2012 Romancing the Rhones Results
Scores: Men Judges


Romancing the Rhones Results
Scores: Women Judges
Scores: Women Judges Bang for Your Buck
Scores: Men Judges
Scores: Men Judges Bang for Your Buck

heartheartheartheart = Love at First Sip = Gold Medal

Calcareous 2010 White Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00

195 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Male Wine Judges
(95) Yellow
Male: Fresh lemons and spice on the nose: very aromatic, floral and
perfumey, mouthwatering and lemon-blossom-filled. On the palate, pure fresh lemon, orange peel, very juicy, viscous, well-balanced and very good: a crowd-pleasing wine.
Exuberance by Canihan 2007 Canihan Family Estate Syrah
Sonoma Valley, $49.00

200 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Male Wine Judges
THIRD PLACE: Male Wine Lovers
(94.8) Light Blue
Male: Nose of brooding plums and sweet beets. Flavors of currant, cola, leather, smoky bacon, jammy blackberries, and cherries. Rich, viscous and syrupy – Nice! Classic Syrah.
6th Sense 2010 Syrah
Lodi, $16.00

20000 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Male Wine Judges
(94.5) Black
Male: Brilliant shiny candied plum color. Aromas of pancake syrup and cherries that open to smoked wood and cola. Rich, ripe opening, with great depth, balance and grip. Dill pickle in mid-palate. Leather, smoke and cloves on the long finish. Smooth mouthfeel.
Barnard Griffin 2008 Cote de Rob Lonesome Spring Ranch Red Blend
Columbia Valley, $25.00

100 cases produced

(94)
Male: Very deep garnet with purple edges. Aromas of fresh-picked plums, rhubarb pie, tar and coffee. A flavorful, playful fruit-forward wine,
with baked plum, tangy blackberry and red cherry notes, accented by fine tannins.

Calcareous 2008 Tres Violet Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

850 cases produced

(94)
Male: Garnet with purple rim. Aromas of Bing cherries, plum cobbler with
vanilla cream, earth and a touch of spearmint. Broad, fruity and deep,
filled with blackberry fruit, chocolate and black pepper. Great acidity,
lush palate and lingering finish. A great Rhone blend!

Fenestra 2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $27.00

176 cases produced

(94)
Male: Blackberry-blueberry compote, licorice, cinnamon and oak – a lot going on in the nose. Big, rich and spicy up front, with delicious flavors of boysenberry-blackberry pie, leading to an equally rich and spicy finish. Well constructed, balanced and well integrated.

Field Stone Winery 2011 Heritage Block Field Stone Estate Vineyard Rose of Petite Sirah
Alexander Valley, $20.00

264 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Female Wine Judges
(94) Lilac
Male: Nice pink color with rose petals and sweet, juicy strawberry
and cherry aromas. Very juicy up front, with lots of ripe cranberry and raspberry fruit, and a candied edge that finishes dry. A fun wine that wants food, for sure.
Hahn Winery 2010 GSM Red Blend
Central Coast, $14.00

18582 cases produced

(94) Red
Male: Brilliant dark garnet. Beautiful nose filled with perfume, rose
petals and cherries and berries showing through. Shows up front fruit, good tannin, tangy currants, beautiful structure, depth and balance. Youthful and action-packed.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2009 Syrah
Suisun Valley, $20.00

150 cases produced

(94)
Male: Raspberry cola and very fruity aromas. A very pretty wine with floral, red and black fruits, including black currant jam and brown sugar. Dark chocolate, bright juicy fruits and good depth and balance. Wonderful oak selection adds weight and provides creamy mouthfeel. A very restrained and sophisticated style. Good job!

NxNW 2009 Syrah
Columbia Valley, $30.00

373 cases produced

(94) Peach
Male: Very fruity with floral aromas, nutty oak, black pepper, black cherry and dark chocolate. A big wine, with a silky mid-palate of jammy black fruits, yet balanced with good length. Rich and mouthfilling with a perfect balance of fruit, tannin and wood. Woo hoo!

Field Stone Winery 2010 Staten Family Reserve Viognier
Alexander Valley, $25.00

347 cases produced

(93)
Male: Attractive citrus and floral notes with white flowers, peaches,
cloves and spice. Juicy, with orange peel, white peach and lemon notes,
plus structure and acid to carry the minerality. Very varietally correct: very well done!

Guglielmo 2011 Private Reserve Marsanne
Santa Clara County, $20.00

248 cases produced

(93) Mint Green
Male: Mango, ripe melon, tropical fruit, white peaches, honeysuckle, pear and vanilla – aromas so appealing, they make the mouth water! On the palate, ripe peaches, apricot, mango and tangerine, combined with round mouthfeel and flowing acidity, make the mouth water even more! Long finish lingers nicely.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2009 Syrah
California Shenandoah Valley, $20.00

150 cases produced

(93)
Male: Almost black, with purple rim. Blackberry, cedar, black pepper and chocolate mint aromas lead to flavors of cassis, boysenberries, licorice, dark chocolate and black cherries. Good acidity, youthful tannins and a touch of coffee on the long finish.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Petite Sirah
Shenandoah Valley, California, $28.00

154 cases produced

(93) Orange
Male: Tantalizing blackberry, spice, fresh-cut grass, and floral notes. Rich, ripe baked blackberry-blueberry pie with cinnamon and vanilla. Seems big and intense, but has great balance, silky tannins and a deft touch. A great food wine with an awesome finish! Grippy.

Jason-Stephens 2007 Red Blend
Santa Clara Valley, $36.00

400 cases produced

(93) Light Yellow
Male: A wine with : Old World style. Dense red blend, big tannins, long finish. Well-made, well-balanced, nicely integrated. Incredible depth showing polished, robust, wonderful layers. Good grip with a sleek finish.

Jason-Stephens 2008 Estate Syrah
Santa Clara Valley, $26.00

1600 cases produced

(93)
Male: Black fruit, pleasant nutty oak, cedar chest, cherry wood, sandalwood, and dark chocolate. Assertive, big and complex with smoke, black plum, black cherry, and pink crushed pepper. Bold tannins, strength of character, well-built structure, and a lingering finish.

Nottingham Cellars 2010 Casa De Vinas Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $34.00

200 cases produced

(93)
Male: Smoky bacon and blackberry jam nose, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon. Elegant palate of blackberry, black plum, black currant, cedar, fig, pepper, luscious semi-sweet dark baking chocolate, and baking spice. Perfectly balanced with a fine, juicy finish. A well-made wine, classic Petite Sirah, with a good deal of backbone. DELICIOUS!

R2 2010 Vin Blancs White Blend
Santa Barbara County, $24.00

570 cases produced

(93)
Male: Waxy, buttery, honeyed aromas, combine with floral, lychee, tangerine, almond, baking spice and peach aromas. Flavors weave rose petals, fruit salad, apricots, peaches, apples, pears and cinnamon in a nicely balanced wine with a silky, supple, texture and nice finish with a lush edge hinting at future. Refreshing, zippy acid.

Skylark 2009 Red Belly Red Blend
North Coast, $20.00

550 cases produced

(93)
Male: Deep, ripe black cherry, blackberry, clove, currant, and earth note aromas. Spicy, with firm structure, moderate tannins, a rich and complex palate focused on concentrated, grippy black fruit, leather and coffee. Ends with a warm spicy finish.

