Opening with an enormous blast of black pepper, this wine shows a unique approach to Syrah. It’s fully dry, with finely-honed tannins, and the blackberry and cherry flavors are joined with intriguing notes of ground beef, tamari, carob and violets. The vineyard is in the hills between central Mendocino and Anderson…— S.H.
Built like a Chardonnay, with full-bodied vanilla, buttercream, tangerine and honey flavors, and a nuttiness like sweet cashews. Rich and exotic, with clean acidity. Drink now.— S.H.
Dry, tannic and peppery, a Northern Rhône-style Syrah that will pair well with game. It has flavors of ripe, wild forest blackberries, blueberries and grilled mushrooms, accented with smoky oak. Best now-2011.— S.H.
Pinot Blanc doesn’t have much of an identity in California, but a wine like this advances the cause. Imagine the richness of Chardonnay’s peach and pineapple flavors. Add a nutty, hazelnut quality, and a tartness suggesting lime zest. That’s what you get in this food-friendly, affordable wine.— S.H.
There’s a Beaujolais-like jammy, grapey freshness to this wine. It tastes of newly-fermented crushed blackberries, with hints of violets and pepper. Best now.— S.H.