Featured Wines

2014 La Crema Pinot Noir, Monterey

A bright, translucent ruby hue. Sassy notes of fresh orange zest and red cherries lead to whiffs of blackberry, blueberry, tea leaves, and notes of cocoa powder and woodspice. It is lithe and feminine in the mouth. This red is built for immediate consumption, but make no mistake – there is good complexity and tremendous drinking pleasure to be had here. Winemaker Elizabeth Grant-Douglas has hit a home run with the 2014 vintage.
MSRP: $23 (May 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 MacPhail Family Wines ‘Vagon Rouge’ Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

Tightly wound and reluctant to release, we recommend a splash decanting before drinking this wine. Do that, and you’re in for a real treat as it reveals its deep, dark, fleshy black fruits, particularly black cherry and black plum. The wine fills the senses with additional notes of dark flowers, spicy oak and a black pepper note from the oak, and the long, juicy finish is lip-smacking and spicy. After 24 hours from uncorking the bottle, the wine has gained in the glass, showing darker, fleshier, black cherry fruit that continues to gain focus. An ideal candidate for mid-term cellaring. Try from 2022 through 2030.
MSRP: $65 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 93+

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2013 MacPhail Family Wines ‘Wildcat’ Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

There’s a lot going on in the nose of this single-vineyard wine from Sonoma County’s Wildcat Mountain, including wild strawberries with a sweet edge, an engaging lavender component, freshly tilled soil, a sanguine note of iron and, after some swirling, a vanilla note. It’s all beautifully balanced; nothing clunky or syrupy. Sleek in the mouth, where impressions of crisp cranberry and black tea emerge, the wine’s powdery, fine-grained tannins are barely noticeable and the 14.9% alcohol level seems more like 13%. This is a Pinot Noir that’s defined by its sublime litheness; like a wildcat, it’s light on its feet. Lay it down for up to a decade, serve it alongside beef bourguignon, or simply sip and savor it.
MSRP: $49 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 93

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2013 Jackson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley

The densely opaque, black/purple hue gives full warning to what is to come. Initial whiffs of cocoa powder and wood spice give way to concentrated blackberry and black currant fruit, with notes of black olive and bell pepper adding varietal complexity. Juicy and mouth-filling. Youthful, fine-grained tannins coat the tongue and palate. Do you have a thick New York strip steak ready to throw on the grill? I did, and it was a perfect pairing. Ready to enjoy now, it will also age gracefully for a decade or more.
MSRP: $38 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 91

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2014 Jackson Estate Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

First, I must confess – the Anderson Valley appellation on the western end of Mendocino County has always impressed me with the quality of the Pinot Noir juice being produced there. That being said, this is a lovely rendition of the grape that anyone will appreciate and love. Lightly opaque, it has a glowing plum purple color. Distinct cherry cola aromas arise from the glass, followed by blueberry and high notes of sandalwood and cedar. In the mouth, the blueberry flavors dominate, picking up a tart edge. Varietal sleekness and silkiness carries through to the juicy finish. Impressive now in its youth, it should continue to provide pleasure through 2024.
MSRP: $32 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2015 Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley

The color is a very pale straw, which belies the cascade of floral aromas, honeydew, citrus, and tropical fruits that gush from the glass and onto the palate. Although the juice was stainless steel fermented, some batches saw time in oak and chestnut barrels, which imparted notes of nuts and cream. Rounded and medium-full in the mouth, this is a Sauvignon Blanc structured to savor and sip. Excellent value.
MSRP $18 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2014 Jackson Estate Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley

A brilliant straw color in the glass. This is classic California Chardonnay – rich aromas and flavors of ripe peach, fleshy tropical fruits, and honeyed floral notes, all wrapped up in a cloak of buttery shortbread and spice from oak aging. It coats the palate and lingers at the finish, echoing the sweet buttered fruit. This bottling is an archetypal example of the style that made the name Kendall-Jackson synonymous with crowd-pleasing New World Chardonnay.
MSRP: $28 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 91

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2013 MacPhail Pinot Noir, ‘The Flyer,” Russian River Valley

From Susanna’s Vineyard, using a combination of Calera, Dehlinger Swan, and Quail Hill Vineyard Swan clones. This red is pretty in the glass, with a bright ruby flashiness. High-toned oak scents of clove and peppermint play counterpoint to dark flowers and sleek red fruits. Enchanting and seductive in the mouth, it trips lightly across the palate and finishes with mineral and spice notes rarely seen outside of Burgundy. This is a stunning rendition of Pinot Noir, delicious now, but capable of aging gracefully for a decade or more, gaining additional nuance along the way.
MSRP: $59 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 94

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2013 MacPhail Pinot Noir, Sundawg Ridge, Green Valley

Green Valley is a sub-appellation within the world-famous Russian River Valley. The wine shows a dusty ruby color, with glints of orange. Toasted oak and paraffin aromas lead to earth, clove, and moderate cherry cola scents. The fruit gains more focus in the mouth, finishing with a chewy, tannic grip. Over the best part of a day, the tightly-wound wine slowly relaxed and showcased the fruit. This wine is built to cellar for a decade. Those too impatient to wait should splash decant several hours prior to serving. This Sundawg can run with the big dogs.
MSRP: $49 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 MacPhail Pinot Noir, Dutton Ranch, Green Valley

Green Valley is a sub-appellation within the world-famous Russian River Valley. Translucent ruby in color, this red begins with forward aromas of French oak, showing peppery spice and leather. Underneath the oak shadings lies ample dried red fruits, which then plump up on the palate. Already lip-smacking and silky, this wine will only knit together and improve over the next six to eight years.
MSRP: $49 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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