More California Reds. A Pinot Noir and a Zinfandel.

Tonight we’re looking at a couple more California wines from outside Napa Valley. They’re also outside of the Cab Sauv thing we’ve had going on lately. It was a nice change of pace for sure.

Pinot Noir hails from Burgundy. Oregon has claimed it as its own. And California is not far behind. The PN for tonight comes from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, which is known for growing Burgundian grapes such as PN and Chardonnay. It works out because of the cool coastal breezes coming off the Pacific and the fog that tends to cover the valley. Good times.

The Zinfandel for tonight is actually a blend of mostly Zinfandel with some Petite Sirah, Carignane, and cool climate Syrah thrown in. The grapes come from Alexander Valley and they say it can age up to 15 years, but we’re not gonna let it get that far.


Fiddlehead Cellars – 2009 Seven Twenty Eight Pinot Noir – 14.1% alc – Santa Rita Hills, CA – about $35


Pours a bright red and smells of potpourri, rosey flowers, cinnamon, pepper, red fruits and cola. Very interesting and bright.

Tastes of red fruits (mostly raspberry and a little strawberry), cherry cola, slight spices, and flowers. Bright acidity. Nice balance of flavors. Very insteresting.

Mouthfeel is medium body with light dryness.

Finish is all cola and spices. Medium plus in length. Lightly flowered.

Not a ton of notes on this guy but the flavors are really well defined and it’s tough to put the glass down. It’s not a particularly big wine but it’s definitely a really good one. I’d recommend it for sure.



Marietta Cellars – 2010 Angeli Cuvee – Sonoma County, CA – 15.4% alc – about $30


This wine is a blend comprised mostly of Zinfandel, with some Petite Sirah and Carignane thrown in.

It pours an opaque dark purple and smells of dark fruits (blueberry, black raspberry), flowers, light cracker, spice and more spice. Lots of Cinnamon and nutmeg. Some liquorish and vanilla as well.

Taste is all big dark fruit with some spice, cinnamon, cracker and black pepper in there as well.

Mouthfeel is very full body with medium dryness.

Finish is medium plus in length with oak, flowers and dark fruits going on.

This would be a nice wine to share with some friends. Something different in the big and bold category. Not quite as bold as some of the Cab Sauv’s we’ve been trying lately but pretty good stuff.

Honestly I’m a little on the fence considering the price though. I liked it for sure, but I’d be more comfortable paying $22-25 a bottle instead of $30 and because of that I think I’m going to have to say



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