This is one reason why Syrah is becoming so popular. It has all the fruit you expect from a ripe vintage, but it doesn’t overwhelm. It’s just part of the package that includes ripe, soft tannins and acids and a subtle interplay of oak. Balanced, rich and harmonious, it’s an elaborately detailed wine meant to accompany strongly flavored foods. —S.H.
Rises to the expectations of the appellation, with classic aromas of beetroot, black raspberry, chocolate, mint, smoke and vanilla, and a dry, voluptious mouthfeel. The berry flavors are powerful and jammy, but the wine is balanced and harmonious. This is what the California sun does for Pinot Noir. —S.H.
At more than four years of age, this Pinot still tastes fresh and lively. It has a juicy acidity that frames classic Russian River Pinot flavors of cherries, cola and rhubarb, and is dry and silky. There’s still an edge of dusty tannins. Try this well-crafted wine with lamb or rib roast.
Rich and ripe, with fine-tuned layers of pear, melon, citrus, apple, herb and pretty toast notes. Well balanced and refined, the wine finishes long, with a tangy, fresh edge to the vibrant flavors.
Quite plush, packed with elegant, sweet oak framing full-blown, ripe black cherry, plum, blackberry, chocolate, coffee, spice and herb flavors. The tannins are firm and ripe and the finish long and bright.
Lovely and complicated; a Pinot Noir for Cabernet lovers. It has Pinot’s silky texture and soft tannins, but also a full-bodied, oak-infused weight that carries wonderfully ripe cherry pie, anise, cola and raspberry flavors that change from sip to sip.
An oaky style, with crème brûlée and pain grillé dominating the aromas. Yet there’s solid tropical fruit underneath that finishes with a lemon-custard streak. Elegant and harmonious; toasty without being overdone.
Big and toasty, with hints of oranges, pears and earth. Call it complex, because it offers a range of character in aromatics, flavors and feel. Smooth and big, it comes on late with heavy butter notes that border on being over the top. A lot of wine for the money.