Issue 159 Nov/Dec 2011
2008 RATTLESNAKE ROCK SYRAH – 93 points
2008 COASTVIEW VINEYARD SYRAH – 93 points
2008 FRENCHIES RANCH SYRAH – 93 points
2008 ODEON SYRAH/CABERNET – 92+ points
2009 HOMESTEAD SYRAH – 91 points
2009 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 93 points
2009 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 92 points
2009 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 92 points
2009 WOODRUFF FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 93 points
2008 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah: "Opaque ruby. Pungent red and dark berries on the nose, complicated by dried flowers, anise, smoke and cracked pepper. An intensely spicy, focused midweight that offers energetic black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors enlivened by tangy acidity. Impressively pure and lithe syrah with suave finishing florality and lingering spiciness. "
2008 Coastview Vineyard Syrah: "Deep violet color. A sexy, complex bouquet shows an array of black and blue fruits, sandalwood, licorice and candied violet. Sweet, palate-staining blueberry and cherry-cola flavors are lifted by gentle acidity and show a seamless texture. Ripe and fleshy but vibrant, with excellent finishing clarity and resonating spiciness. This wine’s blend of power and energy is impressive."
2008 Frenchies Ranch Syrah: "Opaque ruby. An explosively perfumed bouquet displays scents of candied black and blue fruits, incense, vanilla and violet, with an overlay of sexy oak spice (this was raised in 100% new barrels). Supple, sweet and broad, with strikingly deep blackberry and blueberry flavors given spine by zesty acidity. Finishes sweet, spicy and very long, with resonating floral and smoke notes. "
2008 Odeon Syrah/Cabernet: "Saturated ruby. A complex, perfumed bouquet evokes red- and blackcurrant, cherry-vanilla, pipe tobacco and candied flowers. Juicy and precise on entry, then broader in the middle, offering deeply pitched dark fruit flavors and notes of violet and black cardamom. Turns spicier on the finish, which clings with excellent tenacity and length. This wine benefits a lot from aeration. "
2009 Homestead Syrah: "Bright violet color. Black raspberry, cherry and a touch of mint on the fragrant nose. Juicy and taut on entry, then fleshier in the mid-palate, offering fresh red and dark berry flavors and a hint of palate-numbing cracked pepper. Finishes bright and spicy, with very good clarity and smoky persistence."
2009 Coastview Pinot Noir: "Vivid red. Black raspberry and cherry on the highly perfumed, spice-accented nose. Broad, juicy and very precise, with energetic dark berry flavors and notes of spicecake and vanilla. Finishes sweet, smoky and very long, with lingering florality and excellent clarity. This wine was fermented with 15% whole clusters, according to owner/winemaker Bradley Brown. "
2009 Lester Pinot Noir: "Bright ruby-red. Smoky cherry and black raspberry on the nose, with complicating notes of licorice, underbrush and espresso. Sweet, penetrating dark berry flavors show very good depth, with tangy acidity giving the wine good back-end cut. Finishes with very good chewy persistence, the smoke and licorice notes repeating. "
2009 Alfaro Pinot Noir: "Vivid red. Sexy red fruits and Asian spices on the nose, with deeper notes of cola and mocha adding complexity. Sappy and intensely fruity, with very good depth and clarity to its raspberry and cherry compote flavors. The sweet finish shows strong spicy cut. Blends opulence with vivacity and offers plenty of immediate appeal, but this wine is balanced to age. "
2009 Woodruff Pinot Noir: "Vivid red. Highly perfumed, spice-accented bouquet of redcurrant, raspberry and potpourri. Offers vibrant red fruit and floral pastille flavors, silky texture and very good tangy lift. This is pretty suave stuff. Leaves a strong impression of spicy red fruits behind, along with a hint of candied rose. Distinctly elegant pinot with the balance to age. "