May 2022 - California Wines

May 2022 - California Wines
This month's Wine feature is California Wines

California Wines Reviews

Lawer Estates 2018 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon
96 points
$115
Ruby color. Aromas of chocolate covered espresso bean with a dry fat body and a very long dark cherry, gunsmoke, and suede finish with moderate oak flavor. A serious Cabernet that showed up in an expensive suit ready for business.
Preferred Stock 2017  Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points
$49
Indigo color. Aromas and flavors of spicy cassis tart, melted chocolate mint toffee, cornichon, and worcestershire sauce with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, long finish manifesting notes of pomegranate, creme brulee, and dusty gravel road with chewy, silky tannins and light oak flavor. A wonderfully poised and expressive Napa Cabernet that hits all the right notes.
Vezer Family Vineyard 2019 Cassie Petite Sirah
93 points
$56
Garnet color. Aromas of cast iron blueberry pancakes, cherry danish, mocha, and dried leaves with a full body and a long finish. A tidal wave of black and red fruits merges with the spice cabinet for a provocative Zinfandel-like red wine.
Vezer Family Vineyard 2018 La Salette Estate Petite Sirah
93 points
$100
Ruby color. Aromas of blackberries, pickled strawberries, and cherry cola with a full body and a long hoosier, bbq bark, toast w/ blackberry jam, and dried thyme and sage finish. A roasty, toasty red that drinks indulgently.
Lexicon 2020  Cabernet Sauvignon
92 points
$36
Violet color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate covered berries, mocha nuts, and purple flowers with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long finish displaying accents of chocolate orange peels, berry chutney on raisin toast, and spiced nuts with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A juicy, chewy, fruit-forward Cabernet that is sure to please.
River Road 2019 Reserve Pinot Noir
90 points
$19
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of warm cherry and currant tart, marinated beets and meats, melted chocolate toffee, and honeycomb on toast with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an effortless, delightful, medium-long finish manifesting accents of flan fig and delicate sweet spices with a suggestion of oak flavor. A round, spicy and juicy Pinot Noir that will be a nice choice for Asian meat dishes.
Barefoot NV  Merlot
89 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Smoky aromas of waxed wood, charred nuts, grilled plums and peppers, and waxy chocolate with a silky, medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long chocolate berry bar finish. A oaky, light smoky and creamy merlot for bbq.
89 points $6.99 Best Buy
Stephen Vincent 2020  Pinot Noir
89 points
$15
Best Buy
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of caramelized smoked bacon, toasty berry pie crust, cranberry-mint chutney, and root beer sorbet with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, engaging, medium-long finish with notes of fruit leather, bacon wrapped dates with almonds, and buttery nut brittle and waffles with soft, silky tannins. A fun, meaty Pinot that will be an enjoyable sipper or pairing partner.
89 points $15 Best Buy
Carmenet 2020  Merlot
89 points
$16
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of peppermint bark candy, berry pie, and chocolate toffee with a supple, vibrant, fruity medium body and a seamless, medium-length finish displaying shades of spiced nuts with crunchy, chewy, fine tannins and light oak flavor. A super solid everyday sipper for burgers and the like.
89 points $16 Best Buy
Longevity 2018  Cabernet Sauvignon
89 points
$16
Best Buy
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate sesame bar, nut oil, dried berries, and leather with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, captivating, breezy finish with accents of cedar shavings, chocolate craisin and nuts tart, hint of root beer and mint, and latte with soft, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A nice nutty, pastry-like Cabernet to end your day with.
89 points $16 Best Buy
Susie Bynum 2020  Chardonnay
89 points
$25
Straw color. Aroma of gouda with a medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long mandarin orange, creme brulee, and apricot finish with moderate oak flavor. A seemingly cooler climate California Chardonnay for those who want all the benefits of Chardonnay without a heavy hand.
Levendi 2020 Estate Chardonnay
89 points
$45
Gold color. Aromas of kumquat, lemon curd, and vanilla custard with a medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long grilled corn, lemon curd, pineapple jam, and butterscotch finish. A steakhouse chardonnay, rich and opulent with notes of sandalwood and custard.
Grace Town 2018  Petite Sirah
88 points
$16
Black ruby color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate mousse with mint, spicy boysenberry pie a la mode, raisin compote, and sassafras with a supple, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish that shows notes of caramel apple, roasted nuts in vanilla custard, cedar, and curry with moderate oak flavor. A brawny, brooding, barrel-chested red that brings a boatload of bright, chewy, blue fruits to the bash.
Black Box 2019  Merlot
88 points
$19.98
Garnet black color. Aromas of buttery dark caramel toffee, chocolate rice bar, and crusty berry tart with a silky, medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long cherry custard danish and sage finish. A nice fruity merlot for carefree sipping.
88 points $19.98
Black Box 2020  Sauvignon Blanc
88 points
$19.98
Yellow straw color. Aromas of grapefruit and green pear with a supple, medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long meyer lemon, kiwi mango relish, and chalk finish. A pleasantly crisp and refreshing sauvignon for sipping and seafood.
88 points $19.98
Lo Lo Wine Co. 2020  Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points
$22
Garnet color. Aroma of eucalyptus with a medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long black cherry, shisito pepper, smoked paprika, and american spirit tobaccotar finish. A complex, slightly herbal, layered old world meets new world Cabernet.
Susie Bynum 2020  Pinot Noir
88 points
$25
Garnet color. Aroma of baking spices with a dry medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long morello cherry, thyme, pickle brine, and baking chocolate finish with moderate oak flavor. A sturdy Pinot Noir that would stand up to duck dishes.
Barefoot Bubbly NV  Pinot Grigio
87 points
$9.99
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas of citrus custard and melon with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, off-dry medium body and an effortless, appealing, medium mandarin oranges, lime and kiwi, and orange blossom honey finish with no oak flavor. A charming off-dry sparkler with finely balanced sweetness, acidity and a crowd pleasing style.
87 points $9.99 Best Buy
River Road 2021 Un-Oaked Chardonnay
87 points
$14
Best Buy
Straw color. Aroma of and with a medium body and a medium lemon and kiwi finish. A crisp and lively Chardonnay for warm day activities.
87 points $14 Best Buy
Vezer Family Vineyard NV College Tuition Red Blend Suisun Valley
87 points
$45
Ruby color. Aromas of sun dried tomato, raisin, and blueberry jam with a medium body and a medium orange pekoe tea, terra-cotta, perfume-y lavender and dried violet, and mahogany finish. A big, earthy, complex, sun-drenched wine.
Barefoot NV  Sauvignon Blanc
86 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of guava, pomelo, and creamy nougat with a silky, medium body and a medium green apple, peach, and passionfruit finish. A very tasty tropical, fruit-forward sauvignon blanc for all occasions.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
Barefoot NV  White Moscato
86 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Light gold color. Citrusy aromas of apricot sorbet, honeyed sultanas, lemon curd, and peony with a silky, spritzy, medium body and a medium peach candy, melon, and mineral water finish. A nice tangy moscato that is not too sweet.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
Shaw Organic 2020  Cabernet Sauvignon
86 points
$8
Best Buy
Garnet color. Aromas of sarsaparilla, root beer, strawberry clafoutis, and dried violets with a medium body and a medium cherry cola, cocoa nibs, speck, and macerated strawberry finish. A solid all purpose every day Cabernet.
86 points $8 Best Buy
Shortbread 2020  Chardonnay
86 points
$17
Straw color. Aromas of marmalade, white peach, and marzipan and brown butter with a medium body and a medium green apple, orange, and creme brulee finish. A well balanced, ripe, oaky Chardonnay that would pair well with grilled or roasted poultry.
Replica 2020 Pickpocket Red Blend California
86 points
$24
Indigo color. Savory aromas and flavors of frosted blueberry and date pastry, eucalyptus honey, and grilled root vegetables with a slightly chewy, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and an even, interesting, medium-long finish with accents of spiced caramel apple, toffee, and cedar dust with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An attractive and expressive Cabernet driven red blend that will be quite versatile.
Rubus 2020 Reserve Pinot Noir
86 points
$24
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of berry-mint compote and toffee with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a smooth, breezy finish that presents notes of pound cake with cherries and pickled beets with a suggestion of oak flavor. A pleasant Pinot sipper.
Barefoot NV  Red Moscato
85 points
$6.99
Light ruby color. Aromas of dried apricot, sultanas, and orange blossom honey with a petillant, medium body and a medium pomegranate and peach sorbets, cherry jam, and chalk finish. A vibrant, mouthwatering sweet wine that delivers.
85 points $6.99
Shaw Organic 2021 Rosé California
85 points
$8
Coral orange color. Curious aromas and flavors of teriyaki spiced nuts, baked strawberries and tomatoes, and box of caramel corn with a silky, bright, petillant, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, brisk finish with nuances of watermelon candy with no oak flavor. A dainty, fruity rose for parties and punches.
Barefoot Bubbly NV  Prosecco
85 points
$9.99
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of poached pears, white flowers, and lemon curd with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, amusing, buoyant ripe peach and almond finish with no oak flavor. A cheerful Prosecco with ripe fruit flavors and kisses of flowers.
85 points $9.99
Barefoot Bubbly NV Brut Cuvee California
85 points
$9.99
Straw color. Aromas of apricot, peach candies, cantaloupe, and white flowers with a medium body and a medium green apple candies and hints of buttered toast finish. A fresh and fruity sparkler for everyday celebrations.
85 points $9.99
Barefoot Bubbly NV Extra Dry California
85 points
$9.99
Yellow straw color. Aromas of powdery almond cookie, yeasty apple cider, fruit cake, and lime with a satiny, effervescent, medium body and a medium honeyed lemon peels and peach skin finish. A zesty mouthwatering bubbly that will be nice with salads and the wedding cake.
85 points $9.99
River Road 2021 Sur Lie Aged Reserve Un-Oaked Chardonnay
85 points
$17
Straw color. Aroma of greek yogurt with a medium body and a medium orange zest, lemon chiffon, and starfruit finish. A lithe everyday Chardonnay to master the art of day drinking.
