2012 Romancing the Rhones Results


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

6th Sense 2010 Syrah
Lodi, $16.00 Black

20000 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Male Wine Judges
Female: Blackberry syrup, bittersweet chocolate and instant coffee aromas. Alluring, sexy, and creamy on the palate. Lovely fruit/oak balance. Nice, long finish. Yummy! 92
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. 94.5
Anaba Wines 2010 Coriol Williamson Estate Landa Estate White Blend
Sonoma Valley/Sonoma Coast, $32.00

568 cases produced

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. 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. 90

Anaba Wines 2010 Greywacke Vineyard Grenache
Russian River, $42.00

179 cases produced

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. 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. 90

Anaba Wines 2010 Landa Vineyard Viognier
Sonoma Valley, $32.00

378 cases produced

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. 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. 89

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

238 cases produced

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. 90
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. 89

Anaba Wines 2009 Coriol Red Blend
Sonoma Valley, $32.00

726 cases produced

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. 89
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. 91

Anaba Wines 2009 Annadel Estate Mourvedre
Sonoma Valley, $40.00

185 cases produced

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. 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. 91

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

176 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: Rose
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. 91
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! 92
Aver Family Album 2009 Red Blend
California, $29.00 Blue Green

65 cases produced

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. 90
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. 92

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

65 cases produced

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

Aver Family Vineyards 2009 Hope Red Blend
California, $37.00

105 cases produced

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

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

60 cases produced

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. 88
Male: Smoky wild berry nose. Nice fruit on opening. Decent balance. 86

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

100 cases produced

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. 89
Male: Red fruit aromas open to deep concentrated cooked red fruit flavors. Big tannins begin mid-palate. Plenty of grip and structure. 87

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

100 cases produced

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. 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. 88

Bargetto 2010 Nelson Vineyards Syrah
Santa Cruz Mountains, $24.00

288 cases produced

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! 91
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. 90

Barnard Griffin 2008 Cote de Rob Lonesome Spring Ranch Red Blend
Columbia Valley, $25.00

100 cases produced

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. 92

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. 94

Berryessa Gap Vineyards 2009 Petite Sirah
Yolo County, $21.00

300 cases produced

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! 91
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. 90

Berryessa Gap Vineyards 2009 Durif
Yolo County, $21.00

140 cases produced

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. 87
Male: Aromas of blueberry juice, blackberries, smoky bacon, black currant, and concord grapes. Rich palate with earth, oak, grape jelly, blueberry pie and chocolate. 89

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

200 cases produced

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. 92
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. 92

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

1415 cases produced

Female: Peach, fig, cream, and lychee aromas carry through onto the palate without sweetness. Lemon and lime round out the long finish. 88
Male: Lemongrass, herb, dried grass, delicate stone fruit, and pear aromas. Lovely and bright. Spice, dried ginger, peach, and pear flavors. Lengthy finish. Nice! 90

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

2765 cases produced

Female: Young! Sweet wild berry and oak on the nose. Lots of fruit and tannins. Well-balanced with a smooth finish. 87
Male: Subtle nice blend of fruit and spice in the nose. Balanced fruit and spice throughout. 87

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

5555 cases produced

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. 91

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. 91

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

1233 cases produced

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

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

2384 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

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

5867 cases produced

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. 90
Male: Dried plums on the nose open to cherry and cassis. Restrained in style. Soft, delicate fruit over mid-palate with the deft finish. 91

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

654 cases produced

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. 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. 90

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

230 cases produced

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! 90
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! 91

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

550 cases produced

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. 87
Male: Black currant, violets and woody notes lead to a complex palate of black raspberries, cedar, cinnamon, and coffee. Big, dynamic finish. 89

Bourassa Vineyards 2010 Rhapsody3 Syrah
Coombsville Napa, $40.00 Dark Green

230 cases produced

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! 92
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. 90

Calcareous 2010 White Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00 Yellow

195 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Male Wine Judges
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. 92
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. 95
Calcareous 2009 Moose Syrah/Shiraz
Paso Robles, $38.00

370 cases produced

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

Calcareous 2008 Tres Violet Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

850 cases produced

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. 93

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! 94

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

140 cases produced

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. 89
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. 87

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

483 cases produced

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. 86
Male: Black fruit with a light trace of asparagus in the nose. Well formed light palate of black cherry and toast. 87

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

300 cases produced

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. 88
Male: Ruby/garnet in color. Cola, stewed cherries, floral, and exotic spice aromas replicate on the palate. Lovely intensity. Long finish. 89

