2012 Romancing the Rhones Results
Scores: Women 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

Dierberg Vineyards 2008 Syrah
Santa Ynez Valley, $36.00

1200 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Female Wine Judges
(95) Periwinkle
Female: Thyme and herbal notes with black fruits, sarsaparilla, cinnamon and root beer. Lots of berries on the palate. This wine has some chile-pepper heat and has an intriguing hint of something green and enticing at its core.
Tallulah 2009 Como Marsanne
Napa Valley, $28.00

192 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Female Wine Judges
(94.5) Gunmetal
Female: Spiced honeyed aromas with flowers and apricot. Viscous entry leads to rich, ripe pears with a nice thread of acidity. Well-crafted and balanced.
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
Female: Gorgeous eye-pleasing hue, of pink bordering on blue-purple. Inviting aromas of watermelon, strawberries and cream – Wow! Lively and delectable on the palate, with strawberry and plum notes, held up by beautiful acidity. Irresistibly delicious!
Calcareous 2008 Tres Violet Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

850 cases produced

(93)
Female: Intoxicating aromas of bright red and black fruits. Stunning purity
of black cherry, wild berry and raspberry, surrounded by spice, licorice and black pepper notes. Skillfully balanced, restrained and elegant, with a long finish.

Cinnabar 2010 Tripartite Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

150 cases produced

(93)
Female: Peppery and lively, with dill, cloves, dark red fruits, cassis, coffee, and blackberry aromas. Palate attacks with a lovely flood of acidity, good flavors of roasted lamb souvlaki, with fennel, capers and peppers. Beautifully balanced with a good finish, reminiscent of a cherry-strawberry sweet tart. Nice wine!

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
(93) Aqua Marine
Female: Jammy punch, boysenberry, berry bramble and game on the nose, very inviting. The palate is delightful showing good fruit with woodland cedar underneath. Applewood bacon and pepper on the finish. Good spice, good acid, and very pleasing tannins.
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
(93) Light Blue
Female: Cool climate? Perfume, blueberry, leather, and spice undertones in the nose. Well balanced, nice fruit/oak complexity, long finish and succulent mid-palate.
Fenestra 2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $27.00

176 cases produced

(93)
Female: Earthy aromas, serious dark fruit and rich, dark chocolate beckon. Unfolds with depth and power mid-palate. Great black fruits, pepper spice and depth. Really rich, lengthy finish. Elegant, with a cranberry tang. Love the lingering cocoa- so good! A meal in itself!

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

233 cases produced

(93)
Female: Chocolately red velvet cupcake color. Aromas of pomegranate, caramelizing brown sugar, oven roasted beets and parsnips. Flavors of chipotle, onions, smoky pancetta, leather and brown-sugar baked ham. Lovely acid: great food wine. Easy to drink.

Kirigin Cellars 2009 Syrah
California, $19.90

100 cases produced

(93)
Female: Floral notes on the nose. The palate shows dark black, rich fruit with layers of coffee. Nice finish!

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

336 cases produced

(93) Salmon
Female: Red berry, Bing cherry and grapefruit aromas. Light and lively, beautiful fruit on opening! Chocolate covered cherries, meat and bacon flavors. Delicate and lovely, beautiful acid. “I love this!”

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

200 cases produced

(93)
Female: Smells velvety and powerful, with dark figs, sandalwood and hints of coffee…like Rye Krisp crackers with smoked salmon and fig spread. Meaty, rich, with dark blueberry and black currant. Great structure, good tannins, good balance and wonderful mouthfeel. Righteous! Tangy! Pair with sundried tomato jam.

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

150 cases produced

(93) Turquoise
Female: Nice boysenberry, grilled plums, pomegranate, fruit leather and black tea aromas. Light and spicy with bright fruit: quite a tame Syrah with nice, well-integrated bright acidity and finish of earthy fruitiness.

6th Sense 2010 Syrah
Lodi, $16.00

20000 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Male Wine Judges
(92) Black
Female: Blackberry syrup, bittersweet chocolate and instant coffee aromas. Alluring, sexy, and creamy on the palate. Lovely fruit/oak balance. Nice, long finish. Yummy!
Barnard Griffin 2008 Cote de Rob Lonesome Spring Ranch Red Blend
Columbia Valley, $25.00

100 cases produced

(92)
Female: Dusty and earthy on the nose, with red fruits, game and wild
blueberries. Wild mushroom and blackberry notes weave around a firm structural core in a pleasant, restrained and earthy wine.

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

200 cases produced

(92) Orchid
Female: Beautiful blackberry, cranberry, cherry, and jolly rancher aromas. Bright and pure with gobs of fruit, licorice and spice. Perfectly balanced with firm tannins: age-worthy.

Bourassa Vineyards 2010 Rhapsody3 Syrah
Coombsville Napa, $40.00

230 cases produced

(92) Dark Green
Female: Orange pekoe tea with dark berry, cherry and chocolate aromas. Silky on the palate, with vanilla, berries and light, bright acidity. A very focused wine with great acid. I could drink more of this!

Calcareous 2010 White Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00

195 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Male Wine Judges
(92) Yellow
Female: Beautiful floral aromas of gardenias and honeysuckle. Lean and pure on the palate, with hints of bananas, ripe yellow peaches and pears at the core, and a hint of banana pudding on the finish. Exhibits pleasing minerality from the start to the lasting finish.
Carol Shelton Wines 2009 Coquille Blanc White Blend
Paso Robles, $24.00

368 cases produced

(92)
Female: Lovely honeydew melon aromas with a nice spice accent. In the mouth the wine shows bright acidity with citrus, preserved lemons, mandarins, and grapefruit flavors with nice apple notes. Asian pear, fresh Fuji apple and butter toffee join mid-palate. Juicy and fresh.

Cinnabar 2010 Mourvedre
Paso Robles, $36.00

150 cases produced

(92)
Female: Beautiful aromas – spice box, cigar notes, cloves, herbes de Provence open to cranberry, espresso, racy red plums, and root beer flavors. As the wine opens, blue fruits peak out from underneath the red. Nice acidity.

Consilience Wines 2010 Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $18.00

1532 cases produced

(92)
Female: Perfume! Sexy and alluring dark red fruit. Balanced and intriguing – a bowlful of pie cherries with a nice backwash of acid, and coffee notes on the finish.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2009 Syrah
Suisun Valley, $20.00

150 cases produced

(92)
Female: Crushed berries and vanilla on the nose, with grilled Portobello mushrooms and a hint of dark chocolate. Sweet generous plummy fruit engages the palate, with lots of sweet cherry, a trace of leather and pretty spice accents. Well-balanced and finishes with panache!

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

154 cases produced

(92) Orange
Female: Smells of plums, coffee, boysenberry and blueberry. Young, feisty blueberry-huckleberry cobbler. People who like ripe, fruity wines, will love this one. Seamlessly structured. Nicely balanced.