Tallulah 2009 Como Marsanne
Napa Valley, $28.00

192 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Female Wine Judges
(93) Gunmetal
Male: High-toned aromatics, lots of butter and nutty wood influence. Rich mouthfeel, heady, with buttery butternut squash, nutmeg, lots of tropical fruits and heavy barrel influence. Classic Marsanne – nicely done!
Anaba Wines 2011 Pink Annadel Estate Grenache Rose
Sonoma Valley, $22.00

176 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: Rose
(92) Hot Pink
Male: Raspberry aromas with a slight hint of licorice open to papaya, strawberry and other tropical fruit flavors. Clean, bright with good acidity. Elegant and sleek. Great mouthfeel. Freshly fruity, but at the same time, dry and it has a lovely long finish for a rose. Great for seafood on the beach!
Aver Family Album 2009 Red Blend
California, $29.00

65 cases produced

(92) Blue Green
Male: Purple rim and dark middle/edge. Wow! Complex red plum, cassis, violet, berries, floral notes, caramel and cocoa edge to aromas. Wild berries, Santa Rosa plums, cocoa powder, cassis and spice. Velvety mid-palate. Tannins on finish with dried herbs and spices. A well-balanced, complete experience.

Berryessa Gap Vineyards 2007 Rocky Ridge Collection Tradition Red Blend
Yolo County, $25.00

200 cases produced

(92) Orchid
Male: Deep garnet, almost black. Aromas of black currants, boysenberries
and earth, with flavors of black cherries, rhubarb pie, jammy black
currant and pepper. Big tannins and acidity, with cherries and cedar on
finish.

Cinnabar 2010 Syrah
Paso Robles, $36.00

150 cases produced

(92) Smoke
Male: Garnet with ruby rim. Reserved blackberry and cherry aromas, with dusty tea rose, vanilla and Old Spice cologne. Reminiscent of a cedar chest in the attic. Palate dominated by raspberries, warm cedar, black currant, and spice box with firm tannins and good structure. Spice box-laden finish.

Cinnabar 2010 Tripartite Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

150 cases produced

(92)
Male: Lovely aromatics, with black cherry, blackberry, red plums, strawberry, and a floral edge. Nice structure and balance, with lively acidity, black raspberry, mulberry, plums, spicy clove, and subtle oak tones. Long, firm fruit and a minerally-creamy, harmonious finish. Needs age.

Crooked Vine 2008 Del Arroyo Vineyards Syrah
Livermore Valley, $31.00

150 cases produced

(92)
Male: Aromas of marzipan, coffee, blackberry jam and hints of sweet
wood. Big and fat, with a viscous and oily texture, jammed with
blackberries, blueberries, licorice, spice. and roasted almonds.

Crooked Vine 2010 Del Arroyo Vineyards Viognier
Livermore Valley, $24.00

150 cases produced

(92) Blue
Male: Very delicate nose with honeysuckle, clover honey and orange blossoms. Juicy with lemon and orange notes. A delicate wine, with nice entry, ripe peaches and honey, carried by good acid, and presenting a nicely articulated mouthfeel, with an elegant finish.

Eden Springs High Eden 2008 Riesling
High Eden, $25.80

1959 cases produced

(92)
Male: Distinctive Old World Mercedes tailpipe aromatic. Well structured palate full of minerality and well developed cinnamon-apple.

Fortunati Vineyards 2008 VINTO Fortunati Vineyards Syrah
Oak Knoll District Napa Valley, $34.00

150 cases produced

(92)
Male: Petrol/diesel hints along with black currant and blueberry compote. Good mouthfeel with lively black plum, black licorice and a creamy finish of anise and black pepper.

Gatt High Eden 2009 Shiraz
High Eden, $56.70

809 cases produced

(92)
Male: Classic Old World meets the best of the New World. A gem!

Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2008 Slipstone Hearthstone Vineyard Red Blend
Paso Robles, $26.00

272 cases produced

(92)
Male: Big aromas of black fruit, especially black plum, carries over to the palate, with black plum, English walnuts, black raspberry, and black currant, wrapped around soft, chalky tannins with spicy cherry-plum flavors. Broad, deep and velvety: a really attractive wine. Big! Big! Big! Yet balanced and dry.

Jazz Cellars 2010 Rhapsody Saralee’s Vineyard White Blend
Russian River Valley, $33.00

100 cases produced

(92)
Male: Aromas of crushed pineapple, grapefruit, jasmine and blossoms. The mouthfeel is satisfying and intense with minerality, graham crackers, cream, firm peach, apricot, Meyer lemon, and tropical fruits. Long finish.

Jessie’s Grove Winery 2006 Ancient Vine Carignane
Lodi, $28.50

1300 cases produced

(92) Burgundy
Male: Deep garnet color, with dried cherries, lavender, Mexican sage and leather in the nose. Blackberries, plum, leather, ripe cherries, coffee, cocoa, evident tannins and significant wood influence. Clings to the glass.

Michael David 2010 Cinsault
Lodi, $20.00

1000 cases produced

(92) Khaki
Male: Pink ruby rim and ruby center. Aromas of kir, dark plum and wild berry compote. Deep fruit, chocolate, juniper, licorice and forest floor herbs meld into a viscous, complex finish. A modern style wine.

Nottingham Cellars 2010 Awakening GSM Blend Red Blend
Livermore Valley, $36.00

180 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: Red
(92)
Male: Beautiful garnet color with ruby rim. Highly appealing and lively aromas of blackberries and cedar. You can really smell the Grenache –
Wow! Blackberry, coffee, spice rack, sweet wood. Juicy and well-balanced with great structure. A dynamite wine!
Pipestone Vineyards 2010 100% Estate Work Horse Red
Paso Robles, $32.00

250 cases produced

(92)
Male: Inviting nose of blackberry, oak and leather. Dense, chewy with blackberry, plums and raspberry flavors, licorice, along with black pepper, black stone fruits, and bacon. Finishes with hints of smoky cherry wood and cedar. Rich and wonderful.

R&B Cellars 2009 Bingham Ranch Petite Sirah
Napa Valley, $28.00

580 cases produced

(92) Eggplant
Male: Prune, blackberry, blueberry, mocha, sandalwood, and allspice aromas. Chocolate, mocha, toasted coconut, dark earth and dusty black fruits on the palate. Solid, complex structure for aging.

Rockin’ One 2009 Estate Cass Vineyard Red Blend
Paso Robles, $42.00

600 cases produced

(92) Gold
Male: Floral, citrus, hints of coffee, bacon, anise and raspberries. Black cherries, plums, raspberries, white pepper, wild cherries and herbs. Viscous mouthfeel, dark minerality and vanilla oak on finish. Nice balance.

RoxyAnn Winery 2009 Syrah
Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon, $30.00

778 cases produced

(92)
Male: Blackberry pie, plum, violets, butter and spice aromas spill over onto palate. Blue fruits, black fruits, licorice and herbs as well. Great balance, nice acidity and lingering finish. Hints of black pepper.

South Coast Winery 2010 White Blend
Temecula Valley, $20.00

2100 cases produced

(92) Coral
Male: Resiny, minty, oily nose with orange peel and pineapple notes. Medium-bodied and juicy, with tons of peaches, nectarines and citrus oil
on the finish. Great, juicy minerality.

Stony Ridge 2008 Del Arroyo Vineyards Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $26.00

150 cases produced

(92)
Male: Very pretty aromas of flowers, dark chocolate, coffee, and berry cola. Flavors of dark chocolate, spicy bright cherries, cassis, and a long, ripe finish with ample tannins.

tercero wines 2009 Camp 4 Mourvedre
Santa Ynez Valley, $30.00

75 cases produced

(92)
Male: Good garnet color with cola and cinnamon spice, dusty oak and
cracked black pepper. A really interesting wine, with pure fruit, dried cherries, ripe plums, red tree fruit, with crushed pink peppercorns. A well-made, balanced, intriguing and very exotic wine.

The Messenger multi-vintage Red Blend
California, $16.00

1200 cases produced

(92) Lime Green
Male: Ruby rim and dark center. Very French, salty, with red berry, currant, herb and forest notes, with nettles and ocean mist hints. Hermitage salt, deep red berry, cocoa and minerality. A nice balance of all components with good acidity.

VIE 2008 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $45.00

100 cases produced

(92)
Male: Lovely depth of aromas with black fruit, light spice and floral notes. The palate replicates the aromatics. Very well made wine! “Top of the class for California Syrah.”

