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Balius Merlot Sonoma Coast 2016

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Balius Merlot Sonoma Coast is made from 100% Merlot - 25 years old

Stainless + partial in French oak 35% for 18 months

The wine boasts enticing aromas of black cherry and blackberry with hints of spice. The palate is rich and concentrated offering cherry flavors and a velvety mouthfeel. It is elegant with balanced acidity, silky tannins and a lingering finish.

Harvest late October 24 brix, aged in oak, small percentage of petite sirah.

Balius Reserve Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2015


 

95% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from three single-vineyard sites in the Chiles Valley AVA in Napa Valley, 5% Merlot from the Oak Knoll AVA in Napa Valley.

On the nose, the 2012 Reserve Block Cabernet shows complex aromas of sweet blackberry coulis, currants, and black licorice. The dense palate is packed with an intense combination of dark red and blue berries, baking spices, and sweet tobacco. The oak is integrated seamlessly, and the perfectly balanced components come together in a smooth finish that lasts for nearly a minute.



Black Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

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 2017

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 2017

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 2016

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 2017

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.

Boich Beckstoffer Georges III Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

This historic heritage site never disappoints. Signature black cherry components are all over the nose and palate with even more dark fruit components and blackberry preserve notes than previous vintages. Fruit-driven with a touch of Rutherford dust on the palate, a curious note of sabarilla and sweet spice make the full-bodied George III Cabernet memorable and intriguing. Soft, round tannins give a hedonistic edge to this wine. With a great length of finish this wine is showing its best in the 2016 vintage.

Vintage Notes – Rain came early in the 2016 growing season providing relief to drought-stricken vines. Flowering returned a small crop, but nearly perfect summer weather helped foster the growing berries. Ideal conditions continued through harvest where fruit was picked at optimal ripeness. The 2016 vintage wines are powerful yet balanced and representative of the unique Napa terroir from which they are sourced.

Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III – Located on the legendary Rutherford bench, this 300-acre site was once home to BV’s George de Latour Private Reserve made by renowned winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. Planted with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, wines from this historic vineyard have long received wide acclaim. Boich Family Cellar is proud to continue the legacy of crafting world-class wines from this esteemed site.

Rutherford AVA – One of Napa Valley’s warmer AVAs, Rutherford is home to some of the most prominent wineries and vineyards. Lying low on the valley floor, this region is composed of well-drained gravel, loam and sand, all of which contribute to the area’s distinguished “Rutherford dust” terroir. Rutherford Cabernets display great elegance, full-bodied flavor and dusty tannins.

Boich Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Boich Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.

22 months in French Oak- Taransaud and Darnajou

Thick, dense and expansive, the Missouri Hopper shows dark fig and cassis preserves, dried cherry and strawberry. Clone 337 from this historic site in southeast Oakville, a touch of molasses and stick spices linger throughout. Despite its saturation and size on the palate, the flavors roll perfectly together through a long and inky finish. This wine has the ability to taste great upon release and cellar well beyond while building complexity and nuance.

Vintage Notes – The fifth consecutively exceptional year for Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 growing season brought early bud break and spring rain. Temperate summer conditions allowed the fruit much needed time to naturally mature on the vine. A near perfect vintage, most vineyards saw slightly lower than average yields, but this coveted crop shows tremendous quality.

Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper – One of Napa Valley’s oldest vineyards, Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper yields ripe fruit full of balance and power. Perfectly trellised vines soak up morning fog from the San Pablo Bay, while the robust foliage of the vines protect growing clusters from summer heat.

Oakville AVA – Lying along the valley floor, Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA brings the best of climate, soil and topography to wine growing. Beyond terroir, Oakville is lined with family-owned vineyards, meticulous farmers and winemakers. Fertile soils promote world-class grape growing conditions, while warm summers and dry, cool autumns are perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Boich Wall Road Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Pure, powerful and polished, the Wall Road shows immense aromas of black currant, blueberry, blackberry preserves and hints of sweet dark herbs. The palate is fully developed and well-structured with firm yet ripe tannins and layers of dried red fruits and currants. There is a forest and sweet herb quality that hints at the signature terroir of this Mountain gem. The finish is long and lingering and lifts the layers of fruit on the palate perfectly.

Vintage Notes – An unseasonably warm start to 2015 brought early bud break and bloom for Napa Valley. Vines began to show fatigue as they entered their fourth year of drought, resulting in lower crop yields than years prior. Unexpected heat meant an early harvest for the valley, one of the earliest on record. Ripened fruit proved to be of tremendous quality, while Cabernets are deep and decadent in color with great balance in tannin.

Wall Road Vineyard – This three-acre gem is located at the northern tip of the Mount Veeder AVA, due west of Oakville and the To Kalon vineyard. True to the Veeder AVA, this site delivers both the power and elegance we strive to achieve in our Mountain Cabernets. The elevation, slope orientation and well-drained soils yield fully ripened small berries with concentrated flavor.

