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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92
points

Rock Wall 2013 Kristen’s Cuvee Viognier (California)

  1. $20

Abundant flavors combine with a plush texture to make a wine that slowly builds interest from the first sniff to the lingering aftertaste. Hints of vanilla and honeysuckle enhance the vivid apricot flavors, lasting long on the viscous palate and through the finish.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
92
points

Domaine Anderson 2012 Chardonnay (Anderson Valley)

  1. $43

This attention-grabbing debut Chardonnay comes from a new sister winery to Roederer Estate in Mendocino County. It shows a vivid yellow-gold color, butterscotch and hazelnut aromas, butter and bosc pear flavors and tasty bread dough accents. Rich and full in flavor, it’s sleek in texture, but not too full-bodied.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
91
points

Murphy-Goode 2013 The Fumé Sauvignon Blanc (North Coast)

  • Best Buy
  1. $14

Crisp citrus aromas and fresh lemon and grapefruit flavors define this medium-bodied, appetizing and unapologetic wine. With lots of personality, a tingly texture and tangy finish, it’s just the thing for appetizers and first courses.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
91
points

Hovey 2012 Rolleri Cuvée Tempranillo (Calaveras County)

  1. $26

Bold and effusive in flavor, this full-bodied red gives ripe, concentrated, focused fruit flavors that recall boysenberry and blackberry. Tannins create that grippy, dry sensation that tames big slabs of meat. An attractive take on a traditional Spanish grape variety; drink now.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
91
points

Klinker Brick 2012 Farrah Syrah (Lodi)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $20

Rich and meaty enough to sink your teeth into, this dark and deep Syrah has toasty, smoky aromas. Generous blackberry and boysenberry flavors that are full but not sweet accompany a velvety texture. This is tasty now, but has the layered tannins and acidity for aging. Best now through 2019.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
91
points

Michael David 2012 6th Sense Syrah (Lodi)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $16

Richness (of both flavor and texture) marks this deeply colored, full-bodied Syrah. Aromas of ripe blackberry and licorice coupled with flavors of clove and blackberry jam make it luscious yet not overly big. It has the firm tannins and good balance for aging through 2019.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
91
points

Dutton-Goldfield 2013 Chileno Valley Riesling (Marin County)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $30

This dry, subtle and elegant Riesling is an exception to the rule of semisweet and obviously fruity California versions. It smells like crisp apples and white peaches, tastes quietly rich but with spicy, earthy accents, and has a pleasantly thick texture.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
91
points

FEL 2013 Pinot Gris (Anderson Valley)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $25

This has a brighter yellow color than most of its peers, more body, riper fruit flavors and—unusual for this variety in America—probably some oak influence. Rather full bodied, but well-balanced and very smooth, it combines peach and pear flavors with a hefty mouthfeel.

 — J.G.  (12/31/2014)
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