Featured Wines

2015 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County

This winery was one of the first to lay claim to making a world-class Sauvignon Blanc in California some three decades ago. Time passes, and… nothing has changed. The grapes for this bottling are sourced from around 40 parcels of the best grapes in the county. A light shade of hay in the glass, the nose opens up to exhibit layered aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, white nectarine, white flowers, herbs, and apples. A dollop of Sémillon adds weight and roundness in the mouth. Juicy acidity stimulates the palate and begs for the next sip. Take note of the winemaker’s name, Maria Torres-Forno – you will be hearing much more from her. As we suffer through these blistering summer temperatures, a refreshing white is the perfect wine. This is all that, and more. Bring out the ceviche and fresh oysters on the half-shell, and enjoy.
MSRP: $22 (August 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2012 Diamondback Vineyards ‘Bella Forte’, Gold Vineyard, Oregon

This Port-style dessert wine can’t be labeled “Port” because it wasn’t made in Portugal. But trust us: If you love “the real thing,” you’ll love this Oregon version, crafted by a vintner (John Quinones) who was educated by Portugal’s top Port-makers. Berry aromas — blackberry, boysenberry, black raspberry — jump from the glass, and the flavors match the aromas as the wine coats the mouth in preparation for a long and sweet (and not even slightly hot) finish. One of the top 10 “Ports” — from Portugal or otherwise — we’ve ever tasted.

MSRP: $60 (per 500-ml. bottle)

Wine Lines rating: 96

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2012 Diamondback Vineyards Merlot, Rogue Valley

Bigger than most California Merlots, this wine is alluring from its aroma (cherries, blackberries) to its flavors (currants, more berries and cherries) to its finish (vanilla, mocha and still more fruit).

MSRP: $75 (August 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 91

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2014 Diamondback Vineyards ‘Manchester Ridge’ Pinot Noir, Mendocino Ridge

If it’s a sleek and silky Pinot Noir you seek, look elsewhere. If you like your red wines big, bold and full-bodied, you’ve come to the right place. This Pinot is brimming with raspberry and strawberry flavors, presented within a lush mouthfeel that makes it ideal for serving with a grilled or broiled burger.

MSRP: $65 (August 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 91

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2014 Diamondback Vineyards Chardonnay, Oregon

A first impression of bright apple gives way to kiwi and tropical fruit notes as this fresh and creamy wine opens up. Still a “toddler,” Burgundian in mouthfeel, and gradually transforming into a more viscous style of Chardonnay. The finish is long and satisfying.

MSRP: $48 (August 2016)

Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 Matanzas Creek Merlot, Sonoma County

Opaque purple/black hue. With a good swirl and sniff, complex aromas of fleshy black cherries (with a touch of Maraschino cherry liqueur) flow forth, followed by blackberry, blue berries, sweet plum, an herbal note, and a dusting of cocoa powder. It is medium-full in the mouth, displaying integrated tannins. As it slides to a lingering finish, it picks up slick graphite and black licorice. This is a worthy successor to over three decades of outstanding vintages of the Sonoma county Merlot.
MSRP: $28 (July 2016)
Wine Line rating: 90

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2015 La Crema Pinot Gris, Monterey

La Crema winery has been on a tear as of late. The 2013 and 2014 vintages were uniformly outstanding. It looks like the 2015 vintage will continue their hot streak.
This wine shows a brilliant pale straw color in the glass. The alluring nose seduces, with perfumed scents of honeysuckle, ripe nectarine, green melon, and citrus. It’s fresh and juicy in the mouth, showing a lemony acidity that stimulates the salivary glands. Like a cool breeze in July, the fresh fruit finish delivers plenty of pleasure. This is the perfect summer sipper/aperitif/party wine. Outstanding value.
MSRP: $20 (July 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 Dry Creek Vineyard ‘Endeavor’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Valley

Primarily known for producing delicious, immediately accessible reds and whites, Dry Creek Vineyard’s special Cabernet Sauvignon bottling is crafted to rival the best Bordeaux varietal reds hailing from California’s North Coast.
One glance at this glass-staining, opaque, purple-black elixir and you know this is going to be a wine of great concentration. The seductive nose continues the promise of the deep color, delivering rich scents crammed full with layered black cherry and plum Christmas fruits, all cloaked with spicy cedar and boot polish notes from French oak. In the mouth, opulent black and blue fruits fulfill the promise. This is still a youthful wine, with furry, fine-grained tannins that coat the palate and suggest a long life ahead. You can enjoy this now, splash decanted an hour ahead and paired paired with a fine steak. Better yet, cellar this red several years to savor more mature, claret-like expressions of the grape.
MSRP: $70 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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2014 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Musque, Taylor’s Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

Brilliant light straw color. Initial scents of varietal pea pod, grass and herbs lead to sweet floral impressions, followed by white pepper, tangerine, and peach. The Musque Clone is a type of Sauvignon Blanc, and here it has undergone 100% stainless steel fermentation to preserve the delicate, complex aromatics. Despite this, it has a pleasing plumpness in the mouth and a juicy acidity. Delightful as a sipper, or pair with lighter summer fare and white meat dishes.
MSRP: $28 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2014 Dry Creek Vineyard Block 10 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

In the glass, a brilliant, deep straw color. With a swirl and a sniff, the nose transports the taster to a time 25 years in the past – a happy time, when winemakers delivered pleasing Chardonnays full of baked apple pie aromas (complete with buttery crust). Full, long, and palate-coating, this wine finishes with a big, wet kiss of buttered apples and baking spices. This is the archetypal profile of Chardonnay that made California famous, and with good reason.
MSRP: $30 (June 2016)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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