Tasting Notes

  • 2009 Copain Viognier Tous Ensemble – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (3/6/2011)
    One of the leanest CA viogniers I can recall.
    Pale yellow color, clear.
    Nose of lemon, stone fruit.
    Crisp acidity in mouth. Not something I’d blind taste guess as a Viognier. No vinification or tech notes on site, guessing stainless and no lees stirring,
    as bright as this is.
    Pair with seafood, non rich stuff (aka not crab)
    more reviews at www.simplehedonisms.com (89 points)
  • 2008 Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz – Viognier – Australia, Victoria, Central Victoria (3/6/2011)
    so so for the 9.99 price, dumped half, didn’t keep well. (84 points)
  • 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Muscat Ca’ del Solo – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County (3/6/2011)
    slightly off dry, floral, aromatic wine. I don’t drink a lot of Muscat. Honeysuckle, ripe peach. Rich viscosity in mouth balanced with striking acidity. Pair with spicy food.
  • 2008 Quivira Mourvedre – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/5/2011)
    one of best mourvedre (hard to find) I have had from SoCo (90 points)
  • 2009 Folk Machine Pinot Noir The Crooner – USA, California, North Coast, Potter Valley (3/4/2011)
    Color: Medium Red, Mostly clear

    On the Nose: Strawberry, red fruit, a bit of spice

    In the Mouth: Wonderful. Strawberry, red fruit, Rhubarb. Very modest tannins, enough for structure and balance, elegant. Not fruit forward or a cherry bomb, or masquerading as Syrah. A Pinot lovers Pinot, and at a price that won’t break the bank. Good acidity, velvet mouth feel, nice lingering finish. Modest 13.5% alcohol.

    Amazing Pinot for price

    only 10 barrels (250 cases using Sonoma math) made. (90 points)

  • 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant – USA, California (3/2/2011)
    Love this classic Rhone blend , sorry at dinner no tasting notes (91 points)
  • 2009 Kinero Grenache Blanc Alice Blackseth Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (3/1/2011)
    Still one of most face GBs still. Honeyed peach, citrus. New 2010
    Release is now out in 750s (no longer doing 500 ml)
    (91 points)
  • 2009 Inman Family Pinot Gris – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (3/1/2011) 90 points
  • 2009 Breggo Cellars Pinot Gris Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (3/1/2011)
    Petroleum, citrus, pineapple. Good texture, mouthfeel, richness. Tiny hint of nearly sub threshold sweetness. 15 % alc hidden well. (89 points)
  • 2006 Duxoup Charbono – USA, California, Napa Valley (3/1/2011)
    Better than last tasting, bottle age helped. Nose of cherry, spice, red fruit. Decent front and mid palate, but so so finish. (87 points)
  • 2008 Vallevò Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – Italy, Abruzzi, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (3/1/2011)
    Ok for $8 good ruby red color; nose of cherry, red fruit, plum; decent mid palate, red fruit. Bit of oak and tannins; needs food. (86 points)
  • 1998 Gloria Ferrer Carneros Cuvée – Late Disgorged – USA, California, Sonoma County (2/28/2011)
    Not sure what pundit rates an amazing rates a gorgeous 10+ year old bubbles an 84. Stunning wine. (91 points)
  • 2007 Parducci Petite Sirah True Grit – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (2/28/2011)
    Loving this wine, second night, rocking it. New hope for petite sirah ! (91 points)
  • 2007 Parducci Petite Sirah True Grit – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (2/27/2011)
    To The Eye: Inky purple, midnight dark, no light passes through

    On The Nose: Blackberry, spice, white pepper

    In the Mouth: Kudo’s to Parducci for a Petite Sirah one can drink without tongue shaving after. There is no doubt this is a Petite Sirah, but its very balanced, and no less tannic than many other red wines, including varietals that shouldn’t be.

    Dark chocolate, modest (not overripe) blackberry. Tannins are present, but not overwhelming. I’d love to toss a bottle into the cellar for a few years to compare, but this is a bottle most will enjoy right now.

    Food Pairing: Any meat with a bit of fat to meld with the tannins and structure, the classic selection being a ribeye. But the wine is balanced enough for a broader spectrum of food and grilled meats.

    88% Petite Sirah, 12% Syrah. 14.5 % alcohol, 24 months oak aged, 1938 cases produced.

    full review: http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/4266 (89 points)

  • 2009 Inman Family Pinot Gris – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/25/2011)
    Paired awesome Willi s Wine Bar crab tacos (91 points)
  • 2003 Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (2/25/2011) 90 points
  • 2009 Inman Family Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/24/2011)
    This has quickly become one of my fave CA & RRV chardonnays’ hands down. Burgundian in nature. If you turn your nose at chardonnay try this, will be surprised. 50% Inspiration Vineyards fruit. Pale yellow straw color, light, vibrant, clear. Nose of lemon, wet stone. Wonderful in mouth; green apple, hint of pear, wonderful minerality. Super lingering pleasant finish. only 12.8% alc! Must restock before the 335 cases made are gone. (92 points)
  • 2007 Longboard Vineyards Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/22/2011) 89 points
  • 2008 Domaine Lafond Lirac Roc-Epine – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Lirac (2/22/2011)
    Excellent value Rhone blend 70% grenache 30% syrah. Sells out immediately in small wine shop each year, snagged a case.
    Purply color, tad hazy. Red fruit, spice. good finish. like it solo or with food. (89 points)
  • 2008 Domaine Lafond Lirac Roc-Epine – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Lirac (2/22/2011)
    Good value Rhone blend 70% grenache 30% syrah. Sells out immediately in small wine shop each year, snagged a case.
    Purply color, tad hazy. Red fruit, spice. good finish. like it solo or with food. (89 points)
  • 2009 Carina Cellars Grenache Blanc Tierra Alta Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (2/22/2011)
    great Grenache Blanc discovery (yes peeps this IS a varietal) from Paso. Golden straw color. Honey, melon nose. Apple, honey, citrus in mouth. Nice body. Lingering finish. recommend. (89 points)
  • 2009 Sheldon Graciano Ripken Vineyard – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (2/13/2011) 92 points
  • 2009 Inman Family Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/13/2011)
    09 Chard is brilliant. Light, balanced, minerality, Burgundian. (91 points)
  • 2009 Inspiration Vineyards Viognier Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/13/2011) 91 points
  • 2007 Canas Feast Syrah – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (2/12/2011)
    Gorgeous Oregon Syrah co fermented with Viognier. Dark fruit, berry, earth; velvety. (90 points)
  • 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc – USA, California (2/9/2011)
    LOVE this Roussanne, Grenache blanc blend. Brought to dinner. (91 points)
  • 2006 Domaine les Pallières Gigondas – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Gigondas (2/9/2011)
    Very good Gigondas, brought to dinner; medium purple opaque purple, spice, black fruit on nose, palate; grenache shows through; good finish. recommend. (90 points)
  • 2006 Preston of Dry Creek Valley Syrah-Sirah – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (2/8/2011)
    I concur with the other reviewers the 10% P Sirah integrates nicely. Was expecting more of a tannin bomb.

    Dark purple color, opaque, guessing unfiltered?

    Love the nose: smoked meat, red fruit

    Great in the mouth, and this is newly opened, pre food.

    Great structure, balance, tannins are soft, no oak domination, black and red berry fruits, syrah dominates.

    This would rock with lamb; grilling tri-tip, to pair with shortly. Wish I had bought a 2nd bottle, maybe sold out now. (90 points)

  • 2009 Thumbprint Cellars Viognier – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (2/6/2011)
    Yellow straw color; nose of honeysuckle, stone fruit, lime; lush in mouth; peach, melon; good viognier for California; not overly floral or flabby, tad ripe but very drinkable and enjoyable. Excellent. (89 points)
  • 2008 Paul Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos St. Jean – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (2/6/2011) 88 points
  • 2002 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée Vintage Reserve – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (2/6/2011)
    Mimosa n eggs!
  • 2008 Dutton Estate Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Thomas Road Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/5/2011)
    To The Eye: Garnet. Modestly opaque, unfiltered.
    On The Nose: Cranberry, black cherry, spice, and a hint of earth
    In The Mouth: Bold front palate; black fruit, cherry; wonderful mid palate, lush, nice mouth feel. Fruit carries through to a nice finish, with lingering acidity.
    Food Pairing: This Pinot has enough heft to stand up to a number of meats – Lamb. Filet Mignon. Duck.
    Other Info: 14.4 % Alcohol. Only 375 cases made

    full review:
    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/3972 (91 points)

  • 2009 d’Arenberg the Hermit Crab Marsanne Viognier – Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale (2/5/2011)
    This is entered wrong; Viognier is the primary varietal; 72%; 28% Marsanne.
    My relationship with Rhones from Oz is still exploratory and in the courtship stage. My palate is not fan of the commonly found over ripe, flabby Shiraz and Viognier one can pick up quite easily.

    The 90 WS didn’t really carry a lot of weight, and the <$15 price more scared me. It’s not a value if I pour it down the drain. But I was wandering through K&L Wine awaiting will call pick up and thought why not, Marsanne always adds interesting character to Rhone white blends, especially viognier based.

    Color: pale yellow straw; very clear
    Nose: Abundant; white peach, green apple, guava, lime; oyster shell
    Mouth: Lush; big stone fruit, citrus, melon. Some minerality. Good acidity at finish, only 13% alcohol.

    Recommend. a Quaffer alone; have to ponder more what food I would pair with this besides shellfish.
    I’d buy again, would please a wide variety of palates. (89 points)

  • 2008 La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (2/4/2011)
    bottle gifted to me, opened to pair with crab; better than expected and more restrained for a high volume chard. Medium yellow straw, nose of white peach, hint of coconut;
    good fruit in mouth front, mid and finish; stone fruit, citrus, guava. decent acidity at finish. lets continue dialing back the oaky butter bombs and more people will enjoy a sub $20 chard like this (86 points)
  • 2005 Château de Lugagnac – France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur (2/4/2011) 84 points
  • 2007 Le temps des cerises Un pas de côté – France, Languedoc Roussillon (2/2/2011)
    Grenache (100%?) lighter red color; nose of spice, cranberry; black cherry, vanilla, red fruit on palate; decent finish; curious how this opens up (88 points)
  • 2007 Neely Pinot Noir Hidden Block – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (2/2/2011)
    Floral, sweet, almost seems tad off (86 points)
  • 2008 Eric Ross Marsanne Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/30/2011) 87 points
  • 2009 Folie à Deux Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley (1/29/2011)
    To the Eye: Clear, vibrant yellow straw

    On the Nose: Green apple, tropical fruit, vanilla, hint of coconut

    In The Mouth: Rich mouth feel. Citrus, pineapple, peach. Good mid palate, and lingering acidity at finish. Oak is present, but modest. (A tad surprised since was some American oak.) Good balance.

    Food Pairing: Pairing mine tonight with my seasonal favorite dungeness crab. Try crab cakes, chicken or pasta with cream sauce.

    full review:
    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/3954 (88 points)

  • 2006 Tercero Syrah Tierra Alta Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (1/28/2011) 89 points
  • 2008 Sensorium Wines Viognier Mélange du Rhone Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (1/28/2011)
    I want to love this viognier more than I do, can’t figure out why; it maybe an off palate night. Classic viognier floral nose, peach, stone fruit. Drinks well but doesn’t woo me, tonight at least. (88 points)
  • 2008 David Girard Coda Blanc – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado (1/23/2011)
    Awesome white Rhone blend; varietals in other review; stone fruit, peach, great mouthfeel; lingering finish (90 points)
  • 2002 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée Vintage Reserve – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (1/22/2011)
    Awesome bubbles for first night in the new house! Love the 02 Royal Cuvee;
    (91 points)
  • 2009 Hahn Estates Grenache GSM – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (1/21/2011)
    Great QPR. This blend is 60% Grenache, 37% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre

    To the Eye: Medium purple, the Syrah coming through

    On the Nose: Gorgeous – The grenache delivers with its spice, black fruit. The tiniest hint of bacon fat (Syrah or Mourvedre) and sniff of the Grenache hard candy scent.

