skip to Main Content

Tis the Season for SYRAH!

Merry Christmas to me … so I opened a bottle of my favorite varietal tonight! SYRAH!!!! I do believe that I picked a nice one!

Sol Rouge (red soil in French) is a winery located in the Red Hill Lake County appellation, which was designated in 2004. Their seventy- acre estate contains rich red volcanic soil. That would explain the name chosen for Bryan and Jill Kane’s winery!

I wasn’t familiar with Sol Rouge until this bottle, but I’m thankful that I stumbled across it. Located in California’s Lake County (north of Napa County), the winery produces wines using varietals from France’s Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. It also uses a lot of France’s viticulture principals; letting the high elevation vineyards do much of the work.

The ruby red 2011 Sol Rouge Syrah has aromas of raspberry and violet. With flavors of black raspberry, black current, and some black pepper, it is very well balanced with smooth, yet structured, tannins. Sol Rouge has created a very enjoyable wine, and I will seek out more of this and their other wines.

They have a conveniently located tasting room on famed Treasure Island in San Francisco for those who can’t get up to Lake County.

To learn more about Sol Rouge and their wines, check out there website here:

Hawk and Horse Vineyards 2009 Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon

Lake County is an up and coming region getting a lot of recognition for making some great wines.  Within the larger Lake County AVA is another up and coming AVA called Red Hills.  Nestled in an area of rolling hills on the southwestern shore of Clear Lake (the largest natural lake in California), Red Hills AVA has soil made up of 90% volcanic properties, creating wonderful ground for both Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

I tried a wine last week from this region that was new to me.  The winery, Hawk and Horse Vineyards, is located in Lower Lake, CA and is Certified Organic and is also Demeter Certified Biodynamic.  The wine, their 2009 Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, is delicious!  The color is a deep garnet purple.  Aromas of black currant and tobacco rise from the glass.  On the palate are deep ripe plum, a wet wood essence, some wet earth and sweet but elegant tannins.  The finish is of white pepper.

This is a very well structured and balanced wine.  I’m totally impressed and look forward to trying more of Hawk and Horse Vineyards offerings.

You can check out their website here:

Back To Top