November 19th, 2019

Mt. Brave Wines

Merlot Mt. Veeder 2016

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

loral aromas and dark red fruits and fresh herbs emerge from the glass. The palate is filled with brambly dark fruits, cocoa and dusted chocolate flavors. This wine is rugged and rich, classically styled and pure Mt Veeder fruit. Finishes with ripe pomegranate and full tannin. What expensive merlot should taste like. Will age tremendously for 10+ yrs. Another supreme offering from the Kendall Jackson Family stable.

Score

95+ Points

September 18th, 2019

Del Rio Vineyards

Rock Point Pinot Gris 2018

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

This Pinot Gris boasts aromas of green apple and white peach with a palate of stone fruit, mango, and melon. Finishes crisp and clean showing ripe pear and mineral notes.

Score

90 Points

Rock Point River White NV

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

In both aroma and palate, this fresh and fruity style wine offers peaches, citrus, and lemon drop, with perfumed bands of pineapple and sweet tart.

Score

88 Points

Del Rio Estate Pinot Gris 2018

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Honeydew, cantaloupe and ripe green melon make up the fruity palate of this appealing pinot gris. Finishes with green apple, peach and a note of wet slate.

Score

92 Points

Del Rio Estate Chardonnay 2018

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Green apple, lime zest, and lemon rind work well with wood accents in this chardonnay.

Score

87 Points

Del Rio Estate Grenache Rose 2018

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

A palate of strawberry, white plum, and dried cherry with a crisp and refreshing finish.

Score

88 Points

Rock Point River Red NV

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of cola and cherry fruit, followed by a palate that offers a fruity style with hints of licorice, anise and dried cherries.

Score

88 Points

Rouge Jolee Lush Red NV

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Sweet cherries and candied red fruit surround a core of cedar, ending in a ripe and savory finish with smooth tannin.

Score

88 Points

Del Rio Estate Pinot Noir 2017

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Floral aromas of tea, brambleberry and plum. The palate offers ripe and silky flavors of cinnamon spiced cherry, plum, wild flower and hints of pepper. A very appealing and superbly balanced Pinot.

Score

93 Points

Del Rio Estate Merlot 2016

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Ripe cherries and blueberries combined with a silky, creamy mouthfeel showing beautiful balance. The finish offers kola nut and spiced vanilla with velvety tannin.

Score

92 Points

Del Rio Estate Syrah 2016

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of blackberry jam and nutmeg hint at a palate filled with cherry, peppered blackberries, cranberry and flavored coffee. Finishes ripe and rich with well integrated tannin.

Score

92 Points

Del Rio Estate Claret 2016

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of nutmeg and vanilla. In the mouth this wine is balanced, pure, and polished showing cassis, black currant, graphite, plum, cherry liqueur and bitter chocolate. A dynamic and very Bordeaux style wine that reminds me of a much higher priced Margaux.

Score

94 Points

September 6th, 2019

Warwick Wines

This historic winery was sold in May of 2018. I was lucky enough to meet the new owners during my trip to California back in February of 2019. These are the new releases under winemaker JD Prestorius, who believes in purity and balance. The wines represent exactly that.

Warwick The First Lady
Chardonnay 2018

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

A pure and very appealing chardonnay with aromas of fresh citrus, stone fruit and minerality. The palate offers meyer lemon, ripe apple, pear and creamed peach flavors. This wine has a fresh, richly textured style that finishes with impeccable acid balance.

Score

92 Points

Warwick The White Lady
Chardonnay 2017

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Rising from the glass you’ll find toasty aromas of brioche, mango, pineapple and passion fruit. This chardonnay is plump, rich and creamy on the palate, showing peach and orange marmalade, baked apple, melon and spiced vanilla bean flavors. Finishes pure and polished with just the right dose of acidity to bring it all in balance. This wine reminds me of a top end Meursault from Burgundy, France. A great wine to buy multiple bottles and taste over the next 6-8 yrs. Stunning!

