TNs: Recent California Wines

Ridge Monte Bello 2001:
Electric purple, with a perfumed nose (acacia flowers, black plums and pipe tobacco). Expressive immediately, abundant amounts of sweet red fruits are intertwined with black fruits and copious quantities of espresso roast, burnt embers, melted dark chocolate and crushed stones. This wine has become perfectly integrated and should be fantastic for a number of years. It has shed its youthful woody austerity and unresolved acidity and become an exceptional wine. Drink now and enjoy . . . hold and you may enjoy more! 95 points

Martinelli Zinfandel Jackass Vineyard 2004:
I know this is not everyones’ favorite winery . . . but this was a nice bottle of wine. Strawberry jam, roasted cherries, pink peppercorns, fig paste, blueberry compote, coffee grounds and the essence of Dr. Pepper (yeah!) all make an appearance. Yeah, there is some alcohol hanging around. If that is a problem for you then you won’t dig this. But overall this is really a “quiet” Martinelli wine. 91 points

Dominus Proprietary Red Wine 2001:
Dark black in color- impossible to see through. Huge, unbending for hours. Cedar, coffee, black cherry and violets emerge from the elegant nose. Shaved dark chocolate, espresso, roasted meats and black plums come through first (after four hours). Black currants, cigar smoke, torn herbs, red cherries and new saddle leather are next. Needless to say the wine is layered. The wine is complex. Dense and hard to penetrate, it is hard to say when this wine will fully mature, or even be ready to drink without hours of decanting. But the good news is: this wine is going to last a long time. 96 points

Staglin Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2001:
Had high hopes for this one. Alas it was corked. First one in a while.
Corked NR

Wow, that Dominus sounds fantastic! Thanks for the notes John

The Dominus is pretty damn good. I do prefer the '02 though.

Nice notes John. Bummer about the Staglin, though.

I’m glad to hear this since I have no 2001 and 6 bottles of the 2002.

I agree with you on this one. Im sure this will change in the next ten years though.