Anaba Wines 2009 Coriol Red Blend
Sonoma Valley, $32.00

726 cases produced

(91)
Male: Wow! Coffee, wild herbs, wild blackberries, chocolate, nutty and a bit of barnyard on the nose. Tannins, dark plum, dark berry, dusty chocolate and dark herbs. Tight, tarry, bold finish with big tannins.

Anaba Wines 2009 Annadel Estate Mourvedre
Sonoma Valley, $40.00

185 cases produced

(91)
Male: Sweet tar, leather, porcini, coffee, cedar, spice, and game notes. Impressive initial intensity, with black currant, cinnamon, coffee, plums, cherry cola, and oak notes on the palate. Finishes like creamy coffee.

Bonny Doon Vineyard 2011 Vin Gris de Cigare Rose
Central Coast, $16.00

5555 cases produced

(91) Dusty Rose
Male: Pale salmon color with soft orange blossom nose, cotton candy,
bubblegum, and cherries underneath. Very juicy, but restrained, with vivid wild strawberries, cranberries and great balance. Tavel-like.

Bonny Doon Vineyard 2009 Contra Red Blend
Central Coast, $14.00

5867 cases produced

(91)
Male: Dried plums on the nose open to cherry and cassis. Restrained in style. Soft, delicate fruit over mid-palate with the deft finish.

Bouchaine 2011 Rockin’ H Vineyard Rose of Syrah
Sonoma Coast, $22.00

230 cases produced

(91)
Male: Aromas of strawberry, orange zest and white currant. Nice light berry and cherry flavors with orange rind, fig, subtle herbs and spice and a crisp, dusty, red berry finish. Pretty big finish for a light wine!

Derby Wine Estates 2009 FIFTEEN 10 Derby Vineyard White Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00

221 cases produced

(91)
Male: Subtle and understated aromatics of light honey and almonds. Nice complexity on the palate with equal levels of fruit and spice. Nicely made.

Derby Wine Estates 2007 FIFTEEN 10 Derby Vineyard Red Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00

420 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Male Wine Lovers
FIRST PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
(91) Aqua Marine
Male: Dark fruit, black tea, smoke, sweet black fruits, blueberries, and a touch of leather on the nose. Tart cherry flavors with nice acid. Layered and nicely complex. Well balanced. Very young will get better and better with time.
Ecluse Wines 2009 Improv Lock Vineyard Red Blend
Paso Robles, $36.00

250 cases produced

(91)
Male: Aromas of dusty blackberries, black currant, black cherry white pepper, hints of petrol and earth. Very earthy, with good black fruits,
oily texture, good acidity, drying tannins and fine structure.

Eden Springs High Eden 2010 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

695 cases produced

(91)
Male: Beautifully proportioned aromatics lead to perfectly balanced symmetry and balance of fruit and tannin.

Eden Springs High Eden 2010 Riesling
High Eden, $25.80

1051 cases produced

(91)
Male: Elegant, well proportioned aromatics of Old World elements with New World fruit. Citrus, orange and green apple palate. Bright finish.

Guglielmo 2008 Private Reserve Estate Petite Sirah
Santa Clara Valley, $25.00

426 cases produced

(91)
Male: Nose of black currant, cedar, eucalyptus; mid-palate of coffee, oak and cola; long, tight finish of smoky bacon and black cherry. Cedar and pancake syrup in the nose. Almost Syrah-like in the mouth with black fruits and smooth tannins. Good fruit, good attack, good grip, sleek to the finish.

Guglielmo 2009 Private Reserve Estate Carignane
Santa Clara Valley, $25.00

233 cases produced

(91)
Male: Orange/ruby rim. Cherry herb cough drop aromas, with chocolate, spicy berry and green meadow herbs. Red berries, strawberries, minerals and spice. Finish of earth, cedar and leather.

Hug Cellars 2009 El Pape Red Blend
Central Coast, $30.00

209 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Male Wine Lovers
(91) Brick
Male: Aromas of dark cherry with bubblegum notes. Rich opening with nice mouthfeel. Integrated, intense fruit with cedar and tar back notes. Good grip, nice depth, excellent acidity and a powerful finish.
Kandarian Wine Cellars 2009 Syrah
Bennett Valley, $28.00

150 cases produced

(91) Gray
Male: Aromas of red fruit and cherry pie. Wonderful opening. The wine is balanced, harmonious and integrated. Rich velvety cherry, hints of tobacco and smoke. Layered, well-structured and complex.

Kirigin Cellars 2009 Syrah
California, $19.90

100 cases produced

(91)
Male: The aromas are layered – dark currants, rhubarb, blackberries, cedar, leather, and chocolate. Ripe, good clean opening and nice depth. Chocolate, cedar, eucalyptus, and a long plum finish. Well done!

Lionheart Wines 2007 Syrah
Dry Creek Valley, $35.00

50 cases produced

(91)
Male: Here’s a Syrah for food lovers with good balance and structure. Aromas of smoky Briarwood and cherry. Applewood flavors on the zesty finish.

Midsummer Cellars 2011 Grenache Rose
Yolo County, $19.00

320 cases produced

(91) Pink
Male: Pomegranate, grapefruit, strawberry, nutty brioche and spice, with a smoky edge. Strawberry, blackberry and clove meld to a tangy finish. A summer wine fine for cheeses and grilled vegetables.

Nottingham Cellars 2010 Hayes Ranch Syrah
Livermore Valley, $38.00

50 cases produced

(91)
Male: Aromas of tightly wrapped cherry, sandalwood, leather, earth, dirt and loam; Lush and bright opening. Good attack with gobs of fruit, wonderful balance and good depth.. A complex wine with a clean and racy finish.

Pipestone Vineyards 2008 Estate Grown and Produced Rhone Style Red
Paso Robles, $32.00

175 cases produced

(91)
Male: Tons of fruit, toffee, caramel, bruised apples, and confectionery sugar. Blackberry, loganberry, wild strawberry and cinnamon sprinkles on vanilla ice cream. Excellent mouthfeel, balance and acidity. Punchy!

R2 2010 Grenache Blanc
Santa Ynez Valley, $24.50

184 cases produced

(91) Dark Blue
Male: Grenache nose with flint: oily and complex with hints of ripe strawberry. Good and compelling mouthfeel with grippy citrus, hints of apple, plenty of minerality, and a clean, vibrant finish. A beautiful rendition of Grenache Blanc.

RoxyAnn Winery 2009 Viognier
Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon, $20.00

1294 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
(91) Bronze
Male: Oak bomb! Asian pear, vanilla, green apple and spice. Toast and butter prominent: Lots of buttered toast and creamy vanilla…but where is the fruit? Aha! it is lurking beneath. : )
Sayler-Tait Family Cellars 2010 Catie’s Corner Vineyard Viognier
Russian River, $29.00

30 cases produced

(91)
Male: Earth and stone aromas, with light lemon, white flowers, white
peach, bosc pear and a hint of herbs and minerality. Very pungent,
viscous and perfumey in the mouth – sinus-clearing!! Classic and refreshing, with lingering notes of honey and pear.

Skylark 2008 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah
Sonoma Coast, $36.00

225 cases produced

(91)
Male: Deep garnet with ruby rim. Aromas of bacon fat and steak sauce show up on the palate with big bacon fat core, edged by black pepper and cassis. Needs a bit juicy steak.

Spangler Vineyards 2009 Serenade Syrah
Southern Oregon, $25.00

196 cases produced

(91) Wedgewood
Male: Smoked wood and leather aromas. Good strong opening, young, but balanced with excellent depth. Complex and clean. The finish is strong and persistent.

VIE 2008 Las Madres Vineyard Las Madres Vineyard Syrah
Los Carneros, $39.00

150 cases produced

(91) Turquoise
Male: Black cherry, allspice, lilac, strawberry, lavender and charred wood on the nose. Cherry, dried plum, licorice, tea, white spice and cranberry flavors. Good balance, big tannins, unique complexity and pleasant finish that is lovely and light-touched.

