2016 Carlisle Zinfandel Papera Ranch, USA, California, Sonoma, Russian River, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

My favorite Carlisle wine, and that is really saying something.  There is something about this vineyard that just does it.  It has a lot to do with texture although the other aspects are great too.  And every vintage, Mike Officer seems to do better and better though 2016 might be hard to beat.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, tobacco and spice.  On the palate, this is lush and enveloping while being precise and concentrated.  Notes of black raspberries and blueberries over a dry tobacco and earth along with a nice peppery quality.  Great balance and a long

2006 Ridge Lytton Springs, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek, Wine review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This has 80% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, and 4% Carignane.  It is drinking just wonderfully right now.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, dust, leather, slight earthiness and cherries.  On the palate, this is fresh with vibrant fruit and light tannins.  Black raspberries, slight peppery notes and a nice warm earthiness to it.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  Just a lovely wine.  It won't get better but should continue to mature and evolve over the next decade.  Will work with almost any food at this point.  

2017 Cruse Wine Company Monkey Jacket, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is a hodgepodge of grapes made in a "natural wine" style.  Twenty-five percent Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Cinsault, Mondeuse, and Zinfandel from one source; another 25% Valdiguié; and the rest Syrah, Tannat, St. Laurent, and Carignan made from vineyards across California.  This was being closed out at a local wine store for $20.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has a sweaty sock quality to it.  Once you get past that, there are some cherries and pomegranate notes.

2016 Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux-de-Provence, France, Languedoc, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

This one comes in a unique shaped bottle.  It is drinking quite well today and should easily last for five more years.  Ruby/purple, clear and bright.  The nose is tight at first.  With air, some black raspberries and raspberries come out.  Also some floral qualities and some spice.  On the palate, this has nice black raspberry fruit.  Slight leather.  Medium tannins.  A bit dusty underneath.  Good finish.  Very food friendly.  At around $15, this is a very nice value.  

2016 Vitkin Carignan Old Vines, Israel, Sharon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$36.00USD

This was a quite a nice surprise.  No idea as to how old the vines are but the first vintage this wine was made is 2002.  Deep ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has red berries; cherries, elderberries and red currants.  There is a slight, slight celery note as well which is there but hardly a distraction.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Deep with a nice complexity.  Soft texture but firm tannins.  Enough acidity.  Good cherry fruit with a slight red currant note.  Nice finish.  This seems like it is young and has some upside.  It should be good for five to ten more years.  Very

NV Sean Thackrey Pleiades XI Old Vines, USA, California, Wine Review

Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

Sean Thackrey is one of the world's great winemakers who hangs out in Bolinas California.  This is basically a field blend of what doesn't make his top Cuvees.  Although it is non-vintage, each Cuvee carries a Roman Numeral designate.  This is XI, but the current release is XXV.  This wine is approximately 16 years old and was really made to be drunk in the first few years.  Sometime, however, wines hide in the cellar only to provide a pleasant surprise later on.  It was originally claimed to be a blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Carignan, and Barbera, however, DNA testi

2013 Domaine Anne Gros & Jean-Paul Tollot La 50/50, France, Languedoc

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

This is a joint project from two successful winemakers from other parts of France.  It is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignane according to the web site.  This was really good and for $9 a screaming value.  It is a fruity wine and drinking quite well right now.  Perfect for this summers BBQ's and parties.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is slightly earthy with black raspberries and a slight pine note which was enjoyable.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Black raspberries and black licorice underneath.  Bright fruit.  There is even some upside with this wine over the

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

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

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

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

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.

2014 Sandlands Carignane, USA, California, Contra Costa County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

If you don't know Sandlands, this is a winery you should check into.  The wines are made using grape varietals that are not the usual for California.  Tegan and Olivia Passalacqua are making wines that are a bit lower in alcohol from not the usual locations.  Their pricing is reasonable as well.  This one is around $30.  Ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, slight rhubarb, a hint of barnyard and a bit of bitters.  On the palate, this is medium bodied.  Nice cherry fruit with some black raspberries.  The bitters quality is also there which is kind of interesting.  Works well with food.  Ni