Tasting Notes

Wine Reviews

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2006 Deerfield Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel, Buchignani/Garcia Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley

The nose is a load of blueberries, chocolate, tobacco - and fresh pecan pie, straight from the oven. All of a sudden, it was autumn, and I was diving into a moist pile of leaves in my front yard. That sweet, bold earth scent filled my mouth, and the finish had a plum and cherry chutney element that reminded me of a holiday in Chicago - trees lit up, walking the Miracle Mile and stopping for a hot apple cider.
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2005 Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi

This big fruit bomb delivers powerful blackberry and spice with an alcohol punch at 15.5 percent. They have too much fun with the name "it will rock your world, etc." but it's big wine. Fruit bomb has become a derisive term used by lots of wine writers. This is definitely a fruit bomb, but what's wrong with that? Wouldn't it be boring if they were all the same! If you like big wine, its hard not to like Earthquake. Read Howard’s full review on his blog Grape Sense.
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Westons English Cider, Herefordshire England

Made by H. Weston and Sons, a cidery established in Hereforshire since 1880, still owned by the Weston family, this lovely sparkling dry cider was aged in oak vats, which probably explains its smooth, full-bodied character. Pleasantly and moderately effervescent, it shows aromas of fresh, well-ripened apples, reminiscent of "cooking" apples like Cortland or Braeburn. Acidity seems lower than in, say, a Blackthorn or a Strongbow, giving the Stowford Press a smoother overall feel, and a rounder profile, overall. A mellow and pleasant winter sipper, although a crisper style may be more pleasant on a hot summer day. You can read more tasting notes by Rémy Charest on The Wine Case.
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2008 Cowhorn Vineyard Spiral 36, Applegate Valley

Blend of Viognier 35%, Marsanne 30%, Roussanne 35% grapes. This wine is made at the certified biodynamic Cowhorn winery with natural yeasts and no malolactic fermentation. Light golden color with great clarity. Apple and pear flavors with some delicious honeysuckle on the nose. Refreshing acids make it a solid choice for roast chicken.
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2007 Cowhorn Vineyard Syrah, Applegate Valley

Great example of domestic syrah made at the certified biodynamic Cowhown winery. That means no synthetic chemicals were used in grape-growing and native yeasts were used in the cellar. Big, dark boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors, which are nicely balanced by an earthy finish. Good acids and 13.5% alcohol make it a good food wine. Personally, I would love to see them ease up on the new oak (it is a blend of old and new oak barrels at the moment). But honestly, most people would find this wine to be a big crowd-pleaser.
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Sumac Ridge Tribute “Silver” Sparkling Wine

One can be content with the silver, in this case. It is a pleasant, crisp traditional method sparkling wine, made from 100% chardonnay. Lemon and citrus aromas, with a touch of toasted bread, on the nose, and apple and a touch of pear on the palate, with plenty of lively bubbles to give it a true sense of celebration. Not terribly complex, but neat and well-made enough to keep you smiling through the final hockey game - where silver, however, will not keep Canadians content.