« March 2009 | Main | January 2009 »

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Amphora Winery 2006 Zinfandel

The Award-Winning Wine:
Amphora Winery 2006 Zinfandel

Reason for Reviewing:
Amphora Winery 2006 Zinfandel earned a Best of Class Award at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition held recently here in Sonoma County.

Noteworthy:
A native of Sonoma County, winemaker Rick Hutchinson has been been working with some of the best in the wine business since age 20. He also crafts amphorae — clay jars in the form used by ancient Greeks and Romans to store wine. His pottery became the symbol and moniker for his wine venture, Amphora Winery.

Winery Notes:
This zinfandel offers ripe raspberry and sweet vanilla aromas. Mouth-filling flavors of plum and spice are complemented by smooth tannins.

AlaWine Notes:
Amphora Winery 2006 Zinfandel pours as a very dark ruby color in the glass. Ripe berries greet the nose in a modest floral context. Mouthwatering raspberry flavors and whole plum fill the palate and persist through a long, light spice, harmonious finish.

Bottom Line:
Amphora Winery 2006 Zinfandel is a well-crafted, well balanced, elegant wine from its supple opening, sumptuous center, to its silky finish. A good value at a suggested retail price of $26. Overall composite score: 97 points.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Oakville Ranch Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay

The Award-Winning Wine:
Oakville Ranch Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay

Reason for Reviewing:
Oakville Ranch Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay won Best of Class honors at the recently completed 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
Situated on a mountain plateau, overlooking the Napa Valley, the ranch encompasses 350 acres of rolling terrain, primarily untouched woods and California grasslands, with 80 acres of vineyards.

Winery Notes:
Pure chardonnay flavors; crisp, natural acidity; and the ranch’s signature “minerality” are framed with a dash of nicely integrated oak. Bright and vibrant now, additional cellar time will certainly prove rewarding.

AlaWine Notes:
Oakville Ranch Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay graces the glass with a pale yellow color. Apple, banana, peach aromas blossom on the nose and carry over on the palate in a mouthful of fresh fruit. The full fruit flavors, complemented by a moderate acidity, hold in a smooth mouth, and persist through a buttery oak finish.

Bottom Line:
Oakville Ranch Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay is a well balanced, well rounded Chardonnay full of prominent and pleasing fruit. While this wine would pair well with a wide array of lighter dishes, it might be best served as an aperitif or with dessert. Suggested retail price is $46. Overall composite score: 96 points.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Northwest Gold at the 2009 Grand Harvest Awards

More than three dozen Northwestern U.S. wines earned top-honor Gold Medals at the 2009 Grand Harvest Awards completed last week here in Sonoma County. Three NW wineries garnered three Gold Medals each: Three Rivers Winery won for their 2006 Malbec, 2005 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and their 2005 Boushey Vineyard Syrah. Tsillan Cellars won for their 2007 Estate Gewurtztraminer, 2006 Estate Syrah, and their 2006 Bellissima Rossa. Kiona Vineyards Winery won for their 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington), 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Mountain), and 2005 Lemberger.

Five wineries earned two Gold Medals each: Basalt Cellars won for its 2006 Lemberger and 2006 Syrah. Duck Pond Cellars for its 2007 Estate Chardonnay and 2007 Pinot Grigio. Peller Estates Winery won for the 2007 Heritage Series Pinot Gris and 2006 Private Reserve Syrah. Schmidt Family Vineyards won for the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2006 Syrah. Willamette Valley Vineyards took Gold medals for its 2006 Estate Pinot Noir and 2006 Signature Cuvee Pinot Noir.

