Typically dark in color, and what an aroma! You could smell this all day and be happy. Freshly ground coffeebeans, dark unsweetened chocolate, blackberries, pepper, and a wheat-like, barley note: Does that entice you? The flavors are even better. This wine is lush, fruity, ripe, elegant, balanced, soft, rich and long in the finish and sheer pleasure to sip. —S.H.
The Mendocino winemaker, Dennis Patton, who’s a real veteran, made this extraordinary wine. A blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Grenache and Syrah, it’s one of the best Rhône-style, field blend-type wines of the vintage, showing lush raspberry, cherry, cassis, gingerbread and herb flavors. A tannic taste of bitter almondskin rounds out the finish.
A strong South Coast Pinot filled with spicy flavors and mouth-tingling acids. Very ripe conditions push the tomato fruit toward black cherry, but it still has a bit of herbal, vegetable character. It's dry, and had smooth tannins that make it drinkable now.
The full bouquet displays impressive depth to its blackberry, mint, tobacco and herb scents. The palate is dense, with cassis, chocolate and licorice flavors accented by plenty of spicy oak. Long and spicy, the finish is even, with dark berry and tobacco notes. Has appeal now, but will be better if cellared two to five years.
If Springsteen sang about American Zinfandel, this is the wine he’d be drinking. Has those brawny, wild berry flavors, with their edge of pepper and herbs, that define the varietal. Acidity kicks, tannins are well-scrubbed and negotiable. This is rock and roll in the mouth, and downright fun. —S.H.
Winemaker Dennis Patton has crafted a dark, dry, solidly tannic wine that’s vaguely Zinny, but lusher and rounder, influenced by Grenache’s cherry notes. It’s a nice barbecue wine now, but will certainly hold and soften for 10 if not 20 years.
Smooth textured, with ripe tannins that give it good structure. The wine serves up a fairly dense blend of black cherry, raspberry, toast, herb and spice flavors that finish with moderate length at the end.
Very ripe and jammy, with rich flavors of mashed ripe wild blackberries, cherry pie filling, anise, black pepper and cedar. Almost sweet, but turns nicely dry and clean on the finish. Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Sirah.