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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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Ancien Chardonnay Carneros 2017

Ancien Chardonnay Carneros is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 

Chardonnay Carneros owes its style, depth, and structure to intensely flavored, low yielding, heirloom clones growing in two Carneros vineyards: on the Napa side, the Toyon Farm and on the Sonoma side, the Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. Ancien Wines hand-selected the cuttings themselves, from older vineyards in the Carneros area. These cuttings are reputed to have origins tracing to Paul Masson who imported them from Burgundy in the early 1940’s, from Louis Latour's renowned Corton Charlemagne vineyard. These selections are often referred to as “Old Wente”or “Robert Young,”denoting the sourced mother blocks in the 1960s.

Notes of ripe apple and honeydew melon greet and are delicately perfumed by notes of freesia and citrus blossom. Brighter notes of lime and Meyer lemon match the refreshing acidity of this wine, balanced by a creamy palate and leading to a finish that will continue to lengthen in the coming months. A wonderfully textured and vibrant Chardonnay displaying the best of Carneros.

Chardonnay Carneros is guided toward a layered, complex, and expressive style that develops gracefully in the bottle and shows enticing minerality, vivacious fruit, length and structure. The watchword is balance. Grapes were pressed as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French oak from four different coopers, chosen for their unique synergism and support of the fruit on the palate. One third of the barrels were new. A variety of yeasts were used, including native strains, and fermentation proceeded evenly and slowly, averaging a cool 55°F. The wine was aged on its yeast lees, which were stirred weekly through the spring.

Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros 2017

Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.

Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.


Review:

Lively in brooding black fruit, this wine is balanced in richness and length, with a lasting wealth of baking spice and black tea. Well integrated, it forms a cohesive experience on the smooth, seductive palate, finding a balance across all its components

-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points 


 Wine Enthusiast: 93
Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance 2018

Ancien Pinot Noir Russian River Jouissance is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

Jouissance comes from the southwestern corner of the appellation, only nominally protected by the coastal hills and open to the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean, is the single source for these grapes. The soils here are sandy loam and very well drained, typical for the Russian River Valley. The cooler sections of Russian River, near Sebastopol, are known for producing explosive and aromatic fruit flavors balanced with acidity and earthy aromas. All seventeen rows are planted with Dijon 115 clone, nudging the wine toward perfumed aromas and light spice notes as a compliment to the lush fruitiness derived from the soils.

Notes of strawberry and tart pie cherry are accompanied by notes of sweet vanillin, toasted hazelnut and coffee as an introduction to this joyfully juicy blend of rich fruit and earthy spice. The wine opens to a well integrated mid-palate of dark berries, toffee and cassis. The broad palate is elevated and brightened with a mouthwatering acidity that welcomes this wine to the table. Sassafras, herbal notes and baking spices are revealed in the satisfying finish.


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
Belle Glos Balade Pinot Noir 2019

Belle Glos Balade Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

Bright cherry red with bold, vibrant aromas of blackberry jam, raspberry tart and toasted oak accented by subtle notes of rose petal, violets and cherry cola. This wine is juicy and generous on the palate with baked cherry, fresh strawberry, cranberry and baking spices. Perfectly balanced with bright acidity and a supple mouthfeel. Fine grained tannins provide an authentic textural distinction and structural depth.

Review:

A dark, purple-red color in the glass, this single-block study begins with spicy aromas of cola and root beer as well as intense but not overripe berry and cherry aspects, a touch of toasty oak and an earthy, tar-like scent. The palate is rich with baked boysenberry-pie flavors but also deep and complex with loamy soil and more cola spice. The structure is tightly woven. Drink now through 2034.

-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points


 Wine Enthusiast: 94
Belle Glos Clark And Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019

Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

Deep ruby red in color with scarlet highlights, Clark & Telephone opens with bountiful aromas of red fruits of cranberry and raspberry jam, laced with clove, cedar, and holiday baking spices. Bold and complex flavors of crushed ripe cherry, cranberry and blueberry pie linger on the palate. The texture is rich and lively, and leads into a warm and structured finish.

Review:

Rich, ripe and powerful, with notes of chocolate tart and Asian spice to the dark plum and cherry flavors. Forest floor and plenty of toasty accents linger on the finish, with blackberry jam hints. Drink now through 2025. 8,375 cases made

-Wine Spectator 92 Points


 Wine Spectator: 92
Belle Glos Eulenoch Pinot Noir 2017

Belle Glos Eulenoch Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Ruby red with aromas of ripe cherry and juicy blackberry with hints of cocoa. Rich and opulent offering flavors of bakers chocolate, blackberry, and sweet pipe tobacco. Well rounded with supple, refined tannins and a mouthwatering, long finish.

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 Oak Pinot Noir 2019

Black Oak Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir. 

The Black Oak Pinot Noir is a glowing example of what they do best in Puglia, make great wine. Deep ruby in color with a lovely bouquet of sweet spices, even a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavors are flowing with ripe black cherry. This medium-bodied wine with its fresh acidity will complement many meal selections.

Black Oak White Zinfandel 2019

The Black Oak White Zinfandel is a wonderful warm weather sipper. This is sometimes called our ‘hammock wine’ for lazy days by the river.

Lovely perfume aromas that remind one of ripe melons, honeysuckle in summer, and cherry blossoms in spring. The flavors are bright and delicately sweet, with a very good balance of fresh acidity that lightens up the complex texture. The succulent flavors are of juicy tangerine, white peaches and just picked strawberries. All this with an additional hint of lemon-lime and sass that make this a very approachable and fun wine selection.

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
Black Stallion Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Limited Release 2017

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:

With lifted acidity, this wine takes on a mineral aspect of crushed rock and iron, the tannins substantial in weight and force. Textured, the wine is robustly ripe in black cherry, plum and currant, with a note of dill that lingers from the oak.

-Wine Enthusiast 90 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 90
Showing 1 to 21 of 243 (12 Pages)
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