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Wine Type Vintage Name Variety Locale Date Posted Score Helpful Comments More...
Red

2012 M2 Vintners Zinfandel Lodi Native Soucie Vineyard

Lodi Mokelumne River more

5/28/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

A distinctive version of Lodi Zin. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep garnet color. Nose is very earthy, with soil, yeasty, tobacco, iron filing aromas along with zin-like blueberries. Fairly full-bodied on the palate, somewhat soft in the Lodi way, with more earthy flavors. Finishes fast, with a spicy tone and near-zero tannins. The winemaker calls this style "Soucie Dirt;" I get it. Of all of the Lodi Natives, this one strays the farthest from what I might expect as Lodi Zin. Thus it is quite interesting; an admirable effort at letting the rules of Lodi Natives take this wine where it will.

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Red

2007 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Riserva

California Shenandoah Valley more

5/26/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of zero sediment. Ruby-garnet color, tinged with orange. Pleasant nose but a bit closed, with cherry, plum, and a very nice secondary blast that I can only call floral-creosote. Medium-bodied and firm on the palate, not flabby or tart. Drying finish with very light and velvety tannins, more plum/cherry flavors. This wine has repaid the wait: it has both deliciousness and interesting secondary aromas.

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Red

2013 Black Box Cabernet Sauvignon

Central Valley more

5/15/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 81 points

Very dark garnet. Rather simple nose of ripe plum, grape jam, a bit of smoke. Easy texture on the palate, with some tartness. Flavors are nothing to get excited about. Medium body. Finishes with a bit of tartness and metallic tones. The texture of this wine is better than most cheap wines, but the nose is weak and the flavors are, well, not strongly present. Drinkable? Yes. Likeable? Not much. 81 = good.

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Red

2009 Yorba Shake Ridge Red

Amador County Red Blend more

5/14/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

How did they do this? Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of some sediment. Deep garnet with a little purple, no bricking. Very nice nose of plums, black cherries, black pepper, white pepper, wood. Mature texture, which means smooth and rich, with smoothed-out acids. Medium to full body. Finish is drying, with just a whisper of tannins and a bit of heat. I think they did it by careful attention to all the intermediary steps, and a good dose of bottle age. Very good QPR here.

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Red

2011 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Hillside

California Shenandoah Valley more

5/5/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 88 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Pretty cherry with some brick. Nice nose of cherry, cranberry, spice, oak. Light-bodied, with bright acidity, which means not tart but lively. Red-fruit flavors lead in a lean and pleasant texture. The finish is drying, low grip. A little fuller than the Misto that I had yesterday. Absolutely good.

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Red

2011 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Misto

California Shenandoah Valley more

5/4/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 86 points

2011 was a lean year, and this is a lean wine. Decanted 45 mins. ahead. Cherry color with brick. Spicy and cedary nose, followed by red cherry and smoke notes. Light-bodied on the palate, as hard spice, cherry, and pomegranate flavors roll in. Texture is lean, not quite tart, with good flavors. Finishes with a bit of drying grip. Completely pleasant.

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White

2013 La Clarine Farm Petit Manseng

Sierra Foothills more

5/1/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 85 points

Pale amber with tobacco flashes, a bit of haze. Nice nose of earth, wax, citrus. Lemony acidity grabs the palate, along with touches of mushroom. It's tart, quite tart, but flavorful. Not light-bodied, toward medium, with pineapple notes. Tart lemon-peel finish. Interesting.

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Red

2011 McCay Cellars Carignane

Lodi more

4/29/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Pretty, medium-dark cherry-garnet color. Pleasant but shy nose of cherries, white pepper, earth tones. Lively and delicious on the palate, with red-fruit flavors leading. Acid balance is juicy and pleasant. Finishes well, with good grip and low tannins. This wine has deliciousness, and if I had more I would keep it for a couple of years just to see what happens. A nice product which at $32 may be a bit expen. But def. good.

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Red

2011 McCay Cellars Zinfandel TruLux

Lodi more

4/28/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 84 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Very deep, nearly inky garnet with some red. Dusky and dark on the nose as well, with black peppercorn, coffee, currant, blueberry, blackberry. Full-bodied, rich, and smooth on the palate. Acid balance is soft, which I gather is typical of Westside Lodi Zin where the weather is hot; vanilla notes. Finishes quickly, with some stony flavors, very low grip, near-zero tannins. A monster.

