Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2012

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Kendall-Jackson Website, $26

BevMo, $19.99

Total Wine & More, $17.99


Aaron: This has spicy grapefruit and nutmeg on the nose (yea, grapefruit).  The mellow spice on the flavor mingles pepper with blackberry, followed by plums, jam, and dark tree bark.  89 points

Teri:  The Pinot starts with a foresty-vanilla nose and then opens up with flavors of wild blackberries that blend into mushroom, leather and some dried cranberry. The undertone of oak is clearly present throughout the wine. Easy to drink with good complexity. A solid choice from your local supermarket or picking out something familiar on a wine list. 89 points 

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Estancia Pinot Noir 2014

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Estancia Vineyards Website

BevMo, $15.99

Total Wine & More, $8.97


Aaron: Solid pinot with an earthy, plum nose featuring granite rocks.  The mild to medium body and gentle finish made this comfortable but not watered down.  The flavor is what you’d expect from a pinot, lots of strawberry and cherry with some nutmeg and gentle herbs in the background.  The finish is what wins me over, gentle and velvety, just how I want it.  91 points

Teri: This is a great go-to wine for everyday drinking. A mushroom nose opens up to well-blended fruit and herb flavors (I tasted cherry, parsley, and moss). It also has some nice oak, but it’s not overwhelming. This Pinot is very easy to drink and would pair well with food. With a wide distribution range, make this your go-to bottle when at the supermarket or an evening out at a restaurant. 90 points 

Longwave Syrah 2013

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Purchased from Lot 18/The Tasting Room

Vivino Info


Aaron:  This started with weedy, thorny vines on the nose and finished with a fruity, raspberry flavor.  there was lots of bark and some allspice but this was still easy drinking.  The red pear and mushrooms throughout make this versatile and pleasant.  90 points

Teri: There are pencil shavings on the nose and baking spice, plum, and raspberries on the flavor. Juicy fruit with some balanced sweet tobacco and leather. 90 points 

Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay 2014

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Mer Soleil Website

Total Wine & More, $19.99

BevMo, $25.99


Aaron:  This is a great bottle, especially if you like rich buttery chardonnays.  A little white strawberry and peaches found their way through a fruit-crowded nose.  I noticed mild, buttered popcorn and some bits of citrus fruit but the overpowering flavor is rich, nutty vanilla.  After a few moments your pallet is flooded with cashew butter and streaks of vanilla beans.  This has some sugarcane but isn’t “sweet”, definitely a worthwhile bottle.  90 points

Teri: Citrus and apple on the nose with bright and fruity flavors overall. I tasted banana, caramel, vanilla, and lemongrass. Long beautiful finish. A wonderful bottle and unique to give/share with those who are unfamiliar with unoaked chardonnays.  A bottle for those who like bright fruit flavors in their wines. 90 points 

See our opinion on the 2012 vintage.