    In The Mouth: Lush, full. Layers of fruit across the tongue. Black fruit, fig, white pepper. Delivers with good texture, mid palate, and then lingers a bit at finish with acidity and soft tannins. Modest 14% alcohol. An easy to enjoy wine that doesn’t require a thesis.

    Food Pairing: Grilled meats come to mind. A steak, grilled lamb, or a burger even.

    Recommendation: This wine is $10-12 a bottle on average. It can be a quest to find good domestic Red Rhone blends at under the$20 price point, that I’d drink regularly, but this is one I could. It reminds me of the Ortman Red Rhone blend I reviewed last month; it’s enjoyable and easy to drink, at a great price. Some nights I love complex, deeper brooding wines, some nights I want an comfy sweater.

    full review: http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/3920 (89 points)

  • 2008 Arada Albariño – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley (1/20/2011)
    medium yellow straw color; pineapple, melon citrus. Lush in mouth. Slightly sweet on finish, lingering, pleasant. perhaps enough to pair with some spicy food, but quaffing solo right now :) (90 points)
  • 2007 Armida Pinot Noir Parmelee-Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County (1/20/2011)
    sorry didn’t record tasting notes; but better than I expected from Armida (89 points)
  • 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Blanc Ca’ del Solo – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County (1/17/2011)
    A calming glass of GB in a maelstrom of a week. Darker Yellow Straw; Nose of lime, hint of stone fruit & honeysuckle. Lush in mouth (more than I recall last time) with excellent mouth watery acidity, but good viscosity, weight, presence, mid palate, and finish. This should get interesting with some time too perhaps. At $15 for Wine Club, a steal. (90 points)
  • 2007 Les Halos de Jupiter Vacqueyras – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vacqueyras (1/17/2011)
    young but drinkable, approachable. Black fruit, spice, tiny bit hot on finish, but very pleasant front palate, modest mid. (88 points)
  • 2008 Luli Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (1/15/2011)
    Bought blind from K&L Wine; Santa Lucia Pinot is supposed to be big I guess and this measures up. Dark red, nose of cranberry, cherry cola and black tea, red and black fruit in mouth, decent finish. Good for 18-20, better with
    Food. (87 points)
  • 2008 J Vineyards & Winery Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/11/2011)
    Nose of cranberry, spice; bright cherry, Red fruit in mouth. Not overly big or extracted. Not complex but very enjoyable, simple, elegant.
    (89 points)
  • 2007 Penley Estate Shiraz Hyland – Australia, South Australia, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra (1/9/2011)
    Everything that’s disgusting about “shiraz” and why it killed Syrah to anyone with a palate. (72 points)
  • 2008 Joseph Swan Vineyards Pinot Noir Cuvée de Trois – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/8/2011) 91 points
  • 2009 Holly’s Hill Patriarche Blanc – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County (1/6/2011)
    Awesome white Rhone blend 50% Roussanne 25% grenache Blanc, viognier.
    Floral,white peach, honeysuckle.
    Amazing citrus, stone fruit, awesome mid palate, texture, mouthfeel; finish of hazelnut. (92 points)
  • 2007 Anglim Mourvedre Hastings Ranch – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (1/6/2011)
    Deep Red color; good nose of cranberry Raspberry, spice; red n black
    fruit , hint of vanilla, tad hot on finish, with hint of sweetness. Also Dial back the oak a tad perhaps.
    (88 points)
  • 2009 Holly’s Hill Grenache Noir – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County (1/5/2011)
    gorgeous, feminine, aromatic, grenache.
    Brick red, (but translucent) color is slightly darker than aroma/flavor profile belies.
    Aromatic nose of spice, cranberry, black cherry, hint of hard candy.
    Sensual, lush in the mouth; red fruit, spice, raspberry, hint of cranberry. Solid in front, mid palate, lingering finish.
    Paired with roasted chicken; versatile with food and highly quaffable solo. (92 points)
  • 2009 Tahbilk Marsanne – Australia, Victoria, Central Victoria, Nagambie Lakes (1/5/2011)
    My quest for single varietal Marsanne I love continues. This is a harder varietal standalone, yet shines in a blend with Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc. I opened and tasted the first night, and after reading notes and experience with the varietal let it set 24 hours.

    Clear, straw color. The nose opened nicely; lemon, green apple, some stone fruit and white peach.Its nice when it first hits the palate, but suffers a bit on the mid palate, is ok on the finish. Barrel fermentation, lees stirring, might help to give mouthfeel, texture, density.

    But for the money, and for something bright and acidic, this does well, and drank better with some time. (88 points)

  • 2009 Qupé Marsanne – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (1/4/2011)
    Purchased this as part of my pursuit of good single varietal Marsanne. (Perhaps fortunately) this is 15% Roussanne, as it drank much better than he other 100% Marsanne compared with.

    Pale straw color; Nose of white peach, honeysuckle, and a hint of petroleum. The Marsanne and Roussanne are barrel fermented; and the Roussanne aged in one year oak. The Roussanne props up the Marsanne nicely with good texture, mouthfeel, complexity.

    Citrus, stone fruit in mouth, with a nice finish thats lingering, with hazelnut.
    Suspect this will get better with some air, or some aging.

    Drinking great alone, would pair well with a broad range of foods.

    Need to get my hands on the 100% Roussanne now (90 points)

  • 2008 David Girard Grenache Eldorado Estate Vineyard – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County (1/3/2011)
    gorgeous, feminine grenache. light red color; Nose of strawberry, red fruit, spice. red fruit and cherry in mouth. lingering acidity on finish, great with food or standalone (90 points)
  • 2009 Château l’Ermitage Costières-de-Nîmes – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Costières-de-Nîmes (1/3/2011)
    excellent value Rhone White imported from @KLWines . 60% roussanne, 20 % each grenache blanc and viognier. Nose of guava, apricot. Stone fruit and good minerality in mouth. Good viscosity, nice finish. 13% abv
  • 2008 La Clarine Farms Grenache Blanc – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (1/2/2011)
    Lucky enough to have shared a bottle, bottle time has done this right; complex. GB is worth cellaring, hoping Hank makes more in 2011 (92 points)
  • 2008 Tablas Creek Mourvedre – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (1/1/2011)
    One of my new fave Mourvedre.vibrant red color; classic Mourvedre nose, smoked meat, bacon; amazing fruit, awesome mid palate. At dinner table so thats it til a sit down review, cheers! (92 points)
  • 2007 Château de Vaudieu Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/31/2010)
    Gorgeous CdP. Black cherry, earthy, fig; incredibly well balanced, sensuous; silky finish. A steal for $35 from K&L. A Rhone treat for sure.
    http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1059022 (93 points)
  • 2009 Château Miraval Côteaux Varois Clara Lua – France, Provence, Côteaux Varois (12/31/2010)
    incorrectly listed as Ugni Blanc, its 95% Rolle and 5% Grenache blanc. Rolle is also know as vermentino in Italy. (87 points)
  • 2008 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/29/2010)
    Can’t agree with tasting notes this is Rombauer like butter bomb; its clearly a Chard with oak and ML but modest. Light straw yellow. Nose of tropical fruit, peach, stone fruit. Guava,coconu, tropical, melon in mouth; nice balance and viscosity. Trace of minerality, good acidity at finish Paired like a champ last night with crab; solo glass next day, gassed, drinks nicely. (90 points)
  • 2007 Anne Amie Pinot Noir L’Iris – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (12/28/2010) 91 points
  • 2008 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/28/2010) 91 points
  • 2009 Wind Gap Wines Trousseau Gris Fanucchi Wood Road Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/28/2010) 89 points
  • 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Clos de Gilroy – USA, California (12/27/2010)
    Its almost a crime this Grenache based blend is <$20. Red fruit, rhubard, spice, even better second day. One of my top choices for an ‘everyday’ wine. (Everyday thanks to the low price.) Paired awesome with a red sauce pizza. (90 points)
  • 2007 Domaine Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/27/2010) 89 points
  • 2006 Tin Barn Vineyards Syrah Coryelle Fields Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (12/27/2010)
    To the Eye: Inky deep purple, classic Syrah color, impenetrable to light

    On the Nose: Smoked meat, bacon fat. Layered beneath is blackberry, black fruit.

    In The Mouth: The extra aging time helps this Syrah show well – good balance of fruit, tannins, and mouthfeel. The black fruit carries over from nose to palate, and is immediately present, but without being oppressive or jammy. A hint of sweetness from 50% new French oak, complementary to the wine. (Syrah is a varietal that generally benefits from some new oak., even with my bias to neutral/used oak.) The finish is pleasant, lingering. Modest 14.8 % alcohol.

    Food Pairing: Most red meats and stews. Smoked meats, turkey. BBQ. Lamb.

    full review:
    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/3797

  • 2006 Bonny Doon Vineyard Riesling Riesling To Live Ca’ del Solo – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County (12/26/2010) 89 points
  • 2007 Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge Red Wine – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (12/25/2010)
    Purported red (mostly) rhone blend, varietals & % not disclosed, perhaps some Zin. Better than expected for price. Nice vibrant brick red color. Black cherry, black fruit, hint of cranberry on nose; pleasant in mouth from start to finish; red and black fruit, good mid palate, finish. Balanced, minimal presence pf tannins, easy to drink. A quaffer. (88 points)
  • 2008 Domaine Combier Crozes-Hermitage – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage (12/24/2010)
    Drinks surprisingly well this young ; bacon fat, roasted meat, black fruit, hint of olive, minimal tannin, approachable. (90 points)
  • 2006 Marimar Estate (Marimar Torres) Chardonnay Acero Don Miguel Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/24/2010)
    Not your standard unoaked chard; stone fruit and citrus, pineapple on nose; great minerality and mid palate, lingering finish; texture and mouthfeel; partial ML and lees stirring?
    Great wine, diverse food pairing options (89 points)
  • 2006 Seghesio Family Vineyards Sangiovese Chianti Station – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (12/23/2010) 89 points
  • 2002 Michaud Chardonnay The Pinnacles – USA, California, Central Coast, Chalone (12/23/2010) 88 points
  • 2009 Cartograph Gewürztraminer Floodgate Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/22/2010)
    To the Eye: Vibrant, pale yellow straw. Clear.

    On the Nose: Aromas of peach, stone fruit, honeysuckle wash over you.

