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Wine from California

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Wine from California

There are more than 427,000 acres of grape vines planted in California, covering over 700 miles from Riverside County to Mendocino County. The wine regions in California are divided into four different regions. California would be the fourth largest wine producer on the planet if it were a country.

The 107 American Viticulture Areas include the Sonoma Valley Napa, Rutherford, Russian River Valley, and  AVAs. California’s Central Valley is the largest wine region and stretches for more than 300 miles from the northern Sacramento Valley to the southern San Joaquin Valley. Almost 75% of all California wine grapes are produced here including California's bulk, box and jug wine producers like Franzia, Gallo, and the Bronco Wine Company.


California is divided into four regions that include the North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, and the Central Valley. The North Coast includes Sonoma County, Napa Valley, Mendocino, and Lake County. The Central Coast covers the Santa Clara Valley, San Lucas, Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, San Lucas, The Santa Ynez Valley, Livermore Valley, and Santa Barbara County. The South Coast includes Temecula Valley, Leona/Antelope Valley, Ramona Valley, and San Pasqual Valley. California’s Central Valley includes the Sierra Foothills and the most notable being Lodi.
 

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Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir 2018

Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.

Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.

Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.

Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.

Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.

Review:

"A more limited production cuvée, the 2018 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue is a big, ripe, sexy beast of a Pinot Noir delivering loads of black cherry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with plenty of spring flowers, sappy herb, and forest-like nuances. Full-bodied, it has a hedonistic, sweetly fruited style, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It doesn’t pull any punches yet stays balanced, textured, and a joy to drink. It should keep for 5-7 years or so.”

- Jeb Dunnuck, 95 pts



 95 Points
Argot Chardonnay Sonoma County 2018

Argot Chardonnay Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 

Pouring a green-tinted gold, our Sonoma County Chardonnay is a beautiful wine from word go. Radiating from within, a blast of apple/pear fruit informs this wine both aromatically, and on the palate. As flavors unfurl, a progression of orange blossom, pineapple, white peach, and hazlenut are followed by a finish dominated by ginger, baked apple, with a trailing kiss of mint’s freshness. A stunning wine — wholly informed by the perfection of 2018’s growing season — defined by its dichotomy of massively intense flavors, and superb acidity and freshness.

 Raised by minimalistic methods, often associated with the classic Chardonnay winemaking techniques of Meursault. With a focus on the coolest Chardonnay region in Sonoma County, 2018’s long, even growing season favored our vineyards’ moderate climate, old vines and deep volcanic soils. These grapes were allowed an extended ripening period on the vine, resulting in perfect balance and concentrated flavors.





Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir 2016

Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Sourced from both high-elevation and valley floor vineyards, located in the cool-climate AVAs of Sonoma Mountain, Bennett Valley and Petaluma Gap. A drama-free growing season allowed for a leisurely harvest of perfectly ripe, healthy fruit. Low-stress, clean ferments, led to an exceptionally pure Pinot Noir, laden with fruit, earth and spice.

Review:

"Medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Mosaic has a pretty nose of pink peppercorn, herbs and dusty earth over a core of savory black fruit and spices. Medium-bodied, it gives good layers of flavors in the mouth with concentrated black fruits and loads of spice, grainy tannins to support and a long, lingering finish. Yum! 600 cases produced.. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown" - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 92+ pts

 Wine Advocate: 92
Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir 2017

Argot Mosaic Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Sourced from both high-elevation and valley floor vineyards, located in the cool-climate AVAs of Sonoma Mountain, Bennett Valley and Petaluma Gap. A drama-free growing season allowed for a leisurely harvest of perfectly ripe, healthy fruit. Low-stress, clean ferments, led to an exceptionally pure Pinot Noir, laden with fruit, earth and spice.


Argot Mosaic Syrah 2016

Argot Mosaic Syrah  is made from 87% Syrah, 13% Grenache (10 years old)

An impressively rich, intensely flavored wine with significant body and structure. A Syrah that hearkens to the wild, spice-driven Syrahs of the Southern Rhone.

