The color is the first thing to notice, a bright rich 18k gold. The nose is sweet and floral, hibiscus with apricot and honey. Layer after layer of flavor dance across the palate, all varying variations of apricot and honey, with a bright acidic backbone ranging from sweet Key Lime juice to tart Key Lime zest. Hints of mango linger throughout, though teasing, barely identifiable. It is hard to clock the length of the finish as the desire for the next sip overruns the attempt to measure the finish. Suffice to say, it is incredibly long. Drink with foie gras for the classic match, but it would be even better with Kung Pao from Lucky Strike in Portland, the sweet a counter-balance to the spice. Very Highly Recommended. DH
Opened for Open That Bottle Night 2012. Premiere Napa Valley is a special event, an annual fund raiser and auction. Wineries produce special bottles in tiny lots, 5-10 cases, for auction, available that one time and never again. This particular bottle was Lot No. 49, bottle 22 of 60, a Proprietary Red from Monticello Vineyards, hand-signed by Chris Corley. Now I need to track down the other 59 bottles. The nose was rich, deep with plums, cassis, and black cherry, with a touch of spice, perhaps nutmeg and cinnamon. The palate opened black cherry and blackcurrant and a tingly touch of black pepper. Nutmeg and cinnamon peeked through on the mid-palate. Tannins were soft as silk, full, and perfectly balanced with acid. The finish not only lingered, but seemed to echo, pulse, growing with the memory of the taste, fade, then pulse again with the thought of the wine. Drink with very good friends. This would match perfectly with a mutton chop from Keens Steak House. Needless to say, this was Very Highly Recommended. DH.
The color is bright pink, really very pretty, clear and bright. Aromas of dried strawberries and a bit of cherry waft up from the glass. On the palate, strawberries with a twist of lemon, a faint hint of blackberry on the mid-palate, with a mid-length finish. Acids are good, tannins very light but clearly present. This is a pleasant full-bodied rose that pairs well with anything from roast chicken to vegetarian chili. Recommended. DH
Very light, almost clear, copper color. The nose is interesting, a bouquet of white flowers and pencil shavings. On the palate it has huge flavors of pencil shavings with flint, rose water, pepper, and red currants. Smoke lingers on the finish. Pair with a fruit tart dessert. Recommended. DH
This is a rather well made Napa Cabernet for the price point, not as crude or oaken as many and offering genuine layers of flavor and transitions from attach through finish. DH