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LakeCounty

Lake County, in California, is a place where red Rhone varieties can thrive. Yet, most wine drinkers don’t seem to be aware of the quality that is available. It doesn’t matter if you prefer Rhone-style blends or just a straight varietal, any or all of these four gems our tasting panel sampled will surely please your palate.

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Brassfield 2011 Syrah

Grape(s): 100% Syrah,

Region: Lake County

Price: 40-45

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of blackberries, raspberries, and plums interweave with hints of pepper and thyme on the nose. The palate delivers flavors of blackberry, plum, and strawberry that unfold into nuances of pepper, dark chocolate, and minerals. Hearty, complex, and rich, it’s a fine example of California Syrah. Only 93 cases were made.

Rating: 91

Fore-GSM

Fore Family 2011 GSM Blend

Grape(s): 60% Syrah, 30% Grenache and 10% Mouvedre

Region: Lake County

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of blackberries, cherries, and plums meld with notes of pepper and earth on the nose. Flavors of bramble fruit and cherry come together with suggestions of smoked meat and spice on the palate. Supple and lively, fans of California Rhone-style blends will enjoy this wine. 120 cases produced.

Rating: 90

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Sol Rouge 2010 Petite Sirah

Grape(s): 100 % Petite Sirah

Region: Lake County

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of blackberries, cherries, dark chocolate, and clove rises up from a glass. Flavors of blueberry, blackberry, and cherry meld with hints of sweet spice and coffee on the palate. A lush, rich wine with very nice structure, fans of smooth, supple reds will enjoy this bottle very much. Just 75 cases produced.

Rating: 92

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Sol Rouge 2010 Syrah

Grape(s): 100% Syrah

Region: Lake County

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of plums and blackberries meld with suggestions of sweet spice, mocha, and oak on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of blackberry, plum, and black cherry that unfold into notes of all-spice, cocoa, and cedar.  A rich, velvety red with concentrated dark fruit and supple tannins, it has the goods to stand of to lamb or steak now, but will also improve with time in the cellar. 150 cases produced.

Rating: 91