    In The Mouth: I am immediately struck by the pleasant viscosity of the wine. Its pleasing immediately on the palate and elegant. Honeydew immediately comes to mind. It holds through on the mid palate with lime and peach, and then finishes with a lingering kiss.

    full review:
    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/3756 (91 points)

  • 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Volant – USA, California (12/20/2010) 92 points
  • 2009 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (12/20/2010) 92 points
  • 2007 Domaine Faury St. Joseph Blanc – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (12/18/2010) 91 points
  • 2007 Lynmar Chardonnay Estate Grown – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/18/2010)
    Had this the other night with some dungeness crab. Amazing pairing and a wonderful wine; Lynmar can make some bigger style chard; this was wonderfully balanced, great texture, mouthfeel. Wish I had taken detailed tasting notes. Also wish it wasn’t my last bottle. :( (91 points)
  • 2005 Duxoup Sangiovese Gennaio – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (12/18/2010)
    lush, dark, slightly brooding Sangiovese from Dry Creek. Dark berry and plum, tobacco, great acid. Think pasta. (88 points)
  • 2009 Domaine de la Becassonne Côtes du Rhône Blanc – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (12/18/2010)
    Simple, refreshing Rhone white from @KLWines . 55% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, 15% Clairette.
    Pale yellow color, subtle nose of pear, stone fruit. Bit more pronounced in mouth; crisp fruit and acidity; green apple, picks up some body mid palate, with a pleasant finish. only 13% alc

    http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1060012 (88 points)

  • 2007 Freestone Pinot Noir Fogdog Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (12/16/2010)
    Bit dark, big. Well made though. (89 points)
  • 2007 Domaine Faury St. Joseph Blanc – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (12/14/2010)
    Wonderful marsanne roussanne blend; tropical, nutty nose; velvety mouthfeel and tantalizing finish. Highly recommend (91 points)
  • 2009 Domaine La Hitaire Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne Les Tours – France, Southwest France, Gascony, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne (12/12/2010)
    interesting wine made from 50 year old vine 65% Ugni Blanc, 30% Colombard and 5% Gros Mansang (new one to me.) 10.5% alc. 9.99 at K&L. 6 hours skin contact. Medium straw color. Nose of pear, lemon. Bright and refreshing in mouth, crisp, some minerality, stone fruit, citrus, a pleasure to drink. (89 points)
  • 2009 Turley Cinsault – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (12/10/2010) 90 points
  • 2009 Domaine de Rougie Vin de Pays d’Oc 02-09-2009 – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Vin de Pays d’Oc (12/8/2010)
    Viognier lovers rejoice; leave it to the French. Dark yellow straw color. Great nose of stone fruit, peach, but not overtly floral; tangerine, peach in mouth. No
    RS but juicy finish, good acidity.love love love. How is this only $15 ? (91 points)
  • 2007 Cornerstone Cellars Grenache Stepping Stone – USA, California, North Coast, Red Hills Lake County (12/7/2010)
    Not a bad grenache, better the 2nd day. Made a bit big for my personal palate, but enough of the base varietal is intact. Smokey, dense. Pair well with meats. (88 points)
  • 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Clos de Gilroy – USA, California (12/6/2010) 90 points
  • 2008 La Clarine Farms Mourvedre Cedarville Vineyard – USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado (12/3/2010)
    Have to wonder if the person that gave this an 84 could actually spell Mourvedre. This classic Rhone is native yeast fermented, neutral oak.
    I have to confess I love the glass stopper too, unusual in an <20.00 price point.
    Color is a dark red/purple and a bit opaque; assume unfined/filtered.
    Nose is classic mourvedre with hint of meat, bacon fat, red fruit.
    In the mouth it has blackberry, spice, plum,
    Wonderful finish, with minimal tannins, and lack of new oak ruining it like so many do.
    I can’t re-order it from K&L Wine or their website, so apparently others like it too! (92 points)
  • 2009 Cháteau la Courançonne Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret Blanc – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret (12/2/2010)
    Fairly unremarkable white Rhone blend bought from K&L. Decent nose with some stone fruit. Needs to be near room temp or aromatics shut down. So so in mouth. can do better for the money. (85 points)
  • 2007 Ortman Family Vineyards Cuvée Eddy – USA, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County (12/1/2010)
    full review at: http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/3379

    A red Rhone blend consisting of 42% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 19% Mourvèdre, 9% Petite Sirah. (The latter always debated if a Rhone, but let that slide. ) This wine seems clearly intended to be a pleasant, fruit expressive and easy to drink. I am usually good at pulling out Rhone individual varietal components, but these are quite integrated.

    Color: Dark Red/Purple. Clear
    On the Nose: Blueberry, Black fruit, a touch of smoke, meat.
    On the Palette: Berries and bright red fruit. Not sophisticated per se, but incredibly easy to drink, well balanced, and enjoyable. Which is what wine is designed for.

    An enjoyable red blend that goes down quite nicely alone, sitting on the couch with a book or a movie. Its versatility would pair it well with most meats, many pastas, or even a burger or BBQ. (89 points)

