EP 954 Tasting of New California Arrivals

Gary Vaynerchuk tries 4 Californian reds that have just arrived at Wine Library and also received massive scores in the press. He tastes them to see if they live up to the hype.

Wines tasted in this episode:

2006 Luna Napa MerlotNapa Merlot
2007 Flora Springs TrilogyNapa Red Meritage
2008 Lewis Cellars Alec’s BlendNapa Rhone Blends
2008 Lewis Napa Cabernet SauvignonNapa Cabernet

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luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘Calibree; it means calibre and pedigree all in one.’

GV’s passion over the last one is so infectious – it really makes me want to taste the wine…if only!

Tags: cabernet, california, meritage, merlot, napa, red, review, Video, wine, wines

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  • elvindeath

    California Wine of the Moment ? Larkmead. First Cali wine I loved, and one that still knocks it out of the park with just about every release. Love to see Gary feature a review on one of their releases one of these days … if he liked the Flora Springs, he’d love their LMV Salon and their Estate Cab stacks up to cabs costing 4x more. Great stuff.

  • elvindeath

    Larkmead is my perennial fave as well. From time to time, you can find it on shelves for under $40, and as far as I’m concerned, it stacks up with wines costing 4x as much. Never been disappointed in a single bottle of larkmead.

  • Geoalb

    Nice show. I enjoyed seeing theses California wines reviewed.

    QOTD: I would have to say 2008 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir.

  • Oakmon’s BF

    I only have 141 comments. But my 44 likes received gives me a decent batting average of 312.

  • Purple Grillz

    Awesome throwback episode.

    Cali wine? Just drank the 07 Neyers Zin, and it was great for the $$$.

  • thewinebuff

    Don’t have much access to good Cali Cab’s here in Ireland, so I’m altering the QOTD – my fav wine of the moment w/wide is Salice Salentino – in particularly the Apollonio. Oh my god – it doesn’t get much better. Tried others but the Apollonio kicks ass for the ???’s!!!!

  • Thanks Audio.. great advice…

  • WOW, Ken… As a SOM, that’s saying something! Thanks for your reply and advice…

  • Hey Gary

    Good show, got me inspired.

    QOTD: Never had one … I’m cooking a Thanksgiving meal for the first time ever tomorrow so probably should start experimenting with a bit more US wine.


  • Anonymous

    You are right about the Cabs and steak, nothing like it. The RRV is absolutely doing great things with the Pinots and I will have to try their Cabs.

  • MOB

    BV Tapestry, I bought a case, at great price, from a certain related retail establishment and have been getting “no ways” from my wine head friends regarding the taste=value equation



  • UNLvino guy

    Awesome streamline show Adam!

    QOTD I’d say at one point in time it was the De Rose 97 old vine zin, but currently no

  • Andy

    QOTD— Drinking alot of Mendocino wine. Great Pinot Noir & the whites are underrated.
    Petite syrahs are great and pinot gris as well

  • Wow, I have some serious catching up to do…I think I’ll be rolling a bunch of WLTV back to back while other folks are watching the parade…
    QOTD: as inferred from others’ answers: A Donkey and a Goat Syrah, as well as a Bonny Doon “Riesling to Live”…that will be balanced by our home made Marquette Nouveau and a four varietal sparkling.
    happy thanksgiving!

  • Though it is freezing out…I too have been drinking Bonny Doon – the 2009 Albarino – and sitting in a warm window, like an iguana.

  • vinoreviews

    QOTD- Have been into Syrah from the Sonoma/Carneros lately two of the better ones I have had lately are the 2008 Myriad Las Madres Vineyard and 2008 Quivet Cellars Las Madres Vineyard Syrah – Hulda Block.

  • Zach Eidson

    California addiction?……Delectus Argentum

  • Joey

    What’s up with the “Teach the Controversy” t-shirt? Isn’t that an anti-evolution, anti-science “Intelligent Design” campaign? Thought you were better than that, Gary…

  • tgbedini

    QOTD, Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs.I like it a lot.

  • I agree… that was nice to hear some love for the Honolulu Blue.
    Check out my friend’s post who writes for the Lions blog site.


    Nervous about the game tomorrow!

  • No problem lady. Have you had any Argyle sparkling wines?

  • hahaha. It is tough to compare the two but indie producers of Champagne are not always affordable options for me so my palate adjusts accordingly. Either way I am looking forward to get into those C-T bottles. I appreciate the concern. ; )

    I am also going to be serving up a bottle of Sea Smoke’s “Ten” from 05. I cannot wait ’til tomorrow.

  • I will, and way to ease my fears of the stuffiness that website projects. The site does not appeal to me at all.

  • I like their label. Thought you should know.

