Earlier this week I spent one afternoon, and one morning, with friends in Alexander Valley and Dry Creek. It resulted in testing these wines. I hope this is helpful for you.
Who the winner was? Definitely Mekker Four Kings Alexander Valley 2008.
Chardonnay 2015 Stuhlmuller Alexander Valley Lots of oak, but not really butter
Zinfandel 2015 Seaton Dry Creek Fruity, mild. Strawberry. Jam on the nose. Acids that meet the fruit.
Zinfandel 2015 Verano Dry Creek Berries on the nose. Quite a lot. Acids and oak. Full bodied.
Zinfandel 2015 Stone Alexander Valley Blueberries. Have some tannins and lots of acids. Nose was very very berry, but taste not. Acids take over in a good way.
Zinfandel 2015 Serracino Reserve Dry Creek Black currant, very balanced fruit, acid is excellent.
Zinfandel 2014 Smith Orchard Dry Creek Candy, sweet, but almost peppermint. Mild acids. Mild berries.
2015 Queen Bee Gewurtztraminer Not sweet but typical. Lemon, yellow pears. A bit bitter.
2014 Black Sheep Pinot Noir Cedar, almost no tannins. Fruity still and a few acids.
2014 Rattler Rock Zinfandel Round, easy, jam, not really enough acids.
2014 Southtown Zinfandel Almost just fruit. Blue grapes. Like fruit juice. Raspberries. Limited amount of acids. Small amount of tannins.
2015 Dark Horse Vineyard GPS Round, acids, lots of fruit. Damp, strawberry and blueberry. Very sweet on the nose. Jam.
2014 Burning Man Petit Sirah Oh! Smoked eel! Tannins, lots of it. Very different.
2014 Osprey Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford So typical. Grass. Napa cab. Black berries. Not the best, but young.
2014 Lucy Zinfandel Dry Creek Dry ripe cherries, over black ripe cherries. Slow mild sweetness. Not much acids.
Blanc de Noir, 80% Pinot, 20% Chardonnay taste is some strawberry. Light. Short after taste.
2015 Russian River Sauvignon Blanc Mild on the typical Sauvignon blanc. More herbs. Smell is somewhat muggy. Bad bottle? Bad glass!!!
2014 Russian River Chardonnay Honey, oak, somewhat lemon. But too much oak to me.
2016 rose of Pinot Noir Strawberry, thin, somewhat longer taste. Watermelon. Could be more balanced. A bit bitter.
2014 Stars Pinot Noir Thick. Red berries but also some black on the nose. Non dried dark wood. Like mahogany. Short taste.
2014 Cresta Ridge Pinot Noir Cucumber in the nose! Round. Not too much fruit. Very northern Californian. Cucumber also in the taste. Very different! Red wines.
2014 Moon Pinot Noir Very well balanced, not too fruity. Acids very friendly. Some tannins.
2014 Earth Pinot Noir Warm round. Aged already now. Acids are nice. Dark earth. Mushrooms.
2014 Sexton vineyard Very similar to the moon, but more round. Almost boring :-)
2013 Arbios Alexander Valley cab Dark, smoke, too few acids
2011 Munselle Cab Wasson Ranch Grass, long tase, round. Not much acids.
2014 Parmeson cab (same wine as munselle) Soft, black wine gum
2011 William Gordon Alexander Walley cab Lots of acid, long taste, fruit and berries but not too much
2014 Freddie Mercury Rose Thicker, non-sweet, more skin from the red.
500 mini jug, Zin syrah and cab Balanced, thick, blue and black berries. Quite long surprising taste.
2015 Zinfandel Low alcohol, cranberry, not too much jam. Nice acids.
The cru, lot vii, mostly cab franc Typical cab franc nose. Tastes brilliantly. Good smooth berries. Black ripe berries. A little cherries. 75 cases
Mercurio lot iv, 100% Tempranillo Solera style. Oak. Grass. A few herbs.
Comment on other manufacturers: “They are a bit whacka - doo with their biodynamic nonsense”
Mercury Freddie cuvée 2011, 100% Mourvèdre Soft, very long taste, some cherries and raspberries. A bit basil, but very hidden.
Mercury the skins 2015 Orange 15 days with red skin Interesting wine, not at all as experimental as others I have tried.
Seafoam blanc the blanc 2014 Much rounder than a classic French blanc de blanc. Long after taste. Fruit on the nose. Even slight strawberries. Acids where they should be.
Four Kings Alexander Valley 2008 OMG! This is amazing. Mix between Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet franc, merlot and petit Verdot.
2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Soft fruit on the nose. Leather. Dark and red cherries. Only small amount of grass. Very good acids and balances with fruit.
2013 Reserve Primitivo Light color. Spices on the nose. Dry strawberries. Lots of tannins. Long fruity nose, but young fruit, no jam. Good acids.
2014 Reserve Cab Soft, a bit thin. Lots of tannins. Not enough fruit to balance it.
2012 Reserve Alluvia Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache Mild tastes from the wine. Very light on the nose. No oak.
2012 Single Barrel Cabernet Red berries. Leather. Taste red wine. Mild acids. Tannins definitely are there balancing the fruit. Red ripe apples.
2012 Cyrus, Bordeaux style blend. 72% Cab, Merlot, cab franc, petit verdot, Malbec Very good and typical French Bordeaux blend. Round on the palate. Leather. Some grass. Ripe black cherries. Boiled spinach.
2013 Cyrus, Bordeaux style blend. 64% Cab, Merlot, 20% cab franc, petit verdot, Malbec Thicker, white pepper, some grass. Very big body. Long after taste. Some water in the taste, but because of the young age.
2014 Salvation Late Harvest Zinfandel Soil on the nose. Tires and asphalt. Sweet, thick. With fudge an interesting mix. Unfortunately not as much chocolate in the fudge as I would have liked. Lots of sugar which made mouth explode.
Brut Frizzante Yellow and green apples. Fresh. After taste balanced between acids and fruit.
2014 Barbera Fruit and not too much berries. Fresh. Vegetables. Boiled tomatoes.
2014 Sangiovese Dark fruits. Ripe peach on the nose. Mild Long acids. Smooth.
2012 Raffinto (super Tuscany) Red currant. Some dark cherry in the after taste. Good acids that stay long on the tongue.
2013 Ricordo (Zinfandel blend) Very heavy. Full body. Cedar wood (weird?). Lots of soft acids. Blue Plums.
2013 Cabernet Franc Lots of blue fruit. Some melon. Lead. Round and balanced. Acids and fruit meet in this quite thick mix.
2013 Cabernet (first round) Round and balanced. Cherries. Lots of cherries. Red cherries. Chocolate filled with red cherries.
2013 Regale (Cabernet blend) Tannins and acids all over. Mild fruit. Cherries. No notice of oak. A little bit grass and chives.
2012 Rapport Port, 100% zinfandel Round, sweet. Excellent with chocolate. Sweet But not sugar crisp.
2013 Rapport Port, 100% zinfandel Sharp, very good acids. Mild taste. Plums, black and red berries. Not so sweet. Will definitely be good in a few years.