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

1300 cases produced

(92) Burgundy
Female: Earthy, dusty aromas of baked fig and baked cherry bars promise
ripe fruit ahead. Dense, ripe blackberries permeate the palate with a sprinkling of spice, tar and leather. Plenty of nice tannins: good
balance. Practically a meal in itself. A crowd-pleaser.

Kandarian Wine Cellars 2009 Syrah
Bennett Valley, $28.00

150 cases produced

(92) Gray
Female: Bright red cherry fruit, zingy raspberry lemonade and hints of orange juice aromas. Warm, black pepper, nice fruit and earth on the palate. “Nicely made, I like!”

Michael David 2010 Cinsault
Lodi, $20.00

1000 cases produced

(92) Khaki
Female: Fabulous dark rose-magenta color. Aromas of lavender, violets and cherries. As delicate as a rose petal on the tongue. I LOVE this wine! So floral, with lavender and apricot flavors, and a hint of caraway. Nice finish. A balanced and elegant wine. Whatever it is, I want a CASE!

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

600 cases produced

(92)
Female: Aromas of stone fruit, nectarines, peaches, nutty, smoky oak, hints of bergamot…wow! Pleasant acidity shows on the long finish. Bright acid blends with citrus notes, vanilla and flowers on the palate. Zesty and refreshing. Would be lovely with a pear salad or grilled chicken.

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

75 cases produced

(92)
Female: Aromas of citrus, tea, plums and blackberries make way for spicy,
berry compote and a touch of earthiness. Red fruits explode on the palate and linger long. Nicely balanced, with good acidity, finishing with a spicy punch: well-crafted, exciting and lingering.

Anaba Wines 2009 Annadel Estate Mourvedre
Sonoma Valley, $40.00

185 cases produced

(91)
Female: Brooding aromas with black cherry, earth, herbs de Provence and plum. Balanced acid, dark fruit, tannin, and body: carries nicely onto the finish. Lots of complex flavors, including black cherries and a hint of herbaceousness, with chewing tobacco and leather notes.

Anaba Wines 2011 Pink Annadel Estate Grenache Rose
Sonoma Valley, $22.00

176 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: Rose
(91) Hot Pink
Female: Lovely rose hips, cherry blossoms, raspberries, and rose petal aromas…hmmm…smells like Red Zinger tea. A bold rose with blood orange tones, cherries, Santa Rosa plum, and clove, with lemon on finish. Nice acid balance and good preservation of fruit.
Bargetto 2010 Nelson Vineyards Syrah
Santa Cruz Mountains, $24.00

288 cases produced

(91)
Female: Aromas of malted milk balls. dark red fruits, black pepper and all kinds of other yummy stuff replicate on the palate. Great with salami!

Berryessa Gap Vineyards 2009 Petite Sirah
Yolo County, $21.00

300 cases produced

(91)
Female: Meaty, coffee and dark fruit aromas. Flavors of tar, dried fig, dried plum, cassis, baker’s chocolate, and leather. Mouthfilling with good acid and tannin balance. Would like to drink this!

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

5555 cases produced

(91) Dusty Rose
Female: Light aromatics, simple and clean, with tart cranberry, candied
nectarine, white peach and cherry flavors from start to finish. Yum!
Smooth, savory and sweet: a gulpable summer-ready wine.

Cinnabar 2010 Syrah
Paso Robles, $36.00

150 cases produced

(91) Smoke
Female: Dazzling aromas of black cherry, perfume and vanilla bean. Juicy cherries, chocolate and berries with a kick of spice on the palate. Great acidity. A touch of meatiness adds depth.

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

125 cases produced

(91)
Female: Dark brooding color. Filled with bacon fat, licorice, coffee and meatloaf aromas. Blackberries and earthy flavors. Quiet, but not shy, with a spicy finish. Structured tannins and good acid. Smoky and peaty, like an Islay Single Malt.

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

150 cases produced

(91) Blue
Female: Very inviting aromas of honey, sandalwood and petrol, plus
butter-sautéed pears wow the senses. Rich and mouthfilling, with peaches and pears melding nicely and floral notes adding another dimension. Nice minerality through the finish.

Drytown Cellars 2010 Estate Petite Sirah
Amador County, $18.00

260 cases produced

(91) Pumpkin
Female: Juicy, jammy dark fruit aromas, with vanilla bean and pie spice accenting rich fruit. Nice depth with hints of tobacco and white pepper on the finish. Great acidity: wants grilled steak.

Ecluse Wines 2010 Prelude White Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00

220 cases produced

(91)
Female: Delicate at first,then more powerful aromas as the wine opens – honeysuckle, apricot, mango, peach, lemon, and lovely spices. The flavors mirror the nose, complex with lively lemon leading the pack. Vanilla custard on the mid-palate and finishes with Crème Brûlée and a definite hint of oak.

Fenestra 2009 Grenache
Livermore Valley, $25.00

240 cases produced

(91)
Female: Floral and dried strawberry aromas. More feminine than expected. Black cherry, blackberry with savory notes. Interesting! Dried strawberry. More complex than the average Grenache. A good conversationalist.

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

347 cases produced

(91)
Female: Exotic aromatics of spiced apples, honeyed pears and almond paste carry over to the palate with stonefruit notes (nectarines) and ripe pear. Well-balanced, fresh and clean.

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

234 cases produced

(91)
Female: It’s Knott’s Berry Farm! Aromas of boysenberry, cherries, black raspberries and blueberries. Smooth and supple in the mouth, with round tannins, more berries, baked mission figs and vanilla. Balanced acid and long finish.

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

150 cases produced

(91)
Female: Deep, dark fruits and some funky cherry greet the nose. Ripe, concentrated, berry compote, with bacon fat on the palate. Full on tannins, vibrant, smooth and possessing great length. Yummy!

Gatt 2008 Shiraz
Barossa Valley, $56.70

1778 cases produced

(91)
Female: Old World nose, says “Northern Rhone” with a touch of appealing barnyard and black cherry. “Oh!So pretty! Delicious! Beautifully balanced.”

Gatt High Eden 2009 Shiraz
High Eden, $56.70

809 cases produced

(91)
Female: Floral and black cherry aromatics. Lovely black cherry sprinkled with black pepper. So well-balanced and delicious!

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

426 cases produced

(91)
Female: Raisin, black cherry, dried fig and vanilla flavors with nice blueberry notes. Very juicy. Nicely integrated. Good acid on the finish.

Hahn Winery 2010 GSM Red Blend
Central Coast, $14.00

18582 cases produced

(91) Red
Female: Hints of menthol and huckleberries on the nose. Juicy dark ripe berries dominate, with a touch of herbs on the finish. Balanced, pleasant and easy to drink.

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

150 cases produced

(91)
Female: Blueberry pie aromas lead to dense, concentrated flavors of boysenberry, blueberry and spice. Balanced and lively through the finish with pleasing acidity. Elegant and refined.

