May 13th, 2019

La Jota Vineyard Co.

Howell Mountain Merlot 2015

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of blackberry, bitter chocolate and nutmeg. The palate is ripe and rich, showing cocoa, black cherry, dusted raspberry, cedar, and blueberry flavors. Finishes long with velvety full tannin and a touch of clove. This is what a high end merlot is supposed to taste like.

Score

94+ Points

May 10th, 2019

William Hill & Edna Valley

I picked up these two wines this past week in a local wine store. Both were very good price point wines. William Hill and Edna Valley Vineyards consistently over deliver in the under $20 category.

William Hill Cabernet
Sauvignon North Coast 2016

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

William Hill has several different quality levels. This is the base North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon. Regarding aroma, this Cabernet Sauvignon offers notes of cocoa, cherry and cassis. The palate is medium-bodied showing similar flavors of jammy red fruits, dusted chocolate and cherry liqueur. The experience finishes with balanced tannin and sweet oak. Suggested retail $18

Score

89 Points

Edna Valley Sauvignon
Blanc 2016

The Certified Truth - Jennilyn Pollack

What a delightful summer sipper! Rising from the glass were aromas of stone fruit and minerals with citrusy notes. In the mouth, this wine is much more pronounced with guava, blood orange, tangerine and citrus. The finish is bright and crisp with hints of wet stone. Suggested Retail $13

Score

93 Points

May 3rd, 2019

Cabernet Sauvignon

Beaulieu Vineyards Cabernet
Sauvignon Rutherford 2014

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas and flavors of sweet cherry, crushed red flowers, cassis, and dried cocoa, all wrapped around a core of red licorice and dusty black cherry. Beaulieu Vineyards has put forth a full flavor profile with this one, that ends with a velvety and balanced finish. Suggested Retail $32

Score

90 Points

Paradigm Cabernet
Sauvignon Oakville 2015

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Immediate notes of flavored coffee, boysenberry, and wet stone jump from the glass. In the mouth, this offering is expansive and multi-layered, boasting dark chocolate, lavender, roasted raspberry and currant flavors. Finishes with perfumed cinnamon along with purity, finesse, and perfect balanced tannin. Suggested Retail $80

Score

95 Points

April 30th, 2019

Barnett Vineyards Cabernet Franc
Spring Mountain District
Napa Valley 2016

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

This limited release is a wine that needs to be in your cellar. Aromas of cocoa dust, dark berry fruit and blueberry jam. The palate is exquisite, offering a pure and polished mouthfeel of dark cocoa and cherry liqueur wrapped around a core of blue fruit and well integrated creamy oak. A decadent Cabernet Franc. Retail $75

Score

96 Points

Paradigm Merlot
Napa Valley 2015

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of melted cherry and sweet cranberry notes. The palate leads to a very ripe but balanced mouthfeel, evolving with continually swirling in glass, opening to raspberry, blackberry nuances , with hints of vanilla, flavored coffee, and cocoa. Finishes beautifully balanced with velvety tannin. A delicious Merlot. Retail $53

Score

93 Points

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Artemis
Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of dried cocoa powder, toasted herbs, dark fruit and chocolate undertones. This is a dynamic and impeccably balanced offering from Marcus Notaro (Winemaker) filled with purity and richness, showing cherry liqueur, black and blueberry intertwined with velvety oak and sweet raspberry compote. Finishes with the entire chorus in perfect cinque. Memorable! Retail $65

Score

94 Points

April 19th, 2019

Cabernet Sauvignon

When it comes to Cabernet Sauvignon, in my opinion, California is King. The diversity in styles is intriguing and addictive . I recently tasted two from Napa Valley that are definitely in the luxury category. There are a lot of Cabernet Sauvignons being sold in this price point that are disappointing. These are examples of why I believe California is the destination for this grape variety. If you are in the market to try what classic Napa Valley high end Cabernet tastes like. Both of these are stellar.

