2007 DuMOL Syrah Eddie’s Patch (Russian River Valley)

The nose is slightly closed still but shows blackberry, black pepper and damp earth. In the mouth it’s a nice balance of fruit and acidity meaning it’s not over the top with fruit. Blackberry, coconut and sassafras flavors lead the way with a peppery finish thats lingering. “Eddies Patch” is part of the Hoppe-Kelly Vineyard located in the cool northern end of the Russian River Valley. A great example of new world Syrah from California. Another outstanding effort from this very consistent producer.

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2008 Buehler Vineyards Zinfandel (Napa Valley)

Lighter garnet color. The nose shows plum stew, anise and a hint of honeysuckle. On the palate this wine shows a great balance of fruit and acidity. The fruit is classic Napa Zin with plum leading the way but also some raspberry pepper and vanilla. The finish is medium to long and shows a nice mineral edge to add to the complexity. This wine is both fruit forward and elegant. If you are looking for an over the top extracted style this isn’t it. However this Zinfandel is great for its restraint and softness while still showing pure fruit flavors. A good value and a very well made wine.

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm  Comments (1)  
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2008 Cartlidge & Browne Pinot Noir (California)

The nose shows a little raspberry and cherry with a touch of barnyard funk. The color is light brick-red. In the mouth this lighter style California Pinot Nior has red cherry, black licorice and oaky notes. It’s fairly one-dimensional but for the price it’s pretty good. This Pinot Noir carries the California appellation on the label so the fruit is sourced from many different areas and vineyards but again for $13 it’s pretty good.

Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 12:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Franc (Sonoma)

Almost dark ruby color. Very aromatic nose after about an hour in the decanter showing black fruit and a hint of coconut. Medium body in the mouth with very structured notes of the black currant,black raspberry bell pepper, and a hit of spice at the finish. Elegant and easy to drink. Excellent effort. The fruit for this wine comes from the Sonoma county side of this vineyard which straddles the lines between Sonoma and Napa county. It’s still a bit young but drinking very well now. Put a bottle or two down for a couple of years.

Published in: on March 6, 2010 at 1:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Audelssa Estate Winery Summit (Sonoma County)

Cherry and vanilla on the nose with a hint of spice. The wine still seems a bit young. The fruit shows red cherry, wild red berry and tobacco with a hit of black pepper on the finish. It’s fairly tannic from mid palate on. A blend of the Bordeaux varietals from Sonoma County, this red wine is a good buy. It needs a little more time in the bottle or extended time in the decanter to be fully enjoyed.

2007 DuMOL Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Pale garnet in color. The nose had bold raspberry and cola notes. Nice mix of fruit and acidity on the palate with red cherry, raspberry and a mineral notes that lingers. This wine is a very good example of a California Pinot Noir. Big and bold but not over the top. Excellent.

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 1:13 am  Comments (1)  
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2007 Robert Foley Griffin (Napa Valley)

Very dark purple color. The nose was faint but had hints of toasty oak and red fruit. Flavors of sweet cherry, black currant and smoke. The fruit for this wine comes from the Howell Mountain area of the Napa Valley. It’s a “kitchen sink” type of blend which is a good thing in this case because it allows the winemaker (Bob Foley) the freedom to blend without the  boundaries associated with varietal guidelines. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Charbono and Petite Sirah are all in the mix. Great QPR at $32.00.  For years Robert Foley was the winemaker at Pride and now out on his own.

2007 Carter Cellars Merlot Truchard Vineyard (Napa Valley)

This wine is very young and will no doubt improve with additional bottle time. The nose shows notes of bay leaf, red fruit and violets. Plumb, cedar and spice are the predominate flavors across the palate. The tannins are big and burly now but will lay down with another year or two in bottle. It has the structure to age gracefully so give it some time. The Truchard vineyard is in the cooler Carneros region at the bottom of the the Napa Valley which well suited for growing Merlot.

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 1:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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2007 Delectus Cabernet Franc (Knights Valley)

Ruby red color. The nose is big with black cherry, spice box, plum and bell pepper. The palate is also large with the cherry and plum carrying on and the addition of vanilla, and strawberry. The finish is long and picks up a good mineral note to add to the complexity. The fruit was sourced from a mature hillside vineyard across from the Delectus Estate located in Knights Valley in Sonoma County just west of Calistoga. Although this wine is young it is drinking well now. Save some though as it will get better with additional bottle age. Highly recommended.

2006 Sea Smoke Pinot Noir Botella

Overall this Pinot is good but not great. It’s silky smooth but is slightly lacking in fruit. There are hints of tart Botellared berry flavors and a touch of spice. The finish is short and the tannins are still heavy on the end. The Botella vineyard has rich, well-drained clay loam soil.  The site features southern exposure and the cool microclimate of the Santa Ynez River canyon which is in the Santa Rite Hills AVA.

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 1:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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