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Cuvaison Wines Napa Valley

Medium-sized operation producing sizeable volumes of Chardonnay. Fruit is sourced from its own vineyards, including a property in Carneros, as well as from elsewhere; the recently acquired Brandlin Ranch on Mount Veeder also now provides further resources of estate fruit for vintages to come and a top end Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend Two Estates has now […]

Corison Winery Napa Valley

Cathy Corison produces a small amount of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a variety of top quality benchland vineyard sites. Unlike many wines produced by her Napa neighbours, the Corison Cabernet is not overblown and has considerable depth and finesse. Aged in around 50% new French oak the wine shows remarkably well young but will […]

Colgin Cellars Napa Valley

Colgin now offers a number of super-premium bottlings. All are extremely expensive (the winery release prices can also be rapidly dwarfed by trading prices at auction) and two are based on Cabernet Sauvignon, although the Cariad red is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc (all sourced from the Madrona Vineyard) blended with some fruit from […]

Clos Pegase Winery Napa Valley

A fairly extensive range is produced at this Calistoga winery, although our most recent tastings only cover the Napa Cabernet. The other key wines are the Mitsuko Vineyard Merlot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A special label Hommage Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are also released each year with the labels taken from works among the Shrem’s […]

Chateau Potelle Winery Mount Veeder

The Fourmeaux family origins are in the French wine trade but Marketta and Jean-Noël have made a very good job of producing classically original, stylish California wines. The VGS labels are particularly impressive, none more so than the Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon vinified from estate-grown mountain fruit. These are big, structured wines which need time, […]

Chateau Montelena Winery Napa Valley

Chateau Montelena Winery Napa Valley – One of a few genuinely historic Napa wineries dating back to the 1880s. Nowadays the winery is best- known for one of the greatest Cabernet-based reds from the US. Even in lesser years the Montelena Estate red has a reputation for real quality. It is a backward and powerfully […]

Chappellet Vineyard Napa Valley

This winery, located on Pritchard Hill close to BRYANT, has had a variable record in recent years. Most interesting is the impressive Chenin Blanc. Vinified from old vines with just a hint of oak this is a striking and unusual example of the variety for California. Las Piedras Cabernet Sauvignon and Signature Chardonnay have both […]

Caymus Rutherford Vineyards

Caymus Rutherford Vineyards – Two good to very good Cabernet Sauvignons are vinified here. The Wagner family also produce very stylish Chardonnay at their Central Coast winery MER SOLEIL as well as Pinot Noir under the BELLE GLOS label. Conundrum is a classy white, blended from an unusual mix of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Chardonnay, Viognier […]

Cardinale Oakville Winery

This very pricey red is the jewel in the crown of the KENDALL-JACKSON empire. It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot sourced from prime vineyards both benchland as well as mountain plots on Mount Veeder, Diamond Mountain, Spring Mountain and Howell Mountain. A massively powerful and concentrated red with copious quantities of super-ripe […]

Oliver Caldwell Cellars Napa Valley

The Caldwells now produce just one Cabernet Sauvignon having sold their Aida Vineyard to VINEYARD 29. The pure varietal Esedra Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the Bella Vista (Calistoga), Beckstoffer (Silverado Trail) and Vybony (Oakville) vineyards. It is impressively rich and concentrated with a chocolaty, lightly spicy cedar character and a supple, finely honed structure. A […]

Cakebread Cellars Rutherford

Now a fairly substantial operation which the Cakebread family have been running for well over two decades. Production now runs to 18 wines, including an extensive premium range. Chardonnay and Sauvignon are both rich and oaky in style, with the Reserve Chardonnay adding an extra element of depth and texture. Regular Merlot and Cabernet are […]

Cain Cellars Winery Spring Mountain

This is a spectacularly sited Spring Mountain estate planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, which make up the flagship Cain Five – a medium-full, ripe, chocolaty and lightly cedary blend. The Concept, another meritage blend dominated by CabernetSauvignon, along with smaller proportions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot is […]

Brown Estate Vineyards Napa Valley

Fine Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are produced from the Brown family property in the Chiles Valley District in the eastern Napa. Of the 16 ha (40 acres) under vine, two-thirds are planted to Zinfandel. The first vintage of Zinfandel was only in 1996, but it is one of the very best examples from the region, […]

Blackbird Vineyards Napa Valley California

Blackbird Vineyards Napa Valley – In 2003 Michael Polenske bought the 10 acre (4 ha) Blackbird Vineyard from Mia Klein of SELENE Winery and immediately set about installing Aaron Pott (ex Quintessa, but cut his teeth at Châteaux TROPLONG-MONDOT and Latour Figeac in St. Émilion for five years) as winemaker. Whilst the majority of the […]

Beringer Vineyards St Helena

Now a part of the global Beringer Blass group, this winery was established 125 years ago and has always produced wines of good to very good quality at all price levels. Much of this success must be attributed to the skills of winemaking chief Ed Sbragia whose top cuvées remain some of the very best […]

