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Call of the West

by John W N Holmes, 2010

part II - the wines

Wine

Yr

$

Pts

Comments

Sebastiani

RRV Chardonnay

08

18

88

Unoaked with green apple tang

Carneros Chardonnay

07

25

87

Pears and nectarine undertones

Carneros Pinot Noir

07

26

88

Spicy cherries and oak

RRV Pinot Noir

07

30

88

Toasted cherries

Alexander Valley Merlot

06

24

87

Plums but little life

Dry Creek Zinfadel

07

24

88

Raspberries but tannic

Secolo (Cab/Merlot)

06

35

88

Cherry and plum flavours

Cherryblock (Cab Sauv)

06

75

90

Blackberries and cigar box

Loxton cellars

Chardonnay

08

24

90

Citrus and apple, light oak

Zinfandel

07

25

88

Full ripe and slightly too tannic

Syrah

06

28

88

Deep Syrah, black fruit

Late Harvest Zinfandel

07

20

89

Good balance, lighter style

Cab Shiraz

06

30

88

Blackcurrants and peppers

Port

07

27

89

100% Syrah, good keeper

Mauritson

Sauvignon Blanc

08

17

88

Melon and butter, slight acidic

Chardonnay

07

25

88

Citrus fruit dominated

Charlie Clay Pinot Noir

08

40

89

Bright fruit dominated wine

Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel

07

35

90

Long finish, black fruit & vanilla

Jacks Cabin Zinfandel

07

37

88

Keeper wine, well balanced

Westphail Ridge

07

37

89

Big fruit with balanced tannins

Cemetery Zinfandel

07

39

88

16% alcohol, big wine !