Some other noteworthy Gold Medal winners include:
* Agate Ridge Vineyard 2006 Estate Petite Sirah
* Basel Cellars Estate Winery Chelle Den Mille Cabernet Franc
* Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2006 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
* Del Rio Vineyards 2007 Estate Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley
* Kestrel Vintners 2005 Kestrel View Estate SE 0ld Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
* RoxyAnn Winery 2006 Estate Syrah, Rogue Valley
* Tagaris Winery 2006 Malbec, Wahluke Slope
* Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard 2003 Estate Block 8 Reserve Syrah, Red Mountain
* Walla Walla River Winery NV Confluence Red Wine, Columbia Valley
* Whitman Cellars 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sausal Winery 2006 Zinfandel

The Award-Winning Wine:
Sausal Winery 2006 Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, Private Reserve

Reason for Reviewing:
Sausal Winery 2006 Zinfandel earned a Best of Class Award at the recent 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
The Demostene Family, owner and operator of Sausal Winery, trace their winemaking family roots back more than 100 years in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County.

Winery Notes:
This estate Zinfandel is produced from dry farmed 90-year-old vines. This wine is aged for seventeen months in French oak barrels, yielding a jammy and dense Zinfandel. The balanced, but abundant fruit in this wine make it a delicious complement to roasted and grilled meats, rich pastas, and hearty stews.

AlaWine Notes:
Sausal Winery 2006 Zinfandel pours in the glass as a medium garnet color. Aromas of red berries lift to the nose in a floral environment. Lots of fruit on the palate, raspberry and bramble berry, with spicy highlights , all sustained through a long pepper oak finish.

Bottom Line:
Sausal Winery 2006 Zinfandel is a smooth, well integrated and well balanced zin with interesting layers and a satisfying finish. Suggested retail price is $24. Overall composite score: 96 points.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mannina Cellars 2006 Merlot

The Award-Winning Wine:
Mannina Cellars 2006 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, WA

Reason for Reviewing:
Mannina Cellars 2006 Merlot earned a Best of Class award at the recently completed 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
Mannina Cellars wines are fermented in small open-top bins and hand punched three times a day to extract flavors and color. They are then allowed to finish primary and secondary fermentation in the barrel.

Winery Notes:
Wafting from the glass are loads of plum and dark stone fruits, complemented by aromas of caramel and vanilla. Full and fleshy with complex layers creates a rich and toasty wine with excellent depth.

AlaWine Notes:
Mannina Cellars 2006 Merlot displays a very dark ruby-purple standing in the glass. It is quite aromatic with ripe blackberries radiating to the nose in a floral context. Prominent blackberry flavors are joined by plum meat and blackcurrant on the palate. A smooth opening yields to full-fruit flavors which are sustained through a long toasty oak finish.

Bottom Line:
Comprised of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, Mannina Cellars 2006 Merlot is a very naturally tasting fruit forward wine with interesting highlights and a complementary finish. Flavorful, quaffable and mouth watering, it can be enjoyed best on its own, or with light pasta dishes. Suggested retail price is $24. Overall composite score: 94 points.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Top Red Wines, 2009 San Antonio Wine Festival

Eight domestic red wines earned top-honor Gold Medals at the recently completed San Antonio Wine Festival. The Best in Show Red Wine honor was awarded to St. Supery Elu, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend. Coppola's Rosso & Bianco Winery earned two top-honor Gold medals. Here are the Gold Medal red wine winners:

* 2004 St. Supery Elu $69.99
* 2007 Sister Creek Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Blend $14.95
* 2006 Coppola Diamond Collection Celestial Blue Label Malbec $13.74
* 2006 Miro CellarsPetite Sirah $32.99
* 2006 Michael David Winery Petite Petit $18
* 2007 Llano Estacado Signature Melange $11
* 2006 Coppola Diamond Collection Green Label Syrah $13.74
* 2004 Terra d'Oro Deaver Vineyard Zinfandel $30

For more information, click here.

Schug 2007 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

The Award-Winning Wine:
Schug 2007 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

Reason for Reviewing:
Schug 2007 Chardonnay earned Best of Class honors at the recently completed 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
Schug Carneros Estate Winery is a family operation and tradition. Both Walter and Gertrud Schug’s respective fathers managed wine estates in Germany.

