More Reviews

Reviews for 2017

July 2017 - US Rhone Varietal

July 2017 - US Rhone Varietal
This month's Wine feature is US Rhone Varietal Wines

US Rhone Varietal Reviews

Corner 103 2016  Grenache Blanc
95 points
$30
Pale golden amber color. Citrusy, elegant aromas of pink grapefruit, fresh cut grass, and vanilla bean with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an elegant, long fresh mint and dill, allspice and apricot, lilac, and wet pebbles finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. A silky mouthfeel and long, satisfying finish give this wine staying power.
Awards: 2017 Best White Wine, 2017 Best US White Wine
2Hawk NV Plume Blanc v.1 Rogue Valley
94 points
$22
Brilliant bright golden yellow color. Floral, fruity aromas of peach blossom, finger lime, honeysuckle, and honeycomb with a supple, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and an interesting, medium-long walnut maple creme, grilled lemon, and dried mint finish with fine, fruit tannins and light oak. A wine that shouts summer countryside; delicious and seamlessly integrated.
Trattore Estate 2016 White Blend Dry Creek Valley
94 points
$35
Straw green color. Aromas of pear cobbler, cinnamon and passionfruit, pine, and fresh cream and young banana with a creamy, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length marshmallow, graham cracker, spiced nuts, and candied kiwi finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and moderate oak. A creamy and rich Marsanne/Roussanne blend for spicy dishes.
Rock Wall 2012 Le Mur de Roche Petite Sirah
94 points
$60
Dark black garnet color. Toasty, fruity aromas and flavors of berry pie crust, butter roasted nuts, chocolate sesame bar, and cedar spice cabinet with a silky, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long pomegranate chutney, sandalwood, pepper, and nuts finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A complex and expressive petite sirah for all occasions.
Awards: 2017 Best Petite Sirah
Sunstone 2016  Viognier
93 points
$35
Golden straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of summer peach pie, fresh tangerine, apple butter, and cinnamon with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, intricate, medium-length apricot kernel, key lime custard, soft tropical fruits, and hazelnut crumble finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. Delight in the big fruit flavors of this plush Viognier.
Cloak & Dagger 2013 The Conspirators Reserve Fairbairn Vineyard Syrah
93 points
$36
Opaque deep purple color. Mature aromas and flavors of fine dark chocolate, eucalyptus and orange peel, smoky cedar, and ripe huckleberry with a tannic, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity full body and a complex, long fine leather, cigar smoke, bacon and creme brulee, and black tea finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich, smoky Syrah with deep flavors and mysterious appeal.
Crux Winery 2013  Syrah
93 points
$38
Black violet color. Earthy, elegant aromas and flavors of blueberry compote, vanilla nut brittle, salami, and freshly turned earth with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, complex, very long yogurt dipped purple fruits, allspice berry, lavender, and nutskin finish with well-integrated, silky tannins and moderate oak. Hedonism is priority number one in this luscious and sophisticated Syrah.
Kestrel 2016 Falcon Series Viognier
92 points
$21
White gold color. Attractive, fruity, floral aromas and flavors of ripe summer peach, wildflowers, limestone, and honeycomb with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium body and a complex, medium-length lily, blueberry and apple sorbets, sweet galangal, and hollandaise with dill finish with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A fabulously fruity and rich Viognier for expert pairings or simple afternoon sipping.
Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard Syrah
92 points
$46
Black violet color. Spicy, jammy aromas of fresh plum and apricot, oregano and bay leaf, black pepper, and black raspberry crumble with a tannic, vibrant, dryish full body and an intricate, medium-long German chocolate, toasted coconut, raspberry jam, and eucalyptus finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A complex and mysterious Syrah.
Ledson 2013 Estate Vineyard Petite Sirah
91 points
$46
Opaque dark black violet color. Toasty, oaky aromas and flavors of bramble, leather, roasted nuts, and cedar and clay with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, captivating, medium-long blackberries and mulberries, tobacco, and peppered nuts finish with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A rich, cellar-worthy red that will shine with game.
Horton 2016  Viognier
90 points
$20
Bright golden straw color. Toasty, tropical aromas and flavors of Belgian waffles with whipped cream and pineapple sauce, caramel golden apple, and nut brittle with a satiny, crisp, petillant, off-dry medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length peach jam, golden raisins in honey, and caramelized lemon finish with silky tannins and no oak. An intriguing, off-dry, and distinctive Viognier.
Burning Tree Cellars 2013 Jesperson Ranch Syrah Syrah
