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12 Picks Fall 2023   

2020 Fulcrum Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley


San Francisco Wine Panel Score 92+ Points
This is an attractively ripe, well focused Cabernet with aromas of black raspberry and dark cherry fruits supported by savory counterpoints that include baking spice, dark tobacco, hazelnut and Oolong tea. It proves plump, juicy and even more amiable than expected on the palate, where piquant black raspberry, blueberry and dark cherry flavors dominate others of black fig, bitter chocolate, vanilla bean, dark pipe tobacco and licorice root. The finish is elegant, lingering and dry. Ready to enjoy, this will prove a versatile dinner companion. Blended with 8% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petite Verdot. 120 cases produced.


2021 Sandler Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 92+ Points
This Pinot represents its famous vineyard with youthful intensity and impressive focus. The nose offers zesty aromas of Bing cherry, dark cherry, Santa Rosa plum, cranberry sauce, orange zest, baking spice, mace and sumac berry. Cranberry sauce, red plum, cherry pit, dried orange peel, sumac berry, hazelnut, sandalwood and star anise flavors are notable on the mid-palate and these carry through a bright, lingering finish where some tannic grip is in evidence. With further airing, the flavors of Bing cherry, Cherry Bounce, black raspberry, mace, baking spice and star anise gain in proportion, so although it is food balanced already, this wine would likely repay two years or more of cellaring. 120 cases produced.

2019 Santa Cruz Mt. Vineyard Zinfandel Loesch Vineyard Santa Clara County

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 92+ Points
Varietally correct, fruit forward, focused,dinner balanced and immediately appealing, this is a terrific Zinfandel. The nose delivers aromas of sour red cherry, grenadine, black raspberry and pink and black peppercorn poised above a richly earthy background. It proves medium bodied and just as focused on the palate, where piquant cherry pit, pomegranate, lingonberry, red raspberry and peppercorn flavors fan out in a lingering, balanced medley. A delicious sipper that never flags in flavor, this Zin will prove an ideal companion to grilled meats or tomato sauce preparations of all kinds. 100 cases produced.


2021 Windchaser Syrah Perli Vineyard Mendocino Ridge

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 91+ Points
Poised on a sometimes inaccessible mountain top, the Perli vineyard often represents its wild location with fruit that has an almost feral undercurrent. That smokey-gamey note is notable as a counterpoint to this wine’s layering of black raspberry, boysenberry, violet, peppercorn, briar, bramble and forest floor scents. The fruit is densely-packed on the palate where zest pairs with tannic grip to bring leanness to concentrated, lingering flavors that are a somewhat gripping mirror of the aromas. Try it now with grilled lamb or a dark roast, or let two years of cellar time bring forth all that it has to give. 75 cases produced.


2019 Earthfleunce Cabernet Franc Santa Barbara

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 92 Points
This wine is as texturally appealing as it is flavorful. The aromas are a forthcoming yet elegant mix of dark cherry, red plum galette, sumac berry, cedar, baking spice and hazelnut scents. It is medium-bodied,  supple in mouth-feel and just a hint earthy on the palate, where flavors of baked plum and cherry find harmony with others of nutmeg and mace. The finish lingers well, as does the impression of soft edged fruit and savory spice. 80 cases produced.


2019 Oak Farm Vineyards Barbera Mokelumne River Lodi

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 91+ Points
This is an intriguing Barbera that offers appropriate varietal flavors and zest plus sweet and savory counterpoints which are distinctly its own. The aromas are a surprisingly full medley of bright cranberry, dark cherry and dark berry fruit scents tied to richer notes of mocha, carob molasses and forest floor spice. It is bright yet appealingly generous on the palate, where cranberry, cherry pit, berry and a suggestion of ripe tomato are steeped in a plush undercurrent of mocha, toffee, baking spice and espresso bean flavors. Rich and lingering to the end, it is ready to enjoy. 810 cases produced.


2021 Sandler Chardonnay R-Bar-R Ranch Santa Cruz Mountains

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 92+ Points
Clearly rich, yet forthcoming and zesty, the nose of this bottling delivers a harmonious mix of lemon cream pie, baked apple, white peach, vanilla wafer and jasmine blossom aromas. On the palate lemon zest, quince jam, baked apple and white peach flavors dominate, while undercurrents of stony minerality and more subtle suggestions of marzipan and fresh flowers follow. Zesty citrus and firming mineral notes combine to create a sense of textural leanness on the mid-palate and through a lingering finish where notes of honeyed nuts add richness to the wine’s core fruits. Satisfying as it is now, it should grow in dimension for another twelve to eighteen months. 120 cases produced.


2021 Chamisal Chardonnay San Luis Obispo

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 90 Points
This is a terrific summer Chardonnay: moderately complex and extremely fresh. The aromas are a zesty, well defined melange of fresh apple, golden fig, and lemon sorbet scents. It is sleek and refreshing on the palate, where flavors of fresh green apple skin, lemon sorbet and fresh fig again hold center stage. The wines brightness, balance and intensity make it a great companion to grilled chicken or pork while it will also beautifully compliment almost any sea food preparation. 1958 cases made.


2022 Cloisonne Winery Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 91 Points
Extremely bright and forthcoming, yet easy-going as well, the nose of this textbook Russian River Valley wine is a focused melange of fresh lemon, golden berry, honeydew melon, lemon grass and white pepper scents. It proves as brisk and forthcoming on the palate as expected, and additions of lime zest, parsley and honey bring richer depth to the lingering finish. Certain to prove a versatile food companion, it is ideally suited for service with summer picnics or mid week dinner parties. It is ready to enjoy. 457 cases produced.


2022 Whitehall Lane Semillon Napa Valley

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 91+ Points
At opening this is a bright and forthcoming wine, although airing suggests that there are likely further depths yet to be revealed. The nose focuses on fresh lime, honeydew melon, apricot pit and jasmine scents that promise fine refreshment. The wine proves as vibrant on the palate as expected, while a note of chalky dryness brings a lean feel to its otherwise rich texture. The flavors of key lime, honeydew melon and jasmine team with the mineral undercurrent to keep its cutting balance steady through a lingering, food friendly finish. As the wine airs and the temperature starts to drop, the texture grows richer and a deeper core of golden fig takes center stage. 131 cases produced.


2022 Cochon “Pape Rocks” Viognier/Rousanne Blend Sonoma County

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 91+ Points
Genteel and quietly rich, the aromas of this seductive bottling open as a medley of nectarine, jasmine blossom, key lime and white pepper scents, above a background suggestion of honey. On the palate the texture is nicely rounded yet there is good balancing zest, and this combination brings a caressing feel to flavors of nectarine, lychee, lime, tangerine preserves and white pepper. The same flavors enliven the lingering finish and the result is a pretty, food friendly sipper that will be delicious with mild curries, rich seafood dishes and other white meats as well. A blend of 60% Viognier and 40% Roussanne. 125 cases produced.


2022 Vivier Rosé of Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

San Francisco Wine Panel Score 92+ Points
Bright and fresh, with focused aromas of white cherry, watermelon, “peace” rose petal, dried orange peel, pink peppercorn and coriander seed, this is a complex and seductive Rosé. On the palate the texture is unexpectedly rich and the flavors parallel the nose, proving as focused and intense as expected, with the orange peel notes slightly prominent. The finish lingers nicely and the wine grows in harmony and overall elegance with airing. Enjoy this flavorful Rosé with full flavored entrees, but don’t be surprised if it proves even better a year from now. 150 cases made.starts to drop, the texture grows richer and a deeper core of golden fig takes center stage. 131 cases produced.