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

453 cases produced

(91) Dark Red
Female: Boysenberry cordial nose with hibiscus notes. Creamy raspberry, floral and spice flavors. Great acid and sound tannin. The fruit is nicely preserved. There is an appealing tangy, dried cherry back note with a touch of espresso. Perfect for pizza!

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

400 cases produced

(91) Light Yellow
Female: The funky (in a GOOD way) forest floor nose with a dusting of white pepper, anise, dried herbs, and smoked meat is enticing spice. Even balance of fruit, leather, and tobacco. Lots of tannin on the finish. Will round out with time.

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

1600 cases produced

(91)
Female: Restrained aromas of leather and tobacco open to ripe fruit, with sweet blackberries, blueberries, plums, and vanilla incense on the palate. A nice, long-lingering finish of spice and cassis. Well-balanced with good tannins.

Nottingham Cellars 2010 Hayes Ranch Syrah
Livermore Valley, $38.00

50 cases produced

(91)
Female: Spice, oak and clove aromas. Great mouthfeel. Very balanced. Chewy with leather and cloves and just a breeze of eucalyptus; Spicy! Lots of black pepper on the lingering finish.

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

180 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: Red
(91)
Female: A mélange of earthy black fruit and pleasing spice on the nose.
Nice minerality weaving through the blackberries, black currants, meat,
spice, and pepper. Dusty tannins, good acidity, firm structure and nice, long finish.
NxNW 2009 Syrah
Columbia Valley, $30.00

373 cases produced

(91) Peach
Female: Tight aromas of cranberries, black cherries and spice. Black currant, plums and licorice, with spice and game on the palate. Full-bodied, with dark fruits, flavors of ollalieberry-blackberry pie and plenty of tannins. Good balance.

R2 2010 Grenache Blanc
Santa Ynez Valley, $24.50

184 cases produced

(91) Dark Blue
Female: Green aromas with oak hints, grass, sesame, and heavy toast. Red apple and pear on the palate, with citrus peel and a bit of peach. Lovely lingering finish.

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

100 cases produced

(91)
Female: Great nose showing fresh berry, cherry and honey. Creamy cherry core. Very big oak influence but the tannins are nicely integrated. Yummy alone, but great with a burger!

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

778 cases produced

(91)
Female: Candied dried prune and fig aromas with a hint of vanilla and warm spice, as well as chocolate ganache. Prune Danish and Fig Newton flavors appear on the palate. This is a big boy that can steal second base: gets lots of wood on the ball. Could use more acid but a lovely effort.

South Coast Winery 2010 White Blend
Temecula Valley, $20.00

2100 cases produced

(91) Coral
Female: Fresh herbs, wildflower honey, grapefruit, Kaffir lime and lemon
zest aromas open to nectarine and melon, with a splash of citrus. Lively
acidity holds through the finish.

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

150 cases produced

(91)
Female: Bodacious fruit! Rich chocolate cake aromas lead to deep, dark and concentrated black fruit. Powerful structure, fruit-dominant, with hints of dark ripe prunes, nice acidity and dusty tannins. A big juicy steak is in order!!

The Messenger multi-vintage Red Blend
California, $16.00

1200 cases produced

(91) Lime Green
Female: Old world nose. Oven-fresh fig pudding with orange zest and coriander – spicy nice! Love the peppery salami, olive and pimento loaf flavors, zipped up with white pepper and coriander. A tannic wine that needs rich food.

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

6182 cases produced

(91)
Female: Buttered toast aromas, along with pears and red delicious apples,
lead to melon and papaya, accentuated by spice and lime peel. Plentiful, food-friendly acidity offsets the fruit nicely.

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

568 cases produced

(90)
Female: Touch of florality, butter and citrus as it warms up to layers of apple, pear, grapefruit and a bright lemon core. Good rush of acidity and minerality, with light and lively spice. Nice sipper.

Anaba Wines 2010 Greywacke Vineyard Grenache
Russian River, $42.00

179 cases produced

(90)
Female: Purple-tinged and youthful appearance. Raspberry, earth, meaty notes, smoky herbs, black pepper, and dried roses. Sweet fruit berries, black cherry, raspberry, and zippy red fruits like cranberry accentuate the acidity. Soft, but developed tannins and good acidity. Typical “New World” Grenache. Nice on its own or with food.

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

238 cases produced

(90)
Female: Earthy notes mingle with honey and citrus in the nose and on the palate. Soft fruit on palate mingles with yellow peaches, nutty notes, hints of nutmeg, and nice minerality. Finish of stonefruit and spice. Lean and racy, lively and bright, and easy to drink.

Aver Family Album 2009 Red Blend
California, $29.00

65 cases produced

(90) Blue Green
Female: Love the electric purple rim and the classic blueberry pie aromas. This is like a twice-baked blueberry pie with chocolate graham crust. Youthful, like a teenager. Shows dark fruit, olives, leather and nutmeg on palate. Good balance of acid and tannin.

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

65 cases produced

(90)
Female: Smoke and green pepper on the nose. Black fruit accented by French roast coffee and smoky soy sauce. Great acid, tannins and fruit.

Aver Family Vineyards 2009 Hope Red Blend
California, $37.00

105 cases produced

(90)
Female: Red plum aromas. Very ripe cherry on opening moving to pleasant sour cherry notes. Nice touch of oak on the finish. Great burger wine!

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

5867 cases produced

(90)
Female: Roasted coffee aromas lead to sour red fruit on entry opening to lusher raspberry flavors with cocoa back notes. Focused with good balance and nice acid. Delicious-like a carob raspberry brownie with coffee icing.

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

654 cases produced

(90)
Female: Aromas of honeysuckle accented by tons of mulling spices and touch of lemon. Refreshing sweet stone fruit flavors are balanced with nice acidity. A hint of bitter almonds on finish. Nicely balanced.

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

230 cases produced

(90)
Female: Gorgeous pink tropical sunset color. Intriguing aromas of raspberry candy, strawberry jam, cotton candy and watermelon bubble gum. Nicely balanced: good food wine. Tastes just like a Raspberry Lime Rickey: reminds one of jolly rancher candy. Classy and fun!

Calcareous 2009 Moose Syrah/Shiraz
Paso Robles, $38.00

370 cases produced

(90)
Female: Appealing white pepper and pomegranate aromas. Great acid, nice tannin. Salami and gingersnap flavors, rye bread with apple butter too. Rich and satisfying.

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

615 cases produced

(90)
Female: The nose is smoky with wild berry aromas. Mixed berry, meat and cola flavors on the palate. The finish is firm. This wine will get better and better with time.

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

492 cases produced

(90)
Female: Steely with peach notes. Stone fruit flavors. Oak shows itself mid, then some nice acid on the finish.

