2019 Pinot Noir by Morgan, Santa Lucia Highlands, CA

2019 Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands) by Morgan Winery, Salinas, CA

Bright, clear, ruby color. Shy nose, greets with wet hay, subtle raspberry, cherry and sweet cranberry. Swirling unlocks red vine licorice, honey nectar, and a sweet citrus afternote reminiscent of Meyer lemon. All mere suggestions at their most intense. Sophisticated.

Body greets with a gentle, soft, weighted, zesty, viscous composure. Once the palate adjusts, a soft, bitter, licorice, wet wood, cranberry, and slightly under-ripe raspberry dominate the expression. The overall expression is familiar yet different. This is clearly Santa Lucia Highlands, one of my favorite regions for Pinot Noir. A crisp, refined oak caramel vanilla rounds out the body without distracting the palate and rendering the mouth feel more plush and luxurious. This whole act quietly vanishes leaving the palate slightly dry and moist, completely neutral. Impressive. That’s a first.

This iconic region and its fairly neutral terroir among other key factors make it the perfect place for growing and making rich, nuanced, exquisite Pinot Noir with a unique expression of its fruit characteristics. In this way, this wine showcases this iconic region so well. By blending so many clones it becomes a true celebration of SLH and Pinot Noir. What a great representation. Nicely done!

Explore more Morgan Winery on WineSnob.

Wine.com affiliate links are provided for your convenience. WineSnob.blog may receive a commission when you use the affiliate link below. See Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Shop Morgan wines on Wine.com

2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir by Dawn’s Dream Winery, Carmel by the Sea, California

2019 Rosé of Pinot Noir (Santa Lucia Highlands) by Dawn’s Dream Winery, Carmel by the Sea, California

Rose gold color. Aromatic nose greets with strawberry, white cranberries, wet wood and a hint of honey. Swirling intensifies the nose, adding a bit of cantaloupe and dusty earthy essence. This is Pinot Noir!

Body greets with a punch of citrus lemon, under-ripe strawberry and a faint, crisp caramel. This creates a slightly viscous, weighted mouth feel. Hints of white pepper pop up randomly as the body fades, leaving behind a dry grippy lemon zest, touch of minerality and a tingle of spice.

I keep thinking Bougie Rosé 🤣🤦🏽‍♂️. This wine is proof that Rosé is best when made from Pinot Noir. Clean, crisp, light and refreshing.

Explore more Dawn’s Dream wines on WineSnob.

2019 White Blend by Peterson Winery, Healdsburg CA

2019 White Blend by Peterson Winery, Healdsburg CA

Equal parts Vermentino, Verdelho, Vernaccia.

Nose is a little shy up front with primary earthy notes of damp, grassy fields. slightly under-ripe strawberries, white cherries, citrus. Swirling vigorously intensifies the old dusty sedimentary leather. I like a white wine that shows earth notes like this.

Body is dry, slightly viscous and greets with a touch of crisp acidity which adds good tension. These complement each other nicely. Slightly under-ripe strawberries and white cherries carry over nicely. A touch of white pepper. A certain tartness emerges towards the finish. I can’t tell if it’s minerality or from skins. Almost like a lemon zest. It slowly coats the palate. Good mild to medium finish.

This is a slow sipper. The blend brings great dimension and body. An understated, dry, terroir driven blend. This winemaker presents a serious, straightforward wine, without frills or pretenses. Well worth a look for those curious to understand this region and its expressions.

Explore more Peterson Winery on WineSnob.

2019 GSM by E16 Winery, Fair Play, Sierra Foothills, CA

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 GSM (Red Blend – Baby Rattlesnake Vineyard, El Dorado) by E16 Winery, Fair Play, Sierra Foothills, CA

43% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 27% Mourvedre

Dark, slightly opaque color. Intense aromatic nose with slightly ripe plums, dark cherries, granite leather with a hint of butterscotch and licorice.

