Picket Fence

Occidental Wines

Running Fence Vineyard Cuvée Catherine Pinot Noir 2017

Consumed too early but so good. This will merit a higher score in a few years. Some of the best made Pinot in CA, IMO — 2 months ago

Bob, Tom and 5 others liked this

Adelaida

Keeper Estate Paso Robles Red Blend 2018

Total Rhône Ranger: 56% Syrah, 16% Mourvèdre, 13% Petite Syrah, 11% Grenache, with 2%, each, smoothing things all together, of Viognier(!) and … Alicante Bouschet. I bet the Alicante was added for color more than for flavor, though also to smooth the tiny ping of pepper notes I assume follow the teensy bit of Viognier. All in all a delightful crowd pleaser. Inoffensive to sensitive palates and yet bold+complexly layered just enough to please those who want some drama in the bowl (present 🤚 ).

Pairs well with… just about everything: mild chicken to game and lamb… also all cheeses from mildest to most piquant — it’s that kind of utility player wine!
For this reason, I give it the full 9.0 instead of the 8.9 I’d planned on mid-dinner last night. I had been straddling that fence between best of a strong platoon player who’d see 80 games a season, some starting and some pinch hitting/fielding, vs an everyday starter who could cover the infield as passably as the outfield and bat just about anywhere in the lineup, 1-8, save the super power 3 and 4 spots — though a few sips hit the spot sweet just right to serve as barely clearing the fence home runs during a brief period that this wine lingered at just-right aeration time.

Darker red pour with flecks of bear black and hues of orange highlight… Bing cherry skin color center to lighter Rainer cherry reds near glass sides. No tears to speak of from alcohol and this wine does not feel as if it’s high in alcohol at all, but the label reads 15.2%. I wonder if someone transposed those last two numbers which straddle the decimal.

Zero cherry flavors — just those colors. The mix of velvety raspberry, very mild dried laurel leaves, under-roasted coffee, and mild chocolate all muddle together more than layer over one another, as I prefer, but they do so in a way that forms a comfy soft blanket of flavors and those tiny peeps of black pepper do make that blanket more interesting. Medium finish says good-bye with a soft wave to the smell of cardboard-surrounding a delicious dark chocolate bar…if that smell could be distilled into a thick liquid that coats the top of the throat before evaporating away slowly.

This 2018 seems to be nearing peak of flavors and has the potential to drink pretty well until 2023; probably not much pizazz will be left to extend its contract after that. I’d be glad to drink this again anytime. A good wine for Justin S. and/or David M.
— 10 months ago

Cade

Estate Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

David T
9.3

We drove up Howell Mountain to get to Cade two Sundays ago. What we witnessed was a horror show of fire damage. It’s hard to see nature destroyed in such a fashion. What was worse were all the brick chimneys only standing where there were once a home or a winery building.

Glass fire note. The fire investigation revealed the fire was started by a Cakebread electric fence short. An additional saddening note is Dolores Cakebread, the co-founder of Cakebread Cellars died shortly after the Glass Fire started. She was 90. No way to know if the stress of the fire factored into her passing.

The Howell Mountain was showing better than the Estate...rounder & a touch softer. The tannins were big, grainy, meaty, tarry & dry. This needs another 8 years in bottle to shine. I think at that point, it will push more 94-95. Ripe; blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, plum & dark cherries. Showing big wood as well...like sucking on a wood plank. Used dark expresso grounds, leather, graphite, dry tobacco, dry brush, dark chocolate, caramel, dark spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, some black licorice notes. dry, crushed rock powder, dry top soils with fresh, dark, red & purple flowers. The acidity is nicely executed. The finish will take time. It’s good, well balanced but, showing little of the integration I prefer.

Photos of; Cade Estate vines, outside patio tasting area, infinity wall and their Estate Cabernet fruit unharvested. Sadly, about 80-85% of the 2020 Napa Valley Cabernet fruit will never see bottling.
— 2 years ago

Daniel, Aravind and 33 others liked this
Deborah M

Deborah M

I really like Cade’s Howell Mountain. Great review. The fire destruction is so sad.

Jakob Tennstedt

RIESLING PERLMUTT 2018

I just don’t know. On the fence with this Had this last night. So, while no issues of VA or mouse, it was polarizing; both interesting and also very rustic. It’s a different expression of Mosel Riesling. But having said that, this is his an early vintage for him and I’m interested in the journey on how he develops his techniques over time. As someone who is also constantly refining and focusing each year, I feel that drinking a wine like this leads me to give more thought to it over the years. It’s a very rusty c expression of Riesling but I think its a little more compelling then a lot of similar stuff on the market like this. I loved my fish tacos that I ate with this however.
— 3 months ago

Severn, Josh and 4 others liked this

Villa a Sesta

Il Palei Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 2016

Popped and poured; consumed over three days. Day 1 was super duper primary and “okay” but not all that interesting. Day 2 was better. Day 3? Now it had my attention. Dark cherry, Fig Newton™️, and conditioned leather. Dry. Medium tannins. Medium-plus acid. Versatile. I was on the fence with this...but I’ve come around. I dig it, but it needs time (or significant air). — a year ago

Hermes, Daniel P. and 9 others liked this

Cade

Reserve Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

David T
9.4

We drove up Howell Mountain to get to Cade two Sundays ago. What we witnessed was a horror show of fire damage. It’s hard to see nature destroyed in such a fashion. What was worse were all the brick chimneys only standing where there were once a home or a winery building.

