Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Bottle Notes’ Category

2006 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Peay Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981, and in less than two decades they created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the forefront of the best Pinot Noir regions in the world.

Today, John and Kathe Dyson, who purchased the winery from Burt and Ed in 1998, work with winemaker Jeff Mangahas to carry on the passion for Pinot Noir without compromise. Other varieties bottled at Williams Selyem include Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Chenin Blanc.

Peay Vineyard is situated near the San Andreas Fault at the Northern edge of the Sonoma Coast AVA.

Light red in color. Almost translucent. 14.2% ABV. Spellbinding nose of red fruits, orange zest and sassafras. Light and airy with striking acidity. Delicate but somewhat racy. Cherries, cola, rhubarb and Asian spices on the palate. The finish lingers. Best over the next several years.

My rating: 91 points.

Williams Selyem can periodically be found at retail, but the mailing list is highly recommended. The Peay Vineyard bottling was discontinued after the 2012 vintage.

I wrote about Williams Selyem previously in Reflections on Two Days in Russian River Valley and The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2011 Ravenswood Zinfandel Teldeschi Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Ravenswood was founded in 1976 by Joel Peterson. The winery is a pioneer in producing single vineyard Zinfandels from some of Napa and Sonoma’s most treasured vineyards, including Dickerson, Old Hill, Cooke and Belloni. I used to regularly visited Ravenswood in the summer, when they released their single vineyard wines. Back in the day they also served delicious barbeque on the deck out behind the winery. Great wine, great food and great memories.

Teldeschi Vineyard dates back to the 1890’s and is situated in Dry Creek Valley

Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. Brambly red and black fruits, white pepper and spiced plums on the nose. Medium body with mouth watering acidity. Silky and lush on the palate with flavors of raspberry, blackberry and pepper. Medium length on the finish. This Zinfandel is just a touch on the lean side which is a reflection of the vintage. Pretty good nonetheless. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 90 points.

Ravenswood is widely available at retail the winery and via the mailing list. The ’14 version of the Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel will cost you right around $35-$40.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2014 Sleight of Hand Syrah Levitation – Bottle Notes

Sleight of Hand was founded in 2007 by Jerry and Sandy Solomon, and Trey Busch. The formula at Sleight of Hand is high quality wines from Washington’s most exceptional vineyards. Sleight of Hand produces a full range of red and whites and without question has one of the top few tasting rooms in all of Walla Walla.

Purple in color. 14.8% ABV. The fruit was sourced from Lewis Vineyard, Les Collines Vineyard, and Stoney Vine Vineyard. Savory nose of black fruits, grilled meats and herbs. Rich, full bodied and plush with gobs of acidity. Black cherry, boysenberry, graphite and pepper on the palate. The finish is long and powerful. Gorgeous Syrah. The bar gets set higher every year at Sleight of Hand. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 93 points.

The wine is fairly priced at $45 via the winery and retail.

Of note is the new tasting room just south of downtown Seattle.

I wrote about Sleight of Hand previously in New to Washington Wine? Check out Sleight of Hand, Gramercy & Force Majeure.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2011 Turley Cinsault El Porrón – Bottle Notes

Turley Wine Cellars was founded in 1993 by Larry Turley and specializes in small lots of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah from some of California’s most historic and treasured vineyards. Turley now makes 28 separate wines from 35 different vineyards, some with vines that date back to the late 1800’s. Tegan Passalacqua is the Director of Winemaking at Turley and has been instrumental in revitalizing the brand.

The Cinsault for this wine is sourced from Bechthold Vineyard which is situated in Lodi and the vines date back to 1886.

Light red in color. 13.5% ABV. Unique nose of red fruits, iron and wet stones. Light to medium body with medium acidity. This is far afield from a Turley Zinfandel but interesting nonetheless. Cherries, cranberries and blood orange on the palate. The finish is light but lingers. Like I said…interesting wine but so very different from what I love about Turley. Drink over the next 1-2 years.

My rating: 88 points.

With all due respect to Carlisle and Bedrock, Turley is arguably the best Zinfandel producer in California. Exceptional vineyards sources throughout the state of California and no detail spared in the winemaking process. The wines are simply better than ever.

Turley wines are available via the mailing list and periodically at retail. Turley has tasting rooms in both Amador and Paso Robles. If you are not on the mailing list, this is an easy way to secure bottles. Both are not to be missed if you are in the area.

Turley was a big winner in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

Zinfandel of the Month – 2014 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley

Zinfandel of the Month is a regular feature on Zinfandel Chronicles. Keep in mind that although the Zinfandel of the Month might be an older bottle, the current vintage will be one you can find at retail or via the mailing list.

The May Zinfandel of the Month is the 2014 Limerick Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley.

Limerick Lane Winery is in the Russian River Valley just south of the town of Healdsburg.The Del Fava family planted the oldest currently producing vineyard at Limerick Lane in 1910, a field blend consisting mostly of Zinfandel. In 1977, the Del Favas sold their thirty acre property to brothers Michael and Tom Collins. The two brothers began by selling some of the grapes to local wineries including De Loach, Ravenswood and Gary Farrell. In 1985, Limerick Lane Cellars was created. By 2009, Mike Collins was ready to sell and asked his neighbor Jake Bilbro if he would like to buy Limerick Lane and the Collins Vineyard. For two years Jake pitched nearly every bank in California before a local bank in Healdsburg finally agreed to give him the loan.

Ruby red in color. 14.8% ABV. Mostly Zinfandel with small amounts of inter-planted Peloursin, Negrette, and Petite Sirah. Showstopping nose of red fruits, cracked pepper and flowers. Super rich and polished with tremendous acidity. Exceptional balance. Raspberry compote, cherries and baking spices on the palate. The finish is very long on this succulent Zinfandel. Lots to like here and it bodes well for the higher end bottlings in this vintage. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 93 points.