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Red

2012 Cedarville Vineyard Syrah

El Dorado more

4/22/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 92 points

California Syrah: What is it, exactly? This wine is a fairly "classic" version, if such could exist. Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Ultra-deep garnet color. Nice but somewhat closed nose of violets, black fruits, spice tones; it opened up nicely later to include black pepper and Worcestershire sauce aromas. Full-bodied and rich on the palate, but with firm acidity that keeps it in place; firmness leads here in a good structure. Black cherry flavors with licorice overtones. The finish is long, with drying hints of iron filings, graphite, and moderate tannins. Will be better with a few more years in bottle.

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Red

2013 J. Brix Grenache La Libresca

Santa Barbara County more

4/21/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

A distinctive essay in Grenache. Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of a bit of sediment. Interesting, light ruby color with a definite orange-tan tinge. Nice nose of violets, pomegranate, spices. Light-bodied and delicious on the palate as cherry fruit joins. Finishes quickly with orange peel hints, light grip and very low tannins. A light-bodied and delicate version of the grape, it reminds me of Pinot Noir in a good way, with firmer acid balance. Interesting and delicious.

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Red

2011 Martian Ranch & Vineyard Syrah Red Shift

Santa Ynez Valley more

4/16/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead off of some sediment, and sampled over the next hour. Very dark opaque garnet. Shy but interesting nose of black pepper, black cherry, white pepper, olive; pretty closed-in. Rich on the palate, as cherry and green pepper flavors lead. Acids are quite firm, not tart, supporting a full body. Finishes well, with some grip, some length, and low to moderate tannins. I may be robbing the cradle on this one; it may have potential for the future. The number is a compromise between what I taste now and what I can imagine in a few years. Well, maybe several years.

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Red

2011 Martian Ranch & Vineyard Local Group

Santa Barbara County Grenache Blend, Grenache more

4/15/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 91 points

It's 2011, Jake. Decanted 1 hr. ahead and sampled over the next hour. Closed-in nose of black cherry, black pepper, olives. More promising on the palate, as rich texture in medium-full body jumps out. Acid balance is firm, with cranberry and earthy flavors joining. Finishes well, with drying, juicy tannins. This wine needs more time; it has lots of potential for improvement. Many of the better 2011s are like this, still tightly wound. One should acquire this wine, store it, and forget about it for a few years.

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Red

2012 Maley Brothers Zinfandel Lodi Native Wegat Vineyard

Lodi Mokelumne River more

4/14/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

A good example of Lodi Native. Decanted 90 mins. ahead. Very deep opaque garnet color. Nice nose of blueberries, blackberries, and earthy but not woody tones. Surprisingly bright on the palate, as fruit leads a lifted, medium-bodied texture. Acid balance is not tart but quite juicy. Finishes quickly with light grip and low tannins. You can see the promise of Lodi Natives in this wine, as clear fruit and earthy flavors take you to a place where few Lodi zins have traditionally gone. And it's for sure a trip worth making.

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Red

2012 Sobon Estate Zinfandel Cougar Hill

Amador County more

4/8/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 87 points

A zin from yesteryear. Decanted 1:45 ahead. Very deep garnet. Nice nose of coffee, vanilla, blackberries, blueberries, cassis, a few hard spices. Full-bodied on the palate, with black fruits and wood-related flavors leading. Acid balance is toward softness. The finish is drying with low tannins. I remember the Amador Zins from the 70s, and this one is in that mode. In fact it fills that niche admirably and at a very good price point. But because I have been drinking these wines for so long (I was born in Amador), I see a this wine as a throwback to the past, which is reflected in the number. I invite others to disagree.

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Red

2011 Vino Noceto Sangiovese Marmellata

California Shenandoah Valley more

4/8/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

If 2011 was allegedly a difficult vintage in CA, this wine allows you to forget that. Light ruby with a bit of orange. Nice nose of mushrooms, cherries, red berries, hard spices. Pleasant on the palate, as cherry-fruit and spice flavors mix nicely in a light-medium bodied package. Acid balance is lightly juicy. Finish is fast, drying, with near-zero tannins. Like many other wines from this producer, this bottle defines the term food-friendly. People need to drink this wine; not with hearty sauces or grilled meats, but they need to drink this wine. They will not regret it.

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Red

2012 Vinavanti Grenache

Temecula Valley more

4/4/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 86 points

A nice exercise in natural winemaking. Decanted off of a bit of sediment. Medium-light ruby with orange tints. Nice nose of cherries, spices, tea. Juicy and fruit-forward on the palate, as bright cherry, rhubarb, and pomegranate flavors lead a light-bodied package. Finish is drying, pleasant, with a bit of grip. A certain amount of adventurous winemaking has happened here. They harvested at 21.6 brix and 3.4 pH, both very low numbers esp. for Temecula valley. It turned out well. Unoaked, unfined, unfiltered, it's a pleasant and uncomplicated bottle.

