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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sonoma County Harvest Fair 2016

This is an annual wine judging for any wine from grapes grown in Sonoma County (that is, the winery could be somewhere else). There are the usual gold, silver and bronze medals given, plus Best of Class and Sweepstakes wines. Almost every wine entered won something. And as is often the case I didn't agree with a lot of the judging. Guess that tells me I'd be a lousy wine judge.

Only gold medal wines were poured, but there were hundreds available so I only tasted a small sampling. Almost everything I tried was red.

Here are my favorites:

Top Wines

PeaceLand 2013 Fountaingrove District Cabernet $75

Davis Family 2013 Sonoma Coast Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir $65

Gloria Ferrer 2005 Carneros Cuvee Sparkling Wine $75

Other Outstanding Wines

Dutcher Crossing 2014 Dry Creek Vly Proprietor's Resv Cab $31 A great deal. Cab/Syrah blend. Best of Class $30-40.

Arbor Bench Dry Creek Vly 2014 Est Cabernet $49

Balletto 2014 Russian River Vly Emerson Block Pinot Noir $42

Balletto 2013 Russian River Vly Burnside Road Pinot Noir $42

Russian River Vyds 2014 Russian River Vly Burke Vyds Pinot Noir $65

Alexander Valley Vyds 2012 Alexander Vly Alluvia Rhone-style $40

PeaceLand 2013 Fountaingove Dist Zinfandel $35

St Francis 2014 Dry Creek Vly Zinfandel $48
 

The full list follows with my rough notes. I gave A-E letter grades to rank the wines. Note that within each varietal there may be sub-categories, such as Zinfandel under $30. I lumped them all together and did not separate by price.

Each lists the winery, description of the wine, price, my letter grade, followed by any notes I may have taken.

Bordeaux Blends

Alexander Valley 2012 Cyrus $65   C+

Bordeaux Varietals

Campana Ranch 2013 Pitite Verdot $34    C+   Good, for a PV

Cabernet Sauvignon

Alexander Valley 2014 Alexander Vly Cab $24   B+   Great value. Best of Class under $30

Dutcher Crossing 2014 Dry Creek Vly Proprietor's Resv Cab $31    A-   Good value. Cab/Syrah blend. (est of Class $30-40

Arbor Bench Dry Creek Vly 2014 Est Cab $49   A-

Hanna 2014 Alexander Vly Red Ranch Cab $44   C+   not even close to being ready yet

Mayo 2014 Sonoma Co Resv Delaney Vyd Cab $55   B+   Best of Class over $50

Ancient Oak 2012 Sonoma Mtn Berger Vyd Cab $75   C

PeaceLand 2013 Fountaingrove District Cab $75   A

Italian Varietals

Sunce 2013 Sonoma Co Les Trois Amis $65   B+   tannic, Super Tuscan blend (Merlot, Cab, Sangiovese)

Petite Sirah

Foppiano 2013 Russian River Vly Gianna's Block $60   B

Pinot Noir

Picket Fence 2014 Russian River Vly Pinot $9.99   B-

Balletto 2014 Russian River Vly Emerson Block Pinot $42    A-

Balletto 2014 Russian River Vly Cider Ridge Pinot $42   B+

Balletto 2013 Russian River Vly Burnside Road Pinot $42   A-

Balletto 2015 Russian River Vly BCD Pinot $42   C

Peche Merle 2013 Russian River Vly Pinot $39   C

Russian River Vyds 2014 Russian River Vly Horse Ridge Pinot $65   B-   hot finish, Best of Class Pinot over $45 and Sweepstakes for best red wine

Davis Family 2013 Sonoma Coast Campbell Ranch Pinot $65   A

Davis Family 2013 Russian River Vly Horseshoe Bend Pinot $55   B-

Davis Family 2014 Russian River Vly Horseshow Bend Pinot $55    B   intense

Furthermore 2012 Sonoma Coast Alchemy Pinot $85    B-

Furthermore 2013 Sonoma Coast Nevina's Vyd Pinot $55   B

Matrix 2014 Russian River Vly Bacigalupi Vyd Resv Pinot $68   B   soft, lush

Matrix 2014 Russian River Vly Estate Resv Pinot $95   D   off nose, no varietal char

Russian River Vyds 2014 Russian River Vly Burke Vyds Pinot $65   A-

Screen Door 2014 Russian River Vly Pinot $50   B

Sonoma Cutrer 2013 Russian River Vly Estate Founder's Resv Pinot $65   B

Woodenhead 2013 Russian River Vly $46   C

Rhones

Alexander Valley Vyds 2012 Alexander Vly Alluvia   $40   A

Sauvignon Blanc

J Rickards 2015 Alexander Vly SB $22   C   Smelled like Junipers / Gin. Best of Class and white wine Sweepstakes winner.

Hanna 2015 Russian River Vly SB $19   B   Bit austere

Sparkling Wine

Gloria Ferrer 2007 Carneros Royal Cuvee $39   B-    Dry, Best of Class and Sweepstakes winner for sparkling wines

Gloria Ferrer 2005 Carneros Cuvee $75   A   Wowser

J Vyds Russian River Vly Cuvee 20 $38    B

Syrah

Thirty-Seven 2014 Sonoma Coast Syrah $24 B+ Best of Class under   $30

Ashton 2012 Sonoma Mtn Est Syrah $59 B- Best of Class over   $30

Other Reds

Hook & Ladder 2013 Russian River Vly Station 10    B

Little Vyds 2014 Sonoma Vly Center Stage $45   C   too young

Little Vyds 2013 Sonoma Vly Center Stage $45   B

Zinfandel

Ammunition 2013 Sonoma Co Badger Hound Zin $23   E   Cooked. Listed 16%. Best of Class under $30

Seaton Family 2014 Alexander Vly Rosenberg Zin $32   D   alcoholic. Best of Class $30-40

PeaceLand 2013 Fountaingove Dist Zin $35   A-   great balance

Black Stallion 2014 Rockpile Zin $45   B+

JCK 2014 Sonoma Co Jack Florence Vyd Zin $45   B+

St Francis 2014 Dry Creek Vly Zin $48    A-