Body shows good balance front to back. Weighted. Fruit carries over albeit in the form of slightly under-ripe plum and dark cherries. Interesting. It is fairly dry, with bold fruit character. This is very much in line with this region. Longer ripening season yields intense fruit flavors. Tannins are a fully integrated, fine grained dusty suspension that slowly precipitates upon the palate, building up layers of intensity. A slightly dry, bitter cola takes over the transition to finish leaving the palate slightly dry with a mild warm spice.

This is a Classic GSM from the Sierra Foothills. Nicely done with a great expression and sense of place. I love what Robert and his team at E16 are doing. I highly recommend taking a look at their wines. All very small batch, limited production, expressive wines.

Explore more E16 Wines on WineSnob.

2019 Pinot Noir (Wholer Vineyard) by Sojurn, Sonoma

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 Pinot Noir (Wholer Vineyard – Russian River Valley) by Sojourn Cellars, Sonoma, CA

Dark ruby color. Aromatic nose with red berries, raspberries and that all too familiar Sonoma Dirt up front. This is where my mind goes every time I think of Sonoma Pinot – the dirt. Damp earth mixed with dry grass/hay. Sometimes more forest floor, sometimes more mushroom, open field as is the case with this one. Swirling vigorously adds a touch of red vines licorice. The entire bouquet intensifies. Almost intoxicating. Love it!

Body is balanced right down the middle, front to back. A soft plush mouth feel greets the palate with light raspberry, touch of strawberry all wrapped in a weighted, silky texture. Tannins are barely noticeable and secondary, providing just enough structure. A gentle spice warmth gradually emerges towards the back as the body fades, leaving behind subtle bitter cola. The two gently coating the lips. And just like that, with little fanfare, the show is over. Time for another sip!

I love what Sojourn is doing with their Pinot Noirs. You can’t go wrong here. Great, faithful Pinot from Sonoma. Highly recommend. You won’t be disappointed!

Explore more Sojourn Wines on WineSnob.

Wine.com affiliate links are provided for your convenience. WineSnob.blog may receive a commission when you use the affiliate link below. See Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Shop Sojourn wines on Wine.com

2019 Cabernet Sauvignon by Acheson Wine Company, Sacramento CA

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon (Overlord) by Acheson Wine Company, Lodi Apellation, CA

Full bright berry nose with lots of Ripe plum and cherries. Wet oak wood and subtle fine dusty terroir.

Body is soft, mild, restrained. Not as fruit forward as the nose would suggest. Subtle dark plums, and cherries and a noticeable, and pleasant crisp refined caramel reminiscent of neutral French oak. A very subtle bitter cola permeates the experience. Thin crisp tannins round out the affair.

This is a great refreshing chillable red. Simple, clean, crisp without being overly abstract. A pleaser of a wine that should appeal to a broad spectrum of palate. One of the latest and welcomed additions to the local wine scene here in Sacramento, I think Acheson is onto something. Serving well made wine exclusively on tap, via refillable 1 litre growlers/pop-cap bottles is just one of the many ways they are challenging the norms, rethinking convention, driving sustainability, reducing their carbon footprint from vineyard to table and keeping their wines accessible.

I was very much intrigued during my recent visit and will be exploring more of this emerging trend. Nicely done Acheson!

Explore more Acheson Wine Co on WineSnob.

2019 White Blend by Panther Creek, Willamette Valley, Oregon

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 White Blend (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir – Willamette Valley, Oregon) by Panther Creek Cellars, Woodinville, WA.

Bright and light up front with soft notes of citrus, peach, green apple, subtle damp old dried grassy leather, and a hint of butterscotch so faint you’d likely miss it. It’s a bit shy on the nose and needs to be teased out.

Body is dry, balanced right down the middle. White cherries burst onto the stage, aloof, as a slightly silky mouth feel follows closely, filling the stage. A crisp refined caramel suggestion is barely noticeable, more like nectar. This then rolls over to a very light slightly bitter citrus, like lemon zest. This marks the transition to finish as the entire stage vanishes, leaving behind a subtle warm spice tingle and faint tannic grip.

This wine is a gentle reminder that white blends really need to be a thing. I have never quite enjoyed white wines as much because they generally lack this kind of body, balance and expression. This wine embodies the best both varietals and their highly complementary characteristics. The body, subtlety and nuance of Pinot Noir with the bright crisp of clean expression of Chardonnay. A great, well executed combination.

