California Dreamin’

Category: Wine Buzz Written by JoAnn Actis-Grande / September 20, 2012

I recently returned from a California wine tour in Napa Valley and Sonoma. I met with wine producers and wine makers, tasting new releases and hearing predictions for the upcoming harvest. Here are a few special wine discoveries from my trip.


Richard Berridge 2009 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (Northern Coast)
A deliciously delicate Pinot Noir from grapes grown in the Russian River area. The wine is creamy yet light, and exudes aromas of dark red fruit with flavors of cinnamon and spice; well balanced with a long silky finish.

Cakebread Cellars 2010 Chardonnay (Napa Valley)
Truly classic, pale gold in the glass with aromas of autumnal fruits with a touch of citrus. The wine is buttery and offers touches of oak along with flavors of warm spices.

Crocker Starr 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (St. Helena and Oak Knoll)
Produced in the heart of Napa Valley – the perfect Indian summer wine with its fresh and floral characters, and lemon and peach flavors.

Corison 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)
Owner-winemaker Cathy Corison was named Winemaker of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle. Her wines are always powerful and elegant, especially made for wine enthusiasts. This wine has a lavender nose, yet is full of dark cherry, blackberry, plum, chocolate, and cedar tastes.

Anderson’s Conn Valley 2009 Right Bank (Napa Valley)
A stunning full-bodied rich red wine made from 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Merlot grapes with an abundance of ripe black fruit, coffee and cocoa flavors. 

Benziger 2008 Tribute
This big red wine is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with just enough Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot to add more intensity. There are aromas and tastes of dark berry, dark spice, tobacco, and coffee. Tribute has huge aging potential.