So hard to narrow it down…

When you taste over 20 wines a week, it can be tough to narrow down your favorites. I recently asked a winemaker about her favorite wine that she makes. She told me that it was liking picking your favorite child, it’s impossible. Well, with that being said, here are some of our favorite “children” from this last week.


2013 Kinsella Estates ‘Jersey Boys Vineyard’

Cabernet Sauvignon |  Dry Creek Valley  |  Order Online

kinsella2Wine Spectrum 95+, Robert Parker 94: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Jersey Boys Vineyard (700 cases) comes in at 14.9% alcohol. This is an opulent wine with plenty of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, some graphite and subtle, spicy new oak. Full-bodied, savory and expansive, this extravagantly rich, long wine is terrific. Drink it over the next 15 or so years. 

From a high, sun-drenched private valley in the western foothills of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley comes an exquisite Cabernet Sauvignon hand crafted with the ultimate expertise and care by esteemed winemaker, Thomas Rivers Brown.

2013 Agnitio Sun Chase Vineyard

Chardonnay  |  Sonoma Coast  |  Order Online

agnitio-thumbWine Spectrum 94+: The first vintage of the Sun Chase Vineyard Chardonnay from Agnitio is a most distinctive wine with exuberant character and agability. Best compared to a Meursault from Burgundy, the mouthfeel is at once both laser-like and mineral and rich and complex. While still in its youthful stages, with time this wine will blossom to express its mature balance of unctuousness and freshness.

2013 Round Pond Rutherford

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Rutherford  |  Order Online

Round Pond Rutherford 2012Wine Spectrum 94+, Robert Parker 92: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec, is a beauty. It’s also realistically priced by Napa standards. The wine reveals toasty oak, blackberry and cassis fruit, beautiful texture, purity and length. This is a big-time winner and should drink well for 12-15 years. 

An elegant bouquet of cassis, violet, and sage tickle the nose. Aromas of dark chocolate, wet stone, and evergreen follow. The intense entry is layered with blackberry, anise, and some higher toned red fruits. This wine builds through the mid-palate with more earth driven aromatics of cardamom, tobacco, and dark chocolate. The palate is beautifully balanced with great acidity and soft supple tannins carry the broad aromas and flavors to a long dark finish. Expressive now, this wine will certainly gain in complexity and depth with several years of age. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec.

2014 Robert Biale ‘Black Chicken’

Zinfandel  |  Napa Valley

black chickenWine Spectrum 94+: The Oak Knoll Winegrowing region is prevalent in this wine with its dark color, ripe aromatics and juicy acidity. The nose is full of Blackberries, vibrant black cherry, dried berries, maple, brown and black spices, cinnamon and ginger bread. The entry is soft and gives way to supple round tannins with a delectable center and persistence of fruit. The lovely finish is the signature of this elegant, surprisingly feminine, and remarkably balanced Zinfandel that is immediately drinkable and worthy of 5 to 7 more years of cellar time.

“Black Chicken” was for the old code name for Aldo’s secret Zinfandel, vines behind Aldo’s home. This extremely special (and fully legal) Zinfandel from the Biale Family and nearby vineyards is still bottled in memory of the old days, and particularly in the loving memory of Aldo Biale.

2014 Agnitio

Sauvignon Blanc  |  Napa Valley  |  Order Online

agnitio-thumbWine Spectrum 94: Aromas of bright citrus, grapefruit, orange peel and kiwi are expressed on the nose, while hints of anise and limestone suggest an elegant minerality. The palate is driven by its extraordinary acidity giving this wine a refined crispiness and long lasting finish. About 300 cases produced.

2013 Bacio Divino ‘Pazzo’ (Call Me Crazy)

Red Blend  |  Napa Valley  |  Order Online

PazzoWine Spectrum 94:  Produced by the Janzen Family and consulting winemaker / viticulturalist Kirk Venge, “Pazzo” (crazy in Italian) marries the best features of several varietals to create a unique and sophisticated blend:  “With every vintage, our goal is to bring you the best of Napa Valley at an attractive price. The 2013 Pazzo is no exception. We sourced Sangiovese from both the Valley floor and higher elevations and blended it with rich, fruity Merlot and some dark, full-bodied Syrah from the heart of our Valley.”

Rich dark berry fruit with cherry highlights is heightened by bright acidity and a bold tannin structure. Bursting with concentrated fruit on the nose, a second waft reveals notes of roasted herbs, pepper and spice. ‘Delicious’ is the word most used to describe Pazzo. 58% Sangiovese, 22% Merlot, 12% Syrah. 8% Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Omen

Red Blend  |  Sierra Foothills  |  Order Online

OmenWine Spectrum 93: Omen, Red Blend is an explosion of flavors and intensity.  From spices to cassis and dark cherry notes, the complexity of the blend translates into subtle notes of leather and dark chocolate.  The mouth feel is rich with luscious and elegant tannins.  A very bold and powerful wine that is still approachable and balanced.

In order to create the complex foundation of Omen, we work with a vibrant community of distinguished vineyards across the Sierra Foothills.  Each block has been fermented separately to be able to preserve the single characteristics of the varietal and the vineyard.  The blend is then created and aged in 30% new French oak for 8 months.  40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Zinfandel, 15% Merlot & 5% Pinot Noir.

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