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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 flavor. 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 flavor. 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 finish displaying suggestions of pomegranate chutney, sandalwood, pepper, and nuts with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. 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 finish with notes of apricot kernel, key lime custard, soft tropical fruits, and hazelnut crumble with well-integrated tannins and light oak flavor. 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 finish revealing notes of fine leather, cigar smoke, bacon and creme brulee, and black tea with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. 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 finish that exhibits notes of yogurt dipped purple fruits, allspice berry, lavender, and nutskin with well-integrated, silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. 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 finish conveying notes of lily, blueberry and apple sorbets, sweet galangal, and hollandaise with dill with fine, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. 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 flavor. 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 finish conveying notes of blackberries and mulberries, tobacco, and peppered nuts with chewy, dusty tannins and moderate oak flavor. 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 finish revealing notes of peach jam, golden raisins in honey, and caramelized lemon with silky tannins and no oak flavor. 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 flavor. 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 finish displaying overtones of sweet and peppery spices, vanilla, and nuts with chewy, silky tannins and moderate oak flavor. 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 finish with suggestions of yellow apple, tangerine, nectarine, and flower patch earth with silky tannins and no oak flavor. 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 flavor. 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 flavor. 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 finish evoking nuances of shitake mushroom and oregano with well-integrated, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. 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 flavor. 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 finish revealing notes of strawberry jam, milk chocolate, mesquite, and mixed peppercorn with barky tannins and moderate oak flavor. 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 finish with shades of cherry bark, vanilla, and mossy earth with medium tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. 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 flavor. 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 finish with accents of vanilla marshmallow and yuzu 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 finish that exhibits notes of mango chutney and lemon yogurt with soft tannins and a suggestion of oak flavor. 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 finish with notes of allspice and huckleberry 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 flavor. A relaxed wine for a crowd.
Shortcut: https://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Wine/Review-2017-07-03-US-Rhone-Varietal.aspx