Tag Archives: California


2015 True Grit Reserve Cabernet SauvignonWhen I first noticed this wine in my local Costco club, I read the name and immediately pictured Josh Brolin’s face. You may remember that he played an antagonist in the Revisionist Western Film by the Cohen Brothers, True Grits. I can’t say for sure if the wine and the movie are related, but I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed both.

This is a “Reserve” Cabernet from Mendocino that has been aged for around one year in oak barrels, 30% of which are new French Oak. A minute amount of Petit Verdot (2%) was added, likely to boost the color of the wine.

On the nose I picked up vanilla, blue fruits, cola, and cedar. The palate was full and rich with baking spice, black cherries, and a subtle hint of black pepper. There was a good balance in the body of sugar to alcohol while the oak tannins were prominent in this younger wine. You can always detect oak tannins when the area under your upper lip feels like sandpaper against your two front teeth (grape tannins are felt more on the back of the tongue). I think that in a few years these tannins will mellow a bit.

This wine is currently a $12.99 super-value in the Costco stores that I have seen it (many stores are currently carrying the ’14 vintage too). Vivino users report an average price of around $20 and the wine is listed at even higher than that when ordered directly from the Parducci Website. While Vivino subscribers give it an average rating of 3.7, Wine Enthusiast designated it a “Cellar Selection” and gave it a score of 91. I give this wine an 89. At this price point, I will definitely be lassoing another bottle before it’s all sold out.

14.5% ABV
Krunch Rating: 90 points
Costco SKU #: 1029458

Shafer Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2014, California

My Rating 87 Points. Price $55. Deep purple in color with a ruby rim. Strong and fruity on the nose with plums, cherries, currants, oak, vanilla, licorice, raspberries, leather, earth, spices, peppercorn, smoke, chocolates, mocha and black tea. Full bodied and harsh, with high acidity and long legs. Fruity and dry on the […]

via Shafer Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2014, California  — Odedi’s Wine Reviews Blog


2015 Daou Paso Cabernet SauvignonI was excited to see the 2015 in the wood a couple of weeks ago.  When I say “in the wood,” I mean in the wooden bins located next to the aisles of wine at Costco, which usually feature higher-priced swill.  My first thought after seeing this wine, however, was “2015, that’s young.”  I think more wine makers are moving towards releasing wines sooner that are more approachable and ready to drink now.

This is a deep and dark, in-your-face Paso Robles wine.  On the nose, I detected gingerbread, root-beer, and cola.  The tannins are reserved, probably from less oak, in order to let the fruit shine.  While the wine was a pleasure to drink, I felt at this stage in its life that it lacked the focus and complexity I was looking for.  I would love to taste this wine again in a few years to see if things have gotten a little happier and more in sync since then.  For now, subtle flavors of cooked berries and mocha fight to balance the alcohol.

This wine is one that will divide wine drinkers.  I like my wines with a little bit of age and with generous tannins, generally speaking, because I like what happens with time as the wines evolve into more harmonious and complex juices that are less fruit-forward.  Others will prefer to drink this wine now, in its youth, because of the smooth and simple bold fruit flavors.  Vivino users give this a 4.0 rating, which means most people who have rated it on Vivino have loved it.  I am confident to recommend this wine to anyone looking for New World cabs in the $20 price range.

This vintage has not been rated by Wine Spectator, but Vinous gave it a healthy 91 points.  Daou currently retails for $22.99 at my local Costco club, and is available online through various websites for around the $25 mark.

Krunch Rating: 88 points

Costco item number: 609714

Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, California

My Rating 88 Points. Price $25. Ah, my Friday’s Cabernet fix… Deep purple in color with a purplish rim. Bitter nose with green peppers, blackberries, blueberries plums, wildflowers, sweet strawberries, earth, leather, cedar, vinaigrette, green vegetables, herbs, smoke and peppercorn. Medium bodied with medium acidity and nice legs. Dry on the palate with blackberries, […]

via Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, California  — Odedi’s Wine Reviews Blog


2013 Decoy Sonoma County Red WineDecoy is the second label for Duckhorn and they are generally a safe bet if you’re looking for good wines at a fair price.  This red blend, made from grapes harvested across 16 different Sonoma vineyards, hits the mark and does so for $16.99, which is a healthy discount from the wine’s $25 retail price tag.

The blend has a bit of almost every grape you can imagine.  Here’s how it breaks down: 25% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Zinfandel, 15% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petite Sirah, 9% Petit Verdot and 5% Malbec. So like me, you’re probably what it all tastes like.  It pours a medium dark in the glass and the nose is slightly smoky with some baking spice.  Flavors of blackberry and boysenberry, with some black licorice and vanilla.  Finish is long. Overall, I sound this to be a good package for the price.

Duckhorn bills Decoy wines as the “everyday wines for the well informed.”  That’s a great line and really applies in this case. This is a nice step up from your average $10-$15 reds.

Krunch Rating: 89 Points

Costco item number: 889077