Winery Notes:
...a spicy bouquet, citrus and tropical fruit flavors and good acidity for depth and balance. The blend is rounded out by elegant, buttery textures and ripe flavors of pear and peach...

AlaWine Notes:
Schug 2007 Chardonnay presents as a clear, pale, straw-yellow in the glass. Citrus and apricot aromas abound. Apple, apricot, and grapfruit flavors wash across the palate, checked and balanced by a clean and crisp acidity.

Bottom Line:
Schug 2007 Chardonnay is a delightfully bright wine with lively fresh fruit flavors, a smooth mouthfeel, and a crisp, yet long, buttery finish. Suggested retail price is $24. Overall composite score: 95 points.

Friday, February 20, 2009

White Gold, 2009 San Antonio Wine Festival

Six white wines earned top-honor Gold Medals at the recently completed San Antonio Wine Festival. Best in Show White Wine honors went to Messina Hof Chenin Blanc, first of two Texas Gold Medal winners, followed by three from California, and one, a Riesling, from Germany, respectively:

* Messina Hof 2007 Chenin Blanc, $5.99
* McPherson 2007 Viognier, $13.99
* Blackstone 2007 Chardonnay Sonoma Reserve, $13
* Sutter Home 2007 Chenin Blanc, $5
* EOS 2007 Tears of Dew Moscato, $19.99
* 2007 Gunderloch Diva (Riesling), $19.99

For more information, click here.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wilson Winery 2005 Reserve Zinfandel

The Award-Winning Wine:
Wilson Winery 2005 Reserve Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley

Reason for Reviewing:
Wilson Winery 2005 Reserve Zinfandel earned a Best of Class Award at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
A few years ago, Wilson Winery opened a tasting room on the backside of their old barn. When you think "backside of the barn" you don’t picture a breathtaking panoramic view of Dry Creek Valley. But that is what you will find behind this barn.

Winery Notes:
The nose presents creamy mocha and vanilla in a backdrop of dark ripe fruit. Delicious flavors of plum, raspberry, blackberry, mocha and vanilla are perfectly woven into the structure of tannin and oak.

AlaWine Notes:
Wilson Winery 2005 Reserve Zinfandel pours as a very dark garnet color in the glass. Aromas of ripe dark berries rise to the nose in an earthy context. Opens, in a smooth mouthfeel, with lots of berry fruit, blackberry and raspberry, which hold well through a very long wood smoke finish.

Bottom Line:
Wilson Winery 2005 Reserve Zinfandel is a blend of their best Zin lots and it shows. Lots of complementary fruit flavors, round and well balanced, from a full-fruit front to a fantastic finish. Suggested retail price is $40. Overall composite score: 96 points.

Super-Award Winning Wines from Oregon

The results are in from two Oregon state wine competitions -- the 2009 Oregon Seafood and Wine Festival and the 2009 Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. Here are some of the top award winning wines:

Spangler Vineyards earned the Best of Show award for its Claret at the Oregon Festival and garnered a top-honor Gold Medal for its 2006 Cabernet Franc at Newport.

Three Double Gold Medals were awarded to: Capitello 2006 Pinot Noir, Johan Vineyards Pinot Noir, and Seufert Vine Idyl Pinot Noir at the Oregon Festival.

At the Newport Wine Festival, 24 wines earned top-honor Gold Medals. Three wineries each won two Gold medals: Anthony Dell Cellars for its 2006 Pinot Noir and 2005 Syrah, Saginaw Vineyard for its 2007 Chardonnay and 2006 Marechal Foch, and Spindrift Cellars for its 2006 Pinot Noir and 2006 Pinot Noir Reserve.