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

356 cases produced

(90)
Female: Bright honeysuckle aromas, amazing minerality, fresh cling peaches, basil-infused honey, great texture and acidity. Well-balanced with hints of lemon.

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

150 cases produced

(90)
Female: Stewed fruit, bacon fat, milk chocolate, baking spice, ripe plums, and red pepper flakes. Balanced fruit, with smooth tannins and a
juicy-berry lingering finish with a touch of spice.

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2010 Petite Sirah
Lodi, $12.00

1992 cases produced

(90)
Female: Dark fruit and savory herbs. Shows depth of character with big, firm tannins in the mouth. Dense and chewy, with notes of leather, coffee, ripe plums and chocolate.

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

221 cases produced

(90)
Female: Spicy scent-almonds and a clove studded orange. The aromas repeat on the palate with the touch of light dried apricot. Nice body. Very interesting, a touch on the sweet side mid that stays through the finish. Enjoy this wine with grilled chicken with grilled orange and peach slices or grilled scallops – Yum

Ecluse Wines 2009 Improv Lock Vineyard Red Blend
Paso Robles, $36.00

250 cases produced

(90)
Female: Brooding dark fruit aromas, mostly black cherry, with a hint of
flowers and a touch of cumin. Full on flavors of blackberry and cherry
cobbler: long, lingering blackberries with smooth tannins on finish.

Ecluse Wines 2010 Lock Vineyard Syrah
Paso Robles, $34.00

500 cases produced

(90)
Female: Aromas of blackberry with lots of herbs and molasses. The palate is lovely and lively with dark fruit that is balanced with spice elements. The finish is long with the touch of smokiness. Good tannin structure.

Eden Springs High Eden 2008 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

1086 cases produced

(90)
Female: Funky earth notes and off putting aromas at first but then the nose opens to Old World aromas. So pretty in the mouth…ripe cherry at the core beautifully integrated with oak. Great acidity. Complex and well made!

Eden Springs High Eden 2010 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

695 cases produced

(90)
Female: Cherry and black cherry aromas arise from the glass. A mouthful of beautiful fresh and ripe berry with a touch of toasted cinnamon and clove. So nice!

Eden Springs High Eden 2008 Riesling
High Eden, $25.80

1959 cases produced

(90)
Female: Mercedes tailpipe, ripe apple, and roasted pear aromas lead to round baked apple flavor. Nice acid. A touch of toast on the finish. Lovely!

Eden Springs High Eden 2010 Riesling
High Eden, $25.80

1051 cases produced

(90)
Female: Petrol, lemon and a touch of apple on the nose. Crisp Comice pear flavors with nice baking spices on the finish. Lovely acidity. As th wine opens, there are fuller aromas and flavors. Grilled shrimp anyone? Or perhaps, shrimp on the barbie.

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

300 cases produced

(90)
Female: Herbaceous and floral nose. Nice meaty oak and ripe red fruits on the palate. Assertive and persistent finish with lots of wood.

Fenestra 2010 Estate Rose
Livermore Valley, $14.00

151 cases produced

(90) Purple
Female: Simmering rose petal and peach aromas arise from the glass…very inviting! Om the mouth, the wine is lush and full with hints of spring strawberries then opens to blackberry, plum, wild strawberries and strong pink grapefruit. A bold and delightful rose.

Fenestra 2008 Estate Mourvedre
Livermore Valley, $25.00

186 cases produced

(90)
Female: Warm well-rounded cherry and strawberry jam aromas. Lush and mouthwatering fruit with tart notes on the finish. Great acid.

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

65 cases produced

(90) White
Female: Aromatics of sweet peach pie, lychee and orange blossom. A nice quaffer, easy drinking. Needs a little more oomph, but has an amazing finish. Perfumey and honeyed with crushed nuttiness, surprising acidity and hints of bitter orange, peaches and warm spices. Rich.

Gatt High Eden 2011 Riesling
High Eden, $30.95

1058 cases produced

(90)
Female: Just a whiff of petrol then Mandarin orange and crisp pear aromas. Lush tropical fruit – pineapple mid through the finish. Great acidity. Wow!

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

252 cases produced

(90)
Female: Light zesty lemon-lime and baked apple aromas carry over to the
palate. Very pretty!! Potpourri and nectarine on the nose. Ripe white
peaches mid. A great summer sipper with zesty acid and a long finish.

Guglielmo 2011 Private Reserve Marsanne
Santa Clara County, $20.00

248 cases produced

(90) Mint Green
Female: Seductive stone fruit and melon aromatics. A distinct personality, peach, nectarine, tangy apple, good texture, weight and balance. Bright citrus, brazil nuts and flowers. Amazingly long peach shortcake finish. YUM!!

Hagafen Cellars 2010 Ripken Family Vineyard Roussanne
Lodi, $18.00

267 cases produced

(90)
Female: Beautiful inviting nose of toast, grill plantains, starfruit, and casaba melon. Yum! Lovely texture and juiciness-rich essence of the tropics. A pleasurable wine with a hint of banana pudding on the finish.

Hagafen Cellars 2008 Syrah
Napa Valley, $32.00

300 cases produced

(90)
Female: Licorice aromas arise from the glass. Cherry and black licorice flavors. “Very interesting and appealing even though I don’t like licorice.”

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

173 cases produced

(90)
Female: Baking spice and lemon curd aromas deliver Meyer lemon flavors on the palate with creamy pear Crème Brûlée, good acid and a rich buttered brioche finish with pineapple accents that goes on forever. Well balanced.

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

176 cases produced

(90)
Female: Aromas of strawberry bubble gum, dried apricot, vanilla, jasmine
and pear carry over to the palate. Firmly structured, if a bit lean and
flinty, with a long-lasting finish.

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

252 cases produced

(90)
Female: Mocha and cherry cola on the nose. Bright and zippy red fruit in the mouth on opening and then moving into chocolate covered cherry flavors. Cocoa powder and lots of black tea on the finish. Great with food!

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

272 cases produced

(90)
Female: Gingerbread spice, blackberry and vanilla aromas lead to pretty baked gingerbread cookies, heavy with nutmeg and clove spice, along with black raspberry, red plum and licorice. A fun wine with good acid: mouth-watering and lively.

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

125 cases produced

(90)
Female: Black cherry, blackberry, and licorice aromas replicate on the palate with sour cherry, espresso and cola notes on the finish. No question that this is Grenache. Easy drinking – very friendly and frat-boy-like.

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

210 cases produced

(90)
Female: Aromas of cooling sweet baked fruit pies with cardamom and allspice accents. Leaner than it smells. Nice texture. Good acid. Very well made wine. Good food wine.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2011 Viognier
Sloughhouse, $25.00

207 cases produced

(90)
Female: Heady tropical island filled with coconut tanning lotion lathered bathing beauties. Rich shortbread cookies and biscuit-like. Sweet ripe apples, mangoes and lush fruit cocktail to the max! Amazing acidity with hints of ginger and cinnamon on the finish. Perfect for spicy Indian or Thai food.