90 points
$38
Medium violet color. Earthy aromas of floury berry scone, ripe plum and macadamia nut, violet, and freshly turned earth with a chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a seamless, elegant, medium-long stewed plums with warm spices, vanilla pot de creme, leather saddle, and marinated grape leaf finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A very cellarable Syrah; enjoy its matured character in 3-6 years.
Burning Tree Cellars 2015 Ranchita Canyon Vineyard Petite Sirah
90 points
$40
Deep purple color. Creamy aromas and flavors of caramel gelato, chocolate nuts, red berry tart, and potting soil with a satiny, tangy, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-long sweet and peppery spices, vanilla, and nuts finish with chewy, silky tannins and moderate oak. A lovely creamy petite sirah.
Narmada Winery 2016  Viognier
89 points
$27
Light straw color. Floral aromas and flavors of sweet pea blossom, white grape, and starfruit with a satiny, bright, light-to-medium body and a tingling, compelling, breezy yellow apple, tangerine, nectarine, and flower patch earth finish with silky tannins and no oak. An earthy, floral and snappy Viognier.
Ledson 2016  Viognier
89 points
$32
Bright golden straw color. Fruity aromas of fresh lemon, fresh mangos in yogurt, dried wildflowers, and sweet iced green tea with a velvety, lively, fruity light-to-medium body and a medium-length lime spritzed mango and wheat cracker finish with fine, fruit tannins. Delicious ripe mango flavors shine in this fruit-forward, zingy Viognier.
Burning Tree Cellars 2015 Colibri Grenache
89 points
$40
Bright ruby garnet color. Fruity aromas of ripe strawberry, fresh plum, and anise biscotti with a satiny, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a delightful, medium-long watermelon and black licorice finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. An ultra fruity, juicy Grenache; perfect for summer sipping.
Don Ernesto 2015 Collage White Wine Lodi
88 points
$24
Golden yellow color. Floral, nutty aromas of toasted almond cake, hibiscus blossom, dried white flowers, and hay and dried pineapple with a round, crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, medium-long sweet almond milk, Victorian sponge cake, summer peach, and pistachio finish with well-integrated tannins and a suggestion of oak. A toothsome and delicious Rhone Varietal Blend.
Onesta 2013 Bechthold Vineyard Cinsault
88 points
$29
Bright dusty ruby color. Aromas of dusty road, underripe cranberry, dried herbs, and leather with a lightly tannic, crisp, fruity medium body and a medium-length chocolate ganache, oak box, and spice cabinet finish with medium, crunchy tannins and moderate oak. A subtle wine with a very pleasing use of oak.
Page Mill Winery 2015 GPS Red Blend Livermore Valley
88 points
$36
Dark black violet color. Aromas of tar, balsamic vinegar, dark chocolate, and raspberry jam and violet with a medium-to-full body and a medium-to-long dried dates and membrillo finish. Allow this wine plenty of time to breathe so it can reveal its dark and mysterious ways.
Trattore Estate 2015  Syrah
88 points
$38
Ruby black color. Spicy aromas and flavors of baked plum, black pepper, and dried orange with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, medium-length shitake mushroom and oregano finish with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A nicely spicy, fruit forward Syrah with pleasing tannins.
Corner 103 2012  Syrah
88 points
$50
Ruby black color. Aromas of fern, blackberry, dried citrus wheel, and yellow Tabasco pepper with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dryish medium-full body and a smooth, medium-long cinnamon raisin bread, rice pudding, marinara, and vanilla toffee and white pepper finish with silky, coating tannins. A creamy and savory, quaffable Syrah.
Mira Winery 2014 Hyde Vineyard Syrah
88 points
$50
Dark violet color. Aromas of grape preserve, bacon bits, stainless steel, and purple flowers with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a medium-length proscuitto and milk chocolate, fresh dill, allspice, and peanut praline finish with chalky tannins. A voluptuous, satisfying Syrah.
Horton 2013 Private Reserve Roussanne
87 points
$25
Bright golden yellow color. Aromas of omelet, struck match, and muskmelon rind with a supple, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, engaging, medium-length peach skin, butterscotch pudding, lime gelée, and toasted yeast finish with medium, fruit tannins. A fruity and creamy example of Virginian Roussanne.
Midnight Cellars 2016 Aurora White Reserve Paso Robles
87 points
$29
Bright golden straw color. Fruity aroma of kiwi with a silky, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a delightful, breezy marzipan, passionfruit, and wheat grass finish with silky tannins. A bright and tropical wine; a great summer sipper.
Kestrel 2013 Winemakers Select Series Mourvedre
87 points
$45
Opaque black garnet color. Earthy aromas of blackberry jam, silt, and soft red fruits with a round, moderately sweet medium body and an interesting, medium-length chocolate covered blueberry, spearmint gum chews, and mocha candy finish with silky, chewy tannins and moderate oak. A plush Mourvedre that can stand on its own.
