★ 96 Points
Wine Spectator #4 wine of 2019!
One of the top Napa Cabernets of the vintage, the Groth Reserve Cab is a classic. Delicious now but a great cellar candidate as well. Limited.
96 Points Wine Spectator: "Groth owns 121 acres smack in the middle of Napa’s coveted Oakville AVA. Founded by Dennis and Judy Groth in 1982, the Oakville estate has endured some ups and downs, including a large-scale replant that resulted in the absence of a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from its lineup from 2000 to 2004. The vineyard is now in its prime, and the reserve blocks total 27.5 acres, generating a focused and refined Cabernet with an intense, fruit-driven core. Winemaker Cameron Parry ferments in stainless steel and presses before full dryness, lending a sweet fruit quality to the wine. He then ages it in 100 percent new oak for 22 months.
A fantastic new discovery from Westwood Winery, one of our favorite new small-production wineries and winemaker Philippe Melka.
96 Point Wine Enthusiast *Editor's Choice*: "This red is brightly layered in fresh bluefruit, meat and garrigue, showing plenty of density and complexity. It has a wild character thats intriguing and energetic, with lasting threads of white and black pepper on the finish."
96 Points Decanter: "Winemaker Philippe Melka collaborated with Westwood Estate to create the inaugural release of this proprietary red. Melka blended in 55% Cabernet Sauvignon with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre from Westwood’s biodynamically farmed Annadel Gap Vineyard. The prestigious, cool climate site is located between two mountains in Sonoma County, and is influenced by the Pacific, 20 miles to the west. Aromas of sweet, savory soil are primed with rich tones of blueberry preserves. Generous and a true extrovert, this red gives wide berth on the palate to creamy boysenberry and luscious, ripe plum. Red floral and graphite strike an accord with high-energy acidity. Finely grained tannins grip like a professional golfer, firm, but not tight – confident and seamless. Finishes with a snip of cayenne, sparking an alignment with cinnamon oak as the blue fruit turns darker."
BLEND: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Grenache, 14% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre
The fifth vintage of Dave Phinney's Disciples Red under the Crane Assembly label, the 2018 has arrived. The new Prisoner! Limited.
previous vintage 93 Points Robert Parker: "A blend of 76% Zinfandel, 13% Charbono, 6% Grenache and 5% Petite Sirah, the Disciples is medium to deep garnet-purple in color with gorgeous notions of hoisin, Black Forest cake, prunes and potpourri with hints of black pepper, unsmoked cigars and cloves. Full-bodied, rich, opulent and oh-so-spicy, it fills the palate with decadent fruit and a plush texture, finishing with a lively lift."
From the new winery The Crane Assembly, the Disciples Red has quite a back story. In August of 2012, four friends (Dave Phinney, Darryl Browman, Kevin A. Fox and Bryan D. Sandoli) stood in the middle of a block of hundred year old Zinfandel. The vineyard was planted by George Beldon Crane in the late nineteenth century and is one of the icons of the Napa Valley. Hours earlier they had signed the paperwork to buy the vineyard and it was just in the nick of time...they picked the grapes the next morning. Since that first year wines were made from our G.B. Crane Vineyard under the el Coco label and the GB Crane label.
Rare new release from Martinelli! The Bella Vigna Pinot Noir is sure to become your go-to wine. This approachable wine is bright and fresh, with wonderful aromas of plum, red apple and hibiscus tea. Flavors include juicy cherry pie, currants and hints of cinnamon and vanilla.
The Bella Vigna vineyard was planted to former winemaker Helen Turley's specifications and yields only 2-3 pounds of fruit, compared to the average vine that yields 20-30 pounds of fruit, creating more intense flavor, color, and uniformity. They are harvested only after current winemaker Brian Kvame tastes the fruit and is satisfied. The juice is fermented using indigenous yeasts and aged for 10 months in French oak barrels.The result is a dark burgundy/garnet-colored wine with aromas of almonds, cherries, spice and forest floor. This is not "old school" Pinot, as the rich flavors of black cherries and blueberries follow suit and lead to a long finish with supple tannins, gorgeous purity and a seamless texture.
Robert Parker: "...One of the great families of Northern California, and of course, one of the highest quality producers, the Martinellis – and rather remarkably so – only estate-bottle 15% of their production from over 300 acres of beautifully situated vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. No doubt Helen Turley, who worked at Martinelli and mentored its winemaking team, left a profound influence on the quality of the Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Zinfandels, a fact that can’t be overstated. The Chardonnays all go through full malolactic fermentation and tend to see about 50% new oak. The Pinot Noirs are always 100% destemmed and largely spend no longer than ten months in about 60% new French oak...As good as 2013 is for Pinot Noir in Sonoma, 2014 actually eclipses it."