Black as ink, with glints of royal purple and gold, it opens with intense, penetrating aromas of dark chocolate, blackberry preserves and cassis, caramel, and a smoky, peppery note. Decadently rich, with 10% residual sugar, and heady, with 19% alcohol, but so delicious. The silky, velvety texture is pure seduction. This has got to be one of the best California…
An amazing wine, with an impenetrable color, that begins with a burst of freshly ground black pepper sprinkled over blackberries, blueberries and rum-soaked plums, and rich scents of grilled, smoked meat. The flavors are dramatic and bold, all cherries, berries, chocolate and spices that change with every swirl. This dry, richly balanced wine is sheer heaven. —S.H.
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.
Intensely sweet and super-drinkable, this Sherry-style wine has a light, creamy texture with potent flavors of white chocolate, raspberry honey, tangerine zest, vanilla crème brûlée and dusty spices. It’s a gorgeous wine, a perfect way to end a great dinner with dainty little dessert pastries.
From one of the pioneering families of this endangered appellation in greater L.A., a true old-style California Port. Smells rich and inviting, with true Port character, and drinks full, lush and rich in the mouth. Hard to exaggerrate how delicious and fine this sweet wine is. Enjoy with your best chocolate dessert, or on its own. Editors’ Choice.
A fine blend of ripe cherry, berry, spice and herb flavors, all framed in toasty oak and spice nuance. Smooth but bright on the palate, with a zippy finish and subtle earth tones at the end.
Tight flavors of citrus and peach are molded by high acids and dusty tannins, while sumptuous oak treatment adds sweet vanilla nuances and a creamy, buttery mouthfeel. Drinks very complex and polished, with great weight and structure and a long, creamy, spicy finsish.
A surprisingly perfumed, well-integrated and delicious Cab from the Santa Monica Mountains, where newcomer Howard Leight is starting to craft some superb juice. With some room to grow, this wine has plenty of elegant red plum and anise and its tannins are present but not overwhelming. Grab a steak and give it a go, especially at the price.