Harris’ Restaurant Wine List Review

Harris’ Restaurant

2100 Van Ness Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94109

P: 415.673.1888

www.harrisrestaurant.com

Harris’ Restaurant Wine List Review

This San Francisco landmark restaurant has been popping corks and serving up delicious cuts of meat for 25+ years.  Harris’ wine list is a Tour De Force that is comprised of over 500+ selections.  There are a number of great bottles priced below $100, and they have some absolutely stunning bottles at higher prices.  If you have the time and money, then we recommend you stop into this restaurant once a week for a year and work your way through the wine list.  If money is not an issue, then start your evening with the 1993 Dom Perignon, Oenotheque for $395 and follow it up with the 2008 Keenan, Spring Mountain, Cabernet Franc for $88 and the 2008 Pride Mountain Cabernet Franc for $110.  Let us know which Cabernet Franc you prefer.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail (Roederer Estate, Brut, Anderson Valley, Sparkling Wine | $41 | 2.2x | This translates into a retail price of $18).

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT HARRIS’ RESTAURANT 

Sparkling Wines

26 selections that range in price from $39 to $1,050

 

Roederer Estate, Brut Anderson Valley, Non-Vintage | $41 | 2.2x

2007 Domaine Carneros, Brut | $50 | 2.4x

2000 Domaine Carneros, Brut | $55 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

Chandon, Etoile, Rose, Napa and Sonoma | $61 | 1.9x

Henriot, Souverain Brut, Reims, France, Non Vintage | $72 | 2.2x

Veuve Clicquot, Brut, Yellow Label, Non-Vintage | $79 | 1.9x | TOP PICK

1999 Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs | $115 | 1.3x | TOP PICK

2005 Louis Roederer, Brut, Rose | $130 | 2.2x

1993 Dom Perignon, Oenotheque | $395 | 1.1x | TOP PICK

White Wines

103 selections that range in price from $26 to $300

 

2009 Palmina, Santa Barbara, Pinot Grigio | $32 | 1.9x | TOP PICK

2010 Laird Family, Cold Creek, Napa Valley, Pinot Grigio | $36 | 2.0x

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma County Viognier | $80 | 2.0x

 

2010 Cakebread, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $43 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2010 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $49 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2009 Capture, Tradition, Lake & Sonoma County, Sauvignon Blanc | $60 | 2.0x

 

2008 Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma and Green Valley, Chardonnay | $42 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2009 Joseph Drouhin, Vaudon | $45 | 2.0x

2009 Jordan, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay | $51 | 2.0x

2010 Rombauer, Carneros, Chardonnay | $55 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2007 Londer, Corby Vineyard, Anderson Valley, Chardonnay | $60 | 2.0x | TOP PICK

2007 Stony Hill, Estate, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $63 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

 2007 Stony Hill, Estate, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $71 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2008 William – Fevre, Fourchaume, 1er Cru | $75 | 1.9x

2009 Ridge Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay | $75 | 2.0x | TOP PICK

2007 Ridge Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay | $81 | 2.0x

2009 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay | $92 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2008 Ridge, Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains, Chardonnay | $100 | 2.0x

2007 Littorai, Heintz Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay | $130 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2005 Chanson, Clos Des Mouches, Beaune 1er Cru | $155 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

Red Wines

 326 selections that range in price from $40 to $270

 

2009 Siduri, Sonoma County, Pinot Noir | $40 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2008 Colin Bruno, Vielles Vignes, Santenay | $55 | 2.0x

2007 Macrostie, Carneros, Pinot Noir | $63 | 2.1x

2008 Etude, Carneros, Pinot Noir | $68 | 1.7x

2007 Lynmar Estate, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $70 | 1.9x

2009 Patz & Hall, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $71 | 2.1x

2008 Pierre Gelin, Clos Napeleon, Fixin, 1er Cru | $79 | 2.0x

 

2007 Vietti, Castiglione, Barolo | $75 | 1.5x | TOP PICK

2007 Bruna Rocca, Barbaresco | $95 | 1.9x

2006 Allegrini, Palazzo della Torre | $40 | 2.0x

2008 Felsina, Chianti Classico | $41 | 2.0x

2009 Il Poggione, Rosso di Montalcino | $47 | 1.9x

2008 Ruffino, Modus, Super Tuscan | $52 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2006 Falcor Wines, Napa Valley, Sangiovese | $54 | 1.5x | TOP PICK

 

2005 Ojai, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Syrah | $54 | 1.3x | TOP PICK

2008 Qupe, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Syrah | $55 | 2.0x

2007 Skylark, Rodgers Creek Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, Syrah | $60 | 1.8x

2007 John Duval, Entity, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Shiraz | $72 | 1.9x

2005 DeLille Cellars, Doyenne, Yakima Valley, Washington, Syrah | $84 | 1.5x | TOP PICK

2008 Shafer, Relentless, Napa Valley, Syrah | $118 | 1.8x

2006 Cluster M45, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia, Shiraz | $130 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

 

2007 Domaine du Cayron, Gigondas | $65 | 2.0x

2005 E. Guigal, Chateauneuf-du-Pape | $100 | 2.3x

 

2006 Highland Winery, Howell Mountain, Zinfandel | $46 | 1.5x | TOP PICK

2006 Collier Falls, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel | $50 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2008 Unti Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel | $50 | 2.0x

2009 Ridge, East Bench, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel | $51 | 2.1x

2009 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel | $59 | 1.3x

2008 Ridge, Geyserville, Sonoma County, Zinfandel | $69 | 2.0x

2008 Paraduxx Winery, Napa Valley, Zinfandel | $70 | 1.7x

2006 Aleph, Mendoza, Malbec | $44 | 2.2x

2007 Catena Alta, Mendoza, Malbec | $97 | 2.0x

 

2008 Keenan Winery, Spring Mountain Cabernet Franc | $88 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma Cabernet Franc | $110 | 1.5x | TOP PICK

 

2007 Whitehall Lane, Napa Valley, Merlot | $50 | 2.0x

2007 Keenan Winery, Napa Valley, Merlot | $52 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2006 Rombauer, Napa Valley, Merlot | $56 | 1.9x

2008 Shafer, Napa Valley, Merlot | $85 | 1.9x

2008 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot | $93 | 1.9x

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, 28% Napa & 78% Sonoma, Merlot | $97 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2007 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot | $105 | 2.1x

2006 Duckhorn, Three Palms Vineyard, Napa Valley | $140 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

2004 Clos Pegase, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $50 | 1.3x | TOP PICK

2006 Ehret Family Winery, Knights Valley, Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon | $55 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2006 Mount Eden Vineyards, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, Cabernet | $60 | 1.2x | TOP PICK

2007 Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $67 | 2.2x

2007 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $78 | 1.7x

2006 Robert Traverso, Stag’s Leap District, Cabernet Sauvignon | $79 | 1.2x | TOP PICK

2007 Abeja, Columbia Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $82 | 1.9x

2007 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $84 | 1.4x | TOP PICK

2007 Seps Estate of Storybook Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $85 | 1.4x | TOP PICK

2005 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $93 | 1.7x

2008 Joseph Phelps, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $96 | 1.9x

2005 Paradigm, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon | $115 | 1.9x

2006 Paradigm, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon | $121 | 2.0x

 

Sparkling Wines

26 selections that range in price from $39 to $1,050

 

Roederer Estate, Brut, Anderson Valley, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $18 at K&L Wine Merchants & $19 at Artisan Wine Depot

Ratings: Wine Spectator 89

  • $40 at Waterfront Restaurant | 2.2x
  • $41 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.2x
  • $44 at 5A5 Steak Lounge | 2.4x
  • $46 at Boulevard | 2.6x

89 points Wine Spectator: “Crisp and refreshingly minerally, offering tart Gala apple and lemon aromas and focused flavors of yeasty citrus and anise. A hint of cherry lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2013.”

