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 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

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

2012 SonkinCellars Unmasked, USA, California, Yorkville Highlands, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

WARNING-Biased Review.  This is tighter than most 2012's but starting to open up a bit.  Still, a decant for a couple of hours is not a bad idea.  Purple in color with ruby swirls.  The nose has boysenberries, black olives, white pepper and charred wood.  On the palate, this is lean but puts on weight in the glass.  Deep boysenberry fruit with underlying char.  Food friendly with heartier and spicy food.  Good finish.  This is nearing peak but easily has a decade plus to go.  

2010 Halcon Vineyards Syrah Alturas, USA, California, Yorkville Highlands

Vintage: 
2010
Score: 
92
Grade: 
A-

This continues to develop and open.  It is finally at a point where it can be opened without too much air.  This bottle was pop and pour and enjoyed over several hours.  A lovely cooler climate Syrah.  Purple in color.  The nose has roasted meats, black raspberries and black olives. On the palate, this opens in the glass with a nice complexity.  Medium tannins.  Nice boysenberry fruit with undertones of roasted meats and earthiness.  Good finish.  Works with heartier and spicy foods quite well.  Nice finish.  Should be good to go for the next seven to ten years.  

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

Vintage: 
2011
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Halcon is making great wines just north of Napa in the Yorkville Highlands.  The wines are stunning values and everyone should sign up for their mailing list and e-mails.  This is a cooler climate Syrah and 2011 was even a bit cooler than typical.  Purple in color.  The nose has black raspberries, slight bacon fat, grilled herbs and a floral note.  There is concentrated fruit but this is more about the minerality.  Complex, this is not yet at peak but getting close.  On the palate, this is medium bodied with some tannins.  Black raspberry fruit.  Sinewy texture.  Great acidity.  Nice finish