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

209 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Male Wine Lovers
(90) Brick
Female: Cherry cordial in the nose with a hint of gingersnap. The palate is complex showing tart red fruits, boysenberry tea, blueberry syrup, toasted cinnamon, and leather. Zesty, spicy undertones with great acid on the finish.
Jason-Stephens 2007 Estate Syrah/Shiraz
Santa Clara Valley, $26.00

1900 cases produced

(90)
Female: Red plum and brown baking spice aromas lead to ripe plum flavors with hints of green pepper. Mocha notes frame the finish.

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

100 cases produced

(90)
Female: Lemony aromas, with white peach, starfruit, peach, vanilla, flowers, brown baking spice, honey comb, and candle wax. Palate is light in flavor, with stonefruit, Tuscan melon, honey on wheat toast, smooth viscosity, and just enough acidity to balance the body. Finish of caramel is nice.

Jazz Cellars 2007 Las Madres Vineyard Syrah
Carneros, $34.00

100 cases produced

(90) Green
Female: Black olive, flint, smoke and gunpowder aromas. Black fruits, smoky oak, black cherry, baking spices and coffee. Big and intense, this is a serious game lovers wine.

La Diligence 2009 Marsanne
Stagecoach, $240.00

423 cases produced

(90)
Female: Pear and citrus aromas. High acid with good minerality. Layered flavors of mandarin oranges, preserved lemons, Bartlett and Comice pears with brown baking spice. Bright citrus and marzipan on the mid-palate. Lovely in the mouth with lovely varietal character.

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

3500 cases produced

(90)
Female: Sweet tart cherry aroma. Elegant
entry of cherries and spice. Soft and pretty. Rich and ripe on the
palate. Easy to quaff with berries and vanilla.

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

50 cases produced

(90)
Female: Delicate aromas of stone fruits, green apple, fennel, spice, butterscotch, and bananas foster, with hints of fruitcake. Mouthfeel is round with good viscosity, and flavors of banana-mango flan with a rich brown sugar topping, peaches, spice, and a nice lemon peel finish.

Mangels Vineyards 2010 Viognier
Suisun Valley, $15.00

50 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: White
(90)
Female: Classic nose with hints of tropical fruit and honey. Lychee, apricot, honeydew and creamsicle flavors. Good acid and balance.
Martin Ranch Therese Vineyards 2009 Carignane
Santa Clara Valley, $28.95

224 cases produced

(90)
Female: Lots of very pretty berry aromas. Round and rich on the palate, nicely integrated oak. Beautiful spice notes. Balanced with generous fruit and bright acidity.

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

224 cases produced

(90)
Female: Meaty, animal nose with hints of juicy blackberries, blueberries, jolly rancher, smoke, and vanilla. Acid dances in the mouth. Good acid and sweet fruit laced with bright balsamic infused strawberries and raspberries, coffee and toastiness. A very well-balanced wine.

Midsummer Cellars 2011 Grenache Rose
Yolo County, $19.00

320 cases produced

(90) Pink
Female: Fabulous salmon peachy color, with aromas of strawberry, grapefruit and raspberry perfume. Happiness! Pink lemonade never had it so good! Zesty red grapefruit, crisp pear, guava and peaches jubilee with strawberry sherbet. Great food pairing wine. Summertime!

Nottingham Cellars 2011 Viognier
Arroyo Seco Monterey County, $24.00

125 cases produced

(90)
Female: Pretty floral, lychee and ripe pear on the nose. The palate is delicate at first but then bursts forward with delicious tropical fruit. Complex and layered. Good acidity on the long finish.

Poetic Cellars 2007 Muse Vineyard Mourvedre
Livermore Valley, $29.00

160 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
(90) Beige
Female: Inviting nose showing salami and pepper. Spicy notes intensifying the plum and raisin flavors. Lamb cassoulet would be the perfect pairing. Kick ass Mouvedre.
Prix Vineyards 2008 Reserve Weir Family Vineyard III Syrah
Coombsville, Napa Valley, $65.00

200 cases produced

(90)
Female: The nose is inviting…cola, black cherries and herbs…nice! Brambleberry, dried cherries, Craisins and stewed fruit flavors. BIG finish.

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

580 cases produced

(90) Eggplant
Female: Very baked, roasted and toasted nose: intense as a rich, dark chocolaty Devil’s food cake. Oozing with baked berries intermixed with tannins: yummy over the top style of petite.

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

570 cases produced

(90)
Female: Aromas of citrus, pear, toasted coconut and tropical fruit. Inviting acidity, peach, casaba melon, mango, guava, hints of fresh ginger and pineapple upside down cake. Bold fruit and spice.

R2 2010 Rhapsody Red Blend
Santa Ynez Valley, $26.00

200 cases produced

(90)
Female: Touch of baking spice enhance the dark red and black aromas. Lovely blackberry, spice, currant jelly, and tobacco flavors. Light and easy to drink: a veranda wine. Well-made!

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

600 cases produced

(90) Gold
Female: Meaty nose, leather, spices and vanilla. Ripe bowl of berries on a summer day. Palate is intense, with dark berry, baked ham and roasted meat with hoisin sauce. and dark-edged tannins.

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

1294 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
(90) Bronze
Female: Creamy baked pears: very aromatic. Lovely rich and super model exotic. This wine is all about creamy texture, crème fraîche on top of grilled peaches. Sugary cotton candy overlay A textural wine with oak influence. Nice complexity of flavors.
Skylark 2008 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah
Sonoma Coast, $36.00

225 cases produced

(90)
Female: Bacon fat, smoke, steak sauce and beef jerky aromas. Black fruits, blueberries, smoke, and licorice appear alongside a touch of gaminess on the palate. Serve with blackened rib-eye steak.

Skylark 2009 Red Belly Red Blend
North Coast, $20.00

550 cases produced

(90)
Female: Earthy, like Santa Clara Valley mud, with aromas of anise, black pepper and cassis. Carries quite a lot of acidity and tannin, with tangy black cherry, a nice balance and mouthfeel, and an earthy, tight finish.

Skylark 2009 Grenache
Mendocino County, $28.00

250 cases produced

(90) Magenta
Female: Touch of orange zest and beautiful spice on the nose. Layers and layers of flavor – raspberry, anise, black cherry, leather, and blackberry fruit with lovely earthy notes. Firm tannins on the finish with hints of white and black pepper.

Sol Rouge 2009 Syrah
Lake County, $32.00

150 cases produced

(90)
Female: Cherry, black cherry and touch of black pepper on the nose. More black pepper as wine involves. Ripe cherry surrounds a core of sour cherry flavors. Nicely made!

