2013 Donelan Venus, USA, Sonoma, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$57.00USD

This is a blend of Rousanne (98%) and Viognier (2%) and one of my favorite white wines.  Of course, white Rhone varietals can be wonderful, frustrating, fascinating, great or dead at any point once they pass five years of age.  So it was with some trepidation that I tasted this wine when a friend brought it over.  No worries, this wine was singing and drinking great.  Golden in color.  The nose is showing some maturity.  Aromas of pears, slight dried flowers and wax.  On the palate, a slightly oily texture.  Pears and canned pears with a bit of earthiness.  Deep.  Not a lot of acidity.  Lon

2014 Andremily Syrah No. 3, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
99
Grade: 
A+
Current Price: 
$165.00USD

Nice to revisit this wine.  Tasted (note posted elsewhere on this site), it was quite tight.  While still quite young, this wine has really made a lot of progress.  Still not at its peak, but providing a lot of pleasure right now.  It is a blend of 89% Syrah, 8% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier.  inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, smoked meat, white pepper and floral notes.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Black raspberry fruit over scorched earth and also some pepper.  Great texture.  Long finish.  This will go well with big meat dishes but also roasted veggie

2017 Martin Clerc Condrieu, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$60.00USD

This is a relatively new producer of Rhone wines.  The estate began back in the early 90's but Martin took over in 2013 after completing wine school.  Medium gold in color.  The nose is perfumed with floral notes, minerals and wax.  With air, some apricots emerge.  On the palate, this has a slightly oily texture.  Flavors of hay and citrus on the palate.  Light acidity.  This should go well with sea foods and vegetarian dishes.  It went quite well with a Mushroom pasta.  I don't think it will make old bones and would recommend drinking up in the next few years at most.  The freshness and th

2016 Domaine des Miquettes St. Joseph Madloba, France, Rhone, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$56.00USD

This is what is sometimes referred to as an "orange" wine.  What that means is that it is fermented on its skins.  The extended skin contact transfers some color to what is otherwise a white wine.  It has other effects on the wines depending on the wine making process.  Though this style of winemaking has been around for a long time, a small subsection or wine lovers and commentators discovered these wines about ten years ago and became enthralled with them.  Like anything however, just because a wine is made in this style doesn't make them good or bad.  This one, however, is very good.  Th

2016 Sobon Estate Viognier, USA, California, Amador County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
83
Grade: 
B-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

Pale gold in color.  The nose has some meyer lemon's but is also very dusty and slightly hot.  On the palate, this has a nice oily texture.  A bit of a green streak but also some lemon notes.  It has a distracting bitter quality that is very persistent.  A shorter finish.  Screw capped.  The description makes this sound worse that it was, but this was a disappointing experience.  

2015 K Vintners Syrah The Beautiful, USA, Washington, Walla Walla, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A

This is 97% Syrah with 3% viognier cofermented from the Powerline Vineyard.  This drinks in the style of the Northern Rhone but with a new world flair that works.  It should improve with a few years of cellaring.  Ruby in color, purple at the core.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives and a nice minerality lurking in the backround.  On the palate, this is softer in texture.  Nice black raspberry fruit, slight black pepper and underlying char.  Slight tannins that come out more with air.  Good finish.  This needs heartier foods but has the acidity to work well them.  

2015 Yalumba Viognier Eden Valley, Australia, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+

This bottle was drinking quite well at 3 years from vintage.  Light gold/green in color.  The nose is expressive; sugary with some honey dew melon.  On the palate, this is dry.  On the palate, this is dry.  Some lemon pith.  Just a bit of depth.  Round.  Very clean.  Nice.  Would work with lighter foods and makes a very nice starter wine.  $20 retail is a good value.  Drink now.  

2014 Keplinger Syrah Hangman's Hudson, USA, California, Carneros, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

95% Syrah, 5% Viognier.  Purple in color.  The nose is nice with black raspberries, leather, roasted meats, and black pepper.  Deep.  On the palate, this is delicious.  Black raspberries, char, black pepper along with some earthiness.  More lower tones (if that makes sense).  Good balance.  Kept opening up.  This has a long life left.  Needs bigger foods.  

2013 SonkinCellars Persona, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A

WARNING-Biased Review.  Although both of the 2014's scored higher, this is the best wine SonkinCellars made.  It is still quite tight and needs air or time.  Purple in color, inky at the core.  The nose has black raspberries, black olives, slight roasted meat, slight cedar and spice.  On the palate, this has firm tannins.  Lush black raspberry fruit.  An under layer of spice and roasted meats.  Long finish.  Still a few years from peak.  Everything that needs to be in a great California warm climate Syrah that is not over the top but pushes ripe.  Of course, this is a completely biased revi

2012 SonkinCellars Persona, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

WARNING - Biased review.  This is our most difficult child.  Huge bottle variation on this one and it has to be related to storage at all points in the delivery line.  Despite having had the wine tested for Brettanomyces (yeast) it is a problem in some bottles for some drinkers.  And that is the problem with Brett and why we tested.  All wine has it to some extent, and if the wine gets warm it blooms (it is a yeast).  In this bottling it is sporadic and its been difficult to ascertain why.  Of course, some people like that barnyard quality, so inevitably, they are the ones with the cleanest

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