Exceptional, Outstanding and Top Wines of 2016

In 2016 I was fortunate enough to taste over 1600+ wines. While most were good to above average, some five wines stood out and rated as EXCEPTIONAL and should be sought after and tasted ASAP. Each would contribute to your cellar. These wines can be secured from the wineries based on availability.

Another 12 wines were rated OUTSTANDING and provide an excellent wine for tasting and procuring. These wines are the paramount of quality for California wines. Again most would be purchased at the winery only.

Another 29 wines are in the TOP WINES IN CALIFORNIA in various varietals. These vines are markedly above average, unique in specific characteristics and should be tried soon. Most of these would be sold at the winery only.

This year I also added some “OUT OF STATE” and “OUT OF COUNTRY” wines that made an impact on the palate, demonstrated a unique quality or provided a new twist on the varietal. Most of these wines can be procured at the listing provided.

Winery Year/Varietal Rating List Price Winemaker
Arkenstone 2012/Cabernet Sauvignon / Obsidian 94WS $175 Sam Kaplan
Barnett Vineyards 2014 / Cabernet Sauvignon / Rattlesnake Hill 95WS $175 David Tate
Ledson 2015 / Sauvignon Blanc 92WS $34 Steve Ledson
O’Shaughnessy Estate 2012 / Cabernet Sauvignon / Mt Veeder 97 RP $120 Sean Capiaux
Progeny 2010 / Cabernet Sauvignon / SSR NYR $175 Sean Capiaux
Note: NYR==Not Yet Rated or Not Submitted for Ratings
Winery Year/Varietal Rating List Price Winemaker
Alyris Vineyards 2014/ Chardonnay/          Audition 91 WE $45 Rudy Zuidema
Barnett Vineyards 2013/Cabernet Franc NYR $75 David Tate
Crocker & Starr 2013 / Cabernet Franc NYR $80 Pam Starr
Entre Nous Wines 2012 / Cabernet Sauvignon NYR $170 Melka
Outpost Wines 2013/Cabernet Sauvignon / True NYR $125 Thomas Rivers Brown
Outpost Wines 2013 / Grenache NYR $65 Thomas Rivers Brown
Robert Craig Winery 2013 / Cabernet Sauvignon/ Howell Mtn 94RP $90 Stephen Tubb
St Rose Vineyard & Wines 2014 / Pinot Noir / 777 NYR $48 Fred Nunes
Shadybrook Estate 2013 / Cabernet Sauvignon NYR $95 Rudy Zuidema
Skipstone Wine 2009 / Cabernet Sauvignon NYR $125 Melka
Tate Wine 2014 / Chardonnay / Spring Street NYR $32 David Tate
Trespass Vineyard Rendezvous 2013 / Blend NYR $125 Kirk Venge
Note: NYR==Not Yet Rated or Not Submitted for Ratings

Winery Wine
3 Steve’s Cabernet Sauvignon
Alyris Audition / Cabernet Sauvignon
Conn Creek Cab Franc, Chardonnay
Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Detert Cabernet Franc
Harumph 2012 / Cabernet Sauvignon
Heritage Oak Charbono
Hunnicutt Winery Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon
Incendium Cabernet Sauvignon
Keever Wines Cabernet Sauvignon
Kent Price Cabernet Sauvignon
LangeTwins Cabernet Sauvignon, Nero d’Avola
Las Positas Tempranillo
Lineage Bordeaux Blend
McKahn Family Cellars Chardonnay, Syrah
Meyers Vineyard 2013 / Cabernet Sauvignon
Mia Nipote Cabernet Sauvignon
Mountain Terraces Cabernet Sauvignon
Peter Michael Chardonnay
Phifer Pavitt Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc
Prospect 772 Syrah, Blends
Realm Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon
Revana Cabernet Sauvignon
Sarocka Cabernet Sauvignon
Sierra Ridge Vranac
Steven Kent Cabernet, Chardonnay, Blends
Switchback Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
William Harrison Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Wood Family Vineyards


Chardonnay, Malbec, Grenache

Cab Franc & Cabernet Sauv

                   TOP OUT OF STATE WINES of 2016
Winery Wine Location
Big Table Farm Pinot Noir Oregon
Leonetti Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Washington
Long Shadows Vinters Pedestal Collection, Merlot Washington
Terra Blanca, Onyx Cabernet Sauvignon, blends Washington
Note: Many of “OUT OF STATE” wines can be bought at Wine Steward at http://www.thewinesteward.com
                TOP  OUT OF COUNTRY WINES of 2016
Winery Wine Location
Bressia Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc Argentina
Chateau Kasara Cabernet Sauvignon Lebanon
Clarendon Hills Syrah “Bakers Gully” Australia
Dehesa La Granja Temparnillo “Dehesa 14” Spain
Edi Simcic Merlot (“Kolos”) Solvenia
Emillo Moro Temparnillo “Malleolus de Valderramiro” Spain
Koyle Carmenere “Alto Colchagua” Chile
Mariano Abbona Barolo “Pressenda” Italy
Molina di Grace Sangoivase “Il Margone” Italy
Note: Many of “OUT OF COUNTRY” wines can be bought at Wine Steward at http://www.thewinesteward.com