Phelps is one of the first of California’s wineries to experiment and develop a program for Rhone Valley varietals. They have moved the entire operation to their vineyards in Monterey County, and the 2005 Le Mistral is one of the best they have made over recent years. A blend of 59% Syrah and 23% Grenache, and the rest Carignan, Petit Syrah, and Alicante, it is a beauty. A delicious bistro and brasserie wine with loads of peppery black cherry and black currant fruit, the wine is expressive, soulful, and just delicious. (RP)
(59% Syrah, 23% Grenache, 8% Carignan and 5% each Petit Verdot and Alicante) Bright ruby. Musky aromas of black fruits, dark chocolate and licorice. Spicy and exotic, with the brisk acidity of the vintage giving life and energy to the seamless palate. This, too, seems denser than the 2004 example I tasted last year. (ST)
Quite ripe and showing as much dried grape desiccation and related chocolaty notes as it does energetic fruit in its outgoing, fairly spicy-tinged aromas, this wine is thick and soft in feel at entry yet picks up enough tannic grip and acidity to keep itself in reasonable balance.
Firm, tight and intense, with mineral and wild berry flavors that are in need of time in the bottle. While the tannins are tight, the flavors are complex. Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet.
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)