Acclaim
 

Accolades

ROAR is honored to be recognized consistently by international wine publications and critics for quality and value. Since Robert Parker took notice in the early 2000s, ROAR has been featured and mentioned in Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate, Prince of Pinot, Vinous, and more. Most especially, we appreciate what our customers have to say about the wines. Below are some of our highlights and memorable moments from our short history with winegrowing.

Ribbon
2019 Wine Spectator
Top 100 Wines of the Year
#43
2017 Sierra Mar
Pinot Noir
Ribbon
2018 Wine Enthusiast
Top 100 Cellars of the Year
#25
2016 Garys' Vineyard
Pinot Noir
Ribbon
2016 Wine Enthusiast
Top 100 Wines of the Year
#18
2014 Garys' Vineyard
Pinot Noir
Ribbon
2014 Wine Spectator
Top 100 Wines of the Year
#71
2012 Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir
Induction to Échansonnerie des Papes, a wine brotherhood of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
December 8, 2007
Induction to Disciples & Les Dames d' Escoffier International
October 10, 2017
Certificate of Appreciation by International Wine and Food Society for Excellence in Winemaking
April 14, 2018
Winner of Robert Parker’s “Pinot Noir and Burgundy…Blind” wine tasting
October 26, 2006

Compliments

Monterey County is one of the most exciting outposts on the California Pinot Noir frontier, and one of the most impressive producers is ROAR.
MaryAnn Worobiec
Wine Spectator
Saying ROAR to a Pinot Noir lover is like saying "Ferrari" to a person who loves cars. Some of the most luscious, complex, and rich Pinots are made by this small producer.
Karen McNeil
Wine Bible
Ever since a ROAR Pinot Noir blew away a great number of Burgundies in a blind tasting I hosted at the Cultinary Institute in Napa, I have taken a special interest in following the wines from this producer. They go from strength to strength.
Robert Parker
Robert Parker Wine Advocate
The always candid Gary Franscioni is one of the pioneers in the Santa Lucia Highlands... Still curious as ever, Franscioni continues to fine-tune his approach in his newly developed vineyards, and it shows in the quality of the wines.
Antonio Galloni
Vinous
The Franscioni family is making some of the best wines on the Central Coast.
Matt Kettmann
Wine Enthusiast
ROAR's Sierra Mar Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, farmed by veteran vintners of the Franscioni family, is the source of that appellation's top-scoring 2017 Pinot Noir.
Kim Marcus
Wine Spectator

Wine Reviews

Each vintage, we submit our wines to several wine publications for critic review. We are honored to receive mentions and read the notes from some of the world's top influencers in wine. Below we have captured the past three vintages for all wines which were submitted for review. Please note that not all wines are reviewed, but that all published reviews are included below. For older vintages, contact us for more information.

Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir
2018
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
93pts Refined, layered and expressive, with rich, loamy accents to the dried dark fruit and cooking spice flavors. Cedary hints show on the finish, revealing touches of cocoa and cream. Drink now through 2025.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts From one of the cooler sites they work with, the 2018 Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard shines for its vibrant, pure yet complex style. Giving up lots of mulberry and black cherry fruit as well ample sappy flower and spice notes, this beauty is medium to full-bodied, has a juicy, elegant texture, perfectly integrated acidity, and a great finish. Drink it over the coming decade as well.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
92pts Contoured, featuring lilting flavors of dried raspberry, cherry and underbrush, supported by medium-grained tannins. Beefy notes emerge midpalate, leading to a silky, well-spiced finish. Drink now through 2024.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
92pts Pale to medium ruby and shy on the nose to begin, with time the 2017 Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard gives up scents of cranberries, red cherries, raspberries and strawberries with touches of chaparral, dried flowers, orange peel, cinnamon stick and dried leaves. Medium-bodied and very silky in texture, it offers excellently restrained, perfumed fruits with lovely freshness and a long, floral finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
94pts Lighter in the glass, this bottling is a somewhat more delicate style than usual for the Franscioni family, but just as delicious if not more so depending on preference. Aromas of raspberry, pomegranate and wild thyme lead into a palate that’s loaded with strawberry, white pepper and bay leaf, finishing on vanilla cream.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Brilliant red. Vibrant, mineral-accented red berry liqueur and floral oil scents pick up exotic spice and succulent herb nuances with air. Juicy and expansive on the palate, offering seamless raspberry, cherry preserve, rose pastille and spicecake flavors that deepen and turn sweeter on the back half. Closes extremely long and floral, with resonating red fruit and spice character and harmonious tannins that lend subtle grip.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
92pts The 2017 Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard is a pretty, elegant effort that has a sunny style in its strawberry, spice, and dried herb aromas and flavors. Picking up a kiss of orange rind and citrus with time in the glass, it’s medium-bodied and seamless on the palate, with plenty of upfront charm.
2016
Wine Spectator
James Laube
91pts Casts a distinctive anise and wild berry mix that's complex and engaging, tilting toward savory sage and herb notes and ending with firm yet supple tannins and a dash of cedar. Drink now through 2024.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
92pts The 2016 Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard has a medium ruby color and scents of fresh blackberries and cranberries with nuances of dried citrus peel, tree bark, bitters, nutmeg and potpourri. The medium-bodied palate offers great balance of fresh fruit and bitter/spicy character, with a grainy frame and lifted finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
92pts Noticeably cloudy in the glass, this single-vineyard exploration shows rich mulberry, black plum and candied rose-petal aromas. It's soft and creamy on the palate, where tart red plum and fresh thyme flavors prove a promising pairing.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Limpid ruby. An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red berries, incense, vanilla and candied flowers, and a spicy nuance builds with aeration. Juicy and broad in the mouth, offering sweet Chambord, cherry cola and spicecake flavors that take on a smoky mineral quality on the back half. Plays power off finesse with a smooth hand and finishes impressively long and sweet, featuring fine-grained tannins and resonating spiciness.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts The more medium ruby-colored 2016 Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard has a terrific sappiness to it as well as loads of floral nuances, medium body, bright acidity, and straight up fabulous elegance. It’s not the biggest or richest in the lineup, yet is pure class, with perfect integration in its fruit, tannins, and acidity. It’s great today and will be great in a decade.
Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir
2018
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
95pts The 2018 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard comes all from the Pisoni and Calera clones and saw 54% new French oak. Another complex, Burgundian style release from this team, it offers notes of wild strawberries, cured meats, iodine, and damp earth, with more violet and floral notes developing with time in the glass. Beautifully layered, pure, and silky on the palate, with polished tannins, it shows the class of this great vintage and is going to drink brilliantly for at least a decade.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
93pts Refined and precise, with good cut to the dried red currant and raspberry flavors, backed by firm acidity and silky tannins. Savory and underbrush notes emerge on the powerful finish. Drink now through 2024.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
94pts The 2017 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard is pale to medium ruby in color and offers gregarious scents of strawberry and raspberry jam, crushed blueberries and blackberries with notes of rose petals, dried leaves, cinnamon, earth and amaro. Medium-bodied and über silky, it has delicate berries flavors laced with loads of spice, earth and floral accents, finely grained and fresh with a long, layered finish. Lovely!
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
95pts Macerated strawberry and raspberry aromas meet with sumac and more red spice on those nose of this bottling from the iconic vineyard. There is compelling richness to the black cherry and Alpine strawberry of the palate, and then an underlying layer of dark star anise spice rises into the finish.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Deep shimmering red. Ripe, spice-accented cherry, black raspberry, vanilla and smoky minerals on the deeply perfumed, expansive nose. Intense red and dark berry liqueur flavors are supported by a core of juicy acidity. With aeration, picks up five-spice powder and floral qualities; these carry through the impressively long, seamless finish, which features rounded tannins and a resonating cherry note.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts Both deeper and darker than the Rosella’s Vineyard, the 2017 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard offers more blackberry, toasted spice, dried earth, and some garrigue-like notes, with just a hint of background oak. It too is medium-bodied, elegant, and seamless on the palate, with beautiful balance.
2016
Wine Spectator
James Laube
90pts Offers juicy plum, raspberry and wild berry flavors at the heart. Supple-textured and easy-drinking, though the tannins sneak up. Time should work to this wine's advantage. Best from 2019 through 2024.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
93pts The 2016 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard has a medium ruby color, and the nose gives up graphite-tinged cranberries, blackberries and red cherries with accents of underbrush, tree bark and dried citrus peel. The medium-bodied palate is elegantly styled and earthy with bright citrus accents and great freshness, finishing very long.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
96pts Deep aromas of candied black cherries, ginger snaps, star anise and iron-laced soils are rich and inviting on the nose of this single-vineyard expression. Boisterous, energetic flavors of red fruit meet with cinnamon, annatto and, on the finish, the buzz of Sichuan peppercorn. Drink 2020–2030.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Bright ruby-red. Ripe, spice-accented black raspberry, vanilla, incense and cola scents on the deeply perfumed nose. Offers intense red berry liqueur, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that are lifted and given spine by a smoky mineral quality. Concentrated as well as surprisingly energetic and focused, finishing with excellent persistence, velvety tannins and lingering floral and spice character.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
97pts One of the finest wines I’ve tasted from this estate is the 2016 Pinot Noir Garys' Vineyard. This beauty comes from a mix of the Pisoni and Calera clones and was brought up in 60% new barrels. A huge perfume of black raspberries, kirsch, crushed flowers, and violets as well as the classic iron note that’s common from this site all flow to a medium-bodied Pinot Noir that’s perfectly balanced on the palate. It’s a rich, powerful wine, yet it just glides over the palate, with thrilling purity of fruit and a great finish. It’s a profound Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands.
Soberanes Vineyard Pinot Noir
2018
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
92pts Big and ripe, with touches of cigar box to the concentrated dark currant, olive and wild herb flavors. Dark chocolate details and hints of roasted meat emerge on the dense, muscular finish. Drink now through 2025.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts Violets, a touch of blue fruits, wild strawberries, toasted spices, and a hint of herbes de Provence all emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard, another seamless wine that does everything right. Showing the elegance and purity that's the hallmark of the 2018 vintage, it still has ripe tannins, good mid-palate depth, and a great finish. The 2018 comes all from the 667 and Pisoni clones and was brought up in 61% new French oak, although, like all these 2018s, the oak is basically undetectable.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
91pts A polished style, with focused dried cherry and red currant flavors, backed by fresh acidity. Hints of mocha show midpalate, leading to a finish that extends with dried savory spice notes. Drink now through 2023. 297 cases made.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
93pts Pale to medium ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard offers up lovely aromas of baked marionberries, boysenberries, dried red cherries and cranberries with cinnamon stick, forest floor, orange peel, dried flowers and amaro accents. The medium-bodied palate demonstrates great restraint, with all that ripe, juicy fruit tempered by spicy, earthy accents, softly framed and fresh and finishing long and layered.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
96pts Aromas of mulberry, red cherry, cracked pepper, wild thyme and an earthy richness show on the dynamic nose of this bottling by the Franscioni family. There is a great bounce to the palate, with tart strawberry and plum flavors that mesh with accents of tangerine rind, marjoram and dried sage.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Dark scarlet. A highly perfumed nose features scents of ripe red berries, potpourri and exotic spices, and vanilla, cola and smoky mineral notes build with air. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering concentrated raspberry, bitter cherry and floral pastille flavors and a suggestion of spicecake. Shows excellent delineation and floral lift on the gently tannic, mineral-tinged finish, which leaves behind a sexy raspberry liqueur note.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94+pts The 2017 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard (brought up in 74% new French oak) is another layered, balanced wine from this team. Strawberries, blueberries, spring flowers, and spicy notes all define the bouquet. Medium-bodied, with good acidity, ripe tannins, and a great finish, it has a tight, slightly closed style that makes me think it will benefit from a year in bottle.
