Orange County, South Coast

Raen Winery

Cuvée Royal St. Robert Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2020

Delectable Wine
9.2

The 2020 Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert is a very pretty, nuanced wine. Crushed red berry fruit, mint, dried flowers, herbs and a kiss of orange zest all grace this mid-weight, beautifully perfumed Pinot. There is very slight touch of astringency in the tannin, but that is a very small critique for a Pinot that offers so much sensuality and pure class. This is an impressive showing from Raen. (Antonio Galloni, Vinous, January 2023) — 3 days ago

Moraga Vineyards

Estate Red Blend 2010

Matt Austin
9.3

From a 16 acre vineyard in the hills of Bel Air. Probably the most expensive vineyard property in the US. It’s currently owned by Rupert Murdoch, but this is from before his purchase in 2013. This is legit good. Much better than any Malibu wines I’ve had. 13.8 listed alcohol and fairly restrained style. Let’s rip down all of those mansions and plant some grapes! — a year ago

Daniel and Ira liked this

Marcassin

Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2012

New Years Eve at The Farm Restaurant, Carneros Resort and Spa. Opened some of my favorite wines: Marcassin Chardonnay, 2012 with oysters and caviar and salmon dish. Structure of wine is layered with apricot-orange, floral blossoms, lemon, cedar and vanilla. The Next of Kyn, 2013 Syrah blend paired nicely with the Wellington beef. Covers the pallet with dark blackberry, licorice and chocolate changing in taste as it opened up. Tannins still present but not over powering. Both wines deserve a 9.5 rating with plenty of age left on them. — 3 years ago

Karin BlazonaJill Young
with Karin and Jill
Jill, Shay and 14 others liked this
Jill Young

Jill Young

I’m dying....love those wines! Happy New Year to you, Tom and Josh! Sounds like you brought the new Year in with style!
Brenda Terzich-Garland

Brenda Terzich-Garland

Most definitely. We offered the staff waiting on us a taste but didn’t take us up on it. Missed out on a great tasting!

Hamilton Russell Vineyards

Hemel-En-Aarde Valley Pinot Noir

A pristine Pinot Noir with great varietal character, incisive acidity, precisely defined flavors and impeccable balance.
Red cherry, red plum, red currant, black tea, violet, forest floor, dried orange peel. Low velvet tannins and a very long finish. Wonderful.
— 2 months ago

Paul, Nicolas and 3 others liked this

Rivers-Marie

Occidental Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Shay A
9.3

My 2016 Rivers Marie Pinots are about gone…SummaOV is left. Occidental, Silver Eagle and SummaOV are always my favorites. I’m between a 93-94 here.

Great example of a Pinot that has a lot of power but plenty of balance. Deep black cherry colored in the glass but the aromatics are much more savory than expected. There’s an animalistic/feral quality to this initially (that I love) showing a smoked meat flair alongside dark blood orange and ripe black cherries. Commanding mouthfeel and great acidity. Continual back and forth of dark berry fruit and savory/herbal notes. The use of whole cluster is noticeable but it does a good job complimenting the wine (more high toned) and not taking center stage (as in, not overly stemmy/green). Wonderful lengthy finish. More brooding and savory than Silver Eagle but certainly not in the vein of a “cab lovers pinot” style. This was delicious and likely hangs in this window for at least 5+yrs.
— 7 months ago

Paul, Deborah and 31 others liked this

Rivers-Marie

Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir

Red /Orange fruit, purple flowers ~ floral notes. — 3 years ago

Paul, Shay and 2 others liked this

Rivers-Marie

Summa Old Vines Pinot Noir 2016

Shay A
9.4

Consistently my favorite RM Pinot, this was the last of my 2016s…no restraint! No surprise, it showed the most layers but also the most in reserve for evolving down the road. For those who still have, I’d hold another 2-3yrs, or decant 2+hrs.

This was opened later in the evening alongside other wines, but at least was given a decant for about an hour before it was mostly consumed. Out of the 2016 single vineyard Pinots I’ve consumed, the easy answer is it’s mostly similar to the Summa, but just because that’s the easy answer doesn’t mean it’s the wrong one. The similarities with the black tea, pomegranate, mint, and muddled underripe raspberries are obvious but where it diverges from the Summa is with the blood orange…the citrus layers here are absolutely fantastic. A great combo of fruit and savory notes (doesn’t seem to have much whole cluster), with nervy acidity and a lengthy finish. This is just beginning to unfurl.
— 6 months ago

Shawn R
with Shawn
Severn, Eric and 35 others liked this
Bryan Kesting

Bryan Kesting Premium Badge

Great note and thanks for the heads up about holding for 2-3 years. Cheers!
Bryan Kesting

Bryan Kesting Premium Badge

Great note and thanks for the heads up about holding for 2-3 years. Cheers!
Joe Davant

Joe Davant

I still have all my Summa Old Vines back to 2013. I’ll definitely hold my 2016 for a few more years!

The Bruery

Black Tuesday Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Dark roasted barley. Bourbon. Toffee. Char. Perfectly balanced beast. Might actually grow real hairs on your chest. My wife smelled it and backed away as if it were smoldering. At 19+ % it only tastes 12% and the bourbon barrel isn’t too much. It’s great stout. Collectible. Fun now, but really needs 5-7yr to calm down. — 2 years ago

David, Mike and 1 other liked this

The Bruery

Saison Rue Belgian-Style Ale

Perfect crown! Garden of the gods lacing. Bone colored number, and what structure! Moves like chef’s foam. Dark, bronze-golden body. Orange, peach, cherry and pear blossoms in an arboreal array. Lacing morphing erratically into tropical vines. Warm apple pastry, limoncello, sliced bing cherry, golden beets, and a raisinate grape with honey cake, in an elegant botanical park of aromas. The beer is nothing like this, it is deep and creamy, exhibiting Sauternes barrel richness, Saigon cinnamon, shiitake, maple nut, chocolate pods, pecans, nutmeg, dark caramel, dark honey wheat bread with aspirations to rye. Including a near-caraway. Light coffee notes throughout, conversely tea with a honey spoon.. This is a dichotomy. But an interesting one worth exploring. — 3 years ago

Sharon and Judd liked this