This wine does better when alcohol levels are elevated, which ripens and fattens the fruit. Here, the alcohol is 15%, and the juicy flavors range from blackberry and mulberry jam through chocolate and sweet briary tobacco to exotic vanilla and Asian spices. Then there’s the structure, near-perfect in acids and tannins.— S.H.
A beautiful Cabernet, dry and smooth in tannins, offering polished flavors of blackberries, currants, herbs and cedar. Really outstanding and classy.— S.H.
Dependable year after year for relative value, in this vintage which so many in California flunked, Lake Sonoma delivers a solid effort. Lush cassis is married to green olive and herb, with sumptuous tannins and an overlay of oak. It’s not a keeper, but one of the most balanced and foodworthy Cabs of the vintage.— S.H.
Fat fruit, juicy and ripe, brimming with wonderful fruit flavors. The wine is unctuous, sinfully lush, and still balanced with berries and spice and some good toasty oak. Young and hard, but good stuff with a nice life ahead.— P.G.
A picture-perfect Sauvignon Blanc, rich, savory and clean. Mouthwatering acidity gets the palate working to appreciate the luscious citrus, fig, date, vanilla and spice flavors. Sommeliers, buy this by the case.— S.H.
Lake Sonoma produces varietally pure wines at fair prices. This is a solid Zin, rich and spicy, with cherry-berry and cocoa fruit flavors framed in brisk, fine tannins. Will hold for up to six years.— S.H.
A fine single vineyard Zin from a cool hillside near Guerneville. Beautiful aromas of wild berries, chocolate, tobacco and a strong dose of white pepper lead to full-bodied, dry flavors of berries. Especially likeable for its complex tannins and round, gentle mouthfeel.— S.H.
A fine Sauvignon Blanc, dry and quite crisp, with the kind of acidity that gets your tastebuds zinging. The flavors are very rich, of citrus fruits, gooseberries, dates, green melons and an unusual tang of Chinese five spice.— S.H.