Expert articles and wine tasting videos profiling wines from California, California wine regions, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, & more.

2009 Dehlinger 60% Petite Sirah/40% Zinfandel Guadagni Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Very nice showing for this.  Seems to be just about at peak, of course, noting that Zinfandel matures earlier and Petite Sirah later.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose has boysenberries, black cherries, raspberries along with some leather and minerality.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, this has a nice complexity.  Also very tasty.  Layers of fruit (black and red raspberries) with some underlying minerality.  Nice finish.  This should have another five to seven more years and probably more.  It drinks well on its own and will work  well with all but the lightest foods.  A nice w

2018 Carlisle Zinfandel Carlisle Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

From Mike Officer's home vineyard, the Carlisle Zin is great in every vintage but in 2018 they continued to exceed expectations.  A blend of mostly Zinfandel (86%) and 14% mixed "black" grapes including Alicante Bouschet and Cinsault from 91-year-old vines. Inky purple swirls with deep ruby hues make for a very attractive appearance.  Opaque and bright.  The nose is concentrated with raspberries, black cherries, slight pine and spice.  A seamless texture that makes this so accessible even while being so young.  On the palate, black raspberries, slight blueberries, black cherries with underl

2015 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

Another winner from Jaffurs although this is still quite young.  Purple in color, opaque and bright. The nose is nice with black raspberries, grilled meats, slight char and a whiff of violets.  Full bodied.  Very tight on the palate, it took some time to open.  Once it did, plenty of black raspberries, some blueberries, with underlying roasted herbs.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This needs another five years and should drink well for ten to twelve after that.  It drinks well on its own and will work well with pork or beef roast.  

2018 Halcon Vineyards Petite Sirah Tierra Theopolis Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

Another tremendous wine from Halcon, which, sadly for us, has just been sold.  Inky purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is great with boysenberries, plums, black pepper and char.  Full bodied but with vibrancy and energy.  On the palate, black raspberries, plums and char underneath.  Great acidity.  Long finish.  This wine won't hit its peak for another ten years or so and should drink well for another twenty after that.  Given its price though, its worth drinking a few on the young side.  Delicious.  At the moment, it will require big food flavors to go with it; roasted meats or

2019 Ridge Geyserville, USA, California, Sonoma, Alexander Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

This is the 54th consecutive vintage of this wine.  It is a blend of 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, and 3% Alicante Bouschet.  Another job well done!  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with raspberries, black raspberries, slight char, plum and spice.  Medium to full bodied.  Great texture.  On the palate, plums and black raspberries with some raspberries with underlying char and graphite.  Great liveliness.  Nice finish.  This wine is already drinking well and while it may change a bit, it should continue to do so for another 20 years.  This is pretty food

2018 FEL Chardonnay Anderson Valley, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$33.00USD

This is part of the Cliff Lede family of wines.  From Mendocino County (north of Napa).  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has some apples along with a bit of lemons and slight pineapple.  Medium bodied.  Nice texture.  There is a hint of sweetness here.  The apples and lemons come thru.  Nice finish.  Served cooler on a hot summer night, this was very refreshing on its own.  It will work nicely with fruit salads.  Figs would be nice too.  Drink over the next few years.  

2018 Field Recordings Chenin Blanc, USA, California, Central Coast

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

This is an old vine Chenin Blanc from vineyards in Santa Ynez and Paso Robles.  Light golden in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a bunch of granny smith apples with a touch of chamomile tea.  Medium bodied.  On the palate this has a nice minerality.  There is some green apples.  Dry.  Clean.  This drinks easy.  Nice finish.  Although Chenin ages well, and these are old vines, it should probably be consumed over the next five years.  It might be interesting to lay one down for ten or more though.  This will go well with seafood.  Oysters are a good call.  

2012 Amor Fati Grenache Murmur Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Maria Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

The is 100% Grenache from California's Central Coast.  Deep ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with black cherries, cherries, herbal notes and moist forest floor.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, nice black cherry and cherry fruit with underlying earthiness.  Seems to be fully mature and at peak.  Tannins all resolved.  Nice finish.  This is a food friendly wine that went well with Pasta Primavera with summer vegetables.  Drink over the next few years.  

2018 Penfolds Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 704 Napa Valley, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is part of the new lineup of Penfold's wines that are from other than Australia.  This one is from Napa.  Purple in color, opaque and bright.  The nose is nice with cassis, baking spices, and smoke.  Medium to full bodied.  Light tannins.  On the palate, this is nice cassis fruit, spice and some underlying char/smoke.  Nice finish.  Drinking well now.  It will make great drinking over the next five to seven years.  It is probably better on its own but will work with bigger flavored foods.  The big question is if this improves with bottle age or not.  Time will tell.  

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