2016
Wine Spectator
James Laube
91pts Complex aromas of raspberry, blackberry, rose petal and anise are captivating, revealing concentration without sacrificing texture. Ends with grippy tannins and a long, full finish. Drink now through 2025.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
93pts The 2016 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard has a medium ruby color and is slow to unfurl to ripe cranberries, red cherries and blackberries with accents of underbrush, dried flowers, tree bark and a spicy undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate offers earthy, pleasantly bitter fruits with a firmer, albeit finely grained frame, with just enough freshness to carry the long finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
97pts The Franscioni family is making some of the best wines on the Central Coast, as evidenced in this bottling, which shows tremendous concentration without being overripe or overextracted. Aromas of purple and red flowers meet with minty tarragon and pine needle on the nose, while the palate's black cherry and boysenberry flavors are lifted by touches of eucalyptus and pine needle.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
93+pts The 2016 Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard offers a darker edge with lots of cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with plenty of earthy minerality and underbrush notes. Medium-bodied, firm and edgy, it has loads of potential but needs another year in bottle.
Sierra Mar Vineyard Pinot Noir
2018
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
93pts Powerfully structured, minerally and slate-driven, with hints of black pepper to the dark currant, raspberry and black olive flavors. Tarry nuances and dark chocolate notes emerge on the broad, enveloping finish. Drink now through 2025.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts Mulled cherries, wild strawberries, iodine, sappy herbs, and a touch of forest floor all emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Vineyard. Nicely balanced, it has a wonderful texture and sweet tannins, and is just a classy, complex Pinot Noir. Coming from a mix of clones (943, Calera, Pisoni, and Swan) and brought up in 61% new French oak, drink it over the coming 8-10 years.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
94pts Rich and plush, revealing a sinewy power to the dried cherry, macerated plum and red currant flavors. Luxuriantly spiced, with a long, creamy finish of cardamom, dried ginger and chocolate hints. Well-crafted and elegantly styled. Drink now through 2025.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
93pts Pale to medium ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Sierra Mar has aromas of baked rhubarb, crushed black cherries, redcurrants, clove, licorice and dried leaves with touches of citrus peel, tree bark, pipe tobacco and a very pretty floral undercurrent. The light to medium-bodied palate is über spicy and features well-tempered fruits, a grainy, fresh frame and long, floral finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
97pts Rich and ripe in aromas of red cherry, caramel and oak, this bottling is made elegant and complex from the crushed slate and stony qualities that thrive throughout. A concentrated Bing cherry flavor rings on the bone-dry palate, lifted by mint and more chiseled stone. This is amazingly ripe and delicious, yet hewn with impressive minerality.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Deep glistening red. Highly perfumed aromas of ripe red berries, incense and candied flowers, along with building Asian spice and mineral nuances. Vibrant, palate-staining raspberry, cherry cola and spicecake flavors take on subtle vanilla and floral pastille qualities as the wine opens up. Shows excellent delineation and finishes extremely long, sweet and lively, with just a hint of fine-grained tannins adding shape and grip.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts One of the standouts in the vintage is the 2017 Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Vineyard. This brilliant wine comes from more decomposed granite and gravelly soils and was brought up in 71% new French oak. Thrilling notes of crushed rocks, rose petals, gravelly minerality, and ample black cherry and black raspberry fruit all flow to layered, medium to full-bodied Pinot Noir that carries remarkable intensity yet stays weightless and balance. It’s pure class.
2016
Wine Spectator
James Laube
92pts Fragrant and perfumed, with floral scents and wilted rose, plum, cherry and raspberry flavors. This is smooth most of the way, though gravelly tannins on the finish add traction. Drink now through 2023.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
92pts Medium ruby, the 2016 Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Vineyard offers ripe raspberries, cranberries and rhubarb with notions of underbrush, potpourri, charcuterie and bitters hints. The medium-bodied palate is intense and broody with a grainy frame and just enough freshness on the long finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
93pts The nose on this single-vineyard expression combines ripe red fruits of pomegranate and raspberry with spicy Red Hots cinnamon candies. Bright red currant and more raspberry flavors explode on the palate, where nuances of Earl Grey tea, potpourri and rose petal flavors make for a fresh sip.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Vivid ruby. Aromas of black raspberry, cherry cola, candied licorice and mocha pick up a suave floral element with air. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering juicy red berry and floral pastille flavors that are sweetened by a building vanilla note. The cola note comes back steadily on an extremely long, penetrating finish framed by smooth, harmonious tannins.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
95pts The 2016 Pinot Noir Sierra Mar Vineyard is one of the more open, sexy wines in the lineup, yet it still has a classic elegance about it. Ripe cherries rose petals, ground herbs, and sous bois notes all flow to a medium-bodied, balanced, layered Pinot Noir that shows how good the Santa Lucia Highlands can be.
Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir
2018
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
94pts Harmonious, densely packed flavors of ripe dark fruits and Asian spice are layered with chocolate cream accents. Fleshy tannins and acidity power this version, leading to a long, rich finish that features concentrated minerally and underbrush notes. Drink now through 2026.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
98pts Coming from the warmer, southern end of the appellation and slightly more granitic soils, the 2018 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard is certainly my favorite in the lineup. Deep ruby/purple, with a smoking bouquet of red currants, wild strawberries, forest floor, violets, and spice, it has beautiful minerality, full-bodied richness, building structure, and a great, great finish. Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir doesn't get much better. This beauty will benefit from a year in bottle and drink brilliantly for a decade or more. Unfortunately, there are only 265 cases made.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
91pts Spicy, with subtle cardamom accents to the finely textured dried raspberry and cherry flavors. Vanilla accents show on the savory finish. Drink now through 2024.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
94pts Pale to medium ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard gives up wonderfully layered perfume of raspberry and strawberry jam, tangerine peel, dried leaves, amaro and loads of rose petal aromas with a super spicy undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate is über silky and intense with layers of fruit, spice, amaro and earth. It has a finely grained frame and addicting mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long and layered.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
96pts A bit lighter in the glass, this bottling from the iconic Pisoni Vineyard offers aromas of fresh strawberry, clove and mint on the beautiful nose. It’s bright and snappy on the palate with raspberry, pomegranate and red-plum-skin flavors that play against an earthy backdrop of bay leaf, menthol and forest floor.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
95pts Brilliant red. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes red fruit liqueur, incense and potpourri, along with suave vanilla and Asian spice nuances and a hint of cola. Concentrated yet lithe in style, offering palate-staining Chambord, cherry cola, spicecake and floral pastille flavors sharpened by a jolt of smoky minerality. Finishes sweet, smooth and impressively long, with building florality and discreet, well-knit tannins.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts In the same league, the 2017 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard (70% new French oak) has the most salinity as well as minerality in the lineup. Dusty earth, blackberries, violets, and rose garden-like characteristics all soar from the glass. It’s ethereal and elegant on the palate, yet has the classic Pisoni power and tension front and center. It will be better with a year of bottle age and keep for a decade. It’s another thrilling wine from winemaker Scott Shapley and the team at Roar.
2016
Wine Spectator
James Laube
93pts Pure, rich and layered, with extracted plum, blackberry, licorice, loamy, gravelly earth and cedary oak notes. Sails and sings, meriting room in the cellar. Drink now through 2025.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
93pts Medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard has a very pretty, floral nose: dried rose petals, potpourri, tangerine peel, graphite and woodsmoke mingle over a core of ripe red cherries, cranberries and blackberries. The intense, medium-bodied palate offers earth and bitters-tinged flavor layers with a finely grained frame and a very long, juicy finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
95pts Intensity is tantamount in this wine, starting with focused aromas of black raspberry, sun-warmed rose petals, spice cake and a slate-driven minerality. There is a strong acidic zip to the sip before it settles into a smooth groove, loaded with spice-soaked mulberry, Luxardo cherry and clove flavors.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Deep, brilliant red. Displays Intensely perfumed raspberry liqueur, potpourri and cola scents, along with a smoky mineral nuance that gains strength with air. Densely packed and alluringly sweet, with a bright core of minerality supporting sappy red berry preserve, spicecake, mocha and rose pastille flavors. Gains power with air while maintaining energy and focus and finishes very long and sweet, with smooth tannins building slowly and harmoniously with the wine's intense fruit.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
97pts Not far off the style of the Sierra Mar release, the 2016 Pinot Noir Pisoni Vineyard is tighter and more focused, yet has similar notes of beautiful red fruits, violets, and rose petals. Showing a thrilling sense of minerality with time in the glass, medium to full body, incredible elegance, and perfect balance, it’s another profound Pinot Noir from this team.
Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
2018
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts Always a great value, the 2018 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands reveals a vibrant ruby hue as well as ripe cherry and strawberry fruit intermixed with notes of shiitake mushroom, dried herbs, and some meaty, earthy notes. It's a slightly more finesse-driven wine than some of the single vineyards and is beautifully balanced, has good acidity, and unquestionably plays in the same qualitative ballpark as all of these releases.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
91pts Spicy, featuring finely textured dried raspberry and cherry tart flavors, accented by tea and cola notes. The minerally finish is focused and fresh-tasting, with some peppery hints. Drink now through 2022.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
91pts The pale to medium ruby colored 2017 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands gives up crushed black cherries, roasted cranberries and red berries with nuances of licorice, baking spices, forest floor and dried herbs. Medium-bodied and silky, that luscious fruit is well tempered with earthy accents in the mouth, with a soft, grainy, juicy frame and delicate finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
91pts Light and slightly cloudy in the glass, this appellation blend offers aromas of red plum, caramel, soy sauce and Chinese five spice on the nose. The palate is loaded with bright strawberry and red cherry, with oaky hints of caramel throughout.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
92pts Vivid red. Smoke-accented red berry, mocha, floral pastille and white pepper scents are energized by a building mineral topnote. Weighty yet lively, showing impressive clarity to the juicy, appealingly sweet raspberry, cherry and spicecake flavors, which open up slowly on the back half. Shows very good energy and solid thrust on a long, silky finish that shows just a trace of youthful tannins.
