Wine Reviews


Gerd Anselmann




This was a wow! I definitely need to set the scene here. Please imagine yourself waltzing knee-deep through meadow flower, high in the German alps, care-free.

The mountain breeze is a quieting sussuration, brushing the meadow grass. And a honey bee bustles past.

Held in sunlight, the dewy golden nectar clings to the glass. The nose is subtle, with a nod to the sweet meadow.

And now I ask you to imagine how the honey bee’s magic can be captured in a bottle of wine.

Even with a sip, there is a full mouth feel of honey nectar. Even ice-cold, the flavor has warmth, a delightful contrast. The floral bloom starbursts on your palate with an infusion of honey-dew melon, sweeter pineapple , passion fruit and dry apricot, your palate glazed and happy.

Was ever a glass so treasured!?! As the glass warmed, a whole new flavor profile poured forth, the character emphasizing more tropical fruit.

Sip by grateful sip, I sit quiet in my flowered meadow, and let nature envelope me, and I meditate on the honey bee’s craft.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars



Napa Valley, California, USA

I so enjoy being reacquainted with an old friend.

This was a bit of a zoom meeting, only had the opportunity to reconnect over a single shapely glass. But all the old flirtation was still there. All the promise of fulfilled dreams, depths of intrigue and space for fantasy.

I love the licorice granite look in her eye! You know the bold fruit she will throw at you.

As I draw in her scent, a surprising sweet cherry with a bit of orange marmalade is hinted at. There is something green and fresh as well but I can’t quite make it out. It might be some basil and rosemary.

She stared at me with this slightly over ripe strawberry kissed between her lips, inviting me to retrieve it with my own lips and roll it along the roller coaster of my tongue and palate. So I did.

I forgot that her lipstick had a chocolate raspberry surface patina, and I forgot that she was wearing some leather underwear, with a wee bit of young tobacco smoke.There was a feel of licking a granite table top after parting, but it was a delicious thing, only meant in a very exotic kind of granite table top licking thing.

And she was gone. Little too quickly perhaps. She turned her back on me after the big tease, inviting me to partake in her glory. Just a memory now.


Amarone Della Valpolicella

Cecelia Beretta



What a lover!!! This mature lady is very playful, and her translucent purple body with lacquered purple fingernails hint of the evening to come.

Her perfume is discrete, underlying a slightly earthy core. In this circumstance I would prefer a bit more perfume, maybe we have to undress her a little bit before we notice.

As our lips touched, I could sense rose petals and plum florets, and a bit of ground glass and dry clay come in at the end.

And then we embraced with more intention, and the raisin, prune and cherry cordial hit home but still with some dry earth texturing the finish.

This was no hors d’oeuvre, but definitely worthy of the main course. She would not lead me past the dining room however, the privacy of a bedroom finish reserved for a more special vinous encounter.

But I relish and look forward to another rendezvous :-)


Cabernet Sauvignon

Obsidian Ridge

Sonoma County, California, USA


Quality cork tends to influence me a little bit. The wine had stained inky and it had a lovely fruity sniff, harbinger of a good nose!

So I looked her in the eye and she had that wonderful dark bottomless purple black color. Dark enough to have a bit of charcoal on the edge. I was getting even more excited about the coming testing taste!

She was a little thin on nose. Had a flinty nose, like a cold stone basement. Not undaunted, I was obliged to bubble it over my lips and tongue several times...and a steady

friendship developed with Miss Obsidian.

Bear With me now... I think a curious

combination of gooseberry with a dash of

cranberry with a background flinty finish,

again. She was kiss you quick and she was gone though, not much lingering sweet whisperings. Obliged to sip a little more :-)


Pinot Gris

Ballard Road

2015 Oregon

Author: IM

Like so many of my fleeting summer romances, each sip of this honey-toned wine starts with a fairly sweet fruit-forward flirtation and finishes with a slightly pungent mineral deposit in the back of my mouth. The bitter taste lingers for a moment of self-reflection and pity, but once subsided has me

unexplainably craving another sip of the

apricot-apple-lime perfumed sweet

concoction. With every sip, I ask myself the usual questions:

where is this going?; can I see myself taking this out on the town to my favorite byob?; Is this worthy of meeting my friends or parents?

Sadly I know the answer to each of these

questions is inevitably 'no', and yet I still take sip after sip, self-sabotaging with the continued cycle of short term pleasure followed by a lingering unfulfillment that l discussed ad nauseam with my therapist years ago.

Although I enjoyed our time together, I'm searching for something more, and ultimately this was just another notch in the ol' wine was fun while it lasted

but don't be surprised when I see you out and don't remember your name.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Francis Coppola

Diamond Collection

2018 Black Label Claret

1910 Type

The view was encouraging with a distinct look of Ribena, for those who know Ribena, that black currant cordial.

And then sniffing around, you really had to get your hound dog going since the nose was weak and faint, but definitely a greater mineral than unripe red fruit nose. Perhaps a bit of cut vine and distant meadow.

