Category: USA: California

  • Ojai John Sebastiano Vineyard Grenache, 2018

    Breathtakingly good.  The best North American Grenache we’ve ever had the privilege to drink.  To sip.  To take deep, deep pleasure in. After a “dry-ish” January we splurged.  Gorgeous maraschino cherry with a nutty sharp turn towards licorice, clove and pepper.  Elegant notes the way you catch a sweet scent passing a florist.  Both forward […]

  • Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, 2013

    From the cellar: Stellar.  No other words. In 2017 we pulled out the last bottle from a half case we’d scored in the US (back in the day when the CDN had some reasonable busying power) and wrote an over the top post.  Link here.  Then, on the weekend, I found another bottle.  A final […]

  • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel, 2012

    From the cellar: Well we loved this wine in 2014, post here, and we loved this wine in 2018, post here, and now we arrive in 2019, seven years down the road, nearing the end of our half case, and it is nothing but joy and pure, undiluted pleasure.  It seems pointless to go on […]

  • Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay, 2016

    BC Liquor had the MS on sale, $5 off.  Strictly speaking, you have to be in the mood for California Chardonnay.  Usually there is that Pythonesque 16 tons on your head to the oak.  But this was, surprisingly, light (as CA Chard goes), not too obtrusive, stellar with seafood, lime and stone and honeydew on […]

  • Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014

    If this turns out to be the last post of 2018 all I can say is we went out with a bomb.  Wowza.  This is some hugely satisfying red.  Powerhouse yes but no one two punch.  It’s all containment, structure, refinement, like a Mies van der Rohe modernist tower.  We were hard pressed to find […]

  • Graef Chardonnay, 2013

    Liberty (a wonderful and very reputable private wine seller in Vancouver that has a real knack for curating interesting and often uncommon French wines) was selling the (very reputable and usually too expensive) Graef Chardonnay for half price.  Well buyer be warned because despite the screw cap this 2013 was well past (in July 2018), […]

  • Ridge East Bench Zinfandel, 2012

    From the cellar: Who cellars Zin?  Not too many.  And as for Ridge, why even post another Ridge review?  Is there a bad bottle or two of Ridge, somewhere out in the universe?  A bad vintage?  A mistake in Monte Bello?   For no good reason we have a few of the LS lying in […]

  • Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Chardonnay, 2014

      Au Bon Climat: Here is the ring.  Will you accept?   Words fail to express how enjoyable this wine is.  Was.  In a text it’s a yin yang emoji.  In a court it’s the scales of justice.  In a wine review it’s well over 90 points.  All you need to know is it’s the […]

  • Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay, 2013

    From the cellar: In 2015 we found a sale on Rombauer and got half a case for less than $30 USD per.  We drank a bottle, then eventually more; you know how it goes.  I pulled the last bottle out for a spin last week.   We liked it in 2015.  We thought it a […]

  • Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier, 2014

    When we open a Chenin Blanc we are predisposed to expect something of a cross between butterscotch and cream soda, and then plus, plus, plus.  And when we open a Viognier we are predisposed to expect a tangy, spicy kick, with a rich, maybe oily residue on the palate.  And then when we saw this […]