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Tag Archives for " North Coast "

Wolf Family St Helena

The Wolfs acquired the historic old Inglewood estate and winery in 1997. The vineyard comprises Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1996 and just 0.4 ha (1 acre) of Cabernet Franc, established in the mid-80s. Total output is tiny at just over 600 cases. The vineyards are naturally low-yielding and the crop rarely comes in much above […]

Waterstone Wines Spring Mountain

Founded in 2000 with an objective to “create luxury wines at affordable prices”, Philip Zorn and Brent Shortridge have come a long way towards achieving that goal. They own no vineyards nor any winemaking facility, but in view of their strong relationship with top growers and wineries, they have been able to bring about a […]

Switchback Ridge Wines Napa Valley

The small Peterson Ranch in the north-eastern part of the Napa Valley now has 8 ha (20 acres) under vine planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah. Finely-drained rocky soils produce naturally low-yielding grapes of impressive flavour intensity. Only estate-grown fruit is used and winemaking is in the hands of Robert Foley, who also […]

Swanson Vineyards Rutherford

Impressive and stylish wines are produced at this family-run Napa winery established in 1985. Although production is not small quality has remained good to very good. As well as the three principal releases, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, super premium Face Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and two late harvest whites have been produced in recent […]

Storybook Mountain Wines Napa Valley

This is a Zinfandel-only winery and a very good one, located on the red clay and loam slopes of the Mayacamas. The estate vineyards surrounding the property were originally planted in the 1880s and these hillside plots continue to show the potential of the variety. Insecticides and herbicides are avoided and the wine is vinified […]

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars will forever be famous in wine circles as a result of the 1976 Paris tasting, when the Cask 23 outgunned the best from Bordeaux to the astonishment of the French judges on that day. The wine world has come a long way in the last 40-odd years and while Cask 23 […]

Spring Mountain Vineyard

Grand Spring Mountain District property that has been up and down over the years but is now producing wines of real style that are representative of the area. The estate vineyards total some 92 ha (225 acres) and owner Jacqui Safra has also acquired three adjoining properties, bringing the total size of the estate to […]

Silver Oak Cellars Napa Valley

Two powerful and supple Cabernets are produced at Silver Oak Cellars. The estate was established as a partnership between Ray Duncan and the late Justin Meyer, the original winemaker. Daniel Baron took over those reins and continues to produce wines of substance and quality, particularly in the case of the Napa Valley bottling, despite production […]

Sherwin Family Vineyards Spring Mountain

Small Spring Mountain property 600m (2,000ft) above sea level producing a top-class Cabernet Sauvignon. The 6 ha (15 acres) of vineyards are also planted to a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc to add complexity. Yields are kept tightly in check and cover crops not only protect the mountain soils but also aid ripening. Production is […]

Schramsberg Vineyards Napa Valley

This was the first California winery to produce quality sparkling wines from the classic varieties of Champagne: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. All three grapes are used across the range. A straightforward non-vintage blend, Mirabelle, is vinified from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and is a fruit-driven style intended for easy drinking. More serious are […]

Saintsbury Winery Carneros

Long established as one of the top producers of the Burgundian varietals in Carneros. Volume has risen considerably since the winery was founded in 1981 with Pinot Noir accounting for the bulk of the output. The Carneros and Brown Ranch Chardonnays are serious and refined examples of the Carneros style. The By George Pinot Noir […]

Reverie Wine Diamond Mountain

Consultancy for winemaking at this 16 ha (40-acre) property with steep southfacing slopes in close proximity to DIAMOND CREEK has been provided from the outset by Ted Lemon of LITTORAI. Of the wines the AS Kiken is produced from all five red Bordeaux varieties. Coming from the lower-lying blocks of the estate, the wine is […]

Renteria Wines Napa Valley

Salvador Renteria arrived in the Napa Valley from Mexico in 1962 and soon became one of the most sought after vineyard managers in the area. In 1987, he started his own vineyard management company which now looks after more than 1,500 prime acres. In 1993, he handed over control to his son, Oscar, who is […]

Ramey Wine Oakville

David Ramey has had a vast winemaking influence on the style of a number of leading producers, among them CHALK HILL and RUDD ESTATE, where he is still the general manager. Under his own Ramey label he produces remarkably fine Chardonnay, impressive for its finesse, intensity and sheer quality as much as for its weight […]

Quintessa Winery Rutherford

This winery was originally part of FRANCISCAN. Quintessa is now solely owned by Agustin Huneeus whose other properties/partnerships include the Chilean winery VERAMONTE and the Sonoma Coast FLOWERS winery as well as a number of other projects. Illumination is a Sauvignon Blanc made from a small plot established at the Quintessa property. Faust is a […]

