This wonderful wine showcases the blender’s art. The grapes come from 11 appellations throughout the valley, and the wine, while notable for its delicious flavors, also is great in structure. It has soft tannins and refreshing acidity, and is entirely dry, with moderate alcohol. Those flavors include raspberry jam…— S.H.
Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this is a dry, full-bodied wine that shows considerable sophistication and elegance. Fruit aficionados will find a wealth of blackberries, cherries and cocoa, while structuralists will like the firm tannins and acids. Quite good now and for a few years.— S.H.
For the second year in a row, Decoy has released one of the best values in Zinfandel of the vintage. This year, Sonoma County is source to the grapes, and the wine shows classic wild berry, cola, anise, pepper and sandalwood flavors. Most remarkable is the tannic structure, which is smooth and distinguished. Easy to…— S.H.
Smoothly seductive in bright red-berry and pomegranate fruit, this young Zinfandel comes from mostly Dry Creek Valley vineyards. Rippling in baking spice and subtle vanilla oak, it’s a complete wine, with balanced acidity and mellowed tannins. Clean and long on the finish, it will complement rather than overpower a meal.— V.B.
Hard to explain why this Cabernet is so good at such an affordable price, but there you are. It’s dry, smooth and complex in blackberry, black currant, mineral and oak flavors that are a joy to drink now with your best beef dish. Easy to find, with almost 31,000 cases produced.— S.H.
From Duckhorn’s second label, this Bordeaux blend is based on Cabernet and Merlot. At less than half the price of Duckhorn’s main Cabs and Merlots, it’s a very good buy, showing richness, balance and complexity. The blackberry and cherry fruit has been tastefully enhanced with smoky oak. A great food wine.— S.H.
Light cherry-red in color, this nuanced Pinot is bright in raspberry and tart grenadine, floral, with a spicy undercurrent of garden herb. Easy to like and approachable it’s well-priced, high-quality and elegantly balanced.— V.B.
Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little Franc, this blend has rich but soft tannins and lush, superripe fruit. The blackberry jam, cassis, black cherry and cocoa flavors are wrapped in a creamy texture, and finish impressively long.— S.H.