  • 2001 Palmeri Syrah Stagecoach Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley (11/29/2010)
    my last bottle of 2001 Syrah, drinking perfectly, 2nd day open, properly stored. Blackberry, earth. Acidity has held up well, tannins all integrated. I’d drink any still out there in next year or so, before decline. (93 points)
  • 2008 Rôtie Cellars Southern White – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (11/29/2010)
    One of my fave Walla Walla Rhone producers; a 50/50 viognier/roussanne blend. Very pale clear vibrant color. Lots of stone fruit, peach, slight apricot, lush mouthfeel with out being flabby as viognier can be. Nice finish. Good solo, has me jonesing for some dungeness crab!
    Recommend. (90 points)
  • 2005 Vincent Girardin Bourgogne Emotion de Terroirs – France, Burgundy, Bourgogne (11/29/2010)
    fairly disappointed this was a @klwines club choice, but for the price….uninspiring, it went into cooking with a lamb dish. (84 points)
  • N.V. De Chanceny Brut – France, Loire Valley (11/27/2010)
    Current non vintage is drinking quite nicely (88 points)
  • 2002 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée Vintage Reserve – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (11/25/2010) 92 points
  • 2006 Roessler Pinot Noir Alder Springs Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (11/25/2010) 90 points
  • 2009 Enkidu Syrah Rosé Shamhat – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (11/25/2010) 89 points
  • 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc – USA, California (11/24/2010) 92 points
  • 2008 C. Donatiello Winery Pinot Noir Maddie’s Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (11/24/2010) 91 points
  • 2006 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (11/23/2010) 92 points
  • 2007 Qupé Marsanne – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (11/23/2010)
    First bottle corked, replacement great: 12% roussanne; stone fruit, peach, good acidity , mouthfeel. No sign of over the hill As another stated (cellar). Nice value Rhone white (88 points)
  • 2006 Palmina Nebbiolo – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (11/20/2010)
    Gorgeous nose, strawberry, cherry; Red fruit, spice good acidity, great finish, (89 points)
  • 2009 Sheldon LA NARIS – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/18/2010)
    Loving what Sheldon is doing stylistically. La Naris is a white rhone blend: 70% viognier. 15% roussanne, 15% marsanne. Unfined, or filtered. Straw color. Fragrant but not overpowering nose of peach, melon. Lush in the mouth with stone fruit, pear, honeydew, with an excellent mid palate, nice body, and a lingers on the tongue like honey dissolving. White rhone blends aren’t commonly found in Sonoma and Dylan and Tobe’s passion and experience from the Rhone region shine through, bravo. (92 points)
  • 2008 Owen Roe Sinister Hand – USA, Oregon, Columbia Valley (11/16/2010) 89 points
  • 2008 Torii Mor Pinot Blanc – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Rogue Valley (11/16/2010) 88 points
  • 2007 Frick Winery C3 – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (11/14/2010)
    One of Sonoma’ best, Unique, Rhone blends. Cinsault, carignane, counoise. Approachable red fruit, strawberry, cherry, with enough structure for most foods, blissfully lacking any new oak taint. Highly recommend (92 points)
  • 2009 Folk Machine Jeanne d’Arc – USA, California (11/14/2010)
    Only two cases left for sale of this killer wine; we cleaned out one last night; this chenin blanc with skin contact is brilliant. Aromatic, great texture; best barely chilled and open for awhile; surprisingly clear given the skin contact; kudos for creative winemaking! (92 points)
  • 2006 Inman Family Pinot Noir Thorn Ridge Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (11/14/2010)
    Shared with the table last night at Baci. Big hit. Last bottle, time to restock! (90 points)
  • 2009 Portalupi Bianco – USA, California (11/11/2010)
    Nice nose of tropical fruit, melon. Crisp green apple, tropical fruit. Nice mouthfeel, very pleasing long finish, nice to drink alone, or pair with many foods. (90 points)
  • 2007 Domaine Auguste Clape Côtes du Rhône Blanc – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (11/9/2010)
    Muted nose (tad overchill) nutty almost tad oxidized profile, viscous in mouth. (89 points)
  • 2008 Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna Costamolino – Italy, Sardinia, Vermentino di Sardegna (11/9/2010)
    Gotta love Vegas; glass equals bottle price ! Crisp citrus, nice minerality, good density, nice finish, well done (89 points)
  • 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Blanc Ca’ del Solo – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County (11/9/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2004 Heller Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Bottled – USA, California, Central Coast, Carmel Valley (11/6/2010)
    My last bottle :( a organic cab that belies the six years aging with no SO2: beautiful deep red color; plum,Red fruit, black cheryl; soft round like a merlot of old days. Sad I didn’t buy a case. (93 points)
  • 2008 Inman Family Pinot Gris – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (11/4/2010)
    Celebrating the end of my cold with one of Kathleen’s gorgeous wines. Bless her for still making (a high quality) Pinot Gris, when so many RRV producers sadly stopped, so I look to OR instead. Aromatic, citrus nose. Guava, melon, peach, lush fruit in mouth. (Don’t drink it over chilled, hello its not Santa Margarita.) Excellent mouth feel, texture. Pleasant lingering acidity. (90 points)
  • 2008 Infinity Cellars Central Coast – USA, California, Central Coast (11/4/2010)
    drinking wonderfully night 2, 50% grenache, 50% syrah. Color is modest given the 50% syrah. I expected the grenache to be crushed by the syrah but classic grenache fruit is apparent on nose and in the mouth; red fruit, candied, cherry. hard to believe this was $11, shows what the bulk wine market can do. (89 points)
  • 2008 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Beeswax Vineyard – USA, California (11/1/2010)
    LOVE this Rhone white blend; its like comfort food and represents how for Rhone whites often the sum of the whole is greater than the parts.
    57% Roussanne 43% Grenache Blanc this release. If you don’t drink Rhone whites…you have no idea what you are missing out
    even if you are one of those ‘pfft – red only’ people. Nose of honey, citrus, hint of almond. In the mouth peach, pear, great mouthfeel ; lingering finish.
    Somehow after buying 3 mixed cases of BDV last month, this is my last bottle. (several 07s still.) must fix (94 points)
  • 2008 Quivira Mourvedre – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (10/31/2010)
    First pass at the new 08 release; drinking well, classic: moderate density, good red fruit, pleasant finish that lingers (89 points)
  • 2007 Gann Family Cellars Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/30/2010)
    Decided to branch off Rhones, in mood for a change. Well made chard; darker straw color, clear; beautiful nose of guava, tropical fruit, hint coconut; pineapple, guava in mouth with nice mid palate and mouthfeel; good acidity and finish. Grab a bottle at Cellars of Sonoma. (90 points)
  • 2008 Kalinda Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (10/30/2010)
    Opened to primarily cook with but tried a swirl ; not shabby for under $20; simple but decent fruit. Hides the 15.5 % alc well (85 points)
  • 2005 Cellar Rat Syrah – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (10/28/2010)
    Sage, spice, minerality; wonderful acidity, finish (91 points)
  • 2008 Cartograph Pinot Noir Split Rock – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/27/2010)
    Vibrant brick red color; raspberry, spice on nose; red fruit, cranberry in mouth; awesome acidity; loving it solo; going to pair awesome with dinner (92 points)
  • 2008 Cowhorn Grenache 74 – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Applegate Valley (10/27/2010)
    I am a fan of Cowhorn, a new discovery; this is a biodynamic Rhone producer in Southern OR, the Applegate AVA, right across the CA border.
    Their grenache is an interesting wine; while its not hugely weird to find a wine that’s ‘unfined, unfiltered’ there is no mistaking this isn’t either.
    Light doesn’t pass through it.
    Strawberry, cranberry on nose. Bold in mouth, acidic and chewy. I opened it with a winemaker and 2 industry people to get their perspective as well.
    It’s a well made wine I’d like to cellar another year and see how it does. My friend also suggested letting it stand upright for 48 hours, and decanting.
    It definitely improved with time in glass. Very much look forward to trying again, and hopefully visiting in person. (89 points)
  • 2009 Ranchero Cellars Carignane Old Vines – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (10/26/2010)
    AMAZING carignane. Vibrant purple color; cherry, rhubarb, hint of spice on nose; cherry, strawberry, red fruit, more spice; excellent mid palate, pleasant acidity. Drinks great, highly quaffable solo, pairs brilliantly with bbq, short ribs, grilled chicken, and more. Showing what Carignane should be… (92 points)
  • 2009 Tablas Creek Roussanne Bergeron – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (10/26/2010)
    Not sure other reviewers have any clue what Roussanne is. Sweetness on nose: pineapple, honey, citrus. Nice texture, mouthfeel, acidity, almond, kiss of oak. (90 points)
  • 2009 Kinero Roussanne Rustler James Berry Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (10/24/2010)
    Every bottle of this I drink makes me happy and sad. Happy as it freaking rocks, and coats the palate with amazing flavor profile. And sad as it’s one less bottle of this sold out vintage ! (93 points)
  • 2005 Sheldon Vinolocity – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/24/2010)
    Wow, awesome Grenache blend, 82% grenache 18% syrah. Opulent color, cranberry, spice, Ginger ; great acidity, balance. Bravo, must get more (91 points)
  • 1998 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (10/24/2010)
    Past it’s prime in my opinion, drink
    Any left this year
  • 2008 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône Blanc Belleruche – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (10/14/2010)
    White Rhone blend; not sure varietals but very well done; in addition to the the good texture and acidity I’d expect, there is a noticeable, enjoyable minerality that makes it dance on the tongue. Recommend. (89 points)
  • 2007 Domaine Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (10/12/2010)
    Wow, love this CdP. 70% Grenache, dark red, lush fruit, berry, strong mid palette, long finish. Would like it maybe a tad less juicy, but great wine. (90 points)
  • 2009 Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc Charlotte’s Home – USA, California, Sonoma County (10/12/2010)
    Great SB for the price, widely distributed. A nice change from the NZ style grassy version, more lush, juicy. Nose of citrus and kiwi; ripe grapefruit , melon in mouth. Nice finish with good acidity. Drinks well by itself, pair with moderate acidic foods. Or a perfect bottle of white for Thanksgiving (90 points)
  • 2009 Cass Roussanne Estate Grown – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (10/11/2010)
    Excellent roussanne, not always an easy single varietal; Peach, honey on nose; stone fruit, citrus; nice mid palate, lingering acidity. (90 points)
  • 2008 Topanga Vineyards Grenache Blanc Celadon Beeswax Vineyard – USA, California, Central Valley, Clarksburg (10/11/2010)
    Nice GB neutral barrel fermented, interestingly same vineyard as Bonny Doon Cigare Blanc (blend)
    Nice texture from the barrel ferment, white peach, stone fruit, citrus, pronounced acidity (88 points)
  • 2009 Kinero Roussanne Rustler James Berry Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (10/10/2010)
    Still the best single varietal ever had… Wish wasn’t sold out! (92 points)
  • 2009 Kinero Grenache Blanc Alice Blackseth Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (10/10/2010)
    Brilliant GB, goes down so easy you wish it was a 1.5l not a .5 (91 points)
  • 2008 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Beeswax Vineyard – USA, California (10/8/2010)
    Floral nose of honeysuckle, orange blossom, citrus, hint of almond; on the mouth stone fruit, wet stone, lime, peach, nuttiness; amazing mouthfeel and texture ; lingering long finish that makes the mouth water (93 points)
  • 2007 Col d’Orcia (Cinzano) Spezieri Toscana IGT – Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (10/7/2010)
    Deep brick red color; cranberry, hint of earth, slight off aroma ? on nose; soft in mouth, red fruit, berry. Drinkable standalone, awesome with pasta. Other reviewer likely Had corked bottle. (89 points)
  • 2008 Zenato Lugana Benedictus San Benedetto – Italy, Veneto, Lugana (10/7/2010)
    Slightly floral, stone fruit, honeysuckle, decent mouthfeel (89 points)
  • 2007 Copain Pinot Noir Tous Ensemble – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (10/6/2010)
    Drinking nicely, subtle but layers of complexity (90 points)
  • 2009 Atrea The Choir – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (10/3/2010)
    Good qpr for ca white rhone blend; 62% roussanne & 38% viognier; oak somewhere in vinification process? dark yellow color ; honeysuckle and He cld def do a flight at the bar or set up a seated for another day we’d love to have him come out any time :) stone fruit on nose; lil sweet on finish (88 points)
  • 2009 Tercero Grenache Blanc Camp 4 Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (10/2/2010)
    Lil different style than some of other GBs quaffing this year: nose of Meyer lemon; bright citrus in mouth, high acidity. 13.5% alc. I would like a bit more mouthfeel, but nice GB, especially in hotter weather or pairing with higher acid food pairings. (89 points)
  • 2005 Domaine Chapelle Santenay 1er Cru Beaurepaire – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay 1er Cru (10/2/2010)
    worse next day, not better. (78 points)
  • 2005 D’Argenzio Pinot Noir Thorn Road Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/1/2010)
    Aged/drinking nicely; small not well known Vintner in Santa Rosa; Ray makes approachable age worthy wines. Nose Of cherry, strawberry, slight earthiness. carry over to palate, soft, supple, silky. Drinks well solo, shine like a star paired with food. (90 points)
  • 2007 Jacques Puffeney Trousseau Arbois Les Berangères – France, Jura, Arbois (10/1/2010)
    Recommendation via Jon Bonne (89 points)
  • 2005 Domaine Chapelle Santenay 1er Cru Beaurepaire – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Santenay 1er Cru (10/1/2010)
    Disappointing K&L buy… Thin, acidic. See if any Better tomorrow. (78 points)
  • 2008 Cline Cellars Mourvedre Ancient Vines – USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County (9/28/2010)
    Off the charts corked
  • 2008 Lynmar Pinot Noir Estate Grown Quail Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (9/25/2010)
    Bday bash opened for Thea (92 points)
  • 2009 Dunstan Durrell – USA, California, Sonoma County (9/25/2010)
    Pinot rose, wonderfully made; light, light strawberry notes; very enjoyable, thx Katherine! (90 points)
  • 2007 Lynmar Pinot Noir Estate Bottled – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (9/25/2010)
    Bday bash opened for Thea#2 (89 points)
  • 2008 Frick Winery Grenache Blanc Estate Bottled Owl Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County (9/25/2010)
    Resupplied yay! (89 points)
  • 2007 Ketcham Estate Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (9/25/2010)
    Bday bash opened for Thea… See a pattern? :p
  • 2007 Lynmar Pinot Noir Estate Grown Quail Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (9/25/2010)
    Grrr my last bottle
  • 2009 Bonny Doon Vineyard Grenache Clos de Gilroy – USA, California (9/23/2010)
    Classic Grenache cherry, slightly candy nose. Strawberry, light Red fruit, soft and silky in mouth, but not lacking body. Nice finish. 13.5% alc, under $20, winner! (90 points)
  • 2007 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffin’s Lair – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (9/21/2010)
    Not what I expected when asked Somm for a cool climate,white pepper syrah. Young, Jammy, tons of blackberry, some olive. Well made but not what I asked for. Cellar. (89 points)
  • 2008 Beckmen Vineyards Cuvée Le Bec – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (9/19/2010)
    Decent gsm( ,also 6% counoise ) 51% Grenache, shows thru , soft, easy drinking, food friendly (88 points)
  • 2007 Graff Family Vineyards Mourvedre Chalone – USA, California, Central Coast, Chalone (9/15/2010)
    Good representation of mourvedre: moderate structure; nice fruit; touch of classic mourvedre meatiness; best US mourvedre under $20 had yet. (89 points)
  • 2007 Cave de Rasteau Côtes du Rhône “Dame Victoria” – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (9/13/2010)
    Well made GSM ,70% Grenache, darker Red than others, black fruit, bit tart, but good balance overall; I suspect better with more cellar time or bottle aging; good to drink now but hold few years if can. (90 points)
  • 2009 Eric Ross Albariño Bokisch Vineyard – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (9/1/2010)
    . Shared at Music on the Square (89 points)
  • 2002 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée Vintage Reserve – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (9/1/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2004 Cline Cellars Syrah Los Carneros – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (8/30/2010)
    Drinking wonderfully and shows why Syrah should be laid down. Nice nose, red, black fruit, blackberry in mouth; lingering pleasant finish. (90 points)
  • 2008 Mas Carlot Vin de Pays d’Oc Marsanne – Roussanne Cuvée Tradition – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Vin de Pays d’Oc (8/30/2010)
    Wonderful Rhone white blend, amazing for the price; stone fruit, citrus ; great mouthfeel, weight, balance. Thx K&L! (90 points)
  • N.V. Frick Winery Field Blend Garibaldi – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (8/28/2010)
    Last bottle of this field blended rhone and Frick is out! When is new release ?! (90 points)
  • 2006 Frick Winery Cinsault – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (8/28/2010)
    Last bottle need to buy more! (89 points)
  • 2006 Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé – USA, California, Sonoma County (8/25/2010)
    Beating the #Sonoma heat !
  • 2008 Tablas Creek Roussanne – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (8/24/2010)
    Wonderful expression of roussanne, ; not much on nose; but more expressive in mouth; viscous, dense mouthfeel, ripe stone fruit; lingering finish (90 points)
  • 2009 Domaine Bégude Vin de Pays de la Haute Vallée de l’Aude L’Exotique – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Vin de Pays de la Haute Vallée de l’Aude (8/24/2010)
    Mystery blend
  • 2009 Kinero Grenache Blanc Alice Blackseth Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (8/23/2010)
    One of my fave GB’s. Winemaker calls it a “porch pounder” though I find it more elegant. Less than 10 cases of this vintage left already (92 points)
  • 2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc – USA, California (8/23/2010)
    White Rhone blend 65 percent roussanne 35 Grenache blanc. Stone fruit and citrus, nice viscosity (90 points)
  • 2008 Mounts Family Winery Grenache – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (8/22/2010)
    David’s best Grenache yet. (90 points)
  • 2007 Frick Winery Grenache Blanc Estate Bottled Owl Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County (8/22/2010)
    2nd 07 bottle in a row that was off :(
  • 2002 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée Vintage Reserve – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (8/18/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2005 Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs – USA, California, Sonoma County, Carneros (8/18/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2007 Frick Winery Grenache Blanc Estate Bottled Owl Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County (8/18/2010)
    Bad bottle :(
  • 2007 Wind Gap Wines Syrah – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (8/18/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2008 Frick Winery Grenache Blanc Estate Bottled Owl Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County (8/18/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2006 Skylark Wine Company Pink Belly – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (8/17/2010)
    2009 not 06 : amazing Grenache rose (91 points)
  • 2007 Mounts Family Winery Cabernet Franc Mounts Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (8/17/2010)
    Crowd pleaser tonight amongst industry people at a Healdsburg event; drinking nicely; sad down to last few bottles (90 points)
  • 2007 Quivira Grenache Wine Creek Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (8/16/2010)
    Drinking amazingly well! (91 points)
  • 2008 Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden Spiral 36 – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Applegate Valley (8/16/2010)
    Amazing white Rhone blend (91 points)
  • 2007 Preston of Dry Creek Valley Grenache Blanc – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (8/16/2010)
    So few Sonoma County Grenache blancs; well done (89 points)
  • 2008 Cowhorn Grenache 74 – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Applegate Valley (8/16/2010)
    Bad bottle :(
  • 2007 Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (8/15/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2006 Copain Les Copains James Berry Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (8/13/2010)
    Drinking better the 2nd day; tasters were a but surprised at the really big fruit, un restrained.
    Good nose big black fruit, touch bacon fat deep purple color from syrah.
    Fruit explosion in mouth; for a GSM; Grenache detectable. 