2007 Domaine Carneros, Brut

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $44 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.2x
  • $50 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: Vintage dated each year, the Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée represents the best of Carneros pinot noir and chardonnay made into a classic sparkling wine. The appellation is 100% Carneros. The Brut was aged in the bottle for three years before release. It will continue to develop further depth and complexity as it ages. This cuvée has aromas of meadow flowers, pears and citrus peel enhanced with notes of toast, vanilla and spice. The wine is elegantly structured, rich, round and flavorful with the long creamy finish that is the hallmark of Domaine Carneros wines. Lovely served with double or triple cream cheeses, it also matches especially well with oysters, shellfish, fish, poultry, Asian and California cuisine. Alcohol 12.0%.

2000 Domaine Carneros, Brut

Retail Price: $30 at Wine.com – SOLD OUT

Rating: See comments below

  • $55 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x | TOP PICK

This superb, handcrafted sparkling wine, immediately reminiscent of the Taittinger style, is marked by an exceptional refinement and finesse. Its brilliant straw gold color is punctuated by strands of persistent, pinpoint bubbles. The subtle, ripe fruit richness of the Pinot Noir is balanced by the elegant depth and structure of the Chardonnay, converging in notes of toast and vanilla which linger in the extended finish.

Chandon, Etoile, Rose, Napa and Sonoma

Retail Price: $32 at Bevmo

Rating: See comments below

  • $61 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: French for star— étoile embodies our commitment to crafting the finest sparkling rosé in America. The winemaking team has carte blanche in creating this wine. They have absolute freedom to break from all traditional limitations and commonly accepted rules in sparkling winemaking. This philosophy is now also visibly represented by the use of a crown seal. This unconventional closure symbolizes our commitment to providing the best sparkling wine to our consumers. For example, we impose no appellation requirement and allow the winemaking team to source from the very best vineyards in any given vintage. With no vintage requirements, we have the freedom to blend the current vintage with the perfect complement of library, or reserve wines, to build layers of depth and complexity. This is the concept of sur lees dating. And finally, we subscribe to no predetermined varietal blend or style; we simply reflect the best style the vineyards have to offer. étoile Rosé combines the forward fruit of a red wine and the elegant structure of a white. It is coveted by the most passionate connoisseurs for its unique character and limited availability.

2007 Schramsberg, Brut, Rose, North Coast

Retail Price: $33 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $69 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x

92 points Wine Advocate:  A sensational effort, the 2007 Brut Rose (60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay) offers a beautiful light salmon/pink color as well as a terrific nose of framboise/kirsch and strawberries. The wine hits the palate with freshness, lots of tiny, well-defined bubbles, medium body and a fresh, long finish. This beauty is a top-notch dry rose sparkling wine.

Winemaker’s Notes: Juicy strawberry jumps out of the glass, followed by raspberry and cherries. The berry bouquet is complimented by mandarin orange and papaya. The palate has exotic flavors of mango and cantaloupe, followed by mouthwatering citrus. A juicy viscosity leads to a long, lingering finish. Alcohol 12.6%.

Henriot, Souverain Brut, Reims, France, Non Vintage

Retail Price: $33 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: See comments below

  • $55 at Los Altos Grill | 1.7x
  • $72 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.2x

Robert Parker: Henriot’s NV Brut Souverain is a solid entry-level, mid-weight Champagne with good balance and length that won’t wow or disappoint. The Souverain is 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. This is Lot L0916811209. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.” – Antonio Galloni (Dec 2010)

Winemaker’s Notes: This cuvée has a clear golden hue. The effervescence is long-lasting, with very fine, regular bubbles. The high concentration of Chardonnay makes for a very elegant nose. The start is straight-forward, with a balanced, harmonious body. 

Veuve Clicquot, Brut, Yellow Label, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $42 at Multiple Locations

Rating: Wine Spectator 90 & Wine Enthisiast 89

  • $76 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.9x | TOP PICK
  • $79 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x | TOP PICK

90 points Wine Spectator. The Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label has hints of toast and biscuit that accent lightly honeyed flavors of quince, apple blossom and peach in this fresh and balanced Champagne.

89 points Wine Enthusiast: Ripe, mature, easy Champagne, maintaining the Clicquot style of bottle maturity, with toast, sweet pastry and a rich, full-in-the-mouth character of white fruits. The finish is relatively soft. R.V.

1999 Delamotte, Blanc de Blancs

Retail Price: $88 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $115 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.3x | TOP PICK

92 points Wine Advocate: Pretty notes of smoke, mint, licorice and peaches emerge from the 1999 Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru. This medium-bodied, refined Chardonnay possesses notable complexity in its layered, refined personality. Here, too, the wine offers superb length and finesse.” (12/08) 91 points Wine Spectator: “High-toned, with floral and ginger aromas, picking up grapefruit on the palate. Light-bodied, but not light, with fine intensity and a white pepper finish. Drink now through 2020.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 1999 Delamotte Blanc de Blancs is a pale yellow color with green reflects. The nose is herbal with hints of jasmine, white peach, mint, pear. On the palate, the wine is very fresh, well-balanced, straight and pure. It is the perfect companion to shellfish, crayfish carpaccio, sushi and all white fish.

2005 Louis Roederer, Brut, Rose

Retail Price: $60 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $130 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.2x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Brut Rose is a gorgeous wine blessed with compelling inner perfume, layers of subtle yet expressive fruit and phenomenal balance. Clean, chalky notes frame a precise, crystalline finish. This mid-weight Champagne can be enjoyed on its own or with food. It is a relative bargain considering the quality of what is in the glass and considering the prohibitive pricing of Cristal Rose. This is Lot L033331G100002, disgorged November, 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

Winemaker’s NotesSalmon pink color with orangey-red glints. The bouquet exudes the exuberance of Pinot Noir from the southern Cumières slopes: there is a burst of fresh, sweet red fruits, accompanied by oral (acacia) and mineral hints with grilled and smoked overtones, brought together to form a very full combination which is fresh, rich and refined. On the palate, there is immediately a burst of fresh, sweet fruit, with a tasty, crisp and mellow texture. The sometimes disturbing magic of great Pinot Noirs is put to work delicately here: The flavors are rich, fresh and intense with pure aromas, literally enveloped in soft, silky tannins… which are then transformed into ultimate elegance thanks to the wonderful mineral freshness! This Rosé 2005, with its incredible aromatic persistence, is racy, generous and sophisticated. A real treat!

The structure and richness of Louis Roederer Brut Rosé make it a perfect accompaniment to main courses, magnificently complementing fish such as salmon; meat such as lamb, veal, guinea fowl and even pheasant; and soft cheeses such as Chaource and Brillat-Savarin. It can also be served with red-fruit based desserts that are less sweet, such as a red fruit zabaglione or a red fruit gratin.

1993 Dom Perignon, Oenotheque

Retail Price: $363 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $395 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.1x | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Advocate: Medium lemon-straw colour. Moderately intense nose of lemon curd, kaffir lime leaf, plenty of hot buttered toast and vague hints of chalk and crushed stone. The bubbles are calming a little in the mouth and the very crisp acidity is taking centre stage, yet this wine is drinking beautifully now, providing plenty of yeast and citrus flavour with a generous sprinkling of minerality. Long finish. Drink now – 2012. Tasted October 2008

Dom Perignon reserve! This Champagne comes from the wine library or “Oenotheque” of Moet & Chandon. Much like the Bollinger RD’s, this Dom has been allowed to age on its lee’s for an extra 5 years compared to the original release of the vintage. It has been given the time that it needs, and has blossomed into a full bodied, toasty, elegant Champagne. It is the perfect bottle for the most important gifts! -Gary Westby, K&L

White Wines

103 selections that range in price from $26 to $300

2009 Palmina, Santa Barbara, Pinot Grigio

Retail Price: $17 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $32 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x | TOP PICK

Description from K&L’s Site: This Pinot Grigio truly is a mélange of flavors, textures and nuances of these four vineyards. The light pale straw color invites a swirl, which shouts of citrusy fruits in its delicate bouquet. Zingy and zesty on the palate, the crisp wine then brings layers of vineyard specific nuances to the palate. Citrus and white peach and stone fruits from Alisos. A flinty minerality of the ancient riverbed soils from Honea. Hints of lime zest from Zotovich. A kiss of nectarine from Hibbits. All overlaid with subtle tropical notes of just ripe pineapple and mango in this tangy and zippy release. This is a firm, focused wine with a beautifully dry finish that acts as its own ambassador for the perfect Pinot Grigio climate and soils of Santa Barbara County. 

