2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Pagani Ranch Sonoma Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$58.00USD

Always a consistently top Zinfandel.  Purple in color with a thin ruby rim.  The nose is nice with black cherries, raspberries, slight bramble, and char.  Full bodied.  The fruit seems a bit darker on the palate.  Black raspberries with some plums.  Delicious.  Tight but unwinds in the glass.  Long finish.  This seems like it still needs a bit more time, even for those who like their Zins big and fruit forward.  Maybe another three to five years and it should drink well for seven to ten after that.  This drinks great on its own and will work great with bigger foods and also comfort foods li

2016 Bedrock Wine Co. Syrah Griffin's Lair, USA, California, Sonoma, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Another top notch Syrah from Bedrock.  Consumed over two days, it was better on day 2.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, black pepper and char.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this has slightly restrained, black raspberry fruit over char and slight earth.  Deep but tight.  Good balance.  If drinking soon, give this some air.  It should continue to improve for another five to eight years and be good for ten more after that.  It drinks well on its own but would work better with some fatty/fried foods.   

2018 Martinelli Zinfandel Giuseppe & Luisa, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

I had high hopes for this wine, but it really didn't come together well.  Consumed over three nights, the first night was the best showing.  given the showing, it is possible this bottle had seen heat damage at some point although there were no obvious signs.  Garnet/purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has candied cherries (think cough drops) with some plums.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the candied cherries carry thru along with a slight port-like note of alcohol.  Prune with heat on the finish.  I like these wine as a general rule and perhaps with some cellaring, this

2012 Carlisle Syrah Papa's Block, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is my favorite Carlisle Syrah.  At age 8, it really was a bit young to be opened, but it was delicious after a couple of hours of air.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has black raspberries, bacon fat, black olives and white pepper.  Full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, black raspberry fruit over a charred earthiness.  Great balance.  Lively.  Deep.  Long finish.  This probably will continue to mature for another five to seven years, and be good for another ten after that.  It drinks great on its own and will work well with fatty meat dishes but also Indian or hea

2017 Ferren Wines Chardonnay Lancel Creek Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$90.00USD

This was a wine that came highly recommended.  It was great to be able to try a new wine that live up to the hype.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is big but nice with lemons, buttered popcorn, slight pineapple and white flowers.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this was tight and needed some air to open.  Lemon, lemon peel, crushed rocks with light tannins.  Moderate acidity.  The finish turns slightly  bitter/lemon pith.  This is young and seems like it will develop for another seven to ten years.  After that, it should drink well for another ten to twelve.  If drinking n

2017 Ceritas Chardonnay Marena, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$55.00USD

I am a huge fan of Ceritas, but sadly, this one was not up to the usual standards.  It was my first time trying this vineyard so perhaps that was it.  Light golden in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose has some minerality to it.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, there isn't much going on.  Nothing bad, but just a bit of minerality.  A little bitter on the finish.  With air, some lemon came out.  Certainly drinkable and without an obvious fault.  Perhaps a victim of high expectations.  It probably is best to drink with food.  Perhaps a grilled chicken sandwich would work well.  Drink over the

2018 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$38.00USD

One of my favorite producers of Sonoma Chardonnay, this is their base wine.  It may be a step behind the single vineyard offerings, but it is still outstanding.  Light golden/green in color, clear and bright.  The nose is great.  They do use noticeable oak.  There is a nice lemon curd, along with a bit of vanilla and spice.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is crisp with lemons, minerals and spice.  Nice finish.  Obviously young, this drinks great now but will continue to mature.  It should drink well for the next ten years.  Great on its own, this will work well with salmon or chicken dis

2009 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is the entry level Pinot Noir from the home vineyard of winemaker Thomas Rivers-Brown.  At age 11, this is doing quite well.  Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright.  The nose is great with cherries, sour cherries, and a bit of spice.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the sour cherries dominate with some underlying spice and a touch of earthiness.  Lots of lively energy.  Delicious.  Long finish.  Yes, this is a big Pinot, but for California, it has some restraint to it.  Lots of sunshine and verve.  Just starting to hit its sweet spot, this should drink well for another twelve to fif

2018 Respite Red Wine Rockpile, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a Bordeaux blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec, 20% Merlot and 10% Petite Verdot.  Ehren Jordan serves as the consulting winemaker.  Deep ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries, plums slight chocolate and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, this drinks easy.  Very tasty wine with some depth.  Black cherries, chocolate, plums and cherries on the palate.  Nice finish.  This drinks well on its own and would work well with a burger.  Drink over the next five to seven years.  

2005 A. Rafanelli Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$95.00USD

A. Rafanelli has built up a loyal following of fans and supporters for the Zins and Cabs (and other wines) and with good reason.  At age 15,. this wine is in a prime spot.  Deep ruby/purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is deep with cassis, leather, spice, slight herbal note and tobacco.  Full bodied.  Bright cassis fruit over spice and tobacco.  Complex and deep.  Nice balance.  This is showing some maturity but should easily go another ten to twelve years at this level.  It went great with eggplant parmigiana and would work just as well with a roast.  

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