Wine Reviews

These are my most recent wine reviews. I drank each of these wines and this is what I think about them. My opinions about each wine are my own.

Wine reviews by: Jessyca Frederick

My Latest Wine Reviews

Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

2017 Ken Brown Wines Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

A beautiful example of what put Sta. Rita Hills on the map of world’s best Pinot Noir regions.

Another wine in the long list of "I like blends" where the "entry level" wine is among my favorites at a producer.

Consumed: May 2023
Last updated: December 17, 2023


2014 Ecluse Wines Improv

A great example both of the winemaking style from Écluse Wines and and the ageability of their wines (and red wines from Paso Robles).

Écluse wines hold up well to age — they’re super structured and intense when young, but transform gracefully (and slowly) over time.

Consumed: May 2023
Last updated: December 17, 2023

Chardonnay, Sonoma County

2020 Long Street Winery Chardonnay, Sonoma County

A nice, solid Chardonnay. Well-balanced, structured but not oaky, round but not buttery, not too much alcohol, not too much acid.

I really liked this. Sometimes I like a good Chardonnay that isn’t too much of anything and which lets the fruit shine. This was that.

Consumed: May 2023
Last updated: December 17, 2023

Château Laville Sauternes

2019 Château Laville Château Laville Sauternes

From the moment we opened this bottle containing orange-colored and even orange-smelling wine (not the same as the “orange wine” fad), I knew we were in for something different.

There was a creaminess and a complexity that floated around my mouth with this viscous wine. The orange/tangerine marmalade dream was accompanied by butterscotch and honey.

Consumed: March 2023
Last updated: August 3, 2023

20-Year Old Tawny Port (500mL)

NV Quinta de la Rosa 20-Year Old Tawny Port (500mL)

This wine has changed my mind about whether or not I want to explore Port wine.

For all of us in the tasting group, there was a strong taste of maple. It was not overly sweet, but definitely had a sweetness to it. I’d happily drink this again.

Consumed: March 2023
Last updated: August 3, 2023

Oakville Cabernet Sauvingon

2019 Stag’s Leap Winery Oakville Cabernet Sauvingon

The nose was classic blackberry and graphite, with a hint of pyrazine. It was fairly bright for a Napa Cab, and lighter bodied than I expected, too. I tasted cedar and clove, blackcurrant, and some plum.

It was too young for my preferences, but it showed signs of classic Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon and I bet it will be an absolute delight in 2029 or later.

Consumed: April 2023
Last updated: August 3, 2023

Block 20 Merlot

2019 Stag’s Leap Winery Block 20 Merlot

Among the three wines I tried from Stag’s Leap Winery in April, this was my favorite. I like Merlot and I’m not ashamed to say so.

This wine offered subtle contours of black fruit, black cherry, blueberry, and pomegranate with smooth tannins and medium-plus acidity (pretty racy for Merlot, really).

Consumed: April 2023
Last updated: August 3, 2023

Rustenberg Chenin Blanc

2021 Rustenberg Wines Rustenberg Chenin Blanc

A food-friendly white wine featuring typical Chenin Blanc floral and stone fruit flavors, but in a more subdued presentation (as compared with California).

Chenin Blanc is one of my favorite white wine grapes. This particular bottle would be perfect for anyone who is new to the grape and looking to branch out from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Consumed: September 2022
Last updated: August 3, 2023

Titus Andronicus

2020 Titus Wines Titus Andronicus

Great crowd-pleasing Bordeaux-style blend. Fruit-forward but balanced with smooth tannins, great acidity, and just a touch of vanilla from the oak.

I think the Bordeaux Blend has great adoption these days. Whatever you want to call it, it was great. When people decry Napa for not having any reasonably priced red wines, this wine should be the poster child for what could be.

Consumed: September 2022
Last updated: August 3, 2023

Talinay Pai

2018 Tabalí Talinay Pai

Talinay is like Bourgogne in Chile, but with a fruit forward, new world sensibility. This is a winery to know if you like Pinot Noir (or Chablis-style Chardonnay)

I loved this wine. The nose offered eucalyptus and black cherry, and flavors of cherries, berries, and subtle spice. A light-bodied wine with an incredibly long finish, it was bright, had smooth tannins, and coated my mouth in the most delightful way.

Consumed: March 2023
Last updated: August 2, 2023

Notice: I hold no formal wine credentials. I am a wine geek who has consumed 1000+ of bottles from 100+ different wine clubs and 1000s more bottles that didn’t come from those wine clubs. I do not accept payment for wine reviews, and I do not accept payments to influence my opinions. I happily accept free wine (and I buy wine).

Why read my wine reviews: Wine taste is subjective. What I like may not be what you like. I try to leave room for you to form your own opinions, so I don’t provide a score or a rating. I do point out wines that are an incredible value or truly not worth the money. I note flaws, wines that don’t have typicity (because this matters if you are buying wine without having tasted it yourself), when wines are out of balance, and when wines lack appropriate body.

I don’t like wasting money (or anything for that matter). I’m careful about where I spend my money and my mindset as a reviewer is to be careful about where you spend yours. I don’t believe a high price tag equals quality and I know for sure there are wines of very good quality that are also a great value.

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