2010 Laird Family, Cold Creek, Napa Valley, Pinot Grigio

Retail Price: $17 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating:  See comments below

  • $36 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

The Laird Family’s Cold Creek Ranch is a 300 acre vineyard located on the Sonoma side of the Carneros district. The cooling sea breezes off the San Pablo Bay are perfectly suited for pinot grigio as well as chardonnay, two grape varieties that thrive in this special vineyard. Made without oak, it is has exotic aromas of lemon zest, pineapple and orange blossom lead to a juicy, complex palate of honeysuckle, tangerine, lime and kiwi fruit and wet stone minerality in the pleasingly long finish. Featuring the sleek and elegant new “Wak” twist-off closure from Italy.

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma County Viognier

Retail Price: $40 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $80 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 Viognier has an intensely heady bouquet of nectarine, lemon peel and lychee complemented by floral notes of lime blossom and honeysuckle. The mouth is supple with round, juicy flavors, soft acid and a syrupy texture that coats the mouth, leaving a spicy finish that lingers. As always, our Viognier is fermented in 2/3 neutral (5+ years old) barrels to impart texture without adding any oak flavor, while 1/3 is fermented in stainless steel to maintain the purity of this aromatic grape. Full bodied yet possessing plenty of finesse, it is the perfect accompaniment to a springtime afternoon. Alcohol 15.4%. 

2010 Cakebread, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: See comments below

  • $43 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x | TOP PICK
  • $46 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.8x | TOP PICK

Due to the coolness of the vintage, our 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is especially fresh, crisp and vibrant, offering bright honeydew melon, pink grapefruit, gooseberry and vanilla aromas and rich, mouthwatering, citrus, nectarine and melon flavors. An ideal apèritif wine, it also beautifully accompanies a wide and diverse range of foods, from shellfish and lighter seafood dishes to roast chicken, Caesar Salad and pasta primavera. Enjoy it over the next 1-2 years.

 2010 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $27 at K&L Wines

Rating:  See comments below

  • $49 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $50 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.8x
  • $60 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

Duckhorn’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc reflects the winery’s passion for Bordeaux style blends, integrating 25% Semillon, fermenting a small amount of the wine in barrel, and aging sur lie. The result is a Napa Valley SB with a New World-meets-Old World charm. Tropical fruit aromas and flavors are supported by accents of flint, lees and spice. Its round on the mid-palate, but with refreshing acidity, too. Try it with a fig or date salad with goat cheese and mizuna.

2009 Capture, Tradition, Lake & Sonoma County, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $30 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $60 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

91 points Wine Spectator: An elegant, restrained style, this still has plenty of ripe fruit flavors, with citrus, melon and apricot notes, but the silky texture, mineral details, perfumed highlights and acidity that weaves in and out provide an air of refinement. Drink now. 875 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2009 Tradition Sauvignon Blanc shows subtle aromas ranging from pink grapefruit to elegant Meyer lemon and tangerine orange. The delicate scents of passion fruit, pear and gooseberry linger with the creamy texture of the wine. Try this wine well chilled, and then enjoy its shifting complexity as the wine slowly warms.

2008 Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma and Green Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $27 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $42 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Our concentration on Estate Chardonnay is bearing delicious fruit. We are successfully adding new layers and complexity to our Estate bottling without resorting to more oak and ML. For us, malo-lactic fermentation is simply an acid balancing tool – not a stylistic component, and we feel very strongly about keeping the oak beautifully integrated in the wine. Enjoy with roast chicken, crab cakes, salmon, halibut, lobster, grilled mushrooms, fava beans and buttered corn.

2009 Joseph Drouhin, Vaudon

Retail Price: $24 at Wine.com

Rating: See comments below

  • $45 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: A dry and fruity wine, easy to drink. Its color is pale gold with greenish hues. Very fresh aromas reminiscent of citrus (lemon or grapefruit); small pleasant touches of fern or coriander are found as well. On the palate, dry and fruity, with mineral notes. Pleasant and long aftertaste. Alcohol 12.5%.

2009 Jordan, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $25 at Napacabs

Rating: Wine Advocate 90

  • $51 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay is one of Gary Jordan’s best whites. With half the crop fermented in French oak (50% new) with 9 months lees aging, it has a taut, reserved, but very focused bouquet that displays judicious use of new oak. The palate is medium-bodied with a crisp entry and good acidity and shows subtle green apple, lime flower and hazelnut notes towards the composed finish. This is not a showy Chardonnay, but one that is very well crafted and succinct. Drink now-2016.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2009 Jordan Chardonnay has aromas of freshly cut green apples and honeysuckle with a hint of kiwi and lemon zest. Bright, fresh, apple flavors expand on the palate, framed by lively acidity and a touch of vanilla from five months of aging in new and used French oak barrels. Crispness and minerality linger in the long, graceful finish. This is a wine defined by elegance and finesse.

2010 Rombauer, Carneros, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.7x | TOP PICK
  • $55 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Golden yellow color with a pale hue. Seductive aromas of peach, melon, and citrus are balanced with honeysuckle and vanilla. On the palate, flavors of pears, peaches and melons are backed with lively acidity. A nice touch of vanilla-scented oak provides an added flavor dimension. The creamy palate has a lingering finish of melon and citrus fruit with a satisfying buttery complexity.
Our favorite pairing for this wine includes scallops in a cream sauce, pasta carbonara, chicken risotto and Cornish game hen.

2007 Londer, Corby Vineyard, Anderson Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $30 Release Price

Rating: Wine Spectator 95

  • $60 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x | TOP PICK

95 points Wine Spectator: Offers wonderful intensity and purity of fruit, with ripe, rich, zesty green apple, tangerine, nectarine and subtle mineral notes, followed by a long, lively, engaging finish. There’s no oak to speak of. Drink now through 2013. 342 cases made. –JL

2006 Stony Hill, Estate, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $40 Wally’s Wine & Spirits

Rating: See comments below

  • $63 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Winemaker Mike Chelini says of the 2006 vintage, “Not that we haven’t made serious wine before, but this is a really serious wine! And he ought to know having made the wines at Stony Hill for the past thirty-six years. He thinks the 2006 vintage stands out because of its more intense and mature qualities, which bring a new dimension to our non-oaky, non-malolactic Chardonnay. Mary Burklow says the bouquet reminds her of “wet stones after the first rain drops,” focusing on the mineral quality of the wine while Mike detected the youthful, slowly emerging aromas of pure Chardonnay fruit as he swirled his glass. In the mouth the wine carries more than usual weight with already integrated fruit and mineral flavors, and its finish lingers and carries to the end of the palate. We frankly do not understand what has made this wine so complex so early in its life, but we think that it probably reflects the continued aging and maturing of our vines, particularly from Vineyards #1 and #2. These are Stony Hill’s original Chardonnay vineyards first planted in 1947 and 1948 and replanted with their own bud wood in 1987 and 1988. They are our favorite vineyards and have always given us intense yet delicate fruit. In the 2006 vintage we see the perfect transition from the vine to the glass.

2007 Stony Hill, Estate, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $42 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $71 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: A lot more Frenchness,” says Mike Chelini of our 2007 Chardonnay, calling to mind a complex blend of fruit flavors and a notable mineral component from the depths of the soil. These are old world qualities you would expect to find in Burgundian whites, and yet they also describe the classic Stony Hill style with hints of green apple, honeydew melon and peaches in the nose and at the first sip. A flinty note follows from our Spring Mountain terroir. This is a rich, multi-dimensional wine, very aromatic, with notable acidity and low pH. It offers a big mouth feel, subtle power, and a long, long finish. Mike Chelini’s Farmhouse Style Wild Salmon Dinner (click here for recipe) is the perfect match!

2008 William – Fevre, Fourchaume, 1er Cru

Retail Price: $40 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $75 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x | TOP PICK

The Fevre 2008 Chablis Fourchaume smells of lemon and blood orange, ocean breeze and crushed chalk, leading to an especially bright, zesty, slightly sharp, but bracing and admirably long palate impression. Bitter citrus pip and rind notes as well as rather adamantly stony minerality are perfectly integrated. This might well gain some sense of richness with a few years in bottle and should be worth following for at least half a dozen. Expect it to perform well for at least a half dozen years.

Winemaker’s Notes: Very aromatic bouquet, combining fruity and floral notes. Nicely elegant palate that blends power, raciness and roundness. Food-wine matches: Fish, seafood and shellfish, grilled or in a cream sauce. Poultry and white meat, grilled or in a cream sauce.

2009 Ridge Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

Retail Price: $37 at Beltramo’s

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $75 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x | TOP PICK

95 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay Estate is an impeccable, classy wine layered with bright citrus, flowers and just a touch of sweetness from the oak. Crushed rocks and lime peel add complexity on the textured, long finish. In 2009 none of the blocks were designated for the Monte Bello bottling, all of the fruit went into the Estate. This is a stunningly pure wine from Ridge. I came back to the 2009 Estate after having tasted all of the reds and the wine showed beautifully. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2019.

Winemaker’s Notes: Translucent gold color. Fresh tropical fruits layered with apple, pear, melon. Honeysuckle nectar, wet limestone. Cool-climate firm acid. Barrel toast and caramelized apple in finish.

2007 Ridge Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay

Retail Price: $41 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 93

  • $81 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Spectator: Combines richness with an elegant, delicate mouthfeel, showing deep layers of ripe fig and green pear, honeydew melon and smoky oak. Balanced, focused, pure and lingering. Drink now through 2013. 4,000 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: In this cool, mountainous region, each season presents its own grape-growing challenges. Our goal, as farmer and vintner, is to fine-tune the vineyard so the grapes will ripen before the first storms. We anticipated an early harvest this year; that changed abruptly when cold weather stalled the vines. We picked in late September. After wholecluster pressing, the juice was racked to barrel for natural primary fermentation. Lees were stirred weekly through April, maintaining freshness and adding texture. We blind-tasted the lots, choosing the most elegant and approachable for this fine chardonnay. Once assembled, it settled for five months and was bottled without filtration. The wine shows complex fruit, firm acidity, and mineral elements. It will be at its best over the next five to seven years.

2009 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $56 at Napacabs

Rating: See comments below

  • $92 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker Notes – Kistler Chardonnay is made using traditional French techniques, with the winemaker himself performing the cellar work on the wines. Kistler Chardonnay has a distinct character. It is completely barrel-fermented using indigenous and cultured yeasts, is aged in 50% new French oak barrels unracked and in contact with all its fermentation lees, has undergone a malolactic fermentation, receives minimal handling and processing, and is bottled unfiltered and, generally, unfined after 11-18 months of barrel age. Our low-yielding (pruned and thinned to yield about two tons per acre).

2008 Ridge, Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $50 at JJ Buckley

Rating: Wine Spectator 93

  • $100 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

Offers a full-bodied mix of ripe fig, honeydew melon, spice and dried apricot flavors, taking on a slight honeyed note and expanding on the finish, yet retaining a pleasant measure of restraint and finesse. Drink now through 2018. 750 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: Translucent gold. Braised pear, citrus, dried fig, ginger, toasted brioche. Elegant entry, bright acidity. Apple, browned butter, flint. Lemon peel and honeysuckle in a long finish. Alcohol 14.1%.

2007 Littorai, Heintz Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $79 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating:

  • $130 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Pear blossom, melon, guava, beeswax, white flowers. Intensely floral attack with great acid and great length. Like an arrow.

 2005 Chanson, Clos Des Mouches, Beaune 1er Cru

Retail Price: $90 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $155 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x

92 points Wine Spectator: A seductive nose of wild red berry, flowers and Asian spice draw you in, and the bright cherry and red currant notes keep your attention. It has delicacy and detail, with a supple texture and refined tannins. Fine length. Best from 2011 through 2022. 175 cases imported. –BS

 

Red Wines

326 selections that range in price from $40 to $270

 

2009 Siduri, Sonoma County, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $25 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $40 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

The 2009 Siduri Sonoma County Pinot Noir may be the best Sonoma County Pinot Noir we have yet made. Full of rich red and black fruits, with hints of vanilla from the oak, and a creamy, seamless tex- ture, this is truly everything we could wish for in our Appellation blend. 

2008 Colin Bruno, Vielles Vignes, Santenay

Retail Price: $27 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $55 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x 

Description from K&L’s Site: Michel Colin was the third generation in his family to grow grapes in Burgundy within the prestigious Côte de Beaune. When he retired in 2003, he handed the property over to his sons, Philippe and Bruno, who split the holdings between them to bottle under separate labels. With the help of his wife, Stéphanie, Bruno farms eight hectares of land, in thirty different parcels scattered over five communes, with sometimes as little as just a few rows per parcel. To farm under these circumstances is quintessentially Burgundian, where the old Napoleonic codes of inheritance (evolved from Roman law) divide property equally among offspring. Parcels farmed by any one family continue to get smaller and smaller as they are distributed among relatives. Bruno uses traditional vinification methods and ages his wines anywhere from twelve to eighteen months in barrel, though he tends to vinify each parcel in a similar fashion. Bruno’s style shows beautiful balance, both aromatically and texturally, while showcasing the delicate minerality and nuanced complexity of each vineyard.

2007 Macrostie, Carneros, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $30 at Wine.com

Rating: See comments below

  • $63 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: Very dark garnet in color, this Pinot is a positive explosion of big ripe black cherry fruit. The aromas are enhanced by hints of cinnamon and clove. In the mouth the wine is full and luscious, soft and round, but with lots of impact. The balance is nearly perfect. Almost too delicious not to drink now, but should still age quite nicely. Alcohol 14.2%.

2008 Etude, Carneros, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $40 at Wine.com

Rating: Robert Parker 91

  • $55 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.4x | TOP PICK
  • $68 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x 

91 points Robert Parker: The least expensive offering, the 2008 Pinot Noir Estate exhibits copious aromas of forest floor, strawberries, black cherries and hints of Allspice and herbs. Medium-bodied, beautifully textured and complex, it is ideal for drinking now and over the next 5-6 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: The Etude Pinot Noir Carneros Estate hails from our vineyard tucked away in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Unlike customary Carneros acreage, which is largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay, the soils on the Etude Estate site are variations of volcanic origin. They are well-drained, rocky upland soils. Combining these soils with the extreme western location closer to the Pacific Ocean makes this site a decidedly distinct destination.

True ruby in color, the 2008 Pinot Noir bottling offers aromas of strawberries and sous bois mingled with aromatic woods. Hints of sandalwood and cedar on the nose are followed by elegant fruit flavor on the palate. Berry, plum and a cherry core introduce the wine. The saturated cherry and confiture notes are rounded out by brown spice, clove and oak toast on the finish. A lushness arises from the warmer growing season, creating a lively and defined Pinot Noir with freshness and length. Alcohol 14.1%.

2007 Lynmar Estate, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price $36 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $70 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes:This outstanding vintage gives an immediate impression of depth and concentration in the glass, with a notably brilliant, bold garnet hue. Aromas are clearly dominated by red fruit tones – strawberry, and cherry pie punctuated by light cranberry notes. A darker underbelly quietly unfolds on the nose, bringing forth blackberry and Bing cherry that adds depth and layering. This Pinot Noir is clearly fruit driven, hitting the palate with a pronounced sense of balance that glides to a long finish with no hard edges. With a subtle spiciness and slight toast notes, this vintage is characterized by a broad, lush quality – offering firm structure and lovely concentration without ever edging towards heaviness. Tannins are perfectly ripe, adding structure and grip to a framework that will allow this wine to age well. Beautiful upon release, this Pinot Noir should continue to reward cellaring through 2014-2016.  Alcohol 14.4%.