Glass fire note. The fire investigation revealed the fire was started by a Cakebread electric fence short. An additional saddening note is Dolores Cakebread, the co-founder of Cakebread Cellars died shortly after the Glass Fire started. She was 90. No way to know if the stress of the fire factored into her passing.

With the first taste, you could immediately sense the step up from the Howell Mtn. The fruit much more ruby and while the tannins still big but are more well rounded & soft. It’s decadent. The structure, tension less astringent and the length/balance more beautiful over the Howell Mtn. The fruits, ripe juicier & ruby; dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, fresh roast, leathery, graphite, herbaceous quality, tobacco, dry stems, some dark spice, softly layered baking spices, crushed rocks with florals that are fresh & candied; dark, red, purple framed in a field of understated lavender & brilliant violets. The acidity is excellent. The long, lush, elegant, well knitted & balanced finish is truly special persisting into dry, powdery tannins, earth & spice.

This will flirt with a 95-96 with ten years in bottle.

Photos of; Cade Estate vines, outside patio tasting area, infinity wall and their Estate Cabernet fruit unharvested. Sadly, about 80-85% of the 2020 Napa Valley Cabernet fruit will never see bottling.
— 2 years ago

Paul, Paul and 32 others liked this
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

95 on a 17😳 I think thats the highest score I’ve seen from you for that vintage.
David T

David T Influencer Badge

Big thumb on the slider 94.

Picket Fence

Miller Creek Vineyard Malbec 2018

Enjoyed with Elissa at Trellis in Menlo Park. Nice Pinot with a cherry finish. Nicely complemented our veal & petrale sole. — 7 months ago

Michael Shaps

Wild Meadow Vineyard Chardonnay 2016

Well, the 2016 has turned the page / it seems to be paradigm shift from the previous vintages (tighter, restrained, minimal oak). The ‘16 is quite voluminous with warm caramel brioche and baked lemon liquor. While golden and opulent, this is not a gentle and elegant food wine. Thus I am on the fence whether I want another bottle… I probably will get one because it’s still available and look for a better food pair. Day two, allowed for some beautiful sipping, though ;) edit: I will get another bottle…very nice sipper on day 2…mouthfeel is glorious! — a year ago

Josh, Byron and 1 other liked this

Robert Foley Vineyards

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

This is one of those wines that I said I was going to wait 10 yrs before opening...🤔 No real regrets! This wine has big bold dark berries, licorice Snaps, anise, vanilla, bay leaf, eucalyptus caramel, and maple syrup! Not picking up any acidity, tannins are very nicely integrated and presents with a very long finish. I am really on the fence between a 9.1 or a 9.2 rating! — a year ago

Ted, Sharon and 21 others liked this
Ron R

Ron R Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Foley stuff is great. 92 is lower than I would expect. But then I consider my s ores to be generous.
Dawn E.

Dawn E.

@Ron R This is a fabulous wine! Big Napa Cab! At this stage of this wine looking for a little " earth" "Acidity" identifiers!!
Dawn E.

Dawn E.

@Ron R you are correct! Last glass is marvelous! 9.3 to a 9.5!

Cade

Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

David T
9.2

We drove up Howell Mountain to get to Cade two Sundays ago. What we witnessed was a horror show of fire damage. It’s hard to see nature destroyed in such a fashion. What was worse were all the brick chimneys only standing where there were once a home or a winery building.

Glass fire note. The fire investigation revealed the fire was started by a Cakebread electric fence short. An additional saddening note is Dolores Cakebread, the co-founder of Cakebread Cellars died shortly after the Glass Fire started. She was 90. No way to know if the stress of the fire factored into her passing.

The tannnins in all their 2017 Cabernets were grainy big, dry & dark tarry. Blackberries, black raspberries, black plum, creamy raspberries, dark cherries, plum, fresh roast, dark chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, some nutmeg, medium, dark spice, graphite, tobacco, youthful and showing plenty of wood with dark, red, purple, some blue flowers set in violets & lavender. The acidity was quite nice. The structure, tension, length & balance are good but, need about 8 years in bottle to start to shine. Showing promise on finish but this is still a very youthful/primary.

Photos of; Cade Estate vines, outside patio tasting area, infinity wall and their Estate Cabernet fruit unharvested. Sadly, about 80-85% of the 2020 Napa Valley Cabernet fruit will never see bottling.
— 2 years ago

Alex, Juan and 30 others liked this
Shay A

Shay A Influencer Badge Premium Badge

My wife loves this wine.