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

2018 Bonterra Vineyards Rosé, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2018
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

Bonterra specializes in using organically grown grapes.  Pale silvery salmon pink in color.  The nose is light but has some nice strawberries.  On the palate, the fruit is more watermelon and quite pronounced.  Juicy watermelons at that.  Very refreshing.  There is a slight bitterness on the finish but overall this is a quality rose that is very enjoyable.  This is (well) under $20 and a very nice value.  While some say we should drink Rose all year round, I can't wait for the weather to warm up and sip some on a warm evening outside.  This will sip great on its own or work well with fruit

2013 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, California, Mendocino, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$50.00USD

Biased review.  This wine is now starting to be approachable.  Pop and pour, it is still young but in my biased opinion, showing well.  Of course, part of this is because having made the wine, it was made in a style I love.  Most of the fruit is from the Halcon Vineyard.  This is a cooler climate Syrah.  Inky purple in color.  The nose has boysenberries, slight bacon fact, leather and roasted meats.  A nice of gravel as well.  On the palate, I love the texture.  Not a monster, but juicy fruit without being over blown.  Medium tannins.  Great acidity.  This will work with roasted dishes, cas

2012 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$29.96USD

Halcon makes some great cooler climate Syrah's at very fair pricing.  Definitely check them out.  They do take some time to mature and this one was just starting to hit its stride though it was better on Day 2.  If drinking the 2012 now, give it a few hours of air.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight black pepper, a hint of bacon fat, and slight earthy notes.  On the palate, this is lean and mean as opposed to being a fruit bomb.  Yet, there is persistent black raspberry fruit with a nice underlying char.  It is deep but will need time to show more layering.  That said

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

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

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

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

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.  

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