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

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

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

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

2012 Epoch Estate Wines Authenticity Paderewski Vineyard, USA, California, Paso Robles, Wine Review

71% Syrah, 28% Mourvedre and 1% Viognier.  This is a gorgeous wine that is drinking great right now but still has some maturation to come.  Purple in color.  On of the cool things about Viognier is it make Syrah more opaque.  Another is that it has lifting aromatics which carry the Syrah and Mourvedre along with it.  In this case, just a gorgeous nose.  Black raspberries, roasted herbs, grilled meats, white pepper, musky earthiness all just explode from the glass.  On the palate, this has a lovely velvety texture.  Good balance.  Lots of black raspberry fruit with underlying earthiness.  It

2010 SonkinCellars Persona, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Warning, this is a biased wine review.  This is our own label.  So why post a note?  Because people often ask me how the wines are drinking and what are my thoughts.  I try to be honest and forthright but at the very least, I make the wine I want to drink, so hopefully, it is a wine that I like.  YMMV.  2010 is a vintage that has taken a while to come around but it seems to have gotten some traction and is getting there.  This bottle was opened and allowed to breathe for 8 hours prior to serving.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, roasted meat, white pepper and slight floral

2015 Donelan Vénus, USA, California, Sonoma, Wine Review

This is a white Rhone blend of grapes; Rousanne and Viognier.  Golden in color.  This was served at red wine temperature which for me was ideal.  It really cut down on the acidity and brought out the aromatics.  YMMV.  The nose is really nice with candle wax, slight peach, floral notes and minerals.  On the palate, this is dry and full bodied.  A bit of honey nevertheless along with peach and vanilla.  Lovely texture.  Good finish.  This worked quite well with food.  There is a nice depth to this.  It drinks very "red" like.  


2007 Sine Qua Non Syrah Labels

Pop and pour, this wine is in a great place right now.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black raspberries, white pepper, slight roasted meats and with air, blueberries and floral notes.  Very nice.  On the palate, this is layered and complex.  Plenty of black raspberry fruit, slight blueberries along with an underlying char.  Great balance.  It is actually a bit soft in texture from what I expected which is not a bad thing.  Complex and almost seamless.  Not sure if it gets better, but certainly no hurry, this has decades left.  Great wine.  

2009 Sine Qua Non On The Lam, USA, California,Ventura, Wine Reviews

Like many white Rhone varietal wines, this has taken some time to really come around but it is drinking beautifully right now.  Pop and pour.  Light golden in color.  The nose is great.  Initially, there is some vanilla but that gives way to tropical fruits (mango) and some citrus.  Also a nice mineral streak and bits of wax.  On the palate, this is oily which is nice.  Citrus (lemon/orange) and mangoes continue.  Deep and layered.  Worked great with a tomato-fennel soup.  Long finish.  Really drank well but plenty of life left.  

Sixty White Wines Recommendations for Autumn

Autumn is here and for most of us, that means shifting from the lighter summer rosés, whites and BBQ Reds into something that matches with heartier food or sitting by the fire on a chilly fall evening. At every party though there is someone who says they only drink white wine. Sometimes he or she means sweet, but often dry wines work too. Just like red wines, however, there are white wines that work great for the autumn season too.