Pride Mountain Vineyards Spring Mountain

The late Jim Pride established Pride Mountain as one of the finest sources of great Napa red and his family will continue this tradition. The vineyards here are characterised by a southerly exposure as well as mountain, volcanic and sandstone soils with a very high stone and gravel content, providing exceptional drainage. Quality is then […]

Plumpjack Winery Oakville

The Plumpjack winery is just a part of a leisure-based operation that specialises in food and wine and includes the luxury Squaw Valley Inn at Olympic Valley. Good to very good Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay are produced and Syrah has also now been added to the small range. The winery is nestled into the […]

Pine Ridge Winery Stags Leap

Founded in 1978, this is now a relatively large property producing just mid- to premium-range wines. There are some 80 ha (200 acres) planted in 16 different vineyard locations throughout the Napa Valley. Indeed, estate-grown grapes account for some 95% of the winery’s production. The focus is mainly on the Bordeaux varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon now […]

Patz and Hall Winery Napa Valley

The two partners here first worked for FLORA SPRINGS and during this association they determined to establish a small winemaking operation in order to produce top-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The regular bottlings of Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast and Napa Valley Chardonnay are impressive but even more so are the small-volume runs produced […]

Paradigm Winery Oakville

The Harris’s sizeable vineyard property in the heart of Oakville underpins the admirable quality achieved at this excellent small estate. Production is very small at around 5,000 cases. Winemaking expertise is provided by Heidi Peterson Barrett and in the principal wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon (blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot for harmony), she achieves a […]

Opus One Winery Oakville

This MONDAVI/Rothschild (Mouton-Rothschild) joint venture was conceived in 1978, the first vintage being in 1979 and remains independent from Constellation in its vineyard management and administration. At the time, super-premium Napa styles of Cabernet had not really materialised and Opus One was uniquely highly priced among its peers. During the 1990s the Mondavi Reserve Cabernet […]

Newton Vineyard Spring Mountain

This well-established Napa operation is part of the expanding portfolio of Moët Hennessy premium wineries around the world which include the likes of CLOUDY BAY. The wines here have always been impressive and reasonably priced. At the lower level the decent Red Label Chardonnay is joined now by a red blend labelled Claret and red […]

Mumm Napa Wines Rutherford

One of several California sparkling-wine operation with a leading Champagne house as owner. The regular Champagne from the parent can occasionally disappoint but the California Brut Cuvée Prestige offers a very attractive, well-priced alternative. It is fresh and forward with just a touch of bready yeast character. A Reserve Brut is also offered. The DVX […]

Robert Mondavi Winery Oakville

Arguably the most famous wine name in California now purchased by Constellation Brands. The late Robert Mondavi must take much of the credit for the positive public face of California wine when it re-emerged as a quality region in the 1970s. The company has very widespread wine interests in California although most overseas investments and […]

Miller Wine Works Napa Valley

Impressive new small operation producing Rhône style reds from the Napa Valley and now Pinot Noir from the Kendric Vineyard in Marin County. Chef turned winemaker Gary Miller gained experience with La Jota , Martinelli and Robert Biale before establishing his own Napa based operation. Grenache from the High Valley AVA in Lake County is […]

Luna Vineyards Napa Valley

Luna focuses on Italian varietals and a number of reds. John KONGSGAARD provided the early winemaking direction. Both the regular Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese are good value for money, while the pricier Canto is a proprietary Super-Tuscan-style blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with a little Petite Sirah adding additional grip. Indigenous yeasts are […]

Lokoya Winery Oakville

This is Kendall-Jackson’s super-premium label, producing distinctive Cabernet Sauvignons that showcase the best single-vineyard characteristics of prime mountain-grown fruit. The wines are vinified in the same facility as the flagship CARDINALE, which by contrast is a blend of sources. While vineyard source and low yields of 2–3 tons/acre are key to the great fruit in […]

Lewis Cellars Napa Valley

If like me you’re a motor racing fan you’ll be delighted by the quality of the powerful, dense Cabernetbased reds hand-crafted by former Indy 500 star Randy Lewis and his wife Debbie. This small, bespoke range is marked by rich fruit and in the top reds power and structure. They are quintessential California wines but […]

Larkmead Vineyards Napa Valley

This winery dates back to the end of the 19th century and has always focused on estate wines. The Bordeaux red varieties are the main focus of the operation but new blocks of Sauvignon Blanc and Tocai Friulano have been established and released, the Sauvignon Blanc under the Lillie brand and vinified in oak in […]

Larkin Wines Yountville

Wine broker Sean Larkin’s small Yountville operation produces a very fine Cabernet Franc-based red, one of the best of this style in the region as well as now a Cabernet Sauvignon also and the first vintage was only 1999. Very small amounts are exported and it would be well worth joining the mailing list. Cabernet […]

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