Nalle

Hopkins Ranch Chardonnay

07

37

86

Too acidic lower fruit

Pinot Noir

07

35

89

Nice balance, leather & cherries

Zinfandel

07

35

88

High tannic structure

Henderlong Zinfandel

06

40

88

Full bodied food wine

Zinfandel Reserve

06

45

89

Good solid wine

Kokomo

Peters Vineyard Pinot Noir

07

48

90

Leather and cherries

Windsor Oaks Pinot Noir

07

36

89

Acidic with cherries and plums

Mounts Vineyard Zinfandel

07

30

91

Raspberries and cherries

Green Pastures Syrah

05

27

86

Mineral nose almost vegetal

Dry Creek Cabernet

06

29

89

Reluctant nose but good balance

Petit Syrah

07

27

90

Sweeter style with open nose

Late Harvest Sauv. Blanc

08

28

91

Honey and peaches. Yum

Unti

Cuvee Blanc

08

24

87

Dry with low fruit

Grenache

06

30

85

High tannins and low fruit

Zinfandel

06

26

86

Overpowering tannins

Syrah

06

26

85

‘Meaty’ flavour. Not my style

Benchland Syrah

05

35

86

Good finish but high tannins

Dutcher Crossing

Sauvignon Blanc

08

22

82

Flabby and weak nose

Costello Chardonnay

07

28

85

Pears and oak and oak and oak

Stuhlmuller Chardonnay

07

34

89

Best of chardonnays, nutty pears

Maple Zinfandel

07

40

88

Blackberries and vanilla. Oaky

Proprietors Res Cab Sauv

06

29

87

Blend Cab/Syrah little nose

Nevins Cab Sauvignon

06

43

89

Early days but a keeper

Port

06

32

89

Chocolate ruby style

Truett-Hurst

Black Sheep Pinot Noir

07

40

89

Strawberries and flowery vanilla

VML Boudreaux Pinot Noir

08

45

90

Great single vineyard style

VML Swicegood Pinot Noir

08

45

91

Full fruit, balanced strawberry

Dark Horse Blend

07

40

89

Flowery wine Rhone blend

3 vineyard Zinfandel

06

25

91

Good jammy flavour with pepper

Red Rooster Zinfandel

06

29

89

Lighter style, mineral flavour

Rattler Rock Zinfandel

06

29

90

Great cherry falvour

Burning Man Petit Syrah

06

33

87

Tannins aggressive

Stonegate Cabernet

03

60

87

Tough tannin structure

Petit Verdot

04

60

87

Black fruit and oak

Desert Wine

05

36

90

Great classic port style


Preston

Sauvignon Blanc

08

22

86

Low fruit content

Rhone Blend

07

34

86

Really aggressive tannins

Syrah

06

32

86

Alcohol kills taste

Petit Syrah

07

32

86

Just nothing there

Michel Schlumberger

La Brume Chardonnay

07

32

87

French oak, malolactic style

Le Fou Pinot Noir

06

32

86

Good nose, poor finish, tannic

Cabernet Sauvignon

05

40

87

Tannic style, low fruit

Deux Terres

04

75

85

Way too tannic aggressive

Estate Cabernet

00

50

87

Fruit forward but too tannic

Syrah

06

32

88

Unbalanced

MacPhail

Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

07

39

92

Great lingering strawberries

Ferrington Pinot Noir

07

49

91

Needs longer but a keeper

San Giacomo

07

49

93

Mineral undertones

Pratt Vineyard

07

49

92

Complex red fruit, raspberries

Frattey Shams

07

49

91

Keeper wine, great balance

Vagon lit

07

59

94

Wow, just great fruit

Chardonnay

07

**

92

Unreleased but will be great

Hop Kiln

Sonoma Chardonnay

07

28

85

Lean fruit, oaky

Chardonnay

08

20

87

Pineapple and bananas, long

Sauvignon Blanc

08

18

84

Unique flavour ! peel undertones

Rosa Bellisima

08

16

83

Grenache but not obvious

Thousand Flowers

08

16

85

Too flowery for my taste

Grenache

07

22

88

Black cherries on taste

Pinot Noir

08

40

86

Lacks fruit for $40

Malbec

07

25

86

Ripe cherries and plums

Rushin Red

07

23

85

Ripe fruit tannic undertones

Big Red

07

19

89

Good value wine (Zin/Syrah)

Rochioli

Sauvignon Blanc

09

26

89

Grapefruit and mineral style

Chardonnay

08

36

88

Basic buttery malolactic flavour

Pinot Noir

08

48

90

Still young. Cherries & vanilla

Arista

Pinot Gris

08

28

86

Pear drops & acetone finish

Bacigalupi Pinot Noir

07

56

87

Strawberries, low fruit

Sonoma Coast La Cruz

07

56

88

Long finish of dark berries

Perli Vineyard

07

56

89

Mineral Style pinot

RRV Syrah

07

34

87

Dominated by tannins, pity

Mark David Sauv. Blanc

09

34

93

Great depth and complexity

Mark David Cab Franc

07

56

91

Balanced balck fruit and cedar

Thomas George

Sauvignon Blanc

08

25

84

Acidic and tannic, avoid

Pinot Noir

07

38

88

Leather and strawberries

Viognier

08

28

87

Struggles on nose but balanced

Zinfandel

07

27

87

Peppery chocolate flavour

Allen Vineyard Pinot

07

55

88

Rose petals, mineral style

Moshin

Larrick Sauvignon Blanc

08

22

89

Apples and dried fruit. Balanced

Sonoma Coast Pinot

07

40

89

Cherries and smoke

Halo Hill

07

44

89

Smoky flavour

RRV Pinot

07

36

88

Came across flat, little flavour

Zinfandel

06

30

87

Tannins too high.

Carreras Zinfandel

07

35

90

Best wine, Raisins and raspberry

Petit Syrah

07

38

88

Peppery plums and blueberries

Moshin Poshin #7

 

32

88

Too sweet on this occasion

Copain

Rossane James Berry

07

35

89

Nutty and light, good finish

Monument Tree

07

50

90

Black tea and red fruit. Long

Wentzel Pinot

07

50

89

Pomegranate and cranberry !