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

615 cases produced

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. 90
Male: Northern Rhône like quality. Softer but classic aromas of smoky bacon. Light cherry, strawberry, plum, and tea flavors. Red licorice on the finish. 89

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

492 cases produced

Female: Steely with peach notes. Stone fruit flavors. Oak shows itself mid, then some nice acid on the finish. 90
Male: Wisteria and candy aromas. Apricot and herb flavors. Well-balanced with nice fruit, acid and oak integration. 88

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

356 cases produced

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

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

501 cases produced

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. 89
Male: Smoky meat aromas lead to a complex palate of wild berry, plum, smoke, and tea. Balanced finish. 88

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

368 cases produced

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. 92
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. 90

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

495 cases produced

Female: The steely nose leads to peach notes on the palate layered with lime back notes. Nice acid. Pretty and very quaffable. 89
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. 90

Carter Estate 2010 Viognier
South Coast, $30.00

230 cases produced

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. 85
Male: Pleasant grapefruit and green melon aromas. Candied apple over the mid-palate. Needs more acid on the finish. 88

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

147 cases produced

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. 89
Male: Ruby in color. Raspberry and ginger aromas. Black cherry and cherry pie spices in the mouth. Finishes with coca and forest notes. 90

Cinnabar 2010 Mourvedre
Paso Robles, $36.00

150 cases produced

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. 92
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. 90

Cinnabar 2010 Syrah
Paso Robles, $36.00 Smoke

150 cases produced

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. 91
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. 92

Cinnabar 2010 Tripartite Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

150 cases produced

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! 93
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. 92

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

125 cases produced

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. 91
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. 88

Consilience Wines 2010 Viognier
Santa Barbara County, $22.00

275 cases produced

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. 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. 89

Consilience Wines 2010 Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $18.00

1532 cases produced

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. 92
Male: Yummy nose. Rich, forward style, yet young and meaty in the mouth. Heavy, but integrated tannins. 90

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

150 cases produced

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. 90

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. 92

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

150 cases produced

Female: Blue and black fruit aromas. Wow! Big tannins surround the fruit but will ebb with time and the fruit will triumph. 86
Male: Opaque ruby/purple in color. Black cherry, vanilla ice cream, cinnamon, and Dutch chocolate aromas – flavors are consistent through the finish. 87

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

150 cases produced

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. 91

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. 92

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2009 Viognier
Lodi, $12.00

1200 cases produced

Female: The nose is elusive at first with a touch of melon and Mercedes tailpipe. Crisp apple flavors. Light and delicate. A delightful sipper. 89
Male: Lovely kiwifruit and lemon zest aromas. Apple flavors on opening with citrus notes and orange peel mid-palate through the nice precise finish. 90

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2010 Syrah
California, $10.00

9303 cases produced

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

Cycles Gladiator Winery 2010 Petite Sirah
Lodi, $12.00

1992 cases produced

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. 90
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. 88

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

221 cases produced

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 90
Male: Subtle and understated aromatics of light honey and almonds. Nice complexity on the palate with equal levels of fruit and spice. Nicely made. 91

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

420 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Male Wine Lovers
FIRST PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
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. 93
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. 91
Dierberg Vineyards 2008 Syrah
Santa Ynez Valley, $36.00 Periwinkle

1200 cases produced
FIRST PLACE: Female Wine Judges
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. 95
Male: Dark cherry, nutmeg, and vanilla aromas promise and deliver pleasant cherry, currant, anise, sweet herbs and vanilla flavors. 88
Domaine Berrien Cellars 2010 Estate Viognier
Lake Michigan Shore, $15.50

206 cases produced

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

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

223 cases produced

Female: Aromas of smoked meats, mint, red and black fruits, and a touch of cedar. Lovely. Peppery tart palate. Lighter bodied with balanced tannins. 86
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. 85

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

148 cases produced

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. 88
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. 89

Domenico 2007 Syrah
Amador County, $30.00

408 cases produced

Female: A touch of American oak shows on the nose (dill notes). Red raspberry on opening. Bright fruit. Nice acid. Light and pleasant. 85
Male: Subtle nose. Spice, minerals, pencil shavings with plum and cola flavors. Sour blackberry and oak on the finish. Drying tannins. 85

Drytown Cellars 2010 Estate Petite Sirah
Amador County, $18.00 Pumpkin

260 cases produced

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. 91
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. 90

