Santa Helena

Allora Vineyards

St. Helena Cabernet Franc 2012

Shay A

One of the bottles we brought back from our annual Napa trip last month. We try to visit 1-2 small/off the radar wineries during our visit, and this was a recommended stop by one of the wineries we were visiting.

Off the beaten path outside of St Helena, behind Ehlers. Alycia Mondavi makes the wines for this very small family operation. All winemaking takes place at the family home on a beautiful secluded property. Luckily for me, they are known for their cab franc. They allowed some library purchases, and this was one of them. The main note that sticks out is raspberry fig. Aromatics are very floral, but lean more red fruit as opposed to purple. Elegant red fruit like raspberries wrapped in cocoa with fig and baking spices. This 2012 was in a really nice spot as it wasn’t overly tannic, yet the finish is still sporting a touch of alcohol (14.4). It borders on integrated, which to me means this is just now entering prime drinking. Floral + raspberry fig and plenty of spiced rhubarb give this cab franc a richness without sacrificing structure.
— 3 days ago

Peter, Paul and 29 others liked this
Mike R

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Awesome note @Shay A - this was tried at the winery while there or did you purchase and bring home - thanks
Shay A

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@Mike R : We tried the 2015 while there, and ended up buying some 2010, 2012 and 2014 to bring home. This was one of the 2012s we brought back and opened.

Au Bon Climat

La Bauge Au-Dessus Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir 2008

Last night I had opened the 2008 Au Bon Climat Santa Maria Valley La Bauge Au-Dessus Pinot Noir. I was thinking heavily about Jim Clendenen and thought this would be a nice homage to his work. RIP Jim.

On the nose there is good fruit still cherry, cranberry, raspberry, plum, spice, a muskiness, dried roses, light oak and wet soil.

On the palate even in it's age there is good fruit of cherry, cranberry, raspberry, cola, spice, minerality and forest floor.

This is medium bodied with a smooth velvety mouthfeel even though the experts have the maturity date as 2018 the acidity is still medium with medium minus fine nearly resolved tannins that still leads to a medium to medium + red fruit candied cherry underbrush finish. Have a continued wonderful weekend and please stay safe and healthy. Nostrovia! 🍷🍷🍷🍷
— 14 days ago

Deborah, Martin and 21 others liked this
Jody Scharf

Jody Scharf Premium Badge

A fave!
Daniel P. Drake

Daniel P. Drake Influencer Badge

@Jody Scharf definitely a favorite of mine too.


Family Estate Grown St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Dryer but with good fruits. Dark berries. Mineral finish. Integrated and intense. Flavor lingers. End palette is a little spicy and baking spice. This one is more integrated but flatter than the dr crane.

Smell- bell peppers with hands covered,spicy.
— 11 hours ago

Bevan Cellars

Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Jeb & Parker 💯,
I bought a case for flipping purposes, but after discussions with
@Severn Goodwin yesterday I became intrigued🤔. Its actually not as big a fruit bomb as anticipated,. Has some structural appeal & depth to it. But I still don’t know how you can tell the difference between Bevan, Myriad & Maybach and probably Silver Oak but it’s been awhile.
— 13 days ago

Tom, Jason and 24 others liked this
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

Everything except this one, its all about profit💰💵
Howard Greenfield

Howard Greenfield

Bought this for drinking purposes. Love Dr Crane and this new wine from Bevan was superb. I gave it a 9.8
Paul T- Huntington Beach

Paul T- Huntington Beach

I’ve bought a ton of Bevan over the years and probably would of given this 98-100 as well a couple years ago. But I’m losing my taste for the big fruit forward wines nowadays🤷🏼‍♂️

Belle Glos

Clark & Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

This is a nice Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara.

Showing black fruits with tobacco, earth, wood, vanilla, chocolates, barnyard, smoke, spices, coffee and mocha.

Full bodied with medium acidity.

Dry on the palate and very fruity.

Tangy finish with soft tannins.

Good right out of the bottle and better with airtime. Needs a couple of hours to open up properly and show the complexity.

Drinks more like a Syrah blend from California. Nicely balanced with a nice mouthfeel. After 3 hours in the decanter, it really feels like a Syrah.

This 5 year old is peaking now.

Aged in French oak barrels for 9 months.

14.7% alcohol by volume.

91 points.

— 12 days ago

Iwan, Dawn and 17 others liked this

Beckman Estate

Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache 1999

A lineup of eight Grenache and Grenache blends exploring how long can they age? All from 1994-1999, four countries represented. #6 — 5 days ago

Aravind, Ceccherini and 12 others liked this

Nickel & Nickel

Hayne Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Lovely full bodied, dry, and balanced Cab! — 5 days ago

Michael SeelyJoe Roth
with Michael and Joe
Tom, Ericsson and 5 others liked this

Au Bon Climat

Nuits-Blanches au Bouge Santa Maria Valley Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2018

Tasted 1-3 hrs after opening then 3 days later.

Intense yellow gold with greening at the rim. Viscous.

Intense aromas initially dominated by flint/matchstick, leading to lemon, white flowers, slight petrol?, almost limey, oakiness there but in balance.

Electric on entry with nice structure, medium+ body and acid, holds up an expansive mid palate that confirms the nose and adds creaminess, lengthy finish on pleasing citric acidity. On day 3 slight oxidative nuttiness only shows on the finish.

Really nice wine, particularly impressive at the price. Would seek out more to try with bottle age.
— 10 days ago

Shay, David and 1 other liked this
Carter Pelham

Carter Pelham

@David L my first experience with anything besides the entry level bottling. Would try it again for sure. Have you had any with significant age? Felt like it had the structure and intensity to be interesting with 5+ more years
David L

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I’ve enjoyed this particular bottle at 4/6 years old. I’ve had many ABC wines with 10+ years in them. Classic New World. Worth every penny. 
David L

David L Influencer Badge Premium Badge

Jim Clendenen wine from ABC are worth looking into as well. Give ABC a call. Try a few . Had a 2014 Chardonnay last night that needed a decanting.

Jaimee Motley Wines

Argillet Santa Maria Valley Mondeuse 2017

A wine that devoured air. With each breath this wine grew more approachable. Packed with structure. Pure dark fruit , juicy acidity and polished tannins. — 4 days ago

Jonathan, Andrew and 34 others liked this

McHenry Vineyard

Estate Bottled Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir 2005

This particular bottle was purchased at the winery during our visit back in 2019. We were fortunate considering they rarely host visitors due to the size of their operation. Popped and poured, the 2005 Estate appears a dark translucent garnet, slightly hazy and browning just a touch on the rim. Medium+ intensity with a huge nose of bruised strawberries, sun-ripened bramble fruit and mushrooms. Some VA is present but this is not unusual from this producer. With additional air, the nose becomes even more complex with tomato leaf and coniferous forest floor. On the palate, this is bursting with ripe fruit confirming the bruised strawberry and brambles though most on the dried end of the spectrum with baking spices in a combination reminiscent of fruit cake. Some leather and mushrooms present as well. The finish is dry, saline and so, so long with a sort of Blood orange thing going that’s wonderfully compelling. High acid. Medium (+) tannin. Pair very well with dry rubbed grilled chicken. While this should easy see it’s 20th birthday it’s simply fantastic right now and fully mature. — 8 days ago

Josh, Ceccherini and 7 others liked this