Kale “Home Run Cuvee” 2016

Kale Home Run Cuvee

Rhone-style wine specialist Kale Anderson’s Syrah/Grenache blend (about half of each) from the hillside “Kick Ranch” vineyard is outstanding. After just 20 minutes of breathing it shows lots of black pepper, kalamata olives and smoke accessorizing a the rich, ripe dark berry fruits (blackberry, mulberry, blueberry). Expansive in the mouth with fine tannins and a […]

Stellareese Grenache 2018

Stellareese Grenache

Loads of cracked black pepper, black licorice, caramel and berry liqueur smells introduce the Stellareese Grenache 2018. Spice and intense red fruits continue on the strong, high-octane palate. Wild mini-strawberries, hard raspberry candies, jasmine, lavender, grated ginger root, cinnamon and anise flavors dominate. With fine and firm tannins, good acidity and a 15 second spicy […]

Belharra Syrah Las Madres 2017

Belharra Syrah

A big nose of smoky, peppery, licoricey blackberries and violets introduce you to the 2017 Belharra Las Madres Syrah. Berries galore in the mouth, yet Syrah’s distinctive character is the star: bittersweet chocolate, smoked strip steak, leather handbag and anise. This cohesive, intense, “very Syrah” Syrah is a delicious, rich red wine. French oak aged…20% […]

Becheur Mourvedre 2018

Becheur Mourvedre

100% 100+ year old vine Mourvedre from the Sacramento Delta (vineyard is near the town of Pittsburg). Generous amounts of dark plum, blueberry and blackberry fruit, nicely complemented by Mourvedre’s black licorice, earthy truffle, crusty cigar wrapper and black pepper flavors. Good, brightening acidity and fine, firm tannins. Ready to enjoy now…fantastic choice for a […]

601 Cellars Grenache 2017

601 Cellars Grenache

Peppery spice (helped by 6% Syrah in the blend) and dark wild strawberry nose proudly announces this Grenache. Taste is those dang strawberries, bit of pomegranate, lavender, candied ginger and cocoa. Medium body, medium/low acidity, fine tannins and spice galore in this tasty little number. 601 Cellars is owned and made by husband/wife Brian Doody and […]

Hudson Grenache & Grenache Rosé Offer

Hudson Grenache promotion

Buy the set and join the party!  Hudson Ranch, Simply Corked and Dan Dawson’s Wine Advisor welcome you to an afternoon of hospitality at Hudson’s Carneros Estate on Saturday, July 25 at 2 PM. The one-and-only Lee Hudson will welcome us and lead us through the gardens and winery as we taste through the current […]

Hudson Grenache Pick Up Sticks 2018

Hudson Grenache

I was taken with the 2018 Hudson Grenache “Pick Up Sticks” at first smell. Grenache’s dark strawberry compote, licorice, cinnamon and lavender are sweet and sexy. In the mouth it’s medium bodied, both fruity & savory and spicy with firm tannins at first – resuscitation in the glass or a decanter soften those tannins in […]

Lunar Ridge Syrah, Coombsville 2017

Lunar Ridge Syrah

Begins with dark, brooding smells of blueberry and blackberry compote, bittersweet chocolate, cumin and grilled sweet red chili peppers. At first taste the wine is soft and a little too smooth, and with 15 minutes of air the wine expands and gains texture. Tannins linger in the background like a distant chorus. After an hour […]

Dirty & Rowdy Mourvedre “Enz” 2018

Dirty Rowdy Mourvedre Enz

Brooding nose of dark chocolate, roasted tarragon & thyme, black olives and roast coffee beans. Big yet light-footed, to the credit of the limestone/granite based “Enz Vineyard” and obsessive vineyard monitoring by Dirty & Rowdy co-owner/winemaker Hardy Wallace, the wine is a joy to drink now and will get much better with time. How much […]

Quigley Family Syrah “Las Madres” 2018

Quigley Family Syrah

A beautiful, albeit very youthful, Syrah from the spectacular “Las Madres Vineyard” southeast of Sonoma. Like myriad Las Madres Syrahs, it is expressive and true to the grape. Dark deep cherry, dried blueberries, olive tapenade, lavender, fine black pepper and tamarind smells and flavors are strong yet cooped up in its infancy. I love the […]

ANDREW MURRAY Esperance 2016

Andrew Murray Esperance

This GSM (60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre) from Santa Barbara County’s Santa Ynez Valley is big-time winner for $25. A rich and spicy red through and through, get dark strawberry preserves, cocoa, cinnamon, black pepper, licorice, lavender and smoked beef jerky. It’s round and luscious in the mouth with a long finish that combines […]

DIRTY & ROWDY Familiar Mourvedre 2018

Dirty & Rowdy Familiar

A bottle of Dirty & Rowdy Mourvèdre is a look into the future of California winemaking. A champion of the grape, co-owner and winemaker Hardy Wallace has put the grape on his shoulders and introduced it to the next generation of wine lovers through his engaging use of social media. “Familiar” Mourvèdre tastes like ripe […]