2009 Patz & Hall, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $34 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: Wine Spectator 89

  • $62 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.8x
  • $71 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x

89 points Wine Spectator: This fresh, vibrant red offers ripe blackberry, wild raspberry, sage and black licorice notes. This is full-bodied, spicy and firming, with the flavors gaining depth on the finish, where the tannins are rustic. Drink now through 2018.” (09/11)

Notes from K&L’s site: By focusing exclusively on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Patz & Hall has become one of the stand out names among California wineries intent on stealing a bit of Burgundy’s thunder. This new release exhibits aromas of strawberry, cherry, cranberry and Kirsch that are echoed on the palate alongside notes of Asian spice. The tannins are broad and muscular, adding mouthcoating richness and vibrant intensity. Lush and compelling now, but with a depth and structure that bodes well for extended aging.

2008 Pierre Gelin, Clos Napeleon, Fixin, 1er Cru

Retail Price: $40 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 87

  • $79 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

87 points Wine Spectator: A rich, hefty red, showing plum, cherry and earth flavors. There’s a bit of a rustic edge, but this is hearty and satisfying. Best from 2012 through 2019. 100 cases imported.

 

2007 Vietti, Castiglione, Barolo

Retail Price: $50 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $75 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barolo Castiglione deftly balances the open, radiant personality of the vintage with considerable underlying structure. Warm, dense and full-bodied, the 2007 Barolo Castiglione flows effortlessly across the palate with generous fruit and fabulous overall balance. The wine was even better when I tasted it from bottle a few months later. It is another overachieving wine from Vietti and a bottle that is exceedingly fairly priced. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.

Winemaker’s Notes: 100% Nebbiolo.  Great paired with a hearty stew, wild game, roasted red meats and cheeses.  Alcohol 14.5%.

2007 Bruna Rocca, Barbaresco

Retail Price: $49 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $95 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barbaresco is gorgeous. From the translucent color, to the fresh, floral bouquet and bright red fruits, this entry-level bottling screams of Nebbiolo. What a beautiful wine! Sweet roses, berries, menthol and spices emerge in the glass adding further complexity. There is a tension between the ripeness of the vintage and the wine’s firm sense of structure that is utterly captivating. This is a huge overachiever from Bruno Rocca. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.


2006 Allegrini, Palazzo della Torre

Retail Price: $24 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 90

  • $40 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2006 Palazzo della Torre comes across as somewhat restrained for this wine. This is a very polished, elegant Palazzo della Torre with pretty layers of mocha, spices and new leather that add complexity to the fresh, vibrant fruit. Palazzo della Torre is 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese. The addition of 30% dried fruit (Amarone style) adds an extra dimension of complexity. The retro 1970’s label is also quite attractive. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2016.

Winemaker’s Notes: This blend of 70% Corvina Veronese, 25% Rondinella and 5% Sangiovese is a smooth, full bodied cru made in an innovative ripasso style. After the harvest, the grapes from the Palazzo della Torre vineyard follow two different paths: 70% of the grapes picked are vinified immediately, and the remaining 30% are left to dry until the end of December. The fresh juice obtained at harvest is blended with the juice for the dried grapes, initiating a second fermentation, and rendering a more highly concentrated and complex wine.

What Allegrini affectionately refers to as their “baby Amarone” is more approachable with its pleasant fruity character with raisin-like qualities. Pairs well with a wide range of first courses, including full-flavored pasta and risotto dishes. Also enjoy with roasts such as veal, turkey and lamb, as well as with grilled meats such as barbequed chicken, steak or sausages. Excellent with hard and semi-hard cheeses. Alcohol 14%. 

2008 Felsina, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 87

  • $41 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x 

87 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Chianti Classico shows good up-front juiciness in its fruit but then loses steam pretty quickly on the mid-palate. The 2008 is an early drinking vintage for the estate’s Chianti Classico. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2014. Felsina is a reference-point property for readers who want to discover the best Tuscany has to offer. Prices remain exceedingly fair considering the quality of what is in the bottle.

Winemaker’s Notes: Deep, attractive ruby red color. Elegantly fruity nose, with marked scents of wild red berries foregrounding nuances of mixed spices. The palate, too, shows excellent fruit supported by judicious tannins. Lengthy finish. Alcohol 13.0%.

2009 Il Poggione, Rosso di Montalcino

Retail Price: $25 at Napacabs

Rating: Wine Advocate 87

  • $47 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

87 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Rosso di Montalcino is a lush, fruity wine with good body and an attractive personality. The Rosso is aged predominantly in 100-hectoliter barrels, although 30% of the wine is aged in French oak tonneaux. Over the last few years the estate has moved towards a simpler style of Rosso, which is a shame as the older Rossi were wines of real pedigree and class. This is simply a tasty, well-made wine, but not more. Count me among the estate’s fans who miss the more serious style of Rosso that was common here until just a few years ago. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.

Winemaker’s Notes: Intense ruby red color. Fruity bouquet with red berry notes. Very well structured, mellow, long-lasting flavor with smooth, velvety tannins. Enjoy with pasta with meat sauce, roasted and grilled meats and medium strength cheeses.  Alcohol 14.0%.

2008 Ruffino, Modus, Super Tuscan

Retail Price: $28 at Bevmo

Rating: Wine Spectator 90

  • $52 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x | TOP PICK 

90 points Wine Spectator: A sleek, pristine red, with vibrant acidity behind its cherry, strawberry and mineral aromas and flavors. The oak shows a light touch, and this resonates on the lively finish. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Best from 2013 through 2022. 12,500 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: Ruby red in color with garnet hues, this well-structured wine’s characteristics express the perfect union of the three varieties that make up the Modus blend. Hints of sweet tobacco and spice lead to inviting aromas of cherries, blackberries and plums. This full-bodied wine is rich with refined, silky tannins and a long finish of mint, chocolate and red berry essences.  50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot.  Alcohol 13.5%

2006 Falcor Wines, Napa Valley, Sangiovese

Retail Price: $36 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below 

  • $54 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Inspired by the “Super Tuscan” red wines of Italy, our 2006 Napa Valley Sangiovese is blended with 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich Cabernet aromas of cassis and licorice complement the wines high fruit tones and earthy, spicy bouquet. On the palate, the Sangioveses bright, red fruit flavors and firm acidity wrap around a dense, cherry-currant core of fruit. Slow-toasted, tight-grained French oak barrels, purchased from the historic Gamba cooperage in Piemonte, are another Italian connection and lend aromatic and textural complexity to the wine. Further hints of black cherries, orange zest, and saddle leather are revealed in its long, concentrated finish. While enjoyable now, the wines ripe, integrated tannins suggest to us that it will continue to improve over the next 4-6 years.

 

2005 Ojai, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $41 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $54 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.3x | TOP PICK

92 points Wine Advocate: Licorice, wet stone, spice, and herb notes are found in the dark ruby/purple-tinged 2005 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido along with excellent fruit, medium to full body, a broad mouthfeel, and an enticing texture. It should drink effortlessly for a decade.

2008 Qupe, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $28 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $55 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

This wine is classic cool climate syrah with elegance and balance. On the palate pure flavors of dried raspberry, blueberry with hints of cola nut framed by spice. 25% whole cluster fermentation enhances the distinctive pepper notes. The wine is aged for 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels.

2007 Skylark, Rodgers Creek Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, Syrah

Retail Price: $33 at Beltramo’s

Rating: Wine Spectator 93

  • $60 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x

93 points Wine Spectator: A mouthful of Syrah, big, ripe and complex, with a mix of rich boysenberry, wild berry and blackberry fruit, aromas of black and white pepper, anise and tar all folding together. Full-bodied, intense and tannic, yet graceful for its size. Drink now through 2016. 225 cases made. –JL

Skylark Wine Company is a collaboration between Boulevard Restaurant Wine Directors John Lancaster and Robert Perkins. John and Robert have run the wine program at the acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco for the past nine years. During their tenure at Boulevard, they have built a close friendship, an inventory of wines from around the globe and a palate of tasting wines of the world from vintage to vintage. Their own label has done them proud! The Rodgers Creek Syrah is the most high-toned and aromatic of Skylark’s new releases. It offers a beguiling nose of violet, sweet white pepper, black raspberry, star anise and mocha. The palate is all about varietal character with ripe fruit, spice and pitch-perfect balance. The raspberry and blackberry fruit is beautifully lifted by the pepper spice note, giving way to a persistent finish of chocolately ripeness and smooth tannins.

