July 2015 - US Rhone Varietal

This month's Wine feature is US Rhone Varietal Wines
US Rhone Varietal Reviews
211187
Ame de la Vigne
2012 "Soul of the Vineyard" Paso Robles
Ruby color. aromas of raspberry jam, cherry pie, and white toffee with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, complex, medium-long honeyed blueberries, sweet cream, and peppery spices finish with fine tannins and light oak. A deliciously fruity, pure, vibrant, and crowd pleasing red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211207
Black Tie Cellars
2010 Syrah
Bright dark black garnet color. Bright, attractive aromas of mocha, toffee, and berry pie with a glycerous, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, complex, long pink pepper, dried sour cherry and apricot, nuts, and earth finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A fantastically rich and flavor packed syrah with great depth and warmth.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210823
Lucky Dogg
2013 Brady's Blend "Verna's Vineyard" Syrah
Deep purple color. Delicate, attractive aromas of dried berries and hickory smoked bacon with a velvety, bright, fruity medium-full body and a sleek, elegant, long chocolate, marinated beets, sour cherries, and melon finish with well, integrated, chewy tannins and light oak. A plush and complex syrah with great depth, savoriness, and texture.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211057
Jacob’s Creek
2013 Two Lands Shiraz
Deep purple color. Rich, exotic, minty herbal aromas of eucalyptus, menthol mint, and blueberry pie with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, involved, medium-long spiced pomegranate and vanilla brittle finish with light oak. A spot on Barossa shiraz with tons of personality.
93 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210958
Trattore
2013 "mR" Marsanne Roussanne
Yellow color. aromas of fresh tropical fruit pastry and creme brulee with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long coconut cream, spiced apple, and earth finish with silky tannins and light oak. A delicious and satisfying White Rhone blend.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211121
Midnight Cellars
2012 "Nocturne" Syrah Syrah
Bright medium garnet black color. Delicate, attractive aromas of berry tart and nut brittle with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, medium-long creme brulee and peppery spices finish with crunchy tannins and light oak. A spot on juicy, peppery syrah with lots to offer.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210802
Mira Winery
2011 Hyde Vineyard Syrah
Bright medium indigo color. Delicate, toasty, interesting aromas of roasted nuts, charcoal grilled berries and banana bread, and spiced nougat with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, elegant, medium-long blackberry pie, peppery spices, birch bark, and earth finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A robust, chewy syrah with deft use of oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210959
Canihan Family
2012 "Exuberance" Estate Syrah
Bright medium black ruby color. Delicate, nutty, fruity aromas of dark berry pie and macadamia gelato with a soft, lively, dryish medium body and a warming, medium-length cherries, chocolate nuts, roasted tomato, and cedar finish with fine tannins and moderate oak. A tasty and refreshing syrah that will be very versatile.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211206
Black Tie Cellars
2009 Syrah
Bright dark dusty garnet color. Lively, fruity aromas of blueberry cobbler, pickled watermelon, and dried sour cherries with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, long honey, nougat, and delicate peppery spice finish with fine tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, fruit-bomb style syrah that is in your face with hedonic delight.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211211
Michael Gill Cellars
2013 "Black Tie" Syrah
Bright dark deep purple color. Lively, spicy aromas of spicy cherry chutney, pickled tomatoes, and crispy chicken skin with an oily, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, distinctive, medium-long alpine menthol mint, chocolate toffee, cedar, and mocha finish with silky tannins and light oak. Deliciously fruity and complex syrah that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210889
Line 39
2013 Petite Sirah
Bright medium deep purple color. Bright, attractive aromas of chocolate mousse, delicate spices, and berry tart with a tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length pomegranate sorbet finish with firm, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, yet sturdy petite sirah built for long enjoyment.
