Christopher Sawyer

2013 Aria, Napa Valley

With a deep heritage in the Bordeaux region of France and more recently in Napa Valley, Petit Verdot is a magnificent grape variety known for its dark color and deep flavors. A fabulous new example is the Aria Red Wine by Singer Cellars. Made with 70% Petit Verdot with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes grown in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, this gem immediately captures attention with enchanting aromas of fresh bay laurel, ripe berries, licorice, savory spices, and fine French oak. From there, the flavors open up with notes of briary blackberry, black raspberry, ripe currants, blueberry and a hit of cassis. As the wine opens up, the smooth tannins and velvety texture lead to a long lingering finish. Overall, a great combination of power, finesse, and sophistication in each sip. 65 cases.

Food pairings: Blue cheese, wild game, hearty Italian cuisine, slow roasted pork, lamb shank, grilled steaks.

Score: 95 points / “Sommelier to the Stars” Christopher Sawyer

2013 the Rhapsody, Napa Valley

From the stellar 2013 vintage, the latest offering of the signature Bordeaux-style blend from Singer Cellars features 68% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc and 9% Cabernet Sauvignon. From the minute the cork is popped, the wine seduces the senses with deep aromas of dark fruits, wild berries, forest floor, layers of spice, cedar, and a hint of black walnut. In the glass, the wine profile expands with deep flavors of blackberry, ripe cherry, blueberry, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and clove; nice firm tannins; rich texture; and a long, rewarding finish. Robust, complex, and rewarding. 88 cases.

Food pairings: Stuffed portabella mushrooms, gourmet sausage, roasted chicken, pork tenderloin, beef wellington, and barbequed meats.

Score: 96 points / “Sommelier to the Stars” Christopher Sawyer

2013 the Song, Napa Valley

With so many big, powerful and bold styles of Napa Valley Cabs now in the market, it makes it that much more special when you find a boutique producers that is more focused on wines that are elegant, graceful, and approachable when young yet still have the ability to age in the cellar.

A fine example of this style is Singer Cellars “Song” Cabernet Sauvignon. Made by Barry Singer with fruit from the warm growing region of Coombsville south of Napa, the nose opens up with fragrant aromas of dark fruits, licorice, dark chocolate nibs, fresh mountain herbs, and cedar box. The flavors are equally gracious, with deep flavors of dark cherry, boysenberry, dusty blackberry, cassis and layers of spice, silky texture, and a long engaging finish. A real find. 122 cases.

Food pairings: Gourmet mac n’ cheese, grilled salmon, hearty stews, roasted lamb, juicy steaks and chocolate.

Score: 92 points / “Sommelier to the Stars” Christopher Sawyer