2016
Wine Spectator
James Laube
91pts Tight and savory, with a mix of forest floor, modestly ripe plum and wild berry flavors, firming on the finish. Best from 2019 through 2024.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
90pts Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands is scented of red currants and black cherries with a spicy background of cloves and cinnamon stick, plus a hint of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with juicy red berry and baking spice flavors, marked by soft tannins and oodles of acid freshness, finishing long.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
94pts This appellation blend is a wonderful look into the stunning wines being made by the Franscioni family. Beautiful aromas of candied black cherry and black raspberry are wrapped in bay leaf, violet, lavender and forest floor. The palate is rich and soft yet with powerful acidity, carrying lavish flavors of baked fruit, strong florality and tarragon spice.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
91pts Lurid ruby. Expressive aromas of raspberry, candied cherry, rose oil and spicecake. Supple and seamless on the palate, offering energetic red berry and bitter cherry flavors that deepen steadily and turn sweeter with air. The floral quality comes back steadily on a long, velvety finish that shows just a hint of fine-grained tannins.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts The base appellation 2016 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands is a beauty and certainly competes easily with the single vineyards. Brought up in 52% new French oak, it offers a beautiful perfume of black raspberries, black cherries, mulberries, and spice. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and silky, it’s one of the smoking values that readers should snatch up.
Rosella's Vineyard Chardonnay
2018
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts The 2018 Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard is slightly lighter colored and has more vibrant notes of white peach, nectarines, buttered lemons, and white flower. Medium to full-bodied and nicely concentrated, with good acidity, this beautiful Chardonnay spans the gap between the lean, Chablis style and the richer, full-bore, opulent style that California can do so well. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
90pts Plush and generously spiced, with buttery accents to the ripe white fruit flavors. The silky texture lingers into the creamy finish. Drink now through 2022.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
93pts The 2017 Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard has inviting scents of spiced golden apples, honey-drizzled hazelnuts, dried hay, cheese rind and mushroom hints with notes of white peaches, quince paste and white flowers. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with savory flavor layers wrapped in a satiny texture and lifted with great freshness, finishing long and textured.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
92pts Classically balanced Chardonnay aromas of toast with orange marmalade, poached white peach, warm butter and oak show on the nose of this single-vineyard expression. The fully flavored palate combines honeysuckle and plumeria with creamy peach, butter and oak, proving more soft and lush than crisp.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Glistening yellow. Pear nectar, melon, tangerine and toasty lees on the deeply perfumed nose, along with smoky mineral and floral nuances that gain strength as the wine opens up. Silky and broad in the mouth, offering impressively concentrated orchard and pit fruit flavors that take on sweet vanilla and fennel notes on the back half. Rich but lively, showing real energy and resonating florality on a very long, supple finish that shows a refreshingly spicy edge.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts The 2017 Chardonnay Rosella’s Vineyard comes from a cooler site located in the heart of the Santa Lucia Highlands and spent 14 months in a mix of new and used French oak. It offers richer notes of orchard fruit, caramelized citrus, white flowers, and brioche. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, elegant, and layered, with integrated acidity, it’s going to benefit from a year in bottle and keep for a decade.
2016
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
91pts A powerfully crisp and spicy white, with apple tart and dried pear flavors that feature some butter pastry accents. Creamy hints show on the finish. Drink now through 2022.
Wine Advocate
Lisa Perrotti-Brown
93+pts The 2016 Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard sings of fresh grapefruit, lemon tart and tangerine peel with suggestions of wet slate, baking bread, honeysuckle and coriander seed. Medium to full-bodied, it completely fills the palate with vibrant citrus layers, providing and satiny texture and great freshness, finishing on a persistent mineral note.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
92pts Golden apples, lime zest and lemon blossoms show strongly on the sunny nose of this bottling. The palate offers a tangy lemon-lime acidity and a chalky texture, proving racy and almost spicy with citrusy acidity.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts Leading off the Chardonnays, the 2016 Chardonnay Rosella's Vineyard is a true classic from this terroir. Vibrant smoky minerality, lots of orchard fruits and white flowers, and subtle oak all flow to a medium-bodied, racy yet concentrated 2016 that has fabulous balance. It’s an incredibly classy Chardonnay I’d be thrilled to drink any time over the coming 5-7 years, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it keep longer.
Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay
2018
Winespeed
Karen MacNeil
95pts Chardonnay is too often thought of in a binary way. Either big and voluptuous or sleek and elegant. Kim Kardashian or Audrey Hepburn. Take your pick. But many of the best California chardonnays counterintuitively (and mysteriously) span both worlds. Like this fantastic ROAR from the Soberanes Vineyard. As rich and languorous as crème brulee, it also soars with starbursts of lemony crispness and sparks of brightness and light. And as with a good white Burgundy, there’s also a subtle earthiness here too. Something grounding. Something to hold onto. Or something that holds on to you.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts Meyer lemons, nectarine, white flowers, and beautiful toast and green almond notes emerge from the 2018 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard, a stunner offering a concentrated yet pure, precise, elegant style on the palate that keeps you coming back to the glass. With good acidity, a touch of chalky minerality, and fabulous length, it's a brilliant wine from this team to enjoy over the coming 3-5 years. I suspect it will keep even longer.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
91pts Features hints of dried apricot, dried pineapple and jasmine to the ripe white fruit flavors. There’s minerally richness on the spicy and well-structured finish. Drink now through 2023.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
93+pts Youthfully shy, the 2017 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard very slowly gives glimpses of chamomile, white peach, raw almonds, hay and touches of lemon peel and crème fraîche. The palate is medium to full-bodied, walking a lovely line between bright citrus and floral character and those honeyed, savory undertones, with mouthwatering acidity carrying the very long, layered finish. I expect this will grow in amplitude in bottle, so give it a bit more time before popping the cork.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
93pts Golden pear, browned butter and white-peach aromas are kissed by oak on the nose of this rich but balanced bottling. The creamy mouthfeel and poached apple flavors are leveled by lemon zest and a fresh tension, making the wine simultaneously lush and taut.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Pale gold. A highly perfumed, sharply focused bouquet evokes fresh citrus and orchard fruits, iodine, sweet butter and white flowers, and a hint of toasty lees emerges as the wine opens up. Taut and sharply detailed on the palate, showing superb tension to the Meyer lemon, Anjou pear and buttered toast flavors, which pick up smoky mineral and floral nuances on the back half. Powerful and deeply concentrated yet vibrant as well, finishing impressively long and nervy, with resonating floral and mineral notes. It’s remarkable that these are still young vines.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
95pts The 2017 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard showed beautifully, with lots of white flowers, crushed rocks, brioche, and tons of stone fruits. With terrific minerality, a balanced, layer texture, integrated acidity, and a great finish, it’s another brilliant white from this team.
