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Monday, October 5, 2015

2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair

The annual wine judging for the local fruit is followed by a three-day drinkathon, I mean wine tasting event. There are hundreds of wines to try and these are just the gold medal winners!

The set-up at the fair doesn't really allow you to take notes (I would need about four hands to do that) so all I've got is groupings for the best to the not-so-good. I only tasted a small fraction of what was available. Following are my opinions. I only tried reds btw.

The Best

Francis Coppola 2013 Syrah Reserve, Dry Creek Vly, $38

Geyser Peak 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Bin 14, Alexander Vly, $75

Saini 2013 Zinfandel, Apple Block Dry Creek Vly, $38. 120 yr old vines.

St. Francis 2012 Claret (Bordeaux blend), Sonoma County, $19.95. Best deal of the fair!

Simoneau 2012 Fence Line (Bordeaux blend), Alexander Vly, $50.

Trentadue 2012 Merlot, Alexander Vly, $18. Best of Class winner. Best Merlot tasted. What a price!

Wattle Creek 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon VS, Alexander Vly, $75. Best Cab tasted.

Wilson 2013 Petite Sirah Sydney, Dry Creek Vly, $38. Best of Class winner.

Wilson 2013 Zinfandel, Estate Sonoma County, $29. Best of Class winner.

Woodenhead 2011 Pinot Noir, Ritchie Vyd Cinder Cone, Russian River Vly, $65

Woodenhead 2012 Pinot Noir Clone 115, Buena Tierra E Block, $75


Very Good 

Alexander Valley 2011 Cyrus (Bordeaux blend), Alexander Vly, $65

Balletto 2013 Syrah, Estate Russian River Vly, $28. Best of Class winner.

Benziger 2013 Joaquin's Inferno (red blend), Sonoma Mountain, $65. Best of Class winner.

Clos du Bois 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Briarcreat, Alexander Vly, $60

Clos du Bois 2012 Marlstone (Bordeaux blend), Alexander Vly, $60. Best of Class winner.

Dashe 2012 Zinfandel, Todd Brothers Ranch Alexander Vly, $35

Davis Family 2013 Pinot Noir, Campbell Ranch Sonoma Coast, $65.

Davis Family 2013 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, $45.

Deloach 2013 Zinfandel OFS, Russian River Vly, $32

Dutcher Crossing 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Taylor Reserve, Dry Creek Vly, $47

Francis Ford Coppola 2013 Zinfandel Director's Cut, Dry Creek Vly, $27

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine, Carneros, $22

Gloria Ferrer 2004 Carneros Cuvee Sparkling Wine, $75. Best of Class winner.

Hanna 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Vly, $42

Hook & Ladder 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Third Alarm, Chalk Hill, $38

J Rickards 2013 Malbec, Zanzi Curve Vines, $28. Best of Class winner.

Kokomo 2013 Grenache, Dry Creek Vly, $34

Matrix 2013 Zinfandel, Bacigalupi Vyd Russian River Vly, $38

Merriam 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Windacre Vyd, $32

Picket Fence 2013 Top Rail Red Blend (Bordeaux blend), Sonoma County, $14.99. Best of Class winner. A Great deal!

Saini 2013 Zinfandel, Pear Block Dry Creek Vly, $38

Simoneau 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Vly, $50. Aged and ready.


Good

Benziger 2012 Tribute (Bordeaux blend), Sonoma Vly, $80.

Benziger 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Three Blocks, Sonoma Vly, $49

Clos du Bois 2012 Merlot Reserve, Alexander Vly, $26

Clos du Bois 2012 Tempranillo, Alexander Vly, $30

Davis Family 2013 Pinot Noir Soul Patch, Russian River Vly, $55

Davis Family 2013 Syrah Soul Patch, Russian River Vly, $42

District 3 2013 Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, $16.99. If you're looking for a cheap Pinot.

Estate 1856 2012 Duvall's Prospect (Bordeaux blend), Tzabaco Rancho Vyds, $40

Field Stone 2013 Sangiovese, Estate Alexander Vly, $27

Fogline 2013 Zinfandel, Grist Vyd Dry Creek Vly, $38

Geyser Peak 2012 Reserve Alexandre (Bordeaux blend), Alexander Vly, $50

Geyser Peak 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Devil's Inkstand, Alexander Vly, $55

Gustafson 2011 Zinfandel, Heritage Tree Vyd Dry Creek Vly, $32

J Rickards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Five Sisters Blend, Alexander Vly, $38. Best of Class winner.

Little Vyds 2013 Syrah, Sonoma Vly, $35

Little Vyds Band Blend Track 7 (red blend), Sonoma County, $25. Very tannic.

Mayo 2013 Merlot, Los Chamizal Vyd, $46

Medlock Ames 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Bell Mountain Estate, $45. Best of Class winner.

Miro 2013 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Vly, $20

Pech Merle 2013 Zinfandel, Rocky Ridge Rockpile, $45

Petroni 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Vly, $75

St. Francis 2012 Merlot, Behler Vyd, $45

Sbragia 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Monte Rosso Vyd, $65

Seaton Family 2013 Red Buzz (Bordeaux blend), Dry Creek, $35

Thirty-Seven 2013 Merlot, Sonoma Coast, $46. Best of Class winner.

Thirty-Seven 2013 Tolay (red blend), Sonoma Coast, $24


The Rest

Chavez 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Carli's Blend, Ellis Alden Vyds, $28. Best of Class winner.

Cline 2013 Syrah, Sonoma County, $11.99

Clos du Bois 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Alexander Vly, $28

Deloach 2012 Pinot Noir, Maboroshi Vyd Russian River Vly, $50

Fritz 2013 Zinfandel Estate Dry Creek Vly, $25

Matrix 2013 Pinot Noir Reserve, Russian River Vly, $54. Best of Class and Sweepstakes winner for best red wine. Sweet, heat from high alcohol. Lousy expression of a Pinot.

Mazzocco 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek Vly, $30

Ordaz 2012 Malbec Sandoval Vyds, $30


The Best Deals

Picket Fence 2013 Top Rail Red Blend, Sonoma County, $14.99
St. Francis 2012 Claret, Sonoma County, $19.95
Trentadue 2012 Merlot, Alexander Vly, $18.


The Zinfandel Problem

Most of the gold medal-winning Zinfandels are in one style (jammy, soft) and from one winemaking family (the Wilsons). Unfortunately for me, this is not my style. I tasted a lot more Zins from Mazzocco, Matrix, Pezzi King, and Wilson than I actually listed above, but they all tasted about the same.


The official list of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair winners