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California Wine Tasting Notes

2005 McManis Family Vineyards
California Syrah
Score: 87.0
Dense and jammy, full bodied and velvety smooth, this flavorful wine points to plums, toasted oak and bittersweet chocolate. The soft tannins make this wine perfect for current drinking.
2005 McManis Family Vineyards
California Merlot
Score: 87.0
Ripe black cherry and loganberry compote with toasty oak overtones, soft tannin, full body and a lingering, mouthfilling finish. Excellent value.
2005 McManis Family Vineyards
California Cabernet Sauvignon
Score: 86.0
A big, mouthfilling wine with a core of dense ripe blackberry fruit accented with mocha and toast and sweet spices (allspice and cinnamon). Well structured with substantial (though soft) tannins. Good value.
1997 R.H. Phillips Toasted Head
California Cabernet Sauvignon - Syrah
Score: 88.0
"Aromatic chocolate covered cherries, medium tannin, cedar, and a tart, fruit and mineral finish of exceptional length."
1999 Fetzer Vineyards Echo Ridge
California Sauvignon Blanc
Score: 92.0
"A great palate-cleansing Sauvignon Blanc with a nose of lemongrass and pineapple, silky mouthfeel, and crisp, dry flavors of key lime and subtle mint. Perfect with Salmon in dill sauce. Fabulous value."
1999 Callaway Coastal
California Sauvignon Blanc
Score: 87.0
If you like the New Zealand style of Sauvignon Blanc, you'll love this delightful Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry and lime fruit, silky smooth texture, and the barest hint of spice in the background. Perfect match for a wide variety of foods, from poultry and fish, to Asian cuisine.
1999 La Famiglia di Robert Mondavi
California Moscato Bianco
Score: 93.0
"Light and delightfully aromatic, redolent of orange blossoms and ripe peaches, clean and spritzy on the palate. Easy to like, hard to put down. A find aperitif."
1998 Forest Glen
California Merlot
Score: 89.0
"Reminiscent of pipe tobacco - sweet, aromatic, perfumy, black cherry and black currant fruit, moderate tannin, and a surprisingly long finish thats full of fruit and subtle spice. A real bargain. "
1999 Callaway Coastal
California Chenin Blanc
Score: 82.0
A bone dry Chenin with muted grassy flavors and crisp acidity.
1998 Hawk Crest
California Cabernet Sauvignon
Score: 85.0
"Lush, sweet black currant aroma, juicy and tart on the palate, drying tannin, and a light cigar box finish. Good balance and varietal definition. "
1997 Hawk Crest
California Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Score: 88.0
"The '97 is deep, elegant and well-structured. The nose only hints at the wonderful concentration of blackberry fruit on the palate. Its accented with toasty French oak and firm, sweet, well-integrated tannin. Good value."
1996 Meridian Vineyards
California Cabernet Sauvignon Coastal Reserve
Score: 90.0
"A fabulous Cab, rich cassis aroma, full-bodied, sweet ripe blackberry fruit on the palate, soft tannin, and a dark chocolate-cherry finish."
1998 Beringer Vineyards Founders Estate
California Shiraz
Score: 84.0
"Velvety smooth, juicy, ripe black plum character, just a hint of cocoa, medium-bodied, with very soft tannin. Totally accessible right now. Good spaghetti wine."
1999 Pine Ridge
California Chenin Blanc-Viognier
Score: 97.0
"This blend of 86% Chenin Blanc and 14% Viognier is to wine what light fusion cuisine is to food; it offers surprising flavors, subtly combined. The expansive nose is a melange of grapefruit, peach and honeydew melon, while the palate adds some spicy notes. Dry and perfectly balanced, its a synergistic blend thats better balanced than most Viogniers, and more aromatic than most Chenins. Its also an absurdly easy match for fish, poultry, veal or pork."
1998 La Famiglia de Robert Mondavi
California Barbera
Score: 89.0
"This is a good example of why Barbera is one of my favorite grapes-it has a depth of plummy fruit, some spice, a light chocolatey layer, and higher acidity to buoy the fruit. Moderate tannin and supple, ripe fruit makes this an easy wine to drink now. Pair with beef, lamb, ostrich, and pasta in tomato sauce. Great stuff."

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