2017 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

2017 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley

GOLDENEYE

2017 PINOT NOIR
ANDERSON VALLEY

2017 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
The Duckhorn Group crafts Goldeneye Pinot Noir in a lavishly rich style, yet it presents elegance and charm. Their Anderson Valley Pinot hatched from predominantly Estate vineyards, defined by wind, fog, and a considerable diurnal temperature variation. If you’re searching for a classic Anderson Valley Pinot that’s deep, rich, and is not only enjoyable upon release but has the ability to age, this one is for you. 
 
Dan Duckhorn recognized the potential for world-class Pinot Noir in California’s Anderson Valley AVA in the late 1990’s, and he seized the opportunity to create a Pinot Noir that would stand on its own as one of California’s finest. The winery now produces a handful of Pinots under the Goldeneye label, and with the top-level wines ranging from $80-$125, their Anderson Valley Pinot is a steal at under $50. 
 
Goldeneye winemaker Katey Larwood intertwines fruit from warm and cool portions of the Valley, creating tension from the contrast of styles and flavors, giving this Pinot a classic portrayal of the region. Nesting for 16 months in oak, the 2017 release is a richly textured wine with velvety red and black fruits, wildflowers, and holiday spices.
 
GOLDENEYE
2017 PINOT NOIR
ANDERSON VALLEY
Retails at: $58
 
Your Price: $49.99
 
 
“Starting with the 2017 Pinot Noir Anderson Valley, which comes from multiple sites in the Anderson Valley and spent 16 months in 60% new French oak, it has a juicy berry-fruited nose as well as ample violets, candied orange peel, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. It’s one of the more approachable wines in the lineup yet still has classic Anderson Valley structure and minerality, medium body, and a great finish.”
90 Points
 
“Capturing the rustic elegance of the Anderson Valley, this wine begins with lively aromas of fresh-picked wild strawberry, dusty earth and sweet tobacco leaf. The dynamic strawberry aromas are echoed on the palate, where they are supported by supple tannins and a bright underlying acidity that adds energy and zest to a long, nuanced finish.”
2017 Clos Du Caillou Cotes Du Rhone Cuvee Unique VV

2017 Clos Du Caillou Cotes Du Rhone Cuvee Unique VV

CLOS Du CAILLOU

2017 COTES Du RHONE
CUVEE UNIQUE VV

2017 Clos Du Caillou Cotes Du Rhone Cuvee Unique VV
Clos du Caillou is a top producer of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, who at their core are stewards of their land. They’ve practiced biodynamic viticulture since the early 2000’s, and they were certified organic in 2010. Interestingly, their Old Vine Cotes-du-Rhone comes from a parcel walled by renowned Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyards. It was intentionally left out of the appellation by the owner, following a bureaucratic spat back in 1936. It’s truly one of the best Cotes-du-Rhone wines made.
 
The winery forged Clos du Caillou’s old-vine Cotes-du-Rhone Cuvée Unique from 45-year-old vines grown in sandy soils, which lends to the silky elegance and fine-grained texture that’s become a hallmark of their wines.
 
The 2017 vintage harmoniously married 82% Grenache with 18% Syrah and was kept for 16 months in Oak. The wine offers supple yet compact fruit that spans black cherry, wild lavender, hints of wild game, and a touch of spices on the palate.
 
CLOS Du CAILLOU
2017 COTES Du RHONE
CUVEE UNIQUE VV
 
Your Price: $29.99
 
 
“This classically built wine begins with a complex nose including red cherries, baking spices, minerally iron, and sweet violets. The concentrated flavors carry red plums, kirsch, red currants, and earthy mushrooms to a delightfully long finish on the palate. This wine is a stunning value in every vintage, and one that almost everybody who tastes it loves.”
92 Points
2017 Silverpoint Chardonnay Petaluma Gap

2017 Silverpoint Chardonnay Petaluma Gap

SILVERPOINT

2017 CHARDONNAY
PETALUMA GAP

2017 Silverpoint Chardonnay Petaluma Gap
Silverpoint’s master plan is to remain small and focused on producing tiny quantities of meticulously made wines. Their strategy parallels winemaker Don Van Staaveren’s patient and minimal intervention approach of winemaking. Don is a seasoned winemaker responsible for authoring the Chateau St. Jean wines that made history when his 1996 Cinq Cepages was the #1 wine on the Spectator Top 100 list. This wine proves that when a winemaker perfectly aligns his style with the proprietor’s goals, great things happen, and with a mere 91 cases made, don’t hesitate to secure yours.
 
Silverpoint Cellars sources their Chardonnay fruit from the renowned Rodgers Creek Vineyard, which sits in the heart of the cool-climate Petaluma Gap AVA. The site has maritime winds and heavy fog influences, along with chalky volcanic ash soils, which create an ideal environment for Chardonnay to develop expressive flavors and maintain natural acidity.  
 