Zaca Mesa 2008 Estate Grown & Bottled Roussanne
Santa Ynez Valley, $25.00

1380 cases produced

(91) Tan
Male: Mango, honey, orange blossom, baking spice and hints of oak in the nose. Nice minerality on the palate showing ripe pears, lychee nut, and almond brittle. Viscous with a long, balanced finish. Excellent varietal character.

Anaba Wines 2010 Coriol Williamson Estate Landa Estate White Blend
Sonoma Valley/Sonoma Coast, $32.00

568 cases produced

(90)
Male: Pleasing nose of tropical citrus fruit and flowers with a touch of cream. Initially shy, then makes a surprising and lasting comeback with white nectarine, pear, vanilla, almonds, tropical fruit, and citrus. Delicate and balanced: no opulence here, just elegance.

Anaba Wines 2010 Greywacke Vineyard Grenache
Russian River, $42.00

179 cases produced

(90)
Male: Nice notes of raspberry jam, cherry pie, black pepper, clove, and cassis in the nose lead to similar flavors on the palate, along with blackberry, blueberry, tea, and cola. Medium body shows toasty oak, with a firm, tannic finish.

Aver Family Vineyards 2008 Blessings Petite Sirah
Santa Clara Valley, $48.00

65 cases produced

(90)
Male: Deep and inky in the glass. Perfumed strawberry aromas, a bit dark and brooding with hints of leather. Big tannins. Concentrated black cherry, nice tannins and a touch of tobacco on finish. Good depth, good food wine.

Aver Family Vineyards 2009 Hope Red Blend
California, $37.00

105 cases produced

(90)
Male: Rich and complex nose of dried herbs and blackberry. Blackberry, cassis and vanilla with firm tannins and a balanced finish.

Bargetto 2010 Nelson Vineyards Syrah
Santa Cruz Mountains, $24.00

288 cases produced

(90)
Male: 144 – Sweet cola notes and cherry on the nose. Good ripe opening of black cherry, cola and plum with a touch of maple syrup mid through the smooth finish.

Berryessa Gap Vineyards 2009 Petite Sirah
Yolo County, $21.00

300 cases produced

(90)
Male: Aromas from the riding stable, including leather, horse blanket and cigar, plus black cherry, smoky bacon and dried herbs. Waves of sweetness ebb and flow with cola, earth, coffee, herbs, and spice. Nice balanced finish.

Bonny Doon Vineyard 2010 Le Cigare Blanc Beeswax Vineyard White Blend
Arroyo Seco, $26.00

1415 cases produced

(90)
Male: Lemongrass, herb, dried grass, delicate stone fruit, and pear aromas. Lovely and bright. Spice, dried ginger, peach, and pear flavors. Lengthy finish. Nice!

Bonny Doon Vineyard 2010 Clos de Gilroy Grenache
Central Coast, $18.00

2384 cases produced

(90)
Male: Ruby/purple in color. Very old world-Cote du Rhône style. Subtle black cherry, wet earth, and horse blanket. Blackberry, vanilla, cola, and game flavors. Nicely proportioned. What leaner style. Great food wine.

Bonny Doon Vineyard 2009 Biodynamic Chequera Vineyard Viognier
Paso Robles, $20.00

654 cases produced

(90)
Male: Very nice Viognier! Honeysuckle and sweet honeyed orange blossom on
the nose. Soft opening and good mouthfeel. Beautiful tropical fruit, pear, apple, stone fruit, vanilla and hints of lychee in the mouth. Candied honeysuckle on the mid-palate. Nice acid on the finish.

Bourassa Vineyards 2010 Rhapsody3 Syrah
Coombsville Napa, $40.00

230 cases produced

(90) Dark Green
Male: Brambly nose with nutmeg and black fruits. Blackberry, cocoa, red berries, spice and smoke. Well integrated, good balance, nice acidity and great, racy finish.

Calcareous 2009 Moose Syrah/Shiraz
Paso Robles, $38.00

370 cases produced

(90)
Male: Lovely nose of blackberry jam in a cedar closet. Forward palate of blackcurrant, clove, bacon, and cedar with a firm, slightly tannic finish. A perfect food wine.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2011 Special Selection Roussanne
Temecula Valley, $20.00

356 cases produced

(90)
Male: Honeysuckle, spice, orange rind, peach blossom, almonds and wet stone aromas lead to grapefruit, melon, lemon and sweet ripe citrus flavors wound around a viscous vanilla core, with good acidity and texture.

Carol Shelton Wines 2009 Coquille Blanc White Blend
Paso Robles, $24.00

368 cases produced

(90)
Male: Golden color in the glass. Pear, peach and buttery and oaky aromas. Beautifully balanced. Rich opening with lively acidity and minerality. Candied orange on the mid-palate. The finish is long and crisp.

Carol Shelton Wines 2010 Coquille Blanc White Blend
Paso Robles, $24.00

495 cases produced

(90)
Male: Lemon green in color. Warm toast and honey with apricot preserves on the nose. Generous mouth feel of tropical fruit with lemon zest through the finish.

Chateau Lorane 2009 Quail Run Vineyard Grenache
Rogue Valley, $22.00

147 cases produced

(90)
Male: Ruby in color. Raspberry and ginger aromas. Black cherry and cherry pie spices in the mouth. Finishes with coca and forest notes.

Cinnabar 2010 Mourvedre
Paso Robles, $36.00

150 cases produced

(90)
Male: Leathery, dark cherry nose at first then dark fruits and forest floor. Earthy and herbal on the palate with black cherry and tea flavors. Rich and ripe. Well-balanced with charred wood and currants on the finish. Nice grip, nice acid, good depth and a wonderful intense finish.

Consilience Wines 2010 Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $18.00

1532 cases produced

(90)
Male: Yummy nose. Rich, forward style, yet young and meaty in the mouth. Heavy, but integrated tannins.

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2009 Viognier
Lodi, $12.00

1200 cases produced

(90)
Male: Lovely kiwifruit and lemon zest aromas. Apple flavors on opening with citrus notes and orange peel mid-palate through the nice precise finish.

Drytown Cellars 2010 Estate Petite Sirah
Amador County, $18.00

260 cases produced

(90) Pumpkin
Male: Blueberry, blackberry, oak, and cola aromas. A big wine, with a creamy mouthfeel, mouthwatering big tannins, and lots of blackberry, black cherry, black currant fruit, and a long, lingering finish.

Ecluse Wines 2010 Viognier
Paso Robles, $28.00

75 cases produced

(90)
Male: Overt oak influence on the nose, redolent of apples, butter, spice, almonds and preserved lemons. Fruit and oak combine nicely through the mid-palate.

Eden Springs High Eden 2008 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

1086 cases produced

(90)
Male: Evolving Old World aromatics of earth and older barrels. Elegantly proportioned palate loaded with candied fruit. Nice acid to carry.

Fenestra 2008 Estate Syrah
Livermore Valley, $24.00

200 cases produced

(90)
Male: Hints of menthol, petrol, raspberry jam, coconut, black fruits, coffee, lavender and herbs. Black and red fruits with good acid and great finish of anise and herbs.

Fenestra 2008 Estate Mourvedre
Livermore Valley, $25.00

186 cases produced

(90)
Male: Floral berries on the nose. Rich tasting blackberry, plum, sweet oak, cinnamon, and herbs from opening through the balanced finish.

Fenestra 2009 Grenache
Livermore Valley, $25.00

240 cases produced

(90)
Male: Floral, berry nose. Rich plum, wild blackberry, leather, and cinnamon on the palate. Balanced finish.

Fortunati Vineyards 2011 Estate Fortunati Vineyards Viognier
Oak Knoll District Napa Valley, $28.00

65 cases produced

(90) White
Male: Floral notes, lemon, honeysuckle, coconut, damp hints of green herbs on the nose. Flavors of lemongrass, green herb, apple, coconuts and almond. Medium finish.