Kiser

07

60

90

French style, black cherries

Tousensemble Pinot

07

25

89

Good value French style pinot.

Williamson

Sauvignon Blanc

08

28

88

Ginger on nose

Chardonnay

07

38

88

Butterscotch, smooth

Rapture Pinot Noir

08

45

90

Rounder balanced mineral flavour

Merlot

05

40

87

Low on nose, plums and dark fruit

Cuvee (Bordeaux style)

05

47

89

Redcurrants and cedar

Inspire

08

85

91

Classic Bordeaux style. Good

Stagecoach

05

125

88

Too tannic not ready yet

Shiraz

06

47

90

Vanilla and long peppery finish

Rodney Strong

Sauvignon Blanc

08

18

87

Good nose little taste

Reserve Chardonnay

07

35

87

Buttery malolactic and apples

Reserve Pinot

07

40

90

Good balanced wine

Estate Alexander Valley

07

25

89

Pepper and vanilla, toasty

Alexander Crown (Cab)

05

35

89

Keeper, blackberries

Reserve Alexander Valley

06

45

89

Blackcurrant and cedar

Symmetry

06

55

89

Blackberries and plums

Knotty Vines Zinfandel

07

19

89

Great value Zin. Pepper & Jam

Reserve Zinfandel

07

30

88

Spicy vanilla

Gentleman’s Port

06

30

89

Powerful Zinfandel based port

Walter Hansel

RRV Pinot Noir

07

36

88

Good nose, raspberries

Sauvignon Blanc

09

16

90

Great value NZ style. Grapefruit

Cuvee Alyce Chardonnay

07

36

88

Toasted almonds and buttery

Inman Family

Pinot Gris

08

25

87

Smooth delicate style

RRV Pinot Noir

07

30

90

Delicate floral wines

Thorn Ridge Ranch

07

52

91

Sage flavour, black tea

Estate Vineyard

07

52

89

Mineral earthy flavour

RRV Blend Meredith

06

52

90

Balanced, strong raspberry fruit

Hawkes

Chardonnay

07

20

90

Unoaked, crisp and light

Alexander Valley Merlot

05

30

87

Powerful tannins, too much?

Alexander Valley Cab

02

55

86

Fruit is overpowered by tannin

Alexander Valley

05

40

86

Younger wine, fruit too low?

Stone Vineyard Cab

05

60

88

Older vine redcurrants

Robert Young

Chardonnay

06

40

86

Heavily oaked, creamy

Area 27 Chardonnay

07

42

88

Lighter oak style, citrus flavour

Scion Cabernet

05

58

90

Cherries and chocolate

Scion Cabernet

06

58

89

Open and mellow wine

Big Rock Cabernet

06

58

89

Black fruit leather and cherries

Big Rock Cabernet

05

100

90

Mellow balanced wine drink now

Chalk Hill

Sauvignon Blanc

07

33

90

Citrus fruit and buttery layer

Pinot Gris

06

40

86

Tastes of……..nothing

Estate Chardonnay

07

48

89

Butter, pineapple and expensive

Merlot

06

51

88

Pure Merlot, unfortunately

Estate Cabernet

05

65

87

Low nose and too tannic

Botrytis Semillon

06

80

89

Honey but just too expensive.

