Browse Tag

napa valley

Daniel Whitehall

[whitehall lane]Whitehall Lane 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) — Falling apart. I don’t necessarily mean that it’s over the hill, just that the seams and edges are torn and battered, and the center’s not strong enough to hold. Tired dark berries under well-trodden shoe leather. (11/16)

Made by Cori’s daughter

[corison]Corison 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) — Advancing more quickly than I’d have guessed, though it’s still far from home. All the dust and minerality one could want, with fine-grained wood seamlessly integrated with tobacco and dark particulate fruit. Lovely and balanced, as Corison almost always is. (7/16)


Franz Hill 2006 Zinfandel Big And Little (Napa Valley) – 14.5%. By-the-numbers, with a little more lacticity than I’d like, some of the Napa zin severity I don’t, and a narrow wedge of juiced blackberries that does not suffice to overcome the wine’s externalities. (2/12)


Hendry 2007 Zinfandel Hendry Blocks 7 & 22 (Napa Valley) – 15.5%. Structured blue-black fruit, asphalt, ground-up redwood, and firmness to spare. Yet the wine doesn’t lack generosity (the too-frequent flaw of Napa zinfandel), and the length promises more richness to come. Zins of this form tend to age along Bordelais paths, and so except it to take a while to unwind into something more complex. (1/12)

Her royal weirdness

Hendry “HRW” 2008 Zinfandel (Napa Valley) – 15.3%. I’m normally a big fan of Hendry, but I kind of hate this. Stenchy dark fruit with a twisted-off finish, like drinking wire one picked up off a dirty floor. (11/11)

Arzak mountain

Chateau Montelena 2008 Zinfandel (Napa Valley) – Classically structured Napa zinfandel, though without the aggressive hardness of some I don’t like (Dickerson) nor the lavish structure of those I do (the Storybook portfolio). Which is another way of saying that the number of Napa zins I like is few, yet here’s one I love for its fine balance of the darkest fruit, crisp acid, and a quick zip of tannin. This might well age, but my bottle doesn’t even last an hour after uncorking, so I’ll never know. (8/11)


Cedar Knoll 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – Weedy and underripe, with nasty green tannin suffused with stale cigarette ash, then treated to a burnt licorice overoaking and nasty, rancid buttering. I can’t get this out of my mouth fast enough. (9/10)

Pozzan pans

Pozzan “Annabella” 2007 Merlot “Special Selection” (Napa Valley) – Over-toasted (assuming there are barrels involved; I don’t want to over-presume), charred…the Starbucks dark roast of merlot. (5/10)


Abrente 2009 Albariño (Napa Valley) – Only 13% by the label, but absolutely consumed by its alcohol. So much so that there’s almost nothing else to be said. Grossly, pathetically imbalanced. Where’s the…well, anything other than ethanol? (5/10)