A fantastic new discovery from Westwood Winery, one of our favorite new small-production wineries and winemaker Philippe Melka.
96 Points The Tasting Panel: "Winemakers Philippe Melka and Maayan Koschitzky were the hands and minds behind the latest vintage of this wine, which is more than deserving of its name. It’s a California red with a French accent, blending 46% Cabernet Sauvignon with 25% Syrah, 19% Mourvèdre, and 10% Grenache; the Rhône varieties were grown on Westwood Estate’s Biodynamically farmed Annadel Gap Vineyard, while the Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from the Sonoma and Napa valleys. Together, they create a wine that’s alert with Old World acidity as it unleashes a waterfall of violets, plum, and black cherry skin that cascades across the lush palate. Tannins are sheathed in dark chocolate and tempered by white pepper."
92 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "A kitchen sink blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Mourvèdre, and Grenache (there's Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot in there as well), the 2017 Legend Proprietary Red Wine is a delicious, plump, fruit-loaded beauty that displays chocolatey dark currants, plums, savory herbs, and spice-driven aromas and flavors. These carry to a full-bodied red with a rounded, mouthfilling texture, plenty of ripe tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. Drink this pleasure-bent, incredibly satisfying red blend over the coming 7-8 years or more."
BLEND: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Grenache, 14% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre
★ 96 Points
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.
94 Points James Suckling: "This is really beautiful with raspberry, blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors. Its full-to medium-bodied with firm, integrated tannins and a beautiful finish. Shows lots of finesse and polish in the texture. Some may find it a little austere, but it should soften in a year or two. Better after 2021."
93 Points Wine Spectator: "Features overt cherry, plum and raspberry fruit flavors, gilded with anise and mesquite hints. Maintains good energy thanks to fresh acidity through the finish, revealing a long echo of savory and iron. Inviting now, but suitable for cellaring. Best from 2021 through 2033."
Wine Spectator #4 wine of 2019!
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."