    (88 points)

  • 2007 Unti Vineyards Petit Frère – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (8/13/2010)
    Consistent opinions from the tasters; well made but tight and tannic; needs food. 44% syrah 38 grenache 18 mourvedre.
    Still tannic day later with half bottle left.
    (momentary consideration of home blending it with the Copain GSM just tasted as well!) 

    Good nose but nothing extraordinary.
    Cherry from the Grenache is detectable.

    Decent balance, mouthfeel and wine for a 20$ US GSM but nothing outstanding. Cellar time might change that. (88 points)

  • 2008 Mas Carlot Vin de Pays d’Oc Marsanne – Roussanne Cuvée Tradition – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Vin de Pays d’Oc (8/12/2010)
    Decent rhone blend bit bitter finish (87 points)
  • 2007 Château les Quatre Filles Côtes du Rhône – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (8/10/2010)
    Wonderful rhone blend (91 points)
  • 2008 C. Donatiello Winery Pinot Noir Block 15 Floodgate Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (8/8/2010)
    Color: Lighter cranberry color, slightly opaque. (A thankful break from the ridiculously dark Pinot’s being produced today by many.)
    Aroma: Cherry, Cranberry, with a pleasant touch of Earthiness
    In The Mouth: Elegant. Despite the youth of this release, it’s a pleasure in the mouth, with velvet texture, wonderful balance and mouthfeel. Flavors of cherry and red fruit, with a nice finish, and lingering acidity. (91 points)
  • 2007 Acorn Sangiovese Alegría Vineyards – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (8/8/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2008 Forlorn Hope Torrontés La Gitana – USA, California, Napa Valley, Solano County (8/8/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2008 Grayson Cellars Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley (8/8/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2008 La Follette Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (8/4/2010)
    Cranberry, cherry (93 points)
  • 2008 La Follette Pinot Noir Sangiacomo Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (8/4/2010)
    Cherry, raspberry,hint vanilla – silky smooth: sex in a bottle (91 points)
  • 2008 La Follette Pinot Noir Van der Kamp – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (8/4/2010)
    Bright cherry, cranberry (91 points)
  • 2008 Wind Gap Wines Pinot Gris Windsor Oaks Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Chalk Hill (7/26/2010)
    Orange and awesome (89 points)
  • 2007 Mounts Family Winery Cabernet Franc Mounts Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (7/24/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2009 Domaine de la Janasse Vin de Pays de la Principauté d’Orange Rosé – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Vin de Pays de la Principauté d’Orange (7/18/2010)
    2010 seems the year of dry rose in US, I certainly have drunk and seen more than ever. For all the talk of low alc light French rose what I have seen is mostly 13-14% and big. Many great CA rose this year, but $20. This Rhone rose was highly recommended at Bottle Barn, was only $10 (!) and delivers what I am looking for; light, easy to drink, good fruit flavor profile but demure, and 12.5 alc.
    Light pink/salmon color, strawberry nose and mouth; decent mouthfeel, modest acidity; drinks well alone and would pair with light food; should have bought more. (91 points)
  • 2008 Roadhouse Winery Grenache – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (7/15/2010)
    Great Grenache, classic style, fruit from Unti (90 points)
  • 2006 Tensley Blanc Camp 4 Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley (7/14/2010)
    Go figure found a white rhone blend in Little Rock, AR. This Grenache blanc and roussanne blend is very well done.
    Pale yellow color. Peach, stone fruit, wonderful acidity, balance, mouthfeel. A keeper. Would write more but busy enjoying! (90 points)
  • 2007 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/14/2010)
    I am a fan of D-G Pinot; this one is good, they have better, my palate these days leans to lighter Pinot; but this one is well made; while dark, it’s not over extracted. 

    I concur it opens up better over time, decant.
    Very dark color for Pinot ; nose of red fruit, cherry. Good structure, will lay down. I’d prefer a different style but wine makers are making some releases in this style as it sells; can’t blame them. Best paired with food; wide variety of meat dishes would stand nicely. (88 points)

  • 2007 Weingut Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner Alte Setzen Traisental – Austria, Niederösterreich, Traisental (7/13/2010)
    Brilliant pale color; aromatic nose, hint stone fruit, citrus. Big and clean in mouth, lots of acidity but balanced, touch minerality. Wonderful. (90 points)
  • 2007 Domaine Giraud Châteauneuf-du-Pape Tradition – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (7/13/2010)
    Deep purple color; undertones of red fruit from the Grenache, hint of bacon,not the funky nose may expect. Strong Grenache profile in mouth; big fruit, young, but with undertones of the meaty mourvedre, and structure of the syrah. Good acidity for food pairing, pleasant mid palate, finish is good but could improve. Can lay this baby down, suspect will improve with opening too, but my glass won’t be empty That long :) (89 points)
  • 2008 Clos La Coutale Cahors – France, Southwest France, Cahors (7/13/2010)
    Simplistic (86 points)
  • 2006 Cambria Pinot Noir Julia’s Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley (7/12/2010)
    Love how hotel bar charges $14 glass for 20 dollar retail, luckily this isn’t plonk for the PQR.
    Nice light color, as pinot should be.
    Nice cherry on nose, in mouth. A bit simple , unidimensional, finish could be better (see how it opens up, new bottle ) but nice acidity, you can do a lot worse at this price. Quaffable (87 points)
  • 2009 Villa Creek “White” – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (7/11/2010)
    My last bottle :( time to drive to Paso! (90 points)
  • 2007 Enkidu Humbaba – USA, California, Sonoma County (7/11/2010)
    Nice rhone blend, juicy black, red fruit, better after open. (89 points)
  • 2002 Palmeri Syrah Stagecoach Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley (7/11/2010)
    Drinking well, although not as good as the 01 last month. Nice black fruit, prolly time to drink rest of these soon. (88 points)
  • 2005 Morrison Lane 33 1/3 Morrison Lane – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley (7/10/2010)
    Sadly was corked
  • 2009 Soléna Pinot Gris – USA, Oregon (7/7/2010)
    2009 Pinot Gris, Oregon 

    The grapes for this release of Pinot Gris are selected by design from multiple Oregon vineyard, thus no AVA designation.

    Pale straw color

    Nose of green apple, pear, hint of minerality

    Lush in the mouth, with the green apple carrying through as well as pineapple, and citrus.
    The wine has a wonderful mid palate density for a stainless, non malolactic white wine, with fruit
    and acidity that is present at front, mid, and finish.

    It drinks wonderfully on its own, and would pair well with lighter fare, and most seafood.

    13.5% alc (90 points)

  • 2009 La Vieille Ferme (Perrin & Fils) Côtes du Luberon Blanc – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Luberon (7/3/2010)
    Good white rhone blend for $11 retail. Blend of Grenache blanc 30%, Bourboulenc 30%, Ugni blanc 30%, Roussanne 10%.
    very Pale yellow color
    Nose of citrus and light minerality
    In the mouth hint of honeydew,citrus. Nice mid palate with mild peach.
    Crisp finish, good acidity, balance.
    Drinks well alone or pair with lighter fare,white meats, fish (88 points)
  • 2007 Kermit Lynch Selections Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Sélectionée – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (6/29/2010)
    Actually is the 2008. Blend of Grenache, syrah, mourvedre, cinsault.
    Nice CdR
    warm nose of earth, red fruit, hint spice.
    Cherry, red and black fruit. Nice structure and acidity, no noticeable tannins, bit bland mid palate finishes moderately well. (89 points)
  • 2008 Ferraton Père & Fils Crozes-Hermitage La Matinière – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage (6/29/2010)
    Decent marsanne (87 points)
  • 2007 Ermitage du Pic St. Loup Coteaux du Languedoc – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Coteaux du Languedoc (6/29/2010)
    GSM blend. Odd nose, can’t quite place some of the aroma profile. Kinda funky like black cherry koolaid, over ripe strawberry.
    Red fruit, earth, and some of the aroma profile carried over to palate. (86 points)
  • 2008 Rôtie Cellars Southern White – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (6/28/2010)
    Wonderful white blend of 50% viognier, 50 % roussanne, balanced in a nice combination of weight, mouthfeel, acidity. From Walla Walla (89 points)
  • 2006 Castle Vineyards Viognier Landa Vineyards Sonoma Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley (6/28/2010)
    a fairly decent viognier, a slight sweet finish, with hint of RS. I usually prefer my viogniers not over chilled, but this one actually benefits weightr, mouthfeel, viscosity, finish if served moderately chilled. (87 points)
  • 2008 3 Horse Ranch Vineyards Roussanne/Viognier Estate Vineyard – USA, Idaho, Snake River Valley (6/15/2010)Wine from Idaho – my first, and wow!
    Its no surprise if you know me, its a Rhone – 50% viognier, 50% roussanne.

    I drink a lot of Rhone blends, and find as many good, as bad. This one is great,
    and for ~20 retail – a winner.

    The stone fruit and acidity of the roussanne is blended perfectly with the classic floral aspects,
    weight, and mouthfeel of the viognier.

    Apricot, citrus and honey on the nose.
    Wet stone, stone fruit, slight minerality in the mouth, great mid palette and a killer finish.

    This is a wine that drinks well now; but like many rhone white blends, actually ages well too.