 

2007 John Duval, Entity, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Shiraz

Retail Price: $38 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $72 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x 

92 points Wine Spectator: Firm, focused and juicy, with orange peel, scented cherry and spice flavors, this feels like it’s holding something back despite the generosity of flavor. Lingers well against fine tannins. Drink now through 2013. 1,000 cases imported.

2005 DeLille Cellars, Doyenne, Yakima Valley, Washington, Syrah

Retail Price: $57 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $84 at Harris’s Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK 

92 points Wine Spectator: Lithe and polished, this is bursting with cherry, blackberry and spice flavors, which ride elegantly over a layer of fine-grained tannins. The expressive finish persists impressively. Drink now through 2013. 1,600 cases made.

2008 Shafer, Relentless, Napa Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $55 at Beltramos & $64 via Wine-Searcher

Ratings: Wine Advocate 95

  • $118 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x
  • $126 at Wayfare Tavern | 2.0x 

95 points Wine Advocate: Another thoroughbred in the making is the 2008 Relentless. Full-bodied with sensational extract and richness, its opaque purple color is followed by terrific smoky barbecue notes, full-bodied opulence and tremendous depth, power and richness. This stunning Syrah can be drunk over the next 15-20 years. 

2006 Cluster M45, Heathcote, Victoria, Australia, Shiraz

Retail Price: $70 at JJ Buckley

Rating: Wine Advocate 97

  • $130 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x

97 points Wine Advocate: The 2006 Cluster M45 Shiraz was fermented with native yeasts and aged for 13-14 months in French oak. It offers up a soaring, complex bouquet of Asian spices, incense, smoked meat, game, and blueberry. This leads to a full-bodied, voluptuous, dense, structured wine with layers of succulent fruit, 8-10 years of aging potential, and a lengthy, pure finish. It will offer a drinking window extending from 2016 to 2036. Having experienced a vertical tasting of the Jasper Hill wines, I may be underestimating the potential longevity of this brilliant effort. —Jay Miller

 

2007 Domaine du Cayron, Gigondas

Retail Price: $32 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 89 to 92

  • $65 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

89-92 Points Robert Parker While Cayron’s 2006 is vegetal and stinky, they hit a home run with their 2007 Gigondas (a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 14% Syrah, and 1% Mourvedre). I have been tasting (and often buying) this Gigondas since 1979, and it tends to be a wine that repays patience. The 2007 offers a smorgasbord of Provencal aromas, including lavender, ground pepper, incense, Provencal herbs, and black cherries. Full-bodied, earthy, even animalistic, it will be somewhat controversial because of its abundant spice and meatiness. Nevertheless, this stunningly concentrated effort is the finest wine Domaine du Cayron has produced in many years. It should drink well for a decade.

Winemaker’s Notes: Considered by many to be the benchmark producer in the appellation, Cayron produces a Gigondas (cepage = roughly 70% Grenache; 15% each Syrah and Mourvedre) of phenomenal richness and incredible longevity. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more terroir-expressive wine anywhere in the Southern Rhone; bold, explosive, stunningly evocative garrigues flavors careen from the glass, blaring their stamp of origin like a neon sign. These are old-styled, powerful wines of enormous fruit amplitude and irresistible personality. Furthermore, Cayron is among the most age-worthy of Gigondas, delicious upon release, but improving for well over a decade and holding strong for a long time thereafter. This 15-hectare domaine, run by the Faraud family, is a classic and truly top-flight estate. Alcohol 14.0%. 

2005 E. Guigal, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Retail Price: $44 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $100 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.3x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape is a must buy. It boasts a deep plum/ruby color as well as a rich bouquet of blackberries, kirsch, spice box, pepper, grilled herbs, and meat juices. With supple tannins, full body, and beautiful texture and depth, it should drink nicely for 10-15 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: Deep dark red. A spicy nose with mature red fruits. Round tannins with powerful complexity. A rich unctuous wine with notes of mature plums, hazelnuts and red fruits. A very rich wine full of harmony and balance. Alcohol 13.5%.

2006 Highland Winery, Howell Mountain, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $30 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $46 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: A Zinfandel Lover’s treat with traditional varietal spice and fruit. An intense ruby wine reminiscent of blue and black berry aromas infused with delicious spice and a hint of persimmon that translates from nose to palate with a gentle full balance that exemplifies this varietal. The exceptional wine pairs well with a traditional preparation of pork or a spicy roasted chicken, as well as with your favorite steaks and grilled meats.

2006 Collier Falls, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $32 @ the Winery

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $50 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

92 points Wine Spectator:  A Zinfandel that shows that shows great structure and polish. Aromas of floral black cherry and cracked pepper lead to ripe, jammy but complex flavors of plum, licorice and sage. Drink now through 2016. 300 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: A Zinfandel that shows great structure and polish. Aromas of floral black cherry and cracked pepper lead to ripe, jammy but complex flavors of plum, licorice and sage. Drink now through 2016. 300 cases made.

2008 Unti Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x 

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2008 Zinfandel really shows how strong vineyards can overcome adverse conditions. While this 2008 Zinfandel has a touch more dark fruit and is slightly lower in acid than our 2007, it is remarkably similar. This lush and rich wine has the structure to age, but I would drink it within 2 years to savor the fruit. Alcohol 14.8%.

2009 Ridge, East Bench, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $24 at Napacabs

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $51 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x

91 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Zinfandel East Bench is a big, burly wine loaded with dark cherries, flowers, tobacco and sweet herbs, all of which come together on a medium-bodied frame. It shows lovely length and personality, although some rough edges remain. With air, though, some of those angular contours begin to soften. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

Winemaker’s Notes: This is our fourth vintage from vines on the benchland overlooking Dry Creek Valley from the north east. The soils are identical across the bench as are the climatic conditions giving the wines the chance to demonstrate consistent character as they mature. The original vineyards were abandoned around 1920, but the blocks have been gradually replanted over the last thirty years. This wine is from vines replanted in 2000, using several selections of budwood from our own old-vine vineyards. The East Bench zinfandel is classic Dry Creek – rich and structured with brambly dark fruit and chalky yet balanced tannins.

2009 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $47 Average Price Via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x
  • $59 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: With ripe jammy and briary fruit aromatically arousing your senses, and backgrounds of caramelly oak dancing on your palate, this Zin celebrates our signature style.  Always pleasing this is a wine that is youthful and will not disappoint after a couple of more years in the cellar.

2008 Ridge, Geyserville, Sonoma County, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $35 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $69 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Geyserville Proprietary Red (72% Zinfandel, 20% Carignan, and the rest Petite Sirah, Mataro, and Mourvedre; 14.8% alcohol) exhibits a dense ruby/purple color along with lots of glycerin, blue and black fruits, pepper, and incense. This rich, fleshy 2008 may turn out to be more juicy and succulent than the 2007. It should last for 7-8 years. Range: 90-92

Winemaker’s Notes: Intense purple/blue. Ripe black cherry, blueberry, plum sauce. Gravel/mineral, mint/menthol, oak spice. Full body. Dark bramble fruit, firm acid, plush tannins. Great depth and complexity. Alcohol 14.8%.

2008 Paraduxx Winery, Napa Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $40 at Napacabs

Rating: See comments below

  • $70 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: A lush, medium-weight wine with a smooth, velvety entry and resolved tannins. The aromas are dark and brambly, with raspberry jam, black cherry, cedar and dark chocolate notes, as well as subtler hints of pepper, cinnamon, clove and molasses. Offers abundant chocolate-covered black cherry and dark fruit flavors with sophisticated accents of dried sage and tobacco leaf. Blend: 68% Zinfandel, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol 14.5%.

