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Reviews for 2018

July 2018 - US Rhone Varietal

July 2018 - US Rhone Varietal
This month's Wine feature is US Rhone Varietal Wines

US Rhone Varietal Reviews

San Simeon 2014  Petite Sirah
95 points
$25
Opaque black ruby color. Attractive aromas and flavors of toasted coconut flakes in buttercream, dill pickle, chocolate berries and nuts, and delicate spices with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, long black raspberry and coconut cream pies, praline, sweet and peppery spices, and nutskins and bark finish with fine, woody tannins and heavy oak. A delicious and supple petite sirah that is good to go.
Clos LaChance 2016 22 Pirates Red Blend California
94 points
$30
Dark black violet color. Aromas and flavors of ripe blackberry, vanilla bean, white chocolate, fresh summer tomato, heirloom leather jacket, and fresh mint with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-long cinnamon-sugar finish with well-integrated, medium tannins and light oak. A lip smacking Rhone varietal blend from Monterey; you may need more than one bottle!.
Le Mistral 2016 Josephs Blend Single Vineyard Red Monterey County
94 points
$45
Dark black violet color. Perfumed aromas of candied violet, star anise, dark chocolate, grass cuttings, fig, walnut, and incense with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long eucalyptus, blackberry coulis, herbs de Provence, and peppercorns finish with chewy tannins and light oak. A spicy and perfumed Rhone blend with great body.
Tria 2016 Reserve California
93 points
$25.99
Light dusty garnet color. Roasted, fruity aromas and flavors of milk chocolate, smoked nuts, and toasty berry cake with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, intriguing, medium-long chocolate toffee and citrus, grilled apple, creme brulee, and marinated beets and carrots finish with fine, chewy tannins and light oak. A great combination of sweet and savory fruit and smoky, creamy oak makes this a delight to drink.
93 points $25.99
City Winery 2015 Alder Springs Vineyard Reserve Syrah
93 points
$38
Dark garnet black color. Attractive aromas and flavors of banana and coconut cream pies, blueberry cobbler, sassafras, and smoked bacon and nuts with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, interesting, long black raspberry gelato, spiced caramel nut brittle, and chocolate orange peels finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A plush, complex and attractive syrah that will be amazingly versatile.
Prix 2014 Reserve Estate Bottled Syrah
93 points
$65
Black garnet color. Aromas of cocoa dusted cherry pie, root beer float, and cardamom pudding with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity full body and a sleek, interesting, medium-long leather, baking spices, sea salt, and grilled figs finish with chewy tannins and moderate oak. A rich and spicy syrah with staying power; cellar.
Pend d’Oreille 2016  Syrah
92 points
$22
Nearly opaque black ruby color. Attractive, complex aromas and flavors of chocolate fondue cherries and nuts, smoked peppercorn, cedar, and clay with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an intriguing, long creme brulee, chocolate orange peels, spiced berries, and pepper finish with silky, soft tannins and moderate oak. A bright, juicy, lively syrah with a great style and sense of place.
Corner 103 2014  Petite Sirah
92 points
$50
Opaque black garnet color. Aromas and flavors of pomegranate molasses, dark chocolate blackberries, spiced tea, and tobacco with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-long cranberry-coconut custard pie, cherry gum and cola, pink peppered tangerines and pears, and spiced dried fruits and nuts finish with dusty, earthy tannins. A rich and concentrated California red wine for fans of big flavors and bold meaty pairings.
Tertulia Cellars 2016 Estate GSM Red Blend Walla Walla Valley
91 points
$20
Brilliant black violet color. Fruity aromas of black raspberry, chocolate truffle, and strawberry soda with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, appealing, medium-long key lime pie with blackberry glaze, no. 2 pencil, and white pepper finish. A soft and juicy grenache-dominated blend that entices with sweet berry notes; gulp.
City Winery Nashville 2016 Grand Ole Grenache
91 points
$23
Light ruby garnet color. Sweet, confected aromas and flavors of milk chocolate, strawberry-rose hip jam, vanilla-rhubarb compote, coconut cream pie, and peony petals with a satiny, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and an even, complex, long hazelnut mocha creme and ginger tea finish. A fabulously fruity grenache with sweet complexity and a charming finish; a delicious party icebreaker.
Tertulia Cellars 2016 Rivière Galets Estate Vineyard Grenache
91 points
$35
Bright violet color. Aromas of sweet berry melange, blueberry pie, peach coulis, and key lime custard with a velvety, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length graham cracker with huckleberry jam finish. Piles of berries abound in this pure and juicy grenache that will appeal to Beaujolais nouveau drinkers.
Frey 2016  Viognier
90 points
$15
Best Buy
Golden yellow color. Smoky aromas and flavors of carnation, ripe yellow peach, stewed tomatoes on sourdough, bruised apple, boiled artichoke, and mushrooms in orange sauce with a velvety, bright, dryish medium body and an even, refreshing, medium-length overripe pineapple and honey finish with a suggestion of oak. A mysterious and intriguing viognier with loads of savory character; enjoy with food.
90 points $15 Best Buy
Le Mistral 2015 Single Vineyard Grenache
90 points
$38
Dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of warm cherry pie, strawberry danish, molasses, ground pepper, smoked meats, and carob chip cookies with a velvety, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length finish. A smoky grenache for tasty summer pairings.
2Hawk 2016 Darow Series Viognier
90 points
$46
Clear golden yellow color. Toasty aromas of lemon blossom, honeyed apricot, caramel with lemon zest, buttered popcorn, banana chips, and spray roses with a round, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, refreshing, medium-length melba toast with orange marmalade and toasted almond slivers finish with coating tannins and moderate oak. A toasty rogue valley viognier with gobs of charming fruit and oak.
Cedar Mountain 2015 Ghielmetti Vineyard Petite Sirah
