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

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

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

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

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

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

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

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

Vintage: 
2007
Score: 
97
Grade: 
A+

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

Vintage: 
2009
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

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.

America's Best Rhone Style White Wines: 11th Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting Reviewed

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series. Like many lovers of Rhone style wines from America, we have just returned from the 2008 edition of the annual Rhone Rangers tasting event at Fort Mason in San Francisco (March 18). This was the 11th year that the Rhone Rangers , a group of about 200 American producers of wines using 22 varietals traditional to France’s Rhone Valley, have shown off their wines at this public tasting event. This year, about 138 wineries presented approximately 520 wines. During the tasting, we enthusiastically tasted as many wines as we could within the 5 hours (3 public and 2 trade/media) the event was open. We tasted 30 white wines first, and then we tasted 50 reds. We skipped the rosés, not because we don’t love them, but because we didn’t have time. Kudos to Rhone Rangers for providing eco-friendly paper spit cups instead of the plastic cups so common at other tastings. We divided our attention between wines and producers we have known previously, producers new to us, and specific bottlings we didn’t already know. While we found many wines to admire, we are sure we missed other gems.

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