It's Shepard Ross's Turn to Blow Your Mind
$15 or less
2005 Lo Brujo, Macabeo
"Fun, easy to drink, crisp, with hints of citrus and banana. Soft, round mouth feel, but still has some nice acidity."
$30 or less
2003 Russian Hill Estate Pinot Noir
Russian River Valley
"Punches your nose with boysenberries, a bit of earth and a bright-red raspberry note, finishing with some plum. Nice layers and complexity for the money."
$60 or lessRed
2002 Robert Young Scion
"Perfectly blended Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot -- a beautifully complex wine. Mocha, cherries and a touch of coconut (yes, coconut) on the nose. Chocolate, dark cherry, and some tobacco on the palate. Broad tannins coat your mouth without being overly dry. Even better than the '01."
$120 or less
2004 L'Aventure Estate Cuvee
"Incredible blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Plums and blackberry on the nose, followed by deep, dark, luscious fruit on your palate. Some tobacco as well. Intense, inky, eggplant color in the glass. Guaranteed teeth stainer! (That’s a good thing.)"
2003 Hundred Acre Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon
Kayli Morgan Vineyard, Napa
"I was lucky enough to have had a bottle with friends in San Francisco. Wow. Worth the hype. Winemaker Philippe Melka strikes again. I am a huge fan of his Metisse proprietary red, but this is in a whole new league. It has a dark, purple color, with layers upon layers of vanilla, roasted coffee, cherry, spices, on the nose alone. Sweet, intense ripe red fruit with moderate tannins. An absolute explosion of taste."
-- Robb Walsh