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Reviews for 2015

July 2015 - US Rhone Varietal

July 2015 - US Rhone Varietal
This month's Wine feature is US Rhone Varietal Wines

US Rhone Varietal Reviews

Ame de la Vigne 2012 "Soul of the Vineyard" Paso Robles
95 points
$41
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.
Black Tie Cellars 2010  Syrah
95 points
$65
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.
Lucky Dogg 2013 Bradys Blend "Vernas Vineyard" Syrah
94 points
$30
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.
Jacob’s Creek 2013 Two Lands Shiraz
93 points
$13.99
Best Buy
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
Trattore 2013 "mR" Marsanne Roussanne
93 points
$27
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.
Midnight Cellars 2012 "Nocturne" Syrah Syrah
93 points
$32
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.
Mira Winery 2011 Hyde Vineyard Syrah
93 points
$48
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.
Canihan Family 2012 "Exuberance" Estate Syrah
93 points
$49
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.
Black Tie Cellars 2009  Syrah
93 points
$65
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.
Michael Gill Cellars 2013 "Black Tie" Syrah
93 points
$65
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.
Line 39 2013  Petite Sirah
92 points
$10
Best Buy
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
Michael Gill Cellars 2014 "Black Tie" Viognier
92 points
$38
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.
Refugio Ranch 2012 Barbareno Santa Ynez Valley
92 points
$42
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.
Refugio Ranch 2012 Ineseno Roussanne/Viognier
91 points
$24
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.
Trattore 2013  Viognier
91 points
$27
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.
Trattore 2013  Roussanne
91 points
$28
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.
Michael Gill Cellars 2014  Counoise
91 points
$40
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.
Corkscrew 2013  Rose of Syrah
90 points
$18
Best Buy
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
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2013 Estate Syrah
90 points
$20
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.
Lawer Estates 2013 "Betsys Vineyard" Viognier
90 points
$24.99
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
Mathis 2011 Mathis Vineyard Grenache
90 points
$30
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.
Refugio Ranch 2012 Escondrijo Santa Ynez Valley
90 points
$34
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.
Parmelee-Hill 2012 Estate Syrah
90 points
$38
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.
Michael Gill Cellars 2008 "Double Rings" Syrah
90 points
$48
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.
Michael Gill Cellars 2012 "Black Tie" Syrah
90 points
$65
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.
Midnight Cellars 2013 "Aurora" Reserve White Wine
89 points
$29
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.
Westport 2013 "Swimmer" Petite Sirah
89 points
$29
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.
Trattore 2012  Grenache
89 points
$30
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.
Trattore 2011 "7850 Celebration Blend" Grenache Blend
89 points
$36
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.
City Winery 2012 Reserve "Alder Springs Vineyard" Syrah
89 points
$38
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.
Trattore 2012 "T. Bucher Proprietors Reserve" Grenache Blend
89 points
$50
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.
Michael Gill Cellars 2013 "Big Rock" Syrah
89 points
$65
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.
Tuxedo Cellars 2011  Syrah
89 points
$65
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.
Brassfield Estate 2013 "Eruption" High Valley
88 points
$20
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.
Refugio Ranch 2013  Viognier
88 points
$28
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.
White Pine 2013 Reserve Syrah
88 points
$29.99
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
Pend d’Oreille 2013 Reserve Syrah
88 points
$35
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.
Barefoot NV  Shiraz
87 points
$6.99
Best Buy
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
Lawer Estates 2014 Knights Valley Rose of Syrah
87 points
$18.99
Pink coral color. Delicate, earthy aromas and flavors 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
Charleston Peak 2013  Viognier
87 points
$19.95
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
Corkscrew 2013 "Luma Rouge" Syrah
87 points
$22.50
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
Westport 2012 "Surfer" Syrah
87 points
$27
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.
Parmelee-Hill 2013 "Darcy" Rhone White Sonoma Valley
86 points
$30
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.
Elk Run 2013 Cold Friday Vineyard Syrah
85 points
$0
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.
Pend d’Oreille 2011  Syrah
85 points
$21
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.
Grizzly Peak 2012 Estate Syrah
85 points
$24
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.
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2011  Syrah
85 points
$29.95
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
Nevada Ridge 2013  Syrah
85 points
$29.95
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
Boombox 2013  Syrah
84 points
$17.99
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
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