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

250 cases produced

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. 90

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. 91

Ecluse Wines 2010 Lock Vineyard Syrah
Paso Robles, $34.00

500 cases produced

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. 90
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. 89

Ecluse Wines 2010 Prelude White Blend
Paso Robles, $28.00

220 cases produced

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. 91
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. 88

Ecluse Wines 2010 Viognier
Paso Robles, $28.00

75 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

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

75 cases produced

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. 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. 86

Ecluse Wines 2007 Rendition Red Blend
Paso Robles, $38.00

325 cases produced

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. 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. 89

Eden Springs High Eden 2008 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

1086 cases produced

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

Eden Springs High Eden 2009 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

830 cases produced

Female: Forest floor and floral notes open to strawberry and cherry flavors. Good acidity. Nicely balanced. 87
Male: Well-developed New World aromas of aromatic black fruit in a restrained well structured setting. 89

Eden Springs High Eden 2010 Shiraz
High Eden, $25.80

695 cases produced

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! 90
Male: Beautifully proportioned aromatics lead to perfectly balanced symmetry and balance of fruit and tannin. 91

Exuberance by Canihan 2007 Canihan Family Estate Syrah
Sonoma Valley, $49.00 Light Blue

200 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Male Wine Judges
THIRD PLACE: Male Wine Lovers
Female: Cool climate? Perfume, blueberry, leather, and spice undertones in the nose. Well balanced, nice fruit/oak complexity, long finish and succulent mid-palate. 93
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. 94.8
Exuberance by Canihan 2008 Exuberance Canihan Family Estate Syrah
Sonoma Valley, $49.00

300 cases produced

Female: Herbaceous and floral nose. Nice meaty oak and ripe red fruits on the palate. Assertive and persistent finish with lots of wood. 90
Male: Pleasant blackberry and tea on the nose. Consistent through the palate with an oak accent jumping in mid. Firm and tannic finish. 88

Fenestra 2008 Estate Syrah
Livermore Valley, $24.00

200 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

Fenestra 2010 Estate Rose
Livermore Valley, $14.00 Purple

151 cases produced

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. 90
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! 89

Fenestra 2008 Ghielmetti Vineyard Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $27.00

176 cases produced

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! 93
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. 94

Fenestra 2008 Estate Mourvedre
Livermore Valley, $25.00

186 cases produced

Female: Warm well-rounded cherry and strawberry jam aromas. Lush and mouthwatering fruit with tart notes on the finish. Great acid. 90
Male: Floral berries on the nose. Rich tasting blackberry, plum, sweet oak, cinnamon, and herbs from opening through the balanced finish. 90

Fenestra 2009 Grenache
Livermore Valley, $25.00

240 cases produced

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. 91
Male: Floral, berry nose. Rich plum, wild blackberry, leather, and cinnamon on the palate. Balanced finish. 90

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

347 cases produced

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. 91
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! 93

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

264 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Female Wine Judges
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! 94
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. 94
Field Stone Winery 2009 Marion’s Block Field Stone Estate Vineyard Syrah
Alexander Valley, $25.00

234 cases produced

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. 91
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. 88

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

636 cases produced

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! 86
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. 87

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

150 cases produced

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! 91
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. 92

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

65 cases produced

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. 90
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. 90

Gatt 2010 Accent Shiraz
Barossa Valley, $20.50

5079 cases produced

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

Gatt 2008 Shiraz
Barossa Valley, $56.70

1778 cases produced

Female: Old World nose, says “Northern Rhone” with a touch of appealing barnyard and black cherry. “Oh!So pretty! Delicious! Beautifully balanced.” 91
Male: Ripe yet very bright black cherry and soft cookie dough aromatics with notable floral elements. Dense, lush and complex fruit. Needs time. 90

Gatt High Eden 2009 Shiraz
High Eden, $56.70

809 cases produced

Female: Floral and black cherry aromatics. Lovely black cherry sprinkled with black pepper. So well-balanced and delicious! 91
Male: Classic Old World meets the best of the New World. A gem! 92

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

252 cases produced

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. 90

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. 89

Guglielmo 2011 Private Reserve Marsanne
Santa Clara County, $20.00 Mint Green

248 cases produced

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!! 90
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. 93

Guglielmo 2008 Private Reserve Syrah
Santa Lucia Highlands, $30.00

341 cases produced

Female: Gamey – meaty with berry hints. Nice juicy blueberry and strawberry fruit, leather, old coffee and savory notes, with lots of acid. 86
Male: Sizzling grilled meat aromas. Juicy black cherry and blackberry aromas with a touch of mocha latte on the finish. 87