I rolled this fella across my palate and it poured a little too thin for my true delight. There was as much green as there was red fruit with a bit of kiwee and gooseberry and strawberry and raspberry featuring high on my list. Green fig flavor appeared later in my pondering phase.

This tastes like it came from a very well-kept field, not much mud around, grass covering the vines. Maybe a little stony. But a refill to taste again :-). Glad I opened this on a Tuesday and not a big event day.

I will drink it on another Tuesday Wednesday or Thursday given half a chance though.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver Ghost


Napa Valley, California, USA

We’re in the mountains of Jackson Hole and I’d have to say the mountain flora has influenced me yet again and I saw some lovely purple lavender in this glass, just like I saw on Wildflower Trail but these were deep in penetrating colors with an inky look to the wine….and I am interested!

I think I got a lot of mountain air in my face today because the nose got blown away and it didn’t sniff much, but maybe I was used to the delicate wildflowers on the mountain.

Unshaven mountain man that I have become this week, I’m surprised I am not presently swilling beer, so it was tough to delicately trail the wine across my lips and palate but what a nice surprise I got! Bit of citrus upfront and there’s been so much sage brush that I’m sure I’m tasting sage, whatever sage might taste like, and now you know this may not be sage advice.The slightly unripe lemon zest transitioned into slightly unripe strawberry and, yes huckleberry! But slightly unripe huckleberry and sweet jammy fruit coming later as a afterthought.

The finish came quickly, the sage brush and lemon grass predominating with a little bit of crushed mountain granite gravel. It was definitely the red river of wine flowing down the mountain stream that became the babbling brook of a very refreshing red.


I need to preface this commentary by saying that I have spent a most gratifying day in Yellowstone national park, and I am confident that the treasures of the west will have influenced me very greatly.

Immediately uncorked, the wine was bestial, which worried me, so with recoil, I laid it aside for 15 minutes to pant. Isn’t it amazing what a few deep breaths and some mindfulness will do for a wine, as if it’s a living being, shedding it’s outer filthy coat!? The marmite, chafing taste needed to go.

In reconnecting, she started to show a much kinder and softer, plump and curvaceous side to herself.

She had a subtle perfume, but pleasing, a bit on the cheap flowery Main Street variety. But still a nose, and therefore some promise. With this little flirtation, I advanced our encounter, moving through the inspection a little quickly since she seemed generic ruby in color.


Brunello di Montalcino




Bit of a rusty ring around the glass, garnet more than ruby. The Italian barnyard cometh.

In inhaling, shallow and deep, I found myself wallowing in the midst of the mulch drop, right next to the stables. A whole heap of grass cuttings and forest floor weed-whackings. Hmmm.

First sip is very bright.

Unripe cherries. Green machine smoothie comes to mind. Small, unripe green and red fruits. Cucumber, mint, petit pois, crisp, raw green bean. I was expecting a buxom lady to greet me, but found she was a flapper. But the mouth feel evolved, and deeper red fruits emerged and blended. Passion fruit and rambutan; and a wave of green strawberry and plum. Our girl was a conversationalist. She moved and postured and remained interesting, with commentary on all tasting fronts. Where she showed superior nous was the admixture of mineral. I was so focused on the fruit blend, that I had not noticed the garnet crystal-cut pendant hanging on her decolleté. There might have been some powdered brick, red earth suffused in the wine that really created complexity more than balance. So much to say.

We sat down and enjoyed each others company, though though the wine left me wanting. I kept getting distracted by that swinging garnet…


Cabernet Sauvignon

Caymus Vineyards


Napa Valley, California, USA

Rubies are rich. The deep clear ruby color was like peering into a crystal clear ruby lake. And curiously smooth, like a very attractive oil slick, deep ocean rolling in my glass.

Her nose was sweet cherry with some fig jam, but on the feint side. Maybe some bubblegum. Young smell.

I could tell this was a buxom wine. There was heavy fruit and it was quite forward. The cassis foreground was prominent. I was buried in cantaloupe(s) and marmalade and cherry cordial. The first little sip was pure fruit, but this wine’s strength was in its umami, deeper taste. Velvet vanilla fullness was brassiered by smooth leather, rounded out by dark chocolate.

Time slowed. Good conversation wine. Made my lips feel juicy and plump. The initial pizazz did fade, a bit like a dessert wine will, and on reflection, I would have favored a little more tannin and earthy bite. You know rubies are not cheap…


Brunello di montalcino

Poggio Antico



Author: AB

We are in the wine cellar again with the oak paneled walls. It’s dark and moody so the mood is set and our tasting tools are ready! We look at the glass and I just see some lavender—- it looks like a red wine reduction, at the thin stage still and being an Italian lady of wine nobility, who knows what moodiness we are about to receive.

Since we were ensconced in the corner we sniffed noisily. Sure, I nosed some young fruit, but the more I sniffed, the more I felt like I was gently inhaling the lady’s pheromones. I ran my finger down the long neck of the bottle to feel that gentle curve. I couldn’t quite figure out what I was smelling, but it was intoxicating. It was a roomy, subtle spice, and through the mist of her perfume, she looked at me with bedroom eyes.