Mount Veeder AVA – Known for its acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, this illustrious appellation produces graceful, expressive and world-renowned wine. Limited by nature, Mount Veeder’s rugged mountain terrain, high elevation and cooling influence from the San Pablo Bay allows for a long growing season that returns low, sought after yields. This results in powerful fruit with distinct berry flavors.

Review:

"This is some very serious stuff. Aromas of tar, vanilla and cloves. But the fruit is delicious with notes of boysenberries, blackcurrants, oranges, lavender, herbs and baking spices. The palate's rich and warming but also calm and composed. Layers of blue fruit, ripe yet integrated tannins, a fine line of acidity and a long finish. The broader style remains so elegant. Drink in 2022."
- James Suckling (May 2018), 95 pts

 95 Points
Bonny Doon Gravitas White Blend 2015

Bonny Doon Gravitas White Blend 61% Semillon, 35% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Gewürztraminer

The nose has the haunting perfume of magnolia flowers and scent of white peaches, with suggestions of ripe Bosc Pear, sweet green grass, exotic saffron and a touch of lavender honey. But wait, there’s more: A bit of bergamot orange blossom, jasmine, and key lime custard, quince and Madagascar vanilla. These aromas are echoed on the palate adding a light, deft, fresh acidity; a savory wine, perfect with all manner of seafood and lighter entrées.

Pairs with oysters, cassoulet, grilled veggies. Staff favorites include blackened fish tacos - or if you're feeling fancy, lobster tacos!

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2017

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare  is made from 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut

No oak.

This wine is quite emblematic of the great sea change that has occurred at Bonny Doon Vineyard since the sell-off/ draw-down of the Ginormous Doonamath, whereby we have essayed a most sincere effort to make “quieter” wines in a more natural, less manipulated fashion. As such, this Vin Gris is made from bespoke grapes and is not a byproduct of red wine production, per se. We harvested at the appropriate ripeness level for its style. The essential principle here is that less is truly more. The wine does not overwhelm one with fruitybombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The ’17 Vin Gris is a return to form from recent vintages, and a true expression of a proper Vin Gris, which is to say a pale pink wine made with the scantest skin contact. As a result, the wine is somewhat lighter and more delicate on the palate with minimal astringency and perhaps more of a floral aspect than doonright fruitiness. The perfume of this wine is subtle, haunting, not vulgar or tawdry, like some of the louche rosés de la nuit. Enfin, this wine is all about elegance and restraint. Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish.
The wine does not overwhelm one with fruity-bombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The Grenache for our Vin Gris came from bespoke sections of the Alta Loma Vineyard, harvested at the appropriate maturity level for this elegant style of wine. About 24% of the wine is composed of traditional white Rhône varieties in substantial part from the Beeswax Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco district of Monterey, adding a surprising richness and foundation. We also employed the practice of postfermentation bâtonnage—the stirring or re-suspension of yeast lees—to give the wine a certain creaminess of texture.

Varietal Blend: 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut. 
Appellation: Central Coast
Vineyards: 41% Alta Loma, 13% Beeswax, 11% Bokisch Ranch, 8% JD Farming, 6% San Miguel, 7% Cass, 5% Gonsalves, 4% Scheid, 3% Wente, 1% Rancho Solo, 1% Ventan
Alcohol by Volume: 13.2%
TA: 4.5 g/L
pH: 3.42

This wine just begs for oysters or stone crab.

Review:

- Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2018), 90 pts, BEST BUY - YEAR'S BEST ROSES

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2017

Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare  is made from 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut

No oak.

This wine is quite emblematic of the great sea change that has occurred at Bonny Doon Vineyard since the sell-off/ draw-down of the Ginormous Doonamath, whereby we have essayed a most sincere effort to make “quieter” wines in a more natural, less manipulated fashion. As such, this Vin Gris is made from bespoke grapes and is not a byproduct of red wine production, per se. We harvested at the appropriate ripeness level for its style. The essential principle here is that less is truly more. The wine does not overwhelm one with fruitybombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The ’17 Vin Gris is a return to form from recent vintages, and a true expression of a proper Vin Gris, which is to say a pale pink wine made with the scantest skin contact. As a result, the wine is somewhat lighter and more delicate on the palate with minimal astringency and perhaps more of a floral aspect than doonright fruitiness. The perfume of this wine is subtle, haunting, not vulgar or tawdry, like some of the louche rosés de la nuit. Enfin, this wine is all about elegance and restraint. Rosehips, cassis, fraises de bois, citrus rind, with a wonderfully austere stony finish.
The wine does not overwhelm one with fruity-bombasticity; it’s charms are seductively subtle. An extremely elegant and complex Vin Gris de Cigare.

