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

2015 Carlisle Zinfandel Monte Rosso Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is one of the most straight-forward, "classic styled" Zins that Mike Officer makes.  It is always outstanding although it might not be as individualistic as some other vineyards.Purple in color.  The nose has dark cherries, spice and bramble.  Very ripe fruit.  On the palate, the dark cherries continue along with some underlying plum and spice.  Smooth and no heat.  Very nice texture.  Long finish.  

2014 Bonny Doon Vineyard A Proper Claret, USA, California, Wine Review

Ruby/purple in color.  This is a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot,Tannat, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah.  A sort of kitchen sink blend that costs around $15.  It's a nice wine for the money and easy to drink.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is a bit warm with alcohol but also some cherries, black raspberries and slight char.  On the palate, this is mostly cherry fruit.  Easy drinking.  Warm but not hot.  There is some varietal complexity.  Fun label.  Good party wine.  

2016 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Clos de Gilroy, USA, California, Monterey, Wine Review

Bonny Doon makes some fun wines!  This is Grenache for under $20.  It's a fun and great for parties.  Light ruby in color.  The nose is all about strawberries.  So is the palate.  This wine is light and easy drinking.  Some acidity but drinks more like a rose.  Food friendly-ish.  

Had a second bottle of this and it had some Brett (barnyard notes).  If that is an issue, look for well stored bottles.  

2015 Ravenswood Zinfandel Old Hill, USA, California, Sonoma Valley, Wine Review

This is made from a vineyard planted originally in 1880.  96.8% Zinfandel and 3.2% Mixed Blacks 9field blend).  It comes in at 14.5% Alc.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose is interesting.  Lanolin, and muted on opening.  With air, black raspberry fruit develops along with some dried floral notes.  Finally, black cherries and bramble emerge.  On the palate, there are medium tannins.  It presents a more feminine side to Zinfandel, at least on opening.  Red berries with slight earthiness.  With some air, it gets a bit wilder with some black cherries and more earthiness and spice coming out.  Sm

2015 Ravenswood Zinfandel Big River, USA, California, Sonoma, Alexander Valley

This is 100% Zinfandel from a vineyard first planted in 1893!  The vineyard is above the fog line and planted on volcanic and red clay soils.  15% Alcohol but not noticeable.  Beautiful color; a sort of magenta and ruby, clear and bright.  The nose is great.  Earthy and deep with black raspberries, black cherries, a bit of cinnamon and spice.  On the palate this is sweet black cherry fruit.  Some might call this jammy, but to me that implies a lack of precision which this wine has.  Earth and deep.  It has a complexity that is intriguing even at this young age.  Certainly the most complex o

2015 Ravenswood Zinfandel Belloni, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

This is 75% Zinfandel and 25% Mixed Blacks (a vineyard blend of dark red grapes).  This is a different take on Zinfandel from a cooler climate vineyard.  The wine was still able to get to 14.9% Alc due to a long growing season.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has sour cherries.  There is also a black olive note which is very nice and likely from Rhone varietals as part of the mixed black make up.  In addition, there is a classic bramble and black pepper note.  Slight tannins on the wine.  This is a more elegant side of Zinfandel.  Black cherry fruit.  Some depth but a lot of intensity that

2015 Ravenswood Zinfandel Teldeschi, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Wow.  It has been a while since I have tried any of the single vineyard wines from Ravenswood.  This is great!  Really glad to revisit these.  Made in Dry Creek Valley on gravelly clay loam soils.  15.1% Alc but no hint of it.  Ruby/purple in color.  Clear and bright.  The nose is earthy and dusty with black cherries and a bit of pepper.  With air, an underlying char shows thru.  On the palate, this is soft and smooth.  It starts easy which is nice before picking up weight.  Sour black cherries and some blueberries.  The mid-palate has some black licorice too.  Plenty of depth here.  Medium

2010 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heirloom, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is a vineyard blend from an older vineyard in Sonoma.  This is how wine used to be grown as opposed to blending in the winery.  Sometimes in these older vineyards, its not clear what is growing without doing DNA tests on each vine.  This vineyard has 60% Zinfandel, 25% Carignane and 15% comprised of 22 othr varietals.  The wine is purple with ruby swirls.

2015 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

This is their basic Cabernet in addition to the single vineyard wines that they make.  It sells for around $65.  Purple in color.  The nose is very nice.  More black cherry, some cassis and with air some plum.  Also spice and slight cedar.  It sounds lighter perhaps from those descriptors, but that is certainly not the case.  On the palate, this is full bodied with medium tannins.  Plenty of black cherry fruit along with some cassis.  Very intense and focused right now.  It opens nicely in the glass.  Nice finish.  This should improve a bit over the next few years as it matures and comes to

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