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

426 cases produced

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

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

233 cases produced

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. 93
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. 91

Hagafen Cellars 2010 Ripken Family Vineyard Roussanne
Lodi, $18.00

267 cases produced

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

Hagafen Cellars 2008 Syrah
Napa Valley, $32.00

300 cases produced

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

Hahn Winery 2010 GSM Red Blend
Central Coast, $14.00 Red

18582 cases produced

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. 91
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. 94

Hahn Winery 2010 Syrah
Central Coast, $14.00

5454 cases produced

Female: A youthful wine. Blackberry, blueberry and Jolly Rancher grape aromas replicate on the palate showing dark espresso notes on the finish. 88
Male: Fresh blackberry pie filling aromas with a nice spice note. Rich blackberry fruit accented with cloves and leather. Juicy and well-balanced finish. 90

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

173 cases produced

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. 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. 90

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

176 cases produced

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. 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. 90

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

252 cases produced

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! 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. 90

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

298 cases produced

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. 89
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. 88

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

272 cases produced

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. 90
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. 92

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

125 cases produced

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. 90
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. 89

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

210 cases produced

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. 90
Male: Vanilla and coconut pie aromas lead to raspberry and blueberry jam flavors. Sour cherry and citrus notes on the finish. 88

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

150 cases produced

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. 91
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. 93

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2011 Viognier
Sloughhouse, $25.00

207 cases produced

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. 90
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. 89

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Viognier
Sloughhouse, $25.00

100 cases produced

Female: Light aromas replicate on the palate. Oak kicks in late and stays. 86
Male: The honeysuckle bouquet leads to roundish and here like palate. The finish disappoints. 86

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2009 Syrah
Suisun Valley, $20.00

150 cases produced

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! 92
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! 94

Helwig Vineyards and Winery 2010 Syrah
Suisun Valley, $22.00

97 cases produced

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. 88
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. 90

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

154 cases produced

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. 92
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. 93

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

453 cases produced

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! 91
Male: Dark cherry and smoke aromas. Nice, round dark cherry fruit: rich and concentrated, a big fruit-forward style. Nice, long finish. 89

Hug Cellars 2010 Mourvedre
Central Coast, $29.00

155 cases produced

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. 87
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. 90

Hug Cellars 2010 Syrah
Central Coast, $29.00

152 cases produced

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

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

209 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Male Wine Lovers
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. 90
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. 91
Jason-Stephens 2007 Estate Syrah/Shiraz
Santa Clara Valley, $26.00

1900 cases produced

Female: Red plum and brown baking spice aromas lead to ripe plum flavors with hints of green pepper. Mocha notes frame the finish. 90
Male: Violets, oak and wild game on the nose. Blackberry, earth, cedar, and mint on the palate. Lovely balanced finish. 89

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

400 cases produced

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. 91
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. 93

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

1600 cases produced

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. 91
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. 93

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

100 cases produced

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.” 88
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. 90

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

100 cases produced

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. 90
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. 92

Jazz Cellars 2007 Las Madres Vineyard Syrah
Carneros, $34.00 Green

100 cases produced

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. 90
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. 90

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

125 cases produced

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. 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. 89

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

1300 cases produced

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. 92

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. 92

Kandarian Wine Cellars 2009 Syrah
Bennett Valley, $28.00 Gray

150 cases produced

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!” 92
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. 91

King Estate 2010 Oregon Petite Sirah
Rogue Valley, $30.00

170 cases produced

Female: Pickle barrel aromas. Red and light black fruit flavors with cedar back notes. Charred firewood notes on the finish. 85
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. 87

Kirigin Cellars 2009 Syrah
California, $19.90

100 cases produced

Female: Floral notes on the nose. The palate shows dark black, rich fruit with layers of coffee. Nice finish! 93
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! 91

La Diligence 2009 Marsanne
Stagecoach, $240.00

423 cases produced

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. 90
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. 88

La Diligence 2008 Syrah
Stagecoach, $320.00

423 cases produced

Female: Black cherry and musk in the nose. Lots of black cherry cola, bacon and smoke, along with pronounced tannins. 87
Male: Blackberry, black cherry, clove, and meat hints. Flavors of roasted meat. Lots of tannin. 87

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

3500 cases produced

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. 90

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. 89

Lionheart Wines 2008 Syrah
Santa Barbara County, $35.00

50 cases produced

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. 88
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. 90

