Gorgeous Reds from Neighbors that I’ve Recently Tasted and Love

2007 Ellman Family Vineyards, Alexis Skye Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast ~ Direct from the Winery. Ellman – ($49.00 )

This b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l Pinot is from the Sonoma Coast. Pinots from this AVA send shivers down my spine. The first time I became intimately aware of Sonoma Coast Pinots when our friends John and Barbara Drady still owned Sonoma Coast Vineyards. They chose this name for their brand, long before anyone else was flaunting this AVA, so their decision to be so forthcoming was ahead of the curve and very well thought out. When the Ellman bottle of Pinot was opened, I breathed a sigh of delight… and this wine just delivered on all counts. The color was true Burgundian and not lost in inky, over-ripe picked fruit. The color was also more Burgundian than California sunshine.  The nose had aromas of juicy plums and crushed cherries, with a slight hint of cedar. Then, on the palate, I enjoyed strawberries, violets, and mashed cherries, with a spice (back to the cedar) that finished with lots of light berry flavors of blueberry and strawberry. Although the alcohol was 14.5 percent, it didn’t overshadow the experience. This wine would be a regal pairing with dishes that involve duck or lamb chops. 96 Points

2004 Robert + Rogers on Howell Mountain, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa ~ Regency Wine Group. Roberts + Rogers – ($75.00)

This is a huge Napa Valley – but on a mountainside Cabernet. It filled my mouth with rich fruit, and still has lots of tannins, that will continue to easily age this wine for another 20 years. Black fruit dominated on both my nose, and then on my palate… Boysenberries, cassis, mulberries… all blending into flavors that also segued into a tobacco, leather finish. This wine would be excellent with prime rib au jus… Both drippingly delicious, with garlic mashed potatoes. 96 Points

2001 Navarro Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County – [$35.00]

This scrumptiously decadent Cab blew my socks off. I knew it would be great, but wondered how it will hold up, given it’s 14.2 % alcohol… It was gorgeous. Rich dark cocoa powder on the nose with upfront blackberry jam and black cherry hints of dusty black in the bouquet. Cider spice and oak vanilla give way to a milk chocolate finish, with copious amounts of lingering and very extended cherry compote flavors on the finish. 93 Points

Leave a Reply