Black Box 2020  Cabernet Sauvignon
85 points
$19.98
Violet color. Aromas of eucalyptus leaf, berry lozenge, and mint chocolate mint and espresso beans with a satiny, medium body and a medium spicy berry creme brulee finish. A nice juicy, spicy cabernet for Latin fare.
85 points $19.98
Black Box NV  Chardonnay
85 points
$19.98
Yellow straw color. Aromas of yogurt and lime vinaigrette with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, medium marshmallow fluff and toasted spice cake finish with moderate oak flavor. An easy Chardonnay for casual indulgence.
85 points $19.98
Barefoot NV  Pinot Noir
84 points
$6.99
Dusty garnet color. Aromas of chocolate taffy, chocolate-covered strawberries, cherry cola, and persimmon with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a sleek, breezy buttercream finish. A fruit-forward plush Pinot Noir for weekday indulgences.
84 points $6.99
Barefoot NV Sweet Red California
84 points
$6.99
Dark garnet color. Aromas of strawberry phosphate, fruit leather, and berry lip stick with a silky, light-to-medium body and a short-to-medium bomb pop popsicle and honeyed berry ice tea finish. A sweet and easy crusher for sweet teeth.
84 points $6.99
Barefoot NV  Chardonnay
84 points
$6.99
Straw color. Aromas of pear, honeysuckle, and pineapple with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, stimulating, brisk chamomile, fresh golden delicious apples, and spiced granola finish with no oak flavor. A soft and easy white that’s never too oaky.
84 points $6.99
Barefoot NV  Chardonnay
84 points
$6.99
Golden straw color. Curious aromas of yogurt raisins and nuts, grilled peppers and cashew fruit, freshly glued balsa, and coconut water and wet raw sugar packets with a supple, soft, dryish light-to-medium body and a graceful, snappy apples in cream and nut skin finish with dusty, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. A sturdy Chardonnay for sipping with a good chill.
84 points $6.99
Shaw Organic 2020 Red Blend California
84 points
$8
Deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate graham cracker, buttery caramel fudge, alfalfa, and wax candy with a lightly tannic, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a weird, breezy finish manifesting accents of clay, putty, and caramelized oak and bark with dusty, leafy tannins. A toasty, berry-laden red that dances to its own beat.
Barefoot Bubbly NV  Moscato Spumante
84 points
$9.99
Golden straw color. Aromas of sultanas with brown sugar, honey glazed dried apricots, fruit cup, and key lime soda with a supple, effervescent, light-to-medium body and a short-to-medium lemon and orange sorbets, pixie sticks, cream soda, and chalk finish. A sweet treat for adult sweet teeth.
84 points $9.99
Black Box 2019  Pinot Noir
84 points
$19.98
Ruby black color. Aromas of chocolate cupcake and raspberry jam with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, breezy cherry gelee and caramel finish with a suggestion of oak flavor. An effortless Pinot Noir quaffer.
84 points $19.98
Lifevine 2021  Cabernet Sauvignon
84 points
$21
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of mocha yogurt nuts, chocolate, and wet cedar shavings with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, short-to-medium finish with suggestions of sour cherry and crusty berry pie with soft, chewy tannins and light oak flavor. A fruity Cabernet with a nice dollop of toasty, chocolatey oak.
Barefoot NV  Cabernet Sauvignon
83 points
$6.99
Dusty ruby color. Aromas of toasted meringue cookie, fruit leather, buttercream, and cedar scented candle wick with a silky, light body and a short spiced melon, cocoa-dusted roasted nuts, and cedar dust finish. A chewy and enjoyable cabernet for everyday pleasure.
83 points $6.99
Barefoot NV  Pinot Grigio
83 points
$6.99
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of green apple, honey, and chamomile with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, breezy toasted almonds finish with no oak flavor. A gentle fruity Pinot Grigio for fans of Muscat.
83 points $6.99
Cycles Gladiator 2021  Sauvignon Blanc
83 points
$13
Straw color. Aroma of brown sugar with a light body and a short grapefruit, prairie grass, and lime zest finish. An everyday affordable Sauvignon Blanc for uncomplicated days.
Black Box 2020  Pinot Grigio
83 points
$19.98
Straw color. Aromas of honey-nut, banana, and cashews with a supple, soft, dryish light body and a smooth, brisk finish with no oak flavor. A hot summer crusher to serve with a good chill.
83 points $19.98
Barefoot NV  White Zinfandel
81 points
$6.99
Khaki orange color. Confected aromas of watermelon candy, green apple lollipop, and bubblegum with a supple, watery body and a swift orange candies finish. A candied rose quaffer for hot days.
81 points $6.99
Lifevine 2021  Chardonnay
81 points
$21
Golden straw color. Aromas and flavors of matchstick, grilled apple, damp forest floor, and cedar attic with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, odd, brisk finish imparting accents of fallen fruits, kefir, and moss with light oak flavor. A funky, earthy Chardonnay for cheeses.
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