• SumoMe

The sixth stop on our virtual tour of California Bordeaux takes us to Sonoma County. Here we discovered a number of very good values, with about half the wines we sampled being price at $25 or less. For anyone that’s still a bit light in the wallet this days, it’s a welcome sight. We also discovered quality with a few top-notch Cab coming out of the Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys. Whatever your budget, there’s a bottle to be found. Here is just a small sampling our what Sonoma Bordeaux has to offer.

Cinnabar 2009 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 40-45

Review:

Aromas of cherries, boysenberries, and cassis mingle with suggestions of olive, mocha, and creamy oak. The palate reveals flavors of cherry, currants, and raspberry with accents of sweet spice, vanilla bean, and dark chocolate. A smooth red, with plush tannins, fans of light yet complex Cabs will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 90

Dutcher Crossing 2009 Taylor Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Syrah, 2% Merlot

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 40-45

Review:

A bouquet of blackberries, cherries, cedar, and spice rises up from a glass. A sip unfurls flavors of cherry, plum, and blueberry with accents of pepper, leather, and smokey oak. A rich, mouth-filling wine, with layers of flavor, fans of lively, supple reds will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 90

Dutcher Crossing 2009 Proprietor’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 25-30

Review:

Aromatics of blackberries and currants mingle with suggestions of anise, cedar, and spice on the nose. Flavors of blackberry and cherry emerge on the palate accented by vanilla bean, black licorice, and oak on the palate. A velvety, concentrated wine, it’s well suited to pair with foods like lamb or for fans of rich, dark reds.

Rating: 89

Lyeth Estates 2011 Fleur de Lyeth

Grape(s): Cabernet Franc & Merlot

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 10-15

Review:

A bouquet of strawberries, cherries, and earth rises up from a glass. A sip delivers flavors of plum, cherry, and strawberry with accents of leather and earth. Fairly light and hearty, with supple tannins, fans of smoother, less fruit driven reds should give this bottle a try.

Rating: 87

Lyeth Estates 2009 Caberenet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 83% Caberenet Sauvignon & 17% Syrah

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 15-20

Review:

Aromatics of blackberries and cherries mingle with oak and dark chocolate on the nose. Flavors of blackberry, cherry, and plum accented by suggestions of cedar and cocoa emerge on the palate. Medium-bodied with fairly lively fruit, fans of supple, dry reds ought to try this wine. 6, 280 cases produced.

Rating: 88

 

Lyeth Estates L de Lyeth 2010 Caberenet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Caberenet Sauvignon

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 10-15

Review:

Aromas of cherries and plums meld with suggestions of oak and spice on the nose. The palate reveals flavors of cherry and blackberry that unfold into notes of dusty earth and spice. An expression of drier, brighter fruit than many less expensive reds lack, Cab lovers just may make this their go-to everyday bottle.

Rating: 88

Lyeth Estates 2010 Meritage

Grape(s): Caberenet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 15-20

Review:

A blend of five Bordeuax varieties, cherry, strawberry jam, and blueberry aromas come together with hints of chocolate and toffee on the nose. Flavors of cherries, red currants, blackberries emerge on the palate along with nuances of mocha and cedar. A fairly robust, dry wine, it’s very well suited for pairing with grill red meats or for fans of richly structured reds.

Rating: 89

Lyeth Estates 2010 Chronology

Grape(s): 87% Caberenet Sauvignon & 13% Malbec

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 25-30

Review:

Aromatics of dark berries, chocolate, oak, and all-spice greet the senses. The palate reveals flavors of cherry, blackberry, and blueberry flavors accents by hints of spice and dusty earth. A dry, supple red that’s geared for fans of more old world style wines. 600 cases produced.

Rating: 89

Rued 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 15-20

Review:

Aromatics of melon, grapefruit, and lemon greet the senses. The palate delivers flavors of honey dew, lemon custard, and gooseberry. A crisp, refreshing wine with a food friendly acidity, fans of clean, lively whites should give this wine a try, especially at its price point. 351 cases produced.

Rating: 89

Rued 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 40-45

Review:

Aromas of cherries, blackberries, cassis with accents of baking spice, dark chocolate, and earth rise up from a glass. A sip unfurls flavors of cherry, blackberry, and currants along with suggestions of nutmeg, creamy oak, and white pepper. This is a more robust Cab than many and will pair well with food. Fans of rich, more structured wines will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 89

West 2008 Crest Cuvee

Grape(s): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 5 % Cabernet Franc

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 30-35

Review:

Aromatics of blackberries, plums, and cherries mingle with notes of oak and licorice. A sip reveals flavors of raspberry, plum, and cherry that meld with suggestions of cedar, spice, and dusty minerals. A fairly light, smooth wine, fans of easy-going blends ought to give this bottle a try. Just 170 cases produced.

Rating: 90

 

West 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 40-45

Review:

Aromas of blackberries, cherries, and plums with accents of earth and smokey oak greet the senses. Flavors of blackberry, blueberry, and cherry meld with hints of cocoa, dusty earth, and cedar on the palate. A fairly smooth red, with balanced tannins, fans of plush Cabs with a slight earthy accent should try this wine. 650 cases produced.

Rating: 90

West 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Sonoma County

Price: 40-45

Review:

A bouquet of cherries, blackberries, sweet spice, and tobacco rise up from a glass. A sip reveals flavors of cherry, plum, and blackberry accented by notes of earth and smokey herbs. An easy-going Cab, with a lighter structure, if you enjoy of dark, smooth, earthy reds, this is a bottle for you.

Rating: 88

Top Photo Courtesy of Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley ®