Californian Wines

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Showing 1 thru -8 of 52,411
100
points

Williams Selyem 2007 Litton Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley)

  • Online Exclusive
  1. $100

A spectacular Pinot Noir, but a very young one, and extremely dry. It’s a wine of great structure, with rich acids and tannins framing extraordinarily complex flavors of grilled cherries, strawberries and raspberries, with complicating notes of cola, pomegranates, orange zest, anise, dusty Asian spices and smoky sandalwood. A truly great Pinot Noir from a great…

 — S.H.  (2/1/2010)
100
points

Shafer 2004 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap District)

  1. $215

A perfect score has to be considered in the context of its region. Shafer’s 2004 Hillside Select is tremendous as a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that competes with its peers at the highest levels. It’s always a fabulous wine, but in warm 2004, Shafer’s amphitheater vineyard sheltered the grapes, ripening them to perfection yet protecting the “iron fist in a…

 — S.H.  (3/1/2009)
100
points

Verité 2007 La Muse Red (Sonoma County)

  1. $450

This wine dazzles with perfection. Sourced from vineyards throughout Sonoma County, it refutes the belief that a great Cabernet must come from a single vineyard. It does not. The master’s art of blending, coupled with demanding vineyard practices lends completeness. The blend is 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec, making it an extraordinary success…

 — S.H.  (7/1/2012)
100
points

Cardinale 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $200

Tasted in a flight of great and famous Napa wines, this Cardinale stood at the head of the pack. Starts with a very fine nose of cedar, cassis, ripe blackberries and violets, then turns dramatic and refined in the mouth. Shows vast depth and length, with the finish a full minute of sweet fruits and spices. Marvelous tannins, so plush and elegant, so powerful yet…

 — S.H.  (3/1/2010)
100
points

Sloan 2002 Red Wine (Rutherford)

  1. $245

Impossibly aromatic. Hard to imagine greater claret perfume. Shows the most refined mingling of smoky oak, cassis, cherries, roasted coconut macaroon, cocoa puff and spice scents. Absolutely first rate, as good as anything Napa Valley produces. Compellingly, addictively delicious, but so dry and voluptuous. Classic wine, with perfect alignment of fruit, acids…

 — S.H.  (9/1/2006)
99
points

Williams Selyem 2009 Precious Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)

  1. $94

A stupendous Pinot Noir, showing how beautifully this vineyard performs in the remote Sonoma Coast above Fort Ross. Williams Selyem’s last few vintages of Precious Mountain have been extraordinary, but this 2009 tops them all. The wine is as light as a feather in the mouth, modest in alcohol and delicately feminine, like pure satin. However, few Pinot Noirs in the…

 — S.H.  (2/1/2012)
99
points

Trefethen 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Oak Knoll)

  • Cellar Selection
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $100

This is nearly perfect, a massive, monumental wine whose sheer power is matched only by its grace and refinement. The flavors of blackberries, cassis, dark chocolate, buttered toast and cedar flood the mouth, tightly controlled by firm tannins and good acidity. Decant for several hours if you open it now, but better to give it 6–10 years in the bottle.

 — S.H.  (4/1/2010)
99
points

Failla 2010 Estate Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast)

  • Editors' Choice
  1. $44

Shows classic, full-throttle notes of tropical and citrus fruits, pears and sweet green apples, combined with strong minerality and complex layers of buttered toast, honey and creamy lees. The description alone hardly does justice to the wine’s beauty. The acidity is perfect, the oak deftly applied, the finish long and completely satisfying. Winemaker Ehren Jordan…

 — S.H.  (7/1/2012)
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