Review:

"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS

 Wine Spectator: 93
Argot Pinot Noir Sonoma County 2018

Argot Pinot Noir Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Everything you have come to expect from an Argot Pinot Noir, shone through the filter of a textbook-perfect vintage. We simply can not get over the quality of fruit this wine displays! Intense, yet fresh; fruity, yet spicy; brambly, yet juicy; immediate, yet lingering. A Pinot Noir that displays the variety’s natural come-hither attitude, while succinctly capturing its intriguing nature. There are not enough superlatives to describe this wine. Almost too easy to love!

VINEYARD   Multiple vineyards throughout Sonoma County, including both valley floor and high-elevation hillside sites
PRODUCTION   600 cases
VARIETAL   100% Pinot Noir
CRUSH   Night harvested by hand beginning in mid-September, concluding at our coolest sit on October 13. Cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing
FERMENT   7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top containers, with the grapes fermenting on their skins for an average time of 14 days.
AGING   16 months, French oak barrels, 7% new, remainder once-used.  Never racked prior to bottling.  Bottled un-fined, unfiltered.
NOTES Singularly great. 2018 was an all-time vintage for California’s North Coast, achieving rarely before experienced heights. A mild summer gave way to Autumnal perfection, allowing cooler areas the opportunity to ripen their crop while chemistries remained perfect. What arrives in bottle is nothing short of a pinnacle representation of Sonoma County Pinot Noir — profound depth of pure, red Pinot Noir fruits, caressing textures balanced by deep minerality and a quenching acidity.




Argot Posted Syrah 2016

No Syrah terroir in Sonoma County compares with Sonoma Mountain’s northwest crown—cool fog-affected mornings, sun-bathed afternoons, cooled by persistent coastal breezes, and temperate evenings. The soils in Steiner’s Syrah blocks — ashy and moondust-like, littered with decomposing sea bed — further contribute to the unique nature of this site. After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.

VINEYARD: Steiner Vineyard. Located at 1,100 ft, on the northwest crown of Sonoma Mountain. CRUSH: Early morning harvest by hand, October 1st, cluster and berry sorted, destemmed and crushed. FERMENT: 5-day cold soaks, followed by 14 day native fermentation in open-top bins. AGING: 20 months, French oak, 100% new, mixture of 300L hogsheads and barrique shapes. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.

Review:

"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS

 Wine Spectator: 93
Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Argot Starstruck Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot (15-25 years old)

Sourcing from vineyards scattered throughout Napa Valley’s spectrum of terroirs, this wine arrives in the glass with a great complexity of personality. Remaining true to last vintage’s bottling, 2016’s Starstruck pours a vibrant purple, offering vibrant aromatics, regal structure and great freshness. Where this bottling has evolved, is by way of Sage Ridge’s warmer, up-valley, higher elevation, red-fruited power, which bolsters the dark blue/purple, cool-fruited character of the other three, cooler-climate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Further, the addition of Merlot has added a wonderful juiciness in both flavor and structure. A palate’s tour of Napa Valley’s myriad terroir — sunbaked ridgetops; forested hillsides; orange-soils; cooling, maritime winds; dense, fog-shrouded mornings. While 2016 keeps with the theme from previous vintages, new flourishes have been added to the mix — a warmer, up-valley vineyard, along with a dollop of Merlot — to up the ante. This cuvee opens to an alluring approach-ability, vibrance, and kiss of juiciness, by way of baked red pie-fruits. On a beam of blood orange accents, a powerfully precise delineation of intense dark fruits flushes out the palate. A singularly delicious and complex representation of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley, that begs to be devoured.

Sourced from four Napa Valley vineyards — Suscol Ranch’s orange, iron-laden soils; Sugarloaf West’s fiercely steep hillside; Sugarloaf East’s south-facing, ferociously rocky “soils”; Sage Ridge’s geographically dramatic ridgetop vineyard in far-eastern Napa. CRUSH: Hand-harvested at night, to protect fruit integrity — Sage Ridge, 9/12, 9/26; Sugarloafs and Suscol, 10/13. Cluster sorted, destemmed, berry sorted by hand, fully crushed. FERMENT: 7-day cold soaks, an average of 20 days skin contact. Individual vineyards raised separately, blended shortly before bottling. AGING: 20 months in French oak, 80% new. Suscol Ranch barrels racked once at twelve months. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.

