2013 Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon Counterpoint Sonoma Mountain, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot.  If you are looking for a Cab that is under $40, this may be your ticket.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has cassis, tobacco, slight milk chocolate and spice.  On the palate, this is full bodied.  Plenty of cassis and cherries, a bit of tobacco earthiness and a good dollop of oak.  Medium tannins.  Medium finish.  This could use another couple of years to allow the oak time to integrate.  If it does, this will merit another couple of points.  Drinking today is still nice if a more difficult food match.  

2013 Thirty-Seven Winery Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Garnet in color, clear and bright with darker swirls.  The nose is very nice with cherries, candied cherries, some salinity and slight mint.  A nice mouthfeel/texture.  On the palate, flavors of cherries with a slight spice under them.  Light tannins.  Good finish.  This is a middle ground styled Pinot for the Sonoma Coast.  It will go well with salmon or fowl and also lighter salads.  It seems a touch on the young side still so there may be some upside improvement.  It should easily last another decade. 

2016 Wayfarer Chardonnay Wayfarer Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Fort Ross - Seaview, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
96
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$75.00USD

This is a wine from Pahlmeyer.  I first tried it back in 2012 before it was released, but had not seen it since.  So when a friend put this on the table I was excited to revisit it.  An excellent wine and not your typical California Chardonnay.  Light gold with some green swirls.  The nose explodes from the glass with peaches, marzipan, some citrus and even a touch of green apple.  With air, a waxy quality come thru.  On the palate, this is just as vibrant.  Oranges, peaches with an under subtle oak.  A bit of salinity right at the end.  This is drinking very well right now and it would be

2013 Donelan Venus, USA, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$57.00USD

This is a blend of Rousanne (98%) and Viognier (2%) and one of my favorite white wines.  Of course, white Rhone varietals can be wonderful, frustrating, fascinating, great or dead at any point once they pass five years of age.  So it was with some trepidation that I tasted this wine when a friend brought it over.  No worries, this wine was singing and drinking great.  Golden in color.  The nose is showing some maturity.  Aromas of pears, slight dried flowers and wax.  On the palate, a slightly oily texture.  Pears and canned pears with a bit of earthiness.  Deep.  Not a lot of acidity.  Lon

2014 Thirty-Seven Winery Albariño, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

One might think an Albarino that is five years old would be way past it.  Maybe more so if it were from California.  In this case, anyway, that would not be true.  This was drinking quite well.  As I don't know the winery, it is not possible to say how this drunk younger or if it is better or worse now.  It is, however, still quite enjoyable.  Yellow golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose is all about minerals with a bit of alfalfa.  With air, a bit of citrus (lime?).  On the palate, this has a nice cut.  The lime comes out more.  Refreshing.  Good finish.  It is light bodied.  Indeed

2014 Gregory James Old Vine Zinfandel Carreras Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is more of a "claret" styled Zinfandel than a big brawny styled Zin.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has dust, black cherries and slight tobacco.  On the palate, this has some depth.  Juicy black cherry fruit intertwined with a bit of damp earth.  Nice finish.  This would be great with Indian food.  Drink over the next five years, but it might surprise and last (a lot) longer.  

2016 Gregory James Chardonnay Hawk Hill Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
84
Grade: 
B-

This is quite different than the 2014.  Of course, wine is subjective.  This is much more similar in style to the Kendall Jackson Chardonnay or the Rombauer Chardonnay; both of which are big sellers.  Light golden in color.  The nose has some lemon, some butter and some oak/vanilla.  On the palate, this is slightly sweet with some lemon notes that balance it.  This will be better as a cocktail wine than with food.  It should last for five more years but then may start to lose some of its freshness.  

2014 Gregory James Chardonnay Hawk Hill Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma Coast, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

Tasted side by side with the 2016, this one was much more to my liking.  Pale golden with some green swirls.  The nose has slight lemons, nice minerality, slight chalk and little oak.  On the palate, this is refreshing and clean.  Dry.  Mostly about the minerality but some lemon.  Good finish.  I believe this retails for around $20 which is a nice value.  Ready to drink now, it should be good for five years.  It will drink well on its own but better with sea food or salads.  

2017 Carlisle Syrah Sonoma County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is the base Syrah from Carlisle and is always a great value.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, black pepper and coffee.  Very nice.  On the palate, this is medium to full bodied.  cooler climate in profile.  Black cherries, black raspberries, slight earthiness.  Lighter tannins.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is drinking well right now and may get a bit better over the next few years.  It should easily do another ten years.  This will go great with Indian food or meat/veggie stews and chili.  Sometimes, these wines don't get enough respect as the ge

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