2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Just a beautiful wine.  Drinking youthfully but showing some development.  Open for business.  Purple in color.  The nose has leather, bramble, black raspberries.  Very deep.  With air, some graphite.  On the palate, black raspberries with an underlayer of charred earth.  A lovely texture; both velvety and intense.  great finish.  This would pair with heartier foods and certainly spicy foods.  This may not get better but has five to seven years left at peak easily and probably more as it morphs into more of a claret styled Zin.  So good right now though.  

2003 Walter Hansel Winery Pinot Noir The South Slope Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Purchased on release, this is holding up and in fact, drinking quite well at age 15.  It did need about 20 minutes to shed some bottle stink though.  Purple in color.  The nose has nice cherries, slight sour cherries, and some barnyard funk.  There is some Brett on the nose and palate showing as barnyard and slight band-aid.  On the palate, drying tannins.  Slightly sweet cherries.  And a bit of barnyard  comes through.  This is not drinking old, but probably never was a top level Pinot Noir.  Still, it has a nice complexity right now and seems in balance.  Would work well with fowl.  There

2013 Jax Vineyards Pinot Noir Y3, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Ruby/purple in color.  Cloudy.  The nose is sweaty socks.  Perhaps some macerated cherries.  On the palate, this is very soft.  Very sour cherries with some dank earthiness.  It is a style of Pinot that I like but this seems either mishandled or way past prime at this young age.  Not sure if this bottle was representative  It reminds me of some of the unclean Burgundies that were more prevalent 25 years ago.  That is not to say undrinkable or even bad, as this wine is certainly offering some nice and interesting notes, but more to say, what this might have been (or a pristine bottle is).

2008 Grey Stack Cellars The Muldoon Greywacke Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

A very nice example of a cooler climate Syrah.  At age 10, this is just sort of chugging along on its way, but not yet, at maturity.  Purple in color.  The nose is black raspberries with some black olives and slight bacon fat.  Very much a Northern Rhone profile.  On the palate, there is a grilled black raspberry fruit quality to this.  Slightly sour fruit.  Some slight heat on the finish.  Overall, very solid and enjoyable.  Food friendly.  Perhaps still some upside to go.  

2013 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Very classic Sonoma Chardonnay.  This sees 30% new oak, but there is a fair amount of oak showing.  Whether that is good or bad is a matter of personal taste.  Light golden in color with slight green hue.  The nose has nice lemons along with slight vanilla and nutmeg.  On the palate, the nose carries thru but also a bit of fresh cut timber.  Towards the mid-palate and finish, some tropical fruit notes emerge.  There is a lovely creamy softness to the texture.  Good depth.  Very nice acidity.  Still drinking youthfully, this should continue to develop and presumably for the oak to continue t

2009 Shane Pinot Noir The Charm, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is nice with sour cherries, cola and spice.  On the palate, this is a big wine.  Very reminiscent of a Kosta Browne wine in style.  Black cherries, some cola and some spice.  Has a nice depth and tight complexity.  Enough acidity to carry food.  Lots of fruit.  Good finish.  Delicious wine.  Doesn't seem to be at peak yet and showing little signs of age at this point.  

2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Kosta Browne wines are some of the most sought after Pinots in California.  They are also wines that people tend to love or hate because they are to the ripe and jammy side of Pinot Noir.  Its always fun to drink one and listen to the comments.  This is deep ruby in color.  The nose has bright black cherries with some baking spice.  With air, some root beer and Faygo Red Pop notes.  On the palate, there is a lot of cherry, black cherry notes along with a bit of cola.  It is big and fruity and also delicious.  Would work with bigger foods and most traditional Pinot foods (salmon, etc.).  Lon

2009 Donelan Syrah Walker Vine Hill, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Inky purple in color.  The nose is bright black raspberry fruit with some char.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Black raspberry fruit.  Works well with food.  This is an outstanding wine, but at age 9, it is not showing the depth and complexity that might have been expected.  The question is whether it will develop.  2009 had heavy rains at harvest and pick dates often separated the great from the almost great.  It will be interesting to see where this goes over the next five to ten years.  Regardless, this is at a minimum, still a great wine.  

2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Somewhat of a disappointing showing for this.  It drank fine, but a lot more was expected based on a bottle consumed just a few weeks ago.  Hopefully, the wine is just shut down at the moment.  A second bottle was opened and most of it is left, so it can be watched over the next couple of days.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries and some char.  On the palate, this is tight with black raspberry fruit.  No obvious faults but just lacking anything interesting or complex.  The texture is good but not what has become a staple of this wine.  Given its history, hopeful

2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

My favorite vineyard from my favorite Zinfandel producer!  Purple in color.  The nose is black raspberries, slight cedar, slight bramble, spice and pepper.  With air, some dark cherries emerge.  My favorite part of this wine is the texture which seems consistent over vintages.  It is rich and lush yet the wine glides down the palate.  Flavors of black raspberry and minerals and slight char and pepper.  Complex and deep.  Each sip leaves one wanting another sip.  Then the bottle is drained.  Works with a wider variety of food than imagined.  Long finish.  A spectacular wine.  

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