Sonoma County and Napa Valley are the most prestigious wine regions in California, with Sonoma County wines known for being more laid-back than their Napa counterparts. That's not to say that Sonoma County wines aren't wonderfully sophisticated, because they are.
Sonoma's cool, coastal climate makes much of it ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but sharp, robust Zinfandels can also be produced in areas like Dry Creek Valley. Among the more famous Sonoma County wine producers are Benziger, Deloach, Gallo Family Vineyards and Simi Winery.
WS8888 pts. - Wine & Spirits - 02/22 The pungent, licorice-scented fruit of this wine is blanketed in smoky scents. Firm and structured, it needs cellar time to integrate.Premier SelectPremier Select wines are handpicked by our staff from amongst thousands of wines for their exceptional quality. They're made by a top producer and comparable to wines at twice the cost.
JD9090 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/10/2022 The 2019 Proprietary Red Wine Legend is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 8% Counoise, and the rest Grenache and Tannat, sourced from Sonoma County. This spicy, textured, herbal (although not green) effort has lots of red and black fruits, medium to full body, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. It’s a character-filled, satisfying red to drink over the coming 7–8 years. (Jeb Dunnuck)Premier SelectPremier Select wines are handpicked by our staff from amongst thousands of wines for their exceptional quality. They're made by a top producer and comparable to wines at twice the cost.
JD9393 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 3/10/2022 The appellation 2019 Pinot Noir is brilliant, and I like it every bit as much as many of the more expensive single vineyards. Spiced red fruits, loamy earth, leather, and subtle smoke notes give way to a medium-bodied, textured, incredibly charming Pinot Noir that already offers pleasure yet has the balance to keep for at least 7–8 years. (Jeb Dunnuck)Premier SelectPremier Select wines are handpicked by our staff from amongst thousands of wines for their exceptional quality. They're made by a top producer and comparable to wines at twice the cost.
JS9494 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Thursday, April 28, 2022 An aromatic nose of stone fruit, fresh tropical fruit and jasmine. Full-bodied with a nice,oily texture. Fruity and lightly honeyed on the palate. Lavender and lily. Steely. Loire-like. Always an excellent sauvignon blanc. Drink or hold.RP9292 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 14th Jul 2022 The 2020 Sauvignon Blanc is fruity and refreshing. “We did a lot of whole cluster pressing,” winemaker Heidi von der Mehden responds when I ask about new approaches in 2020 in response to wildfires. “I think it helped with the texture of the wine and took out a bit of bitterness” she continues. “It started as a logistical decision in 2020, but we liked it, so we will continue to do more whole cluster pressing moving forward.” It’s a significant dedication to quality for one of their largest cuvées, and the 2020 also contains about 60% estate fruit. This Sauvignon Blanc offers pretty aromas of elderflower, white peaches, lime peel and kiwi with touches of baker’s yeast and alluring floral perfume. The palate is medium-bodied and flavorful, with notable concentration and freshness that will broaden its appeal at the table. (Erin Brooks)
WS9393 pts. - Wine & Spirits - 12/22 William Foley grounded his wine empire in Sonoma County with the purchase of the Chalk Hill Estate in 2010. Michael Beaulac, who joined the team in 2021, produced this wine from other Foley family vineyards in Carneros, Chalk Hill and the Sonoma Coast. In it, he captures the chamomile character of chardonnay, showcasing the variety’s gentle fruit rather than its tropical ripeness. Scents of lemon cream and malt add to the wine’s richness.SP9292 pts. - Wine Spectator - Web only – 2022 Presents pear drop, Fuji apple, ripe Bartlett pear and lemon blossom details that are elegant and restrained, but they weave in and out on a light, fresh frame that’s quite impressive. Gains a savory element, thanks to a touch of toasted sesame seed. Drink now. 98,000 cases made. (MaryAnn Worobiec)
JS9494 pts. - JamesSuckling.com - Tuesday, April 6, 2021 A beautiful red with lots of blackberries, cloves, stone, spice and purple fruit. It’s full and balanced with a creamy texture and a flavorful finish. Some graphite to the black fruit. More zin this year in the blend. 71% zinfandel, 19% carignan, 7% petite sirah and 3% alicante bouschet. Drink now.SP9393 pts. - Wine Spectator - Jun 30, 2021 Deeply structured, yet nimble on its feet. Blackberry, fresh fennel and brown baking spices build richness and layers toward medium-grained tannins. Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. Drink now through 2030. 11,000 cases made.JD9292 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - 7/22/2021 The 2019 Zinfandel Geyserville is 71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignan, and the rest Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet. This was a cooler vintage yet this wine reveals plenty of ripeness in its black and blue fruits as well as violets, cigar, and toasted spice-like aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and expansive on the palate, it has some obvious minerality, building tannins, and a great finish. It’s not going to match the 2018, but it’s still a complete, nuanced, complex Zinfandel that will keep for 10–15 years. (Jeb Dunnuck)
WE9696 pts. - Wine Enthusiast - 3/1/2021 Drenched with ultrarich fruit flavors, this generous, full-bodied and mouthfilling wine is an unabashed, fully ripened wine that exults in Zinfandel’s jammy blackberry and blueberry extravagance. High octane but also supple in texture, this will be a great wine to linger over at the end of a special meal. Best through 2030.RP9595 pts. - Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate - 4th Feb 2021 The 2018 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch, blended with 9% Alicante Bouschet and 7% Petite Sirah, is deeply scented with earth-laced blue and black berries and notes of licorice and dried herbs. The palate offers concentred fruits knit by grainy tannins and surprising uplift, and it finishes long and layered. This is youthfully wound and will have even more to offer with time in bottle. 4,600 cases produced.VN9595 pts. - Vinous - Sep 2020 The 2018 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is superb. A burst of sweet red/purplish fruit, exotic spice, flowers and blood orange fleshes out in a Zinfandel of tremendous class. The Pagani has a level of textural breadth and resonance that separates it from most wines in this range. It also has a bit more new oak than the other wines here, but that should not be an issue in time. Bold, creamy and sensual, the Pagani just hits all the right notes. I wouldn’t touch a bottle anytime soon. Readers who can find it will own a small piece of history, as Pagani is one of the most pedigreed vineyard sites in the United States. The blend is 84% Zinfandel, 9% Alicante Bouschet and 7% Petite Sirah.JD9595 pts. - Jeb Dunnuck - August 29, 2020 A rocking Zinfandel from Sonoma County, the 2018 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch offers a more ruby/plum color to go with a great nose of spice red and black fruits, sandalwood, chocolate, and new leather. This spicy, medium to full-bodied, incredibly seamless 2018 has fabulous tannins, plenty of mid-palate depth, and a great finish. It’s every bit as profound as the 2017, if not better. It’s going to keep for 10–12 years. (Jeb Dunnuck)