2004 Pax Syrah Walker Vine Hill, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

From a different time, back when Pax Mahle was making really big wines in really big bottles.  The label lists 15.5% ABV.  For those who questioned how well a wine like this could age, at 17, this is doing just fine with years left.  Purple in color with ruby around the rim, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, slight black raspberries, spice, slight root beer note and a wisp of smoke.  Full bodied.  On the palate, black cherries, blueberries, spice and slight earthiness.  Long finish.  No sign of alcohol in the wine.  This is fresh and vibrant.  It seems like it could

2019 Sbragia Family Chardonnay Russian River Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

Light golden in color, clear and bright.  Expecting huge oak on this (a trademark of sorts for Ed Sbragia) and it wasn't over the top.  Still some oak, but not crazy.  The nose has some lemons, toast, and a bit of spice.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, slight lemon with a hint of vanilla and baking spices.  Medium finish.  There is certainly oak on this but it drinks easy and not too overblown.  It is nice on its own and would work with soft cheeses.  Drink over the next three to five years.  

2019 Raeburn Chardonnay, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$13.00USD

Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has fresh cut lumber, toast, butterscotch and a slight lemon note.  Medium bodied.  Medium tannins (most likely oak driven).  On the palate, the toast and butterscotch come thru with a bit more lemon.  Lower acidity.  The finish is medium with a bit of vanilla.  This has a lot of oak on it, so factor that into your buying preferences.  It drinks better on its own than with food for that reason.  Drink over the next few years.  

2018 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This remains my favorite Carlisle Zinfandel year in and year out.  There are lots of reasons, but chief among them is the texture.  So rich and lush yet the wine has so much balance and energy.   A blend of 96% Zinfandel and 4% Carignan.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with raspberries, black raspberries, slight blueberries, smoke and slight bramble.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, black raspberries, raspberries and slight black cherries with smoke and some dry earthiness.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  Delicious.  This should drink well over the next ten to

2018 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

From Mike Officer's home vineyard, the Carlisle Zin is great in every vintage but in 2018 they continued to exceed expectations.  A blend of mostly Zinfandel (86%) and 14% mixed "black" grapes including Alicante Bouschet and Cinsault from 91-year-old vines. Inky purple swirls with deep ruby hues make for a very attractive appearance.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is concentrated with raspberries, black cherries, slight pine and spice.  A seamless texture that makes this so accessible even while being so young.  On the palate, black raspberries, slight blueberries, black cherries with underl

2018 Jax Vineyards Pinot Noir Y3, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is very nice but curiously seemed a bit behind the two prior vintages of this wine.  Perhaps a bit shutdown.  Still, it was very good. Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has cherries, slight smoke and an herbal streak (rosemary/tarragon?).  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there is nice cherry fruit, a bit stemmy with an underlying damp earthiness.  Moderate finish.  This will work better with food.  Pasta with mushrooms would be a nice choice.  It will be interesting to watch it develop Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2018 Ron Rubin Pinot Noir, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is an accessible Pinot Noir that has some seriousness to it as well.  More "old world" than a ripe fruit bomb.  Garnet in color with some purple swirls.  On the nose, it has a classic rhubarb, cranberries and cherries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, rhubarb with some cherries.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This drinks well now on its own but is even better with food.  Lighter foods such as chicken salad are a nice match but this will work well with ribs r a burger off the grill.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2019 Gehricke Chardonnay, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$32.00USD

This sees 20% new oak.  Light green/gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has limes, lemons, and intriguing bit of wintergreen.  Clean.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this is slightly chalky with lemon cream.  Light tannins.  The wintergreen returns on the finish along with a very slight bitter (lemon peel) note.  Tried again on day 2, it held up great.  This should drink well for five to seven years.  A nice match with seafood or salads but drinks well on its own, too.  

2015 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

This is 100% Syrah with a 15.3% ABV.  That said, the alcohol isn't noticeable.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  Mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries with some spice and black pepper.  Full bodied.  On the palate, black raspberry fruit with underlying char and ash.  Light tannins.  Good finish.  At age 7 this may yet improve a bit but it just about at its prime drinking window.  It should drink well for another ten to twelve years.  This will go well  with roasted meats, fowl or veggies.  

2018 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$120.00USD

Although young, this wine is a beauty.  Kistler used to have a lot of oak on its Chardonnays.  Some loved it, some didn't, but this wine seems to have backed off a bit on the oak and upped the acidity.  Golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has some pineapple, and lemons.  With air, a lemon candy note comes thru.  There is a fair amount of oak showing too coming thru as caramel and vanilla but it is already integrating.  Full bodied with a lovely viscous, oily texture.  On the palate, this is crisp with nice minerality.  The lemon/lemon candy comes thru.  Long finish.  This drinks ni

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