2019 Simi Chardonnay Sonoma County, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This took some time to open and showed a better on day 2.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with smoke, minerals butterscotch, and a touch of grapefruits.  Medium to full bodied.  On the palate, the minerality comes thru along with some citrus.  Very clean finish.  This drinks nicely on its own but much better with some food to bring out the subtleties.  Salmon or heavier seafood dishes would work well.  Drink over the next three to five years.  There is an upside to cellaring.  

2019 Carlisle Zinfandel Sonoma County, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

One of the great values in Zinfandel.  Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is great with black cherries, spice and bramble.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this has lots of energy.  Black cherries, some blueberries, spice and smoke.  Great acidity.  Delicious.  Nice finish.  This will probably drink well for ten to twelve years, but I always seem to drink these young.  No regrets about that.  Great on its own, this will be great with roasted veggies or a garden (or meat) burger.  

2019 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

I am a big fan of the RM Chardonnays.  This is the "generic" non-single vineyard offering.  It might be a hair less than those others but it is also less expensive and an outstanding wine on its own.  Light gold with some green swirls, shimmering bright.  The nose is classic with lemons, vanilla, slight chalk and a hint of mint.  Full bodied but with cut.  Lots of energy.  On the palate, this is delicious right from the go.  Lemons, vanilla, slight spice with a long finish.  Great texture.  Young, of course, but this should easily do another ten years as it matures.  Might even get better. 

2015 Unti Vineyards Cuvée Foudre, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is a blend of 38% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, and 29% Syrah.  Purple in color with ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has cherries, black raspberries, slight char and a bit of anise.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is nice.  Not over done.  Notes of black cherries, black raspberries and plums with a slight underlying char.  Good energy.  Nice finish.  Drinking well now, it should continue to do so for the next seven to ten years.  A nice wine to have on its own or with a burger or ribs off the grill.  

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

2017 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay Joy Road Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

Another great showing for this Chardonnay.  There is a deft use of oak that is noticeable here, but well done and well within reason.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is nice with lemon curd, vanilla and hint of grapefruit.  With air a nice minerality emerges.  Full bodied.  On the palate, this is still young but drinking well.  It improves in the glass showing lemon curd with slight vanilla and spice.  Nice balance and structure.  Long finish.  This seems like it should easily do another decade or more.  Great on its own, this will work well with duck, salmon or just a s

1994 Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel Reserve San Lorenzo, USA, California, Sonoma County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
1994
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B

Opened by a friend after a Lodi Zin tasting as an example that Zins last.  We all wondered if it were alive and, it was.  Purple in color, a bit flat but not really looking like it was 27 years old.  The nose is dusty with a bit of bramble and woodiness left but also some cherry fruit.  On the palate, there is still cherry fruit and some dried fruits.  Good balance.  Now, this was probably better twenty years ago, and I doubt ageing improved it much, but it clearly has lasted (stored in a wine fridge).  A real treat to try now.  

2017 Turley Zinfandel Fredericks Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is a big-ish Zin in style especially for Sonoma.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, black cherries and slight bramble.  A bit of pepper, too.  Full bodied.  Good acidity.  On the palate, there is nice black raspberry fruit with some cherries.  Underlying spices.  Pepper on the finish.  It worked well with Thai food but will drink well on its own too.  Drink over the next seven to ten years.  

2011 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

This is from grapes that are grown 63% IN Napa and 37% in Sonoma.  It also contains 7% Cabernet Sauvignon.  This was a difficult vintage, yet this is a nice wine.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose has black cherries and coffee.  Also a hint of clove.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, black cherries and cherries with some underlying spice.  A slight green note on the finish.  Nice acidity.  The fruit is not under ripe but just barely.  This drinks well but will work better with food.  Fried chicken might be nice.  Drink over the next few years. 

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

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