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

1400 cases produced

(90)
Female: Peppers galore on the nose. The ripe fruit flavors are enhanced with notes of cinnamon and red-hot candies. Gets your attention!

Temecula Hills 2010 Estate Counoise
Temecula Valley, $32.00

280 cases produced

(90)
Female: Perfumey aromas-cherry, sarsaparilla, sandalwood, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and exotic 5-spice lead to a complex palate. Angostura bitters on the incense driven finish. Great acidity.

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

125 cases produced

(90)
Female: Delicate nose of white peaches and nectarines, with hints of minerality, like the earth after it rains. Pretty as a spring day, with lime zest, nectarine fuzz and some pistachio-almond hints on the finish. A refined wine, with a richness of minerality, fruit and earth. Drink right now!

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

1380 cases produced

(90) Tan
Female: Aromas of honey, baking spices, ripe pears, lychee nut, and almond brittle. Viscous. Rich and creamy showing vanilla custard and ripe peach flavors with a long finish. Good varietal character!

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

6448 cases produced

(90)
Female: Alluring, mysterious nose, with myrrh, frankincense, incense, candied raspberry, cedar, red fruits, pepper, meat, and smoke. Balanced flavors of cherry, cherry cola, dark licorice, chocolate, with incense, roses, and violets. Black pepper on the finish. Intense and serious wine, like Kirk Douglas. Powerful wood, but the wine carries it.

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

6692 cases produced

(90)
Female: Earthy blackcurrant aromas. Just ripe wild berries meld with anise spice and a touch of smoke on the palate. Medium bodied with smooth tannins.

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

690 cases produced

(90)
Female: Blackberry aromas replicate on the palate with the addition of black pepper notes. Lovely. Great with a grilled salami sandwich (it’s been years).

heartheartheart = An Affair to Remember = Silver Medal

Anaba Wines 2010 Landa Vineyard Viognier
Sonoma Valley, $32.00

378 cases produced

(89)
Female: Aromas of peaches, apricots, honey, floral, and toasted notes with yeasty baked-bread hints. Entry is citrus and ripe tangerine, with apricot and guava in a medium body. Zesty with a nice mix of flavors. A pleasant Viognier that restrains rather than overflows.

Anaba Wines 2009 Coriol Red Blend
Sonoma Valley, $32.00

726 cases produced

(89)
Female: Rich meaty, beefy aromas, like sirloin steak with balsamic and Worcestershire: peppery and zesty. Tar, fig and leather notes abound. Flavors are savory, like rye bread plum pudding. Abundant tannin.

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

100 cases produced

(89)
Female: Aromas of strawberry jam and sweet raspberry bars open up to a flood of sweet strawberry balsamic infused shortcake with a rum brandy sauce. Good acidity and bright fruit throughout.

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

2384 cases produced

(89)
Female: Youthful purple rim in the glass. Strawberry and raspberry aromas-the lighter brighter side of Grenache. Yummy with bright fruit through mid-palate then licorice and leather notes kick in. Well-made.

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

140 cases produced

(89)
Female: Wild blueberry aromas. Smoky on the palate. Bright black and blue fruit flavors with herbal notes surrounding the core. Tarragon is prominent on the finish. Needs time but will come together nicely.

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

501 cases produced

(89)
Female: The restrained aroma opens to licorice and gamey notes with aeration. Flavors build on the palate with black fruit, anise, dried herbs, and meaty notes. Well-crafted.

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

495 cases produced

(89)
Female: The steely nose leads to peach notes on the palate layered with lime back notes. Nice acid. Pretty and very quaffable.

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

147 cases produced

(89)
Female: Good barnyard, coffee, green pepper, and rose petal aromas lead to a soft palate showing red raspberries, opening to a wider circle of ripe plum flavors. Green tea and unripe plum on the finish.

Consilience Wines 2010 Viognier
Santa Barbara County, $22.00

275 cases produced

(89)
Female: The aromas are quite heady-vanilla then a hint of banana cream pie. Grapefruit is the first flavor and a bit surprising. The palate rounds out with tropical fruit flavors mid-palate. Graham crackers and Nutella on the finish.

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2009 Viognier
Lodi, $12.00

1200 cases produced

(89)
Female: The nose is elusive at first with a touch of melon and Mercedes tailpipe. Crisp apple flavors. Light and delicate. A delightful sipper.

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2010 Syrah
California, $10.00

9303 cases produced

(89)
Female: Maple syrup jumps out of the glass followed by raspberry, cola, black cherry, and cedar notes. Bright and ripe fruit – blue and red. The finish displays sour cherry with a lovely tarragon note and nice acidity.

Ecluse Wines 2010 Viognier
Paso Robles, $28.00

75 cases produced

(89)
Female: Shy spring flowers, honeysuckle and grass. Perfumey, papayas, roses and almonds. Good pineapple and peach pie. Very buttery. A very restrained example of the varietal.

Ecluse Wines 2007 Rendition Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

325 cases produced

(89)
Female: Aromas of tart pie cherries, leather, blackberry jam, cocoa powder, and rhubarb. Medium bodied, with good acid, zesty fruit, leather and earth. Lots of pie cherries along with fig jam, plums and a slightly smoky edge.

Fenestra 2008 Estate Syrah
Livermore Valley, $24.00

200 cases produced

(89)
Female: Aromas of vanilla, stewed berries and ripe blackberries. Seems almost sweet with a hint of blackberry brandy: oodles of blackberry jam on butter scones. Good acid and supple tannin.

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

298 cases produced

(89)
Female: Eucalyptus, cherry, and cooked cherry aromas. Ripe cherries on entry. Generous fruit with herbs kicking in mid-palate. Mouthwatering acidity and smoky notes on the finish.

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

125 cases produced

(89)
Female: Blackberry and a touch of blueberry in the nose. Repeats on the palate. Oak is working towards integration. Not a blockbuster. Would be lovely with a grilled pork loin with a spicy rub.

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

309 cases produced

(89)
Female: Surprising vanilla-berry frappe on the nose: almost dessert-like. Sweet fig bar aromas. Very silky on the palate: almost shy and on the light side for Syrah, but graceful in its way.

Miner 2010 Simpson Vineyard Viognier
California, $160.00

2500 cases produced

(89)
Female: Lemon-lime and grapefruit aromas with hints of minerality and tropical fruits. Lovely and creamy in the mouth, with sweet lychee and
white peach flavors. Roasted hazelnuts and toasty almonds on finish.

NxNW 2009 Les Collines Syrah
Walla Walla Valley, $40.00

270 cases produced

(89)
Female: Sassy molasses with red fruit on the nose. As the wine is aerated, lots of other aromas arise – caraway seeds, cigar, gingerbread, clove, black tea, and coconut. Complex palate with a nice finish.