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Red

2012 Fields Family Wines Vin du Sol

Lodi Red Rhone Blend more

4/3/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 88 points

IPOB set up shop in Lodi: Decanted 1 hr. ahead. Light-medium ruby. Faint but pleasant nose led by earth tones, then red fruits. Pleasant and very drinkable on the palate, as the earthy flavors still lead over cherry tones. Acid balance is not problematic, which means that it's pleasant, neither soft nor tart. Finishes quickly with near-zero grip and tannins. If you are In Pursuit Of Balance, this could work for you. It does not taste at all like Traditional Lodi, but then that concept is getting re-defined as we speak. A completely worthy bottle.

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Red

2012 Edmunds St. John Gamay Noir Bone-Jolly

El Dorado County more

4/2/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 83 points

Decanted 1 hr. ahead, and sampled over the next hour. Light ruby-garnet color with a touch of orange. Faint but pleasant nose of violets, herbs. Easy drinking on the palate, as the wine is light-bodied, with cranberry tones. Finish is drying, very light tannins. A pleasant, light, and uncomplicated bottle.

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Red

2012 Macchia Zinfandel Lodi Native Noma Ranch

Lodi Mokelumne River more

4/1/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

Deep garnet color. Nice zinny nose of blackberries, slightly sweet cassis, some smoke, hard spices. Rich and full on the palate, with coffee notes joining blueberry flavors. Acid balance is moderate, neither soft nor tart. Finishes well, with a wave of earthy fruits and very light tannins. Full-bodied and rich overall, but not overbearing. Nice.

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Red

2011 Vinavanti GSM

Temecula Valley Grenache Blend, Grenache more

3/31/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 89 points

You would never associate this wine with Temecula Valley. Decanted off of some sediment. Bricky ruby color, going orange at the edge. Nice nose of pomegranate, cherry, violets, stones; opened up nicely after 75 mins. to nice violet-led fruit. Medium-light bodied on the palate, with bright red fruit leading over some violety hints. Texture is lifted, not tart but certainly juicy. Finish is quick, drying, with metallic notes and very low tannins. This wine is made with no added yeast, no oak, no additives, no fining, no filtration, and no sulfur; it shows this in the bright, fresh flavors. Pretty delicious and ingratiating. Quite adventurous for San Diego and the Temecula region. And most other places for that matter.

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Red

2011 Martian Ranch & Vineyard Mourvedre Parallax

Santa Barbara County more

3/30/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 90 points

Dark ruby-garnet with a bit of haze. Nice nose with violets and spices leading cherries. Bright fruit leads on the palate, cherry and cranberry. Texture is lifted, delicious, like many low-sulfur wines. Sprightly with pomegranate. Finish is longer than you might expect with near-zero tannins, as the juicy fruit carries it to a mouth-watering end. Most pleasant.

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Red

2012 Mettler Family Vineyards Petite Sirah

Lodi more

3/26/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 88 points

Unmistakably Petite Sirah: Very dark, opaque garnet. Nice nose of cherries, black pepper, coffee, and even a bit of mint. Full-bodied and rich on the palate, not tart or lifted. Coffee and black cherry flavors. The finish is tannic, with mouth-coating velvety feel. Overall it's a solid product.

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Red

2011 Cedarville Vineyard Turnabout's Fair Play

Red Blend more

3/25/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 94 points

If you were wondering about the viability of El Dorado county in the race to make great wines, here is one affirmative answer. Decanted 1:15 ahead. Very deep garnet color. Beautiful nose of black pepper, white pepper, herbs, pine, plum, and cherry, which should tell you something. Firm and lifted texture on the palate as acid levels are firm but not by any means tart. Earthy flavors along with dark red fruit. Finishes very well, with light grip, light-medium tannins, herbal waves, and a few metallic tones. It's not exactly going out on a limb to report that this is an excellent bottle that will probably improve for the next several years.

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Red

2012 Skinner Grenache

El Dorado more

3/18/2015 - VeniceCalif wrote: 82 points

Decanted off of some sediment. Medium ruby color. Earth tones predominate on the nose, a certain pleasant mustiness, along with blueberry and cherry tones. Fairly light-bodied on the palate, as mild cherry flavors lead, and I do mean mild. Acid balance is quite drinkable, meaning neither soft nor tart, but leaning toward the tart-juicy end. Finishes quickly with low grip, low tannins. Executive summary: a light-bodied wine with not much going on.

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  • Tasting notes: 599 notes on 547 wines

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