Actually it's probably more like 2 weeks....a bottle here one night, three bottles the next....it all adds up! So here we go:
Paul Hobbs 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay ($50ish)
An excellent example of a quality RRV Chardonnay; floral notes on the nose, intermingling with some lemon and butterscotch. Not hugely buttery on the palate, just the right balance of oak and fruit and minerality. Just delicious. 92.
Renwood 2011 Zinfandel
Previously enjoyed and reviewed, here.
La Crema 2011 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($30)
One of the premiere California Chardonnay producers, La Crema makes about a dozen different levels and price points of their signature grape. This is is near the low end, and it shows. Citrus on the nose, with a hint of apple and orange on the palate. It pales in comparison to others we have tried previously, but it's still good. 84.
Gray Monk 2011 Reflection ($18.99)
Made from Orange Muscat grapes and gently fortified, this is the quintessential "oh what the heck let's open up a big sweet white wine". If you are one of those who only enjoy white wines so dry they pucker your lips, stay away, but if you really want decadence, this is the wine for you. Pairs beautifully with anything a bit spicy, with friends on the patio, or with a second bottle. 88.
Wolf Blass 2012 Red Label Shiraz/Cabernet ($18.99)
The 2011 vintage was recently listed on Natalie McLean's list of the 20 best wines under $20, and I can attest this vintage is just as good. Medium bodied and luscious; berries on the nose and in the glass. The Shiraz adds just a touch of spice to the finish. Pairs great with any big read meat, or the burgers that we enjoyed with it last night. 87.
Oh, BY THE WAY, does anyone know a good divorce attorney?? My wife brought this to me tonight in a Pinot Noir glass. What am I, an animal???
Neal Family Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon ($65)
Dark fruits and a hint of chocolate on the nose. Very rich and decadent on the palate, with a hint of spice on the finish. It's good, but I think we popped it early; it could have benefited from another 5-10 years in the cellar, I think. 86.
Cedarcreek 2010 Cabernet Merlot ($19.95)
This would be on MY list of the 20 best wines under $20, no question. Cherries and berries galore on the nose and palate. 21% Cabernet Franc brings just a touch of sweetness and mint to the table. Plums shine through on the palate as well. Juicy and terrific. 86.