2014 Bonterra Vineyards The Butler Single Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

This is made from a Biodynamic vineyard from Rhone styles grapes.  It is a blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Zinfandel.  It retails for around $45.  This was tasted over two days and significantly more open and better on Day 2.  It is young and in need of a good decant or more cellaring.  That said, it is very nice now.  Purple in color.  On the nose, there is boysenberry, black cherries, some black pepper and coffee grounds.  On the palate, this is concentrated but not a big wine.  Boysenberry and black cherry fruit.  Underlying peppery-ness and smoke.  Some medium tannins.  Good aci

2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Bearwallow Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Anderson Valley, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is great with black cherries, slight cola and a bit of roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Black cherry fruit.  Very clean.  Still not yet at maturity, it may still have some upside.  Good balance with nice acidity.  Would work great with steakfish or fowl.  Rhys started commercially in 2004 and there wines have gotten better over time, but even the earlier ones seem to age quite well.  

2013 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, Mendocino, Wine Review

WARNING-Biased Review.  This is perhaps the most backward wine we have made.  Purple in color, slight ruby band at the rim.  The nose has boysenberries, charred wood, spice, and slight violet notes.  On the palate, this is tight.  Medium tannins.  Deep but hard to see the bottom.  Boysenberry fruit.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This really needs more air or cellar time.  It works with spicy or hearty foods at the moment.  Another five years and it should be opening up nicely.  Once it opens, the fruit is pinpoint.  There is a lot of potential for upside here with proper cellaring.  

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

WARNING-Biased Review.  This is tighter than most 2012's but starting to open up a bit.  Still, a decant for a couple of hours is not a bad idea.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose has boysenberries, black olives, white pepper and charred wood.  On the palate, this is lean but puts on weight in the glass.  Deep boysenberry fruit with underlying char.  Food friendly with heartier and spicy food.  Good finish.  This is nearing peak but easily has a decade plus to go.  

2017 Bonterra Vineyards Rosé, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Pale salmon/orange in color.  The nose is very tight.  With air, it shows some light strawberries.  On the palate, this has oranges and strawberries.  Slightly tart.  This is a bit innocuous but it also works easily with a very wide variety of foods.  The grapes used are organic.  No faults to this wine but nothing super exciting either.  That said, at $16 retail (or less), this is fairly priced.  

2017 Bonterra Young Red, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

This is an interesting wine.  Apparently, they hard press the must from their Grenache based Rose wine to get more juice.  Typically, this is a tannic, more colorful juice but lacking some of the stuffing and nuances.  Then Malbec is added back to the wine presumably to give it more freshness and character.  In any event, the resulting wine is quite interesting and at $16, a very nice value.  It is made from organically grown grapes.  It has a very deep ruby color to it almost, but not quite opaque.  On the nose, this has dark cherries, a slight bubble gum note, and cherry juice.  A bit lig

2011 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Halcon is making great wines just north of Napa in the Yorkville Highlands.  The wines are stunning values and everyone should sign up for their mailing list and e-mails.  This is a cooler climate Syrah and 2011 was even a bit cooler than typical.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fat, grilled herbs and a floral note.  There is concentrated fruit but this is more about the minerality.  Complex, this is not yet at peak but getting close.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with some tannins.  Black raspberry fruit.  Sinewy texture.  Great acidity.  Nice finish

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

Biased review as this is our own winery.  I post this as guidance for anyone thinking of opening a bottle.  Purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, grilled meat, black pepper, slight iodine.  On the palate, this is still young.  It needs air or cellar time.  Medium tannins.  Juicy boysenberry fruit.  An underlying char.  Good finish.  Very food friendly but works on its own.  Still should see some upside.