Napa Cellars, part of Trinchero Family Estates, flies too far under the radar if you ask me. Here’s where to find Napa Valley values.
Resident wine expert Sandra Silfven on all things vino
The Napa Cellars 2010 Pinot Noir is luxury you can afford. It runs about $18 and comes off the cooler vineyards in southern Napa close to San Pablo Bay. This baby is so aromatic, rich and delicious — you know what you are getting when you just swirl the glass and inhale. Winemaker Joe Shirley … Continue Reading →
The Estancia Pinot Noir from Monterey is a garnet beauty that tastes like a mouthful of cherry crisp, studded with raspberries, spiced with nutmeg and streaked with caramel and dark chocolate.
Read the words streaming across the tall red label for good descriptors: Yummy, currants, structured, elegant. The Parducci Small Lot Blend Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County 2009, $11, is an exceptional Cab for the price — the flavors are soft and approachable – black currants, cherries, plums, brown spices and dark chocolate. It has wonderful dusty tannins that cling to … Continue Reading →
Landmark Grand Detour Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2010, $40: Landmark Chardonnays are benchmarks in the Sonoma Valley, and now the Landmark Grand Detour Pinot Noir is building a stellar reputation of its own. This one is brimming with dark cherries, strawberries, dark plums, chocolate and notes of brown cooking spices. It’s voluptuous with its silky … Continue Reading →
Brys Estate Cabernet Franc Old Mission Peninsula 2010, $35: Cabernet Franc is typically a blending grap in a Bordeaux-style blend. It deepens the color, broadens and softens the palate, adds to the layers of flavor. Occasionally in California and more often in states like Michigan, New York and Virginia, you find single varietals and it’s … Continue Reading →
Bridlewood Estate Winery Blend 175 Central Coast 2010, $11-$15: All you have to do is lift a glass to your nose and inhale the explosion of raspberries, cherries, black pepper, chocolate and vanilla. In the mouth, it’s smooth and intense; tannins are supple, acidity gives it balance. It’s a blend of high-octane Syrah, Cabernet … Continue Reading →
St. Francis “Old Vines” Zinfandel Sonoma County 2008, $19: If you have a few extra bucks, you’ll find this wine is worth the toll. It’s the benchmark for Old Vines Zins with its intense dark cherries, dark plums, licorice, lots of black pepper and vanilla off the oak. It’s the perfect pairing with a juicy … Continue Reading →
Cono Sur Pinot Noir 2011, $9-$12: This is one of the prettiest Pinots you will find at this price. Adolfo Hurtado, winemaker and the face of this fabulous property in southern Chile, produces the most Pinot Noir of any winery in the country. This one has good balance, with lovely ripe fruit flavors (cherries, strawberries, … Continue Reading →
Las Rocas Garnacha 2009 Calatayud (Spain), $9-$14: Garnacha, the grape variety the French call Grenache, makes a fruit-packed, delicious, approachable dry red grown on the arid, unforgiving rocky soils of Spain’s Aragon region. The Vinas Viejas, or “old vines” wine, about $20, is made off vines from 60 to 100 years old. It’s more … Continue Reading →