    Bought this at local Portland retail, but its worth ordering. (90 points)

  • 2008 Anne Amie Pinot Blanc – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (6/14/2010)
    The color is a pale yellow straw, clear and brilliant.
    Aromas of Asian pear, nectarine, light citrus, on the nose
    In the mouth, a pleasant mix of pear, pineapple, citrus, none overwhelming, well balanced.
    The Pinot Blanc was aged on the lees giving it a wonderful mouthfeel and slight creamy texture that combines well with the natural acidity for a pleasant, lingering finish. This combination will pair well with many foods, although its very enjoyable on its own as well.
    The Pinot Blanc also spent time in French oak barrels, thankfully only 10% new, contributing to its subtle complexities, without overwhelming or masking it. (92 points)
  • 2008 Infinity Cellars Central Coast – USA, California, Central Coast (6/14/2010)
    60% Grenache blanc 40% viognier.
    Good for the price. Peach and citrus on nose. Seems a tiniest bit sweet on finish most won’t detect or mind. Like the only 13.5 % alc. Hard to beat for $10 (87 points)
  • 2008 La Clarine Farms Grenache Blanc – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (6/14/2010)
    Decent GB for the price, seems I can taste the oak despite older barrels. (87 points)
  • 2009 Lynmar Pinot Noir Rosé Estate Bottled – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (6/13/2010)
    Vibrant orange/pink hued salmon color
    A lightly fragrant nose of strawberry, raspberry and hint of crisp Jolly Rancher watermelon
    Don’t let the flavor descriptors fool you, this is a wonderfully dry Rosé with no sweetness. Nice weight in mouth for a rose, balanced with acidity that will pair well with many foods. Hint of that beloved Pinot Noir silkiness. Watermelon and cherry mid-palette. Pleasant finish.
    Retail $22. Considering the price and quality of Lynmar Estates wine, this is an excellent Price to Quality Ratio.
    92 points – Very Good, Strongly Recommend
    Blog review:
    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/1935 (92 points)
  • 2007 Robert Mueller Pinot Gris – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (6/13/2010)
    Liking better the 2nd night. Too bad they, and many RRV wineries stopped making Pinot Gris, it’s a staple in Willamette (89 points)
  • 2008 Atmosphere Wines Marsanne dos burros la prenda – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley (6/13/2010)
    I hate to say anything bad about Sonoma rhone whites as few as we have here, but I can’t like this wine. It’s drinkable, but after trying it Fri night with 5 Sonoma dwellers with and without food, and again 2 days later properly stored, it’s drinkable put a poor reflection of rhone white blends.
    50% roussanne 50% marsanne
    Nice nose, with nice floral notes, although the oaking sneaks in.
    Disappointing in the mouth, at least for this rhone drinker. The 1/3 new oak stands out, and nothing integrates well. If you can overlook the compromised flavor profile the blend has nice weight and mouthfeel. 

    It’s possible laid down in a cellar for a few years it might drink really well. Be interesting to try. (81 points)

  • 2007 Robert Mueller Pinot Gris – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (6/12/2010)
    Good summer wine, crisp decent acidity (87 points)
  • 2007 Paradise Ridge Chardonnay Nagasawa – USA, California, Sonoma County (6/10/2010)
    Vibrant yellow straw color.
    Hints of tropical fruit, pineapple, lemon on nose.
    Lush tropical fruit, pear and touch of butterscotch on the palette. Pleasing weight, mouthfeel, and lingering acidity on finish. Will pair nicely with many foods.
    This release has spent time on French oak, and has undergone partial Malolactic fermentation. An excellent example of how oak and Malolactic fermentation don’t mean you have to lose the expression of the fruit, or become a California butter-bomb. (89 points)
  • 2008 Flowers Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (6/9/2010)
    Liked bottle so much during dinner bought a second. In a growing world of big pinots, this is a refuge for those seeking the feminine Pinot, not brawny. 

    Medium Red color, but light and flavorful
    In the mouth, well balanced, nice subtle cherry nose that carries thru to palette,with a pleasant finish. Will have to get another bottle for detailed tasting notes, but highly recommend if you like lighter Pinots. (92 points)

  • 2007 Tablas Creek Mourvedre – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (6/9/2010)
    fan of Tablas Creek, and on a hunt for mourvedre which isn’t commonly bottled as a single varietal. 

    Well made but a bit bigger, extracted compared to a few others I have had, good structure will improve in bottle (89 points)

  • 2007 Lynmar Chardonnay La Sereinite – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (6/8/2010)
    Wonderful chard; lemon merinque, citrus. Some oak, but not overdone; nice Acidity,balance, mouthfeel . Lymar delivers again. (91 points)
  • 2008 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Estate Blanc – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (6/6/2010)
    Wonderful rhone white blend; 56% grenache blanc, 28 % roussanne, 16 marsanne. (90 points)
  • 2006 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Cuvée des Cinq – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (6/6/2010)
    Rhone blend,well made but a bit bigger and extracted than I remembered (88 points)
  • 2008 Kinero Roussanne Rustler James Berry Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (6/2/2010)
    One of the best roussannes ever had, not easy to do as a single varietal.
    Big nose of honey, cantaloupe, touch of wet stone.
    Wonderful in the mouth; nice density, weight, mouthfeel. Delivers all the way through mid palette to finish, complexity is incredible. The finish dissolves gracefully on the tonque with a kiss of sweetness (not sweet tho!) and is dangerous as makes you just want more.
    Aroma profile carries through to flavor profile; mild peach, melon.
    Amazing wine. Love the 500 ml format cept for it’s so damn good I don’t want to share! (93 points)
  • 2007 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Baron Louis – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (6/1/2010)
    Omg this will make you a rhone Francophile if not.
    Great blends of Grenache, syrah, cinsault, carignan, and mourvedre, counoise.
    Off the charts nose of strawberry, earth, mushroom.
    Red fruit, blackberry, plum in mouth. 

    17.99 at K&L is a steal, ordering more now!
    (92 points)

  • 2001 Palmeri Syrah Stagecoach Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley (5/31/2010)
    Off the charts amazing syrah, showing lilttle sign of age besides integration. 

    Brilliant deep purple color that hasn’t fadec despite nine years.

    Nose; white pepper (fades after decanting), hints of smoke and leather, still big Red and black fruit in mouth, slight tannins also disappear; drinks well from bottle or decanted; wonderful balance and acidity with pleasing lingering fruit finish.

    I knew syrah aged well, but I will be hiding my other 40 bottles in cellar! (93 points)

  • 2007 Torii Mor Pinot Noir Olson Estate Vineyard – USA, Oregon, Yamhill County (5/31/2010)
    Wonderful, Willamette style Pinot. (90 points)
  • 2008 Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden Spiral 36 – USA, Oregon, Southern Oregon, Applegate Valley (5/29/2010)
    White Rhone blend from OR, wow who new. Thanks to K&L Wine for the recommendation.
    35% viognier, 30 % marsanne, 35% roussanne, in perfect harmony. 

    Nice subtle floral nose from the viognier, wonderful stone fruit, nicely balanced, excellent mouthfeel and mouth watering finish.
    Must order more! (91 points)

  • 2008 Forlorn Hope Torrontés La Gitana – USA, California, Napa Valley, Solano County (5/29/2010)
    Submitted this for a correction, some dummy input it as a Malbec, it’s the popular white Argentine varietal Torrontes. 

    Scouring high and low this is the only CA producer I have come across.

    It’s a little different than it’s Latino sister, but very well done, with some familiarities.

    Color is pale yellow with slight green tinge.
    Nose is full of stone fruit, peach, hint of honeydew melon. Mellowed after opening.
    Lots of Peach, stone fruit in the mouth; it has less body and mouthfeel than other Torrontes I have had, but is replaced by a wonderful acidity and crisp finish.

    Why more of this isn’t planted escapes me. It’s a tad more $ than Imported, but at $20 from K&L it’s still easily worth it.

    Less than 200 cases made. Glad I bought 3 bottles. (91 points)

  • 2008 Mounts Family Winery Grenache – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (5/29/2010)
    Opened prior to official release, young but drinking wonderfullly.
    Classic Grenache red fruit, black cherry nose, dark fruit and berry in mouth. Nice finish, bit tight but will open up and soften.
    Small production, will sell out by fall. (90 points)
  • 2009 Villa Creek “White” – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (5/29/2010)
    Nice rhone white blend; 55% Grenache blanc 35% roussanne, 10% picpoul blanc.
    Aromatic nose, nice acidity with citrus tones. Finish seems a bit hot although it’s only 13.7 % alc. Enjoyable white rhone for a good price, from Paso. (89 points)
  • 2008 Alta Colina Claudia Cuvee – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (5/27/2010)
    Wonderful rhone white blend; 58% marsanne, 21 roussanne, 21 grenache blanc
    Beautiful pale straw color, vibrant
    Great nose- lots of tropical fruit, coconut
    Stone fruits, pineapple in mouth
    Clean finish, juicy acidity, nice balance and mouthfeel.
    Wonderful! 

    (91 points)

  • 2004 Frick Winery Syrah Owl Hill Vineyard, Estate Bottled Owl Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (5/27/2010)
    Old world style syrah, nicely done, aged (90 points)
  • 2008 Castillo del Barón Monastrell Yecla – Spain, Murcia, Yecla (5/26/2010)
    Nicely done monsstrell aka mourvedre (89 points)
  • 2008 Frick Winery Grenache Blanc Estate Bottled Owl Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County (5/23/2010)
    If you haven’t discovered Grenache blanc, a white rhone varietal, grab some. This new release from Bill Frick is wonderful. Hint of peach, stone fruit, bright fruit in mouth with moutwatering balanced acidity, mouthfeel, excellent mid palatte, and a pleasant lingering finish that makes you want more. Drinks well now and rhone whites lay down for years. Under 200 cases. (92 points)
  • 2006 TR Elliott Pinot Noir Burgonet – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (5/23/2010)
    Decanting to see if opens up. If you are looking for syrah like Pinot this is it. Brick red, big red fruit, lots of berry. Tannins on end bit hot (86 points)
  • 2007 Château Saint-Roch Côtes du Roussillon Villages Chimères – France, Languedoc Roussillon, Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages (5/19/2010)
    Amazing rhone blend! (90 points)
  • 2006 Creta Ribera del Duero Roble – Spain, Castilla y León, Ribera del Duero (5/19/2010)
    Tannins? What were the other people drinking ? Easy drinking, balanced, moderate fruit (88 points)
  • 2008 Meridian Vineyards Chardonnay California – USA, California (5/19/2010)
    How do YOU spell plonk…. (78 points)
  • 2008 Kokomo Chardonnay Peters Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (5/14/2010)
    Well made, balanced chard, great acidity, even though full ML (90 points)
  • 2006 Frick Winery Grenache Conley Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (5/8/2010)
    Great naturally made Grenache, given some time in bottle, and made to allow the fruit to show through instead of buried in oak and high alcohol. Well
    Done. (90 points)
  • 2006 Frick Winery Cinsault – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (5/7/2010)
    Gotta love that 06 is the current release, kudos for holdback. Supple, beautiful
    Easy drinking rhone single varietal. (90 points)
  • 2007 Edward Sellers Vineyards and Wines Cognito – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (5/3/2010)
    Interesting blend of 40% mourvedre , 25% zin, 19% syrah and 16% Grenache. Medium purple color, big black fruit (some red fruit) nose; rasberry, blackberry in mouth; nice finish, lingering fruit, 14.3% alc, 640 cases made. Even better after some aeration. (89 points)
  • 2008 Kinero Grenache Blanc Alice Blackseth Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (5/2/2010)
    Beautiful Grenache blanc; clean, slightly floral nose, nice viscosity, weight; pleasant mouthwatering finish. (90 points)
  • 2008 Kokomo Grenache Pauline’s Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (5/1/2010)
    Wonderful dry rose! (91 points)
  • 2007 Marimar Estate (Marimar Torres) Chardonnay Acero Don Miguel Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (4/26/2010)
    Amazing unoaked chard (90 points)
  • 2008 Seghesio Family Vineyards Barbera Alexander Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (4/23/2010)
    Love this wine. Tasting blind thought it was a rhone. Nose full of ripe bright fruit, great weight and presence in mouth. Highly quaffable. Must buy more. (90 points)
  • 2005 Allegrini Palazzo della Torre Veronese IGT – Italy, Veneto, Veronese IGT (4/23/2010)
    Great wine especially for the price. Soft red. Fruit, pleasant mouthfeel, nice finish (89 points)
  • 1999 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County – USA, California, Sonoma County (4/17/2010)
    Amazing, integrated beautiful cab. Amazing color, superb balance, mouthfeel, weight (91 points)
  • 2006 Domaine de Mourchon Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret Tradition – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret (4/11/2010)
    Wow amazing cDR and reasonable price. 65% Grenache 25% syrah 10% carignan. Beautiful purple color, earthy aroma. soft and pleasing mouthfeel, nice red fruit, pleasing finish. Hope k&l has more. (91 points)
  • N.V. Frick Winery Field Blend Garibaldi – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (4/10/2010)
    Love this rhone field blend…almost out, must buy more mañana .. Wasn’t much left, very small production (90 points)
  • 2006 Harney Lane Petite Sirah – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi (4/9/2010)
    Great nose of blackberry, smoky, touch of earth, carries to palette. Presence of tannins, best with food. 15.8 percent alc is hidden well, balanced. (89 points)
  • 2008 Reynoso Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (4/9/2010)
    Peach, melon, citrus. Nice acidity. (89 points)
  • 2006 JC Cellars Syrah California Cuvée – USA, California (4/9/2010)
    Blackberry, plum, pepper on nose( blackberry, dark fruit. Bit of tannin on finish. Not much mid palette, short finish, bit hot (88 points)
  • 2006 Justin Vineyard Justification – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (4/9/2010)
    Bordeaux blend, ripe black fruit, lots of vanilla new oak, bit tannic on finish
  • 2007 Roshambo Grenache Eaglepoint Ranch – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (4/4/2010)
    Sad no more of these and the lame exit… (89 points)
  • 2008 Four Vines Chardonnay Naked Chardonnay – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (3/28/2010)
    I drink a lot of naked (unoaked no ml) chard… This is a decent representation for the price. Some of the drinkers/reviewers should understand what a naked chard is… (87 points)
  • 2008 Trajarinho Vinho Verde – Portugal, Minho, Vinho Verde (3/27/2010)
    Interesting wine, hint of effervensce, nice minerality, grassy, lemon, decent finish. Love the low alcohol (88 points)
  • 2007 Copain Syrah Tous Ensemble – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (3/25/2010)
    An amazing syrah at 2x the price (90 points)
  • 2007 Frick Winery Grenache Blanc Estate Owl Hill Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/24/2010)
    Beautiful Grenache blanc. Easy to drink, nice fruit, good acidity, peach, melon in mouth, nice finish. (90 points)
  • 2008 Chamisal Vineyards Chardonnay Stainless Steel Chamisal Vineyards – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley (3/21/2010)
    Sadly this is now sold out at K&L. A great expression of ‘naked’ chard, non oak non ML. Bright crisp fruit; green apple, lime. Nice acidity, balance. Wish I had bought more. (89 points)
  • 2008 Dutcher Crossing Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/20/2010)
    Same love as last review; one of my fave SB’s from Dry Creek Valley (92 points)
  • 2008 Thumbprint Cellars Viognier – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/17/2010)
    Classic floral viognier nose. White peach, apricot, slightly sweet finish with good mouthfeel and presence
  • 2007 Quivira Grenache Wine Creek Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/15/2010)
    Nice dark red, brick color.
    Black cherry, plum.
    Nice mouthfeel, finish, presence of tannins that have nice structure, bit more food inclined, well made, enjoyable alone or with food. (90 points)
  • 2007 Core Grenache Santa Barbara County – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (3/15/2010)
    Drinkable but not characteristic expression of grenache. Nice bold color, huge red fruit bomb in mouth, and a finish that’s a bit sweet for my taste, with good mouthfeel but a bit cherry syrup sweet. Good use bit more structure but quaffable (88 points)
  • 2008 David Coffaro Fresco – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/14/2010)
    Actually a rose of 50% merlot and 50% mourvedre
  • 2005 Léal Vineyards Threesome – USA, California, Central Coast, San Benito County (3/12/2010)
    I miss Leal, this was a gem when I worked in Silicon Valley…if you love wine and live in South Bay, visit. 