Benessere Vineyards St Helena

Good, well-priced wines with a focus on Italian varieties. While these have often struggled to achieve the quality in California that they do at home, those of Benessere are among the better examples. The top label Phenomenon is a Sangiovese-dominated blend with some Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. It is a softer, more opulent and […]

Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford

Historic Napa winery founded in 1900. The Beaulieu reputation was established by the legendary André Tchelistcheff. While quality was distinctly variable during the 1980s, the late 90s though saw a marked improvement. An enormous range of wine is offered under Coastal, Maestro Collection, Napa Valley and Reserve labels and some good wines can be found […]

Barnett Vineyards Spring Mountain

The Barnetts have one of the most spectacularly sited properties on Spring Mountain, with steeply terraced vineyards at an elevation of 600m (2,000ft). Because they sit above the fog line they gain up to three extra hours of sunlight a day compared with the valley floor, providing for a long, even ripening period. The first […]

Barlow Vineyards Napa Valley

Small 20 ha (50-acre) property south of Calistoga, founded in 1994. As well as Merlot and the Barrouge blend (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), the Smiths produce varietal Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel, a Sauvignon Blanc and a little rosé However with a planned production ceiling of just 2,000 cases the wines will always be fairly scarce. […]

Bacio Divino Cellars Rutherford

Claus Janzen’s small operation is now the source of a number of labels. The Bacio Divino red is a very stylish, impressive and unusual blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Petite Sirah. Part of Claus Janzen’s inspiration was tasting the red at Domaine de Trevallon in Provence, itself a blend of unconventional varieties. The Bacio […]

Atalon Winery Napa Valley

Recently established premium winery owned by the Jackson family, producing wines which are intended to complement their LOKOYA and CARDINALE brands. A wide range of Napa vineyard sources are being called on. The Cabernet Sauvignon is impressive, dense and powerful, offering dark fruits, berry and cherry aromas and a subtle cedary note. An additional dimension […]

Amici Cellars Napa Valley

The first commercial vintage at Amici was in 1992 and the winery remains small with an output of just a few thousand cases a year. Winemaker Jeff Hansen sources fruit from throughout the Napa for the Cabernet, while the Pinot Noir comes from the Costa Vineyard in Mendocino. Both wines are aged in French oak, […]

Acacia Vineyard Carneros

Acacia has always produced wines that are soundly made and represent reasonable value for money if sometimes lacking a touch of character or sense of place in the volume labels. The wines are particularly marked by their ripe fruit and for opulent reds and tropically styled whites at competitive prices they are all decent bets. […]

Marimar Torres Vineyards Green Valley of Russian River Valley

Based in the cool Green Valley appellation, Miguel Torres’’ sister Marimar established this operation in 1986, planting the small 33 ha (81 acre) Don Miguel vineyard equally between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Small plantings of Albariño, Syrah and Tempranillo have followed. A varietal Albariño as well as blends of Chardonnay/Albariño and Syrah/Tempranillo are now released. […]

Tin Barn Vineyards Sonoma County

This small winery is a collaboration of five friends, including winemaker Michael Lancaster who manages its daily operation. The business name emanates from the old barn found on the Sonoma Coast where Lancaster sources his earthy, cool climate Syrah. Other wines include grassy and lightly citrusy Sauvignon Blanc from Carneros, where the winery tasting room […]

Joseph Swan Russian Winery River Valley

This is the oldest established winery in the Russian River. It was founded by the original owner, Joe Swan, Lynn Berglund’s father in 1967. Four decades later the wines reflect the history of the property and are both traditional and characterful. Pinot Gris is rich and honeyed with a firm mineral structure, the fruit will […]

Steele Wines Lake County

Jed Steele has enormous experience of the wine business in California, having previously been the founding winemaker at KENDALL-JACKSON. He established his own label in 1991 and he now produces an extensive range of reds and whites, with the top-of-the-line examples coming from an almost bewildering array of single-vineyard sources. These are not only impressive […]

St Francis Vineyards Sonoma Valley

Impressive, medium-sized Sonoma winery founded in 1971. An extensive range is produced, mainly from Sonoma County fruit and at the top end the quality is striking. Zinfandels, both Old Vines and Three Valleys, are big, brooding, ripe examples of the variety. Two other examples from the Anacieto and Bacchi vineyards are Russian River Valley sourced. […]

Spann Vineyards Sonoma Valley

Another small artisan winemaking husband and wife team who first got the bug through drinking wine (Betsy lived in Bordeaux for a while and Peter was a wine buyer for restaurants, and seemed to be doing an admirable job at it, too). Whilst Betsy is the hands-on winemaker, Peter sources fruit from other vineyards as […]

Skewis Wines Russian River Valley

Originally established as a top-notch producer of Chardonnay in 1973 by Brice Cutrer Jones. The wines are consistent well priced, particularly the two leading cuvées below. With the exception of Les Pierres, which is just to the north of Carneros, the vineyard plots are all Russian River. The Russian River Ranches bottling is a blend […]

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