A distinctive wine. The first impression is of acidic dryness, which stimulates the palate. Then the flavors kick in, and they’re opulent in peaches, pineapples, golden apricots, honeysuckle flowers, vanilla custard and cinnamon.— S.H.
Here’s a smooth, polished and rewarding Cabernet Sauvignon. It shows the structure and finesse you expect from Napa Valley, and is not one of those modern fruit bombs despite rich flavors of blackberries, currants and cassis. Good now and through 2010, at least.— S.H.
This mountain vineyard is famous for reds on steroids, and this is indeed a big wine. It’s highly extracted and superripe, with blackberry, cherry, licorice, beef jerky and cola flavors that have a slightly funky, barnyardy edge. Feels a little rustic in its tannins.— S.H.
Good structure, with a silky mouthfeel, crisp coastal acidity and firm tannins. You’ll also find ripe cherry, currant, mocha and pepper spice flavors. Yet there’s a disarming tartness that detracts, and limits ageability.— S.H.
Honey-sweet and fruity, this Rhône white blend has flavors of peaches, pineapples, white chocolate, vanilla and caramel. It’s a little on the simple side, but crisp acidity helps to balance.— S.H.
A tasty, simple and rather sweet wine. It has fruit juice flavors of pineapples, mangoes, apricots and peaches.— S.H.
Tough, dry and tannic, with a gritty mouthfeel that needs rich fare, like a char-broiled steak, to wake it up. Tucked inside the astringency are some cherry, black currant and black pepper flavors.— S.H.
A bit green, with thin flavors of citrus and herbs. Although it’s dry and crisp, this Roussanne lacks richness.— S.H.