Verite

La Muse

06

200

95

Merlot based, great structure

La Joie

06

200

97

Classic Bordeaux, superb

Archipel

06

200

96

Stunning balance, keeper

Le Desir

06

200

94

Cab Franc keeper

La Joie

98

150

98

Wow ! Nothing else to say

Lancaster Estates

Sauvignon Blanc

08

24

87

Acid levels too high

Sophia Hill Cabernet

06

48

90

Good cherry and dark fruit

Estate Cabernet

06

70

89

Complex with tannic structure

Nicole’s Propriety Red

06

100

89

Just not at this price point

Davis Family

Sauvignon Blanc

07

20

90

Classic NZ Style

Cote Rose

07

18

88

Almonds and rose petals

RRV Chardonnay

07

35

90

Boneya nd citrus. Balanced

RRV Pinot

06

40

90

Good red berry flavour

Riesling

07

24

91

Yummy classic dry Riesling

Old Vine Zinfandel

06

30

91

Mellow fruit and tannins

RRV Syrah

07

36

89

Fruity Syrah with peppers

Napa Cabernet

06

50

89

Redcurrants, great drinker

Zinfandel port

05

30

88

Lighter style port

Chateau Montelena

Potter Valley Riesling

08

24

88

Apricot, dry and apples

Chardonnay

07

50

89

Stone citrus and apples. Pricy?

Zinfandel

06

30

90

Balanced smoky vanilla flavour

Napa Cabernet

06

49

89

Good balanced wine

Montelena Cabernet

06

135

91

Old vines producing great wine

WH Smith

Sonoma Coast Pinot

07

32

89

Good entry level pinot

Umino Pinot Noir

08

48

91

Smooth mineral style

Hellenthal Pinot

07

48

91

Well balanced pinot

Kaley Cellars Zinfandel

00

35

90

Mellow drinker. Plums & prunes

Howell Mt. Cab

06

42

88

Low on nose and acid

Maritime Pinot

07

54

88

Dark Cheery tannic pinot

Purple Label Cabernet

06

64

90

Smooth, good balanced taste

Twomey

Sauvignon Blanc

08

25

88

Reluctant nose, acidic undertone

Pinot Noir

06

55

89

Balanced strawberries & tannins

Merlot

05

50

89

Plums and balanced tannins

Summers Estate

Reserve Chardonnay

08

32

85

Peas !!! and vanilla

Estate Rose of Cabernet

08

18

85

Too sweet for rose and why?

Villa Adriana Charbono

07

28

89

Rare grape, blueberries/tomato

Villa Adriana Zinfandel

06

34

85

BBQ wine

Knights Valley Merlot

06

30

86

Aggressive tannins

Reserve Cabernet

05

65

88

Way over priced

Petit Syrah Port

06

36

88

Too sweet for port, more desert

Muscat Canelli

07

20

89

Classic muscat reasonable price

Storybook Mountain

Zinfandel Mayacamus

07

34

90

Boysenberry flavours

Eastern Exposure Zin

07

45

89

Viognier gives flowery hint

Anteus

06

40

90

Well balanced red/blackcurrants

The Top 10

Verite La Joie

120

98

Stunning wine, up there with the best

MacPhail Vagon Lit

07

59

94

Amazing wine for $59

Mark David Sauvignon Blanc

09

34

93

Classic Sauvignon Blanc at great price

MacPhail San Giacomo

07

49

93

Mineral style Pinot from a great vineyard

WH Smith Hellentahl pinot Noir

07

48

91

Well balanced, soft tannin structure

Chateau Montelena Cabernet

06

135

91

Great Cabernet from old vines

Davis Family Riesling

07

24

91

The way dry Riesling was intended

Inman Family Thorn Ridge Ranch

07

52

91

Beautifully crafted wine, delicate style

Truett Hurst 2 Vineyard Zinfandel

06

25

91

Bargain Zinfandel for this quality

Kokomo Late Harvest S. Blanc

07

28

91

Honey and peaches. Scrumptious

Best Bargains (under $20)

Walter Hansell Sauvignon Blanc

09

16

90

New Zealand Style with grapefruit

Sebastiani RRV Chardonnay

08

18

88

Unoaked with apple and citrus style

Hop Kiln Big Red

07

19

89

Great value blended wine

Rodney Strong Knotty Vines Zin

07

19

89

Peppery jam and good balance

Loxton Late Harvest Zinfandel

07

20

89

Balanced light style

Go to Part I - the wineries of Sonoma


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