Score

96+ Points

Warwick The First Lady
Dry Rose 2019

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of fresh fruit cup and floral scents. The palate is filled with strawberry rhubarb flavors combined with white pepper and loganberry, culminating in a finish that is crisp and clean with refreshing acidity.

Score

90 Points

Warwick The First Lady
Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of earth and herbs set the stage for a palate that is tightly focused around young plum fruit, dusty cherry, and tart cranapple flavors. Finishes with leather, graphite and youthful drying tannins. Suggested Retail $15

Score

87 Points

Warwick The Blue Lady
Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of sweet cherry, rose petals and jasmine hint at this wine’s sexy profile of black berry jam, blueberry, licorice and creamy black cherry flavors. Dynamic and very well balanced, showing good depth of oak integration, along with velvety smooth tannin. A perfect example of what winemaker JD Pretorius is capable of. Excellent! Suggested Retail $60

Score

94 Points

Warwick Three Cape Ladies
Red Blend 2016

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

With a nose full of baking spice, brambleberry and cinnamon stick, the palate of this wine is very elegant, showing strawberry cassis, dried cherries and notes of brown sugar. Finishes with sweet silky tannin. Suggested Retail $30

Score

91 Points

August 30th, 2019

Two Sisters

Two Sisters Cabernet Franc
Niagara River 2015

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

This cabernet offers aromas of lavender, violet, cocoa and dark fruit. The palate is velvety and rich, showing sweet cherry, pomegranate, tobacco leaf and cassis with layers of blue and black fruits. The finish is very silky with bitter chocolate and hints of spiced French oak. An impressive wine from this boutique family owned Canadian property. Suggested Retail $55

Score

93 Points

Two Sisters Chardonnay
Niagara River 2017

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Pleasant aromas of green apple, citrus and hints of oak rise from a glass of this chardonnay. The palate shows mango, peach and accents of hazelnut with well integrated creamy oak. The experience finishes with spice and the right amount of acid to balance out this well made chardonnay. Suggested Retail $55

Score

93 Points

August 9th, 2019

Jordan Chardonnay
Russian River Valley 2016

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of fresh fruit with buttery oak accents. This wine’s palate is ripe, showing pineapple, melon and Asian pear flavors wrapped around a core of crisp acidity. A pure expression of a very well-made chardonnay. Suggested Retail $36

Score

92 Points

Vialoni
Pinot Grigio 2018

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of apple, pear and citrus. This wine is refreshing and crisp showing melon, apple, white peach and mango. A delightful, tremendous value like this doesn’t come around everyday. If you shop in PA, this should be in your basket. Suggested Retail $36

Score

90 Points

July 12th, 2019

Bacco Garnacha
2017 Campo de Borja

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

A delicious example of Grenache(Garnacha). Aromas of berry fruit and earthy tones. The palate is expansive and quite flavorful showing bright raspberry and strawberry flavors along with a crushed cranberry note. Pure and polished finishing with a pepper and floral component along with silky smooth tannin. Highly recommended! Suggested Retail $20

Score

94 Points

Aramis Syrah
The Governor 2008

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

A classic example of the quality Aramis can provide. Aromas of brambleberry, plum drop and blackberry. The palate is ripe and rich showing cherry liqueur, mint, crushed blueberry and wet slate. Finishes silky smooth with velvety tannin on a 20+ second finish. A wine with many years to go. Outstanding! Suggested Retail $150

Score

95 Points

Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley 2014

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of nutmeg and vanilla with hints of cassis. The palate shows elegance and finesse, offering ripe cherry, cedar and raspberry fruit. A medium bodied, very pretty cabernet that finishes with well integrated silky tannin. Suggested Retail $65

Score

93 Points

Duckhorn Chardonnay
Napa Valley 2016

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

I have had Duckhorn chardonnay many times in my career but do not remember a vintage as good as this one. The palate is beautifully balanced, showing a buttery entry that opens up to melon, mango, peach, minerals and stone fruit. A memorable chardonnay reminiscent of a high end Puligny Montrachet, but at a much better price. Excellent! Suggested Retail $35

Score

95 Points

June 14th, 2019

ZD Chardonnay
California 2017

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of buttered apple, hazelnut, and lemon meringue jump from the glass. The palate offers pear, pineapple and orange zest, finishes with hints of caramel and vanilla combined with balanced acidity. A very polished chardonnay from a very classy winery.

