Christopher Sawyer

2014 Rhapsody Red Wine, Napa Valley - 95 pts.

When the film Sideways was released in 2004, the comments about the noble grape Merlot were open to interpretation. Yet, near the end of the film, the main character opens a bottle of Cheval Blanc, a cult blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. 

As a devoted fan of Cheval Blanc and other elite wines from the famous Right Bank of the Bordeaux region in France, winemaker Barry Singer has a passion for working with premium Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes grown in Napa Valley. For this reason, the new 2014 Rhapsody Red Wine is a blend of equal parts of both of these specialty varietals. With an attractive crimson red hue, the wine opens up with fragrant aromas of bright red fruits, leather, sage, and allspice. In the glass, the dazzling notes of ripe plum, cherry, blueberry, and cassis are further lifted with lovely accents of cocoa, clove, cardamom and forest floor, balanced tannins, and a long, engaging finish.

For food pairings, try this limited release wine with wild mushrooms, grilled fish, fresh pasta, seared duck breast with a berry reduction sauce, pork chops, beef wellington, and fine Asian cuisine.

Gold Medal - SF Chronicle Wine Competition

2014 Merlot, Napa Valley - 93 pts.

If there was ever a doubt, Merlot is back! This is especially true in the southern section of Napa Valley, where this noble grape variety thrives in the warm growing conditions near the San Pablo Bay. A great new expression of this style is crafted by winemaker Barry Singer, a devoted fan of this famous grape variety from the Bordeaux region in France

From the very first sniff, the new Singer Cellars 2014 Merlot pulls you right in with scents of high tone red fruits, wild berries, mocha, vanilla bean, and fine French oak. In the glass, these enticing aromas lead to lively flavors of ripe raspberry, red cherry, plum, pepper, and roasted black walnuts. Equally important is the fact that the wine is very elegant, complex with a mixture of soft, velvety texture; firm tannins; and a long finish, which makes every sip that much more complex and enjoyable.

Try this wine with fig, prosciutto and roasted nuts; grilled salmon; gourmet sausages; juicy burgers with sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions and gruyere cheese; turkey with all the trimmings; and slow-roasted pork tenderloin.

Best of Class - SF Chronicle Wine Competition

2014 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley - 92 pts.

Inspired by the famous wines of the Loire Valley and the Bordeaux region of France, winemaker Barry Singer is passionate about working with Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley. His latest offering from Singer Cellars is made with fruit grown in the southern end of the valley.

Rich and lively, the wine immediately opens up with heady aromas of fresh red fruits, wild sage, and roasted hazelnuts. On the palate, the flavors are bursting at the seams with vibrant notes of ripe plum, cherry, wild berries, cinnamon, and savory spices. This profile is further complimented by a unique combination of natural richness, bright acidity, silky texture, and a lingering finish. Power, finesse, and satisfaction in every sip!

For food pairings, try this full-bodied wine with medium cheeses, stuffed mushrooms, grilled vegetables, baked potatoes with bacon, wild rice salads with dried berries, gourmet sandwiches, roasted chicken with fresh herbs, and beef bourguignon.

2014 Song Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley - 93 pts.

Marked by a long growing season in Napa Valley, the expressive wines from the 2014 vintage have the dual advantage of being approachable when young and layers of complexity that allow them to be cellared for more than a decade. One of these delicious examples is the Singer Cellars 2014 Song Cabernet Sauvignon made by boutique winemaker Barry Singer.

With a deep opaque color, this elegant red wine opens up with sultry aromas of ripe berries, red fruits, leather, tobacco, and allspice. On the palate, the generous flavors of briary blackberry, dark plum, boysenberry and chocolate are complemented with a burst of vibrant acidity, firm tannins, and a silky texture.

For food lovers, this is a great wine to compliment everything from gourmet Mac & Cheese, grilled salmon or Ahi tuna with espresso rub; to bison burgers, roasted lamb and juicy steaks drizzled with blue cheese; or to simply serve with a flourless chocolate cake or truffles at the end of the meal.

2014 Aria Red Blend, Napa Valley - 96 pts.

In Napa Valley, Petit Verdot is a hot topic of conversation with winemakers. Known for its dark color and deep flavors when used in blends, this special Bordeaux grape variety grows extremely well in the warm areas of the valley. The latest example is the delicious new release of the 2014 Aria Red Blend from Singer Cellars.

Made with 92% Petit Verdot and smaller portions of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this opulent red wine features fragrant aromas of ripe berries, black fruits, wild herbs, roasted espresso beans, and cigar box. On the palate, the flavors profile is highlighted with deep notes of fresh blackberry cobbler, black raspberry, blueberry, cassis, licorice and dark chocolate truffle; chewy tannins; balanced structure; and meticulous attention to detail that leads to a lingering finish.

With fine cuisine, these generous flavors are ideal to pair with blue cheeses, hearty Italian cuisine, wild game, grilled steaks, and rack of lamb.

Double Gold Medal - SF Chronicle Wine Competition

2014 Petite Sirah, Napa Valley - 92 pts.

In California, the beauty of a fine wine made Petite Sirah is its ability to tantalize the taste buds when young and become more graceful with time in the bottle. The latest example is the limited edition from Singer Cellars made with premiere fruit from Napa Valley.

With a deep and dense purple hue, the wine quickly opens up with inviting aromas of ripe berries, blue fruits, fresh lavender, vanilla, cocoa powder, and cedar box. In the glass, the flavors are broad and generous with lavish notes of briary blackberry, fresh blueberry, huckleberry, chocolate nibs and nuances of fine oak barrels; a smooth texture; and a long engaging finish.

Try these robust flavors with fine cheeses, spicy sausages, lamb sliders, grilled pork chops, hearty stews, and juicy steaks. Enjoy now or age for 5-10 years in the cellar.