Review:

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Starstruck is a step up and offers more density and depth, as well as the classic purity of fruit that makes this vintage so compelling. Ripe, powerful notes of blueberries, cassis, green tobacco, and graphite all flow to a full-bodied Cabernet that has loads of fruit, ripe tannins, good acidity, and the class to evolve for upwards of two decades. Bravo!" - Jeb Dunnuck (January 2019), 94 pts

 94 Points
Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

The Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon is garnet red in color, refreshing and inviting to the palate. The wine’s aromas are layered with rich plum notes and a warm cedar component. The ripe, dark cherry flavors, are reminiscent of decadent blackberries with a nice sprinkling of dried herbs. With a mellow tannin structure, this medium-bodied wine is delicious and well-integrated.

Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

The Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon is garnet red in color, refreshing and inviting to the palate. The wine’s aromas are layered with rich plum notes and a warm cedar component. The ripe, dark cherry flavors, are reminiscent of decadent blackberries with a nice sprinkling of dried herbs. With a mellow tannin structure, this medium-bodied wine is delicious and well-integrated.

Black Oak Chardonnay 2018

There are wonderful aromas of summer-ripe peaches with tropical fruits and flowers. The silky-smooth flavors are reminiscent of baked apples and toasty vanilla bean. The lively acidity makes this an extremely well-balanced Chardonnay. The finish is long and fruity, with an interesting hint of hazelnuts. This wine’s overall taste profiles is creamy with apricots and lemons.

Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2016

Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The winery takes its name from a major equestrian area that once occupied the grounds. Its calling card is Cabernet Sauvignon, made in a classic Napa Valley style that offers richness and finesse. While single-vineyard wines are occasionally bottled, most Black Stallion wines are made from small lots cherry-picked from the valley’s disparate winegrowing zones. These are then painstakingly blended to create luxurious, unforgettable wines that capture the depth and brilliance of Napa Valley’s diverse growing regions.

This elegant wine begins with aromas of blackberry, black cherry and sandal wood. Flavors of black currant, fennel and lavender are followed by soft acidity and spiced fruit finish. Pairs well with hearty meat dishes. For a cheese selection, Comte, aged Gouda and Point Reyes Original Blue are suggested.

Review:

The name Black Stallion is a tribute to the Silverado equestrian centre, which once occupied the site now home to the winery. Grapes for its Limited Release wines are sourced from higher elevations in the valley, contributing greater power and concentration. Drinking Window 2020 - 2045

-Decanter 95 Points


 95 Points
Booker Fracture Paso Robles Syrah 2018

Booker Fracture is made from 100 percent Syrah.

Often described as a Booker flagship, Fracture is one of the world’s great Syrahs. Only the softest Syrah in barrel makes the cut for this dense and powerful wine. The namesake pays homage to the calcareous soil in our vineyard, the limestone causes it to ‘fracture’. Deep and mysterious at first sight, the 2018 vintage is rich and velvety on your palate. There is an interesting balance of earth and fruit, with traces of sweet beets, dark plums and chocolate. Though this silky wine will pair with anything, our thoughts are going to salty popcorn by the fire or Dutch Gouda cheese with some black truffle mustard. 




Review:

The inky colored 2018 Fracture is another wine that’s going to push at the upper limits of the grading scale. Awesome crème de cassis, charred meats, graphite, plenty of minerality, and subtle oak nuances all flow to a powerful, full-bodied, beautifully balanced Syrah. Similar in style to the 2017 with its powerful yet elegant vibe as well as good acidity, it’s a magical Paso Robles Syrah in the making.

- Jeb Dunnuck 98-100

 100 Points
Booker Tempranillo 2017

Booker Tempranillo is made from 100 percent Tempranillo.

