Issue May/June 2011
2007 RATTLESNAKE ROCK SYRAH – 93 points
2007 COASTVIEW VINEYARD SYRAH – 92 points
2008 MANDALA SYRAH – 90 points
2008 HOMESTEAD SYRAH – 90 points
2009 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 90 points
2009 WOODRUFF FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 90+ points
2007 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah: "Inky purple. Sexy, highly perfumed bouquet evokes dark berry preserves, bacon fat, violet and cracked pepper. Very syrah, with spicy black and blue fruit flavors and exotic floral pastille and spicecake qualities. Slow-building tannins add shape to the extremely long, sappy finish, which echoes the blackberry note. "
2007 Coastview Vineyard Syrah: "Glass-staining purple. Highly scented aromas of mulberry, violet and cola are underscored by a smoky element. Deep, fleshy black and blue fruit preserve flavors are firmed by fine-grained tannins and lifted by tangy minerals. Open-knit, juicy and alluringly sweet syrah with excellent finishing clarity and smoky persistence. I like this wine’s combination of depth and energy."
2008 Mandala Syrah: "Inky ruby. Singed plum, boysenberry, Indian spices and camphor on the expressive nose. Juicy, spicy and full-bodied, with smoky dark red fruit compote and fruitcake flavors lifted by peppery spices. Rich but lively, with harmonious tannins and a long, gently chewy finish. This could handle full-flavored, grilled foods with ease. "
2008 Homestead Syrah: "Glass-staining ruby. Textbook syrah aromas of dark berries, cherry pit, woodsmoke, olive and game, plus a hint of black pepper. Velvety and broad, with sappy flavors of blackberry, peppery spices and violet. The wine’s sweetness provides upfront appeal but dusty tannins on the finish suggest that it will reward patience."
2008 Alfaro Pinot Noir: "Deep red. Musky aromas of raspberry, redcurrant, rose and Asian spices. Fresh and alluringly fruity, with intense red fruit and floral pastille character and a seamless texture. The long, sappy finish features nervy acidity and a lingering note of candied raspberry. This is delicious right now. "
2008 Woodruff Pinot Noir: "Bright ruby. Inviting aromas of raspberry, cherry-cola, five-spice powder and rose. Suave, gently sweet and elegant, with very good mid-palate depth and intense, spice-accented red fruit character. Finishes with silky tannins that add focus and gentle grip. This should be even better with a couple years in the bottle but it also drinks well now. "