Tag Archive for: 3.5

Napa Valley Wine Reviews and Ratings

03 Jan
January 3, 2013

A Tale of Two Mountain Wines

One of the many things that intrigue me about wine is how the geography and environmental conditions of grapes can influence its “personality” so greatly – even within the same region. Mountain-sourced wines are especially known for their structure and ageability due to the stress the vines endure during the growing process. In higher elevations, rainfall drains to the valley below, making these grapes much more concentrated. To our benefit, this produces truly unique and complex wines.

Heading into New Year’s Eve, we opened two drastically different Napa Valley mountain icons.

Wine Reviews and Ratings
  • Vieux-OS 2009 Old Vine Zinfandel (Black Sears Vineyard) – Schrader Cellars produces this full-bodied wine from 35-year-old Howell Vieux-OS 2009Mountain vines. Zinfandel is known for its spice and bright fruit but this one really stood out for its pepper notes. Wine tasting can be a fairly subjective experience, but everyone in my group paused and commented on the pepper domination. I also noticed subtle hints of blackberry and oak. I have to call out that this wine is available by invitation from Schrader or through specialty channels, but figured some of my readers may be cellaring this and curious to know how it’s drinking currently.  Rating: 3.5. Read more →

Wine Reviews: Magnificent Napa Merlot

03 Dec
December 3, 2012

Wines That Will Inspire You to Give Merlot a Second Chance

Some days, Merlot is my favorite of the five Bordeaux grape varietals. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear, “this wine will really appeal to Cab-lovers” when tasting some of the great full-bodied Merlots out there. Several of the bottles I’ve tried certainly live up to that sentiment. I’m sure many of you know the hit Merlot took after the movie “Sideways” was released in 2004. After eight years, it’s time to look ahead and revisit the beauty this grape has to offer. Following are reviews of Merlots I’ve recently sampled across a wide price range* for you to consider.

Merlot Reviews
  • Pahlmeyer 2009 Merlot ($75) – This is one of the crème-de-la-crèmes of Napa Valley and a wonderful special-occasion wine, rated 94 points by Wine Spectator. The 2009 is comprised of 89% Merlot and 11% Cabernet. The nose on this one was amazing, with notes of oak, violet, cranberry and mocha. Flavors included cherry and allspice. It displayed soft tannins and a nice, lengthy finish. Rating: 4.50 Read more →