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The Northern Coast of California is one of America’s premier regions for producing world-class wine.  Made up of sub-areas ranging from the famous Napa Valley and Sonoma County to real up-and-comers, like Lake County, there is great quality and variety to be found.  Here are a handful of top-notch wines from the region our panel tasted recently. Cheers!

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Sol Rouge 2011 Gypsy Blanc

Grape(s): Marsanne, Roussanne, & Viognier

Region: Lake County

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Notes of apricot and peach meld with notes of honey and caramel on the nose.  Flavors of white peach and apricot unfold into nuances of honeysuckle and caramel.  A rich, round white with a pleasant acidity, fans of Rhone-style blends will enjoy this bottle. Just 150 case production.

Rating: 90

SRNapaCab

Sol Rouge 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Napa Valley

Price: 70-75

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of cassis, blackberries, earth, and fennel rises up from a glass.  A sip reveals flavors of bramble fruit and currants accented by hints of cedar, all-spice, and anise on the palate. A rich, supple Cab that’s layered with flavors, fans of smooth, sophisticated reds will enjoy this bottle. 150 cases produced. Only 150 cases were made.

Rating: 92

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McGah Family Cellars 2012 10/70 Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 92% Sauvignon Blanc & 8% Semillon

Region: Rutherford, Napa Valley

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of lemon and grapefruit mingle with notes of fresh cut grass, chalky earth, and white flowers on the nose.  Flavors of lemon, honeydew, and lime emerge on the palate along with accents of minerals and orange oil. A medium bodied white with classic citrus flavors, it will pair nicely with halibut or sole.  About 300 cases made.

Rating: 88

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McGah Family Cellars 2011 “Scarlett” Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Rutherford, Napa Valley

Price: 55-60

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of blackberries, cassis, and black cherries combines with hints of mocha and dusty earth on the nose. The palate delivers flavors of ripe blackberry, boysenberry, and currants that open up into suggestions of cocoa, earth, and mint. A rich Cabernet with supple tannins, it will age nicely over the next several years but is still showing well now.

Rating: 89

Shannon RidgeMB

Shannon Ridge 2010 Besty Vineyard Malbec

Grape(s): 100% Malbec

Region: Lake County

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of blackberries, red currants, and blueberries mingle with notes of vanilla and anise on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and black cherry that flow into suggestions of toasty vanilla and black licorice.  A rich, supple Malbec without the all the earthiness that’s so common to the variety, enjoy a glass with a bowl of chili. 250 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Shannon RidgePS

Shannon Ridge 2010 Caldwell Ranch Petite Sirah

Grape(s): 100% Petite Sirah

Region: Lake County

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of blueberries, plums, sweet spice, and toast greets the senses. Flavors of blueberry, plum, and blackberry come together with accents of pepper, clove, and creamy oak on the palate. Dark and rich, with supple tannins, fans of smooth Petite Sirahs will enjoy this bottle. 495 cases were made.

Rating: 89

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Robledo 2012 “Seven Brothers Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: North Coast

Price:

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of citrus and tropical fruit come together with hints of thyme and minerals on the nose. Flavors of lime, grapefruit, and honeydew are accented by notes of fresh earth and herbs on the palate. A bright, round white with a pleasant acidity, enjoy a bottle with white fish or grilled chicken. 369 cases production.

Rating: 89

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Thorn Hill 2011 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

The nose offers aromas of cherries, strawberry jam, and plums along with suggestions of cola and baking spice. The palate reveals flavors of cherry, strawberry, and cranberry that open up into hints of sweet spice and black tea. An easygoing Pinot, with ample red fruit, it’s a safe bet for any gathering.

Rating: 88

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Thorn Hill 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Napa Valley

Price: 45-50

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of currants, blackberries, and plums unfold into mocha and barrel spice on the nose.  Flavors of cassis, blackberry, and cherry emerge on the palate along with nuances of all-spice and cocoa.  A dark, lush Cabernet that delivers ample fruit, fans of smooth, supple reds will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 90

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Kokomo 2012 Zinfandel

Grape(s): 100% Zinfandel

Region: Dry Creek Valley

Price: 25-30

Tasting Notes:

Notes of bramble fruit and plum come together with hints of spice and dark chocolate on the nose.  The palate offers flavors of blackberry, raspberry, and plum along with accents of all-spice, clove, and bitter chocolate. A supple, nicely structured  Zin, it sure to hit the spot with fans of the variety. Over 1,700 cases were made.

Rating: 89

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Kokomo 2012 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Russian River Valley

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of strawberries, plums, and cherries meld with suggestions of rose petals and vanilla on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of strawberry and plum along with accents of perfume, cola, and baking spice. A fairly light Pinot, with a welcoming acidity, it will pair nicely with grilled salmon or mushroom risotto. Over 1,500 cases produced.

Rating: 88

winerysfPN2

Winery SF 2012 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: North Coast

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of black cherries, plums, and raspberries mingle with suggestions of white pepper and fennel seed on the nose.  The palate delivers flavors of bramble fruit and baked currants that unfold into hints of licorice, cola, and baking spice. A supple, complex wine that offers darker fruit flavors than most Pinots, connoisseurs of the variety should try this bottle.  350 cases were made.

Rating: 89

winerysfSB

Winery SF 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: North Coast

Price: 20-25

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of citrus fruit and pineapple along with accents of chalky earth greets the senses. The palate offers flavor of pineapple, lemon, and lime mingle with suggestions of minerals. A welcoming Sauvignon Blanc with a fairly round mouthfeel, people who enjoy French whites should give this bottle a try. 750 cases produced.

Rating: 89

 2010Cab

Sullivan 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Napa Valley

Price: 65-70

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of blackberries and currants meld with suggestions of minerals and chocolate on the nose. Flavors of blackberry, cassis, and blueberry unfold into hints of dark chocolate and licorice. A dark, lush Cabernet with laid-back tannins, it will pair nicely with lamb or portabello mushrooms.  904 cases were made.

Rating: 90

2010CDV

Sullivan 2010 Coeur De Vigne

Grape(s): 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 14% Petit Verdot, & 2% Cabernet Franc

Region: Napa Valley

Price: 95-100

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of cherries, blackberries, chocolate, and cinnamon greets the senses.  With a sip, flavors of blackberry, plum, and cherry unfurl into notes of dark chocolate, sweet spice, and dusty earth.  An elegant blend with plush tannins, fans of soft, sophisticated reds will enjoy this wine. 403 cases produced.

Rating: 91