Transformed in 70's from beer-drinking grad student to wine enthusiast by a religious experience with a fine Margaux. Still relish the occasional bone-jarring Zinfandel, however. Now living in Russian River area. See my wine reviews at

WineborkDotCom's Wines

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  • May 11, 2011 at 4:39pm

    Previously available for $0.00

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added May 11, 2011 at 4:39pm
    This lovely wine is 50% Zinfandel from the Carrarro Vineyard in Dry Creek, and 50% Arbouriou from the Sherri Martinelli Vineyard on Martinelli Road in the Russian River Valley. Big, spicy, expressive nose that has some resemblance to a southern Rhone wine, though with a lot more fruit - blueberry jam, raspberry, dark cherry - as well as a touch of vanilla and lively herb/spice nuances like mint, sage, and cardamom. Round, full, and straight-ahead in the mouth with a fruit-dominated finish. Fun and unusual wine, and drinking beautifully in its youth.

  • Feb 16, 2011 at 1:32am

    Previously available for $32.00

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Feb 16, 2011 at 1:32am
    The 2007 Sterling Family Vineyard Pinot is similar in many respects to the 2006 , but has a riper, richer mouth feel and more meat on its bones. Even so, it maintains a highly Burgundian feel with its earthiness, acid level, low alcohol, and firm texture. Lovely, complex perfume of wild berry, cranberry, cherry, and dried roses, along with hints of charcoal, pine resin, and wood. There is also an attractive level of sweet spice reminiscent of nutmeg and cinnamon. Elegant and silky though still slightly tight in the mouth, the wine mellows and deepens nicely with airing.

  • Feb 16, 2011 at 1:29am

    Previously available for $28.00

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Feb 16, 2011 at 1:29am
    The Bei du Rocchi Ranch is located near Cazadero in the Sonoma Coast appellation, not exactly the first place one would go looking for top-flight Cabernet. But the 2005 Two Rock Block red wine from this vineyard - a 100% Cabernet in this vintage - is absolutely delicious. An almost Zin-like fruit density in the nose is followed by rich flavors of dark berries and currant jam along with subtle touches of eucalyptus, sage, and vanilla. Round and full in the mouth, beautifully structured for aging, with a lush finish. As good as the 2004 is, I think the 2005 is even better.

  • Feb 3, 2011 at 2:40pm

    Previously available for $28.00

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Feb 3, 2011 at 2:40pm
    The '07 Old World Winery Field Blend comes from a different vineyard source than in previous years, and has a different varietal makeup, but maintains the delectable, fruit-dominated style of the earlier vintages. More similar to the intensely fruity '05 than the somewhat leaner '06, the '07 displays a delightful perfume of blueberry liqueur, dark cherry, vanilla, roasted figs, and a hefty measure of earthy, complex spiciness that suggests coriander, cardamom, and cinnammon. It is full and pure in the mouth despite a hint of volatile acidity in the first sip; this dissipates quickly with time as the fruit and richness take over. As in the past, the flavors and texture remind me of an energetic, fruit-forward Australian Shiraz, despite the fact that there is no Syrah in the '07 blend whatsoever. There's plenty of balancing acidity to keep this wine fresh and food-friendly.

  • Dec 6, 2010 at 1:29pm

    Previously available for $0.00

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Jan 18, 2010 at 1:46am
    (Review of Nov. 2010.) I've been drinking this Zinfandel for more than 5 years now. Remarkably, it just seems to be getting better - almost unheard of for a Zinfandel this old. The wine has always been much more Pinot-like than the bruiser 2001 Pena Creek (which had 1.6% higher alcohol), and in its youth I thought it almost too soft and unstructured. But now (late 2010) at age 8, it's firmed up, if anything, and is an absolutely delicious Zin full of ripe plum and berry fruit along with cinammon/clove-like spiciness, good ripeness, and a texture soft as silk. In recent tastings I've ranked it at least 2 - 3 points higher than I did in its younger years. It's still Pinot-like in terms of power-level, but there is scarcely a sign of fading fruit or cedary overtones in this old-timer. It will be interesting to see how long it can keep up the magic. [Note: as of November 2010, this wine is still available from the winery.]

  • Nov 14, 2010 at 12:41am

    Previously available for $89.00

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Nov 14, 2010 at 12:40am
    This spectacular Chardonnay is just entering its prime, and will be there for some years to come. Tremendous freshness and energy and transparency in the aromas and flavors of caramelized nuts, honey, pear, lemon peel, mineral water and subtle white flowers. Lingering finish carries a hint of toastiness, but all is in harmony in this crisp, pure, wonderful white.

  • Aug 22, 2010 at 1:52pm

    Previously available for $19.99

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Aug 22, 2010 at 1:52pm
    Energetic, crisp, refreshing, tasty, and very well-priced. Classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with pungent herbal qualitites buttressed by pink grapefruit flavors and tropical undertones. Lively acidity, light and bright in the mouth and finish. Really good summertime wine, really good food wine.

  • Aug 20, 2010 at 5:02pm
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    Average Price: $57.95

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Aug 20, 2010 at 5:02pm
    A superb and fairly-priced Pinot Noir, not far behind the quality level of the outstanding single-vineyard Pinot's from Dutton-Goldfield. Beautifully balanced, concentrated, energetic wine, delicious even in its infancy. Perfumed nose and flavors highlighted by candied cherry, plum, strawberry, rose blossoms, Asian herbs, charcoal. Round and elegant in the mouth even at this early age, and with a long, fruit-filled finish.

  • Aug 20, 2010 at 4:45pm
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    Average Price: $9.25

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Aug 18, 2010 at 1:14pm
    This wine is rated favorably by Parker and others, but struck me as borderline unpleasant. Maybe my taste buds were in an off-kilter state, but this wine smelled and tasted to me like a combination of medicinal cherry fruit and overcooked asparagus. Reminded me of an old-time jug wine or mediocre airlines wine. Even for the price, I'd look elsewhere.

  • Aug 13, 2010 at 1:15pm
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    Average Price: $144.99

    WineborkDotCom's Review:
    Added Aug 13, 2010 at 1:15pm
    This entry level Malbec from Alamos is fairly priced, though to my taste it doesn't measure up in price/quality ratio to some of the excellent Alamos wines I've had in the past. Dark purple in color, it is still obviously youthful and therefore a little harsh, but there is a ripe-feeling and balanced texture. Perhaps the wine is closed at this point, but in the mouth the raspberry/blackberry fruit is barely detectable. The wine may come alive in time, but for now it's relatively uninteresting.

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