92 points $10 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211213
Michael Gill Cellars
2014 "Black Tie" Viognier
Emerald straw color. Delicate, fruity, floral aromas of peach cobbler, dried apricot, and nougat with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a seamless, engaging, medium-long caramel apple and delicate spice finish with fine, fruit tannins and light oak. A great lively marriage of fruit and delicate oak tones.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210996
Refugio Ranch
2012 Barbareno Santa Ynez Valley
Ruby color. aromas of blueberry jam and toffee with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, layered, medium-long mocha gelato, cedar, and spice finish with silky tannins and light oak. A silky and delicious red that is sure to be a hit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210994
Refugio Ranch
2012 Ineseno Roussanne/Viognier
Yellow color. aromas of peach custard pie and white chocolate toffee with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, compelling, medium-long pineapple cream, delicate spice, and pepper finish with fine, fruit tannins and light oak. A wonderfully vibrant and well balanced oak accented white Rhone blend.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210956
Trattore
2013 Viognier
Straw color. Attractive aromas of caramelized peaches and coconut custard pie with a satiny, bright, off-dry medium-to-full body and a graceful, appealing, medium-length lemon gelato, key lime pie, and pineapple finish with fine, fruit tannins and light oak. A wonderfully creamy, tropically fruity, and sensual viognier.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210957
Trattore
2013 Roussanne
Brilliant golden straw color. Lively, fruity, toasty aromas of apricot jam and coconut macaroon with a soft, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, complex, medium-length pineapple custard, white chocolate toffee, mango-papaya relish, and sweet herbs finish with fine, fruit tannins and light oak. A very lively tropical white wine that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211212
Michael Gill Cellars
2014 Counoise
Bright light garnet color. Delicate, interesting aromas of cherries and cranberries stewing in a clay pot and whole pistachios with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, complex, medium-length blood orange, melon, and slate finish with crunchy, fruit tannins and no oak. A crisp, nicely balanced, lighter styled red wine, made from an obscure Rhone grape, that will sing at the table with a wide variety of foods.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210947
Corkscrew
2013 Rose of Syrah
Garnet color. Bright, fruity aromas of cranberry cherry sauce and nougat with a silky, tangy, light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy melon and spicy nut brittle finish with no oak. A tangy, refreshing rose for carefree enjoy and lighter fare.
90 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210825
Alexander Valley Vineyards
2013 Estate Syrah
Indigo color. Delicate aromas of chocolate, dried berries, and caramelized bacon with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length craisins, delicate spice, melon, and earth finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A stylish, savory, age worthy red.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210806
Lawer Estates
2013 "Betsy's Vineyard" Viognier
Silvery straw color. Rich, fruity aromas of peach cobbler and flan with a silky, lively, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length Meyer lemon sorbet and oak finish with soft tannins and light oak. A delicious and well balanced viognier with lots of varietal character.
90 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210798
Mathis
2011 Mathis Vineyard Grenache
Dark ruby black color. Bright, earthy, fruity aromas of grilled cherries and wild strawberries, chocolate nuts, and delicate spices and herbs with an oily, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, nuanced, medium-length sour cherry jam, ground nuts, and gravel finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. An artfully blended red with great acidity for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210995
Refugio Ranch
2012 Escondrijo Santa Ynez Valley
Ruby color. aromas of chocolate covered berries and praline with a silky, lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length brown spices, earth, and pepper finish with soft chewy tannins and light oak. A chewy, flavorful red blend.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210882
Parmelee-Hill
2012 Estate Syrah
Bright dark dusty garnet color. Floral, fruity meaty aromas of ripe black currant, violets, tootsie rolls, and white pepper with a chewy, dryish full body and a peppery, medium-long finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211205
Michael Gill Cellars
2008 "Double Rings" Syrah
Bright medium black garnet color. Bright, fruity, roasted aromas of chocolate cherry pie, polished wood, and floral earth with a glycerous, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length sour cherry jam and spiced nuts finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A very tasty and well balanced syrah that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211209
