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As a young man growing up in Iran, where his father made wine as a hobby, Darioush Khaledi used to sneak sips from the barrel. Some 30 years later, he now owns one of the most versatile labels in the...
Located 1,200 feet above sea level, Dana Estate’s Lotus Vineyard has steep and rocky soils that furnish the perfect medium in which to grow Cabernet Sauvignon. Here the vines yield grapes of supreme...
A fabulous effort from Tim Mondavi and family, this fine blend comes from a property perfectly situated high above the Napa Valley floor, near estates belonging to Colgin Cellars, David Arthur, and...
Ann Colgin, who has been crafting breathtaking wines since 1992, describes her label’s style as “seductive, hedonistic, and memorable.” These descriptors could not be more accurate. The Colgin name...
A layered and voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon made from grapes grown in St. Helena, Yountville, Oakville, Calistoga, Coombsville, Carneros, and Oak Knoll, this lush red combines hints of barbecued meat...
Mark Aubert has made wine for such illustrious producers as Peter Michael, Colgin Cellars, and Bryant Family Vineyards. If these names do not provide sufficient indication of the caliber of his...
A beautifully sweet late-harvest Sémillon-based dessert wine grown in foggy Coombsville and aged for 30 months, this California sauterne rivals Chateau d’Yquem with its flavors of fig, tapioca,...
Beginning in 1976, Duckhorn Vineyards in St. Helena, Calif., established a tradition of using Merlot rather than Cabernet Sauvignon as the primary varietal in this blend, much as the right-bank...
Produced in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley, this Viognier received added depth and richness from the intense heat waves that struck the region in September 2008. These conditions increased the wine’s...
Tasting notes: The texture is smooth, and flavors of chocolate, spiced plum, espresso, and tarragon lead to a lengthy crescendo. Worth knowing: The vistas from a 165-acre parcel on the Sonoma County...
Tasting notes: This inaugural vintage of Mesa Reserve Syrah is a melding of deeply extracted blackberry with the pungency of roasted coffee, sweet tobacco, tar, and earthy chaparral. Worth knowing:...
Tasting notes: Silky and dense, this dark red is laden with aromas of boysenberry, crème de cassis, and soft vanilla. Its broad palate mingles flavors of dark berry, sandalwood, and caramel. Worth...
Tasting notes: It eschews the showy ripeness of some California reds, offering instead beautifully layered strata of dried cherry and boysenberry, earthy herbal notes of chaparral, deep mineral...
Tasting notes: The 2006 offers aromas of black cherry and a long finish of cedar, brown spice, and toasted vanilla bean. Worth knowing: Dominus is the brainchild of Christian Moueix, whose family...
Tasting notes: A dazzling composition of crisp apple and sweet pear mingled with a mouthwatering crème brûlée. Lively acidity shows, with a long, layered finish. Worth knowing: Sir Peter Michael and...
Tasting notes: Heady aromas of red-raspberry liqueur, ripe cherry, and concentrated boysenberry wash over scents of allspice and sandalwood. The texture—a voluptuous liquid fabric that is at once...
Tasting notes: Delivers layers of creamy flavor—vanilla, hazelnut, and buttery brioche—that dissolve gradually to a precisely focused finish punctuated by pinpoint bubbles. Worth knowing: Struck by...
Tasting notes: The Celani Family Vineyards 2005 Ardore Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits fruit and sarsaparilla aromas and an alluring blend of boysenberry, black-cherry, and currant flavors. The French-...
Tasting notes: Magnificent misty gold color with a satin texture: pear, apricot, white peach layer atop a creamy custard that dissolves on the long finish to a bright pinpoint of acidity. Worth...
Tasting notes: This dark red brims with black-cherry, black-currant, and blackberry flavors that give way on the finish to soft tannins accented by earthy clove and red apple. Only 440 cases were...
Tasting notes: Silky, elegant, and smoky, this California take on pomerol is cooler than, say, the bright, berry-filled 2005 vintage, showing more dark plum and earthy spice. Worth knowing: Produced...
Tasting notes: Brooding, dark, and fragrant, this reveals blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry on the nose. Earthy cedar and clove, attar of rose, and mineral precede a long finish of sweet red apple...
Tasting notes: Creamy pear melds with lemon and peach, while crisp acid gracefully balances the wine’s rich sweetness. Worth knowing: Named Red Shoulder Ranch after the species of hawk that hunts in...
Tasting notes: A dark, sultry infusion of chocolate, cherry, ripe black plum, and fragrant cedar, this velvety red’s color, scent, taste, and texture are guaranteed to enrapture four of the five...
Tasting notes: Voluptuously thick, a powerful, shadowy bordeaux blend that is almost like Turkish coffee with luxurious berry and black cherry, dark chocolate, and big yet velvety tannins. Worth...
Tasting notes: The Schramsberg 2001 J. Schram North Coast is composed of 78 percent chardonnay and 22 percent pinot noir. Aromas of apple blossom and tropical fruit lie atop the creamy scent of...
Tasting notes: A masterpiece of ripe fruit—a roiling medley of dark mountain berries—through which glide sweet currents of smoky oak. Worth knowing: Pride Mountain Vineyards’ more than 200 acres sit...
Tasting notes: The Merry Edwards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley exhibits refreshing honeydew melon and pear fruit—in this case, spiked with hints of limoncello and mace that carry on...
Tasting notes: Exhibits the dark color and rich texture of a cabernet, yet its lively acids and wonderful rose-petal aromas remind one that this is pinot at its purest. Worth knowing: Merry Edwards...
Tasting notes: The Dolce 2005 Napa Valley, though lavishly textured and dense, remains surprisingly light on the tongue, with flavors of lemon meringue, coconut custard, and torrone. Worth knowing:...

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