11 West Coast Red Wines Worth Trying
From zinfandel to tempranillo, with some good cabernets and pinot noirs in between, here are some West Coast reds worth trying as we turn our calendars to the fall pages.
2011 XYZin California old-vine zinfandel ($26). Nicely made zin with rounded, creamy black raspberry flavors and just a touch of extra heat. Light tannins and a good finish.
2011 Quivira Dry Creek zinfandel ($22). Very good. Tangy dried-berry and cherry flavors, lean, spicy, minerally with moderate tannins. Good in the glass or at the table. It will develop some Bordeaux-style leatheriness with age.
2010 Matchbook Dunnigan Hills tempranillo ($15). With some tannat and graciano blended in. Savory notes and cherry fruit with a somewhat raspy, citrus finish. Would be good with roasted meats.
2010 Robert Mondavi Oakville cabernet sauvignon ($45). Juicy cherries with lots of tangy acidity and firm tannins. A little edgier than most Mondavi cabs.
2010 Sequoia Grove Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon ($37). Buttery fruit nose with good cassis flavors, some minerality, some herbal and savory characteristics and a crisp finish. Quite enjoyable.
2011 Paul Hobbs "CrossBarn" Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon ($42). Lots of enticing brulée and dark berry aromas. Intense blackberry flavors and browned butter notes with some vanilla. Dusty tannins and long on the palate. Powerful and delicious.
2010 Chateau Montelena Calistoga cabernet sauvignon ($50). Rounded, mature flavors of ripe plums, apple pulp, prunes, figs with well-integrated tannins. Some earthy chocolate in the finish. Well-balanced with good acidity.
2011 Route Stock Willamette Valley pinot noir ($19). This is "pinot light" — tart raspberry flavors, a little raspy and a little short on the finish. Flavors are fine, but not much of a grip.
2012 Line 39 Central Coast pinot noir ($11). Some dry-stemmy, savory notes with ripe dark cherry flavors and some balsamic. Enjoyable.
2011 LaFollette "Sangiacomo" Sonoma Coast pinot noir ($32). A nice, complex wine with flavors of ripe cherries, cola, a touch of root beer, and a savory finish.
2011 Paul Hobbs "Katherine Lindsay" Russian River pinot noir ($85). A biggg pinot! Cola and dark cherry flavors, fairly tannic, and still very tight. Put it away for a couple of years.