2011 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$130.00USD

Mostly Syrah with a bit of Rousanne.  The 2011's from Saxum are in a great place right now.  They drink a bit younger than most of Justin Smith's wines.  Pop and pour, this one was great.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meats, white pepper and "purple" floral notes.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Big but not blowsy.  Lots of energy.  Good acidity.  Notes of black raspberries over char and spice.  Long finish.  This was great on its own (with a cigar) by the fire but will work well with heavier stews and roasted meats, or even cheeses.  No hurry, t

2006 Sineann Syrah The Old Ball and Chain, USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This is an artificially frozen dessert wine from the Scorched Earth Vineyard.  It is made from Syrah grapes that were harvested at 37 brix.  The residual sugar 8% and 14.5% ABV.  It has held up quite well and is drinking very well, perhaps, on better now.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, a simple syrup note, plums and chocolate covered raisins.  On the palate, this is drinking well.  Sweet, not cloying.  Very port-like.  Not a ton of complexity.  Goes quite well with a bit of cheese or chocolate.  This was a one off and only made this one time.  

2015 SonkinCellars Persona, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Biased review.  This was the last vintage that we made at SonkinCellars.  While probably not our best, it's a good wine that will continue to improve for the next five or so years.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, black pepper, slight roasted meat and roasted vegetables and hints of floral.  On the palate, a nice backbone of acidity.  Nice black raspberry fruit with an underlying char and earth.  Good finish.  This might get a bit better.  If drinking now, give it a few hours of air.  It will go well with cassoulet or roasted foods.  

2014 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$53.00USD

Disclaimer - biased wine review.  This may be the best wine we ever made.  It is still young and tight and should improve over the next five to seven years.  It is made entirely with Halcon fruit.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, black pepper, slight baking spices, slight earthiness and roasted herbs.  On the palate, I love the texture of this wine.  Deep if still tightly layered.  The biggest difference between this and other Halcon based wines, is that this is a bit riper.  Juicy boysenberry fruit over and bit of char and minerals.  Long finish.  Good acidity.  This sho

2012 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This vintage seemed so open at first but eventually got tight.  This took some air/time to open up once the cork was popped.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with boysenberries, charcoal, black pepper and just a bit of tobacco.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.  Lots of boysenberry fruit but tightly packed.  A nice backbone of acidity.  Good finish.  It is a cooler climate Syrah and Halcon takes a while to mature.  It still needs another three to five years and should be good for a decade or  more after that.  Disclaimer, I was part of the team that made this wine so I may be a li

2012 Saxum James Berry Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$125.00USD

A blend of 43% Grenache, 29% Mourvedre, 18% Syrah and 10% Counoise.  This wine is still on the young side but is open and with a bit of air, was drinking great.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight charred wood, black pepper, roasted herbs and roasted meats.  On the palate, what a wonderful texture.  Almost seamless.  Juicy black raspberry fruit.  Underlying char and roasted meats.  Great energy and balance.  This will continue to mature for the next five to ten years and be good for ten to fifteen after that.  The alcohol is high, but there is hint of it although

2018 Aime Roquesante Côtes de Provence Cuvée Sélectionnée, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2019

This is a great value Rosé from Provence.  It comes in a "flute a corset Provençal" shaped bottle.  This wine is pink/orange in color.  It has a lovely nose of strawberries with some apricots and slight citrus.  On the palate, the strawberries come thru along with a bit of cherries.  This is clean and easy to drink.  very tasty.  It has a nice energy which will fade quickly.  Though this wine may last for a few years, it should be drunk now to best enjoy it.  It will drink well on its own or with lighter fare but will also work with ribs or other grilled foods in a refreshing way.   

2018 Bieler Père et Fils Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence Rosé Sabine, France, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$11.00USD

A very pretty Rosé from the heart of Provence.  52% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cinsault, and 3% Rolle.  Salmon pink in color.  The nose is nice with cherries, slight floral and strawberries.  On the palate, this is dry.  Slightly viscous.  Nice strawberry fruit.  Good acidity.  Nice finish.  This won't drink better than this but should be good for another year.  It goes well with lighter food and salads.  Great value.  

2017 Sterling Vineyards 375ml Aluminum Bottle Rosé, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$8.00USD

This is one of three wines available in an aluminum bottle.  375ml.  It is also screw capped.  This is a very portable way to carry wine to picnics and other events.  It would be great by the pool or at the beach as well with no worries about broken glass or having an opener.  This is mostly Syrah and Tempranillo from the Edna Valley in California with some Zinfandel.  Salmon pink/orange in color.  The nose has very pretty strawberries.  Clean.  On the palate, the strawberries come thru along with some cherries and a bit of citrus.  There is also a pleasant tea like bitterness.  This is ver

2013 Mira Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, USA, California, Napa, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

A blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah, 2% Petit Verdot.  This was a new winery for me.  So many choices which is great!  Purple in color.  The nose has cassis, some black cherries, cedar, baking spices and dust.  On the palate, this seems to be drinking well.  Just slight tannins.  Cassis fruit.  Some depth.  Solid finish.  This probably won't get better but should continue to drink well for another five to seven years.  It will go well with grilled burgers or steaks and most medium to heavier foods.  

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