Other Gold Medal winners included:
Amity Vineyards Willamette Valley 2006 Pinot Noir Estate Single Vineyard
Crater Lake Cellars Rogue Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Edenvale Winery Rogue Valley 2003 Red Blend Claret
Emerson Vineyards Willamette Valley 2007 Pinot Noir Avelina
Melrose Vineyards Umpqua Valley 2006 Red Blend "Equinox"
Pheasant Valley Winery Columbia Valley 2005 Syrah
Terra Vina Wines Columbia Valley 2007 Open Red Malbec
Volcano Vineyards Rogue Valley 2006 Merlot Fortmiller Vineyard

For list of all medal winners, click here and here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hagafen Cellars 2005 Merlot

The Award-Winning Wine:
Hagafen Cellars 2005 Merlot, Napa Valley

Reason for Reviewing:
Hagafen Cellars 2005 Merlot won a Best of Class award at the recently completed 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
HaGafen Cellars is located in Northern California's Napa Valley, less than one mile south of the famed Stags Leap District and just twenty yards from the Oak Knoll District, considered to be Napa's newest and most exciting of American Viticultural Areas.

Winery Notes:
Hagafen Cellars 2005 Merlot is highly aromatic, showing dusty rose petal, cherry licorice, cinnamon, and cloves. Deep ruby-garnet in color, and a classic Californian "Right Bank" wine, this mouth-watering and long-finishing Merlot presents notes of black cherry, black licorice, roasted cocoa, and pumpkin pie spices, accented by silky tannins.

AlaWine Notes:
Hagafen Cellars 2005 Merlot displays as a clear, medium garnet color on pouring. It presents a very aromatic floral nose. Cherry and blackcurrant flavors open smoothly on the palate with a hint of olive. The ripe fruit is carried through a long dry and moderately spicy finish.

Bottom Line:
Hagafen Cellars 2005 Merlot is a well integrated, multi-layer wine with full fruit flavors, balanced by a warm and satisfying finish. Delightful on its own, or pair with poultry dishes. Suggested retail price is $29. Overall composite score: 95 points.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Double Gold Reds, 2009 Florida International Wine Competition

1,382 wines were entered in last week's 2009 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition. These 17 red wines, including two from Adobe Road Winery here in Sonoma County and two from Airfield Estates in Washington, earned Double Gold Medal awards:

Cabernet Sauvignon
* Adobe Road Winery 2005 Bavarian Lion Cabernet Sauvignon - Knights Valley
* Rosenthal The Malibu Estate 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

Pinot Noir
* Adobe Road Winery 2006 Pinot Noir - Sonoma Coast
* Scott Family Estate 2006 Pinot Noir

Syrah Shiraz
* Airfield Estates 2006 Reserve Syrah
* Cedar Creek Winery 2007 Syrah
* Manzoni Estate Vineyard 2006 Family Estate Syrah
* Vin du Lac Winery 2007 Syrah - Red Cafe

Petite Sirah
* Fresno State Winery 2004 Duarte Vineyard Petite Sirah
* Guenoc 2005 Serpentine Meadow Langtry Estate Petite Sirah

Zinfandel
* Sagebrush Annies 2007 Zinfandel
* Terra d Oro Winery 2005 Montevina Home Vineyard Zinfandel

Merlot
* Chateau Ste. Michelle 2006 Indian Wells Vineyard Merlot
* Peju Province Winery 2005 Estate Bottled Merlot

Cabernet Franc
* Cougar Crest Estate Winery 2006 Estate Grown Cabernet Franc

Blended Bordeaux Varietals
* Conn Creek Winery 2005 Anthology

Blended Rhone Varietals
* Airfield Estates 2007 Estate Bottled Mustang

For more information, click here.

Minassian Young Vineyards 2006 Zinfandel

The Award-Winning Wine:
Minassian Young Vineyards 2006 Zinfandel, Paso Robles

Reason for Reviewing:
Minassian Young Vineyards 2006 Zinfandel earned a Best of Class Award at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
David Young, owner and winemaker of Minassian-Young Vineyards spent his teenage summers working as a cellar rat at various vineyards, wineries, and cellars in Napa Valley and the Central Coast. Later he earned his degree in fruit science and viticulture at Cal Poly, and subsequently, in 2003, purchased Minassian-Young's property where he now lives, makes wine, and pours and discusses it with customers in his tasting room.

