Jim Gordon

Jim Gordon

Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from California

Jim Gordon, a 30-year veteran of the wine industry, reviews and reports on wines from Mendocino, Lake and Contra Costa Counties, Livermore Valley, Lodi, Central Valley and the Sierra Foothills for Wine Enthusiast. Napa-based Gordon has been the editor for winemaker and grapegrower media company Wines & Vines since 2006, and also directs the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley. He was also editor-in-chief of the James Beard Award finalist book Opus Vino (2010) and of 1000 Great Everyday Wines (2011), for which he covered Mendocino and Lake County wines, among other topics Additionally, Gordon was editor-in-chief of the former wine lifestyle magazine Wine Country Living and managing editor of Wine Spectator.

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Showing 1 thru -8 of 816
92
points

Bonterra 2012 The Roost Blue Heron Vineyard Chardonnay (Mendocino County)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $45

A buttery aroma leads to rich butterscotch flavors and a buttery finish, too. But then there’s more with each sip. The wine is dry but easy on the palate, and reveals tasty apple, almond and toasted walnut flavors with time. These all add complexity and lift it well above the ordinary. Made with certified Biodynamic grapes.

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
92
points

Chacewater 2012 Malbec (Red Hills Lake County)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $24

Deep color, firm tannins and a fine-grained texture set this wine apart. It smells fresh and sophisticated, with bright cranberry and rich black-cherry notes shaded by cinnamon and nutmeg. This should stand up to the richest rack of lamb and age well, too. It’s tempting to drink now, but should improve through at least 2018.

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
91
points

Nottingham Cellars 2012 Ghielmetti Vineyard Micro-lot Reserve Malbec (Livermore Valley)

  • Cellar Selection
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $50

This deep-colored, full-bodied red gets a little swagger in its step from enticing smoky oak aromas and powerful black-fruit flavors that also carry that spicy oak streak. This is brash enough for slow-cooked barbecue but sophisticated enough for osso buco. The texture is fine-grained from supportive tannin, and the finish lingers. Best now through 2018.

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
90
points

Carnivor 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (California)

  • Best Buy
  1. $15

An extremely deep, dark color is the first thing to notice in this rich, almost thick, wine. It smells like wild blackberries and boysenberries and tastes almost that fruity, while blending in meaty, chocolaty, black peppery flavors that seem to coat the tongue. It is concentrated, bold and stands out from the pack.

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
90
points

William Hill Estate 2013 Chardonnay (North Coast)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $17

A bowl full of complex aromas and flavors are bundled together in this full-bodied, lush-textured wine. The aroma resembles wet earth for a moment, then transitions to buttery, bakery spices. Ripe and honeyed pear flavors come out on the palate and the mouthfeel is nicely viscous.

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
90
points

HandCraft 2012 Malbec (California)

  • Best Buy
  1. $13

With a deep red color, enticing spiced-fig aromas and rich, ripe flavors, this is a full-bodied but well-tamed wine. Aromas of black cherry, blackberries and cinnamon lead to ripe but not sweet flavors that seem juicy and fresh. The texture is firm enough, with tannins to balance the ripeness and make another sip tempting.

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
90
points

Donkey & Goat 2013 Untended Chardonnay (Anderson Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $35

An impression of this light-bodied wine starts with a vivid golden-yellow color and enticing aromas of fresh bread dough and marzipan. The taste itself is more lean than the aromas, showing crisp lemon and apricot notes, noticeable acidity and a tart finish. It has a taut, dry character that is not typical in California, but the wine is fascinating and keeps…

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
90
points

Meiomi 2013 Chardonnay (Sonoma County-Monterey County-Santa Barbara County)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $22

An unabashedly rich and luscious wine, this combines ripe and fresh fruit flavors with luxurious spicy, buttery accents and an almost thick texture. With a subtext as savory as Udon broth it’s practically a meal in a bottle. Call it full-bodied, full-flavored, ultrasmooth and impressive.

 — J.G.  (7/1/2015)
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