article placeholder

2008 Girard Signature

The nose is a little tight, suggesting blueberries and tobacco along with a light background of red fruits and licorice. It offers some interesting complexity in the palate, too, with loads of dark fruit, blackberry, elderberry, and blueberry, with a bright red fruit background. The mid-palate has coffee and licorice, the finish adds unsweetened chocolate. Tannins are very sweet, mouth-feel is very smooth. Complexity seems to come from fruit (plus, perhaps, some extraction), not from wood. The wood effect is clear but light, adding touches of spice but not overwhelming the original juice. It would be at home with a steak or a great burger, or a fireplace and a friend. Highly recommended. DH
article placeholder

2009 Mason Sauvignon Blanc

Nose of pink grapefruit and apple, with a very slight back hint of spice—cinnamon, maybe? Very clean and rich on the palate, with elements of the pink grapefruit and peaches. The fruit is very expressive—this is not an austere, steely Sauvignon Blanc. Finishes long and clean. Impressive. Try with grilled shrimp. Highly recommended. GT

Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2007 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Improving with every sip, gaining structure and depth with every extra minute of air, this is a beautiful baby that will, with time, mature into a gorgeous adult. Dark fruit (blackcurrant and mulberry) has a background of tobacco leaf and the tiniest touch of cayenne. Rich very dark chocolate and espresso pop on the mid-palate. Tannins are very sweet and dusty. Even with all the rich sweetness, it also has good acids and an underlying minerality, offering a decade or more in the cellar, maturing and offering layers of primary and secondary flavors in the future. Drink with a good steak and a better friend. Very highly recommended.

2007 Cornerstone Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Improving with every sip, gaining structure and depth with every extra minute of air, this is a beautiful baby that will, with time, mature into a gorgeous adult. Dark fruit (blackcurrant and mulberry) has a background of tobacco leaf and the tiniest touch of cayenne. Rich very dark chocolate and espresso pop on the mid-palate. Tannins are very sweet and dusty. Even with all the rich sweetness, it also has good acids and an underlying minerality, offering a decade or more in the cellar, maturing and offering layers of primary and secondary flavors in the future. Drink with a good steak and a better friend. Very highly recommended.
article placeholder

2003 Amethyst Cabernet Sauvignon

Lovely warm nose of chocolate, violets, and blueberries, along with a hint of saffron. A bit tight at first and a tad more floral than one might expect, but it unfolds to a seamless melding of soft tannins with more of that blueberry fruit laced with a bit of tobacco. Not an earth-shatterer and not a wine for long-term aging, but a very nice Cabernet nonetheless. Drink with a white pizza. Recommended.
article placeholder

2008 Plumpjack Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Somewhat disappointing on first taste with vegetal asparagus notes, but patience is rewarded. Those unhappy nuances float away into the ether once the major alcohol (14.8%) dissipates, replaced by a nose of ripe blackberries and spices—a hint of anise, perhaps. Coats the palate nicely with soft tannins and chocolate and plum flavors. The finish is not overly impressive at first, but grows on you. In fact, this wine was even better the next day. Not out of place with a duck confit or even a cassoulet (once the weather gets chilly again). Highly recommended.
article placeholder

2010 Twomey Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

What an elegant bottle, clear and stylishly designed! When opened, the aromas are lightly herby, grassy and floral. The wine has a medium body, with a touch of honey on the end palate. The flavors are a bit more round than purely crisp, possibly due to the “touch of oak” during vinification, which moderates the presence of the acidity. The finish is not too dry. A mild and easy to drink wine. Recommended.
article placeholder

2007 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon

The kind of wine you either love or hate – I loved it, and the person with whom I was drinking it disliked it. This is a big, muscular Napa Cabernet on steroids (14.8% alc.) that needs at least a couple of hours of breathing before it is safe to approach without your palate getting beat up. Intense nose of blackcurrant, menthol and dark chocolate. Seems overripe and jammy at first taste, but repeated tastings soften that view. Rich blackberry fruit that takes a bit of time to find past the tannins. Lengthy finish. Could benefit from aging. Definitely needs food, like a chargrilled ribeye. Both the wine and the steak have a crusty exterior masking rare flavors within. Highly recommended.