2017 Stolpman Trousseau Combe Pet'Nat, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Ballard Canyon, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2017
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

Tasted at a "Natural Wine" tasting at a local wine store.  Pet'Nat is short for Pétillant-naturel (natural sparkling) and is also known as méthode ancestrale.  It is a way that sparkling wines were historically produced having the wine bottled before the primary fermentation is finished, and without the addition of secondary yeasts or sugars.

2014 Jaffurs Syrah Thompson Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

These usually take at least five years and really ten to open up, but this is drinking very well right now, if a bit tight and young.  It is delicious.  Purple inc olor.  The nose has boysenberries, slight black olive, black pepper and slightly roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Juicy black raspberry fruit with underlying char and slight leathery notes.  Deep and tightly layered.  It takes some coaxing but unwinds in the glass.  Long finish.  Needs spicy or meat dishes or even roasted veggies.  Some upside, this needs about five years to peak and should have a decade m

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

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

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

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-

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

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

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

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

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

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

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

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

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

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

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

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