Gatt 2008 Shiraz
Barossa Valley, $56.70

1778 cases produced

(90)
Male: Ripe yet very bright black cherry and soft cookie dough aromatics with notable floral elements. Dense, lush and complex fruit. Needs time.

Hagafen Cellars 2010 Ripken Family Vineyard Roussanne
Lodi, $18.00

267 cases produced

(90)
Male: Citrus flowers, melon, and spice aromas. Soft and creamy on the palate showing lychee, melon, and fig flavors. Very complex. Beautiful!

Hagafen Cellars 2008 Syrah
Napa Valley, $32.00

300 cases produced

(90)
Male: Coffee, spice, ginger, and plum on the nose, repeating on the rich palate with the addition of cherry and blackberry flavors. Youthful with drying to tannins

Hahn Winery 2010 Syrah
Central Coast, $14.00

5454 cases produced

(90)
Male: Fresh blackberry pie filling aromas with a nice spice note. Rich blackberry fruit accented with cloves and leather. Juicy and well-balanced finish.

Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2009 Pearl Hearthstone Vineyard White Blend
Paso Robles, $24.00

173 cases produced

(90)
Male: Nose of pear, mandarin orange peel, lemon and honeysuckle, jasmine, brioche and sage. Cool and refreshing with good initial grip, expansive floral, mineral and citrus notes with creamy Meyer lemon, pine tar, coconut and a hint of marzipan. Unpretentious food wine with good length and subtle complexity.

Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2010 Pearl Hearthstone Vineyard White Blend
Paso Robles, $24.00

176 cases produced

(90)
Male: Herbal notes, with underbrush woodiness, vanilla spice, nutmeg and orange peel. Wow, a good rush of varietal character, with honey-vanilla and some oak to add weight.

Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2008 Lodestone Hearthstone Vineyard Red Blend
Paso Robles, $30.00

252 cases produced

(90)
Male: Red currant, dried herbs, cedar and clove aromas. Red fruit flavors with leather accents and sweet herbs on the finish…Stylish! Young, smooth tannins, and very quaffable.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Syrah
Suisun Valley, $22.00

97 cases produced

(90)
Male: Aromas of green leaves, cola, cherr, and mint give way to a mélange of red and black fruits, including blackberry and cherry, accented by vanilla, cedar and plentiful oak.

Hug Cellars 2010 Mourvedre
Central Coast, $29.00

155 cases produced

(90)
Male: Inviting nose of anise, blackberry and vanilla. Complex palate displays coffee blackberry, sweet oak, earth and cloves. The smooth finish is consistent with the palate.

Jazz Cellars 2010 Catie’s Corner Vineyard Viognier
Russian River Valley, $28.00

100 cases produced

(90)
Male: Aromas of green melon, peach and fig open to a medium-bodied wine displaying complex layers of ripe fruit. The finish is tangy with citrus blossom notes.

Jazz Cellars 2007 Las Madres Vineyard Syrah
Carneros, $34.00

100 cases produced

(90) Green
Male: Dirt, stone, black pepper, boysenberry jam, cola, and rhubarb in the nose lead to black currant, blackberry and rhubarb on the palate. Good balance and finish with cocoa and currant jam.

Lionheart Wines 2008 Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $35.00

50 cases produced

(90)
Male: Slightly musty and briary, with dill, forest floor, currant and leather. Black fruits, pepper, dried currants, red plums, hints of dill and dried Italian herbs. Nice oak on finish.

Lionheart Wines 2008 Angel’s Fare Saralee’s Vineyard White Blend
Russian River Valley, $27.00

50 cases produced

(90)
Male: Nose of ripe Meyer lemon, earth, honeysuckle. and nuttiness. Mouthfeel good with decent acid, juicy fruit, almonds, toast. and bananas on the finish. Overall a simple, luscious summer wine.

Lucas & Lewellen 2009 Estate Vineyards Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $26.00

309 cases produced

(90)
Male: Eucalyptus, menthol, chocolate and mint – like a Girl Scout cookie! Rich, ripe blackberry pie aromas and flavors, with chocolate, mocha and black fruits. Good acid, good balance and rich, long finish.

Mangels Vineyards 2010 Viognier
Suisun Valley, $15.00

50 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: White
(90)
Male: Hints of tropical fruit, honey and vanilla on the nose. Rich opening. Lush, lively, dense, and viscous. Hints of flint, lychee and apricot on the palate. A good food wine.
Martin Ranch Therese Vineyards 2009 Carignane
Santa Clara Valley, $28.95

224 cases produced

(90)
Male: The toasty oak nose is enhanced with herbal notes, then grilled meat and dark berries aromas. Rich blend of smoky bacon, black currant and spice flavors. Beautifully balanced finish.

Martin Ranch Therese Vineyards 2008 Syrah
Santa Clara Valley, $26.95

336 cases produced

(90) Salmon
Male: Sweet charred wood and red fruit aromas deliver lovely plums, currant, dark cherry, and sweet appealing cola flavors.Smooth tannins enhance the dark cherry flavors. Clean, concentrated fruit throughout with black tea on the long finish. Nicely balanced.

Martin Ranch Therese Vineyards 2008 Lester Family Vineyards Syrah
Santa Cruz Mountains, $34.95

224 cases produced

(90)
Male: Forward blackberry nose with leather, spice, vanilla, and toast. Complex dark wild berry, black raspberry cloves, tea, cinnamon, and spice. Consistent long, balanced finish.

Miner 2010 Simpson Vineyard Viognier
California, $160.00

2500 cases produced

(90)
Male: Honey and floral in the nose with creamy lychee nut and butter in the
mouth. Dried orange, peach and tropical fruit on the mid-palate. Stone fruit, hints of pear and papaya join through the finish. Tangy acidity, good grip and good finish.

NxNW 2009 Les Collines Syrah
Walla Walla Valley, $40.00

270 cases produced

(90)
Male: The classic Syrah aromas-smoke, wild berry, cassis, and vanilla replicate on the palate where they are baking spices, leather and black pepper notes. The finish is a bit oaky. Needs some time to settle in.

Poetic Cellars 2007 Muse Vineyard Mourvedre
Livermore Valley, $29.00

160 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
(90) Beige
Male: Aromas of plum, red cherry, leather, and toast lead to red plum and red cherry fruit with a backbone of sour cherry acid. Nice gap on the leathery finish.
Poetic Cellars 2007 Reserve Stanza Syrah
Livermore Valley, $34.00

255 cases produced

(90)
Male: Black cherry and black raspberry combine with graham cracker in the nose. Enticing and sexy flavors with lots of spice and peppery tannins. Well balanced acids on the finish.

Poetic Cellars 2006 Pentameter Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $28.00

160 cases produced

(90)
Male: Dark cherry anise aromas. Rich, dark berry. made and layered. Gobs of ripe fruit in the middle with great depth. Young tannins and nice acid. Good food wine.

Poetic Cellars 2007 Mantra Red Blend
Livermore Valley, $34.00

165 cases produced

(90)
Male: Exotic aromas of wild blackberry, meat, tar, flowers, violets, rhubarb, black cherry, and black currant – lovely nose sings from soprano to baritone! Smoke, toasty spice, cola, and vanilla on the palate with fig, black cherry and dried apples. Finishes with lychee, cherry candy and cocoa. Presents fruit, herb and earth tones warmly and harmoniously: youthful and just beginning to be well-knit, all the way through the finish.

Poetic Cellars 2009 Late Harvest Viognier
Livermore Valley, $22.00

220 cases produced

(90)
Male: Very pretty nose of sugar and smoke, almonds, ripe apricots, and a hint of botrytis. Rich and heady, with creamy macadamia nuts, a lot of caramel and butterscotch candy, and a good, clean, freshly balanced finish.

Prix Vineyards 2008 Reserve Weir Family Vineyard III Syrah
Coombsville, Napa Valley, $65.00

200 cases produced

(90)
Male: The nose is complex showing meat, red fruit, licorice, black currant, tea, cedar and leather. The opening is dark and herbaceous. Spicy, dark cherry and cola flavors on the palate. The finish is long with big tannins. Good balance.