I needed to sip this many times before I could figure out something to say. It was like a college smooching session— just kept going…

I think she had some Kiwi hairspray on her, on first taste. Arugula flavors dampened my ardor, saved by some tart bright red raspberries, crushed, blanketing my palate. There was a granite structure to her, maybe a granite cutting board on which the evenings herbs and spices, a whole tumble of them, had been finely diced. But we only kissed, and happily, the lipstick stain memories linger on. Time to replay the memory reel…

Cabernet Sauvignon


The Experiment


Napa Valley, California, USA

Author: AB

What a knockout! I’ve been looking forward to being bowled over by a wine, and this was a tsunami!

The long bottle itself has an elegance, scene-setting. Our lady has long legs.

She poured deep magenta, clinging to the glass. The wine meniscus had a beautiful sunset transition to the deep fruit crush look. Her skirt was held high. You just know what’s coming.

Her nose filled the room as she was poured. There was a crush of dark fruit, with hint of creme de menthe and suspicion of barbecue sauce, peppered.

She posed, like a New York model, brooding.

Feeling over matched, our lips touched, and the avalanche of fresh fruit poured in. Nirvana. Her heavy, plummy, curvaceous body was rounded out by oaky, cigar box notes with vanilla background, finished with feint espresso reminders.

Some wine experiences are truly ravishing. Stay ravished my friends…

Cabernet Sauvignon


Hillside Cab


Author: AB

Visually, this beauty poured dense like a jungle of plums. The vineyard says the wine persevered over terroir adversity. I believe it.

I don’t know where it came from, but some slightly unripe banana scent made itself known and recognized. That tipped me over a little. There was a potency, a sense of depth in the scent. Cassis of course. Whiff of Garibaldi biscuit.

With eager sip, the wine had a weightless, velvet body. It seeped into my mouth like rain on the earth in August (in Richmond).

So with first taste, I greet Shirley Temple, full cordial. Red twizzler candy greets next. But I’m quickly slapped by an oaken batton, little kiwi juice spilling on the side.

This wine is the youthful Greta Garbo, playing dress up with Shirley Temple.

Really pleasant sipping. It may not have quite the body of tannin to let it age gracefully. But I’m willing to stock up. And the idea of playing role play with Greta Garbo is not unattractive.



Special Cuvée


Author: AB

“I drink it when I am happy, and when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and I drink it if I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I am thirsty.”

Madame Elizabeth Bollinger


Awww so iconic!!

And I will now add to that:

“If it is good enough for James Bond, then it is good enough for me!”

(Referring to Bollinger champagne.)

Zozi DeLaRoche

So… what more is there to say??

Moneypenny or Bond girl? Bond girl galore, of course. This bottle packs champagne ice! I unholstered the bottle from her garters, and pulled the trigger. She had a very satisfying explosiveness and yet poured smooth. The bubbles were very fine, aromatic and zingy but not overwhelming. She had beautiful light emerald lemon eyes. Cut grass and eucalyptus notes filled the air.

If you’re anything like me, you kiss your champagne; you don’t sip it. The lip feel was terrific. This Bond girl kissed back;-) There was a delicate pear flavor and soft hue of Granny Smith apple, that softened as the fizz settled to feint brushings of marzipan and lightly toasted Brioche. “Is that all you’ve got?”, she challenged me.

So we finished looking down the steely barrel of Bond’s revolver…bang.

Cabernet Sauvignon


North Coast


Author: AB

I really liked the label. Sort of a closed door speakeasy kind of feel, iron-studded and old-fashioned dungeon locks. Kinks?

She poured silky smooth, dark, oily depths with a bit of maroon and squid ink. I know there is leather there somewhere.

Nosing around, a bit of aloe vera and prickly pear were there to reassure my sun-seeking nature, delicate, and finishing more truly with fresh red currant and pomegranate light sweetness. I like gels.

Tasting her, she jumps at you! There is some zing and there is some tang. My palate got slapped with a leather tease. And a nutmeg and tamarind amuse de bouche. Still currant holding firm.

This exotic thing was new and refreshing. Wish I had met her when I was single. Can imagine that she would be demanding. “Garçon! Another glass please!”

Cabernet Sauvignon


Paso Robles, California, USA


Author: AB

The bottle’s label has a wonderful silhouette of a young lady. Gives me a feeling of colonial times. But on giving the wine some nose, there was a touch of fingernail polish among surprisingly deep, chocolate-covered black cherries. Not that colonial I suppose.

And on tasting, this buxom red was all fruit, ripe. Sweet fruit. Of course, I was mistaken, the silhouette comes from the French court of the 16th century, bosum a-plenty. No tart here. Over-ripe black cherry mush. Little tannin. Little mineral. She would do well to adorn her décolleté with some precious stone. No complexity here. There was a sweet simplicity about this wine’s character. She’s all about the blushing fruits. And why would I not devote some time to that?