When the founding fathers of the Napa Valley carved out new sub-AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in the 1980s, Soda Canyon Ranch was not yet on anyone’s map. The vineyard is neighbored to the northwest and west by the winegrowing districts of Stags Leap District and Oak Knoll District, respectively, which were among the early pioneers of California Cabernet Sauvignon to attain global fame. To the northeast and southeast—and further off the beaten path—were Atlas Peak and Coombsville, thought to be the next frontiers for the emerging wine-producing region.
With richness and depth of flavor, the 2018 Timeless Napa Valley is the embodiment of patience and attention to detail. Decades of experience at Soda Canyon Ranch allow winemaker Nate Weis and team to highlight the individual merits of each block. Combining the strongest lots from each resulted in a refined and harmonious bottling.
In 2018, the diurnal shift at Soda Canyon Ranch produced a darker, lusher fruit profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Simultaneously, the overnight recovery periods resulted in expressive and refined Merlot, giving the wine a pleasant profile of bright, red fruit. With an extended harvest window, the signature, plush density and structure of Petit Verdot is also prevalent in the final blend. Cabernet Franc thrived in 2018 with its predilection for the cooler soils and the climate of blocks 5, 6, 16, 20 and 21—areas we call the Transition Zone and Hardpan Alley. The variety’s floral and tobacco-like aromatics are accentuated, and its more aggressive nature for back-end tannins tamed.
Once blended, the 2018 vintage rested in French oak barrels for 16 months, developing flavors of vanilla and baking spice. Velvety tannins dance across the palate of bright and lingering cassis. With a smooth finish, this is a comforting wine of elegance and depth—a sophisticated expression of the sedate summer.
This is a little old-school and shows lots of dark berry, chocolate and dried fruit. It’s full, dense and layered with fleshly sensibility. Velvety texture.
-James Suckling 93 Points
Red Phoenix Red Blend is made from 57% Zinfandel; 14% Petit Verdot; 12% Petite Sirah; 7% Syrah; 5% Merlot; 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
With European origins dating back centuries ago, blended red wine is once again having its day in the sun. Red Phoenix Red Wine Blend represents the essence of this well-deserved resurgence. Unbound by a single varietal or appellation, and given more flexibility with vintages, winemaker Joseph Smith skillfully showcases six distinct varietals in this luscious and layered wine. Unlike traditional red blends, Red Phoenix is both barrel aged and barrel fermented, adding structure, balance, and a new dimension to a wine that is rooted in tradition and soars on the palate.
75% of the fruit is coming from Lodi AVA, while the remaining 25% are Napa Valley AVA's fruits.
Coastal aromas of fresh fruit and lush florals coupled with a deep ruby color intrigue the senses. Bright, bold flavors of cherry and blackberry ascend on the palate while showcasing subtle, smooth tannins. The wine crescendos with anise, chocolate and toasted oak, offering depth and complexity, as velvety flavors continue to linger and evolve throughout the long, rich finish.
Avennia Valery Red Blend is made from 86% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc
Valery is named for the patron saint of wine in the St. Emilion region that inspired it.
We started with old vine Merlot from a stony block in the heart of the Yakima Valley and added complex, aromatic Cabernet Franc from the Horse Heaven Hills. The result is a balanced, complex wine with the elegance and ethereal perfume that this blend of two of Washington’s best varietals are known for.
The nose on this wine is very perfumed, almost exotic with notes of fresh violets, red plum, winter mint, fresh herbs and crushed limestone qualities. The palate is poised and balanced, with red fruits and mocha powder encapsulated in limestone. The finish lingers delicately, with the Cabernet Franc asserting a light tobacco and herb note, giving depth. A compelling wine that will continue to unwind for 7-10 years in the cellar.
The Merlot-dominated 2018 Valery (there's 11% Cabernet Franc) comes from two great vineyards, Boushey and Champoux, and spent 20 months in 28% new French oak. Deep ruby/plum-hued, with a great nose of black cherries, plums, dried herbs, and violets, it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, soft tannins, and a great finish. This ripe, plump, sexy Merlot has loads of character and will keep for a decade. It has a certain Pomerol-like elegance, and I’m a fan.
