February 2017 - US Rhone Varietal

This month's Wine feature is US Rhone Varietal Wines
US Rhone Varietal Reviews
218487
Tertulia Cellars
2013 "The Great SchisM" Riviere Galets Estate Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
Garnet black color. Attractive, fruity aromas and flavors of coffee and vanilla bean gelatos, crusty huckleberry pie, and chocolate cherries with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long roasted nuts, delicate spices, and sandalwood finish with fine, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A delightfully fruity, spicy, and engaging Rhone varietal blend.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218088
MYKA Cellars
2015 Cotes du Cruz Blanc El Dorado County
Bright golden yellow color. Toasty, creamy aromas and flavors of coconut creme brulee, pineapple cake a la mode, and spiced apples and nuts with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long nougat, vanilla cream, and pepper finish with well-integrated, chewy, fruit tannins. A delicious toasty and rich white blend that is sure to please.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218491
Tertulia Cellars
2014 "Reserve" Syrah
Bright violet color. Aromas and flavors of maple nut fudge and boysenberry pie with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, amusing, breezy buttery nuts, blueberry chutney, and peppery spices finish with silky, soft tannins and light oak. A robust, flavor packed syrah with an elegant edge.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218398
Ledson
2013 Estate Old Vine Petite Sirah
Opaque violet color. Aromas and flavors of dried berries, waxy orange blossom honeycomb, floral spices, and almond nougat with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length craisin, cassis chutney, and cedar finish with firm, crunchy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A rich, age-worthy petite sirah that will be even better in a few years.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218201
Alta Colina
2013 GSM Estate Paso Robles
Nearly opaque violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of blueberry pie a la mode and cherry chutney with a satiny, tangy, fruity body and an even, delightful, medium-long nougat, floral honey, creme brulee, and pink pepper finish with fine, silky tannins and light oak. A silky and stylish red blend with lovely fruit and balanced, creamy oak.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218490
Tertulia Cellars
2013 Estate Vineyards Syrah
Dark violet color. Toasty aromas and flavors of fresh nut brittle, blueberry bran muffin, smoked bacon, and mixed peppercorn with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length dried berries and apples and spiced nuts finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A nicely compacted syrah with good potential for aging.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218293
Dusted Valley
2013 Stained Tooth Syrah
Opaque violet color. Aromas and flavors of blueberry pie, baking spices, and nougat with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long craisin, nuts, earth, and caramelized bacon finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, complex, and delicious syrah that is sure to please not or later.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218483
Daybreak Cellars
2015 Torres Vineyard Viognier
Golden straw color. Toasty, interesting aromas and flavors of peach and lemon pastries, pickled apple, and nougat with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a polished, delightful, medium-long apricots in vanilla cream and delicate spiced praline finish with fine, crunchy tannins and light oak. An appealing, nicely oaked viognier with rich balanced fruit and a silky texture.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218400
Ledson
2014 Estate Old Vine Carignane
Bright brown brick red color. Aromas and flavors of pine twigs, planked pine, mocha and clay, and dried meats and beef jerky with a tangy, dry full body and an interesting, sparse finish with woody tannins. An excellent example.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218248
90+ Cellars
2014 French Fusion Red Languedoc AOP
Dusty ruby color. Savory, minerally aromas and flavors of berry and tomato chutney, toffee, clay, and pepper focaccia with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity body and an interesting, medium-length craisin, nutskin, and marinated root vegetables finish with fine, soft tannins and light oak. A rock solid southern French red with great savory flavors, fine balance, and a nice sense of place.
90 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218246
Smirk
2016 Moscatel
Silvery straw color. Fruity, floral aromas and flavors of peach cobbler and oranges and orange blossoms with a supple, tangy, fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, compelling, instant melon and grassy earth finish with fine, crunchy tannins and no oak. A delightfully crisp and fruity moscato with great balance and structure.
90 points $15.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218164
Matchbook
2012 Tinto Rey Dunnigan Hills
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of baked berries and tomatoes, butter roasted nuts, chocolate, and red clay with a supple, bright, dryish medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-length dried sour cherries, nuts, and grilled blood orange finish with light oak. A very nice, dry tangy red that will pair nicely and is drinking very well now.
90 points $17 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218396
Anaba
2014 Turbine Red Sonoma Valley
Dark color. Aromas and flavors of red fruit, cola, and black pepper with an vibrant, dryish medium body and a captivating, medium-length finish with medium tannins and a suggestion of oak. A very dry red with firm tannins and dark red fruit.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218202
Alta Colina
2013 Toasted Slope Estate Syrah
Dark color. Aromas and flavors of roasted nuts and berries and smoked bacon with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, dried blueberries and citrus, mixed peppercorns, and oak finish with firm, woody tannins and moderate oak. A chewy, deeply fruited wine with nice firm oak and spice notes; give this a bit of time to blossom.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218249
90+ Cellars
2015 French Fusion White Languedoc AOP
Bright light gold color. Aromas and flavors of dried fruit and peach skin, minerality, baked almonds, and lemon peel with a lively, dry full body and an involved, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins and no oak. Scents and flavors are seamlessly integrated, rich supple mid-palate.