Winery Notes:
100% Estate-Grown Zinfandel. Blackberry, cherry-cola, quince, and ground coffee.

AlaWine Notes:
Minassian Young Vineyards 2006 Zinfandel pours as a clear dark garnet color. Aromatic ripe blackberries radiate from the glass. Rich flavors of blackberry carry over on the palate, along with cherry, in a light herbal context, balanced by moderate tannins and a long, smoky, pepper spice finish.

Bottom Line:
Minassian Young Vineyards 2006 Zinfandel is a hearty, yet well balanced zin, full of interesting, complementary flavors and a satisfying, layered finish. A good value at a suggested retail price is $22. Overall composite score: 94 points.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Best of Class, Red Wine Blends, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Nine red wine blends earned Best of Class awards at the recently completed 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. They are:

Bordeaux Blends: Lot 205 Winery 2005 # 1 Red, California, $9.99
Bordeaux Blends: 2005 Heavy Weight Red, California, $14.99
Bordeaux Blends: Tsillan Cellars 2006 Piccolo Rosso, Cab/Merlot, Columbia Valley, $30
Bordeaux Blends: Sodaro Estate 2005 Felicity, Napa Valley, $42
Bordeaux Blends: Franciscan 2005 Magnificat, Cab/Merlot/Malbec, Napa Valley, $50
Rhone Other Varietals & Blends: Kenneth Volk Vineyards, 2006 Mourvedre, Lime Kiln, Enz Vineyard, $36
Italian Other Varietals & Blends: Witch Creek Winery, 2006 Nebbiolo, Valle de Guadalupe Baja C, $32
All Other Red Varietals/Blends: Banknote Wine Company, 2006 The Vault, Cab/Syrah/Zin, Napa Valley, Red Blend, $32
All Other Red Varietals/Blends: Middle Sister Rebel Red, Zin/Merlot/Cab/Syrah, $10.99

For more information on these and more medal-winning wines, click here.

2004 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon

The Award-Winning Wine:
Michael~David Winery 2004 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon

Reason for Reviewing:
The 2004 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon earned a Best of Class Award at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition held recently in Cloverdale, CA, Sonoma County.

Noteworthy:
This 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon has been Mike Phillips' pet project for years. A goal to show what Lodi Cab can produce.

Winery Notes:
Powerful with dark plum, chocolate, and tobacco flavors. Some earthy tones, finishing with soft oak.

AlaWine Notes:
The 2004 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon pours as a very dark garnet color in the glass. Fragrant aromas of ripe, dark berries lift to the nose. Blackberry and whole plum flavors fill the palate and persist through a long leathery oak finish.

Bottom Line:
Michael~David Winery 2004 Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon is a well integrated cab with very interesting complexities. A product of the Lodi Appellation (Central Valley, California), it compares well with many better known Napa Cabs. Suggested retail price is $59. Overall composite score: 97 points.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Best of Show, 2009 Florida International Wine Competition

The results are in from the 2009 Florida State Fair International Wine Competition held earlier this week in Tampa, Florida. From a competitive field of 1,382 wines entered, here are the three top super-award winners:

Best Of Show White Wine
2007 V. Sattui Napa Chardonnay, California

Best Of Show Red Wine
2005 Guenoc Serpentine Meadow Langtry Estate Petite Sirah, California

Best Of Show Dessert Wine
2006 Fiori Limited Release Vidal Ice Wine, New York

For a complete list of award winning wines from the competition, click here.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pedroncelli 2005 Syrah, Dry Creek Valley, Estate Vineyard

The Award-Winning Wine:
Pedroncelli 2005 Syrah, Dry Creek Valley, Estate Vineyard

Reason for Reviewing:
Pedroncelli 2005 Syrah is one of just six Syrahs that earned Best of Class Awards at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition held recently here in Sonoma County.

