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The Finias
Wine Cellar

 

Our intention behind these pages is to keep a record of the wines we actually buy and what we think of them.  There's a discussion link at the bottom of the page if after reading you'd like to make comments or suggestions of wines you've tried that you think we might enjoy. 

If you happened to just stumble across this page please note:  We're biased toward California wines.  It's not snobbery, it's just too many years of living in Northern California.  Also any rumors that Donna majored in wine while getting her degree at U.C. Davis are patently false. smiley.gif (93 bytes)

Wine Reviews

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Red Wines we've tasted

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White Wines we've tasted

 

What we're waiting to try and the ones we've loved enough to buy more of

baby1.gif (3278 bytes) Wines in the wine rack
baby1.gif (3278 bytes) Wines in the cellar

 

sale.gif (215 bytes)A Glossary of Terms

sale.gif (215 bytes)U.C. Davis Scoring System

 

Wines In the Wine Rack

Wines listed here are wines we've bought to try. For the most part they are things we happened to see in our travels rather than well thought out purchases.

Wine Spectator Scores
95-100 Classic
90-94 Outstanding
85-89 Very Good
80-84 Good
70-79 Average

 

We've got about 9 cases so I'm not sure why this is blank - just too busy to update

white2.gif (2253 bytes)Whites

Chardonnay

Winery Vintage
Year
Rating Price Comment
Kestrel estate chardonnay 2001 white.gif (1368 bytes) 15.00 We got several bottles of this as part of our shipment. It's disappointing but maybe some age will help mellow it.
         
Willemette Valley - founders reserve 1996     Bought this at the winery when we did our Oregon wine country tour
R.H. Phillips 1996      


Gewurztraminer

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating Price Comment
         

 

Riesling

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating Price Comment
         

Sauvignon Blanc

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating Price Comment
Sterling 2002 white.gif (1368 bytes)white.gif (1368 bytes)   Getting a little more grassy, but good for a change of pace. 
Chinook - Yakima 2001     We bought this at the winery.  The wine makers are folks that graduated from UCD around the same time Donna did --
Sanford - Central coast 1998      
Robert Mondavi
Stags Leap
1995 white.gif (1368 bytes)white.gif (1368 bytes)white.gif (1368 bytes)+ 17.99 I couldn't help myself.  I loved this wine so I bought the last two bottles in the store. 
Robert Mondavi
Fume Blanc
1995     This is probably past its prime -- we'll see

Champagnes

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating Price Comment

redb.gif (1592 bytes)Reds

 

Borolo

Winery Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
Massino 1997 red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes) $20 We found this at Sam's Club.  Anytime we can find an inexpensive good Borolo We count it a big win.  We tasted this up against a $40 that a friend bought and this was significantly better.

Cabernet Franc

Winery Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
         

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
Kestrel 1999 red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)
W.S. 87 points
20.00 Beautiful dark-red and purple color. The aromas and flavors are ripe blackberries, graham, ripe raspberries, vanilla and touch of bay leaf. The structure is well muscled with fine grained tannins and nice acids providing very good balance. This wine possesses excellent cellar potential.
83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc
R.H. Phillips 1999 red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)++ 6.99 We bought three cases of this.  We're down to the last couple of bottles and it's not aging well but it was terrific when it was younger

 

 

Merlot

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating Price Comment
Charles Shaw 2003

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2.99 Lots of fruit with a jammy taste.  When we want a bigger wine for dinner we drink this and you can't beat the price
Chateau St. Jean
Sonoma County
2000      

Merlot Blend

Winery Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
Kestrel - Drop dead red 3  NV red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)++ 10.00 This wine possesses a sensual ruby-purple color. In the aroma you will find luscious ripe straw-berry, cherry, currant and blueberry fruit flavors that expose themselves in one's glass. The wine ripples with structure and finishes with a lingering cherry, cedar, and cigar notes.
55% Merlot, 30% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon
Kestrel - Drop dead red 2 NV red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)++ 10.00 This wine possesses a sensual ruby-red color. Brilliant sweet cherry, violets and rose petals, sweet vanilla bean and chocolate aromas and flavors expose themselves in one's glass. A slight yet delicious cedar note is found in this wine's plush finish. 58% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cab Franc, 3% Malbec

 

Pinot Noir

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating

Price Comment
Pepperwood

NV

red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)++ 6.99 We've been delighted with this - Yes it's jug wine but who cares.  It's the best value pinot we've found - we usually keep it stocked
Edna Valley - San Louis Obispo 2002      
Sanford - Santa Barbara County 1998   30+ A friend served this one night -- we loved it and we're still hanging on to a bottle
         

Sangiovese

Winery Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
Kiona 2002 WS 89 $20 We visited the winery on one of trips and liked the wine
Thalia 1999      

Shiraz/Syrah

Winery

Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
Kestrel - Syrah 1999 red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes)red.gif (1348 bytes) $20 We really liked this - which is good because I think they shipped us three bottles. deeply colored, richly fragrant, sensuous and completely satisfying. The aromas are of cassis, vanilla, blackberries, plums, black pepper and a touch of mother earth. The mouth-feel is silky and very full.
Kestrel - Syrah 2000     Rich aromas of ripe plums, blackberries, and black sweet cherries greet your senses immediately. The spice and perfume proffered by the oak barrels complete this wine's flavor and aroma presentation. The body is medium plus and the finish is long and quite satisfying. This wine possesses a good 3 - 6 years of cellar potential.

 

 

Zinfandel

Winery

Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
         
Ravenswood 2001 WS N/R 10+ this is the staple zin -- best quality for the price point

 

 

 

Wines In the Wine Cellar

In 2004 we bought a wine fridge which we of course refer to as our wine cellar.  

 

Wine Spectator Scores
95-100 Classic
90-94 Outstanding
85-89 Very Good
80-84 Good
70-79 Average

 

white2.gif (2253 bytes)Whites

 

Sauvignon Blanc

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating Price Comment
         

 

 

redb.gif (1592 bytes)Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
         

 

Merlot

Winery

Vintage Year

Rating Price Comment
Kestrel old vine 1999

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$50 retail 35 at the club price We LOVE this wine.  It was the reason we joined their wine club - Dark red color. The aroma and flavors are: plumy jam, toasted oak and vanilla, marionberries and a slight damask rose petal note. A big wine with impeccable balance and structure. Great cellar candidate with the potential to age a decade plus.
Kestrel Boushey 1999

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$50 retail 35 at the club price Very dark red-purple color. The aromas are ripe bramble-blackberry and black sweet cherries. The flavors echo that of the aromas with elegant toasted oak and dusky rose notes. The body is medium plus to full with a firm-crisp yet juicy mouth-feel and finish.

Shiraz

Winery Vintage Year Rating Price Comment
Kestrel - Estate

2001

  $50 retail 35 at the club price Very dark red color with a slight purple tint. The aromas and flavors are profound ripe blackberry, smoked game meat and barrel toast. The structure is medium plus to full. The tannins are fine grained and up front at the moment.

Reviews and Databases

sale.gif (215 bytes) Mead on Wine - the longest-running syndicated wine column in North America, now in its
30th year. We know you'll enjoy Jerry's expert advice, frank commentary, wine ratings and the Best Buy Wine of the Week recommendations.

sale.gif (215 bytes) Wine Spectator

sale.gif (215 bytes)MUCH ADO ABOUT CHAMPAGNE ... A PERSPECTIVE ON CHAMPAGNE AND FOOD By John and Tracy Anderson

 

 

 

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Numbers of bottles of wine consumed at this site
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