Tempranillo is the smallest planting on the Booker estate and thus the smallest production of all of the Booker wines.  We rarely make more than 200 cases of this wine each vintage. This wine reminds me of cracking an old library book.  Tempranillo is such a warm and comforting varietal with soft, rounded tannins.  The palate shows luscious fruits like dark plums and just a touch of black licorice. This bold wine should pair nicely with a steak dinner, shrimp and grits, or maybe some BBQ bacon-wrapped asparagus.


Review:

Along with Epoch, Jensen makes one of the finest Tempranillo out there. The 2017 Tempranillo offers terrific blue fruits, pepper, violets, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied, with remarkable purity, plenty of classic Tempranillo tannins, and a great finish. It has upfront charm given its balance, yet I suspect it will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age. - Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points

 97 Points
Booker Vertigo Red Blend 2017

Booker Vertigo Red Blend is made from 55% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre, 20% Grenache.

Vertigo is our Syrah-heavy "G-S-M".  It is spicy, structured, and always performs.  The name is a nod to the steepness of the hillside on our estate where we grow the fruit for this wine. Starts with aromas of spice, dark chocolate and soft purple fruits on the nose. The palate surprises you with a touch of cayenne amongst juicy ripe fruit. We recommend making this your BBQ staple. Pair with pork ribs, bourbon chicken, or “bring on the bacon” to quote our tasting room team!

Review:

I loved the 2017 Vertigo from barrel, and it didn’t disappoint from bottle. A blend of 63% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, and the rest Grenache and Petite Sirah, brought up in 65% new French oak, this full-bodied, massively endowed 2017 has complex notes of blue fruits, blood orange, violets, and exotic spices. As with all Eric’s 2017s, it’s rich and concentrated yet has remarkable purity and elegance at the same time. It’s one of the finest GSM blends out there and will shine for at least 8-10 years. - Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points

 99 Points
Brandlin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Brandlin Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 76% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Malbec 7% Cabernet Franc 2% Petit Verdot. 

The 2016 vintage was a near perfect year, producing wines of opulence and intensity. The terroir of the Brandlin vineyard naturally thickens the grape skins, developing deep color and tannin while also creating remarkably small berries.   Our 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon offers inky, dark fruit, and a plush mouthfeel while boasting notes of blackberry, mocha, fig, dates and dense black currant fruit accented with hints of nettle, earth and clove.

Brandlin is a Napa Valley estate that produces wine from a small, historic vineyard in the Mount Veeder appellation. The wines pay homage to the Brandlin family. As early as the 1870s, the Brandlins settled on these steep, rocky slopes, and became grape growing pioneers in Napa's Mount Veeder region. With over 50 years' of experience, Henry Brandlin staked the family’s claim to this estate and planted their own vineyards in 1926.In 1998 Cuvaison Estate Wines was honored by Henry’s son, Chester Brandlin, with rights to purchase Brandlin Vineyard. Respectfully maintaining the integrity of the estate, only a fraction of the land has been planted to vineyards carefully designed to honor the integral beauty of the property. Glens of old oak trees and sustainable viticultural practices support natural biodiversity and abundant wildlife.We brought to Brandlin Vineyard all the lessons of Cuvaison Estate Wines' 38 years of viticulture - great care in the study of sun exposures and soil types, and profound respect for the environment. Our intention is to honor the Brandlin family with a namesake vineyard that produces intense and elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. - Steven Rogstad, Winemaker


Review:

This has the expressive fruit and racy spine of the vintage, mixing plum and blackberry paste flavors with a graphite edge, while extra sassafras and bramble notes add energy to the finish. Solid. Best from 2022 through 2032. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 2,226 cases made.

-Wine Spectator 93 Points


 Wine Spectator: 93
Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2017

Buccella Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec and 3% Merlot.

Our Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted from diverse, premium fruits thoughtfully cultivated by a variety of small vineyards spanning the Napa Valley. Low yields and great clonal pedigree, combined with meticulous farming within a variety of different appellations, are essential to producing our Cabernet Sauvignon. We believe it’s this blend of intensely ripe fruit that results in our wine’s unique character, complexity, depth and balance.

