2013 Campesino Syrah Sangiacomo Old Lakeville Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is an excellent cooler climate Syrah.  Reasonably priced too.  Purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, leather, roasted herbs and an interesting camphor note.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the boysenberries come thru over a bed of char and slight earthiness.  This needs two or three more years to peak and then should be good for another ten to twelve after that.  It will pair well with roasts and grilled foods and also Indian cuisine.  

2013 Donelan Pinot Noir Two Brothers, USA, California, Sonoma County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is a blend of grapes from Steiner Ranch, Devoto Vineyard, Walker Vine Hill and Perli Vineyard.  It is middle of the road on a California Pinot Noir scale.  Ruby in color with some purple swirls.  On the nose, this has nice cherries with some raspberries along with some nutmeg.  Medium to full bodied.  Nice texture.  The raspberries are more prevalent on the nose and even some boysenberries.  A bit of tea leaves underneath.  Good finish.  An interesting Pinot with some level of complexity.  It probably won't get better but should last another ten to fifteen years at it mature and trades

2008 Dehlinger Syrah, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This wine has really taken a long time to come around, but is now drinking great.  This is there basic Syrah.  Purple in color, deep ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, grilled meats and slight roasted herb.  On the palate, this is deep and complex.  Lovely medium bodied texture.  Black raspberry fruit layered with dry, charred earth.  Good finish.  This should continue to drink well for another ten to fifteen years.  A great match with Indian food, it should also work well with casseroles or roasts.  

2012 Valdez Family Winery Zinfandel St. Peter's Church Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 

Ulises Valvez was one of the great American success stories in the wine world.  An immigrant to this country, he built his vineyard and winery into a top notch winery.  Sadly, he passed away a couple of years ago at far too young of an age.  His winery carries on.  This is a Zinfandel blend that also has 17% Peite Sirah and 5% Grenache.  The vineyard was originally planted in 1888 and hand farmed by Ulises Valdez since 1988.  There are some very old vines.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, some raspberries, a bit of spice and bramble.  Nice texture.  Juicy acidity.  There is s

2017 Seghesio Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is always one of the really good values in Zinfandel.  It is consistently a solid wine in every vintage and this is no exception.  A blend of 87% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 2% Carignane, 1% Syrah and 1% mixed reds.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, sandalwood and slight bramble.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Cherries and black cherries.  Slight tannins.  Easy drinking.  This will work great with burgers or pizza.  It should be drunk in the next three to five years.  

2017 Aubert Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Served from Magnum.  This was stunning.  Light gold in color, clear and bright.  The nose has smoke, vanilla, lemons and marzipan.  A bit tight but opens with air.  On the palate, vanilla and lemons with a slight melon note and a charred base.  A beautiful backbone of acidity that makes this very food friendly.  Long finish.  This wine should continue to mature and develop for a few more years and should easily be good for fifteen years, depending on how you like your Chardonnay.  It is also fantastic right now.  Very food friendly with all but the meatiest of dishes.  

2013 Peter Michael Les Pavots, USA, California, Sonoma, Knights Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$180.00USD

This is a blend of 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet France, 9% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot.  This is a gorgeous wine but it will need some time to reach maturity.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  Cassis, black cherries, dark chocolate, char and baking spice on the nose.  Full bodied.  On the palate, the cassis and black cherries carry thru though concentrated.  Firm tannins.  An underlying char.  Long finish.  This needs about five to ten years until peak and will be good for ten to twenty years after that.  It drinks well on its own and will work with bigger foods especially roasts

2017 Pine Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Ampére, USA, California, Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

This is a new winery for me.  It is in the newly established Pine Mountain - Cloverdale Peak AVA which is on the Sonoma side of Pine Mountain.  The wines are grown at between 2,200 and 2,800 feet above sea level.  The winery is owned by Hien Nguyen who grew up in France and made by Thomas Rivers Brown.  The wine is inky purple in color.  The nose has cassis, black cherries, slight minty notes and a bit of baking spices.  On the palate, this is very concentrated.  Tannic.  Lots of depth.  Cassis with underlying baking spice and slight forest floor notes.  It is hard to say how this would evo

2016 Sosie Syrah Vivio Vineyard, USA. California, Sonoma, Bennett Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

The first bottle of this I tried had likely been exposed to heat during shipping.  It is great that I was able to try a proper bottle.  Much better.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  Interesting nose.  It is smoky with a scent that reminded me of a really good corned beef sandwich at a Jewish deli.  That is meaty, slightly salty, a bit of yeast, and slight roasted meats.  Very proper and welcoming.  This is a cool climate Syrah and it drinks very well.  There is some bacon fat too, but that wouldn't go at a Jewish Deli.  ;-)  There also is some boysenberry fruit lurking in the background.

2017 Fort Ross Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Forst Ross - Seaview, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

Gold/green in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice.  Big.  Fresh oak, lemons and slight vanilla.  Nice acidity.  On the palate, flavors of lemon hard candy.  Slightly oily texture.  The finish has oak and lemon candies.  Long.  This has a fair amount of oak, but is also clean and energetic.  It should be good for seven to ten more years and may develop further.  It should go well with a wide range of foods from salads to pasta in a cream sauce.  

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