Browse Tag

sonoma county

The power of 3

Ridge 2005 Zinfandel “Three Valleys” (Sonoma County) – An oaky, harsh, tangled mess. There’s absolutely nothing good about this wine. (3/08)

Here today, Pagani tomorrow

Ridge 1999 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch (Sonoma County) – On the downslope, with coffee and earth dominating. There’s a remnant of the old coconut aromatics, but it’s fading. Drink up. (2/08)

Are you Strong enough to be my wine?

[bottlel]Rodney Strong 2004 Chardonnay (Sonoma County) – Candy caramel (in other words, not the serious stuff) and synthetic apricot with a harsh, battery-like acidity. No good, but I think the bottle has suffered heat damage somewhere along the line. (2/08)

Moon over Sonoma

Moon Mountain 2005 Sauvignon Blanc (Sonoma County) – Acrid and styrofoamy, showing all the unpleasant characteristics of underripe and overcropped sauvignon (I don’t know if either is actually true, but that’s what it tastes like) with no compensatory verve or life. Just a beverage, and no more. (2/08)

Old faithful

Ridge 1996 Geyeserville (Sonoma County) – Coconut and cocoa spice, with espresso and chocolate following. Big, jammy blackberry fills out the rest. This is starting to mature, though I’d like a little more fruit and a little less of the window-dressing. (1/08)

They’ve come to snuff the rooster

[vineyard]Gallo Family’s “Gallo of Sonoma” 2002 Syrah “Reserve” (Sonoma County) – Corked. (11/07)

Gallo Family’s “Gallo of Sonoma” 2002 Syrah “Reserve” (Sonoma County) – Heat-damaged, with the fruit caramelized into unrecognizability. (11/07)

Gallo Family’s “Gallo of Sonoma” 2002 Syrah “Reserve” (Sonoma County) – Fat’n’happy blueberry, with a little bit of strappy leather but roundly devoid of structure. It’s enjoyable to drink nonetheless, but it’s certainly not going to get any better. (11/07)

No reply Etoile

[bottle]Domaine Chandon Brut Rosé “l’Etoile” (Mendocino/Napa/Sonoma) – Crown cap. Very fruity, with strawberries to the fore, and perhaps a little sweeter and more neon-intense than I’d like. But there’s yeasty complexity underneath, and the wine firms up a little bit on the finish…though eventually it turns every so slightly candied again. Still, not bad, though not worth the price either. (8/07)

TN: Old faithful

Ridge 1994 Geyserville (Sonoma County) – Fully given over to the “Draper perfume” of refined yet lurid American oak, old zinfandel’s baked-briar-patch berries, and soft, tongue-caressing solids. The old berry, animal, wood and earth aromas here mingle in a misty autumnal haze, breathing and pulsing with polished authority. A beautiful old zin. This, unlike a previous (Ridge-sourced library selection) bottle, is completely ready to go. (6/07)

TN: Ridge line

Ridge 1992 Geyserville (Sonoma County) – Cedar and roasted coconut over zingy red cherries and oat bran. Richly-spiced and mildly tannic, with a pecan-skin punch to the finish. Yet this wine is clearly in the early stages of its decline, showing telltale signs of softness amidst the defiance and lingering aromatics. Drink a few years ago for maximum pleasure. (5/07)

TN: Bumming me out

[label]Carlisle 2001 Zinfandel (Sonoma County) – Served as a mystery wine. It’s thick blueberry syrup, dense and sticky, with a powdery finish that flattens quickly to nothingness. The alcoholic heat is searing and actively unpleasant. This is a monstrosity, a wine to get skid row bums loaded when Mad Dog 20/20 isn’t upscale enough. I guess Turley, then realize there’s not quite enough VA (though there is some), so switch my guess to Carlisle with about five years of age. Bingo! I’m also asked to guess the alcohol. “Just shy of 16%?” 15.9% it is. (3/07)