Sonoma County Merlot

Wellington Vineyards

Sonoma Valley Merlot 2011

The Merlot haters never tasted this. Beautiful. — 7 days ago

Bonnie Hodur
with Bonnie
Daniel liked this

Ferren Wines

Frei Road Vineyard Pinot Noir 2016

Shay A
9.3

Even though I’m a big fan of Ferren’s Frei Rd Chardonnay, this was my first Frei Rd Pinot.

Not sure of normal experiences here, but the richness here seems to fall in between Rivers Marie (love) and Aubert (just so so for me). Darker color in the glass…bit of a purple tinge to it. Aromatically it sports potpourri, violets, underripe black cherries, underripe blue fruit and some cedar. Initially, the front palate seems like it will be heavy based on all of the flavors but it turns really elegant. Dark chocolate, a slight roasted character, and spicy fruits. With RM, I get that orange zest note, and with Aubert, I get more alcohol and kirsch. My in between note here is more ripe pomegranate than either of the others. These probably need 5-7yrs from vintage to be in a good spot. Followed over two days and stayed consistent.
— 8 days ago

Hermes, David and 31 others liked this
Shay A

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@Bryan Kesting : I think there is some confusion. @David L ‘s comment was for the Chardonnay, but my post was for the Pinot. I definitely think the pinots need about 7yrs as this one at 5yrs was young! Or maybe everyone is wanting to discuss the chard!
Bryan Kesting

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Sorry for the confusion. I personally feel the 7 year mark is best for both the Pinot and Chardonnay…generally speaking. Im sure it also depend on vintage. My opinion.
Shay A

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@Bryan Kesting : Ah, got it. I haven’t had the Frei chard with that much age, but it sure was good at 4-5yrs, however, definitely young. I’ll do my best to hold a bottle.

Maxem Wines

UV Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019

Totally unique single vineyard Pinot Noir. Like a hybrid of California and Oregon Pinot. Aromas of grape bubble gum (in a good way), black tea and cola. Brambly red berry fruit flavors with hints of mineral and violets. Bright acidity. Extremely luscious. Quite interesting. — 3 days ago

Billy, Bob and 1 other liked this

Williams Selyem

Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2002

David T
9.3

Not exactly pizza wine but, I bought six bottles of this 02 Williams Selyem for $35-$36 w/ tax & fees recently on the secondary market. I have enjoyed a number of their 02’s for many years…such a great Pinot Noir Sonoma vintage. Especially, for WS. I feel for the seller who actually barely might have broke even or even lost a couple of bucks on this sale after fees.

Still spectacular after 18 plus years in bottle. She is still strutting her stuff.

Visually you look at the color in the glass, it’s silty & cloudy.

The body is ripe, rich, smooth & shining integration. The fruits bright, somewhat candied, floral & showing shades of stewed. Blackberries, black raspberries, dark cherries, cherries, poached strawberries, pomegranate juice, slightly dry cranberries, raspberries with singing purple & blue fruits as it sets. Some dark, rich, dark forest floor with dry leaves & twigs w/ tree sap, vanillin, nutmeg, cinnamon, dark spices, notes of dry herbaceousness - bay leaf, sage & marjoram, black licorice, mixed berry cola, powdery limestone & dry rocks, just a hint of pepper, grilled, savory meats, fresh tobacco leaves, red, blue, dark flowers laid in a field of violets. The acidity is like a spring shower. The finish is rich, ruby, well knitted & balanced with length & polish for days.

Its subtle knock, a touch hot at the beginning with it fading in the second glass.

The 02 is singing with another 3-5 years of good drinking ahead. It’s new world with Burgundy threads.

For me, this WS Pinot Noir is seriously peaking. Best bottle of the 02 WS Sonoma Coast I have enjoyed over the 12-15 bottles I’ve had.

Definitely pushing 94. I stole these amazing bottles. Thank you universe.
— 2 days ago

Deborah, Vanessa and 12 others liked this
Eric

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Cool
Severn Goodwin

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Yes, thank you universe. 👍

Aston Estate

Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2015

Ron R
9.4

The label was soiled when I received the order. I was immediately concerned regarding the contents. Happily, the wine was in pristine nick. Forest floor and cinnamon nose transitioned to the signature gnarly, textured dark fruit, smoke, and spice box presentation. I’m going to hold some of these Astons and see what happens. Intro’d to this by @Bill Bender, this has become my fave Cali pinot. Every vintage comes correct. — 9 days ago

Brian, Dawn and 41 others liked this
Dawn E.

Dawn E.

@Ron R vintage please sir! 🤔
Ron R

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@Jody Scharf is gangster. He wants to do it on the forest floor! @Dawn E. 2015. I just ordered more from the winery. Sign up, they have the 15 and 16 available.

Once & Future Wines

Old Hill Ranch Zinfandel 2018

This was our “back-up” bottle just in case the 1981 Clos du Val Zinfandel was DOA. In the end, the vitality of the ’81 rendered a back-up unnecessary however, we were resolved to open this nevertheless. The Old Hill Ranch is a historic vineyard endowed with a natural beauty that has few peers. Carefully farmed as a field blend with 30 other varieties, the vineyard is thought to be home to the oldest vines grafted to St. George rootstock (some of them are over 130 years old!!). The wine pours a bright ruby with no signs of sediment. On the nose, dark sour cherry, meat fat, brambles, and pie spice. On the palate, a mix of tart dark and red fruits, minerals, and a soft touch of baking spice. The finish is dry and long. Remarkable structure. Medium+ tannin, medium+ acid. This is a wine with tremendous vigor and it’s just getting started. While this is drinking very well already, I suspect these will have a very long life and should drink very well into the 2030’s and possibly, beyond. — 14 days ago

Shay, Byron and 14 others liked this

Buena Vista Winery

Vinicultural Society Sonoma Merlot 2019

Cherry and vanilla after tones. — 13 days ago

Fitch Mountain Cellars

Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Year in, year out this is one of the more reliable values in California Cabernet. I think it’s sort of a second wine of Optima and I’m certain I’ve tried every vintage since 2001 because it rarely disappoints. I used to be able to swoop it for around $17 but it’s closer to $30 retail these days. Nevertheless, great QPR. Popped and poured; consumed over three days and best on Day 3. The 2017 pours deep ruby with an opaque core. The nose black currants, grilled kofta, purple flowers, baking spice and very light pyrazines…almost undetectable. On the palate, dark and red fruits, smoke and baking spice. Dry. Medium tannin; medium acid. Finish is medium…and savory. A totally respectable Tuesday night wine. — 13 days ago

Peter, Josh and 10 others liked this

Cornell Vineyard

Sonoma County Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Silly delicious! So austere and elegant for a California Cabernet. Lots of cassis and other red fruits on both the nose and the pallet. Hints of graphite, wet stones and violets. Creamy texture. Beautifully structured and balanced. — 3 days ago

Daniel, Bob and 1 other liked this

Alexander Valley Vineyards

Alexander Valley Merlot 2018

Very deep. Good oaky flavor. — 13 days ago

Alex and Ericsson liked this