2006 Aleph, Mendoza, Malbec

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $44 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.2x

Description from K&L’s Site: Roberto Rodriguez Canal, part time San Francisco resident, is one of the partners in Platense wines, the company who produces Aleph and brings it to market. According to Roberto: “We do not produce wine to please mass demand. Our wines are not over extracted and definitely not over oaked, we produce limited quantity of wine with its own character.” The Aleph name is a tribute to a short story penned by the great master of fiction, Luis Borges. Fruit is sourced from 15 year old vines in the Maipu sub-zone of Mendoza. Indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation, and the French oak aging comprises only 30% of the cuvee – the remaining 70% is aged in stainless steel. A dark fruited nose leads to substantial flavors of tangy blackberries, sweeter olalli berries and a core of minerality. Bright and quite tasty, with excellent depth of flavor and texture. 13.9% abv. -Joe Manekin, K&L Argentinean Wine Buyer

2007 Catena Alta, Mendoza, Malbec

Retail Price: $49 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $97 at Harris’ Restuarnt | 2.0x 

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Alta Malbec is a glass-coating opaque purple color with an inviting perfume of balsam wood, clove, cinnamon, lavender, black cherry and black raspberry. More structured and with greater density and aging potential than the “regular” bottling, it can be cellared for 5-7 years and will provide a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2022.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2007 Catena Alta Malbec is a dark, opaque violet color and presents ripe berry fruit and wild flower aromas on the nose as well as cinnamon spice and a touch of citrus. The mouthfeel is full and rich offering a coating sensation, with exceptional weight and concentration but with a soft, supple texture. Mid-palate flavors of cassis and black currant along with hints of chocolate, vanilla and black pepper dance nicely into the lingering finish full of finely grained tannins, minerality and lively acidity. Alcohol 14.0%.

 

2008 Keenan Winery, Spring Mountain Cabernet Franc

Retail Price: $55 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $88 at Harris Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

94 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Cabernet Franc (100% Cabernet Sauvignon from estate vineyard planted at a 2000 foot elevation) now represents 524 cases. Cabernet Franc has performed brilliantly at this height, and this is another example of the potential of Spring Mountain. This dense purple-hued wine is richly fruity with a beautiful floral, blueberry, raspberry and black currant-scented nose, good underlying minerality and a gorgeous fruit intensity without any sense of heaviness (14.3% alcohol). Elegant, pure and well-textured, this is a stunning Cabernet Franc to drink over the next decade.

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma Cabernet Franc

Retail Price: $71 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & $60 Release Price

Rating: Wine Spectator 89

  • $110 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Spectator: Aromas of toasty oak and sandalwood are clean, spicy and herbal, with dried berry and cherry fruit that shows hints of fresh flowers and tobacco. Medium- to full-bodied, turning elegant on the finish. Drink now through 2017. 850 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: Due to the spring frost, just fewer than 1000 cases of this commanding wine were produced, and boy does this vintage shine! Succulent strawberry, blueberry, plum, dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes seduce the nose, while the lush palate provides layers of fruit and a weighty finish that avoids becoming ponderous due to just the right amount of acidity. 83% Cabernet Franc was blended with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from our terraced Chalk Hill block and 2% Merlot from our Wind Whistle block, adding structure and balancing the wine’s unctuous nature. Alcohol 14.9%.

2007 Whitehall Lane, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 90

  • $50 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

90 points Wine Spectator: “Sleek and classy, with black cherry and delicate toasty oak aromas that lead to supple, layered flavors of red currant, mocha and spice. Drink now through 2015.

Winemaker’s Notes: This ripe and rich Merlot has lovely aromas and flavors of black cherry leaning to ripe plum and toasty oak. It gains pleasing mid-palate structure from the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Syrah adds complexity and balance through to the lengthy finish.  Blend: 81% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah. Alcohol 14.5%.

2007 Keenan Winery, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines and Artisan Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 89

  • $52 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Advocate: The seductive, soft, plush 2007 Merlot offers a luscious combination of herb-tinged mocha, chocolate-infused black cherry and currant fruit, plum, and anise. The complex aromas are followed by a lush, succulent wine with dark fruit flavors showing a hint of spicy oak. This beauty should drink well for 10-12 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: The ‘07 Merlot has been aged in thirty-three percent new French and American oak barrels for eighteen months. The resulting wine shows intense aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and cassis. Complex nuances of cocoa and coffee bean emerge as the wine opens up. This is a “big” Merlot that will age for many years to come. Alcohol 14.3%.

2006 Rombauer, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines and Artisan Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 89

  • $56 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: Rombauer Vineyards’ 2006 Merlot is sleek and well-structured. Beautiful floral aromas open to flavors of black cherries, pomegranates and blackcurrant. The well integrated tannins round out a long, firm finish with nuances of fruit, spice and vanilla.

2008 Shafer, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $44 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 92 | Drink now to 2016

  • $66 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK
  • $80 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $85 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

92 points Wine Spectator: Elegant and focused, with black cherry and toasty oak aromas that lead to supple red currant, spice and herb notes. Finishes with firm but ripe tannins. Drink now through 2016. Alcohol 15.3%.

Winemaker’s Notes: The lengthy spring and summer offered seemingly endless stretches of warm, sunny days and cool nights. A gentle heat spell warmed up our vineyards in early September at exactly the right time to usher in the harvest of gorgeous fruit.

2008 Merlot has a lively, perfumy nose that begins the moment the bottle is opened – delicious aromas of red cherry, raspberry, red plum, cherry kirsch. In the mouth are rich, juicy, palate-enveloping flavors of pure red and black fruit, red licorice, and hints of mint and toasted almonds. The tannins are round and smooth and part of the long, pleasing finish. Alcohol 15.3%.

2008 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $50 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: Wine Enthusiast 92

  • $70 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.4x
  • $93 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: Shows the soft, mellow feeling a fine Merlot should possess, although it’s certainly tannic enough, in the Duckhorn style. However, the tannins are intricate and accessible, and frame lush cherry, red currant, licorice and cinnamon spice fl avors. Hard to resist now, and should hold over the next four years.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 growing season has produced a particularly complex and complete expression of Napa Valley Merlot, combining bright, lifted red fruit elements with darker, more extracted layers. This depth is on display in the aromatics, where notes of Asian spice, red currant, plum and blueberry crisp are supported by a subtle streak of earthiness. The palate is both velvety and balanced, with flavors that echo the aromas. These flavors are held together by granular tannins and accented by oak-inspired notes of molasses and nougat. 86% Merlot, 9.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol 14.5%.

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, 28% Napa & 78% Sonoma, Merlot

Retail Price: $59 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 88 &  Wine Advocate 90

  • $75 at Los Altos Grill | 1.3x
  • $97 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $105 at Boulevard | 1.8x
  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

88 points Wine Spectator: Dense and tight as a drum, yet there’s a rich core of fruit at the heart of this Merlot. Aromas of red currant, mocha and minerals lead to firm plum, cedar and spicy herb flavors, which finish with a grip of tannins. Best from 2013 through 2017. 5,052 cases made. –TF

90 points  Wine Advocate: The 2008 Merlot (72% Sonoma fruit and 28% Napa) reveals abundant aromas of black cherry and mocha-infused fruit intermixed with hints of white chocolate, roasted herbs and coffee. It is a sexy, full-throttle, heady Merlot to drink over the next 7-8 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: The Merlot from 2008 was packed with such expressive varietal character that little blending was required. The final blend is composed of our 12 Merlot blocks polished with 7% Cabernet Sauvignon from our Rock Arch and Rim Rock blocks. Blue-black color tinged with garnet is the first indication that the 2008 vintage is something special. Black and red cherries, plum preserves and currant mingle with spice notes including sweet anise. The texture on the palate is supple and viscous, with elegant tannins that are not overbearing. 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. Alcohol 14.5%

2007 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $100 MAGNUM at Beltramo’s

Rating: See comments below

  • $105 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x
  • $146 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.5x

Winemaker’s Notes: 89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot.  To make a Merlot that could compete with the great Merlot based wines of the right bank of Bordeaux, we began by sourcing fruit grown primarily in alluvial soils, those with high water drainage and little topsoil. This type of soil produces intense fruit that translates into aromatic and complex wines. Our Napa Valley Merlot is a blend of several individual vineyard lots. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Petit Verdot make up the final blend. We keep each individual vineyard lot separate through the fermentation and barrel-aging process. After roughly 16 months in oak, the various lots are evaluated and blended, then put back in the barrel to marry for an additional two months. The bright fruit and forward nature of our Napa Valley Merlot pairs well with grilled meats and wild game, wild berry sauces, hearty pasta dishes and Pacific Northwest salmon.

Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex and ageable expression of the varietal, highlighting the rich diversity of the Napa Valley appellation. A product of the exceptional 2007 growing season, this wine’s hearty tannins and balanced acidity provide a textural framework for an enticing array of aromas and flavors that begin with notes of bright red cherry, plum, tobacco, vanilla and anise. On the palate, layers of fig, red currant, almond, cedar and sweet spice are revealed, along with a subtle doughiness that lends to an appealing mouthfeel. The final wine has been blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Petit Verdot to add nuance and depth.

2006 Duckhorn, Three Palms Vineyard, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $80 at Napacabs

Rating: See comments below

  • $140 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Three Palms Vineyard is legendary in the world of California Merlot—and for good reason. A hot site with free-draining soils, Three Palms consistently delivers focused red fruit flavors balanced by an austere minerality, which contributes to elegant aging potential. The 2006 Three Palms Vineyard Merlot delivers all the vibrant fruit one would expect, with layers of red currant, raspberry and black cherry underscored by elements of piecrust, strawberry, caramel and wet stone. The tannins are dry and elegant, leading to a long, jammy finish. Blend: 75% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Alcohol 14.5%.

2004 Clos Pegase, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $38 at Wine.com – SOLD OUT

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.3x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: On the nose, powerful cassis fruit tones combine with plums, cocoa and coffee, with hints of licorice, leather and black olive. The palate is big, fleshy, and full bodied, with notes of wild berries and toffee combining with fine tannins, leading to a long finish.

2006 Ehret Family Winery, Knights Valley, Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $34 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  •  $55 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2006 season was warm and maturity came on at a good pace, the harvest for the 06 vintage was early October. This sultry wine presents aromas of ripe black currants and the classic fragrant character of leather and tobacco. It is full and lively on the palate, with firm, fine-grained vanilla tannins on the finish. Alcohol 14.5%.

2006 Mount Eden Vineyards, Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $49 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $60 at Harris Restaurant | 1.2x | TOP PICK

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate exhibits a saturated ruby/purple color as well as more subtle smoke, graphite, damp earth, creme de cassis, and blackberry characteristics, and a youthful, full-bodied mouthfeel with impressive concentration, texture, and length. This blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 3% Cabernet Franc from high elevation vineyards (2,000 feet) is capable of lasting two decades or more.

2007 Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $30 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 88

  • $67 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.2x

88 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of fruit (79% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest mostly Merlot and tiny dollops of Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc) from estate vineyards. Classic aromas of cedarwood, roasted herbs, dark cherries and white chocolate emerge from this spicy, medium-bodied Cabernet. It should provide plenty of pleasure over the next decade.

Winemaker’s Notes: The appearance is opaque dark ruby with reddish hues. On the nose, this wine shows black currant, blackberry compote, juniper berry and dark chocolate, with cinnamon and clove. The oak is well integrated with a slight nuance of aromatic cedar. The flavor has full cherry-berry notes with cassis and a fleshy mid-palate over a bed of resolved tannins. A very inviting wine, it is full flavored from start to finish, with a very long lingering fruitfulness. Alcohol 14.5%

2007 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $45 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $64 at The House Prime Rib | 1.4x
  • $78 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: The growing season for 2007 was mixed with stretches of heat and cool periods, creating a wide span of harvests dates and delightful fruit characters in the vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon sites we farm organically, produced delicious flavors with harvest starting in late August at the Fifteen Forty Vineyard on the east side of Howell Mountain. By mid-September we had picked a little Rutherford, valley floor fruit but then after a cool down, had to wait until October for the remaining Rutherford and mountain vineyards to ripen. Included in the Howell Mountain Estate Vineyard was some of the first fruit from our replanted vines.

The growing conditions produced dark fruit flavors, very well balanced acids and tannins, and beautifully colored wines. This vintage is packed with intense fruit aromas of cherry, blackberry, cassis and sweet oak. Plus, there is sweetness to the intense fruit and oak flavors and a mouth watering, velvety structure from the tannins. The resulting character makes this a great vintage for enjoying now as well as aging. Alcohol 14.5%.

2006 Robert Traverso, Stag’s Leap District, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $64 Average Price via Wine – Access

Rating: Connoisseurs’ Guide 87

  • $75 at Baume Restaurant | 1.2x | TOP PICK
  • $79 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.2x | TOP PICK

87 points Connoisseurs’ Guide: Napa’s Stags Leap District is often credited with producing fine Cabernets with a certain sense of refinement, and this one plays more to balance than bombast. If not an especially big wine, it is a fruity and nicely filled one whose mix of black cherries and creme brulee oak stays the course from front to back. There are a few tannic edges to lose, but a few years of age will smooth the edges that need smoothing.

2007 Abeja, Columbia Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $43 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 89

  • $82 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

89 points Wine Spectator: Smooth and ripe, with floral, dead leaf and bay leaf overtones that take the edge off a rich core of currant and blackberry fruit, persisting on the refined finish. Best from 2012 through 2015. 2,300 cases made. –HS

2007 Grgich Hills Cellars, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $58 at Wine.com

Rating: See comments below

  • $84 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.4x | TOP PICK
  • $84 at House of Prime Rib | 1.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: All of the grapes were grown at our estate vineyards in Yountville and Rutherford and they are certified organic and Biodynamic®. This is an elegant wine with rich aromas of black berries, black licorice and a hint of cocoa powder. Velvety smooth, it’s the perfect partner with grilled steak, rack of lamb or roasted duck. Alcohol 14.5%.

2007 Seps Estate of Storybook Mountain, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $59 @ the Winery

Rating: Wine Advocate 89

  • $85 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.4x

89 points Wine Advocate: Much fruitier, softer, and charming is the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, which has plenty of damp earth, cedar, black currant and sweet cherry notes in a soft, plush style. It can be drunk now and over the next 12 or so years.

2005 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $55 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $93 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: This year has the most intense concentration of flavors and aromas to date. Rich, ripe fruit and complexity sum up this Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas and flavors include black cherry, plum, cassis, floral notes, chocolate, black licorice, tea and spice. The generous and velvety tannins allow the fruit and candy flavors, along with an earthy (Rutherford Dust) character, to evolve into a delightful finish that provides great depth to the wine. Alcohol 14.6%.

2008 Joseph Phelps, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $50 via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $60 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.2x | TOP PICK
  • $96 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 Cabernet reveals aromas of plum and blackberry intertwined with graphite, forest floor, dark chocolate and curry notes. The fruit and spice carry through on the palate adding to the multilayered texture of this wine. Supple, integrated and age-worthy tannins create a long, lush finish.

2005 Paradigm, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $60 at K&L Wines – SOLD OUT

Rating: See comments below

  • $115 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: Quite dark in color with deep ripe aromas of chocolate covered black cherries. Enticing fruit nose and layers of spice and toasty oak add up to a wonderful rich complex aroma profile. Flavors match the aromas in a mouth coating, textural, silky and tasty wine. This wine is loaded with aging potential. It has everything it needs to last a good 15 years or more. Great balance and finesse here with flavors that persist minutes after drinking. It all adds up to one of the best Cabernet vintages we have produced at Paradigm.

2006 Paradigm, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $60 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $121 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: From the first smell, this wine is open and enticing. Beautiful aromas of ripe berries and toasty spicy oak. Soft and silky across the palate with classic Paradigm finesse. Flavors are of ripe black cherry, blackberry, cedar and sweet vanilla. Rich and lush in the mouth with lots of flavor and elegance. The wine is very enjoyable right now and will last 10 years or more. – Heidi Peterson Barrett, Winemaker

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