Marques de Caceres 2005 Rioja ($90)
Smooth, ripe aromas of blackberry and raspberry come with plenty of vanilla, licorice and tobacco. Black cherry, stewed plum and carob are the lead flavors, while the finish is earthy and chunky. Nice but not spectacular. 86.
Onto our dinner at the Chef's counter at Napa Rose. Lots of great wine experienced here. The prices listed are estimates from the 'net, the wine was all included as part of our dinner so I didn't see the actual restaurant prices.
Zillikin 2014 Riesling ($31.99)
A light and zippy Riesling, this 2014 from Zilliken has bright notes of tangerine and orange zest that explode onto your palate. Delicate notes of honeydew on the finish add rich fruit and texture to the wine giving it a really nice mouthfeel. 87.
Zocker 2013 Gruner Veltliner ($19.99)
Great aromas of peach, green apple and citrus. Dry, acidic finish. Quite lovely. 88.
Far Niente 2013 Chardonnay ($65.00)
Tropical aromas of citrus and melon layered with honeysuckle, perfume and toasted oak. A juicy entry transitions to a vibrant, yet oily, palate, which builds to a clean and refreshing finish. This wine is well-integrated and beautifully concentrated, with lush citrus flavors and hints of minerality. 90.
Domaine Laroche 2013 Chablis ($26.99)
Pale colour. Youthful, pungent nose with mineral nuance. Fresh and harmonious palate with flavours of white fruit and spring blossom. Lacks the big, buttery notes that maloactic fermantaion can give, but lovely nonetheless. 88.
The 2013 EnRoute Pinot Noir, “Les Pommiers,” offers explosive aromatics of pomegranate and cherry with hints of perfume, tobacco leaf, mineral, baking spices and a lovely floral note. 90.
Tablas Creek Vineyard 2012 Cotes de Tablas ($35.00)
60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Counoise, 5% Mouvedre
Licorice and black cherry dominate the nose. Spice lingers in the background. Plum and cherry, with a touch of leather on the palate. Fresh acidity and chalky tannins. 89.
Paraduxx 2011 Proprietary Red Wine ($49.99)
A huge mix of blueberry and cherry aromas, underscored by layers of vanilla, clove, molasses, black pepper and lavender. On the palate, it is velvety and round with lush and lingering berry and cherry flavors supported by well-integrated tannins. Balanced acidity adds brightness and lift of brambly fruit, which carries through to a long, satisfying finish. 89.
Nickel and Nickel 2012 C.C. Ranch ($99.99)
Elegantly perfumed with delicate floral notes mixed with ripe, red raspberries. These characteristics are reflected on the palate with flavors of raspberry and cherry, blended with a hint of licorice and signature Rutherford dust. Vanilla and toast from the French oak add warmth and flavor, while the wine’s lively acidity allows the flavors to linger on the palate. Soft and supple, yet generously rich, this wine is one that pops from start to finish. 93.
And if that wasn't enough great wine, there was this beauty from the Carthay Circle Restaurant:
Robert Mondavi 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve ($199.99)
Opulent dark fruit notes of cassis, black cherry and berry reflect grapes grown on the deep soils of the Oakville bench. Nuances of spice, minerals, licorice and violet weave through the highly extracted, velvety flavors. Truly spectacular wine. 95.