Michael Gill Cellars
2012 "Black Tie" Syrah
Dark bright black garnet color. Roasted aromas of chocolate nuts, mocha, and blueberry cobbler with a glycerous, racy, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a peppery, complex, medium-long choke cherry jam, vanilla gelato, and pepper finish with silky tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, crowd-pleasing Shiraz-style syrah with great structure as well.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211120
Midnight Cellars
2013 "Aurora" Reserve White Wine
Bright yellow straw color. Delicate, toasty, creamy aromas of peach custard pie and praline with an oily, vibrant, off-dry medium body and a tingling, medium-length coconut cream, dried citrus, pepper, and leafy earth finish with earthy tannins and moderate oak. A nice, lightly oaked white blend for sipping or the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210879
Westport
2013 "Swimmer" Petite Sirah
Bright clear dark violet color. Rich, roasted aromas of fresh ground coffee, roasted walnuts, and dark chocolate with an even, crisp, dry medium-full body and a warming, medium-length dark berry pie crust, caramelized bacon, and earth finish with crunchy tannins and heavy oak. A robustly oaky petite verdot with a lot of roasted character.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210953
Trattore
2012 Grenache
Bright medium dusty garnet color. Bright, earthy, fruity aromas of baked cherries, nut brittle, and mocha with an even, vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, appealing, medium-length marinated beets, craisins, cedar, and minerals finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A solid chewy red for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210954
Trattore
2011 "7850 Celebration Blend" Grenache Blend
Bright medium dusty ruby color. Lively, oaky aromas of chocolate berries, nuts, and cedar with an even, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, distinctive, crisp cherry pit, cocoa-dusted blood oranges, and delicate peppery spices finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A tasty, fruity-yet-earthy red with a nice sense of place.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210827
City Winery
2012 Reserve "Alder Springs Vineyard" Syrah
Deep purple color. Fruity aromas of baked berries and spiced apples with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity body and a stimulating, medium-length rose water, roasted nuts, and melon finish with dusty tannins and light oak. An interesting syrah for the table that will improve with time.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210955
Trattore
2012 "T. Bucher Proprietors Reserve" Grenache Blend
Ruby color. Aromas of chocolate custard, berry pie a la mode, and praline with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length chocolate orange peel, baking spices, and cedar finish with silky tannins and light oak. A lively, engaging red that will pair well.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211210
Michael Gill Cellars
2013 "Big Rock" Syrah
Bright medium black ruby color. Delicate, fruity aromas of dried blueberries and cherries, melted toffee, delicate spice, and double mint gum with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, medium-long creamy vanilla, cedar, and peppercorns finish with crunchy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. An attractively juicy, chewy syrah that will be quite versatile.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211208
Tuxedo Cellars
2011 Syrah
Garnet black color. Bright, interesting, smoky aromas of peppery chicken mole, dark berry tart, and Playdoh with a silky, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long sour cherry jam, spiced apple, and earth finish with crunchy tannins and light oak. A warming, appetizing syrah.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210803
Brassfield Estate
2013 "Eruption" High Valley
Opaque black violet color. Bright, toasty aromas of butter roasted nuts, black raspberry cobbler, and vanilla toffee with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, engaging, medium-length pepper finish with crunchy, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rock solid syrah that will cover a lot of bases.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210993
Refugio Ranch
2013 Viognier
Straw green color. Delicate, creamy aromas of peach custard, apricot soda bread, and tree bark with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, breezy green apple and earth finish with light oak. A tangy, appetizing viognier with a nice creamy character.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210853
White Pine
2013 Reserve Syrah
Bright medium garnet color. Bright, earthy, fruity attractive aromas of black currants, purple wine gums, subtle whit peppercorns, and lentils with a supple, lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, medium-long finish with well, integrated, firm tannins.