Raimondo Winery 2007 Syrah
Lodi, California, $18.00

180 cases produced

(90)
Male: Aromas of black raspberry, strawberry jam, maple syrup and incense. Flavors of black raspberries with buttermilk, black tea, anise and currant. Pleasant, dessert-like finish.

Rockin’ One 2010 Estate Cass Vineyard White Blend
Paso Robles, $32.00

600 cases produced

(90)
Male: Smoky notes add depth to the honeysuckle, orange and pear aromas. Soft opening, clean and bright with pleasant acidity and a long finish. Nice tropical fruit and stone fruits with well-balanced mineral notes. Pineapple and orange in mid-palate with a touch of oak on finish.

Skylark 2008 Lawer Vineyard Syrah
Knights Valley, $28.00

200 cases produced

(90)
Male: Black currant and raspberry with spice aromas deliver the same onto the palate, with the addition of cedar, cinnamon and cloves. Grippy, aggressive tannins but lots of fruit to balance.

Skylark 2009 Grenache
Mendocino County, $28.00

250 cases produced

(90) Magenta
Male: Playful and smoky red fruit on nose. Beautiful cherry and dark currant flavors with an earthy edge on opening. Layers show as you delve into the wine. Dark olives and herbs show mid then black cherry, cola, black tea, currants and cedar join as the long finish begins. Quaffable and balanced, with a hint of minerality on the finish. Nice! Very nice!

Sol Rouge 2009 Syrah
Lake County, $32.00

150 cases produced

(90)
Male: Black fruit with floral notes create a lovely aromatic package. Lush fruit on entry leads to beautiful fruit and well-placed tannins. Will evolve in the bottle nicely.

Sol Rouge 2009 Mourvedre
Lake County, $29.00

100 cases produced

(90)
Male: Bright cherry and sour cherry aromatics framed by earth and spice. Powerful, well proportioned palate. Will age nicely.

South Coast Winery 2008 Wild Horse Peak Mountain Vineyards Syrah
South Coast, $34.00

1400 cases produced

(90)
Male: Aromas of spice and smoke leading to ripe red and black fruit and smoky meat flavors with a soft delicate finish.

South Coast Winery 2008 Red Blend
Temecula Valley, $14.00

2400 cases produced

(90)
Male: Currant, green pepper, coffee, black tea, mint and leather. Elegant, light, black cherries, violet, cocoa, mint and spice. Nice balance and finish.

Spangler Vineyards 2009 Grenache
Southern Oregon, $29.00

122 cases produced

(90)
Male: Cedar, raspberry and currant aromas lead to a palate displaying raspberry jam flavors with pie crust and spice back notes. A touch of heat on the finish.

Tallulah 2009 Bald Mountain Ranch Syrah
Mt Veeder, Napa Valley, $34.00

284 cases produced

(90)
Male: Blackberry, raspberry and cinnamon candy aromas. Big tannins, dusty, black coffee, licorice and smoked meats.

tercero wines 2010 Camp 4 Grenache Blanc
Santa Ynez Valley, $20.00

125 cases produced

(90)
Male: Honey, vanilla bean, oak, buttery toast, caramel, dusty melon blossoms and lemon lead to ripe melon, musky lemon and abundant citrus. Intensely flavored. Twangy. Rich pear, peach and vanilla on the exit.

The Winery SF 2008 Flower Power Red Blend
North Coast, $29.99

325 cases produced

(90)
Male: Bright aromatic notes of young spiced cherry. Black cherry accented with coriander. Soft tannins and nice acidity.

Zaca Mesa 2010 Estate Grown & Bottled Viognier
Santa Ynez Valley, $20.00

6182 cases produced

(90)
Male: Honeysuckle and nectarine aromas, with hints of ripe olive. Lean and focused with nectarines, orange peel, floral/citrus finish and integrated, balanced acidity.

Zaca Mesa 2008 Estate Grown & Bottled Syrah
Santa Ynez Valley, $25.00

6448 cases produced

(90)
Male: Nose is spot on, full of fruits, including blackberry, cherry, candied fruit, and an edge of citrus. Lovely fruit entry with a palate filled with rich notes of caramel, dark cherry chocolate, blackberry, black currant, and a hint of crushed pink and black pepper. Complex, with a lovely finish.

Zaca Mesa 2007 Z Cuvee Red Blend
Santa Ynez Valley, $20.00

6692 cases produced

(90)
Male: Pleasant wild berry and floral nose. Mixed berry, brown spices, herbs, and game come together on the meaty palate. Nice finish.

Zaca Mesa 2008 Mesa Reserve Syrah
Santa Ynez Valley, $42.00

690 cases produced

(90)
Male: Sweet cherry, plum and raspberry aromas. A youthful wine. Tons of black fruit flavors spiced with cocoa on the BIG finish.

heartheartheart = An Affair to Remember = Silver Medal

Anaba Wines 2010 Landa Vineyard Viognier
Sonoma Valley, $32.00

378 cases produced

(89)
Male: Fragrant notes of orange blossoms, guava and lime. Flavors of white peach, melon and orange blossom on the palate. Exceptionally balanced mouthfeel, with nice minerality, and a good, crisp finish.

Anaba Wines 2010 Alder Springs Vineyard White Blend
Mendocino, $40.00

238 cases produced

(89)
Male: Pretty lilac and lemon notes, with lively tropical fruit, orange peel, fig, melon, and minerality. Flavors consistent with aromas, leading to balanced acidity on the finish.

Berryessa Gap Vineyards 2009 Durif
Yolo County, $21.00

140 cases produced

(89)
Male: Aromas of blueberry juice, blackberries, smoky bacon, black currant, and concord grapes. Rich palate with earth, oak, grape jelly, blueberry pie and chocolate.

Bouchaine 2010 Rockin’ H Vineyard Syrah
Sonoma Coast, $40.00

550 cases produced

(89)
Male: Black currant, violets and woody notes lead to a complex palate of black raspberries, cedar, cinnamon, and coffee. Big, dynamic finish.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2009 Special Selection Grenache
Temecula Valley, $25.00

300 cases produced

(89)
Male: Ruby/garnet in color. Cola, stewed cherries, floral, and exotic spice aromas replicate on the palate. Lovely intensity. Long finish.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2009 Winemaker’s Reserve Syrah
Temecula Valley, $38.00

615 cases produced

(89)
Male: Northern Rhône like quality. Softer but classic aromas of smoky bacon. Light cherry, strawberry, plum, and tea flavors. Red licorice on the finish.

Consilience Wines 2010 Viognier
Santa Barbara County, $22.00

275 cases produced

(89)
Male: medium gold in color. Aromas of vanilla, butterscotch, white flowers, peach, and marzipan lead to grapefruit, melon, lime and butterscotch flavors on the palate. Good richness on the finish.

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2010 Syrah
California, $10.00

9303 cases produced

(89)
Male: Elegantly proportioned aromatics showing spice, blackberry, cloves, and vanilla. Yummy black fruit middle leads to a precise finish.

Domaine Berrien Cellars 2010 Estate Marsanne
Lake Michigan Shore, $15.50

148 cases produced

(89)
Male: Aromas of violets, vanilla, almond, peach, and earthy, ripe apple. Smooth mouthfeel with hints of melon, nectarine pit, white flowers, hay, tropical fruit, and a smoky-earthy finish that makes you warm.

Ecluse Wines 2010 Lock Vineyard Syrah
Paso Robles, $34.00

500 cases produced

(89)
Male: Dark ruby in color. Blueberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, and toast on the nose. Flavors of cranberry, cassis and a variety of spices. Big tannins but well-balanced with fruit. We’ll get better with time.

