This blend of 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah, largely from the 11 Confessions Vineyard, with a small amount from Bien Nacido, spent 21 months in barrel. It is really strutting its stuff now, and showing even better than my original note predicted in August of 2009. The wine has loads of meat, licorice, smoke, charcoal and graphite, as well as huge peppery, blackberry and black cherry notes. Full-bodied, with great acidity, nicely integrated tannin, an admirable mouthfeel and tremendous length, this killer Grenache is still young and probably 3-5 years away from prime time drinking. (RP)
Deliciously complex, bold, rich and layered, with dark berry, plum, mocha and spice. Full-bodied and mouth-coating, this is dense without being heavy. Ends with a long, persistent finish. *Collectibles* (JL)
Opaque violet. Complex bouquet of cassis, blueberry and pipe tobacco, complicated by smoky Indian spices and dried rose. Expansive and open-knit, offering sweet dark berry preserve flavors and complementary notes of candied flowers and fruitcake. The smoky element gains strength on the finish, which is long, energetic and refreshingly mineral-driven. This is remarkably lithe for such power; I underestimated its potential last year. Includes 94% estate fruit, vinified with 25% whole clusters. (JR)
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)