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points
Crown Point Relevant Red is made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
The 2018 Crown Point Relevant is the introductory wine to Crown Point Vineyards. All estate grown, it showcases incredible freshness and fruit character from their young vines. A large part of the blend is given to Cabernet Sauvignon, which brings spiced tones of cassis, violets, and bay leaves. Cabernet Franc brings a delicate and soft character to this wine and is completed with a touch of Petit Verdot that brings tension and density. The wine was aged in 50% new French oak and 50% used French oak for one year.
The 2018 Relevant is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot from younger vines and blocks on the property, and it is still aging in barrel. Deep ruby, if offers classic cassis, cedar, graphite and crushed boysenberry aromas with hints of Chinese Five Spice and licorice. The palate is medium to full-bodied with concentrated but fresh fruit character, a finely pixelated frame and seamless freshness, finishing long and super classy.
-Wine Advocate 96 Points
Justin Isosceles Proprietary Red Paso Robles is made from 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc.
In 1987, we made our first vintage of a wine styled after the famous First Growth producers of Bordeaux, created with the same uncompromising care as the Grands Vins of those venerable chateaux. For more than 30 vintages, ISOSCELES has been our flagship wine and quality benchmark for this style of wine here on the Central Coast of California. A blend based on Cabernet Sauvignon supported by Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the 2018 ISOSCELES shows why Paso Robles is such a great place to grow these varieties.
Full-bodied, with ripe black fruit, complex baking spice and amazingly ready to drink right out of the gate, you can try a bottle or two now, but make sure to save a few to enjoy this wine as it continues to evolve after some time in the cellar.
Appearance: Deep ruby/purple core with black secondary color, lighter toward the rim with moderate plus viscosity and slow forming, moderately stained tears.
Aroma: Very aromatic and complex with ripe black cherry and cassis fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and licorice spice with sweet tobacco, cedar, leather and camphor notes.
Palate: Full-bodied with ripe black cherry and blackcurrant fruit complemented with baking spice and oak notes on entry. Sustained fruit and spice are joined by savory autumn leaf, cedar and leather on the mid-palate with mouth filling, fine tannins that lead into a long, complex and balanced finish with attractive fruit, spice, cedar and subtle camphor notes.
Try it with a classic herb crusted roasted rack of lamb, a grilled prime ribeye steak, or the exquisite cheeseburgers with tomato, arugula, bacon jam and chive aioli from The Restaurant at JUSTIN.
62% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah. Among Tuscany's oldest and most prestigious wine families, Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari teamed with Allen Shoup to produce a wine that showcases Washington State's terroir with plenty of Italian character. Saggi (meaning "wisdom") is a stunning blend of two outstanding Washington Sangiovese vineyards. Candy Mountain Sangiovese gives the wine its dark fruit flavors and appealing notes of anise. Dick Boushey's Yakima Valley Sangiovese, planted in 1992, adds vibrancy and liveliness. Because Cabernet Sauvignon has the potential to overtake Sangiovese, the Folonaris work closely with Sagemoor Vineyards to carefully select blocks of Cabernet they know from experience deliver elegant character and refined tannins. Syrah, also from Sagemoor, adds to the wine's dark color and rich mid-palate.
There are only a few Sangiovese-dominated wines from Washington, but they tend to be rock-solid. The 2018 Saggi Red Wine is a great example, revealing a ruby/semi-translucent color as well as notes of ripe cherries, leafy herbs, sandalwood, and dried flowers. Medium to full-bodied, it has plenty of richness, velvety tannins, and outstanding length. It opens up nicely with time in the glass and should have 10-12 years of longevity.
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 92 pts
Lyrarakis Mandilari Plakoura Cretian Red is made from 100% Mandilari
Description: The rare low-yield Plakoura vineyard is the equivalent to a Premier Cru slope at 500m. Altitude, with sandy, stony soil. The head-trained pruning in combination with the north-east exposure of the vineyard and plenty of sunshine, ensures that the grapes reach optimum ripeness at the time of harvest. Very thorough cultivation helps us achieve extremely low yields, succeeding in vinificating a very concentrated wine with a deep red color and an excellent structure, which will age for a long time.
Tasting Notes: Deep, intense red color. In the nose, complex aromas of juicy plums, toffee and licorice are superbly balanced by the chocolate and vanilla notes provided by its ageing process in oak. In the mouth it is well concentrated with a lively lingering finish. This wine has an excellent bottle ageing potential that can overpass 10 years.
