2016 Halcon Vineyards Esquisto, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is a GSM blend of 70/10/20.  Still young, it needs some time, especially for the Syrah and Mourvedre to come out.  Ruby in color, slightly cloudy.  The nose has black cherries and baking spices.  On the palate, this is more raspberries but the baking spice are present.  Smooth and easy drinking but also some depth.  Medium bodied.  Good acidity.  Needs a few years and should have a decade more.  Will work on its own and worked great with a stuffed eggplant dish but roasted foods in general.  

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

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

This was in magnum and opened to celebrate the engagement of our friends daughter.  The non-wine geek crowd seemed to really enjoy it (as did the wine geeks present).  Purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, some black pepper and slight bacon fat.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.  Juicy, slick and medium to full bodied.  Plenty of boysenberry fruit over a bit of char and slight dry earthiness.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This is coming around now and just about at peak.  Even in 750ml format there is no hurry though, this should have another decade.  It will go well wit

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

2016 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$33.00USD

Halcon wines are some of the best values in California wine.  They are top quality cooler climate Syrahs being made at lower alcohol levels in a deliberate style.  At the same time, they are not short on fruit or deliciousness.  They really do take some time to develop though and cellaring or air is highly recommended.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has boysenberries, slight black pepper, slight fried bacon, and a bit of charred earth.  On the palate, this has a medium body.  Tightly layered, it unwinds in the glass.  Nice boysenberry fruit with an underlying minerality.  It s

2016 Halcon Vineyards Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$30.00USD

This is the first Pinot I have tried from Halcon, one of my favorite Rhone varietal producers.  This is excellent.  On the worldwide scale of Pinots it is on the larger size but certainly not for California.  Purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose has black cherries and sour cherries.  Very nice.  On the palate, this has a wonderful texture.

2017 Artezin Zinfandel Mendocino County, USA, California, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
88
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is an inexpensive wine made from 85% Zinfandel and 15% Petite Sirah.  It is aged in one and two year old French oak barrels.  This is a nice wine to serve at parties and cook outs.  It will be popular with people who enjoy a nice glass of red.  Purple/ruby in color.  The nose has black raspberries, raspberries, some black cherries along with a bit of cola and spice.  On the palate, black cherries, black raspberries and a bit of black pepper.  Easy drinking.  Nothing harsh.  Not a lot of acidity.  Ripe fruit.  This is a wine to drink now.  

2018 Bonterra Young Red, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is an unusual wine.  It takes some of the Rose this winery produces and hard presses the grapes (presumably after the juice intended for the Rose is separated).  Hard pressing is basically squeezing to get a bit more juice.  This is typically tannic.  The difference is they then adds in Malbec juice to the wine.  The wine is barrel fermented and then aged for a bit in stainless steel.  The result is a young, lighter wine that is not too unlike a Beaujolais.  It proved quite popular at our www.Intowine.com tasting.  We liked this a bi

2015 Rhys Chardonnay Anderson Valley, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

I love Rhys Chardonnays, however, this is not at their top level.  That said, it is half the price of those and this is very much in the style of those making this also a wine I love.  Golden/green in color.  The nose has vanilla and lemon curd with a nice minerality.  On the palate, this has a creamy texture.  Minerals with lemon curd.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  There is some oak showing here but not much.  It needs a bit of heft for a food pairing but will go nicely with heavier fish and fowl dishes.  Great on its own too.  

2016 Halcon Vineyards Petite Sirah Tierra Theopolis Vineyard, USA, California, Mendocino, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$32.00USD

I absolutely loved this wine.  And for $32, this is a great value.  What I like about Petite Syrah is that it is not as boisterous as Syrah but in a similar vein.  The two grapes are not (at least closely) related.  Many times it seems Petite producers try to "correct" for this and get too much ripeness.  It is a fine line, but this wine really does a wonderful job of expressing the true qualities of Petite.  It does need some air and time to open, so keep that in mind if drinking now.  Or better yet, cellar a few bottles and open them in ten years!  Inky purple in color.  The nose has blac

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