Brecon Estate 2015 Forty Two Adelaida District Red Blend Paso Robles
87 points
$49
Opaque ruby black color. Woody, floral aromas and flavors of sweet pea blossom, cedar, and jamon with a glycerous, fruity sweet medium body and an engaging, medium-length strawberry jam, milk chocolate, mesquite, and mixed peppercorn finish with barky tannins and moderate oak. A richly textured wine on the sweeter side; perfect for cheese.
Rock Wall 2015 Sparkling Grenache Rosé Yolo County
85 points
$24
Light salmon orange color. Rustic aromas and flavors of overripe strawberries, cherry jam, butternut squash, and molasses with a velvety, bright, fruity medium body and a breezy cherry bark, vanilla, and mossy earth finish with medium tannins and a suggestion of oak. A rustic and fruity sparkler for lazy afternoons.
Burning Tree Cellars 2015 Colibri Syrah
85 points
$40
Garnet color. Aromas of baked red fruit and Hungarian wax pepper with a glycerous, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a breezy plum, pepperoni, and taffy finish with coating tannins and moderate oak. A distinctive, peppery Syrah.
Rock Wall 2015 Mamas Reserve White California
85 points
$40
Bright light gold color. Aromas of fallen peach, powdered sugar, and moss with a supple, crisp, fruity medium-to-full body and a medium-length mango coulis, Greek yogurt with honey, blini, and spiced nuts finish. A rich and toothsome Rhone Varietal Blend for summer pairing.
Trattore Estate 2013 T. Bucher Proprietors Reserve Red Blend Dry Creek Valley
85 points
$55
Nearly opaque ruby black color. Attractive, fruity, floral aromas and flavors of fresh strawberry syrup, violet candies, and fresh fennel with a round, crisp, fruity medium body and a medium-length finish with medium, chewy tannins. A richly scented and textured wine for thoughtful dinner pairings.
Barefoot NV  Shiraz
84 points
$6.99
Opaque deep purple color. Fruity aromas and flavors of blueberry pie, smoky bacon, and mixed peppercorn with a velvety, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a sleek, medium-length vanilla marshmallow and yuzu finish with coating tannins. An easy drinking red on the sweeter side for sipping or pairing.
84 points $6.99
Gordon Estate 2014 Estate Grown Syrah
84 points
$20.99
Dark violet color. Smoky, rustic aromas of smoking autumn leaves, roasted carrot, wet tobacco, and smoked tomato with a supple, soft, dry-yet-fruity thin body and a short berry gastrique and white chocolate finish with soft tannins. A big and bold nose lead to a highly restrained palate in this everyday wine for the table.
84 points $20.99
Barboursville 2015 Reserve Viognier
84 points
$21.99
Gold color. Floral aromas and flavors of pressed flowers, dried apricot, dried lime peel, and lush green moss and rosewater with a lean, bright, thin body and a brisk mango chutney and lemon yogurt finish with soft tannins and a suggestion of oak. A clean and easy drinking Viognier.
84 points $21.99
Crux Winery 2015  Grenache Blanc
84 points
$28
Medium golden yellow color. Aromas of omelet, struck match, pear, and grape jelly with a supple, crisp, fruity medium body and a medium-length pear gelato, crushed pineapple, banana leaf, and gravel finish with silky tannins. A nicely fruity wine for the table.
Corner 103 2014  Grenache
84 points
$40
Bright dark ruby color. Aromas of stewed strawberry and cherry, peony, and almond skin with a supple, crisp, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a peppery, medium-length chocolate chewy candy and dried oregano finish. A spicy-food-friendly Grenache on the sweeter side.
Crux Winery 2013 GSM Red Blend Russian River Valley
84 points
$42
Garnet color. Jammy aromas of bramble, cherry gelato, and sweet tarragon with a tannic, lively, fruity medium-full body and a medium-length berry pot de creme and granite finish with dusty, clunky tannins. A very fruity Rhone varietal blend; pair with rich meals.
Trattore Estate 2015  Grenache
84 points
$48
Bright ruby color. Aromas and flavors of struck match, wild strawberry, and peppermint with a velvety, soft, fruity light-to-medium body and a carefree allspice and huckleberry finish with papery tannins. An easy going anytime Grenache.
Rock Wall 2016 Kristens Cuvee Viognier
83 points
$20
Pale golden straw color. Vegetal aromas of fallen peach, tinned artichoke hearts, wheat grass, and green tea leaf with a soft, fruity thin body and a relaxed gravel, apple, and tinned hearts of palm finish with soft, fruit tannins. A funky Viognier for the table.
2Hawk 2015  Viognier
83 points
$24
Gold color. Aromas of lemon glaze and struck match with a glycerous, crisp, moderately sweet medium body and a relaxed apricot jelly, grape jelly, straw, and cashew butter finish with soft tannins. A sweet and fruity Viognier for spritzers.
Rock Wall 2014 Papas Syrah
83 points
$40
Dark garnet color. Aromas of grape jelly, twigs, and frozen yogurt with a chunky, soft, fruity medium-to-full body and a breezy stewed plum, cinnamon honey, and mulch finish with clunky tannins and moderate oak. A relaxed wine for a crowd.
Shortcut: http://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Wine/Review-2017-07-03-US-Rhone-Varietal.aspx