2021 ERIC KENT Rosé 88/7/5 PN/SY/GR Sonoma Coast 13.5 and my feelings on pinot rosé are well established, but looking the other way for a minute. Rather dark bloody orange with a musty nose feeling dusty and rich and lacking bright fruit. Full-bodied on the palate, a strong, definite *wine* with powerful bitter citrus notes and chewy structure fading to sharp finish. Definitely not Provence, but not horrible.

2020 DRNK Pinot Gris Bennet Valley 11.9 a bit more onion-skin here, with the pink barely noticeable. Lovely peach and apricot along gobs of cellar floor and green vegetal grime. Lychee fills the mouth-feel, a rather stone-fruit tropical richness in a light and glorious body, clean, focused and pure.

2019 FLAMBEAUX Chardonnay Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast 14.4 Sangiacomo has Sonoma Coast vineyards? Guess so. A flourescent yellow in the glass, nearly chartreuse in vividness. Rich butter in the nose, with smoky delirium and a decided lack of definable fruit. Perhaps a bit of nectarine? Tasting it brings a thick, granular mouthfeel to the forefront, with apple and plum driving bits of green banana and raw coconut ahead of sharp pineapple. Wait. Did I just make a pina colada? The finish shows sharp high-notes masquerading as tannin, but falling short into a steely, metallic off-putting final memory.

I’ve got a pinot, 2 GSM’s and a CF and while you know I am not a stickler for tasting order, am going to do it in that order. And I’m kinda going older >>> younger.

2015 CHENOWETH Pinot Noir RRV 14.4 Deep garnet with a brooding maroon core. Chocolate. That is the nose. Chocolate. Milk Chocolate. Chocolate and tired, awkward astrigency. That is all. But let’s taste it. Sweet and rich with a powerful burn coming early, it’s all maraschino and syrup, hot and livid where tannin should be.

2019 FRONT PORCH FARM ‘Red Blend’ SY/MV/GR 55/27/18 RRV14.1 A strange white haze on surface. Sulfur in the initial nose, quickly dissolving to chunky fruit of a rich, sweet nature I am not a fan of. This is a Red Blend for the 99% THROUGH AND THROUGH. “OMG I love this wine!” I can hear them swoon. Unclean with a high citrus note in the nose–I MUST taste it. Honestly: in the mouth, the Mourvedre comes across STRONG, giving it MANY points. Dank and muddled in bruised berry and light briar, the book-end varieties only contributing chubby appeal to otherwise serious nuances. Thick and sweet in finish, where copious tannin emerge.

2016 SCHERRER ‘Huntsman’ GR/SY/Zin 56/37/7 Sonoma County 14.6 Impenetrable ruby with slight brick. Rich, buttery, red wine bouquet, alcohol is apparent, but also steely mineral floated on delicious blackberry and super-ripe cherry. Another concentrated crowd-pleaser on the tongue, this thing is a beautiful wine but OH SO RICH. Paso rich. Sweet and layered with the yin-yang GR-SY blends tend to play without the MV addition. Here we got Zinfandel, which I’m trying to ignore but probably contributes a tad. No tannin on the forever finish.

2019 HIGHWAY 12 Cabernet Franc Sonoma Valley 14.8 You know that joke about the highway 12 bridge…? Oh wait. That’s Napa–this is Sonoma. Nevermind. Absolutely IMPENETRABLE black in the glass–right out to the sliver of clear rim. This is Napa-quality density in the nose, just CLOGGING in rich berry maceration and generous oak. In the mouth, a sharp acidic side-line helps things along, but honestly only producing heat where structure is expected. Huge, with thin areas CF masterfully produces–in light of their far-more-popular younger sibling–this thing goes chalky-grainy almost instantly in a body begging for another decade in bottle. Not particularly complex, but I like where it’s going.

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