The Grenache for our Vin Gris came from bespoke sections of the Alta Loma Vineyard, harvested at the appropriate maturity level for this elegant style of wine. About 24% of the wine is composed of traditional white Rhône varieties in substantial part from the Beeswax Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco district of Monterey, adding a surprising richness and foundation. We also employed the practice of postfermentation bâtonnage—the stirring or re-suspension of yeast lees—to give the wine a certain creaminess of texture.

Varietal Blend: 57% Grenache, 18% Grenache Blanc, 9% Mourvèdre, 6% Roussanne, 5% Carignane, 5% Cinsaut. 
Appellation: Central Coast
Vineyards: 41% Alta Loma, 13% Beeswax, 11% Bokisch Ranch, 8% JD Farming, 6% San Miguel, 7% Cass, 5% Gonsalves, 4% Scheid, 3% Wente, 1% Rancho Solo, 1% Ventan
Alcohol by Volume: 13.2%
TA: 4.5 g/L
pH: 3.42

This wine just begs for oysters or stone crab.

Review:

- Wine & Spirits Magazine (June 2018), 90 pts, BEST BUY - YEAR'S BEST ROSES

 90 Points
Bonny Doon Viognier Vin de Glaciere 2017 (half-bottle)

It has been a number of years since the very last “Vin de Glacière,” a wine that was enormously successful for Bonny Doon Vineyard in the day. After Randall Grahm sold off the large brands, he had resolved to commit Bonny Doon to wines made in a far less interventionist or “inflected” manner. So much for quixotic aspiration. (They’re still getting calls to bring back the Vin de Glacière.) Perhaps someday they will enjoy naturally occurring botrytis in the Popelouchum vineyard and be capable of making “natural” dessert wines. But, the opportunity to make a dessert wine from the Viognier they were offered this year in this instance was quite compelling, and while the methodology for its production is not historically accurate, the sweet style of Viognier does have an historical precedent.

Tasting Notes
On the nose, you will find the subtle suggestion of white flower, Mirabelle plum, as well as the honeyed character of apricot and an unnamed highly exotic tropical fruit. These flavors carry through to the palate, coupled with further elements of citrus peel and clove. While reasonably sweet (165 g. of residual sugar), the wine is not at all cloying in virtue of its impeccable acidity. The wine will of course work exceptionally well as a dessert wine, especially paired with fruit desserts, but for sublime elegance, consider it as an apéritif with foie gras, or if you’re averse to that concept, perhaps a rich trout mousse.

Vineyard Notes
We were somewhat overdoon for a dessert wine in our line-up, and the Viognier grapes from Camp Four Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley were an excellent choice for this style.


Production Notes
Naturally high in sugar as well naturally high in acid, we subjected the juice to cryoextraction, i.e. froze the grape must and separated the sweeter juice from the remaining ice, a slightly different methodology than what we deployed when making our “wines of the ice-box", lo so many years ago.

Varietal Blend: 
Appellation: Santa Ynez Valley
Alcohol by Volume: 11.4%
Sugar Post-Freezing: 34° brix
TA: 8.5 g/L
pH: 3.39
Production: 679 cases

Apricot clafoutis with almonds. Creme brulee. Peach cobbler. Mirabelle plum tart. Pineapple upside down cake. Blue cheese, such as Pt. Reyes or Rogue River Blue (with stone fruit preserves wouldn’t hurt).

Bydand Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015

Bydand Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley  is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged for 22 months in 80% new French oak, 20% neutral French oak

Located in the heart of the Rutherford Bench the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits all of the characteristics that make this one of Napa Valley’s most popular grape growing areas. Revealing deep and polished flavors of dusty earth and wild berry this wine finishes with fine-grained tannins that produce a complex and vibrant finish.



Bydand Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2015

Bydand Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is made from 100% Chardonnay

Aged for 16 months in 30% new French oak, 70% neutral French oak

Farmed by one of California’s most respected and longest operating grape-growing families, the Roberts Road Vineyard is located in the Petaluma Gap. Sitting on well draining gravel soils, coastal winds allow for a long, slow and even growing season. Planted in 1998 these Dijon 95 grapes provide minerality and vibrancy to a full-bodied wine with impressive purity of flavor and mouth-feel. French oak barrels add subtle toast to aromas of pear, stone fruits and white citrus.

Bydand Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2014

Bydand Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast  is made from 100% Pinot Noir

Aged for 16 months in 40% new French oak, 60% neutral French oak

Umino Vineyard is perched atop rolling hills overlooking the Petaluma Gap in Sebastopol, CA. Taking advantage of maritime influence this 11-acre vineyard benefits from warm sunshine throughout the day and cool coastal winds at night. Planted in 1996 to 4 Dijon Clones of Pinot Noir these vines produce wine of purity and balance. Exhibiting rich flavors and aromas of crushed rose petal, raspberry and cherry cola with earthy minerality and lively acidity.

Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain 2014

Early to bud and early to ripen, the 2014 vintage was our third drought year in a row. Dry, even temperatures marched the grapes along at a steady clip all year and created a wine with beautifully integrated fruit, acidity, and tannin.
Dense and dark magenta in color, this is a lithe and energetic vintage with lifted aromatics and a purity of fruit that lights up the medium-bodied tannin structure. The nose promises fresh black fruits, cherries and a touch of graphite, and the palate completely delivers. Juicy blackberry, plum, and bright cherry explode in the mouth, and develop into savory notes of baked black fruit and fresh pencil shavings on the mid-palate. 
Eagle Summit Vineyard’s signature eucalyptus appears on the back palate to brighten the fruit, showing fragrant peppermint and warm, toasty spices through the finish. Whether you open it young or wait a few decades, this vintage does Howell Mountain proud--sophisticated and smart, with a rustic wild side.

Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Aged in 100% French oak (86% new)

• 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain
• Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7
• unfined and unfiltered

Review:

"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet aged 20 months in 86% new French oak, with the typical suspects in terms of cooperage – Darnajou, Taransaud, and Remond. This opaque purple-colored wine has plenty of mulberry and blackcurrant fruit along with hints of blackberries, camphor and incense. The are some notes of unsmoked cigar and licorice as well. Ripe, medium to full-bodied and luscious, it is a classic to drink over the next 15 or more years. - RP"

- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #228, December 2016), 90 pts


 Wine Advocate: 90
Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt. 2015

Cresta Velia Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mt. is made from 100 percent Napa Cabernet Sauvignon.


Here we go again. It seems as though I’m saying the same thing year after year. Another excellent vintage from Howell Mountain. And once again it’s true. The wine shows deep purple color concentration with both sweet and savory aromatics on the nose. Blackberries, currants, freshly turned soil and black licorice attack your nostrils from the glass. Rich, broad and full bodied as this wine  is the vineyard once again provides the balancing influence of acidity and tannin and helps usher in the finishing notes of roasted meats, cigar box, fennel and more black and blue fruit. If 2012 and 2013 Cresta Velia had a baby it would be the 2015. Incredible concentration from the 2013 with generous portions of fruit from 2012. And although you are not supposed to have a favorite child, if I had to choose I think it would be 2015...until we release the 2016.


100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Eagle Summit Vineyard on Howell Mountain

Equal amounts of clone 4 and clone 7

100% percent french oak 73% new 27% used

unfined and unfiltered

144 cases

Delta Landing Zinfandel Lodi 2013

Delta Landing:
An extensive system of estuaries where water flows throughout the coast range connecting a series of waterways and wetlands. This isolated and exotic confluence of rivers promotes one of the most unique and fertile agricultural areas in the world. Warm breezy summers coupled with sharp foggy winters creates enticing varietals that will enchant your palate.

Tasting Notes: Opulent and bold, the Lodi Zinfandel is alluring and powerful yet perfectly balanced. The fruit is lusty and pepper tinged with deliciously smooth, intense red and black fruit flavors of cherries, raspberries and blackberries. This juicy, medium bodied wine shows off bright acids and soft tannins for an exhilarating and significant finish.

Delta Landing Zinfandel Lodi 2014

Delta Landing:
An extensive system of estuaries where water flows throughout the coast range connecting a series of waterways and wetlands. This isolated and exotic confluence of rivers promotes one of the most unique and fertile agricultural areas in the world. Warm breezy summers coupled with sharp foggy winters creates enticing varietals that will enchant your palate.

Tasting Notes: Opulent and bold, the Lodi Zinfandel is alluring and powerful yet perfectly balanced. The fruit is lusty and pepper tinged with deliciously smooth, intense red and black fruit flavors of cherries, raspberries and blackberries. This juicy, medium bodied wine shows off bright acids and soft tannins for an exhilarating and significant finish.


 
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Manoir du Carra Beaujolais-Villages 2017

Manoir du Carra Beaujolais-Villages is 100% Gamay. Wine is produced from a selection of old vines (70 to 100 years old). Yield: 40-45 hl/ha
Manual harvest; selection of the best grapes using a sorting table; semi-carbonic maceration for 10-12 days.


Vendange manuelle exclusivement, sélection des meilleurs grappes sur une table de tri vibrante puis encuvage pour une macération dite semi-carbonique, de 10 à 12 jours.


Aged in large oak barrels (foudres) for 3-4 months. No filtration. Egg white fining.


Manoir du Carra Beaujolais-Villages presents with ruby red color, black berry and cherry aromas. Ample in the mouth, very elegant and long lingering finish.