Perrucci Family Vineyard 2009 Syrah
Santa Cruz Mountains, $24.00

50 cases produced

(89)
Female: Smoky meaty nose with raspberry, herbal notes and tar. Very bold and meaty on the palate with black plums, ripe blackberry and nice fruit notes interwoven with a darkly gamey edge and ample tannins.

Pipestone Vineyards 2010 100% Estate Work Horse Red
Paso Robles, $32.00

250 cases produced

(89)
Female: Smoky, campfire aromas with roasted chile peppers, deep red fruits, rich earth, and clove spice. Dark, deep and meaty with flavors of smoked duck sausage and a texture like pate. An intense food wine that is practically a food in itself.

Poetic Cellars 2007 Reserve Stanza Syrah
Livermore Valley, $34.00

255 cases produced

(89)
Female: The sour cherry and lilac nose opens to sweet cherry as it aerates. Bright cherry on entry, dark toasted spices jump in mid through the finish. Nice acid. Well made.

Poetic Cellars 2007 Mantra Red Blend
Livermore Valley, $34.00

165 cases produced

(89)
Female: Fiercely smoky – wow! Hints of cedar, fennel, orange peel, sandalwood, and mint. Attention-getting flavors of BBQ sauce infused with Jack Daniels blend with lots of dark berry fruit, olive and eggplant tapenade, plus loads of cedar and earth. Well-built and solid, needs BBQ pork ribs with chipotle onions and fennel slaw. Simply brilliant acid. Tangy!

Poetic Cellars 2009 Late Harvest Viognier
Livermore Valley, $22.00

220 cases produced

(89)
Female: Lemon custard aromas, lemon curd, banana pudding, and fruit cocktail: very inviting on the nose. Tastes like lemon drop candy, with apricot and cinnamon accents. Would be great with pineapple upside down cake.

Sayler-Tait Family Cellars 2010 Catie’s Corner Vineyard Viognier
Russian River, $29.00

30 cases produced

(89)
Female: Restrained aromas tease with a hint of jasmine. Lean entry with
stone fruits in the background Old World style with hints of earthiness
and good minerality.

Skylark 2008 Lawer Vineyard Syrah
Knights Valley, $28.00

200 cases produced

(89)
Female: Meaty, dark, angular notes, with huge blueberry aromas. Youthful, with lots of blue fruits on the palate, plus black cherry and dark chocolate with lots of tannins. A tad hot.

South Coast Winery 2008 Red Blend
Temecula Valley, $14.00

2400 cases produced

(89)
Female: Aromas of dark cherry, tea, plums and earth. Bright cherries, plums, boysenberry, currant and cranberries. Good balance and finish. Easy to drink and solidly made.

Spangler Vineyards 2009 Grenache
Southern Oregon, $29.00

122 cases produced

(89)
Female: Citrus and cherry aromas and flavors through mid, when mulberries jump in. Hint of chocolate on the finish.

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

150 cases produced

(89)
Female: Wild blueberry aromas in the glass. Smoky on the palate with ripe black and blue fruit flavors. Herbal notes surround the core with tarragon being prominent. Needs time but will come together nicely.

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

200 cases produced

(89)
Female: Beautiful clear ruby in the glass. Strawberry, sweet and ripe cooked cherry, and a touch of baking spice on the nose lead to ripe cherry on opening moving to appealing sour cherry. Nice tannic structure.

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

100 cases produced

(89)
Female: Sour cherry aromatics. Dark and brooding blackberry flavors and sour cherry on the finish. Oak is obvious but well proportioned.

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

1253 cases produced

(89)
Female: Bright fruit on the nose -berries out the wazoo! Black cherry cobbler flavors layered with smoky oak accents. Big wine. Like a cherry chocolate liqueur filled bonbon. Finely grained tannins. New World style.

Gatt 2010 Accent Shiraz
Barossa Valley, $20.50

5079 cases produced

(88-90)
Female: So inviting! I see the Barrossa Valley thread in the nose. It’s all there but needs time. It will be gorgeous! Would like to retaste in 6 to 8 months.

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

60 cases produced

(88)
Female: Smoky bacon aromas lead to a soft and round palate of currant, wild berry fruit, and black pepper. The oak is very present. Nice acidity.

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

100 cases produced

(88)
Female: Deep dark purple wine, with a brooding sense of serious intent
Big, bold meaty nose of Syrah, with dark plum, coffee, menthol, caramelized beets, dark licorice, horehound lozenges and serious meat. Flavors of peppered salami, ripe dusty blackberries with Bakers chocolate and dominant wood.

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

1415 cases produced

(88)
Female: Peach, fig, cream, and lychee aromas carry through onto the palate without sweetness. Lemon and lime round out the long finish.

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

300 cases produced

(88)
Female: Relatively light in color. Black cherries, floral and tea on the nose. Black cherry and Jolly Rancher cherry candy flavors. Coffee notes on the finish. Fun! Enjoy at your next barbecue.

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

148 cases produced

(88)
Female: Soft, toasty oak on the nose with delicate flowers, pistachios, a hint of waxiness, and stone fruit. Good mouthfeel with fruit and nuttiness, and good acid. Well-made wine.

Hahn Winery 2010 Syrah
Central Coast, $14.00

5454 cases produced

(88)
Female: A youthful wine. Blackberry, blueberry and Jolly Rancher grape aromas replicate on the palate showing dark espresso notes on the finish.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Syrah
Suisun Valley, $22.00

97 cases produced

(88)
Female: A bit of vanilla, raspberries, blueberries, dried flowers, lavender, and smoky funk. Filled with dark berries, chewy red plums, red apples, black pepper, and leather. Moderately tannic, with nice depth: quite aggressive on palate.

Hug Cellars 2010 Syrah
Central Coast, $29.00

152 cases produced

(88)
Female: Currants, blackberries and touch of oak on the nose. Very nice fruit on the palate. Nice tannin structure and body throughout.

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

100 cases produced

(88)
Female: Floral and citrus aromas lead to sweet apple and pear flavors. Creaminess mid. Lemon pith late. “I want a touch more acid on the finish.”

Lionheart Wines 2008 Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $35.00

50 cases produced

(88)
Female: Meaty, smoky aromas with lavender, berries and olives. Flavors of black olives, Worcestershire, RC cola, soy and black tea. Good acid and lots of wood.

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

175 cases produced

(88)
Female: Cherry cough syrup with hints of chocolate, followed by lots of cherry-berry flavors. Intense on the palate with good tannin. Would be good with spicier food.

Raimondo Winery 2007 Syrah
Lodi, California, $18.00

180 cases produced

(88)
Female: Meat, cherry, blueberry aromas, with lots of earth, wet clay and roasted vegetables. Intense cherry in the mouth. Wood has its presence but it’s all about the earth.

Sol Rouge 2009 Mourvedre
Lake County, $29.00

100 cases produced

(88)
Female: Dusty tart cherry aromas lead to black cherry and sour cherry flavors. Oak surrounds the solid core of red fruit. Young. Will round out with time.