Lionheart Wines 2007 Syrah
Dry Creek Valley, $35.00

50 cases produced

Female: The nose is shy at first opening to blackberry and coffee. Spicy blackberry and blueberry flavors with coffee notes on the finish. 87
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. 91

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

50 cases produced

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. 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. 90

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

309 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

Mangels Vineyards 2010 Viognier
Suisun Valley, $15.00

50 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: White
Female: Classic nose with hints of tropical fruit and honey. Lychee, apricot, honeydew and creamsicle flavors. Good acid and balance. 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. 90
Mangels Vineyards 2009 Angelina Red Blend
Suisun Valley, $20.00

100 cases produced

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. 86

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

Manzoni 2009 Home Vineyard Syrah
Santa Lucia Highlands, $26.00

494 cases produced

Female: Brown baking spices in the nose enhance the ripe blackberry aromas. Lush blackberry fruit mid-palate. Nice acidity. Nicely integrated. 85
Male: Lighter style Syrah. Soft with cherry like fruit. Somewhat dry on the finish. 87

Martin Ranch Therese Vineyards 2009 Carignane
Santa Clara Valley, $28.95

224 cases produced

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. 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. 90

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

336 cases produced

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!” 93
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. 90

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

224 cases produced

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. 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. 90

Michael David 2010 Cinsault
Lodi, $20.00 Khaki

1000 cases produced

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! 92
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. 92

Midsummer Cellars 2011 Grenache Rose
Yolo County, $19.00 Pink

320 cases produced

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! 90
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. 91

Miner 2010 Simpson Vineyard Viognier
California, $160.00

2500 cases produced

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. 89

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. 90

Nottingham Cellars 2011 Viognier
Arroyo Seco Monterey County, $24.00

125 cases produced

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. 90
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. 89

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

200 cases produced

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. 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! 93

Nottingham Cellars 2010 Hayes Ranch Syrah
Livermore Valley, $38.00

50 cases produced

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. 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. 91

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

180 cases produced
BEST OF SHOW: Red
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. 91

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! 92
NxNW 2009 Syrah
Columbia Valley, $30.00 Peach

373 cases produced

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. 91
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! 94

NxNW 2009 Les Collines Syrah
Walla Walla Valley, $40.00

270 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

Perrucci Family Vineyard 2009 Syrah
Santa Cruz Mountains, $24.00

50 cases produced

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. 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. 89

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

100 cases produced

Female: Carbonic maceration aromatic of black cherry fruit. Cherry and black pepper on the palate. Nice acidity on the finish. 86
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. 87

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

175 cases produced

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. 88
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! 91

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

250 cases produced

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. 89
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. 92

Poetic Cellars 2007 Muse Vineyard Mourvedre
Livermore Valley, $29.00 Beige

160 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
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. 90
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. 90
Poetic Cellars 2007 Reserve Stanza Syrah
Livermore Valley, $34.00

255 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

Poetic Cellars 2006 Pentameter Petite Sirah
Livermore Valley, $28.00

160 cases produced

Female: Aromas of pickle barrel, soy, and earth notes. Ripe fruit flavors with lots of black cherry. Nice acid. 87
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. 90

Poetic Cellars 2007 Mantra Red Blend
Livermore Valley, $34.00

165 cases produced

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! 89
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. 90

Poetic Cellars 2009 Late Harvest Viognier
Livermore Valley, $22.00

220 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

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

200 cases produced

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

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

580 cases produced

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. 90
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. 92

R2 2010 Grenache Blanc
Santa Ynez Valley, $24.50 Dark Blue

184 cases produced

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. 91
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. 91

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

570 cases produced

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. 90
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. 93

R2 2010 Rhapsody Red Blend
Santa Ynez Valley, $26.00

200 cases produced

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! 90
Male: Meaty, gamey, currant, sandalwood, and dried violets on the nose. Plums and cola in the mouth. Nice, dense, unctuous cherry cordial finish. 88

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

100 cases produced

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! 91
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. 89

Raimondo Winery 2007 Syrah
Lodi, California, $18.00

180 cases produced

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. 88
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. 90

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

46 cases produced

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

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

600 cases produced

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. 90
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. 92

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

600 cases produced

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. 92
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. 90

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

1294 cases produced
THIRD PLACE: Female Wine Lovers
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. 90
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. : ) 91
RoxyAnn Winery 2009 Syrah
Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon, $30.00

778 cases produced

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. 91
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. 92

