A terrific super-Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Rich and full-bodied, with obvious pedigree, it features great balance of ripe fruit, soft, dusty tannins and refreshing acidity. This is a first-rate wine that amply shows how good grapes can be in Temecula. —S.H.— S.H.
Perhaps Temecula’s future is in Super Tuscans. This balanced blend of 50% Sangiovese, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 9% Cabernet Franc offers a complex nose of cranberry, pomegranate, pencil lead and chocolate sauce. Flavors of hot brick, white pepper, raspberry and stewed mushrooms rock the palate.— M.K.
Plum, blueberry and a tinge of sour dried-fruit aromas get lifted with dill, spearmint and anise on the nose of this wine. It’s juicy on the palate with purple and blue fruits, but cut with a strong and nice mint character, also showing some dark chocolate nibs.— M.K.
This is a very peachy and fruit-forward take on the grape from Southern California. It’s happily bright and tight on the palate, with chalkiness in the midpalate, and a tropical sense throughout, with banana and pineapple building towards a lemony and layered finish.— M.K.
Bright lemon, lime and sweet grass aromas trend toward passionfruit on this fresh, fruity wine from Southern California. The palate is also quite ripe, with green bell pepper, ripe green apples and herbal punch, laid across tongue-tingling acidity.— M.K.
Bordeaux blends show promise in this region. This combination of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37.5% Merlot and 12.5% Cabernet Franc reveals rustic, leathery aromas of crushed Italian herbs, dried red cherries and fresh dill. Once sipped, flavors of fresh-ground coffee, oregano and bay leaf spice a base of cranberry fruit.— M.K.
There’s something addictive about this polished Merlot, with its succulent cherry flavors and that rich finish of cinnamon-dusted mocha. The wine is dry and velvety, although it could use a bit more acidity.— S.H.
Slightly funky, reductive aromas of hot asphalt and barnyard open this wine, with ripe purple fruits lingering in the background. It’s thick and nicely rich on the palate, dense with black flavors and tannic grip, a true study of the grape’s darkness though not incredibly distinctive.— M.K.