89 points $11.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218244
5 String
2015 Petite Sirah
Opaque dusty garnet color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of buttery berry pie crust, nut brittle, and beets with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, appealing, medium-length sour cherry, honeyed nuts, and cedar finish with light oak. A rock solid petite sirah that will be versatile.
89 points $21.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218323
San Simeon
2012 Estate Reserve Petite Sirah
Opaque violet color. Spicy aromas and flavors of plum compote, chocolate nuts, pickled cherries, and honeycomb with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, medium-long spiced oranges, marinated beets, nutskin, and cedar finish with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A rich and satisfying petite sirah with lovely flavor and depth.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218203
Alta Colina
2013 Sun Worshipper Estate Paso Robles
Dusty garnet color. Interesting aromas and flavors of mocha, cedar, spiced nuts, and dried berries with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length chocolate craisins, pomegranate, and pepper finish with fine, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A chewy, full-throttle red Rhone blend.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218180
Grizzly Peak
2015 Viognier
Pale straw green color. Creamy aromas and flavors of tapioca, peach cream danish, and hint of sweet pickle relish with a silky, bright, off-dry body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length spiced apple finish with light oak. A ripe, juicy viognier with lots of creamy fruit flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218165
Matchbook
2013 Syrah
Dark dusty garnet color. Toasty aromas and flavors of butter roasted nuts and berry pie crust with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length berry compote, blood orange and melon, and spiced nuts finish with well-integrated, fine tannins and moderate oak. A solid syrah for everyday enjoyment.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218422
Cedar Creek Winery
2014 Syrah
Opaque dark ruby color. Aromas and flavors of roasted berries, dried leaves and nettles, chestnut honey, and hint of crayon with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, easy earth, nutskin, and dried herbs finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A dry, savory, herbaceous syrah for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218242
Sunstone
2014 Rapsodie Santa Ynez Valley
Dark color. Aromas and flavors of dark berry and cola with an vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a compelling, medium-length finish with well-integrated tannins and no oak. A nice everyday red that would be a nice house wine.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218217
Frey
2014 Organic Petite Sirah
Opaque deep purple color. Interesting aromas and flavors of stewed berries, peach blossoms, pistachio nougat, and añejo tequila with a silky, bright, fruity body and a smooth, interesting, buoyant beef bouillon, cedar bark, and agave drizzled lime finish with dusty, barky tannins and moderate oak. An intriguing petite sirah with a distinctive tequila note.
86 points $15 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218245
Hot Ticket
2015 Shiraz
Dark violet color. Buttery, toasty, interesting aromas and flavors of fresh pretzel bread, roasted nuts and peppers, and dried berries with a silky, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a polished, relaxed spiced apple and cocoa-dusted fruits finish with soft tannins and moderate oak. A toasty, tangy shiraz.
86 points $16.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218394
Anaba
2014 Turbine White Sonoma Valley
Bright bright gold color. Toasty aromas and flavors of roasted coconut and nuts and peach custard pie crust with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy spiced apples and pears, almond skin, lime, and earth finish with fine, chewy tannins and light oak. A nice well-oaked white Rhone blend sipper.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218241
Sunstone
2014 Syrah
Dark dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of black cherry, proscuitto, and orange rind with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, stimulating, medium-length cocoa nib and ripe fig finish with chewy, medium, fruit tannins and no oak. A nice Syrah for sipping on its own or with a good burger.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218399
Ledson
2013 Estate Vineyard Syrah
Opaque deep purple color. Aromas of roasted plum and blackberry, baking spice, and nuts with a supple, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a graceful, medium-length strawberry and herbs finish with dusty, chewy, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A crowd-pleasing, mouth-filling Syrah that will work great with many meat dishes.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218336
Dark Horse
2015 Limited Release Petite Sirah
Opaque violet color. Spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of spiced berries, buttery toffee, roasted nuts, and white pepper dust with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length sandalwood, cocoa, and cedar finish with medium tannins and light oak. A chewy, nicely oaked petite sirah.
85 points $9.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218243
Tria
2015 Syrah
Dark color. Aromas and flavors of red fruits, French herbs, and graphite with a vibrant, dryish medium body and a compelling, medium-length finish with fruit, medium, well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A juicy syrah with dark berry fruits, spice and a hint of tobacco on the finish.
85 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218087
1850 Wine Cellars
2015 Viognier
Pale light gold color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of fresh peach pastry and honeyed nuts with a silky, tangy, fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-length nougat and delicate spices finish with no oak. A nicely balanced viognier with tangy stone fruit flavors.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218395
Anaba
2015 Landa Vineyard Viognier
Brilliant yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of apricot yogurt, banana nut muffin, nutshell, and paper mache with a soft, bright, dry light-to-medium body and a tingling, brisk apple skin, Meyer lemon, and green pineapple finish with a suggestion of oak. A somewhat lean and earthy viognier for the table.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218335
Barefoot
NV Shiraz
Opaque garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate cherry bonbon, praline, roasted nuts, and mulberries with a supple, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy peppercorns and cedar shavings finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A juicy, chewy everyday shiraz.
84 points $6.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218216
Frey
2015 Organic Syrah
Medium dusty ruby violet color. Fruity aromas and flavors of crusty berry pie, caramelized smoked bacon, and chocolate dried cherries with a soft, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, breezy brown sugar and nuts finish with crunchy, fine tannins and light oak. A nice everyday syrah.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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