Featured Wines

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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2013 MacPhail Pinot Noir, Pratt Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

A translucent garnet color, lightening at the edges. Ah! There is something Old World and Burgundian in this wine’s aromas. Initial notes of damp cellars give way to delicate floral scents, light orange peel, and dark cherries before coming full circle back to leaves and twigs on a forest floor. A pleasant juiciness derives from equal parts underlying acidity and youthful tannic grip. This is a contemplative wine, sure to conjure up dreams from the past, or perhaps visions of the future.
MSRP: $49 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 93

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2013 MacPhail Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

In the glass, a translucent light ruby hue. This 100% Pinot Noir cuvee is sourced from eight renowned vineyards in the Sonoma Coast appellation. Nearly a dozen different clonal selections are in the mix. The nose evokes memories of cool Autumn days and falling leaves, as dark, jammy cherry scents mingle with tea leaves, cumin, and notes of turned earth. The wine is medium in weight, with a refreshing tart fruit juiciness in the mouth. This isn’t red Burgundy, but sports enough sleekness that it goes down easy. Beware! This bottle seems to empty faster than most.
MSRP: $40 (April 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 91

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2012 Jackson Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Hawkeye Mountain, Alexander Valley

The Jackson Estate wines represent special bottlings from a specific appellation. For decades, the Alexander Valley in the northern reaches of Sonoma County have been recognized as a producer of world-class Cabernet Sauvignon that rivals Napa Valley, its neighbor to the east.
Dark and brooding in the glass, sporting an opaque purple/black color. At first sniff, classic aromas of dusty cassis, dark cherry, high-tones herbs, and a volcanic minerality are evident. Light notes of coffee swirl in and out. Juicy black fruit, black licorice, and a dusting of cocoa powder cloak the palate. The tannins are soft and show a youthful chewiness. This is classic California Cabernet Sauvignon, approachable now if you want to pair it with a seared, medium-rare steak. But it can also be cellared for a decade or more, for those who prefer the secondary and tertiary characteristics of aged reds.
MSRP: $55 (March 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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2013 Jackson Estate Pinot Noir, Outland Ridge, Anderson Valley

The Jackson Estate wines represent special bottlings from a specific appellation. For over forty years, the Anderson Valley has produced Pinot Noir of distinction. This is no light red Burgundy. From first glance as it sits in the glass, the barely translucent dusty garnet color promises a high extract style of Pinot. This one delivers, oozing with forward scents of sweet red fruits (cherries, raspberries, and strawberries). Additional aromas of oak spice and smoke add complexity. In the mouth, the clove-kissed fruit seems fleshy and lightly coats the palate. At the finish, syrupy blueberry lingers. Although the alcohol is a heady 15%, there is little sense of heat. Those that prefer their Pinot Noir big and jammy will enjoy this rendition.
MSRP: $35 (March 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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