De Loach Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2010

This is a very light Pinot Noir. It hails from Sonoma County, California in the Russian River Valley area. I recommend drinking this win as of 2012, it’s mature enough to enjoy, doesn’t need anything except a meal to drink it with. I would describe this as a grape jelly and dried fruit sort of flavor. It has a light to medium body and just a tiny hint of heat. It’s refreshing for a red wine and newbie friendly.

From the 2010 vintage this wine is now ready to drink.

From the 2010 vintage this wine is now ready to drink.

Sebastiani Sonoma Chardonnay 2009

What a great refreshing Chardonnay. If it’s a warm summer night and you just want to chill out and enjoy yourself, this is a great choice. This 2009 elixir has a smooth elegance and abundant orchard fruit flavors. Hailing from Sonoma County it displays unconventional citrus, mineral and slight acidity that you don’t normally see. It has a very subdued oak taste and a perfect texture to create a well balanced and delicious Chardonnay that won’t break the bank. This wine came in at just $12.99 at the time of purchase.

Balanced yet complex smooth refreshing drink.

Balanced yet complex smooth refreshing drink.

Alexander Valley Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine comes from Sonoma County and has a nice deep ruby tone. Alexander Valley has half a century of grape vines behind its individual style. The wine has lots of sour cherry, chocolate and earthy flavors. It’s rich yet smooth. Not burning and harsh like a South American Cabernet can be. At about $17 it’s a bargain. While many wouldn’t consider this a daily drinking wine and want something around the $12 range, I would recommend people consider this wine into their rotation if they eat lots of meat. I can see this wine going particularly well with barbeque and would be a treat at a Brazilian steak house!

This is a great wine with red meat.

This is a great wine with red meat.

Francis Ford Cappola Winery – Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2009

This Zinfandel hails from the Dry Creek valley of Sonoma County. I would describe this particular wine as a classic example of a Zinfandel from Sonoma County, and very representative of a quality American red wine. There are lots of rich flavors of blackberries and plums. I’m also detecting a hint of vanilla and espresso with some very light wood flavor. It’s very smooth and not overbearing at all. At $20 per bottle in early 2012, this wine is a pretty decent deal. It’s not as good as my favorite Zinfandel from Talty Estates, but it’s not >$30 either and it’s very very good. If you want to try a good first Zinfandel that is representative of the breed, try this one!

This Zinfandel is representative of the breed!

This Zinfandel is representative of the breed!