farms Harbison soft white cheese. We never seem to tire of it.

This is a Chardonnay that you want to enjoy at a temperature slightly cooler than standard room temperature. 60-64 degrees.

The nose shows reveals; honeysuckle, green & golden apple, slightly sour lemons, overripe pineapple, lime zest, underripe green melon, marmalade, honeycomb, vanilla, overripe stone fruit, melted, brown butter, gentle white spice & chalky volcanic minerals, just a whiff of eucalyptus, salted & melted caramel, limestone, almond skin, hints of the good parts of Lemon Pledge, with candied, yellow lilies/flowers, jasmine & mixed floral greens.

The body is full, waxy, touch gluey with nice viscosity. Beautiful mouthfeel & texture. Honeysuckle, green & golden apple, slightly sour lemons, overripe pineapple, lime zest to candy, apple Jolly Rancher, underripe green melon, marmalade, honeycomb, overripe stone fruit, melted, brown butter, vanilla, gentle white spice & chalky volcanic minerals, touch of the good parts of Lemon Pledge, just a whiff of eucalyptus, salted & melted caramel, limestone, almond skin, fresh Provence herbs, gentle application of oak giving it soft barrel shavings, with candied, yellow lilies/flowers, jasmine & mixed floral greens. Big phat, round, beautiful acidity. The long, full, round, lush, waxy, well balanced & polished finish glides gently and long sets with mid intensity spice & minerality on the long set.

Photos of; their tasting room with kitchen in the back, signage as you come up the driveway with either barn or guest house behind it, Harbison cheese and the Estate as view from their terrace balcony.
— 5 months ago

P, Paul and 25 others liked this
Robert Evans Jr

Robert Evans Jr

@David T couldn’t say it better & we love it too!!!
Severn Goodwin

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Hmm 🤔, yet still scored at 93?
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Robert Evans Jr There are sexier labels/names to be sure but, not much better & they are whole lot more pricey. Happy with this & the Arnot-Roberts Watson Ranch with 2-3 years on It.

Flora Springs

Reserve Rutherford Hillside Cabernet Sauvignon 1995

David T
9.3

I bought this bottle about a year ago from K&L. The bottle was in pristine shape. Like the 1985 last weekend, the neck fill today was as high as the day they filled it.

I purchased two bottles. The first, I didn’t post. It had waned. Tonight’s bottle is giving me everything thing I expected when I purchased it.

The nose reveals a little barnyard (v/a) that blew off fairly quickly, slightly baked, stewed & ripe fruits of; blackberries, black cherries, blackberries, black plum, strawberries, dry cranberries, boysenberries & blueberries. Steeped, black tea, dark berry cola, sage, bay leaf, dry, crushed rocks, limestone, anise, some black licorice, soft; cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, caramel & liquid mocha, vanilla, dry twigs, understated, mid dark spice, peppery notes, tree bark/sap, mint, rich, dark, slightly sweet earth, dry tobacco & leather with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, some purple & blue flowers weaved into late blooming violets.

The body is just full, fresh & lush. There is still a decent, tarry, slightly chewy tannin structure even after a little over 22 years in bottle. For me, the length, tension and balance are perfect. This bottle has another 5 and perhaps 7 years of good drinking ahead. It’s really delicious tonight. Slightly baked, stewed & ripe fruits of; blackberries, black cherries, blackberries that pop on the palate, black plum, strawberries, dry cranberries, boysenberries & blueberries. Steeped, black tea, dark berry cola, sage, bay leaf, dry, crushed rocks, limestone, sandstone/dry top soil, anise, some black licorice, soft; cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, melted, salted caramel, dark baking chocolate & liquid mocha, vanilla, dry twigs, understated, mid dark spice with perfect palate heat, tree bark/sap, mint, savory meats, peppercorns, rich, dark, slightly sweet earth, dry tobacco & leather, French oak barrel shavings, with bright, fresh & withering; dark, red, some purple & blue flowers weaved into late blooming violets. The acidity is round, phat & perfect. The long finish is delicious, an elegant lady, well balanced settling into some of the nicest, dark spices I can remember in sometime.

In terms of pleasure, I would give this wine a 94 but, in technical terms, just misses it.

Once again, I really love the 13% ABV. I wish Napa Cabernets had never risen above that level.

Photos of; the Estate of Flora Springs, long view of their beautiful barrel cellar, happy dog running through their vines and their very modern tasting room on Hwy 29.
— 6 months ago

Eric, Deborah and 34 others liked this

DeMorgenzon

Maestro White Blend 2016

David T
9.2

The 2016 Maestro is; 32% Roussane, 23% Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay 23%, Viognier 15% & Grenache Blanc 7%.

The nose has very nice yellow florals, honeycomb, waxy notes, meyer lemon, green apple skin, fresh herb notes, white peach, lime, pineapple, some apricots with yellow/spring flowers with mixed greens.

The body is lean to medium. The fruits start fresh, lively and waxy and evolve into deep crispy minerality, white spice and powdery chalkiness, honeycomb, waxy, meyer lemon, green apple skin, fresh herb notes, white peach, lime, pineapple, some apricots with yellow/spring flowers with mixed greens. The acidity is a little too high for my wheelhouse and the balanced finished goes on and on.

Photos of; another area of their tasting lounge, large oak casks, property grounds and the view from their Cellar Door.
— a year ago

P, David and 11 others liked this
Sharon B

Sharon B

Sounds like a delicious blend!
David T

David T Influencer Badge

@Sharon B Made for a more interesting white for sure!