2016
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
90pts A sleek white, with a floral aroma and a crystalline quality to the well-structured white fruit flavors. Hints of lavender and peach show on the rich finish. Drink now through 2022.
Wine Advocate
Lisa Perrotti-Brown
92pts The 2016 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard delivers invigorating grapefruit, pineapple and nectarine scents with suggestions of clotted cream, chalk dust and fresh ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers a great intensity of citrus and tropical layers with a lively backbone and mineral-laced finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
94pts Tightly woven on the nose, this single-vineyard expression shows aromas of Meyer lemon pith, tangerine spray, lime zest and almond cream. The palate is fresh and zesty in lime and grapefruit flavors, but a backdrop of smooth nut butter and poached nectarine brings it all together.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Transparent yellow-gold. Potent scents of orange, pear nectar, smoky minerals and white flowers carry a spicy ginger overtone. Juicy, tightly focused and energetic on the palate, offering intense, mineral-laced citrus and orchard fruit flavors that are complicated by chamomile and buttered toast flourishes. Shows impressive thrust and clarity on the finish, which clings with strong, mineral-dominated tenacity.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts The 2016 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard offers a distinct salinity as well as beautiful white flowers and citrus fruits. Clean, pure, medium-bodied, and elegant, it shows tons of spicy characteristics (as well as that salty minerality) with additional time in the glass. It too will keep for at least 7-8 years.
Sierra Mar Vineyard Chardonnay
2018
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
93pts Stylish and well-crafted, with concentrated ripe white fruit flavors, accented by lemon drop notes. Buttered toast and flan details show on the creamy finish, complemented by hints of dried tarragon. Drink now through 2025.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
95pts There are three Chardonnay. Starting with the 2018 Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard, it's a mix of the Hyde and Monty clones and saw 38% new French oak. Its medium gold hue gives way to rich, impressively textured effort that has a touch of Burgundian vibe in its stone fruits, melon, brioche, toasted bread, and peach aromas and flavors. Nicely textured, with integrated acidity, background oak, and outstanding length, it's the biggest, richest Chardonnay in the lineup. It needs air to show at its best and I suspect will be even better this time next year.
2017
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
92pts Opulent, featuring intense pear and apple tart flavors, with accents of ripe tropical fruit. Hazelnut overtones emerge midpalate, with a buttery finish. Drink now through 2023.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
94pts The 2017 Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard has very pretty scents of dried chamomile, honeycomb, apple pie, toast and loads of honey-nut aromas over a peachy core. The palate is medium to full-bodied, intense and savory, with a silky texture and mouthwatering acidity to lift the very long, honeyed finish. This is savory Chardonnay with the volume turned up!
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
91pts Toasted brioche and lemon-apple foam aromas make for a very voluptuous yet restrained nose on this bottling. Seared lemon peel, oak smoke and roasted apple flavors complete the experience on the palate.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Shimmering green-hued yellow. Vibrant, mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruit, smoky lees and iodine scents on the highly perfumed nose, along with a suave floral nuance that builds with air. Chewy and focused on the palate, offering concentrated pear, nectarine and bitter quinine flavors and a sweeter honeydew melon quality that emerges on the back half. Finishes minerally, focused and impressively long, displaying resonating florality and a hint of salinity.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts Apple blossom, stone fruits, crushed rocks, and spice notes all emerge from the 2017 Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard, a big, rich, powerful, opulent Chardonnay. With good acidity, a stacked mid-palate, and a great finish, powerful yet beautifully balanced Chardonnay does everything right.
2016
Wine Spectator
Kim Marcus
89pts Fresh acidity supports the white fruit flavors and coconut cream accents, with pastry and buttery notes on the finish. Drink now through 2021.
Wine Advocate
Lisa Perrotti-Brown
92+pts The 2016 Chardonnay Sierra Mar is beautifully scented of honey drizzled peaches, key lime pie and pink grapefruit with touches of coriander seed, wet slate and fresh ginger. Full-bodied and full-on seductive in the mouth, the generously fruited palate has a refreshing line to balance plus a gorgeous creaminess texturing the long finish.
Wine Enthusiast
Matt Kettmann
94pts With an array of butter and cream elements on the nose, this bottling shows just enough richness to appease many Chardonnay fans, but not so much to overwhelm those seeking a brighter, lemony edge. It's crisp and clean on the palate, where butter takes a backseat to tangy lemon and mandarin orange flavors, with light crème brûlée on the finish.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Brilliant straw-yellow. Aromas of poached pear and nectarine are complicated by orange zest, toasty lees and floral nuances. Sappy and broad on the palate, offering ripe citrus and orchard fruit, sweet butter and honeysuckle flavors that pick up a spicy flourish on the back half. Hints of anise and ginger emerge on a very long, plush, smoky finish that echoes the floral and citrus fruit notes.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
95pts Even better, the sensational 2016 Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard offers notes of dried pineapple, orchard fruits, white flowers, and smoky minerality. About as pure and seamless as they come, with perfect balance, it’s another jaw-droppingly good Chardonnay from this estate.