Noteworthy:
John Pedroncelli, Jr. is Dry Creek Valley's most experienced winemaker. More than 40 vintages at Pedroncelli Winery have given him a unique knowledge of the region and its grapes.

Winery Notes:
Concentrated flavors of blackberry, plum and warm spice highlight this Syrah with well balanced tannins providing structure.

AlaWine Notes:
Pedroncelli 2005 Syrah displays as a very dark ruby-purple color in the glass. Ripe, dark berry aromas rise to the nose in an earthy context. Blackberry, blackcurrant, and whole plum flavors fill the palate with lots of fruit. Light pepper and moderate tannins merge into a long, toasty oak finish.

Bottom Line:
Pedroncelli 2005 Syrah is a big, fruit forward red wine comprised of 86% Syrah 14% Cabernet Franc. This wine would pair well with grilled meats and aged cheeses. It is a good value at a suggested retail price of $14. Overall composite score: 89 points.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Best of Class Chardonnay, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Best of Class honors were awarded to seven Chardonnay wines, in various price ranges, at the recently completed 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The full list of Chardonnay super-award winners includes:

Hawk Crest, 2007 Chardonnay, Monterey County, $12
Talus Collection, 2007 Chardonnay, Lodi, $7.99
Balletto Vineyards, 2007 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Balletto Estate, $18
Wildhurst Vineyards, 2007 Chardonnay, Lake County, Reserve, $14
Schug, 2007 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, $24
Windsor Vineyards, 2007 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, $24
Oakville Ranch Vineyards, 2007 Chardonnay, Oakville Napa Valley, $46

For more information on these and more medal-winning wines, click here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

McManis Family Vineyards 2007 Petite Sirah

The Award-Winning Wine:
McManis Family Vineyards 2007 Petite Sirah

Reason for Reviewing:
McManis Family Vineyards 2007 Petite Sirah was awarded the Reserve Grand Champion Best of Show wine at the sixth annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition which featured more than 1,800 entries from 585 wineries from Texas, across the U. S. and abroad.

Noteworthy:
After consulting with existing customers and identifying their needs and wine styles, co-winemaker Jeff Runquist led the design of a five phase winery at the McManis Family Vineyards. "By keeping the lots small, we really can do a number of setups," Jeff says. "We can treat each tank differently with regard to yeast, fermentation, temperature, oak, how long they stay on the lees. We've built as much flexibility as we can into each individual element of the process."

Winery Notes:
Dark purple in color, with a bright hue, the 2007 McManis Family Vineyards Petite Sirah has a dense, jammy Boysenberry aroma, which is accompanied by a creamy vanilla and slightly smoky character. The wine is soft and round on the palate and is full of big, juicy, dark berry fruit flavors. A long fruit finish is accompanied by hints of milk chocolate.

AlaWine Notes:
McManis Family Vineyards 2007 Petite Sirah presents as a clear dark purple color. Aromas of ripe berries waft to the nose in a sweet earth environment. Bramble, briar, and other dark berry flavors fill the palate in a smooth mouth and hold through a lingering vanilla oak finish.

Bottom Line:
McManis Family Vineyards 2007 Petite Sirah is a very well balanced wine full of rich complementary fruit flavors and a very satisfying finish. It is very quaffable, yet infused with quite interesting complexities. An excellent value at a suggested retail price of $11.99. Overall composite score: 96 points.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Best of Class Syrahs, 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Six Syrahs (in various price ranges) earned Best of Class Awards at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition held recently here in Sonoma County. Caliza Winery's 2006 Syrah was the competition's overall Red Wine Sweepstake Winner. All of the Best of Class Syrahs (from lower to higher price) include:

Pedroncelli 2005 Syrah, Dry Creek Valley, Estate Vineyard, $14
Sarah's Vineyard 2005 Syrah, Santa Clara Valley, Besson Vineyard, $24
6th Sense Syrah 2005 Syrah, Lodi, $17
Sequoia Grove Vineyards, 2005 Syrah, Atlas Peak: Napa Valley, Stagecoach Syrah, $28
Bergevin Lane 2005 Syrah, Wahluke Slope, "Oui Deux", $34
Caliza Winery 2006 Syrah, Paso Robles, Russell Family, $45

For more information on these and more medal-winning wines, click here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Merlot Best of Class Winners, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Best of Class honors were awarded to Merlot wines, in various price ranges, at the recently completed 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Interestingly, the award winner in the lowest price category was a non-vintage, three-liter box wine from Corbett Canyon. The full list of Merlot winners includes:

Corbett Canyon Merlot, California, $10
Rainbow, 2007 Merlot, El Dorado, $14.99
Mannina Cellars, 2006 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $24
Steele, 2006 Merlot, Lake County, $18
Hagafen Cellars, 2005 Merlot, Napa Valley, Estate Bottled, $29
Kendall-Jackson, 2006 Merlot, Bennett Valley, Taylor Peak High Estate, $40

For more information and more medal-winning wines, click here.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

2006 Vina Robles Suendero

The Award-Winning Wine:
2006 Vina Robles Suendero

Reason for Reviewing:
2006 Vina Robles Suendero was the Grand Champion Best of Show winner out of more than 1,800 wine entries from 585 wineries in Texas, U. S. and abroad at the most recent Houston International Wine Competition.

Noteworthy:
Suendero is a Meritage bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon (53%) and Petit Verdot (47%). The name Suendero signifies "The Dream Path," celebrating the wine's origins amid the magical terrain of Adelaida Springs Ranch in the rugged coastal mountains west of Paso Robles, California.

Winery Notes:
Dark garnet with notes of wild strawberry, black currant and blackberry, in addition to vanilla and coconut aromas from the oak barrels. The dark fruits re-emerge on the palate with blueberry and fresh black raspberry dominating, as well as oregano and green peppercorn supported by toasted oak tannins and a balancing acidity that provides a long finish.

AlaWine Notes:
2006 Vina Robles Suendero presents a very dark reddish-purple garnet color on pouring. Ripe berry aromas radiate to the nose in a light floral, violet, context. Blackberry and blackcurrant flavors carry over on the palate and sustain through a long leathery, pepper finish with moderately firm tannins.

Bottom Line:
2006 Vina Robles Suendero is a well structured red wine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot in nearly equal parts. It is surprisingly smooth and balanced given the relatively large contribution from the Petit Verdot. Still, this wine would pair well with with hearty red beef dishes or meats like lamb or duck, and aged cheeses. Suggested retail price is $49. Overall composite score: 93 points.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Best of Class Zins, 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Six Zinfandels (in various price categories) earned Best of Class Awards at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition held recently here in Sonoma County. These Best of Class Zins (by group winner from lower to higher price) include:

Trader Moon, 2006 Zinfandel, California, Old Moon, $8.99
Minassian Young Vineyards, 2006 Zinfandel, Paso Robles, Estate Zinfandel, $22
Sausal Winery, 2006 Zinfandel, Alexander Valley, Private Reserve, $24
Amphora Winery, 2006 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Dry Creek Valley, $26
Carol Shelton Wines, 2005 Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, Karma Zin, Rue, $33
Wilson Winery, 2005 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Reserve, $40

For more information on these and more medal-winning wines, click here.

Sign up for AlaWine RSS feeds! Follow us on Twitter! Follow us on Facebook!
* 100 Top Wine Blogs
* Wine Blog Updates
* Wine Blog Rankings
* Wine Blog Readers
* Wine Blogs Update
* Wine Blog Search
* Value Wines

Wine Online
Wine Chateau
Uncork Life!
Wine Online
Up to 50%
off retail
winechateau.com

Search AlaWine:

Archives:
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
September 2011
August 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005

Archive Index