A step up over the 2013, with fabulous black raspberry, toasted spice, lavender and crushed flower-like aromas and flavors in its full-bodied, expansive, sexy and voluptuous personality, the 2014 Red Wine Larner Vineyard has tons of fruit, yet stays lively and weightless on the palate, with terrific purity and length. Made from 75% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 5% Viognier, with the Syrah aged in new puncheons and the Grenache in neutral barrels, it will dish out loads of pleasure over the coming 7-8 years. I continue to be blown away by these wines from winemaker Jeremy Weintraub, who's also the winemaker for Adelaida in Paso Robles. Focusing on Rhone varieties, mostly from Ballard Canyon, the wines see a small amount of whole clusters, with the Grenache always aged in neutral puncheons and the Syrah mostly in new barrels. These are pure, balanced reds that possess top notch varietal character. (JD)
There's a lovely tarry funk to the nose of this Rhône-style red blend, with black pepper, lamb roast, soy, beef jerky and other umami elements. It's smooth on the palate, where fresh blueberry gives brightness to the savory meat, black-pepper and sea salt touches. The baking spice / snickerdoodle finish is further rewarding. (MK)
Deep ruby. An assertively perfumed bouquet evokes ripe dark berries and shows sexy notes of spicecake and lavender. Plush and expansive on the palate, offering juicy blueberry, blackberry and floral pastille flavors that are given lift and spine by zesty acidity. The floral note drives a very long, gently tannic finish that features a subtly spicy touch of white pepper. (JR)
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