An eccentric late harvest Chardonnay with some interesting qualities. Underlying flavors of peaches, but sweetness and perhaps a touch of botrytis add apicot notes. There’s also a taste like fine espresso sweetened with a teaspoon or two of cane sugar. Excellent acidity keeps things lively.
Made from true Port grape varieties, this wine shares many characteristics with a vintage-style Port. It’s young and fruity, filled with blueberry and chocolate flavors, and is very smooth and velvety. Lacks the finesse of the real thing, but pretty nice.
Opens with pretty aromas of honeysuckle, vanilla custard, honey and tangerines that make you think it’s sweet, but this is a bone-dry wine. Crisp acidity brightens the modest orange flavors; an appropriate apéritif-style wine.
An herbal, dense bruiser that requires time to show its best stuff. Now the fruit can’t quite conquer the pronounced herbal element. Lots of unusual oregano, basil, even tarragon notes up-front; then this blend of 50% Cabernet and 50% Merlot finds a harmonious convergence, showing black plums and soft tannins.
A big and intense Zin with a pucker that holds on, this Livermore red is heavy and a bit dull aromatically, opening up to show spice, black fruit and cedar but overall it finishes short.
This Livermore producer has sourced from Livermore and Amador County—both Portuguese varieties and Cabernet Sauvignon—to make this Port-style wine, a mouthful of caramel toffee melted and toasty. A hint of marshmallow’s there too.
The brownish-gold color and aromas of caramel and earthy, appley fruit hint at premature oxidation. The flavors are of apple cider, butter and some vanilla. It’s full-bodied and weighty, but is that stylistically intentional or just the result of the wine being overdone?