Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 66

NORTH AMERICAN NEW RELEASES
Our blind panels tasted 150 new-release North American wines for this issue. Our critics rated 52 as exceptional (90+) and 23 as Best
Buys. Joshua Greene reviews California's North Coast; Patrick J. Comiskey covers the rest of the US. Find a complete list of wines tasted
and all reviews at wineandspiritsmagazine.com.

CA L I FO RN I A WHIT E

MUSCAT

coming red with freshness amplifying its
magnitude, keeping the wine buoyant and
delicious. (800 cases) -J.G. ¤
520272

CHARDONNAY

520499

90 | Bonterra

519757

93 | Keenan

$38

2018 Spring Mountain District Napa
Valley Chardonnay (Best Buy) ^ Michael
Keenan farms a large block of chardonnay
adjacent to his winery on Spring Mountain,
the vines planted in 1995, close enough to
underground springs that they provide an
abundant crop without irrigation. His 2018
is intriguing and layered, a complex mountain-grown chardonnay with an earthy tannic
briskness to sustain it. The flavors range from
lime to yellow apple and green plum, firm
enough to absorb the oak in which it aged,
and to last, with the cool pallor of a morningsun wine. -J.G. (2,040 cases)  ¤
519679

90 | Miner

$35

2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay (Best Buy) ^
From its smoky scents of lees through its
preserved-lemon flavors, this is a clean and
savory chardonnay. It hints at sweetness in its
honeyed texture and almond pastry tones, a
richness that will take on salmon rillettes or
scallops in puff-pastry shells. -J.G. ¤

VIOGNIER
519332

91 | Storybook Mountain

$40

2018 Napa Valley Viognier ^ Jerry Seps's
viognier is as serious as his zinfandels. This
is not a floral take on the grape, but a wine
bristling with green fig flavors enriched by
white truffle notes. There's a prickle of acidity corralling the ripe fruit and broad texture.
Try it with a ripe round of Mt Tam from Cowgirl Creamery. -J.G. (199 cases)  ¤

66

WINE & SPIRITS

JUNE 2020

$16

2018 Mendocino County Blue Heron
Vineyard Dry Muscat (Best Buy) ^ Joseph
Brinkley at Bonterra farms these muscat
vines under biodynamics, delivering fruit
that can stand naked, in a completely dry
style. And it's delicious to taste a dry muscat
with this much lemony bitterness and citrusy
freshness. It feels honest, a lovely summer
refreshment. -J.G. (250 cases)  ¤

CA L IFORNIA RED
CABERNET SAUVIGNON
519587

95 | Duckhorn

$100

2016 Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyard
Cabernet Sauvignon ^ When Dan and Margaret Duckhorn released their first wines, the
1978s included a vineyard-designate from
Three Palms. The vineyard became part of
Duckhorn's identity and, since 2015, the
73 acres of rocky, volcanic soils on the valley floor between St. Helena and Calistoga
are now part of Duckhorn's estate. If you're
a longtime Duckhorn fan, you won't be disappointed by the richness and power of this
2016. It's ripe and substantial, with a soulful
mineral complexity to the chocolate depths
of its tannins. And if you tend to gravitate
toward cooler wines from high altitudes in
the Mayacamas, you might share my fascination with the cool, brisk feel of this wine,
particularly in the context of that volcanic
intensity. It's the kind of contradiction I've
come to expect in the best wines from Renee
Ary, winemaker at Duckhorn-the kind that
lends tension and energy to what, on its own,
would be rich valley-floor fruit. This is not a
lean, high-acid cabernet; it's a friendly, wel-

95 | Stags' Leap Winery

$200

94 | Keenan

$114

2016 Stags Leap District Napa Valley
Audentia Cabernet Sauvignon ^ After joining Stags' Leap Winery in 2009, Christophe
Paubert released Audentia, a new wine from
the historic estate, in 2010. It grew out of his
fascination with the old-vine petite sirah he
was farming there, a variety that had been
planted at the site in 1893, long before the
winery was founded. The vines that contribute fruit to this blend come from block
9, where the vines are 36 years old. Paubert
finds the petite sirah from this block is less
about spice and more focused on blueberry
and blackberry flavors. Though you might
think of petite as rustic, here it combines
with some petit verdot to fill cabernet's
dark-chocolate tannins with layers of earth
tones and spice. Nathaniel Muñoz of LA's
Bar Avalon compared those tannins to terra
cotta and broken brick. "I really want rustic
Mexican food with this," he said, pointing
to the notes of charred peppers and smoky
ancho chiles. And yet, it's polished, lasting on
fragrant complexity, with a tart cherry focus
that rings clean and as clear as a bell. -J.G.
(800 cases)  ¤
520502
2016 Spring Mountain District Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ^ Michael
Keenan replanted his Big K vineyard in 1998,
and, as the vines have matured, they have
consistently put out one of the top cabernet
sauvignons in Napa Valley-just look at the
string of high scores and effusive notes on
our website for confirmation. The latest, the
2016, marks the 40th anniversary of Robert
Keenan Winery with a vibrant, brisk mountain-grown cabernet, its tart wild-cherry flavors foresty to the core. If a wine could be
said to have earthy intelligence, this one
does, its tannins lending stamina and deeprooted gravitas to a cabernet that feels effortless, like it's sleepwalking into beauty. -J.G.
(900 cases)  ¤
520273


http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com https://www.bonterra.com/wines/dry-muscat-2017/ https://wine.keenanwinery.com/index.cfm?method=storeproducts.showdrilldown&isMarketingURL=1&productid=7D0C0EBA-E589-4996-8036-C43E2D31FFAD

Wine & Spirits - June 2020

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Contents
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
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