Read more Panther Creek Cellars on WineSnob.

Wine.com affiliate links are provided for your convenience. WineSnob.blog may receive a commission when you use the affiliate link below. See Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Shop Panther Creek Cellars wines on Wine.com

2019 Rosé of Tempranillo by Passaggio Wines, Treasure Island, San Francisco

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 Rosé of Tempranillo (Clarksburg) by Passaggio Wines, Treasure Island, San Francisco

Crisp, clean, slightly weighty, viscous mouth feel. Crisp dry, firm finish. Good balance. Dry cherries, raspberries and gentle floral aromas.

Perhaps my shortest review yet but for good reason. I was under the illusion I could actually pull it off in the hot tub. Needless to say it’s a challenge to do anything other than just kick back with this Rosé by one of my favorite winemakers off the beaten path. A perfect way to end the week. Nicely done Cindy!

Explore more Passagio Wines on WineSnob.

2019 Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino, by Bodega Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 Catena Zapata Malbec Argentino, by Bodega Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina

Deep, dark, intense, semi-opaque color. Out of the bottle notes of slightly under-ripe dark plum contrast with butterscotch. Secondary notes of damp old dead wood and underbrush. Swirling vigorously unlocks slightly ripe dark cherries and a licorice so faint you’d likely miss it. Fruit essence intensifies.

Body is balanced from to back. A slightly thick body greets the palate immediately with intense dark plum. A punch of buttery oak elevates and softens this intense plum while momentarily ripening the fruit. Fully integrated dusty fine grained tannins are suspended throughout the body creating an omnipresent structure that lends a certain weight. The grain is so fine, they remain suspended, never precipitating. White pepper hits the palate midway along with a brief acidic punctuation. A fully integrated melange of every note dances upon the palate, slowly fading into the shadows until all that’s left is remnants of intense dusty tannins, hint of cola, lime zest, and a warm spice heat past the back of the palate. As you progress, more and more tannic dust coats the palate as it slowly reveals its brutish old Vine characteristics.

This is an interesting Malbec. Bold, fairly dry, good balance, faithful with good terroir expression. Great execution. The story behind this wine, it’s origins and inspiration. I have to give my brother credit for finding this wine. Like many of the wines he’s brought me, this one prompts further exploring. If you stumble across this Malbec, it should present a great excursion for the intermediate to advanced palate. Bien hecho amigos!

Read more Argentina Wines on WineSnob.

Wine.com affiliate links are provided for your convenience. WineSnob.blog may receive a commission when you use the affiliate link below. See Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Shop Catena wines on Wine.com

2019 Pinot Noir (Ridgetop) by Sojourn, Sonoma

Tonight’s Occasion: 2019 Pinot Noir (Ridgetop – Sonoma Coast) by Sojourn Cellars, Sonoma, CA

Clear ruby color. Long legs. Bright raspberry and red berries on the nose. Fresh wet grassy turf, wet wood and hints of cola in the background. Welcome to the Sonoma Coast!

Even keeled body greets with a suggestion of citrus, raspberries, cola. A prominent refined caramel reminiscent of neutral French oak emerges and lingers along with a moderate warm spice heat. Thin fine tannins provide light, crisp, unobtrusive structure that lingers through the entire experience. Body quickly vanishes leaving behind crisp tannic grip, spice warmth and a slight bitter cola. As it breathes, the body develops a slightly creamy body. I love it!

I this is the second of three picks I brought back from my last visit to their tasting room. I found all their wines to be really well made and representative. This one has a bit more of a playful pleaser disposition while still echoing key characteristics of the terroir and region at large. They recently released a slew of new wines and I’m eager to get a closer look at the new lineup. Nicely done Sojourn! 🍷😁👌🏽

Explore more Sojourn Wines on WineSnob.

Wine.com affiliate links are provided for your convenience. WineSnob.blog may receive a commission when you use the affiliate link below. See Affiliate Disclosure page for more info.

Shop Sojourn wines on Wine.com