Raen Royal St Robert Sonoma Coast 2016

Sonoma Coast is a large, cool climate viticultural region north of San Francisco.  Few of these wines make their way to Australia.  In the glass, this wine is very obviously pinot noir and, for Australian readers, resembles the Yarra Valley fruity pinot noir style.  It has aromas of cherry and spice.  The body is full […]

Sterling Vintner’s Collection California Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

This is a well priced and typical expression of Californian cabernet sauvignon from Sterling Vineyards.  It has a fruity aroma of ripe red berries.  The palate has plump tannins, reminders of ripe blackcurrants and pleasant length on the finish.  Rating: Good. Abv: 13.5%. Price: $18. Website: http://www.sterlingvineyards.com.

Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Vintage Brut 2014

This is a very good sparkling wine from Schramsberg in California.  The appellation is North Coast.  Should the name prove unilluminating outside of California, the vineyards are in fact in the Napa and Sonoma counties.  The sparkling wine itself is a blanc de blancs chardonnay made using the traditional method.  In the glass, there are […]

Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel 2014

This is the second vintage I’ve tasted of Ravenswood’s zinfandel, and there’s an evenness to this wine.  I found myself quite enjoying the 2014 vintage’s expression of blackberry, bramble fruit and full bodied style.  (Region: Lodi, California, Rating: Good, Would I buy it based on this tasting?  The wine has its place: I’d suggest it […]

Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

This is a delicious wine from Robert Mondavi in the Napa Valley.  There are a few versions of this label available, but 2013 “Robert Mondavi Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon” has a very attractive fleshy texture, is ably supplemented by ripe (and not overripe) blackcurrant fruit and is a wine very much worth tracking down. […]

Au Bon Climat La Bauge Au-dessus Pinot Noir 2009

You don’t see too much Californian pinot noir in Australia.  Here’s an excuse to have a closer look.  This wine is from the Santa Maria Valley north of Los Angeles, a region that is open to the prevailing sea fogs.  In the glass, it is Burgundian in style overlayed with good fruit.  On the nose, […]

A right bank Bordeaux (Cloitre des Capucins Saint-Émilion Grand Cru 2011) and Californian cabernet (Drawbridge Cabernet Sauvignon Lodi 2014)

I tasted these two wines in sequence, the former Bordeaux slightly lacking in charm, and the latter Cali cab being a little cooked in expression.  Do I confess that I wondered whether they might, blended together, be capable of presenting more than the sum of their parts?  The full body of the Cali cab, adding […]

Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel 2011

From California, this is a fairly even handed style of zinfandel.  It has aromatics of pepper, spice and anise. The palate reminds of ripe and unripe blackberries and has short to medium length.  The wine is in balance and the extremes of this grape variety remain unexplored.  This wine will suit every day drinking and […]