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2015 Vintage Reviews

Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate

“In this third installment of my Sonoma coverage of this year, I report on some of the most exciting new releases this region has to offer…. Readers will find recommendations from some of my staple favorites … including a bevy of opulent Zinfandels from Jeff Cohn and more. Enjoy!”

Single Vineyard Syrah

Buffalo Hill

96  Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Syrah Buffalo Hill Rockpile Vineyard is a little closed to begin, giving way to a rock-star nose of baked plums, crushed blackcurrants, wild blueberries and violets with touches of espresso, licorice, Sichuan pepper and hoisin plus a hint of rose hip tea. Full-bodied and super concentrated in the mouth with layer upon layer of black fruit and savory flavors, it's framed with firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing long and perfumed.

So Serine

96  the 2015 Syrah So Serine is deep garnet-purple in color with amazing intensity of crushed blackberries, black cherries and warm plums with touches of Indian spices, violets, Provence herbs and charcuterie. The palate is full-bodied and exquisitely balanced offering fine-grained tannins and great freshness with a very long, multilayered finish.

Rockpile 'Haley' 

95 The 2015 Syrah Rockpile Vineyard is medium to deep garnet-purple in color with compelling scents of violets, wilted roses, kirsch and baking spices over a core of wild blueberries and black cherries with wafts of lavender, garrigue and wild thyme. Full-bodied, opulent and possessing a myriad of floral and spicy sparks in the black-fruited mouth, it has a beautiful plush texture and wonderful freshness, finishing very long.

Domaine des Chirats

93+  The 2015 Syrah Domaine des Chirats Rockpile Vineyard is deep garnet-purple colored with quite a savory nose of smoked meats, tapenade, truffles and cardamom over a core of crushed blackberries, crème de cassis and blueberry pie with wafts of mocha and dried herbs. Full-bodied with tons of vivacious black fruits in the mouth, it has a plush texture and oodles of freshness, finishing very long and savory. 

Zio Tony Ranch 

92 The 2015 Syrah Zio Tony Ranch is very deep purple-black in color with a nose of crème de cassis, blackberry pie and blueberry preserves with licorice, black pepper and fertile earth hints. The palate is full-bodied and chock-full of expressive black and blue fruit preserves with a ripe, rounded tannin frame and plenty of freshness, finishing long and peppery.

Single Vineyard Rhônes

El Diablo Grenache

91+  The medium ruby-purple colored 2015 Grenache El Diablo Vineyard has a seductive nose of kirsch, Chinese five spice, potpourri and white pepper with touches of garrigue and dried lavender. The palate is full-bodied, rich and plush with tons of red berry preserves and spicy layers, finishing long and peppery.

Broken Compass Carignan

90+  Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Broken Compass opens with baked blackberries and preserved plums notes with hints of pencil lead, fertile soil and dried herbs. Big, full-bodied, rich and firmly textured with chewy tannins, it has a tart, refreshing acid line and long, earthy finish.

Sweetwater Springs Petite Sirah

89  The 2015 Petite Sirah Sweetwater Springs Vineyard is very deep purple-black in color and scented of baked plums and blueberry pie with a baking spice and rose water undercurrent plus a waft of dried thyme. The palate is very big, powerful and full-bodied with very firm, chewy tannins and just enough freshness to lift the concentrated black fruit layers, finishing on a lingering dried-herbs note.

Single Vineyard Zinfandel 

Cassata Orcio 

93  Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Zinfandel Orcio Cassata Vineyard gives up notes of preserved plums, cranberry pie, baked raspberries and raisin cake with touches of dried Provence herbs, espresso and allspice. The decadently fruited, full-bodied palate gives a solid, chewy frame to rein in the boisterous fruit with lovely freshness and a very long, multilayered finish.

Iron Hill

91 Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Zinfandel Iron Hill reveals notes of baked plums, spice cake, sandalwood and rose hip tea with an undercurrent of mincemeat pie, dried herbs and star anise. Full-bodied and generously fruited in the mouth, the rich dried berry layers are well-framed by a lively backbone and chewy texture, finishing long and spicy.

Sweetwater Springs 'Isabel'

91 The 2015 Zinfandel Sweetwater Springs Vineyard is medium to deep garnet-purple with a nose of prunes, fruitcake and spice box with hints of dried flowers, hoisin, smoked meats and leather. Full-bodied, concentrated and with a tart line cutting through the dense dried-berry flavors, it offers a firm, chewy frame and great length.

St. Peter's Church

91 Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Zinfandel St. Peter's Church has a nose of raspberry pie, blueberry compote and preserved plums with underlying hints of scorched earth, Indian spices, tobacco and stewed tea. Big, concentrated and full-bodied in the mouth, it has a racy line and a lovely plush texture, finishing with a compelling herbal lift.

Nun's Canyon

90 Medium garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Zinfandel Nun's Canyon Vineyard gives up notes of sautéed herbs, dried mulberries and cranberries, Black Forest cake and Chinese five spice with a waft of dusty soil. Full-bodied and packed with prunes and spice box-inspired flavors, it has plenty of freshness and a chewy frame, finishing a bit warm.


misc. stuff GSM

92 Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Misc. Stuff displays notes of baked plums, stewed cherries, dried mulberries and blackberry compote with touches of unsmoked cigars, baking spices, garrigue and underbrush. Full-bodied and jam-packed with dried berries and spicy layers, it has a chewy texture and lively lift to the finish.

Pure Yum 

92 A Syrah-based blend, the 2015 Pure Yum gives a medium garnet-purple color and notes of black cherries, warm plums and baked blueberries with tons of exotic spices, bacon fat and hoisin suggestions in the background. Big, fleshy, full-bodied and with a firm backbone of rounded tannins, it has plenty of freshness and a long, spice-laced finish.


photo credit: Robert Parker Wine Advocate

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