Wine Reviews: California Reds

I’m back this week with a diverse handful of newly-released California reds.

I’ve long been a fan of Adam Lee’s Siduri Pinot Noirs. It was purchased by Jackson Family a few years ago, but based on this and other tastings, I’ve found the aesthetic seems to be staying true to form. Adam’s first Siduri Pinot was producer from Anderson Valley fruit, and while tasting two 2017s, I was reminded about what drew me to these wines in the first place.

Napa’s Frank Family comes through with a Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon that bring a lot of personality for wines in their respective price ranges. And Louis Martini’s Sonoma and Napa Cabernets show themselves as accessible, fun but also “serious” wines that offer lots of value.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

2017 Cline Cellars Carignane Ancient Vines California, San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County
SRP: $23
Deep purple color. Aromas of sweet plums, black cherries (warm, mulled fruit) with cocoa, cola and sweet black pepper glaze. Full but fresh with suave tannins and medium acidity. Roasted plums and black cherries, the fruit is warm and rich, backed up with notes of spicy pepper, leather, coffee and charcoal grill. Fun, yummy, a solid choice to pair with pretty much anything that’s been grilled. All Carignane aged 12 months in French oak, 35% new. (87 points IJB)

2017 Siduri Pinot Noir Anderson Valley – California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
SRP: $40
Deep ruby color. Bright and juicy nose of raspberries, red currants, cranberry sauce, with lots of roses, violets, rhubarb and wild herbs. Plum and juicy texture but lively acidity, with dusty-light tannins. Crisp raspberries, cherries, pomegranate, tangy and chilled, with rose petals, rhubarb, mint and cola elements. Fruity and fun, but elegant, spicy, lively. It’s good to see Siduri keeping things going in this style. A blend of three-vineyards around Boonville, aged 15 months in 35% new French oak. (90 points IJB)

2017 Siduri Pinot Noir Edmeades – California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
SRP: $50
Medium ruby color. Lovely aromas of fresh cherries, raspberries and red plums, topped in cola, rhubarb, white pepper, violets, and some earthy-clay notes. Plush yet zesty on the palate with dusty tannins. Bountiful but crisp fruit (cherries, strawberries, raspberries), and I get notes of spiced tea, rhubarb, cola, violet petals and earth. Plump and fruity but vibrant and complex as well, this should do well with two or three years, but it’s very accessible now, too. From a block of Pommard clone in the Londer block of this vineyard, 50% whole cluster fermentation, aged 10 months in 33% new French oak. (92 points IJB)

2016 Bear Flag Wine ZinfandelCalifornia, Sonoma County
SRP: $30
Light purple color. The nose is juicy and sweet with black cherry, blueberry and raspberry jams, mixed with yummy notes of coffee, cola, sarsaparilla and vanilla. Full-bodied with smooth tannins and surprisingly fresh acidity. Lots of plums, raspberries, black cherries and blueberries, all cooked down into jams with notes of mint, sweet pipe tobacco and cola. Velvety, plush, fun, fan-friendly, but it also sports complexity and vibrancy. There’s this cool earthy, incense, pipe tobacco thing on the finish, too. Really yummy. (89 points IJB)

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon California, Napa Valley
SRP: $58
Bright purple color. Big and juicy on the nose with currants, plums and black cherries, suave and fruity but complex notes of eucalyptus, tobacco, mint and dark chocolate notes. Full-bodied on the palate with a warm, inviting feel; velvety tannins, medium acidity. Very pretty fruit (black cherries, currants, dark plums), dark but tangy, and it’s paired well with notes of mint, eucalyptus, tobacco and vanilla. Harmonious and smooth, accessible young but has the structure to hold for a while as well. Includes a combined 10% Merlot and Cabernet Franc, this spends 20 months in 1/3…

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