Rosella's Vineyard Syrah
2018
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts There are a tiny 12 cases of the 2018 Syrah Rosella's Vineyard, which comes from a mix of the Alan and Bien Nacido clones and was brought up in just 30% new French oak. This cooler site has produced a peppery, spicy Syrah with lots of white pepper, cured meats, spring flowers, and graphite-like aromatics. These carry to a medium-bodied, elegant Syrah that's still tight and relatively closed on the palate, yet it shows beautiful purity and elegance. Give bottles 2-3 years and it's going to evolve for a solid decade. It tastes like a Côte Rôtie made in California.
2017
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
94pts Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2017 Syrah Rosella's Vineyard, made with 30% whole cluster, slowly offers glimpses of blackcurrants, boysenberries, blackberry pie, crushed stone, licorice and loamy earth accented by notes of white pepper, roasted meats, dried herbs and olives. Full-bodied, it explodes with savory-kissed black and blue fruits, firmly framed and very fresh, finishing long and dense. Give this another 2-3 years in bottle.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Deep bright-rimmed violet. Pungent, spice-laced black and blue fruit, floral, olive paste and smoked meat aromas, along with a building licorice quality. Stains the palate with intense black currant, cherry preserve, violet pastille and smoky bacon flavors that turn spicier on the back half. Smooth, well-knit tannins frame the impressively long, spicy finish, which strongly repeats the floral and olive notes. There’d be no extra points for guessing which variety this is when blind tasting.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts Gary commented that Syrah handled the Labor Day heatwave better in the Santa Lucia Highlands because it didn’t go through veraison until Sept 1st and was less affected by the heat. The 2017 Syrah Rosella’s Vineyard reveals a deep purple color as well racy notes of black and blue fruit, bacon fat, orange zest, and graphite. Rich, full-bodied, and powerful, it shows more olive and bouquet garni notes with time in the glass, has beautiful acidity, no hard edges, and a great finish.
2016
Wine Spectator
TF?
90pts Burly and dense, with deep blackberry, licorice and garrigue flavors that build tension toward broad tannins. Best from 2020 through 2026.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
92pts Deep ruby-purple, the 2016 Syrah Rosella's Vineyard offers cassis, Morello cherries, pencil shavings, milk chocolate, bay leaves and floral perfume on the nose. The full-bodied palate offers intense but lifted fruits, a firm, grainy frame and just enough freshness to carry the long finish.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Dark purple. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes black and blue fruits, incense and pungent flowers, and smoky mineral, vanilla and licorice nuances add complexity. Stains the palate with appealingly sweet blueberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors that are given lift and bite by zesty acidity and a jolt of cracked pepper. Finishes on a youthfully tannic note, showing strong, spicy lift and floral-tinged persistence.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94pts There are three Syrahs, all outstanding. The 2016 Syrah Rosella's Vineyard has the most cool-climate vibe and offers up lots of peppery herbs, olive, peach pit, and bacon fat notes. It has terrific fruit, medium body, beautiful acidity, and a great finish.
Garys' Vineyard Syrah
2018
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts I always love what this estate does with this vineyard. The 2018 Syrah Garys’ Vineyard is another classic cool-climate Syrah loaded with notions of white pepper, smoked game, leafy herbs, violets, and green olives. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautiful on the palate, with a core of ripe black raspberry fruit, it has a bloody, salty, exotic character, gorgeous purity of fruit, silky tannins, and a great finish. A remarkable, complex, layered beauty that does everything right, it’s ideal for drinking any time over the coming 7-8 years or more.
2017
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
94pts The 2017 Syrah Garys' Vineyard, containing a 1% splash of Viognier and made with 30% whole cluster, has a medium to deep ruby-purple color and a layered nose of crème de cassis, olive, game meats, red cherry liqueur, roast coffee, dark chocolate and clove aromas and a classy framing of new oak. The full-bodied palate has explosive flavor layers and a firmer, albeit finely grained frame, with just enough freshness to lift the very long, dense finish. This will benefit from another 2-3 years in bottle.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Inky ruby. Fresh, spice-accented black and blue fruit preserve, potpourri and incense qualities on the highly perfumed nose, along with hints of woodsmoke, olive and vanilla. Silky, seamless and penetrating on the palate, offering deeply concentrated blackberry, boysenberry, candied violet and spicecake flavors that become livelier with aeration. Rich yet also lithe in style, finishing smooth and alluringly sweet, with slow-mounting tannins, lingering florality and wonderful persistence.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
95+pts The 2017 Syrah Garys’ Vineyard has a more classic bouquet of cured meats, spice, dried earth, currants, iron. It’s another rich, medium to full-bodied Syrah with wonderful balance, building tannins, and a great finish. It too opens up nicely with time in the glass and will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age.
2016
Wine Spectator
TF?
92pts Plump, featuring focused and dense currant, tarragon and smoky beef flavors, with licorice and cracked pepper notes, building toward refined tannins. Best after 2019.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
92pts The 2016 Syrah Garys' Vineyard is deep ruby-purple with bombastic cassis, warm blackberries, bay leaves, bitter chocolate and hints of red cherries and dried flowers with a sweet spice undercurrent. The firm, grainy palate is full-bodied with well-tempered fruits and minty accents, finishing long and dense with just enough freshness. Give this another couple years in bottle.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Opaque ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits, olive paste, violet and peppery spices on the deeply perfumed nose. Weighty, sweet and seamless in texture, offering palate-staining blueberry, cherry liqueur, floral pastille and spicecake flavors that tighten up steadily with air. Powerful yet energetic as well, showing powerful finishing thrust and mounting tannins that shape the extremely long, blue-fruit- and floral-driven finish.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
95pts The 2016 Syrah Garys' Vineyard offers a more savory style in its currant and mulberry fruits, dried earth, beef blood, black olive, and peppery spice. Reminding me of a Cornas from the likes of Jean-Luc Colombo, this medium to full-bodied, concentrated Syrah has ripe tannins, notable concentration, and a great finish. It does everything right and has a decade of prime drinking ahead of it.
