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

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

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+

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

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

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

2006 Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

This is starting to come into its own but still is young and really needs more time.  Pop and pour, this should have been decanted.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, an underlying char with some peppery notes.  On the palate, this is concentrated but has a lot of black raspberry fruit.  Dense.  Medium tannins.  Worked well with spicy Chile Relenos.  It could use a few more years of cellaring and there is some slight upside for that.  

2015 Jaffurs Syrah, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Jaffurs makes a lot of wine, this is their basic Syrah and it is one of my favorite value wines from California.  77% Syrah, 9% Grenache, 9% Petite Sirah and the Mourvèdre.  This is warm climate Syrah that will drink early and cellar well.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, grilled meats, slight black pepper and a bit of roasted herbs.  On the palate, this has a lush texture.  It is delicious and always a crowd pleaser.  Deep with complexity that opens in the glass but will emerge with more cellaring.  Great on its own or with hearty of fatty foods.  Definite upside potentia

2013 Andremily Syrah No. 2, USA, California, Santa Barbara County, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
98
Grade: 
A+

Opened and allowed to breathe for 12 hours before serving.  It could have used double that.  That said, this is a spectacular Syrah from one of the best, if young track record, producers.  Inky purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, roasted meats and slight roasted herbs, violets and yet still black olives.  On the palate, a wonderful texture.  Great purity of fruit; black raspberries with some black pepper, char and slight meatiness.  Deep, it unwinds in the glass.  Pin point balance.  Worked great with food.  Spectacular wine.  

2012 Jaffurs Syrah Verna's, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A

Compared to the 2010 Verna's, this seems to be a bit more elegant with more depth.  Both are great though.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, leather, grilled meats and white pepper.  On the palate, this has lots of energy.  Unwinds into layers in the glass of fruit and earth.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This will continue to improve for a while.  If drinking now, give it some air.  

2012 Jaffurs Syrah Thompson Vineyard, USA, California, Santa Barbara, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

Purple in color.  The nose is great with black raspberries, black pepper, and some roasted meats.  Very deep.  On the  palate, this is still young but drinking great.  Black raspberry fruit with some roasted herbs and some spice.  Great texture.  Deep and tightly layered.  Long finish.  This will develop more complexity but if you like lush, delicious warm climate Syrah, this one is fine now.   

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