Lail Blueprint Cabernet
Sauvignon Napa 2016

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of cocoa, vanilla bean, and blackberry fruit. The palate is perfectly balanced, showing cedar, blueberry and dark cherry fruits intertwined with dried cocoa, blackberry and slate. Finishes polished and velvety showing expensive French Oak. This is a memorable Cabernet from a legendary property that showcases the wealth of passion and experience needed to achieve this quality. The 2016 has a Bordeaux profile which is signature Phillipe Melka (winemaker), beautiful job! Suggested retail $80

Score

97 Points

Trujillo Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley 2015

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

I met with Michael Trujillo on my recent trip to Napa Valley and tasted both the 2015 and 2016( not yet released), both wines are impeccable, but different. I was fortunate to have another 2015 in my wine rack. Aromas of cherry, ripe plum with perfumed herbs. The palate is muscular and rich showing raspberry, cherry, rose petals and hints of minted blackberries. Finishes with dusty full tannin and a ripe cranberry, pomegranate note. This wine is well hung displaying both  power and depth, should age incredibly. Suggested retail $85

Score

95+ Points

April 12th, 2019

BNA Wine Group - Volunteer

I was very impressed when I stopped at BNA Wine Group to meet owner Tony Leonardini on my recent trip to California.  We tasted through a number of his wines and I was not surprised of the quality and pedigree that he achieves. Tony has a long family history in the industry, his father Tom, owns White Hall Lane Vineyards. I tasted through his Butternut Line and these wines are incredible for the $14.99 retail. Nationally this brand is gaining a lot of attention, and with all the cookie cutter brands crowding up this price segment Butternut shows real quality. I also had the opportunity to taste and review his premium line up called Volunteer. A name dedicated to the heroes fighting fires, Tony is a volunteer firefighter. Check out my reviews.

Chardonnay
Napa Valley 2017

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of buttered toast, peach, apple and citrus oil. In the mouth this is a creamy wine filled with buttered pineapple, peach marmalade and caramel apple spice. Round and rich with enough acid to keep it all in check. Stunning! Suggested Retail $24.99

Score

94 Points

Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley 2016

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of violets, cen cen , black cherry,  cinnamon and wet slate. The wine explodes on the palate offering crushed flowers, cinnamon, dark cherry , licorice, nutmeg, herbs and red apple skin. Finishes with dusty tannin and mint cherry note. Excellent! Suggested Retail  $29.99

Score

93 Points

April 5th, 2019

School House Vineyards

Chardonnay Spring Mountain
District Napa Valley 2016

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of caramel, hazelnut , mango and spice apple. The palate is filled with apple, peach, white pepper, brioche and hazelnut flavors. Finishes with a creamy texture and balanced acidity. A very good mountain chardonnay.

Score

91 Points

Syrah Blend 2015

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Aromas of earth, wet meat, cherry, anise and vanilla. The palate starts with a briary note then opens to cherry , slate, and hints of pepper . As it sat in the glass and caught some air, it immediately started showing its core of  ripe cherry, anise, sweet  strawberry with a hint of black olive and minerality. The finish is pure , silky, and elegant. 13.3% alcohol allows this delicious red to show all of its character and finesse without the weightiness of too much alcohol. I was blown away and will  be ordering more. Try with lean grilled  meats.

Score

94 Points

March 29th, 2019

Willamette Valley Vineyards

I was not surprised on the quality attained by this winery, they define why Oregon is on a level playing field with Burgundy France.

Chardonnay Tualatin
Estate 2016

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Beautiful aromas of creamed peach, white flowers, and hints of brioche. The palate is rich and expansive showing pineapple, nectarine, orange zest, mineral and mango flavors. Finishes with impeccable texture and balance of oak and acid.  This chardonnay rivals many higher priced white Burgundies at three times the retail.

Score

94 Points

Pinot Noir
Bernau Block 2015

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Bright ruby in colour, Aromas of crushed flowers, slate and wet stone. The palate is filled with raspberry, cherry pie, with a core of tea leaf and plum drop. Silky and velvety on the finish, with hints of seasoned spice.

Score

93 Points

Brut 2015

The Certified Truth - Steve Pollack

Toasty aromas and flavors of cherry almond, baked apple, and lemon meringue. Very complex, ripe, and artisanal on the palate with caressing fine bubbles. Finishes with  ginger and toast.

Score

92 Points