Don barrel-aged the 2017 release for nine months sur lie, which played a crucial role in contributing to the wine’s creamy mouthfeel and opulent textures. With just 91 cases made, this pedigreed and micro-produced Chardonnay guarantees to impress.
 
SILVERPOINT
2017 CHARDONNAY
PETALUMA GAP
Retails at: $45
 
 
 
“Rich and pale gold color with a creamy texture balanced by a lively acidity. Hints of melon and white peach. Voluptuous. A long juicy finish lets you linger with this Chardonnay. 91 cases produced”
2017 Altagracia Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2017 Altagracia Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

ALTAGRACIA

2017 EISELE VINEYARD
CABERNET SAUVIGNON

2017 Altagracia Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
The Eisele Vineyard dates back to the 1880s and is one of the New World’s great terroirs. The site was made famous by the Araujos in the 1990s through 2013 when Chateau Latour purchased it. Today, they farm the vineyard organically and biodynamically, and the new owners aim to make singular wines of the highest caliber. The wines invariably express remarkable depth, elegance, longevity, and balance. At around a quarter of their top Eisele Vineyard Cabernet’s price, Altagracia offers a beautiful introduction to this magical Estate.
 
At Eisele Vineyard, winemaking takes a back seat to terroir, allowing the vineyard to express its most clear voice. There is no signature style to their winemaking, yet their team is precise, uncompromising, natural, and honest in their approach, and all of this is highly transparent in their wines. 
 
The vineyard sits at the Eastern edge of Calistoga, at the Palisade Mountain Range base, where an ancient creekbed that bisects the Estate spread an alluvial fan of cobbly volcanic soils that make this site unique. The vines there produce small berries of thick-skinned, intensely flavored grapes. 
 
ALTAGRACIA
2017 EISELE VINEYARD
CABERNET SAUVIGNON
 
Your Price: $135
 
 
“Blackberry and tile aromas with tobacco and spice. Some chocolate, too. Medium to full body and firm, velvety tannins that show a juicy finish. Fine yet dusty tannins. Rich for the vintage. Delicious now or hold.”
94 Points
 
“… Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Altagracia leaps from the glass, offering bold, expressive notes of blackberry pie, Black Forest cake and warm cassis with hints of garrigue, mossy tree bark, dusty soil and black pepper plus a fragrant waft of cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers a great core of rich, spicy black fruit preserves, framed with firm, chewy tannins and just enough freshness, finishing earthy.”
93 Points
 
“The 2017 Altagracia is closer to its brother the Eisele Vineyard Cabernet than ever. The nose is floral and delicate at first, opening with a whiff of laurel, musk and patchouli. The mouthfeel is generous and ample with spicy notes of cumin and turmeric. The tannins are fine and chiseled, revealed by a gentle hand on extraction in the cellar. Notes of mocha, espresso and graphite linger on the palate while the fruit breaks out in the finish with fresh fig and black currant, reminding us of the tiny berries that were the signature of the 2017 vintage.”
2016 Leto Cellars Exceptional Selection Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena

2016 Leto Cellars Exceptional Selection Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Napa Valley

LETO CELLARS

EXCEPTIONAL SELECTION
2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
ST HELENA, NAPA VALLEY

2016 Leto Cellars Exceptional Selection Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena
The pinnacle wine produced by Leto Cellars is their Exceptional Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, and it accurately lives up to its name. The wine is exceptional in terms of extract, power, and finesse. The only problem is with 72 cases produced, very few will get to experience this exceptional effort. 
 
The Exceptional Selection is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon drawn from a micro-block of half-century-old vines in the heart of St Helena. The low-yielding, dry-farmed vines have deep root systems that provide a vivid portrayal of their unique terroir, which delivers with powerful intensity, grace, and balance.  
 
After developing for 21 months in oak, the wine has enticing aromas of rich black fruits, roasted espresso, dark chocolate, and rocky minerals. With 3 barrels made and a savings of nearly $50/btl, I wouldn’t hesitate to secure a case.
 
