2015 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

This is the basic Syrah from Carlisle.  It sells for around $30 and is a great value.  The bottle comes screw capped which is a good thing.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, slight grilled meats and pepper.  On the palate, this is young but with some depth.  Drinking easily right now.  Black raspberries.  Good balance.  Plenty of fruit but not flamboyant.  Nice finish.  This often gets drunk early to allow the single vineyard Carlisles to age and that is a bit unfair as this will age just fine too.  

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

2015 Simi Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has cassis, cedar and char.  On the palate, cassis and tarragon which is nice.  Medium bodied.  Some tannins.  This has some depth and complexity.  This drinks very well right now and would work with a wide variety of foods.  This retails for around $20 and sometimes less making this a great value in California Cabernet.  I would drink in the next few years but it should last five more if well stored.  

2017 Simi Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Light silvery gold in color.  The nose is big with lots of yellow grapefruit.  On the palate, this is not as big but nice.  Minerals and clean.  A slight bitter note.  The finish shows the return of the grapefruit.  This took about 30 minutes to open and improved after that.  Its an easy drinking wine that is very food friendly.  No hard edges.  It proved to be quite popular with friends.  

2014 Bedrock Wine Co. Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is one of the classic vineyards in California.  A whole host of wineries use this to make some very fine Zinfandels.  Carlisle's version tends to be middle of the road.  Interestingly, it also tends to be a pretty straightforward Zin the Carlisle lineup.  Of course, that is not a bad thing.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, spice and a bit of anise.  Those qualities carry thru to the palate.  This is on the bigger side but far short of many and certainly not jammy.  A nice depth to it.  If you like more of a claret style, these have sho

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.  

2008 Carlisle Syrah Cardiac Hill, USA, California, Sonoma, Bennett Valley, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black raspberries, char and black pepper.  With air, a chalky quality emerges along with more concentrated black raspberries.  Good acidity.  Deep, still young and complex on the palate.  At ten years of age, this is ageing quite slowly.  Delicious and complex.  It slowly unwinds in the glass.  Still plenty of fruit and firm tannins suggesting much more room for development.  Long finish.  Worked great with hearty food.   

2015 Kutch Chardonnay Sonoma COast, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Light golden in color.  The nose is clean with lemon peel, and slightly herbal notes (in a good way).  This is lean but persistent.  Tart green apples on the palate had me thinking of Chablis.  Although this is tight, it seems more open, especially with air, than a prior bottle.  Long finish.  This still needs more time to develop.  Very crisp and worked well with food. 

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