  • badabingmike

    QOTD: Past addiction California: Estancia Mertiage, Raymond Cabernet, Klinker Brick Zinfandel, Bogle Phantom and Cabernet, Franciscan Cabernet

    Current addiction: Silver Oak, both Alexander and Napa, Caymus Cabernet

  • My California wine of the moment is Schramsberg sparkling wine.

  • From the website: “Let sarcasm be your weapon in the great evolution vs. creationism debate! You don’t have to be an atheist to want to keep science in science class, and sporting one of these graphic tees sarcastically urging schools to teach other pseudosciences, myths and discredited theories is a fine way to show your pro-science stance. Darwin would be proud! Humorous geek friendly apparel intelligently designed by Jeremy Kalgreen.”

  • rwino

    Good show GV, I’ll have to try some of that Lewis cab.
    QOTD:I have three. Arcadian 2004 Syrah, 97 Pride Cab Franc, and 2005 Bell Clone 6.
    Also I would say Quintessa 2007 Cab but I just can’t give it the love it deserves at $115 per bottle.

    All time cali cabs? Hard to say, so many good ones. Would be real interested in seeing you review a 05 Bell Clone 6, its a very different sort of cali cab.

  • bigeasyfromjeezy

    QOTD: Looking into an off year, with 1998 Martha’s and Cask 23

  • Most of the CA stuff that I drink are from tastings. It’s tough to find value, thought they do produce some amazing stuff. The last thing that I had that was just amazing was the 07 Quintessa.

  • rwino

    I too have always loved Storybook, best classic zin year in and year out since 1984.

  • SniffySmith

    I went there a few years ago and the lady who was pouring me described one wine as a “hot tub wine”. She said, “its a great wine to just sit in a hot tub and pound away on.” Despite the website, you don’t need to call ahead or anything, it’s open to the public. Just show up thirsty.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I’m too obsessed with expanding my palate and trying new wines that I don’t have a go-to favorite. Years and years ago I would have considered Saintsbury Pinot Noir as a go-to CA favorite. Now my wine tastes/habits are like a pinball machine ball, all over the place.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Don’t have one…and here is why…for the longest time, I thought I simply did not like wine…then I went to Italy for my honeymoon and fell in love with it (the taste and the way it was paired with food, the way the culture intertwined with it, etc). What I realized was that I didn’t like U.S. wines…at all. I started exploring Italian and French wines and can’t get enough.

  • Cardiogoop

    Smokey the Bear sighting! O snap….

  • Supertrirunner

    Cuurent addiction: PHILIP TOGNI = amazing CALIBREE

  • Forgot about that creepy dude.

  • DaveAll

    wow. you must really be liked! I might start following your threads. smile. haha.

  • Justy303

    QOTD: Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel is the only Californian wine that I’ve had a lot of here in Finland.

  • Dude, oak doesn’t “calm down” with age. While fruit, tannin and other primary chracteristics (which come from the grape itself) mellow with age, secondary charcteristics (those that come from the wine making process) tend to become more pronounced. So if you have an oak monster wine, it ain’t gonna chill out as it gets older, in fact…. just the oposite!

    Erik Wait


    How about bringing the love with a fortified show, say Lustau Sherries or Madeira or something? just a quick thought… jeezez you haven’t done a single show on Madeira i see…. ?


    Looking forward to the T-Giving episode…

  • Oakmon’s BF

    Well, the bottom line is neither of us warrant a shout out.

  • Don’t buy Californian wine anymore (with the possible exception of Zins): they are all overpriced (especially in Canada) compare to what I could get from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Australia (especially now), South Africa, etc. and even from France! BTW, I feel the same way about local BC wines (overpriced).

    I use to *love* Dominus & Montelena back 15 years ago when it was just (not ridiculously) expensive.

  • Me Likey! 🙂

  • Merci beaucoup mon petit chou-chou. tu aussi.

  • I’m ready to go! Roar baby roar. I see some patriots on the table with the turkey. 😉

  • Nah, I’m just a silly turnip rolling in the wind. 😉

    (thanks babe)

  • Anonymous

    Dude, great show. I, too, had been dissing the Napa Cabs as to pricey (which they are) and not that great. I think for awhile that was certainly true. However, the last two years I’ve really started liking the Napa Cabs and Meritages. I’m not familiar with Lewis Cellars, but OMG, 95 points is huge! And a 93 from WS is pretty big as well. I’ve got to try this one. I’ve always liked the Flora Springs Trilogy, especially in restaurants where it seems to be widely available.

    QOTD: I really have like the Shafer “Relentless” Syrah over the years. As for a cab, I am loving the 2005 Dancing Hares which you turned me on to a couple of years ago. Excellent cab.


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