LETO CELLARS
EXCEPTIONAL SELECTION
2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
ST HELENA, NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $125
 
 
 
“The precisely shaped and exquisitely balanced Leto Exceptional Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 begins with an elegant nose filled with black plums, black currants, smooth blue fruits, baking spices, rose petals and sweet vanilla oak. There is a seamless combination of freshly crushed mountain blackberries, kirsch, and light tobacco notes on the palate. The finish is focused, penetrating, balanced, and long, making this wine a truly exceptional selection.”
94 Points
2015 Larry Hyde Pinot Noir Hyde Estate Vineyard

2015 Larry Hyde Pinot Noir Hyde Estate Vineyard

LARRY HYDE

2015 PINOT NOIR
HYDE ESTATE VINEYARD

2015 Larry Hyde Pinot Noir Hyde Estate Vineyard
Napa Valley Grower-of-the-Year for 2020 Larry Hyde of Hyde Vineyard produces powerfully expressive, profound fruit, which is why he’s attracted many of California’s top producers, including Paul Hobbs, Aubert, Kistler, and DuMOL, to make wine from his vineyard. Larry planted the vineyard in the heart of Carneros in 1979, and in 2009 he decided to craft wine under his own label. Larry created this one from some of the best blocks in the vineyard, and this 2015 Estate Pinot is massive but delivers the regal elegance you’d expect from a top Pinot Noir producer. 
 
Larry and his team continually strive to produce the best wine possible from the Estate, and in doing so, they aren’t afraid to take risks. Much of his success resulted from Larry’s experimenting with new clones and planting methods. 
 
Hyde Vineyard benefits from cooling influences from the Pacific Ocean and the San Pablo Bay that funnel through the Coastal Mountain ranges and allow the grapes a long growing season. These geographical conditions keep Carneros cool enough to maintain acidity and structure in the grapes. If you want a mind-blowing Pinot Noir that drinks fantastic now and provides nearly endless delight, this is it.
 
LARRY HYDE
2015 PINOT NOIR
HYDE ESTATE VINEYARD
 
Your Price: $69.99
 
 
“Powerfully juicy and rich-tasting, with concentrated dried berry and dark cherry flavors that are backed by firm acidity and tannins. Cream and chocolate details show on the savory finish. Drink now through 2022…”
92 Points
 
“… intense and complex with deep aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, plum, spice and earthy notes. On the palate, it is rich and powerful capturing an elegant style while offering tiers of dark berry flavors and soft tannins.”
2016 Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

2016 Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

PALMAZ

CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2016 NAPA VALLEY 

2016 Palmaz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Palmaz combines cutting-edge technology, talent, and a passion for producing riveting Napa Valley wines. They believe in farming each vine, rather than the entire vineyard as a whole, and they achieve this through advanced Geographic Informational Systems. They also have consultants like legendary viticulturist Mike Wolf and top consulting winemaker Mia Klein to help give voice to their incredible Coombsville vineyard. Their 2016 Napa Cabernet is classically styled, profound, and penetrating, and at around $150, it stunningly delivers everything Cabernet lovers want. 
 
The winery itself is an architectural marvel, extending 18 stories underground, created for gravity-flow winemaking, eliminating mechanical pumps and minimizing the turbulence that damages wines’ molecular structure.
 
Emerging from the blockbuster 2016 vintage, which ranks as the highest-rated vintage since 1997 according to the Wine Spectator Vintage Report, this 2016 is powerfully elegant and effortlessly balanced. 
 
PALMAZ
CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
2016 NAPA VALLEY
Retails at: $165
 
Your Price: $150
 
 
“With a greeting of freshly fired creme brûlée and toasted currant, the 2016 Palmaz Cabernet draws you in for a cozy embrace. Comforting flavors of vanilla, caramel, and baked boysenberry dance across the palate. The voluptuous fruit flavors are effortlessly balanced with elegant tannins that cover the tongue like a feather – spreading to every hidden taste bud in the deepest corners of the palate. An everlasting finish that holds steadfast, begging to be remembered – satisfied only by the indulgence of a second glass.”
2015 Chateau De Vie Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga

2015 Chateau De Vie Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga

CHATEAU DE VIE

CABERNET SAUVIGNON
2015 CALISTOGA 

2015 Chateau De Vie Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga
Chateau de Vie isn’t just a working B&B surrounded by world-class vineyards. They also produce a small amount of powerful Cabernet Sauvignon that’s clean and focused, with exceptional fruit and intertwined minerality. Dave Phinney, the winemaker responsible for creating The Prisoner, Orin Swift, and Location brands, helps make it. Dave also consults for a handful of small wineries, and Chateau de Vie might be a lesser known brand, but the quality of their wine is something special.
 
The estate is located on the northern end of Calistoga and sits almost directly behind Tamber Bey and not far from Chateau Montelena. Their soils are loaded with volcanic compounds, formed by ancient lava flows, and produce Cabernet Sauvignon with powerful fruit and intriguing minerality. 
 
Calistoga is warmer than most other appellations in Napa, and thus, produces some of the biggest, boldest, and most robust Cabernet Sauvignons in the Valley. Chateau De Vie perfectly details all of the qualities that I love about Calistoga Cabernet and delivers them with focus and balance. 
 