This wine was recently released and is $42 at the winery and retail.

I’ve been following Limerick Lane since the early 90’s. Consistently delicious Zins and the vineyard could not be in better hands right now. The mailing list here is highly recommended.

I blogged about Limerick Lane Vineyard previously in Top 10 Old Vine Zinfandel Vineyards.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2010 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne – Bottle Notes

Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family Winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel five years ago. Louis Skinner, a longtime assistant of Bob’s, is now the full time Winemaker.

La Serenne is 100% Syrah from Boushey Vineyard.

Blood red in color. 14.4% ABV. Expressive nose of black fruits, iodine and grilled meats. Dense and concentrated with perfect acidity. Savory and plush. Almost a ringer for a Northern Rhone. Black raspberry, saline and black pepper on the palate. The finish is long and silky with resolved tannins. Delicious Syrah that will drink well for the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 91 points.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wines from Betz are readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2015 La Serenne will be released to the mailing list this Fall and should be available at retail. I’m a buyer.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2013 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Papera Ranch – Bottle Notes

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded by Morgan Twain-Peterson in 2007 and focuses on small production wines from many of California’ s most treasured and historic vineyards. The lineup of wines at Bedrock is expanding rapidly, but I think the best of the best are the ancient vineyard Zinfandels, Morgan is clearly passionate about.

Papera Vineyard is situated in the Russian River Valley and was planted in 1934 by Charlie Papera. Most vineyards from this era are comprised of a number of mixed black varieties. Papera, on the other hand, is 95% Zinfandel.

Crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. It took some coaxing but the nose showed black fruits, flowers and white pepper. Young and refreshing with mouth watering acidity. Brambly blackberry, black cherry, tar and earth on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. This is very different from the Carlisle and Williams Selyem versions of Papera. Less full bodied and plush but delicious nonetheless. Super Zin from perhaps my favorite Zin Vineyard. Drink over the next 2-4 years.

My rating: 93 points.

The mailing at Bedrock is highly recommended. Exceptional wines, fair prices and great customer service. Put your name on the waiting list.

I blogged about Bedrock recently in The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2007 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Saxum Vineyards is located in the Paso Robles AVA of Central California. Founded in the early 2000’s by Justin Smith, a young winemaker who had previously been part-owner of Linne Calodo, Saxum leapt into the limelight in late 2010 when its 2007 James Berry Vineyards wine was named the #1 Wine of 2010 by Wine Spectator. Smith owns the winery with his wife Heather, and produces up to 2,800 cases of wine a year.

Blood red in color. 15.7% ABV. 82% Syrah, 13% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache. Soaring nose of molten licorice, camphor, blueberries and violets. Plush, full bodied and exceptionally well balanced. Lush and creamy on the palate with flavors of cassis liqueur, graphite, tar and minerals. The finish is silky, seamless and very long. Domestic Syrah simply does not get much better. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 98 points.

Current wines from Saxum are available via the mailing list at $98 per bottle. There is a several year wait before you can expect to receive an offer.

I’ve written about Saxum previously in Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5 and The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2008 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Kosta Browne began as a dream shared by Dan Kosta and Michael Browne. In the summer of 1997, while working at John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, California, Dan and Michael decided to pool their tips and venture into winemaking. Twenty years later, Kosta Browne is one of the most sought after Pinot Noirs in all of California. At present time they produce three appellation Pinot Noirs, eight single vineyard Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay.

Keefer Ranch is located in the Green Valley appellation in the southwestern corner of the Russian River Valley.

Light red in color. 14.7% ABV. Pretty nose of red and black fruits, nutmeg, cloves and cherry cola. Silky, bright and fruit forward with loads of acidity. Black cherry, rhubarb, cranberry and baking spices on the palate. The finish is long and plush. Absolutely stunning Pinot Noir. At or near the pinnacle for this variety in the Russian River Valley. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 95 points.

The 2015 version will be released this Fall and will likely cost around $80. Past vintages of this wine frequently show up on WineBid for at or near the original release cost.

As I mentioned in the Fab 5 of Mailing Lists, Kosta Browne is one of hardest lists to crack. Maybe so, but you’ve got nothing to lose by putting your name on the waiting list. Good luck!

Kosta Browne fared well in last year’s version of The 2016 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email

2002 Dehlinger Pinot Noir Octagon Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Dehlinger Winery is located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County and was founded in 1975 by Tom and Carole Dehlinger. Eva Dehlinger took over winemaking duties in 2007. Known for their Pinot Noir, Dehlinger also makes Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.

The grapes for Dehlinger Wines are largely grown on the Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. The initial vines were planted in 1975 and followed by subsequent plantings through 1989. A special 3.5-acre plot of Pinot Noir was planted in 1982 around the original octagon-shaped house on the top of the property. This site is referred to as Octagon Vineyard. The 900-square-foot eight-sided house was built in 1975-76. The house on Octagon Hill has become a Russian River Valley landmark.

Light red in color. 14.8% ABV. Pretty nose of red fruits, damp forest floor, cloves and sarsaparilla. Complex and elegant with amazing texture. Light to medium body with perfect acidity. Strawberries, cranberries, baking spices and a touch of fresh mint on the palate. The finish is long and seamless. Gorgeous Pinot Noir. Drink over the next few years.

My rating: 93 points.

Dehlinger Winery has a great reputation among wine connoisseurs. Wine writers have consistently given strong reviews while praising the winery for its uniqueness, quality, consistency and value. About 75% of their wine is sold via the mailing list. Amazing wines that are well worth the search.

If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to Zinfandel Chronicles updates by email.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare via email