88 points $29.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210998
Pend d’Oreille
2013 Reserve Syrah
Bright dark deep purple color. Bright, toasty aromas of spiced nuts, mocha, berry tart, and charred meat with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a warming, interesting, medium-length blueberry pie a la mode, nougat, delicate spice, and chocolate mint finish with soft, leafy tannins and moderate oak. A solid syrah for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210909
Barefoot
NV Shiraz
Nearly opaque deep purple color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas of blueberry pie a la mode and nougat with a silky, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, interesting, breezy chocolate dried raspberries and cream finish with silky tannins. A very pleasant, easy drinking shiraz.
87 points $6.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210805
Lawer Estates
2014 Knights Valley Rose of Syrah
Pink coral color. Delicate, earthy aromas of dried flowers and craisins with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, crisp cherry pit, nutshell, and earth finish with no oak. A pleasant, refreshing rose.
87 points $18.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210930
Charleston Peak
2013 Viognier
Brilliant yellow straw color. Bright, creamy aromas of toasted meringue and spicy peach and apple tart with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, easy roasted nuts, chestnut honey, and green apple finish with soft, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nice oaky viognier.
87 points $19.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210948
Corkscrew
2013 "Luma Rouge" Syrah
Opaque black ruby color. Lively, curious, earthy smoky aromas of ink, charcoal grilled berries, nutshells, and twigs with a glycerous, lively, dryish medium-full body and a warming, intricate, medium-long mulberries, cocoa, and forest floor finish with medium tannins and moderate oak. A very earthy, smoky, old world red for game dishes.
87 points $22.50
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210878
Westport
2012 "Surfer" Syrah
Bright dark garnet black color. Lively, fruity, spicy aromas of mulberries, black currants, spiced green plums, and turned earth with a supple, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a peppery, medium-length finish with fruit tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210883
Parmelee-Hill
2013 "Darcy" Rhone White Sonoma Valley
Bright pale straw green color. Bright, creamy, fruity aromas of nougat and fruit salad with a soft, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, delightful, snappy peach, vanilla nuts, and pepper finish with dusty tannins and light oak. A nice lighter styled creamy white wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
211000
Elk Run
2013 Cold Friday Vineyard Syrah
Bright medium ruby black color. Lively, interesting, floral aromas of violet candy, cherry butter, and chestnut honey with a glycerous, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, intricate, snappy spiced berries and apples, nougat, lime blossoms, and dandelions finish with fine tannins and light oak. A rather unique and fun, floral, feral syrah.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210997
Pend d’Oreille
2011 Syrah
Bright medium ruby black color. Bright, interesting aromas of cherry yogurt, toffee, root beer float, and tree bark with a soft, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, delightful, medium-length blackberry jam on toast, flower patch, and lentils finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A pleasant earthy syrah for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210913
Grizzly Peak
2012 Estate Syrah
Medium bright dark garnet color. Bright, fruity, spicy aromas of blackberry cobbler, green mulberries, Playdoh, and white pepper with an tangy, dry medium-full body and a peppery, intricate, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210949
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
2011 Syrah
Bright medium deep purple color. Bright, interesting aromas of cracked peppercorns, tomato focaccia, and mulberries with a glycerous, tangy, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, snappy roasted peppers and root vegetables, choke cherries, mint leaf, and tree bark finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. An very different and intriguingly earthy and herbal syrah that will be great with rustic fare.
85 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210929
Nevada Ridge
2013 Syrah
Bright medium dusty garnet color. Lively, fruity, spicy aromas of spiced berries, mocha - Hershey powdered chocolate, white peppercorns, and potters clay with a chewy, crisp, dry medium-full body and a peppery, interesting, momentary finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. Fun flavors in need of a bit more length.
85 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
210839
Boombox
2013 Syrah
Bright medium dark garnet color. Mild aromas of black berry, tart plums, peppercorns, and baked parchment with a shy, dry medium-to-full body and a peppery, short finish with fruit tannins and light oak.
84 points $17.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Shortcut: http://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Wine/Review-2015-07-03-US-Rhone-Varietal.aspx