89 points
Nearly opaque deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of conditioned leather, dried berries, waxy honeycomb, and dried flowers with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, delightful, relaxed blackberry custard, nut brittle, and cedar finish with well-integrated, silky tannins. A nuanced and attractive petite sirah that is drinking beautifully now.
Frey 2016  Petite Sirah
89 points
$15
Best Buy
Opaque deep purple color. Aromas and flavors of melted dark chocolate, dried flowers and meat, buttery berry pie crust, and toasted sesame and walnut oils with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, medium-length craisin, spiced pomegranate and mulberry, spinach, and cedar bark finish with barky tannins and moderate oak. A big, chewy petite sirah that will navigate a steak house menu well.
89 points $15 Best Buy
Cedar Creek Winery 2015  Syrah
89 points
$17
Medium garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate coconut macaroon, dolmades, oven roasted tomato, and cherry wood with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, medium-length craisin, spiced nuts, and cedar finish with leafy, dusty tannins and moderate oak. A chewy, well oaked syrah for a well marbled steak.
Danenberger Family Vineyards 2016 W. Sullivan Desgacé Syrah
89 points
$26
Nearly opaque ruby black color. Complex, interesting aromas and flavors of fresh cracked black pepper, dried fruits and figs in a cedar crate, pomegranate vinaigrette and cajeta, and meats and tobacco dehydrating in a brick oven with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, layered, long honeyed craisins, chocolate custard and nuts, candied oranges, and peppery spice finish with fine, dusty tannins and light oak. A tantalizingly savory, spicy, meaty and complex syrah to compliment an adventurous meal.
Lawer Estates 2015 Betsys Vineyard Petite Sirah
89 points
$30
Opaque black garnet color. Toasty, oaky aromas and flavors of ghee, roasted coffee beans nuts, and schmaltz chocolate chip cookie with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, breezy berry tart, ground nuts, coffee, and earth finish with chewy, earthy tannins and moderate oak. A solid petite sirah that will stand up to a juicy steak.
Frey 2016  Syrah
88 points
$15
Best Buy
Opaque ruby black color. Exotic, interesting aromas and flavors of añejo tequila, spiced craisins and yams, bouillon, and geranium with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long caramelized pecans and vanilla cream finish with well-integrated, soft tannins and light oak. An intriguing flavor ride with fun twists and turns.
88 points $15 Best Buy
Frey 2015 Biodynamic Petite Sirah
88 points
$20
Opaque black ruby color. Interesting aromas and flavors of dark chocolate rice bar and nuts, roasted cherries, beeswax, and lit cigar and black pepper with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, appealing, medium-long mocha latte, black walnut gelato, pomegranate, and cedar bark and mulch finish with firm, woody tannins and heavy oak. A brawny, chewy petite sirah that needs some time or a thick marbled steak; decant.
Le Vigne 2017 Il Fiore Viognier
88 points
$23
Golden straw color. Aromas of honeysuckle, apricot jam, orange marmalade, caraway, and cracked pepper with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an even, brisk rye crisps, straw, iced tea, honeycomb, and lemon spritz finish with a suggestion of oak. A plush yet spicy viognier with loads of pairing possibilities.
Le Vigne 2015 Ame de la Vigne Paso Robles
88 points
$43
Clear dusty ruby color. Aromas and flavors of sundried tomato with wax, honeyed berries, toffee, and beet and tomato juice with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and an even, engaging, medium-long borscht, orange caramel fudge, peach creme brulee, and pepper sauce finish with light oak. An interesting combination of sweet and savory notes makes this tasty, juicy red a versatile choice.
Cloak & Dagger 2015 The Conspirators Reserve Syrah
88 points
$49
Opaque black garnet color. Smoky aromas and flavors of smoked marzipan, bacon, chocolate chip cookies, and embers with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and an appealing, medium-long grilled tomato, cream soda, and steamed milk finish with moderate oak. A smoky vanilla-bomb of a syrah with mysterious appeal.
City Winery 2016 Downtown Local Alder Springs Vineyard Roussanne
87 points
Yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of pink grapefruit supremes in syrup, mint tea, jute, and Thai basil with an medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length fennel vinaigrette finish. An interesting rousanne that will be fun to pair with.
Ledson 2016 Ricetti Lane Grenache
87 points
$40
Violet color. Aromas of violet pastilles, raspberry jam, sweet aniseed, roobois tea, and cinnamon mole with a fruity medium body and a peppery, snappy white pepper and raspberry marinade finish with well-integrated, medium tannins. A smooth sipping berry bomb that is sure to delight.
Narmada Winery 2017  Viognier
86 points
$27
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of grape gummies, iced tea with lemon, plastic wrapped orange slices, and juniper with a supple, lively, petillant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, medium-length wax paper finish with no oak. A vibrant, dry-yet-fruity white for daytime imbibing.
Tarara 2016  Viognier
86 points
$30
Medium golden yellow color. Toasty aromas of tinned pineapple, candied lemon wheels, marigold, and roasted cashew with a round, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, medium-length lemon butter and baked apricot finish with moderate oak. A solid viognier with a wide range of pairing possibilities.
2Hawk 2017  Viognier
85 points
$26
Pale straw green color. Aromas of honeydew melon, pressed flowers, and apple with a satiny, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a sleek, buoyant straw and white peach finish. A mild and approachable viognier with great versatility.
Tarara 2015  Viognier
81 points
$28
Medium golden yellow color. Oaky aromas and flavors of roasted nuts, buttered popcorn, wool, sage, and dandelion with a round, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a smooth, medium-length Greek yogurt with honey, walnut skin, and peach pie filling finish with soft tannins and heavy oak. A buttery viognier for fans of Cali chardonnay.
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