Got a rare chance to taste 6 boutique red wines from Deerfield Ranch in Sonoma, located in Russian River valley. The wines are being considered for import by Akron-based Bottle2Glass, who I represent. If you get a chance to have these wines HIGHLY recommend grabbing them up.
Note that these wine notes are created first by tasting to get my own impression and then I read the winemakers notes. In the case of Deerfield Ranch notes, I agreed with all of them.
First taste was the 2017 Pinot Noir from the “Eileo vineyard” in Russian River. Color is very clear, nearly pastel tawny-red color. Soft aromas of light fruit, and soft cranberry and cherry flavors, light and reserved. Light tannins, hardly noticeable. Winery notes call them ‘gentle’. Very sippable, quaffable wine. I could see pairing with light appetizers and seasoned chicken. I definitely wanted to keep tasting.
2013 Estate Syrah from Sonoma Valley. Dark Garnet color yet still transparent. Aromas of dark cherry and plum, and something faint hinting of either dark chocolate or tobacco. The winemakers notes say that it’s grown near a blackberry wetland area. Wow. Pleasantly potent jammy fruit-forward flavors, medium tannins and body. I thought ripe cherry, reminiscent of italian Valpolicella and baby amarone. Very drinkable.
2013 Zinfandel. While titled only Zinfandel, it actually is 80% blended with 12% Syrah 4% Malbec and 4% Cab Franc. Darker garnet versus the former Syrah. Big bouquet of plum and dark ripe fruit, and chocolate. Dark ripe complex fruit flavors paired with nice spice and light oak flavors, very nicely unified. The peppery spiciness seemed typical of Cabernet Franc. Heavier medium tannin and acid balance. Again very drinkable and would pair beautifully with meat and sauced dishes…. made me want to eat something with it. Sure enough, the winemakers note said it’s a food friendly wine that goes with anything from hamburger steak pasta +
2015 ‘Red Rex’,a meritage blend of all the big jammy reds. Begins with 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, 12% Zinfandel, 10% Merlot 6% Cab Franc 5% Sangiovese, and 4% Petit Verdot. This wine is not as transparent, nearly black garnett. Aromas of pepper, spice and black fruit. Powerful and potent rich jammy dark red fruit hits the palette, yet also a contradictory bright acidity. Nice medium tannin balance. The finish really lingers into a dark cherry. I wanted to add chocolateQ Could easily pair with meat dishes, like pork. The winemaker states they “married several lots into a sensual experience without being aggressive”. Very remarkable meritage.
2018 T-Rex. I pre-read what T-Rex means, which stands for a Tuscany-meritage based in sangiovese instead of cab. Also the co-owners maiden name was Rex. 56% Sangiovese, 14% Malbec 9% Syrah 7% Zinfandel 7% Merlot 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc. Quite a blend. The color is slightly-transparent dark garnet. Aromas of dark fruit, mostly dark cherry and soft spices. Chewy tannins precede a complex dark fruit compote, like a sweet dark fruit tart. Loved it and wanted to continue to drink more than a taste, yet also enjoyed the lingering finish.
Saved the ‘Reserve’ to last, a 2014 Zukowski Vineyard and Knight’s Valley combo. I’m familiar with Knights Valley because another winery I like won the top 10 world of wines with a Knight’s Valley reserve, so that particular vineyard is coveted. The reserve is also a meritage blend entitled Cabernet Sauvignon with 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and also 13% Merlot 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Malbec. The color is a virtually non-transparent deep dark garnet red. Aromas of deep plummy dark fruit jump inches above the glass! Flavors surprisingly burst of big red berries versus dark heavy fruit. Wonderful deep complex jammy flavors and balanced medium tannins and light acid. Another surprisingly easy drinking wine, yet very rich and complex. Lingering aftertaste didn’t last as long as the T-Rex, yet the back of my pallet enjoyed the dark complexity.
One couldn’t go wrong with any of these wines and I especially enjoyed the the Zinfandel, the T-Rex and the Cab Reserve. As soon as BottlewGlass brings these into Ohio, I’ll be letting you all know!