2013 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay The North Slope Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Very classic Sonoma Chardonnay.  This sees 30% new oak, but there is a fair amount of oak showing.  Whether that is good or bad is a matter of personal taste.  Light golden in color with slight green hue.  The nose has nice lemons along with slight vanilla and nutmeg.  On the palate, the nose carries thru but also a bit of fresh cut timber.  Towards the mid-palate and finish, some tropical fruit notes emerge.  There is a lovely creamy softness to the texture.  Good depth.  Very nice acidity.  Still drinking youthfully, this should continue to develop and presumably for the oak to continue t

2009 Shane Pinot Noir The Charm, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Deep ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose is nice with sour cherries, cola and spice.  On the palate, this is a big wine.  Very reminiscent of a Kosta Browne wine in style.  Black cherries, some cola and some spice.  Has a nice depth and tight complexity.  Enough acidity to carry food.  Lots of fruit.  Good finish.  Delicious wine.  Doesn't seem to be at peak yet and showing little signs of age at this point.  

2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

Kosta Browne wines are some of the most sought after Pinots in California.  They are also wines that people tend to love or hate because they are to the ripe and jammy side of Pinot Noir.  Its always fun to drink one and listen to the comments.  This is deep ruby in color.  The nose has bright black cherries with some baking spice.  With air, some root beer and Faygo Red Pop notes.  On the palate, there is a lot of cherry, black cherry notes along with a bit of cola.  It is big and fruity and also delicious.  Would work with bigger foods and most traditional Pinot foods (salmon, etc.).  Lon

2009 Donelan Syrah Walker Vine Hill, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

Inky purple in color.  The nose is bright black raspberry fruit with some char.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Black raspberry fruit.  Works well with food.  This is an outstanding wine, but at age 9, it is not showing the depth and complexity that might have been expected.  The question is whether it will develop.  2009 had heavy rains at harvest and pick dates often separated the great from the almost great.  It will be interesting to see where this goes over the next five to ten years.  Regardless, this is at a minimum, still a great wine.  

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

Somewhat of a disappointing showing for this.  It drank fine, but a lot more was expected based on a bottle consumed just a few weeks ago.  Hopefully, the wine is just shut down at the moment.  A second bottle was opened and most of it is left, so it can be watched over the next couple of days.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries and some char.  On the palate, this is tight with black raspberry fruit.  No obvious faults but just lacking anything interesting or complex.  The texture is good but not what has become a staple of this wine.  Given its history, hopeful

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

My favorite vineyard from my favorite Zinfandel producer!  Purple in color.  The nose is black raspberries, slight cedar, slight bramble, spice and pepper.  With air, some dark cherries emerge.  My favorite part of this wine is the texture which seems consistent over vintages.  It is rich and lush yet the wine glides down the palate.  Flavors of black raspberry and minerals and slight char and pepper.  Complex and deep.  Each sip leaves one wanting another sip.  Then the bottle is drained.  Works with a wider variety of food than imagined.  Long finish.  A spectacular wine.  

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

2014 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

I love Carlisle Zinfandels.  Mike Officer makes a bunch of them, but this is my favorite one.  Purple in color.  The nose has some bramble, dark cherries and a bit of pepper.  What i find I like consistently from vintage to vintage, however, is the texture.  It is round, lush, and delicious without being over the top.  Black cherries, raspberries, and black licorice.  No heat.  Each sip makes we want to take another.  It is food friendly, but these seem to go down too quickly.  Its hard to not gulp.  This should age easily for another five years and probably ten or more.  

2005 Kosta Browne Syrah Amber Ridge Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Wine Review

This was fun as it is by far the oldest KB wine I have had.  It is still quite a big wine especially for a Sonoma Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, slight roasted herbs and black pepper.  very nice.  On the palate, black raspberries, black pepper, some char, some earth.  Good acidity.  Light tannins.  Slight heat.  It is drinking just fine at this point and probably at peak.  Some depth, but a lot but plenty of delicious fruit left.  Worked fine with food.  Seems to easily have five to ten more years.