Alcohol: 13% ABV
Acidity: 5.62 g/L
RS: 2.11 g/L
Region: Plakoura vineyard, Karkadiotisa area - central Crete
Soil: Sandy-loam with a good amount of stones
Sun Exposure: North East
Pruning Technique: Head trained, spur pruned
Altitude: 500m above sea level
Irrigation: Not irrigated
Varieties: 100% Mandilari
Winemaking: Green-harvested in August. Harvested by hand during the second week of September, defined by berry sensory assessment to obtain a proper fruit and aromatic balance. Fermentation with selected yeasts at temperature between 25°C and 28°C. The wine was aged for 12 months in both new and used oak barrels and then stored in bottles for 9 months before being launched commercially.
Food pairing: Grilled red meat, game and piquant cheese.
The Lyrarakis Estate is a family winery which has been producing high quality wines since 1966 with a strong focus on rare local varieties and producing single variety wines.
The family is credited with the revival of two ancient Cretan varieties, Dafni and Plyto while a third “vineyard treasure”, the indigenous Melissaki, is recently added to the credits.
Surrounded by the idyllic setting of the vineyards and the Lassithi mountains we offer you the opportunity to enjoy nature and discover local varieties and wines distinguished by the uniqueness of their origin and heritage.
The founders of the Lyrarakis Estate decided 40 years ago to get actively involved with winemaking in their native land. The company now known as GEA (Alagni Agricultural Enterprises) was founded in 1966. The family has always used its privately owned vineyards. At that time, the dominant varieties included Vilana, Kotsifali and Mantilaria. After careful selection of the Vilana strain, the first organised planting of this particular variety was completed and served to supply the farmers of the region. But the family’s grape-growing did not stop there. In the late 1980s, there was an attempt to save two rare native varieties, Dafni and Plyto, from the Phylloxera blight. Efforts were ultimately successful as indicated by the wines of the same name first made available by the Lyrarakis company in the early 1990s.
The village of Alagni, from which the Lyrarakis family originated, is located in the heart of Heraklion Prefecture, in the most mountainous area of Crete’s Peza region with the extensive wine-producing tradition (stone-carved wine presses from the Venetian era are scattered throughout the region).
Today, the family vineyard is 15 hectares (37 acres) and produces seven single-variety wines from native grape varieties: The selection of products is rounded off with combined vinification of native and foreign varieties, the best-known of which include Kotsifali-Syrah and Cabernet-Merlot.
Niner Wine Estates Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Jespersen Ranch’s foggy mornings and coastal breezes create perfect growing conditions for Pinot Noir. After hand-harvesting the grapes, we fermented them in small, stainless steel, open-top tanks. About ¼ of the fermentations included a whole-cluster component, which adds a delicate tannin structure, spice and length to the wine. The 2020 vintage includes only the highest quality, free-run juice aged for 10 months in French Oak barrels. The wine is full of red fruit flavors, with a bright and juicy palate underscored by warming potpourri, spice and clay flavors.
VINEYARD Jespersen Ranch is located four miles from the ocean, tucked into the hillsides in the western corner of the Edna Valley. We farm seven different clones of Pinot Noir at this coastal site and it produces wines full of layered flavors, rich color and ample acidity. The 2020 vintage was unforgettable. In the early days of the pandemic the vineyard was a fantastic respite, with mild weather and lucky March rainfall that produced large vine canopies. Moderate Summer weather was then followed up by heat spikes and the California wildfires in early Fall. Thankfully, the vine’s large canopies helped shield the grapes from the heat, and our vineyard escaped the effects of smoke taint and we hand-harvested all of our Pinot Noir in September.
WINEMAKING We have a second winery situated behind our tasting room that is dedicated to our Pinot Noir program. After hand-harvesting the grapes, we ferment them in small, stainless steel, open-top tanks. About ¼ of the fermentations included a whole-cluster component, which adds a delicate tannin structure, spice and length to the wine. The 2020 vintage was comprised of the highest quality, free-run juice and we aged the wine for 10 months in French Oak barrels. The result is a wine full of red fruit flavors, with a bright and juicy palate underscored by warming potpourri, spice and clay flavors.
Rubus Rueda Private Selection White is made from 100% Verdejo.
The Rubus Project was created by Fran Kysela as a way to source & sell incredible wines at value prices. All wines in this international project are hand-selected by Fran Kysela. Rubus wines are fruit driven, true-to-type values that over deliver - a true representation of quality for the consumer at an excellent price.