2012 La Rochelle Pinot Meunier

Pinot candy. On the nose this would be picked, blind, as a Pinot Noir, with cherry pits, cola, a touch of black earth, and a very pretty floral background of rosewater. Cherries and plum lead on the palate, f...
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2009 Ridge Ponzo Vineyard Zinfandel

A mouthful of wine, this Zin is a moderate (by today's standards) 14.8% alcohol, but has loads of black fruit, cocoa, and coffee. The nose is slightly vegetal, suggesting perhaps some whole cluster fermentation. Blackberries on attack are followed by raspberries on the mid-palate and finish. Black pepper runs under everything from attack to finish. On the mid-palate, first mocha, then dark chocolate, come through. The long finish tastes of dark chocolate and dusty tannins. Drink with well smoked pork ribs. Recommended.
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2009 Shane “The Charm”

Normally I don’t l do reviews of wines of very limited to no availability. But in the case of the Shane “The Charm” Pinot Noir I have to make an exception, for Shane Finley is a winemaker to watch. This “spare time” initial offering of Pinot from Shane, who has crafted wines at Kosta Browne, is a stunner. Deeply colored, with an enticing, lively nose of very ripe raspberries yielding to an explosion of fruit on the palate, with hints of chocolate and plum. Languorous finish. As this was Shane’s first Pinot on his own, only 100 cases were produced. But keep your eyes peeled. If his future Pinots are anything like this, leap on them. Perfect with simple grilled lamb chops. Come back, Shane! Highly recommended.
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2008 Spell Pinot Noir

A lovely '08 California Pinot that is drinking well right now. Opening is a bit alcoholic, which belies what is underneath—a nose of briar and blackberries and light chocolate. Brilliant sweet fruit, like cranberries with sugar. Languorous finish. Not overly complex, but lovely nonetheless. Simple food is best with this, like grilled lamb or, for you vegans out there, grilled eggplant. Highly recommended.