For those looking for value in their red wines, the southern Rhone is still a great place once you get outside Chateauneuf and perhaps Gigondas. This is one of those wines that is a great wine to stock up on in great vintages. Purple/ruby in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose is very nice with black cherries, plums, slight spice and slight floral notes. Medium bodied. On the palate, this has some depth to it. Black cherry fruit with underlying spice. Good acidity. This should drink well for the next five to seven years. A nice match with a veggies burger (or even a meat burg
Normally, I like to let these wines rest for ten years or so prior to opening, but sometimes, it can't be helped. For me, the Hearstone opens a bit earlier than the others (along with the Paderewski). This is a blend of 54% Syrah, 35% Grenache, and 11% Mourvedre. Pop and pour, this took a while to open and the last glass was the best. Inky purple in color, opaque and bright. The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, roasted meats, slight black olives and a bit of black cherries. Full bodied. Medium tannins. On the palate, this has a great juicy, muscular texture. Powerful Load
2017 Jonata Winery Todos, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez Valley, Ballard Canyon, Wine Review
This is a blend of the grapes that didn't make it into the single varietal expressions consisting of 44% Syrah, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petite Sirah, with the remainder made up from Petit Verdot, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
This is the entry level Pinot Noir from the home vineyard of winemaker Thomas Rivers-Brown. At age 11, this is doing quite well. Deep ruby in color, mostly clear and bright. The nose is great with cherries, sour cherries, and a bit of spice. Full bodied. On the palate, the sour cherries dominate with some underlying spice and a touch of earthiness. Lots of lively energy. Delicious. Long finish. Yes, this is a big Pinot, but for California, it has some restraint to it. Lots of sunshine and verve. Just starting to hit its sweet spot, this should drink well for another twelve to fif
This is still a bit on the young side but with a few hours of air, it drank well. Purple in color, ruby at the rim. Opaque and bright. The nose is nice with cherries, spice, minerals, black raspberries and smoke. On the palate, this is full bodied with a rich, lush texture. Lots of juicy black and red raspberries with underlying pepper, and earthiness. Good acidity. Deep with tight layers that unwind in the glass. Long finish. This needs about three to five more years until peak and should drink great for ten to fifteen more after that. It drinks great on its own and will work wel
Another nice value play from Kermit Lynch. A blend of 60% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, and 10% Syrah. Purple in color with ruby swirls. Mostly clear and bright. The nose has black cherries, black raspberries, slight earthy note and black pepper. Medium bodied. Nice acidity. On the palate, the black cherries come thru. Some depth. Light tannins. Good finish. This is a tasty wine that drinks fine on its own but works better with hearty food. It went great with a vegetarian chili. Drink this over the next five to seven years.
2018 Raymond Vineyard & Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Family Classic, California, North Coast, Wine Review
This is a nice value play from Raymond. It retails for around $20, but can often be found for less. There is 1% Merlot in the wine. Purple in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose has plums, black raspberries and slight spice. On the palate, this is medium bodied. Easy to drink. Light tannins. Good balance. Probably should be consumed over the next few years. Good on its own, a nice match with a burger.
I honestly don't remember a Nouveau carrying a Villages designation, but this was certainly a step up, so there is that. Purple in color. The nose has cherries, slight banana and a hint of bubblegum. Medium bodied. On the palate, the cherry fruit is nice. Clean. Not deep but tasty. This should at least drink well through the end of the year. A nice wine with Thanksgiving leftovers.
Celebrating one of the ingenious pieces of wine marketing, I certainly enjoying a free glass of wine when these are released. It does give a nice glimpse of what the vintage holds and adds a bit of whimsy. This is purple in color, mostly opaque and bright. The nose has bubble gum, yeast and some grapey black cherries. Nice texture. On the palate, a bit bitter but some cherry soda flavors. Good acidity. Ideally this should be consumed by the third Friday in November (it comes out the third Thursday). It matches ok with lighter fowl dishes.
This is 100% Carignane from one hundred year old vines. Inky purple in color, opaque and bright. The nose shows black cherries, graphite while having a clean earthiness. On the palate, lots of black raspberry fruit with some black cherries. Nice texture. Drinks well right now and should continue to do so for ten to fifteen more years. It may still improve a bit as it matures. This drinks very well on its own and will work with grilled or roasted meats and fowl.