KEEP Carignane “Evangelho” 2016

Keep Carignane

From the sand-swept wine district of Contra Costa on the Sacramento Delta. The 130+ year old own-rooted Carignane vines of “Evangelho Vineyard” make for a complex, aromatic, hauntingly delicious red wine. Wound up when just opened, let the wine stretch for 20 minutes and blossom. True to the Carignane grape, you get black raspberries, black […]

AERENA Rosé 2018

Aerena Rose 2018

Provence-style Rosé by recipe: 1/2 Mourvèdre, 1/2 Carignane. Grapes pressed off. Stylistically, it straddles France and California. Reddish hue, raspberry/strawberry smells and flavors along with some black pepper, mandarine orange and pink roses. Fermented dry to a modest 12.9% alcohol, making for a pretty, berry-laden Rosé with ample acidity and spice. This is a Rosé […]

ZUIDEMA Grenache 2015

Zuidema Grenache

Triple play of berries, flowers and spice on the nose moving on to the taste. From smell to flavor to finish, get wild strawberries, raspberries, wild red cherries, cracked white peppercorns, rosemary, lavender and blood orange. Love the bright acidity that makes the wine fresh, fine tannins for structure, delicacy and intensity. This has roast […]

MERISI Grenache 2016

Merisi Grenache

From start to finish the Merisi Grenache is all about perfectly ripe strawberry and raspberry fruits, mouth-watering acidity and loads of fresh violets and white pepper. Unapologetically medium-light bodied, the wine’s intensity makes it special. Enjoy this as you would a fuller-flavored Carneros Pinot Noir. Merisi co-owner and winemaker Mandy Heldt Donovan is making tiny […]

FROG’S LEAP Pink Wine 2018

Frogs Leap Pink

Made from 70+ year old vine Carignane and 12% Valdiguie, Frog’s Leap “La Grenouille Rougante” (The Flying Frog) is an intentional rosé, i.e. made like a white wine: grapes pressed off with juice barely affected by the red skins. The result is a style of rosé that Frog’s Leap makes as well as anyone in […]

LUNAR RIDGE Syrah 2016

Lunar Ridge Syrah

Black ruby color, Rhone Valley-like aromas of berry liqueur, bittersweet chocolate, black pepper and lamb sausage. Taste begins with very ripe blueberries and blackberries, then crushed black peppercorns, smoked paprika, lavender and rosemary emerge. From mid-taste through the 20 second finish, the ripe fruit and savory spice/herb/floral flavor merge seamlessly. This Rhone-style Syrah, with the […]

Benevolent Neglect Rosé 2018

Benevolent Neglect Rose

60% Mourvedre, 40% Carignane intentional Rosé. Co-harvest, press and ferment. This is very much a Provence/Bandol style of Rosé. White pepper, cherry and plum skins, orange zest and Provence herbs are what you get start to finish. While its reddish hue makes one think strawberry and watermelon, not so. This is a dry, savory style […]

TRINAFOUR Carignane Niemi 2015

Trinafour Carignane

Medium/light, bright, crystal-clear red berry and plum fruits in the Trinafour Carignane 2015. Reminds me of a well crafted Southern French red with it’s black pepper dust and dried herbs de Provence edge. This has French Bistro by the glass pour written all over it. Italian bistro or BBQ joint would be perfect, too. If […]

LAGIER MEREDITH Syrah 2016

Lagier Meredith Syrah 2016

Blueberry compote, fresh grated ginger, lavender garden and cracked black pepper are your early smells and flavors in the 2016 Lagier Meredith Syrah. Consistently intense, very aromatic and bright from vintage to vintage, this 2016 is another in a long line of Syrahs with these qualities. If anything, it’s a little more expressive of its […]

APSARA Syrah “Las Madres” 2015

Apsara Syrah

Blueberries, pomegranate, five spice and black olive aromas race from the glass. Taste is more of the same along with a little bit of cocoa powder, candied ginger and a brush of acidity that elevates all these flavors. Coming in at 13.6% alcohol, this medium-bodied, perfumed, intense red is classic Northern Rhone-style Syrah. Enjoy this […]

Success With Syrah – Two Stories

Lagier Meredith Syrah and olives

[vc_row][vc_column offset=”vc_col-lg-offset-2 vc_col-lg-8 vc_col-md-offset-0 vc_col-md-12″][vc_column_text] If you’re a member of the wine industry, or a wine consumer who is aware of the latest trends, I bet you’ve heard this: “Syrah is such a cool grape, but it’s impossible to sell!” My favorite variation of this sentiment is from former Syrah grower & producer Richard Phoenix […]

HALCON Petite Sirah “Tierra” 2016

Halcon Petite Sirah

It’s sensible to think Petite Sirah only thrives in a hot growing climate and makes exclusively big bold high-octane red. That’s the only style most who know Petite Sirah have had. Here’s something a little different. Halcon’s Estate Vineyard, planted Syrah mostly, lies at the crest of the Yorkville Highlands AVA. They buy Petite Sirah […]