    Beautiful, shimmery, dark color.
    Nose- bright Red fruit, hint of prune, slightly floral,

    In the mouth: mirrors the nose, and white pepper mid palette
    Despite being big and bold, the finish is elegant, smooth mid palette, not tannic.

    Sad this is my last bottle.

    Hmmm great idea! Stop on way to/from Hospice du Rhone! (91 points)

  • 2006 Stryker Malbec Estate – USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley (3/9/2010)
    Really amazing malbec. Wish I had time to do a full review. (91 points)
  • N.V. Frick Winery Field Blend Garibaldi – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (3/6/2010)
    Amazing field blend of 14 rhone varietals only a few barrels made each year. (90 points)
  • 2008 Château Ducasse Blanc – France, Bordeaux, Graves (3/2/2010)
    Pale yellow straw color.
    Melon on nose.
    Tad high acidity, green apple in mouth.
    Decent for the retail price but not this wine bars 2.5x markup (86 points)
  • 2007 Azienda Agricola Il Palagetto Chianti Colli Senesi – Italy, Tuscany, Chianti, Chianti Colli Senesi (3/2/2010)
    Interesting blend of Sangiovese and syrah.
    Black cherry, dark red fruit on nose.
    So so in the mouth, taste like The sub 15 dollar bottle it is. Not well balanced, fruit masked, hot finish (84 points)
  • 2006 Copain Syrah “L’Hiver” – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (2/28/2010)
    This is an amazing syrah for the price IMO. Good blackberry fruit, well balanced, not hot, smooth pleasing finish. A quaffable syrah you could drink without food. (91 points)
  • 2006 Georges Dubœuf Pouilly-Fuissé – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé (2/28/2010)
    Nice French unoaked chard. Tad sweet, but nice acidity at end. (88 points)
  • 2007 Alysian Wines (Gary Farrell) Pinot Noir Russian River Selection – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/27/2010)
    Beauiful garnet color.
    Amazing nose: subtle but tangible blackcurrant, red fruit, hint of strawberry, scent of earthiness that quickly dissipated.
    Interesting finish that’s not the classic velvet finish; more time in bottle may change that though my co drinker loved, I liked. (91 points)
  • 2007 Lynmar Pinot Noir Quail Cuvée Quail Hill Vineyard Bliss Block – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/25/2010)
    A Gem from the Bliss Block of Quail
    Hill. Big bold luscious cherry and dark fruit with a pleasing, balanced finish, Beckons for another mouthful. (91 points)
  • 2006 Freestone Pinot Noir Fogdog Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (2/25/2010)
    A good Pinot but not great for the price. Pleasant and drinkable but lacking complete balance and the harmonious finish of a better Pinot. Big fan of the their Freestone label (89 points)
  • 2007 Lynmar Pinot Noir Quail Hill The Summit – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/23/2010)
    quail hill vineyard (and Lymar) produces great Pinot Noir.
    Wonderful nose of cherry, hint of cola.
    Big red fruit, cherry, vanilla in the mouth.
    A pleasant, lingering finish. (91 points)
  • 2005 Longboard Vineyards Syrah – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/23/2010)
    Amazing syrah. Ripe berry, blackberry on nose. Hint of bacon fat ( or is that my duck?!) :)
    Berry, dark fruit, white pepper in mouth.
    Excellent mouthfeel, body, balance; a pleasing finish without heat or excess tannins, that begs another sip. (90 points)
  • 2007 Jim Ball Vineyards Pinot Noir Boonville – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (2/15/2010)
    K&L Wine had this on sale for $20, retail of 45, and a 92 Wine Enthusiast so ordered a few bottles. It’s now backordered. 

    Bright lively color.
    Mushroom and earth on nose.
    Well balanced acidity and tannins; the earthiness carries onto the palette, combined with cherry,berry a hint of spice,
    The finish is pleasant and lingering.
    Looking foreward to how this opens up, glad I bought a few bottles at this price! (90 points)

  • 2005 Longboard Vineyards Syrah Dakine Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/8/2010)
    Great syrah, sorry didn’t take notes this time was too busy consuming, must by more! (90 points)
  • 2007 Lynmar Pinot Noir Quail Hill The Summit – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (2/8/2010)
    Gifting
  • 2007 Titus Zinfandel – USA, California, Napa Valley (2/8/2010)
    Gifted
  • 2006 Frick Winery Cinsault – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (2/6/2010)
    Love this wine, 3rd bottle this month.
    Beautiful brick red, plum and rasberry, big red fruit in mouth, good mouthfeel, a very easy drinking red wine yet with character, not a fruit bomb. Must buy more. (90 points)
  • 2006 Castle Vineyards Viognier Landa Vineyards Sonoma Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley (2/2/2010)
    Now Owned by Anaba. Fruit from Landa vineyards in Sonoma Valley.
    Classic beautiful viognier nose: peach, honey suckle. Delightful mid palette and finish: fresh, ripe fruit, soft, embracing mouthfeel. A nice balance of acidity and fruit on finish that makes you want to quaff more. (91 points)
  • 2007 Lynmar Pinot Noir Estate Bottled Jenkins Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/30/2010)
    Amazing Pinot with fruit from the sought after 20 acre Jenkins RRV vineyard. As always Lymar delivers. (92 points)
  • 2003 Heller Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Bottled – USA, California, Central Coast, Carmel Valley (1/17/2010)
    Always been a fan of Heller, and been sitting on this awhile. If you are ever in Carmel this is a must stop. I am not convinced of the organic wine (no sulfite) movement- sulfites occur naturally in wine. This cab has aged very well without additional S02.
    Color is still an excellent lively purple.
    Nose of berries, stewed plums.
    Plum, blackcurrant, in mouth.
    Finish is amazing, like a velvet glove, with no hint of tannins, but still has great fruit. Almost (great) merlot like (92 points)
  • 2007 Finca Decero Malbec Remolinos Vineyard – Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo, Agrelo (1/17/2010)
    A great expression of malbec from Argentina at a reasonable price point (89 points)
  • 2008 Godwin Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/16/2010)
    Beautiful vibrant pale straw color. Pleasant. Nose of tropical fruit, melon. Really nice mouthfeel, body. Peach, melon and tropical fruit in mouth.
    Pleasant long finish with nice acidity and a hint of coconut at end. A nicely balanced Chardonnay. Pairs nicely with crab (90 points)
  • 2005 Schug Pinot Noir Rouge de Noirs – USA, California, North Coast, Carneros (1/16/2010)
    Dry, nice paired with food. (89 points)
  • 2007 Siduri Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/15/2010)
    Notable nose of earth and mushrooms. Good balance, mouthfeel, pleasant finish (90 points)
  • 2006 Unti Vineyards Petit Frère – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (1/15/2010)
    Big cherry and red fruit nose. I love grenache and mourvedre, and like GSM blends. Like it don’t love it, but for $20 is a good value (89 points)
  • 2005 Core Coreferment Alta Mesa – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (1/13/2010)
    A disappointing wine, especially for the price, and a 66% mourvedre blend. Cloudy brickish color, decent nose that dies in the mouth. Acidic,off balance, not especially pleasing mid palette or finish. 2 of 3 wines from a Core mixed case, so far not impressed. (76 points)
  • 2007 Eric Ross Pinot Noir Poule d’Or – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/9/2010)
    More notes to follow but an amazing expression of fruit. Full of red fruit, berry. Amazingly well balanced and mouthfeel. Delicate yet complex with a silky that lingers pleasantly. (92 points)
  • 2008 Copain Viognier Tous Ensemble – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (1/7/2010)
    One of my fave viognier’s, reasonably priced (90 points)
  • 2006 Marimar Estate (Marimar Torres) Chardonnay Acero Don Miguel Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (1/7/2010)
    Great unoaked chard. Nice citrus, long finish with hint of minerality (89 points)
  • 2007 Bodega Elvira Calle Gran Reserva – Argentina, Mendoza, Lujan de Cuyo (1/3/2010)
    90 points Wine Spectator. Interesting blend of malbec, bonarda (yum), syrah, cab, merlot. Beautiful brick red color. Lush nose of berry. Plum, red fruit in mouth with clean finish. 14% alcohol. A great wine for only 12.99 on www.klwines.com (87 points)
  • 2006 Core b. core Alta Mesa – USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County (1/2/2010)
    73% roussanne 27% marsanne. Dark yellow color. Big floral nose, hints of apple. Decent mouthful, slightly off balance finish. Drinkable but I have had better Rhone white blends. (85 points)
  • 2007 Quivira Mourvedre – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (1/1/2010)
    One of my fave wines of 2009, I need to
    Go buy another case. Lush Red fruit, easy drinking, comfort wine that has good body, structure, and an amazing mouth feel and finish. (92 points)
  • 2008 Folk Machine Pinot Noir – USA, California, Central Coast (12/28/2009)

    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/657 

    Color: light- medium ruby

    Aroma: strawberry, red fruit

    In the Mouth: light bodied, cherry, berry. Young, but easy to drink.
    Its hard to find knock your socks off Pinot Noir under $20, this is a very good pinot for the price. (88 points)

  • 2007 Mayo Family Winery Chardonnay Unwooded Risk Vineyards – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (12/26/2009)

    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/649 

    This is another great expression of pure chardonnay fruit. It doesn’t specify it did not undergo malolactic fermentation, but my guess is it didn’t.