Spangler Vineyards 2009 Serenade Syrah
Southern Oregon, $25.00

196 cases produced

(88) Wedgewood
Female: Rhubarb with a touch of cinnamon and clove on the nose. Sweet black fruit, roasted game, currants, and licorice flavors with a chewy finish.

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

72 cases produced

(88)
Female: Dusty, earth aromas with pomegranate moving to dark cherry. Black cherry flavors with lots of well integrated oak elements balanced with nice acid.

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

284 cases produced

(88)
Female: 116 – Roasted meat, coffee, blackstrap molasses and bake plum tart aromas. Powerful in the mouth with intense smoked meat and spicy BBQ flavors, with hints of coffee, blackberry and mole.

Temecula Hills 2008 Syrah
South Coast, $30.00

480 cases produced

(88)
Female: Inviting eucalyptus, dark berries and plum aromas. Earthy with charred oak, bacon, grilled spiced meats, and tart berry fruit flavors. Licorice on the long finish.

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

325 cases produced

(88)
Female: Light color in the glass, almost Pinot-like…not in the nose, though. Black pepper and cooked strawberry aromas. Light red fruit surrounded by oak elements.

Berryessa Gap Vineyards 2009 Durif
Yolo County, $21.00

140 cases produced

(87)
Female: 2Berry and vanilla nose. Fig, cassis, dried blackberries, cherry, chocolate, black pepper, and ample wood tannins on the palate. Decent acid and fruit, with tannins coming out ahead. An appropriately made Petite Sirah.

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

2765 cases produced

(87)
Female: Young! Sweet wild berry and oak on the nose. Lots of fruit and tannins. Well-balanced with a smooth finish.

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

1233 cases produced

(87)
Female: White, green and black peppers, black fruit, balanced oak, violets and that’s just the nose. Good palate. Zippy and focused. Very youthful.

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

550 cases produced

(87)
Female: Purple in color. Raspberries and youthful funk. Soft in the mouth with red plums, black cherry, bacon, cedar, and leather. Some decent acid and a hint of prune.

Eden Springs High Eden 2009 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

830 cases produced

(87)
Female: Forest floor and floral notes open to strawberry and cherry flavors. Good acidity. Nicely balanced.

Hug Cellars 2010 Mourvedre
Central Coast, $29.00

155 cases produced

(87)
Female: Brooding aromas of eucalyptus and dried berry move toward strawberry jam flavors and earthy notes mid-palate. The acidity on the finish outweighs the fruit.

La Diligence 2008 Syrah
Stagecoach, $320.00

423 cases produced

(87)
Female: Black cherry and musk in the nose. Lots of black cherry cola, bacon and smoke, along with pronounced tannins.

Lionheart Wines 2007 Syrah
Dry Creek Valley, $35.00

50 cases produced

(87)
Female: The nose is shy at first opening to blackberry and coffee. Spicy blackberry and blueberry flavors with coffee notes on the finish.

Poetic Cellars 2006 Pentameter Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $28.00

160 cases produced

(87)
Female: Aromas of pickle barrel, soy, and earth notes. Ripe fruit flavors with lots of black cherry. Nice acid.

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

46 cases produced

(87)
Female: Bright yellow appearance with a relatively pungent nose-bright apricots, fragrant flowers, even potpourri and butterscotch. Full-bodied, intense showing concentrated peaches and orange potpourri flavors. A bold of wine! Distinctive in style.

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

60 cases produced

(87)
Female: Smoky aromas enhance the light and bright cherry flavors. Not a lot of depth but a well-made and refreshing wine.

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

483 cases produced

(86)
Female: Chalk and dried hay on the nose with cranberry and pomegranate aromas upon aeration. Pomegranate and cranberry flavors are surrounded by oak. There is acid there but the oak dominates at present.

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

150 cases produced

(86)
Female: Blue and black fruit aromas. Wow! Big tannins surround the fruit but will ebb with time and the fruit will triumph.

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

206 cases produced

(86)
Female: The nose is a bit off putting but nice wine in the mouth displaying light pear and lemon notes a touch of not nuttiness on the finish.

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

223 cases produced

(86)
Female: Aromas of smoked meats, mint, red and black fruits, and a touch of cedar. Lovely. Peppery tart palate. Lighter bodied with balanced tannins.

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

75 cases produced

(86)
Female: Spicy nose laced with anise and kirshwasser. Herbal and dense with pretty fruit in the mouth. Strong tannins on the tart and tangy finish.

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

636 cases produced

(86)
Female: Dark ruby in color. Vanilla, lavender, licorice, spearmint, and huckleberry aromas. Blueberry pie flavors with a heavy clove accent. Big tannins. Needs a big rare steak!

Guglielmo 2008 Private Reserve Syrah
Santa Lucia Highlands, $30.00

341 cases produced

(86)
Female: Gamey – meaty with berry hints. Nice juicy blueberry and strawberry fruit, leather, old coffee and savory notes, with lots of acid.

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Viognier
Sloughhouse, $25.00

100 cases produced

(86)
Female: Light aromas replicate on the palate. Oak kicks in late and stays.

Mangels Vineyards 2009 Angelina Red Blend
Suisun Valley, $20.00

100 cases produced

(86)
Female: Cherry cola aromas in the glass. The entry is quite austere with dried cherries touched by sandalwood on the palate.
Syrah and Viognier are co-fermented to produce this blend.

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

100 cases produced

(86)
Female: Carbonic maceration aromatic of black cherry fruit. Cherry and black pepper on the palate. Nice acidity on the finish.

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

918 cases produced

(86)
Female: Alcohol shows on the nose. Sweet plum fruit on entry. Nice acid on the finish.

TRE 2008 Syrah
California, $9.95

600 cases produced

(86)
Female: Black tea and cooked cranberry aromas. Light red fruit with a tart finish.

heartheart = Will Provide Fond Memories = Honorable Mention

Carter Estate 2010 Viognier
South Coast, $30.00

230 cases produced

(85)
Female: Petrol on the nose, like a Riesling. The mouth displays very sweet flavors (pineapple upside down cake). Nice wine but not the Viognier-like.

Domenico 2007 Syrah
Amador County, $30.00

408 cases produced

(85)
Female: A touch of American oak shows on the nose (dill notes). Red raspberry on opening. Bright fruit. Nice acid. Light and pleasant.

King Estate 2010 Oregon Petite Sirah
Rogue Valley, $30.00

170 cases produced

(85)
Female: Pickle barrel aromas. Red and light black fruit flavors with cedar back notes. Charred firewood notes on the finish.

Manzoni 2009 Home Vineyard Syrah
Santa Lucia Highlands, $26.00

494 cases produced

(85)
Female: Brown baking spices in the nose enhance the ripe blackberry aromas. Lush blackberry fruit mid-palate. Nice acidity. Nicely integrated.

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