Sierra Mar Vineyard Syrah
2018
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
96pts Another tiny production cuvée (there are 122 cases), the 2018 Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard comes from a site in the relative middle of the appellation and was aged all in neutral oak. Ruby/plum-hued, with rocking notes of smoked red and black fruits, ground herbs, cured meats, and crushed rocks, this Hermitage look-alike is medium to full-bodied, has a rich, expansive mouthfeel, plenty of tannins, and a great finish. It doesn't show the elegance of the Rosella's yet brings more power. It's another singular, gorgeous wine. Drink it over the coming decade.
2017
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
94pts Medium to deep ruby purple, the 2017 Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard was made with 30% whole cluster and contains 1% Viognier. It's stubbornly closed on the nose to begin, taking its sweet time to reveal scents of dried violet, crème de cassis, blackberry pie, cardamom, crushed blueberries and nuances of coffee, smoke and charcuterie. It’s full-bodied, rich and intense with a firm frame of detailed tannins and great freshness to lift the long, still tightly coiled finish. Give it another few years in bottle.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Vivid purple. A highly complex bouquet evokes dark berry and cherry preserves, candied flowers and spicecake, and a smoky mineral nuance builds in the glass. Fleshy and energetic in the mouth, offering densely packed blueberry, cherry cola and violet pastille flavors that show sharp definition and tension. Supple and appealingly sweet on the long, floral-accented finish, which is framed by velvety, even tannins.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
97pts Co-fermented with just a splash of Viognier, the 2017 Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard was 70% destemmed and aged 16 months in barrel. It offers the most classic Northern Rhône-like (Côte Rôtie?) bouquet of black and blue fruits, violets, black raspberries, violets, and flowers. Full-bodied, elegant and layered on the palate, with fine tannins, this brilliant Syrah ranks with the finest I’ve tasted from this estate. It’s already hard to resist yet will benefit from a year or three and keep for over a decade.
2016
Wine Spectator
TF?
92pts Deeply structured and brooding, featuring blackberry and currant flavors laced with stony mineral, black olive and bay leaf notes that build intensity toward broad-shouldered tannins. Best from 2020 through 2026.
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
92pts Deep ruby-purple, the 2016 Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard offers up baked blackcurrants and blackberries with notes of mint chocolate, white pepper, dried herbs and floral perfume. The full-bodied palate offers intense but well-managed fruits with a grainy frame and good freshness on the long finish.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
94pts Vivid ruby. Aromas of black raspberry, cherry cola, candied licorice and mocha pick up a suave floral element with air. Sweet and broad on the palate, offering juicy red berry and floral pastille flavors that are sweetened by a building vanilla note. The cola note comes back steadily on an extremely long, penetrating finish framed by smooth, harmonious tannins.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
94+pts The deep purple-colored 2016 Syrah Sierra Mar Vineyard is another winner, offering plenty of black and blue fruits, violets, and tapenade notes. Medium-bodied, vibrant, and fresh, with good acidity, give it another year or two, and it will keep through 2028.
Sierra Mar Vineyard Viognier
2018
Wine Advocate
Erin Brooks
92pts The 2018 Viognier Sierra Mar Vineyard is a great example of California Viognier—classically styled and gregarious but showing great restraint and freshness for its ripeness level. The nose offers loads of honeysuckle, orange blossom and floral perfume with accents of white pepper, beeswax, Bosc pear, fresh quince and wet stone, complete with a minerally undercurrent. The medium to full-bodied palate is fresh, textured and perfumed with a long finish. Lovely!
2017
Wine Spectator
Maryann Worobiec
90pts Concentrated, with smooth dried apricot and mango flavors that show off vanilla bean and floral notes. Fresh acidity keeps the flavors focused and refreshing. Drink now.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
92pts Light green-tinged yellow. Deep-pitched aromas of ripe orchard and pit fruits are complicated by hints of honey, dusty minerals and fennel. Broad and fleshy on the palate, offering sappy pear nectar, mango, tangerine and honeysuckle flavors that show excellent clarity and spicy lift. The round, supple finish hangs on with strong tenacity, leaving exotic fruit and floral notes behind. This would be a fantastic wine to serve with cow’s-milk blue cheese or washed-rind cheese, or a foie gras terrine.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
91pts The 2017 Viognier Sierra Mar Vineyard is a terrific expression of this variety, offering clean, crisp notes of white flowers, white peach, and citrus blossom in its medium-bodied, fresh style. Drink it over the coming 3-4 years.
2016
Wine Advocate
Lisa Perrotti-Brown
92pts The 2016 Viognier Sierra Mar Vineyard has a beautifully floral nose of roses and honeysuckle over a core of apricots and allspice. Medium to full-bodied, it has a gorgeous oily texture with tons of spice and stone fruit layers, finishing with great length.
Vinous
Josh Raynolds
93pts Light green-tinged yellow. Penetrating scents of fresh citrus and tropical fruits are joined by hints of chalky minerals, ginger and peach nectar. Juicy and deeply concentrated but lively in the mouth, offering intense mango, tangerine, white peach and anise flavors that show impressive drive and clarity. A sexy floral note appears on the incisive finish, which clings with outstanding persistence.
Jeb Dunnuck
Jeb Dunnuck
92-94pts Showing the more round, supple, yet concentrated style of the vintage, the 2016 Viognier Sierra Mar Vineyard offers textbook, tropical, floral and exotic notes in its layered, ripe, sexy style. It should be a step up over the 15.