Canyon Road Winery California Chardonnay 2016, California

Pale lemon in color with a yellow tint.

Fruity Nose of lemons, citrus, green apples, gooseberry, grapefruits, bitter herbs and spices.

Medium bodied and refreshing with medium acidity.

Dry on the palate with citrus, lemons, grapefruits, limes, bitter herbs and spices.

Short finish with bitter almonds.

This is a simple California Chardonnay. Balanced and enjoyable by itself or with food. Feels like an Unoaked Chardonnay with some Sauvignon Blanc mixed in. Pretty much like a lemon and grapefruit
Juice.

This is good enough for happy hour. I paired it with a spicy fried cauliflower dish.

13% alcohol by volume.

83 points.

$12.

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Aeris Cellars Pinot Noir 2015, Oregon

Light ruby in color with light intensity and a wide red rim.

Fruity nose of blueberries, cherries, raspberries, light oak, light vanilla, water(?), spices, light vegetables and white pepper.

Medium plus in body with medium plus acidity.

Dry and fruity on the palate with blueberries, cherries, raspberries, red currants, vanilla, vegetables, spices, herbs, black pepper and pencil lead.

Medium finish with fine grained tannins and tangy raspberries.

This Pinot Noir from Oregon surprised me. It is very light looking, but had a nice mouthfeel, and much fruitier than I expected. Not fully balanced, but drinkable by itself or with food. A little bitter on the ending.

This is a great food wine for those who like a light red to accompany their food.

13.6% alcohol by volume.

82 Points.

$17.

Spier Wines Beyond Ordinary 2016, South Africa

Deep purple in color with a purplish rim.

On the nose, raspberries, strawberries, sour cherries, earth, leather, dust, vegetables, leaves, dark chocolates and black pepper.

Medium bodied with medium plus acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with sour cherries, pomegranates, cranberries, earth, wood, peppercorn, green herbs, vegetables, wet rocks, tobacco leaf, spices and graphite.

Medium minus on the finish with fine grained tannins and tart cranberries.

This South African Bordeaux blend is unbalanced with mild complexity. Might be better in a year or two, but right now it is very tart.

Better with food than just by itself. I paired it with a cheese plate and crackers.

A blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec.

14.5% alcohol by volume.

81 Points.

$15.

Grove Mill Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Marlborough, New Zealand

Pale lemon in color with a green hue.

Strong nose of cat’s pee (on a wet carpet), grapefruits, limes, green vegetables, spices, cooked asparagus, and white pepper. Pretty stinky, but in a good way.

Medium on the body and crisp with high acidity.

Dry on the palate with grapefruits, limes, lemons, green apples, bitter herbs, spices, green vegetables and black pepper.

Medium finish with bitter almonds.

This is a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Not very balanced, but a good food wine nonetheless. Showing mild complexity and stinky, with lots of vegetable notes. This was probably better a couple of years ago.

I paired it with fresh oysters and horseradish, which went great together.

13% alcohol by volume.

83 points.

$12.

Trivento Bodegas Y Viñedos Amado Sur 2014 Mendoza, Argentina

Dark ruby in color with a reddish rim.

Fruity nose of blackberries, blueberries, cherries, licorice, oak, vanilla, alcohol, cola, leather, light barnyard, light green vegetables, herbs, chocolates, black pepper and spices.

Full bodied and smooth with medium acidity and long legs.

Dry on the palate with blackberries, black currants, plums, bell pepper, cherries, oak, vanilla, licorice, cloves, herbs, dark chocolates, vinaigrette, spices and peppercorn.

Medium plus on the finish with very soft tannins and tangy raspberries.

This Malbec blend from Mendoza is still drinking nicely, although it is over the hill by now. Still balanced with nice complexity and a great mouthfeel.

Needs 30 minutes to open up properly. Good by itself or with food. I paired it with a cheese plate and light appetizers.

14% alcohol by volume.

88 points.

$15.

Westerly Wines Côte Blonde 2014 Santa Ynez Valley, California

A very pretty color of dark ruby with a wide purplish rim.

Fruity nose of bing cherries, black currants, blueberries, wildflowers, sweet raspberries, wood, licorice, mint, graphite, earth, light barnyard, vegetables and black pepper.

Medium plus in body with medium acidity. Smooth with long legs.

Dry on the palate with blackberries, black currants, sweet cherries, oak, vanilla, bitter herbs, pencil lead, spices, green vegetables, black olives, tobacco leaf, earth and peppercorn.

Medium plus in finish with soft tannins, spices and tangy cranberries.

This is a great Syrah from Santa Barbara County, California. Well balanced and complex with nice fruits and earthy notes all intermingled.

Needed an hour and a half to open up properly. Drinking nicely now, but will be nicer in the next couple of years.

Good by itself as a sipping wine or with food. I paired it with a charcuterie board of meats and cheeses, olives and jams.

A blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier. Aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. Unfiltered and unfined.

15.7% alcohol by volume.

89 points.

$45.

Fetzer Vineyards Sundial California Chardonnay 2016, California

Pale gold in color.

On the nose citrus, limes, bitter herbs, oak, vanilla, spices, tropical fruits, pineapples, vegetables, grapefruits and white pepper.

Full bodied and bold with medium acidity and nice legs.

Dry on the palate with green apples, oak, vanilla, lemons, citrus, grapefruits, bitter herbs, spices, light tropical fruits and black pepper.

This is a nice surprise. This simple California Chardonnay is oaky with nice citrus notes, and not too bitter on the ending. Showing a creamy mouthfeel yet still refreshing.

A good wine to sip on by the pool. Better when chilled.

Well balanced and enjoyable by itself or with food. I paired it with stuffed grape leaves.

13.5% alcohol by volume.

86 points.

$8.