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

30 cases produced

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. 89

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. 91

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

60 cases produced

Female: Smoky aromas enhance the light and bright cherry flavors. Not a lot of depth but a well-made and refreshing wine. 87
Male: Smoky and toasty oak aromas. Raspberry and plum flavors mid-palate, caramel on the finish. Well balanced. 87

Skylark 2008 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Syrah
Sonoma Coast, $36.00

225 cases produced

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. 90
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. 91

Skylark 2008 Lawer Vineyard Syrah
Knights Valley, $28.00

200 cases produced

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. 89
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. 90

Skylark 2009 Red Belly Red Blend
North Coast, $20.00

550 cases produced

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. 90
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. 93

Skylark 2009 Grenache
Mendocino County, $28.00 Magenta

250 cases produced

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. 90
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! 90

Sol Rouge 2009 Syrah
Lake County, $32.00

150 cases produced

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! 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. 90

Sol Rouge 2009 Mourvedre
Lake County, $29.00

100 cases produced

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. 88
Male: Bright cherry and sour cherry aromatics framed by earth and spice. Powerful, well proportioned palate. Will age nicely. 90

South Coast Winery 2010 White Blend
Temecula Valley, $20.00 Coral

2100 cases produced

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. 91

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. 92

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

1400 cases produced

Female: Peppers galore on the nose. The ripe fruit flavors are enhanced with notes of cinnamon and red-hot candies. Gets your attention! 90
Male: Aromas of spice and smoke leading to ripe red and black fruit and smoky meat flavors with a soft delicate finish. 90

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

918 cases produced

Female: Alcohol shows on the nose. Sweet plum fruit on entry. Nice acid on the finish. 86
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. 89

South Coast Winery 2008 Red Blend
Temecula Valley, $14.00

2400 cases produced

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. 89
Male: Currant, green pepper, coffee, black tea, mint and leather. Elegant, light, black cherries, violet, cocoa, mint and spice. Nice balance and finish. 90

Spangler Vineyards 2009 Serenade Syrah
Southern Oregon, $25.00 Wedgewood

196 cases produced

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. 88
Male: Smoked wood and leather aromas. Good strong opening, young, but balanced with excellent depth. Complex and clean. The finish is strong and persistent. 91

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

72 cases produced

Female: Dusty, earth aromas with pomegranate moving to dark cherry. Black cherry flavors with lots of well integrated oak elements balanced with nice acid. 88
Male: Aromas of violets, fresh black cherry and licorice are replicated on the palate. Rich structured fruit mid-palate with the dry tangy finish. 89

Spangler Vineyards 2009 Grenache
Southern Oregon, $29.00

122 cases produced

Female: Citrus and cherry aromas and flavors through mid, when mulberries jump in. Hint of chocolate on the finish. 89
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. 90

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

150 cases produced

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. 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.” 89

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

150 cases produced

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!! 91
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. 92

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

284 cases produced

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. 88
Male: Blackberry, raspberry and cinnamon candy aromas. Big tannins, dusty, black coffee, licorice and smoked meats. 90

Tallulah 2009 Como Marsanne
Napa Valley, $28.00 Gunmetal

192 cases produced
SECOND PLACE: Female Wine Judges
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. 94.5
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! 93
Temecula Hills 2010 Estate Counoise
Temecula Valley, $32.00

280 cases produced

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. 90
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. 89

Temecula Hills 2008 Syrah
South Coast, $30.00

480 cases produced

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. 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.” 88

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

125 cases produced

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! 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. 90

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

75 cases produced

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. 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. 92

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

200 cases produced

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. 89
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. 88

The Messenger multi-vintage Red Blend
California, $16.00 Lime Green

1200 cases produced

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. 91
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. 92

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

325 cases produced

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. 88
Male: Bright aromatic notes of young spiced cherry. Black cherry accented with coriander. Soft tannins and nice acidity. 90

TRE 2008 Syrah
California, $9.95

600 cases produced

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

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

100 cases produced

Female: Sour cherry aromatics. Dark and brooding blackberry flavors and sour cherry on the finish. Oak is obvious but well proportioned. 89
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.” 92

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

150 cases produced

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. 93
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. 91

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

6182 cases produced

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. 91

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

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

1380 cases produced

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! 90
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. 91

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

6448 cases produced

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. 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. 90

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

6692 cases produced

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

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

1253 cases produced

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. 89
Male: Simple yet elegantly restrained nose. Dusty black fruit flavors. Dark black fruit and spice on the finish. Nice texture. 87

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

690 cases produced

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

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