The panel was pretty consistent in its comments on the Martella: All agreed that neither the palate nor the bouquet show extraordinarily unusual flavors, but what’s here (plenty of blackberry, vanilla and spices) is rich, set in a velvety texture, and pushes all the right buttons. Smoke, cinnamon and briary aromas on the nose; slightly hot but raspberry flavors on…
Martella’s Hammer Syrah, which is a statewide blend, consistently is as good as, if not better than, its more expensive bottlings. As in the past, the ’06 is very dry, crisp and somewhat tannic. What it lacks in fruity richness it more than makes up in structural balance and elegance, but you’ll find enough cherry, currant, tobacco and sweet oak flavors to satisfy.
Full of red fruit, light and bright at first, then denser in flavor with savory notes amidst Zin’s cherry-berry deliciousness. Grown on the Talmage Bench east of Hopland in Mendocino County, where a number of great Zins are born.
From the longtime winemaker at Thomas Fogarty in the Santa Cruz Mountains comes this lush fruit bomb from Mendocino. Cedar and vanilla mark the nose, but the palate couches ripe plummy fruit in a cradle of vanilla. Finishes with a touch of heat. The bad news? Only 76 cases made.
This wine might improve with age, but right now the parts are not cooperating. You have ripe, blackberry and coffee fruit with an edge of raisins, gritty tannins that make the tongue stick to the gums, and sweet oak that sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s all good, but a bit feral. Give it three years.
Here’s one of the richer Syrahs on the market. It’s almost like biting into a cherry-filled chocolate candy, it’s that flamboyant in flavor. Sweet fruit spreads over the tongue, coating it with soft tannins and low acids. It’s best in its sweet youth.
This interesting wine showcases a host of dark, spicy notes beginning to end: coffee, dark chocolate, roasted meat, black pepper, you name it. Medium-bodied and well balanced; 51 cases produced.
A strong Syrah, intense and concentrated in the way of ripe, high-alcohol wines. Shows potent flavors of berries, cherries, bacon and spices, wrapped into smoky oak. Tasty and easy to drink now.