CHATEAU DE VIE
CABERNET SAUVIGNON
2015 CALISTOGA
Retails at: $68
 
 
“The Chateau de Vie 2015 is everything you would hope for from this spectacular vintage. It begins with an enticing nose with briary red currants, cool blue fruits, purple flowers, a hint of spearmint and vanilla spice. The seductively lively palate is balanced with red cherries, wild blackberries, dark plums, cassis and cocoa powder. The beautiful finish has just enough bright acidity to keep your mouth watering for more.”
93 Points, Kevin M. Vogt, Master Sommelier
 
“All Estate Grown fruit off of 3.5 acres on the Northwest side of Calistoga. Aged in 70% New French Oak Barrels for 22 months This is a deeply rich and satisfying Cabernet with aromas of blackberry, mocha, black fig, dark brown bread and rich vanilla. The wine is fleshy in texture and ripe on the palate, with almost a heady display of blueberry, black fig and toasted caramel. The finish is long and sweetly ripe and will pair nicely with rich cheeses and ripe fruits as well as dark roasts or sauced filet. It is essentially ready to drink and will grow softer and more aromatic over the next few years.”
80% Cabernet Sauvignon | 10% Petite Verdot |10% Cabernet Franc
2017 Black Kite Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

2017 Black Kite Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands

BLACK KITE

2017 PINOT NOIR
SOBERANES VINEYARD
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS

2017 Black Kite Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands
Black Kite Cellars produces highly-textured, expressive Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from exceptional coastal vineyards. For them, wine is a journey that combines high aspirations with a long term commitment, patience, and fortitude. Their journey began in 2003 with the inaugural vintage and led them to Jeff Gaffner, who became their winemaker in 2005. In 2010, it steered them to the Soberanes Vineyard, now producing this extraordinary Pinot Noir. 
 
The wine team forged this remarkable wine from three rows of vines out of the Soberanes Vineyard, planted to the Pisoni Clone. The vineyard is synonymous with excellence and is the latest site developed by the Pisoni’s & Franscioni’s, whose families have been farming the area for over 100 years. 
 
Winemaker Jeff Gaffner gained fame helping make the renowned 1996 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cépages, which became the Wine Spectator’s #1 wine of the year. Jeff fermented this Pinot with Burgundian yeast and performed punch-downs three times daily, contributing to the remarkable textures and flavor extraction of this very special Pinot.
 
BLACK KITE
2017 PINOT NOIR
SOBERANES VINEYARD
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
 
Your Price: $45
 
“Dark aromas of roasted plum, loamy earth, crushed rocks and a hint of shiitake mushroom show on the nose of this bottling. The palate is loaded with earthy flavors of rock and mushroom, set against a backdrop of boysenberry and wild herbs.”
92 Points
 
“Shimmering magenta. Deep-pitched red and blue fruit aromas pick up hints of vanilla and exotic spices with air. Fleshy and subtly chewy on the palate, offering appealingly sweet black raspberry and boysenberry flavors that become livelier through the midpalate. Closes long and spicy, with a repeating vanilla note and steadily building tannins…”
92 Points
 
“Our 2017 Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir is a deeply expressive wine that opens with beguiling bottle brush and sweet tea aromas that give way to a complex core of black fruit, cassis and clove. The rich, round mouthfeel is met with just enough tannic traction to sustain the compelling fruit intensity throughout the long finish. Enjoy upon release or cellar for up to 4-6 years.”
199 Cases Produced
2018 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains

2018 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains

MARTIN RAY

2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
2018 Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Santa Cruz Mountains
The Santa Cruz Mountains AVA produces powerful Cabernet Sauvignons with appealing savory elements, firm tannins, and intriguing red and black fruits. Martin Ray sources their Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet from three high-elevation sites that produce intensely concentrated fruits. Our panel loved their 2018 vintage, but we weren’t the only ones. With a 95 point score, I’d jump on this sub $35 Cabernet before it’s too late.
 
Martin Ray’s Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet comes from high-elevation vineyards, Fellom Ranch, Cooper-Garrod, and Beauregard, each sharing large diurnal temperature fluctuation shifts, which result in powerfully concentrated fruit. 
 
The 2018 release is a blend of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and fermented on its skins for a month, which extracted the deep purple color. They stored the wine for 18 months in French and American oak barrels, which added compelling vanilla and spice elements.
 
MARTIN RAY
2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON 
SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS
Retails at: $35
 
Your Price: $33
 
“Loads of forest floor, mushrooms, leaves and dark fruit on the nose. It’s full-bodied with juicy fruit and chewy tannins. Hints of toasted oak and cedar, too. This is a structured red that needs two or three years to soften, then you can give it a go. Best Santa Cruz Mountain cab for a long time from here. Try after 2023.”
95 Points
 
“Notes of dense cassis with touches of nutmeg and cherry. Blackberry brush and mountain sage with bright acidity and a touch of graphite. Firm, chalky tannins and well-integrated oak.”