Score

93 Points

Farella Sauvignon Blanc
Coombsville Napa Valley 2017

The Certified Truth – Jennilyn Pollack

Stone fruit, mineral, and fresh grapefruit define this thirst quenching fresh and clean Sauvignon Blanc. Finishes bright, showing melon bands, quince fruit and hints of white pepper. A very appealing style.

Score

92 Points

June 7th, 2019

Farella - Coombsville Napa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of cherry, anise and sweet oak rise from the glass. The palate is perfectly balanced, allowing ripe cherry liqueur, blackberry, licorice, kola nut, vanilla bean and powdered cocoa to play off of each other nicely. Tobacco leaf and sweet spiced tannin make up the finish of this well made, truly dynamic Cabernet.

Score

95 Points

May 31st, 2019

Weltach Wines

Weltach Dornfelder
Rotwein Pfalz 2018

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

With aromas of grape along with sweet plum and candied red fruit, this is a delightful sweet red held together with perfect acid balance.

Score

88 Points

Weltach Riesling 2018

The Certified Truth – Jennilyn Pollack

Perfumed aromas of peach and stone fruit open to a white nectarine, peach tart, pineapple and mango flavors. Finishes clean and crisp with minerality and impeccable acid balance. This is a fine example why Germany produces the best Riesling in the world.

Score

93 Points

May 24th, 2019

Tilth Wines

One of the greatest rewards of being in the wine business is the people you meet and the stories shared. From the successes to the failures, it’s always a pleasure discussing how our linear, and oftentimes non-linear journeys got us where we are in the industry. The wine industry is a network of relationships between people that love what they do and are passionate about how they do it. Jason and Hilary Driscoll define this idea. I was excited to help sell their story and even more fortunate for the opportunity to review some of their incredible wines. Let the story begin. Check out more on their website, driscollwineco.com.

Tilth Chardonnay Napa 2017

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of stone fruit and citrus. The palate gives way to yellow apple, white flowers, lemon rind and pear flavors. Finishes with hints of spiced oak, ginger and orange all held tightly together by perfect acid balance.

Score

92 Points

Tilth Russian River Valley
Pinot Noir 2017

The Certified Truth – Jennilyn Pollack

Crushed rose petal, wet stone, cherry fruit and fresh strawberry define this balanced elegant Pinot. Finishes showing shades of violet and plum drop flavors with a silky elegant mouthfeel.

Score

91 Points

Tilth Zinfandel California 2017

The Certified Truth – Jennilyn Pollack

Pronounced boysenberry and seasoned meat jump from the glass. Deft and dark on the palate showing ripe raspberry, blackberry jam and cherry liqueur. This is a muscular and dense zinfandel kept in check by modest alcohol and great acid balance.

Score

94 Points

Tilth Zinfandel Lodi
Cherry House Vineyard 2016

The Certified Truth – Jennilyn Pollack

Sweet cranberry and hints of smoked herbs open to a cherry and cocoa filled offering showing both depth of fruit on an elegant frame.

Score

92 Points

Tilth Zinfandel Contra Costa
Del Barba Vineyards 2016

The Certified Truth – Jennilyn Pollack

Aromas of baking spice and strawberry. The palate offers sweet candied cherry and raspberry fruit with melded tannin and hints of pepper.

Score

91 Points

May 22nd, 2019

Antica Winery Napa Valley

Chardonnay Mountain Select 2017

The Certified Truth – Steve Pollack

Aromas of buttered toast, apple and mineral stone. The palate is filled with pineapple, Asian pear, �green melon and hazelnut flavors . Finishes with bands of silky oak, caramel and notes of buttered brioche. This is a ripe, elegant and complex chardonnay from this Antinori owned Napa winery.

Score

93+ Points

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