2014 Cowan Cellars Fiano, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

"Florida" Jim Cowan is doing some really interesting things with Italian (and other) varietals and at fair prices.  This is one of his more straightforward white wines.  Made from the Fiano grape more typically found in Campagna, Italy.  Light green gold in color.  The nose is nice with almonds and a nice salinity to it.  On the palate, this is medium bodied but a rounder fuller texture.  Not quite the acidity of the Italian versions, but still enough to work with food.  It has a quality that is almost like a non-oxidized sherry in a good way.  Easy drinking but still with some depth.  Nice

2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

This is still young but drinking quite well now.  Purple in color.  The nose has dark cherries, black raspberries, leather, bramble and spice.  On the palate, this is juicy with lots of fruit.  Black cherries mostly.  Some leathery tannins.  Depth.  Delicious.  Drank over a couple days, it was better on day 2.  Nice finish.  Food friendly or on its own.

2015 Donelan Vénus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is a white Rhone blend of grapes; Rousanne and Viognier.  Golden in color.  This was served at red wine temperature which for me was ideal.  It really cut down on the acidity and brought out the aromatics.  YMMV.  The nose is really nice with candle wax, slight peach, floral notes and minerals.  On the palate, this is dry and full bodied.  A bit of honey nevertheless along with peach and vanilla.  Lovely texture.  Good finish.  This worked quite well with food.  There is a nice depth to this.  It drinks very "red" like.  


2010 Marietta Cellars Angeli Cuvée, USA, California, Alexander Valley, Wine Review

This is a Zinfandel blend.  It seems to be a bit past prime at this point but still hanging in there.  Not as energetic as it was a few years prior.  No sin in that for this wine, it just means to drink the newer vintages in the first five years or so.  Purple in color.  The nose has cherries, black cherries, some spice and a bit of alcohol.  On the palate, mostly red fruits; cherries and raspberries.  Not deep but tasty.  There is some heat on it, more warming than hot.  

2015 Raen Winery Pinot Noir Royal St. Robert, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Ruby in color, some purple.  On the nose this has some cherry juice and also some celery.  On the palate, the green streak is a bit out of balance.  There is some cherry fruit.  It seems a bit disjointed at present.  Perhaps it comes around with time.  I am told this sells for around $60.  Certainly worth drinking but not a great value for my tastes.  

2015 Wilde Farm Wines Heritage Bedrock Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma

This is a field blend with over 30 different types of grape interspersed throughout the vineyard, much of it zinfandel and alicante bouschet, but also tempranillo, mondeuse, carignane and mourvedre.  Pop and pour, it is very interesting.  Ruby in color with some purple swirls.  The nose has a some barnyard which seems to be brettanomyces ( a yeast that is in wines).  It is possible its just from the Mondeuse or possibly some Mourvedre.  In addition, there is great black cherry fruit and a bit of anise.  On the palate, this has tart red cherry fruit with a bit of earthiness.  Slightly drying

2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc, USA, California, Sonoma

Some of the older standards of California wine get short shifted by the new comers.  Pride is one of those whose wines stand the test of time and over a variety of great wine makers.  This wine is purple in color.  The nose has dark cherries, dark chocolate, spice and cedar.  On the palate, there is plenty of dark cherry fruit layered with brown tobacco notes.  There are firm tannins that seem to grow in the glass.  Despite being 11 years from vintage, this really needs time or air.  There appears to be enough fruit to outlast the tannins.  There is certainly more upside on this wine.  

2007 Dehlinger Syrah Goldridge, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black pepper, black raspberries, slight roasted herbs, and some bacon fat.  Full bodied.  Cooler climate in style.  On the palate, boysenberries, black pepper, slight earthiness with good acidity.  Slight tannins.  deep and layered.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This went very well with Indian food (Syrah is a surprisingly good food match with Indian food).  Seems to be still on the younger side of peak though drinking well now.  

2008 Carlisle Two Acres, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley

This is a field blend of mostly Rhone varietals and some Petite Sirah.  The Petite Sirah seems to take over more and more as this wine ages.  Purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, plums, char and some roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has boysenberries, some black cherries and spice.  Nice medium bodied mouth feel.  some complexity.  Slight tannins.  Good finish.  Probably at peak now, but no hurry at all on this.