Ecluse Wines 2007 Rendition Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

325 cases produced

(89)
Male: Complex aromas of flowers, blueberry, molasses, herbs, and clove, following onto the palate, adding spicy berries, leather, fig jam, tannin, and oak. Good, balanced finish with lots of molasses. Interesting and fun.

Eden Springs High Eden 2009 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

830 cases produced

(89)
Male: Well-developed New World aromas of aromatic black fruit in a restrained well structured setting.

Fenestra 2010 Estate Rose
Livermore Valley, $14.00

151 cases produced

(89) Purple
Male: A quiet nose showing orange blossom and red fruit. Peach, strawberry on opening with beautiful cherry berry fruit mid. The lingering, layered finish is enhanced with pomegranate and tart berries accents. A nice sipper!

Grizzly Peak Winery 2011 Estate White Blend
Rogue Valley, $18.00

252 cases produced

(89)
Male: Aromas of tangerine, tropical fruit, honeysuckle and spice. The lively
opening is very floral with melon and hints of lychee. Tangy citrus on finish.

Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2009 Estate Hearthstone Vineyard Grenache
Paso Robles, $26.00

125 cases produced

(89)
Male: Candied black fruit and gingerbread on the nose. Rich black fruit flavors. Creamy on the palate. Spicy cherry on the finish. Good symmetry and structure.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2011 Viognier
Sloughhouse, $25.00

207 cases produced

(89)
Male: Classic Viognier, with Crème Brûlée, white peaches, oranges, tropical fruit, honeysuckle, pears – oh my! Flavors of tangerine, ripe peaches, lemon curd and allspice in a creamy texture with a hint of fruit cocktail. A “sweeter style.” Good balance, nice acidity and long finish.

Holly’s Hill Vineyards 2009 Patriarche, Estate Red Blend
El Dorado, $30.00

453 cases produced

(89) Dark Red
Male: Dark cherry and smoke aromas. Nice, round dark cherry fruit: rich and concentrated, a big fruit-forward style. Nice, long finish.

Jason-Stephens 2007 Estate Syrah/Shiraz
Santa Clara Valley, $26.00

1900 cases produced

(89)
Male: Violets, oak and wild game on the nose. Blackberry, earth, cedar, and mint on the palate. Lovely balanced finish.

Jazz Cellars 2007 Eaglepoint Ranch Vineyard Petite Sirah
Mendocino, $33.00

125 cases produced

(89)
Male: A classic example of California Petite Sirah that will benefit from time in bottle. Blackberry, black cherry and cola with slowly evolving tannins. Tannic but fruit shows through now. Young and balanced. Long way to go.

Leucadia Red 2010 The General’s Blend Red Blend
California, $11.00

3500 cases produced

(89)
Male: Medium garnet color. Cherries and a touch of anise in the nose. Extremely ripe fruit, with a candied fruit sweetness on the palate. An unusual style, but a fun wine.

Nottingham Cellars 2011 Viognier
Arroyo Seco Monterey County, $24.00

125 cases produced

(89)
Male: Medium gold in color. Aromas of fig, white peach, white pine, and brown baking spices lead to melon and tropical fruit flavors on the palate. Nice acidity on the finish.

Perrucci Family Vineyard 2009 Syrah
Santa Cruz Mountains, $24.00

50 cases produced

(89)
Male: Aromas of sage, sweat, verbena, plum, raspberry cream, meat, cedar, and salty bacon. Big, fat fruit explosion on the palate, with an engaging mouthfeel and a persistent tease of bacon fat along with big plums and coffee notes. Firm finish.

Rahn Estate 2010 Estate Corvino Bosco Red Blend
San Francisco Bay/Livermore, $25.00

100 cases produced

(89)
Male: Blackberry caramel, cassis, blue fruits and sweet honey aromas. Cherry flavors with cough drop notes. Light structure with red fruit flavors. Restrained and rounded with a soft finish.

South Coast Winery 2008 Rolling Hills Estate Vineyards Syrah
Temecula Valley, $22.00

918 cases produced

(89)
Male: Bright cherry and plum nose with a hint of green peppers. Coffee, spice and blackberries show on the palate. Tannin mid-through the finish.

Spangler Vineyards 2008 Estate Sage’s Hill Syrah
Southern Oregon, $35.00

72 cases produced

(89)
Male: Aromas of violets, fresh black cherry and licorice are replicated on the palate. Rich structured fruit mid-palate with the dry tangy finish.

Stony Ridge 2008 Del Arroyo Vineyards Syrah
Livermore Valley, $25.00

150 cases produced

(89)
Male: Deep, dark and inky in the glass. Nose of leather, alcohol and licorice. Great mouth feel of chocolate, charred green pepper and cassis. Sweet, tight, long current finish. “I would definitely buy this.”

Temecula Hills 2010 Estate Counoise
Temecula Valley, $32.00

280 cases produced

(89)
Male: Inviting nose of spice, cedar, red and gold currants, and red plum. Resiny currants and plum flavors with a nice citric edge on the finish. Made for food.

Gatt 2010 Accent Shiraz
Barossa Valley, $20.50

5079 cases produced

(88-90)
Male: Early infancy of its development. Lots to look forward to.

Baiocchi Wines & Vineyards 2009 Sprezzatura Baiocchi Syrah
Fair Play (El Dorado County), $39.00

100 cases produced

(88)
Male: Deep garnet color of garnet with a ruby rim. Dark fruit, earth, floral, and smoke aromas. Very youthful. Dark and ripe black fruit from opening through the long finish.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2010 Special Selection Viognier
Temecula Valley, $20.00

492 cases produced

(88)
Male: Wisteria and candy aromas. Apricot and herb flavors. Well-balanced with nice fruit, acid and oak integration.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2009 Winemaker’s Reserve Red Blend
Temecula Valley, $38.00

501 cases produced

(88)
Male: Smoky meat aromas lead to a complex palate of wild berry, plum, smoke, and tea. Balanced finish.

Carter Estate 2010 Viognier
South Coast, $30.00

230 cases produced

(88)
Male: Pleasant grapefruit and green melon aromas. Candied apple over the mid-palate. Needs more acid on the finish.

Clos Tita 2007 Flatness Vineyard Red Blend
Santa Cruz Mts., $25.00

125 cases produced

(88)
Male: Ruby-brown, purple rim. Bell pepper, red and black cherry, cassis, coffee and cocoa powder on the nose. Solid wine with anise, berry, smoky onions and herbaceousness. Finishes with smoke and jam.

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2010 Petite Sirah
Lodi, $12.00

1992 cases produced

(88)
Male: Pleasant nose of blackberries, blueberries, coffee, and American oak aromas dominate. Super-sweet ripe blueberries, plus coffee, tea, and spice. Balanced finish. Some will love.

Dierberg Vineyards 2008 Syrah
Santa Ynez Valley, $36.00

1200 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Female Wine Judges
(88) Periwinkle
Male: Dark cherry, nutmeg, and vanilla aromas promise and deliver pleasant cherry, currant, anise, sweet herbs and vanilla flavors.
Ecluse Wines 2010 Prelude White Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00

220 cases produced

(88)
Male: Honeysuckle, cantaloupe, peach, and citrus aromas replicate on the palate with a hint of rosemary. The finish is crisp with a nice touch of butteriness.

Exuberance by Canihan 2008 Exuberance Canihan Family Estate Syrah
Sonoma Valley, $49.00

300 cases produced

(88)
Male: Pleasant blackberry and tea on the nose. Consistent through the palate with an oak accent jumping in mid. Firm and tannic finish.

Field Stone Winery 2009 Marion’s Block Field Stone Estate Vineyard Syrah
Alexander Valley, $25.00

234 cases produced

(88)
Male: Mocha, black fruits, Bing cherry and meaty aromas. Needs decanter! Blueberries, black cherries, boysenberries, raspberries and lots of spice. Great structure, nice tannins, vibrant fruit and balance: will age well. Good bones! Lengthy finish.

