In wine-centric Sonoma County, the water cooler talk is less about the weather and more about the exciting bottle of wine we just tasted. Even those of us who have plenty of disposable income love to find wines that over deliver for the price. It’s human nature to love a steal. Here are six tasty wines to spice up your water cooler talk.
Dry Creek Vineyard, 2014 Heritage Vines Sonoma County Zinfandel, 14.5%, $22. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum and cracked black pepper. Finishes spicy. Great backbone (structure). Top rate.
Novy, 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah, 14.5%, $19. This is a concentrated syrah weighted to black fruit and it has just the right dose of cracked black pepper. It’s a syrah with broad appeal – a seamless version with less grit.
Layer Cake, 2013 California Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.75%, $15. This cabernet is a great deal for those who want a fruit-forward quaff. Tasty black fruit, lively black pepper spice and a lingering finish. A steal.
Insurrection, 2014 South Eastern Australia, 15%, $17. An edgy red blend with that’s approachable. Bright red fruit, snappy spice. Easy drinking. A great quaff.
Mirassou, 2014 California Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.6%, $12. A cab with aromas and flavors of blackberry, currant and vanilla. It finishes with a hint of caramel. The concentrated flavors are a surprise at this price point.
River Road, 2014 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 13.7%, $19. This is a lovely, layered pinot. What makes it a standout is its upfront cherry fruit, while notes of plum, herbs and spice play back up. Well crafted.