Winery & Tasting Room
Alameda Winery & Tasting Room

1951 Monarch Street, Hangar 25
Alameda, CA 94501

Tel (510) 452-1800

SF City View Patio open by reservation only

Indoor Tasting Room temporary closed

Wine Spectator

TASTING HIGHLIGHTS

12 Outstanding California Wines for Mother’s Day

New reviews of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and more from Napa, Sonoma, Carneros and beyond, all earning 90 points or more

Roar uses several prime vineyards in Santa Lucia Highlands, including Sierra Mar, one of the highest-altitude vineyards in the region. (Courtesy of Richard Green Photography)
May 3, 2021

Tasting Highlights’ wine reviews are fresh out of the tasting room, offering a sneak peek of our editors’ most recent scores and notes to WineSpectator.com members.

Searching for a last-minute gift or a bottle for Mother’s Day brunch? Look no further. The wines in this week's selection offer a panoply of choices, from rich Chardonnay and festive bubbly to suave Pinot Noir and zesty Zinfandel. Plus, there are a few values sprinkled in. No matter which wines the mothers in your life enjoy, you can’t go wrong with these bottlings, as they've all earned 90 points or more on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale.

Sparkling wine is a terrific way to celebrate mom. This week's bubblies include an Albariño from Cadre, a new label from John Niven. Niven recently branched out from his family’s business, Niven Family Wine Estates, to follow his passion for vibrant Edna Valley wines. His sparkler displays ginger, lime zest, lemon curd and melon notes. For something a bit more traditional, Domaine Carneros offers its Brut Rosé Carneros with expressive rose petal, raspberry, orange zest and spice notes.

Or look to this week's trio of Napa Chardonnays. Antica Napa Valley uses grapes from the mountainous Atlas Peak region for an unctuous and fruity version, while Bouchaine taps grapes from its Carneros estate to craft a juicy style with contoured tropical fruit flavors. Duckhorn pulls from several vineyards for its refined Chardonnay with fresh acidity and a long, well-spiced finish. Alternatively, if mom is a Pinot Noir fan, try Chalk Hill’s concentrated version with cedary notes and chocolate mousse accents. Roar demonstrates a different style with its big and open-textured Pinot, which displays loamy accents on the ripe finish. And the suave Pinot from Lucas & Lewellen is a great value with cream-filled flavors of raspberry and cherry tart.


DASHE

Zinfandel Eagle Peak Les Enfants Terribles Heart Arrow Ranch 2018

Score: 90 | $32

WS review: A wild berry patch in a bottle, with vibrant cherry, fresh violet and spicy fennel flavors, finishing with zesty tannins. Drink now through 2027. 373 cases made.—Tim Fish

ANTICA NAPA VALLEY

Chardonnay Napa Valley Mountain Select 2019

Score: 91 | $35

WS review: Unctuous and fruity, with fresh and pure-tasting flavors of Gala apple, pear tart and sage cream that are well-knit. Shows luscious spiciness on the plush finish. Drink now through 2024. 7,226 cases made.—Kim Marcus

BOUCHAINE

Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros Estate 2018

Score: 91 | $32

WS review: This juicy white is filled with lithe, contoured tropical fruit flavors that show notes of beeswax and brioche. Unctuous midpalate, with a long finish that is plush and richly spiced. Drink now through 2024. 3,500 cases made.—K.M.


CADRE

Sparkling Albariño Edna Valley Ode To Pearls 2017

Score: 91 | $45

WS review: Stylish, sleek and crisp, with fresh grated ginger, lime zest and a touch of celery salt adding lovely aromatics to the core of intense, focused lemon curd and melon flavors. Finishes strong and refreshing. Drink now. 177 cases made.—MaryAnn Worobiec


CHALK HILL

Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2018

Score: 91 | $48

WS review: Concentrated cherry and plum flavors are supported by crunchy acidity, with cedary notes midpalate leading to chocolate mousse accents on the rich finish. Drink now through 2024. 1,200 cases made.—K.M.

QUIVIRA

Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley The Quivira Collection Wine Creek Ranch Vineyard 2019

Score: 91 | $32

WS review: Floral and fragrant, with honeysuckle and lemon blossom notes, and a lemon-verbena overtone to the pomelo and ruby grapefruit core. Sleek and juicy, shows a touch of spice on the finish. Drink now. 315 cases made.—M.W.

ST. FRANCIS

Merlot Sonoma Valley Reserve 2017

Score: 91 | $40

WS review: Powerful and well-structured, this red is filled with dried red currant and raspberry flavors that are fine-grained. Ends with mocha and green herbal notes on the ripe finish. Drink now through 2024. 470 cases made.—K.M.

 

DOMAINE CARNEROS

Brut Rosé Carneros 2017

Score: 90 | $45

WS review: Expressive rose petal and raspberry aromas lead to plush orange zest, apple and spice flavors. Finishes on a snappy note. Drink now. 4,500 cases made.—T.F.


DUCKHORN

Chardonnay Napa Valley 2018

Score: 90 | $36

WS review: A refined style, with a light creaminess to the apple, pear and lemon curd flavors. Shows fresh acidity midpalate, with a long, well-spiced finish that has buttery hints. Drink now through 2023. 45,000 cases made.—K.M.

LUCAS & LEWELLEN

Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County 2018

Score: 90 | $22

WS review: Suave and open-textured, with cream-filled flavors of raspberry and cherry tart that are filled with rich spiciness. The plush finish lingers with subtle savoriness. Drink now through 2023. 3,921 cases made.—K.M.


PENFOLDS

Cabernet-Shiraz California Bin 600 2018

Score: 90 | $50

WS review: Modest in scale, but delivers a pure beam of raspberry and cherry purée, with light floral and anise hints in the background. Finish is unencumbered by toast and lingers prettily. Tasted three times, with consistent notes. Drink now through 2022. 12,818 cases made.—James Molesworth


ROAR

Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2019

Score: 90 | $45

WS review: Big and open-textured, with hints of dried mint to the savory-inflected red fruit and spice flavors. Shows loamy accents on the ripe finish, with notes of cocoa powder. Drink now through 2023. 1,510 cases made.—K.M.

 

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