A fragrant nose introduces our classic, rich and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon which is filled with bright red fruits, black cherry and sweet violet aromas. The palate bursts with flavors of ripe blackberry, juicy raspberry and lovely notes of mocha that are surrounded by nuances of sweet cigar box and crushed stone minerality. Deep color and finely grained tannins that lend pleasing structure, round out this wine. Our use of several vineyards from different appellations enhances the layered complexity that makes this fruit-focused wine so exceptional. Utilizing blending varietals such as Malbec and Merlot impart exquisite dark fruit and a plush mid-palate only further adding to the multi-layers. Enjoy


Buccella Cuvee Katrina Eileen Napa Valley 2017

Buccella Cuvee Katrina Eileen Napa Valley is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Named after our first-born daughter, Cuvée Katrina Eileen is primarily composed of fruit from a vineyard in the Western Hills of Yountville, where yields are miniscule. The extremely rocky soil of the vineyard produces concentrated clusters of perfectly ripened Cabernet Sauvignon. In German, the name “Katrina” represents purity and fittingly, this wine is made entirely from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, providing a pure expression of this decadent varietal. It also reflects our daughter’s personality with flavors that are complex, unreserved and expressive.

Always a 100% Cabernet blend, our 2017 Cuvée Katrina Eileen is an opulent and mouth-enriching wine. Captivated by the inky-black color, luscious scents of dark espresso and cinnamon stick leap out, along with powerful elements of graphite and cassis. Remarkably rich and seamless, while boasting flavors of blueberry compote, dark chocolate and black raspberries, this is a compelling and luxurious wine focused upon velvety texture, silky tannins and incredible length. An intentional breadth on the palate and length in the finish are hallmarks of this wine.


Buccella Merlot Napa Valley 2018

Buccella Merlot Napa Valley is made from  94% Merlot and 6% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our Merlot fruit comes from two blocks atop a knoll in the famed Hyde Vineyard, where harvests typically yield less than two tons per acre. It’s a youthful wine that’s invitingly approachable, while still offering the richness and decadence we love.

Our Merlot is fresh and vibrant, yet also lavishly textured and elegantly fine-tuned. With a swirl of the glass, you are enticed with aromas of sumptuous ripe plums, warm baking spices and a touch of sweet vanilla. Savory and structured, flavors ooze with raspberry jam, hazelnut spread and concentrated plum. Immersed in lush red fruits, each sip of this voluptuous wine hits pleasantly at the beautiful round mid-palate, then evenly dissipates leaving you yearning for another taste.


Buccella Mica Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Buccella Mica Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Malbec.

Mica stitches together fruit from Oakville, Yountville, St Helena, and Coombsville in a way that embellishes the best qualities from each iconic AVA, without losing sight of balance. A generous and concentrated wine with black cherry and blackberry aromas with layers of dark chocolate, tobacco and licorice. The palate is fresh and vibrant with lush and smooth tannins and flavors of dark chocolate, fresh herbs and tobacco.

Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County 2018

Buccella Mixed Blacks Amador County is made from 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 2% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier.

For some time now, we have shared a love of Rhone Valley blends and their domestic counterparts. We wanted to experiment with some completely different varietals by putting our California twist on the beautiful interplay between the bright fruit and mineral characteristics of these blends while still maintaining the rich, fruit focused, layered lusciousness we enjoy. We are fortunate to be working with fruit from the exceptional Shake Ridge Vineyard in Amador County. It is a fantastically well-managed site with a diverse soil composition, producing a wine with an incredible flavor profile and depth.

Our Mixed Blacks is an exotic and constantly evolving wine crafted from unique varietals. The palate explodes with luscious flavors of bright boysenberry and blueberry cream followed by Chinese five spice, cinnamon and white pepper. Tantalizing notes of tangy pomegranate and zesty orange peel dance effortlessly on the nose with a beautiful floral essence of sweet lavender and a hint of rose petal. An uplifting presence of natural acidity and alluring minerality adds to the intrigue of this wine. The well-integrated sweet tannins give way to a long intoxicating finish.


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