Gatt High Eden 2011 Riesling
High Eden, $30.95

1058 cases produced

(88)
Male: Graphite and cut hay with light apple defined nose. Zesty lemon-lime mid-palate and tangy acid finish.

Hearthstone Vineyard and Winery 2007 Lodestone Hearthstone Vineyard Red Blend
Paso Robles, $30.00

298 cases produced

(88)
Male: Elegant cherry and black cherry fruit with graham crackers on the nose. Generous palate showing blackcurrant, leather and oak on opening through the long finish.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Syrah
California Shenandoah Valley, $22.00

210 cases produced

(88)
Male: Vanilla and coconut pie aromas lead to raspberry and blueberry jam flavors. Sour cherry and citrus notes on the finish.

Hug Cellars 2010 Syrah
Central Coast, $29.00

152 cases produced

(88)
Male: dark, thick black and blue color. Raspberry, warm cinnamon and blackberry pie aromas. Slightly sweet black licorice and raspberry pie flavors through mid-palate. Earthy, leather, wet leaves on the finish.

La Diligence 2009 Marsanne
Stagecoach, $240.00

423 cases produced

(88)
Male: Pear and citrus aromas. Lush on the palate with good acid and an opulent middle. Good minerality. The mid-palate boasts of mandarin orange, sweet lemon-lime and papaya. Long finish.

R2 2010 Rhapsody Red Blend
Santa Ynez Valley, $26.00

200 cases produced

(88)
Male: Meaty, gamey, currant, sandalwood, and dried violets on the nose. Plums and cola in the mouth. Nice, dense, unctuous cherry cordial finish.

Temecula Hills 2008 Syrah
South Coast, $30.00

480 cases produced

(88)
Male: Deep, dark and inky in the glass. The nose is enticing with sweet pecan pie, roasted nuts and spice, and burnt chocolate aromas. Good mouthfeel with beautiful acid and balanced tannins. A touch of bitterness on the long finish. “I would buy this.”

tercero wines 2008 Cuvee Christie Red Blend
Santa Barbara County, $30.00

200 cases produced

(88)
Male: Well placed notes of ripe cherry and brown baking spice in nose. Nicely structured rich fruit consisting of black cherry with brown spice. Tasty.

Baiocchi Wines & Vineyards 2009 Entre Nous Baiocchi Grenache
Fair Play (El Dorado County), $39.00

100 cases produced

(87)
Male: Red fruit aromas open to deep concentrated cooked red fruit flavors. Big tannins begin mid-palate. Plenty of grip and structure.

Bonny Doon Vineyard 2008 Le Cigare Volant Red Blend
Central Coast, $35.00

2765 cases produced

(87)
Male: Subtle nice blend of fruit and spice in the nose. Balanced fruit and spice throughout.

Bonny Doon Vineyard 2009 Syrah Le Pousseur Syrah
Central Coast, $20.00

1233 cases produced

(87)
Male: Cassis, cola, mulberry, ginger, and white pepper aromas. Classic young Côte Rotie. Fruit is somewhat obscured by the oak but this wine is young and will round out.

Caliza Winery 2009 AZIMUTH Caliza Estate Red Blend
Paso Robles, $48.00

140 cases produced

(87)
Male: Dark and shiny, deep color in the glass. Slightly hot nose of black currant and black cherry. Nice acid balance. Currant and smoke on the mid-palate. Medium long finish of eucalyptus and anise.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2009 Special Selection Mourvedre
Temecula Valley, $28.00

483 cases produced

(87)
Male: Black fruit with a light trace of asparagus in the nose. Well formed light palate of black cherry and toast.

Crooked Vine 2008 Del Arroyo Vineyards Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $34.00

150 cases produced

(87)
Male: Opaque ruby/purple in color. Black cherry, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, and Dutch chocolate aromas – flavors are consistent through the finish.

Field Stone Winery 2008 Staten Family Reserve Field Stone Estate Vineyard Petite Sirah
Alexander Valley, $35.00

636 cases produced

(87)
Male: Blueberry, red and black currants in the nose. The aromas are replicated on the palate surrounded by high spice elements. Very tannic at present. Needs time.

Guglielmo 2008 Private Reserve Syrah
Santa Lucia Highlands, $30.00

341 cases produced

(87)
Male: Sizzling grilled meat aromas. Juicy black cherry and blackberry aromas with a touch of mocha latte on the finish.

King Estate 2010 Oregon Petite Sirah
Rogue Valley, $30.00

170 cases produced

(87)
Male: Ruby/purple in color. Black and sour cherry aromas repeat on the palate with the addition of black pepper notes. Drying tannins on the finish.

La Diligence 2008 Syrah
Stagecoach, $320.00

423 cases produced

(87)
Male: Blackberry, black cherry, clove, and meat hints. Flavors of roasted meat. Lots of tannin.

Mangels Vineyards 2009 Angelina Red Blend
Suisun Valley, $20.00

100 cases produced

(87)
Male: Rich cassis nose. The palate doesn’t deliver the power expected. Cassis, vanilla, coffee, and bacon flavors. The finish is firm and balanced.

Manzoni 2009 Home Vineyard Syrah
Santa Lucia Highlands, $26.00

494 cases produced

(87)
Male: Lighter style Syrah. Soft with cherry like fruit. Somewhat dry on the finish.

Pipestone Vineyards 2009 100% Estate Grown and Produced Mourvedre
Paso Robles, $38.00

100 cases produced

(87)
Male: Floral and berry nose. Berry and bitter dark chocolate on the palate with mineral, licorice and coffee notes adding to the complexity. Rustic style.

ROAR Wines 2010 Sierra Mar Vineyard Viognier
Santa Lucia Highlands, $40.00

46 cases produced

(87)
Male: Toasted almond and floral notes on the nose. Citrus, cream and vanilla on the palate. Heavy oak finish.

Sayler-Tait Family Cellars 2008 Alder Springs Vineyard Syrah
Mendocino, $39.00

60 cases produced

(87)
Male: Smoky and toasty oak aromas. Raspberry and plum flavors mid-palate, caramel on the finish. Well balanced.

Zaca Mesa 2007 Z Three Red Blend
Santa Ynez Valley, $42.00

1253 cases produced

(87)
Male: Simple yet elegantly restrained nose. Dusty black fruit flavors. Dark black fruit and spice on the finish. Nice texture.

Aver Family Vineyards 2009 Homage Syrah
Santa Clara Valley, $37.00

60 cases produced

(86)
Male: Smoky wild berry nose. Nice fruit on opening. Decent balance.

Domaine Berrien Cellars 2010 Estate Viognier
Lake Michigan Shore, $15.50

206 cases produced

(86)
Male: Mellon, figs and toast in the glass and in the mouth. Nice food wine.

Ecluse Wines 2009 Sereno Vista Vineyard Petite Sirah
Paso Robles, $36.00

75 cases produced

(86)
Male: Dried cranberry and cherry with brown spices and earth on the nose. Nicely defined bright black fruit accented with clove, cola, and cedar flavors that carry through onto the finish.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Viognier
Sloughhouse, $25.00

100 cases produced

(86)
Male: The honeysuckle bouquet leads to roundish and here like palate. The finish disappoints.

TRE 2008 Syrah
California, $9.95

600 cases produced

(86)
Male: Ruby in color. Berry, bourbon and cedar aromas. Light red fruit flavors with dry leather and earth accents. Fine grained tannins. Simple, easy to enjoy.

heartheart = Will Provide Fond Memories = Honorable Mention

Domaine Berrien Cellars 2008 Estate Syrah/Shiraz
Lake Michigan Shore, $20.00

223 cases produced

(85)
Male: Light ruby in color. Sweet hot chocolate, cola, and blackberry on the nose. Wild berry and plum fruit peeks out from under the oak.

Domenico 2007 Syrah
Amador County, $30.00

408 cases produced

(85)
Male: Subtle nose. Spice, minerals, pencil shavings with plum and cola flavors. Sour blackberry and oak on the finish. Drying tannins.

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