2014 Domaine de la Côte Pinot Noir Bloom's Field, USA, California, Santa Rita Hills, Wine Review

Very pale ruby in color.  Some Rose's are deeper in color.  Of course, with Pinot Noir, that is not really an indication of much about the wine.  The nose is dusty with cherries.  Some underlying earthiness.  Deep.  On the palate, this is already showing a nice complexity.  Soft texture.  Layers of cherries, bitter cherries and earth.  Balanced but not strong acidity.  Good finish.  This is very food friendly and should go with a wide variety of foods.  It seems of its place, that is to say, California with sunshine and fruit but it is made in a more earthy style.  It will be interesting to

2015 Carr Vineyards & Winery Syrah, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is dusty with black raspberries and some roasted meats.  On the palate, this has sweet black raspberry fruit.  It approaches cloying but not quite.  Also some blueberries.  This is a big jammy fruit filled wine.  It will probably a difficult food match but drinks easy and great on its own.  Hard to say how long it will age but drinking in the next five years should be safe.  

2013 Jaffurs Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, some black pepper and hints of violets.  On the palate, this has a great texture.  Lush and almost seamless.  Black raspberries layered with spice and slight roasted meats.  Good balance.  Nice finish.  This would work great with heartier foods or spicy ones too.  Drinking quite well though not yet at peak.  It might have some more upside as it continues to develop.  A real crowd pleaser but if drinking soon, give it some air.  Probably will peak in five years and be good for a decade or more after that.  

2014 Jaffurs Syrah, USA, California, Santa Barbara County, Wine Review

This is the basic Jaffurs Syrah.  It is one of the great values in warmer climate Syrah from California.  It typically retails for around $30.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats, slight violets and black pepper.  On the palate, there is a nice energy.  Bright black raspberry fruit.  Underlying roasted meats and earthiness.  Great texture.  This drinks great on release and continues to improve for a decade.  Goes well with medium or heartier foods and especially Indian foods.  If you are not on this wineries mailing list, you should be

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

2011 SonkinCellars Persona, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

WARNING - Biased review.  2011 was a difficult vintage.  The fruit was bursting open on the sorting line.  It never got as ripe as we wanted.  We ended up putting in a bit of Petite Sirah from Lodi to get the final wine where we wanted it to be.  This was the only vintage with PS in it.  In the end, we really liked the wine and were proud of the final product.  It is an outlier in many respects from our other wines though.  This wine has drunk well from the start whereas most of our wines have needed time.  Now at age 7, I think it is mid-peak.  It won't get any better and should be at this

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

WARNING - Biased Review.  this wine continues to drink well now that it has finally re-awoken from its slumber.  Purple in color.  The nose is very nice with black olives, black raspberries, roasted meats and slight floral notes.  Except for the bright fruit, it shows very northern Rhone-like.  On the palate, this is deep with layers that unwind in the glass.  Earthy notes along with black raspberry fruit.  Good acidity.  Works with heartier foods.  This is closing in on peak but should have a decade left so no hurry.  A bit of air before serving is a good idea but this no longer needs a lo

2016 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County, USA, California, Wine Review

Light golden in color.  The nose is nice with lemon cream and some minerals.  A bit buttery and slightly oaky.  On the palate, this is nice acidity.  Lemon with cream.  Decent balance.  Works well with food.  Slight depth and complexity; probably won't get better.  Good drinking right now.  A nice compromise for those who like buttery/oaky and those who don't.  

2005 Jaffurs Syrah Upslope, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

This is a special blend made from the best barrels of Jaffur's Thompson, Verna's and Bien Nacido Vineyards.  Deep purple in color.  The nose is very nice.  Black raspberries, grilled meat with a bit of burnt crust, and white pepper.  On the palate, this is seriously ripe.  It will not be for everyone.  Not so much powerful (although it is) bit ripe/sweet.  It took some time to get used to and then it was wonderful.  Sweet and jammy black raspberry fruit.  There is some depth here.  Still drinking quite young.  Nice finish.  This makes a great drink on the back deck but may prove to be a mor

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