    The 2007 vintage is from the Sonoma Coast, Risk Vineyards. 454 cases made. 13.9% alcohol.

    Color: Pale to medium yellow, good clarity

    Aroma: Scents of wet stone, grapefruit, and a hint of peach

    In the Mouth: Bursting with citrus when it first hits the palette, pleasant taste of kiwi and peach on the mid palette,and a pleasant finish that lingers citrus and a hint of minerality (90 points)

  • 2008 Novy Family Wines Viognier Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/25/2009)
    Full review at www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/639 

    Novy Family Winery

    I have written before about Novy, in my review of Siduri. Novy wines are made at Siduri, and is the label used for all their non Pinot Noir wines.

    Their 2008 Viognier is a small production, only 63 cases made.

    Color: light-medium straw color, clear

    Aroma: fragrant as befits the varietal. Pear, Notes of citrus, pineapple.

    In the Mouth: Aged in Stainless only, with excellent balance, and a mouth watering acidity at finish.

    Pear, pineapple, green apple, with a lingering taste of peach at finish.

    I tasted this wine both chilled, and then at room temperature, and it shows its flavor and aroma characteristics much better a bit warmer….As I have written repeatedly, this is a critical factor in enjoying a well made, full bodied white wine.

    This is a solid expression of Viognier, and one I recommend, at a reasonable $20 retail. Its sold at at the winery, but still available at several distributors; locals can also try Bottle Barn in Santa Rosa, where I have seen Siduri and Novy before. (89 points)

  • 2006 Chatter Creek Grenache – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (12/22/2009)
    An easy drinking red wine that will appeal to many palettes in sub $20 price. Hints of Cranberry and strawberry on nose. Decent mouthfeel, balance. Pleasant low alcohol (13%) alcohol. Kinda like a comfort wine, easy, simple, enjoyable. (87 points)
  • 2007 Branham Estate Wines Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (12/20/2009)
    http://www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/624. Full review 

    Color: Pale yellow, light straw, good clarity

    Aroma: A wonderful nose – full of green apple, citrus

    In the Mouth: Left on the lees (wine sediment) for 4 months gives this chardonnay nice mouth feel.

    A bounty of fruit in the mouth; pineapple, green apple, grapefruit. Needless to say, a mouth watering finish, that lingers nicely. (90 points)

  • 2008 Tomero Torrontés – Argentina, Mendoza (12/16/2009)
    Finally the 4th try of this isn’t spoiled or tainted.
    Color: a very pale yellow color. Clear. 

    Aroma: characteristic floral nose. Pineapple. Hint of citrus.

    In the Mouth: A plethora of fruit – peach, green apple, grapefuit. Excellent viscosity, mouthfeel, balance, with a mouth watering, acidic finish.

    Full review: www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/597 (89 points)

  • 2007 Penner-Ash Viognier – USA, Oregon (12/13/2009)
    Color: A very pale yellow, with excellent clarity 

    Aroma: Fragrant, as a Viognier should be. Peach and citrus on the nose. A hint of green apple, spice.

    In the Mouth: Viognier characteristically has good body and mouth feel. This doesn’t disappoint. Melon, tropical fruit, good mid palette, a touch of sweetness, pear. A barely detectable bit of heat (alcohol) on finish.

    An excellent expression of Viognier.

    See www.simplehedonisms.com/archives/586
    For review (90 points)

  • 2007 Hobo Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon Russian River Valley – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (11/30/2009)
    Wow, for my personal palette (which I confess is somewhat Bordeaux varietal burned out) I love this cab : and it’s Russian River.
    Beautiful deep Red ruby color
    Ripe berry, hint of cherry, on nose. 

    Dark red fruit, black currant, berry in mouth
    Surprisingly smooth finish for a 2007 cab with no tannins but nice structure.

    Nice body, mouthfeel, and a smooth pleasing finish. And only 13.5% alcohol, bravo, instead of the over extracted monsters today.
    This may get me drinking Cabernet again! (90 points)

  • 2008 Syncline Subduction White – USA, Washington, Columbia Valley (11/30/2009)
    Interesting blend 42% chard, 30 % roussanne, 28% viognier (latter two, 2 of my fave Rhone whites)
    Pale straw color in glass.
    Subtle but fragrant nose. Honeysuckle and apple on nose. Pear and apple in mouth. Mouth watering acidity, finish.
    Only 385 cases, Columbia Valley (88 points)
  • 2007 James Family Cellars Pinot Noir Stoney Point – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/28/2009)
    Moderate red, clear, color.
    Very subtle nose, hints of cherry, cranberry.
    Very pleasant in the mouth; bigger fruit, again cherry, cranberry. Great mouthfeel, body, great mid palette, nice balance and acidity, for a lingering pleasant finish. Wish this wasn’t my only bottle! Harvest Fair Gold medal winner (90 points)
  • 2008 Crios de Susana Balbo Torrontés – Argentina, Mendoza (11/26/2009)
    Floral, fragrant nose. Pleasant mouthfeel best not drunk overly cold. Great representation of the varietal for a largely distributed, high production wine. (89 points)
  • 2005 Parsonage Village Vineyard Merlot – USA, California, Central Coast, Carmel Valley (10/28/2009)
    Bright ruby color in the glass, lush raspberry and dark fruit in the mouth. Long pleasing finish, velvety smooth, not hot. Integrated and harmonious. A wine that’s comfort food. (91 points)
  • 2007 Branham Estate Wines Chardonnay – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/27/2009)
    Great unoaked no ML chardonnay. Nice nose with citrus, wet stone, hint tropical fruit. Pleasant in mouth, minerality, citrus. Important to not drink over chilled! (89 points)
  • 2007 Inman Family Pinot Gris – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/26/2009)
    A really great RRV Pinot Gris. Great nose, big citrus and pear in mouth. Hints of pineapple on the nose. Great balance, nice acidity. Long finish that makes the mouth water. And want more…. (90 points)
  • 2005 Léal Vineyards Syrah Estate Grown – USA, California, Central Coast, San Benito County (10/25/2009)
    Big blackberry nose, blackberry and hint of spice and tobacco on the pallete, Smooth and velvety mid pallette. Medium finish, that lingers a bit at end with a note of heat from
    Alcohol, perfect balance other wise.
  • 2008 Dutcher Crossing Sauvignon Blanc – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (10/24/2009)
    One of my favorite Dry Creek SB’s. Blended with viognier, marsanne, and rousanne, 3 of my fave rhone varietals, makes this something a bit different. Nice. Floral nose, hint of citrus. Lots of pleasant citrus, some minerality, in the mouth. Pleasing mid palette and a great finish that leaves the mouth watering, in a postive way. Great by itself or with food. (93 points)
  • 2007 M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Petite Ruche – France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage (10/23/2009)
    Rhone white blend; likely some combo of marsanne, rousanne, viognier. Hints of floral/Honeysuckle and wet stone on the nose, nice balance of minerality and acidity in mouth, nice finish that lingers pleasantly. (89 points)
  • 2008 Tomero Torrontés – Argentina, Mendoza (10/15/2009)
    Have had this twice this month, from different sources, and both times it was a horrid representation of this normally amazing white Argentine varietal. A bit off on the nose and REALLY bad on the finish. It saddens me greatly this could be some ones intro to Torrontes (70 points)
  • 2006 Novy Family Wines Syrah Sonoma County – USA, California, Sonoma County (10/13/2009)
    Decent for 20.00 price point, but lacking something overall. Liked it better after some 20 mins oxidation time. Decent nose, mouthful of fruit – dark berry. Presence of tannins but not over powering but the finish isn’t soft. Likely better with food or age. Like but don’t love. (84 points)
  • 2007 Longboard Vineyards Merlot Dakine Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/13/2009)
    Tasted twice, after first opening and a day later, sealed. I find both the nose and the taste of this merlot to have bell pepper/vegetable
    characteristics, sometimes associated with early harvest.Might also just be a young merlot that needs some more time, better the 2nd day.
    Balance is good, no lingering tannins, but I generally look to merlot to be more supple, soft in mouth. This is more of a cab drinkers style
    merlot, in my opinion. (84 points)
  • 2007 Mounts Family Winery Cabernet Franc Mounts Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (10/9/2009)
    A classic David Mounts big style wine. Recent release. Beautiful dark color. Nice fruit in the mouth. Small amount of tannins from good use of french oak for structure. great for food. Nice balance, finish. A tiny amount of heat that will mellow. This drinks really well right now, pair with autumn dishes. Or cellar a few extra to enjoy over months or years. It’s an excellent wine that will only get better. 125 cases made. (90 points)
  • 2005 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Shiraz – Australia, South Australia, Limestone Coast, Coonawarra (10/9/2009)
    Meh an e.g. Of why I don’t drink much $10 wine..dump half off em as I may this if it doesn’t open up like few others found. Big flabby fruit mid finish is ok, hot at the end. Will See what an hour does. (79 points)
  • 2007 Hamacher Pinot Noir “H” – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley (10/8/2009)
    It’s Oregon night. Strawberry nose, bigger berry in mouth. Lacking that velvet finish I like but for $22 2007 Pinot it delivers. (86 points)
  • 2007 Calstar Cellars Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (10/7/2009)
    A good Pinot for the price (low 20s). Harvest medal winner. Good balance,acidity.love to see it in another year. (85 points)
  • 2006 Bogle Vineyards Phantom – USA, California (10/7/2009)
    Interesting blend of petite sirah, zin, mourvedre. Tight at first, opens up. Berry. Bit tannic even after breathing, but very drinkable at this price point. (84 points)
  • 2007 Mounts Family Winery Syrah – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (10/6/2009)
    Great syrah! Deep color. Big body, smooth finish. Begs for food but jazzing on a big glass sans food to start. Harvest gold medal winner. (93 points)
  • 2002 Quivira Steelhead Red Wine Creek Ranch – USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley (10/5/2009)
    Nice GSM blend (Grenache, syrah, mouvdre) sadly this was the last year was truly made. (name/label still exists but lower quality now). Good fruit. Soft in mouth. Nice finish. Has held up very well (85 points)

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