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Today we’re reviewing six bottles from Sonoma County’s Moon Mountain District, located in the Mayacamas Mountains, between the Sonoma and Napa Valleys and is known for its steep slopes and rocky soils.
We’ll be reviewing the wines themselves, talking a little about what makes this area tick, and then I’ll be providing some pairing suggestions to ensure you get the most out of these lovely wines.
The Where – Sonoma County, California
Despite only having produced wine commercially since the end of the 19th century, California has become one of world’s most prestigious and profitable wine regions. Within California itself, Sonoma County is perhaps the most important areas to the state’s booming wine industry, with Sonoma itself being one of the world’s top producers of fine wine.
The key to the Sonoma’s success is no secret, as the region is blessed with truly unique terroir. The region is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Mayacamas Mountains, creating an almost tailormade microclimate for viticulture. The soils are a rich combination of sedimentary and volcanic, providing perfect conditions for producing a wide variety of high-quality wine grapes. This combination also allows the area to produce a wide range of grape varieties from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
These wines are characterized by their complexity and depth of flavor, and by their wide range of styles, ranging from light and fruity whites to full-bodied reds. The area’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are particularly renowned for their elegance and finesse. The cooler areas of the region also produce some noteworthy sparkling wines and dessert wines.
The Bottles – A Showcase
- Up first, we’ve got Repris 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Heritage Cloneses.
- Next, we’ll be taking a look at Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon.
- After that, we’ll be sampling Lasseter Moon Mountain District Sonoma County 2018 Syrah.
- The B Wise Moon Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is next up for review.
- Followed by the Kamen 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon.
- We’ll be ending today’s series of reviews with the Stone Edge Farm 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley.
Aromatics and Tasting – The Review
The Repris 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Heritage Clones is a well-crafted, full-bodied red wine. On the nose, the wine offers aromas of dark fruit and sweet spices, along with hints of leather, tobacco, and cedar. On the palate, the wine is rich and mouth-filling, with flavors of ripe blackberry, plum, and mocha. The finish is long and smooth, with copious tannins and crisp acidity. This is an excellent example of a classic Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon starts with a bouquet of lush dark fruit off the top of the glass, punctuated by fresh tobacco leaf and notes of cedar deeper into the glass. On second sampling, what I’ll describe as blackberry jam and notes of cigar box manifest. On the palate, the wine is thoroughly full-bodied, and very well textured, carrying flavors of ripe currants with a dusting of cocoa powder, and just a hint of dark berries in the background. The wine coats the mouth, and ends on a lasting finish, though it doesn’t overstay its welcome. A simply delicious wine.
The Lasseter Moon Mountain District Sonoma County 2018 Syrah introduces itself with aromas of mixed berries off the top of the glass, think ripe blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry. Deeper into the glass, there are notes of white pepper and dried herbs, with perhaps just a hint of cracked leather. On the palate, the wine full-to-heavy bodied, with pleasant acidity, and offers flavors of dark fruit, baking spices, along with toasted oak and ‘something smokey.’ The finish is lasting, and features a velvety smooth texture, with copious tannins. To my mind, this is simply an outstanding representation of Sonoma County Syrah.
The B Wise Moon Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 opens up with aromas of dark fruit and sweet spices, along with hints of leather, tobacco, and cedar. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and well-balanced, with flavors of mixed dark fruit and berries, along with ripe juicy plum, and ‘something jammy.’ Coupled with a medium finish, and full and pleasant mouthfeel, this is a delightfully pleasant and utterly unpretentious Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. Excellent.
The Kamen 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon greets with a nose of dark fruit, fresh tobacco leaf, and charred cedar, carried on a dense bouquet of blackberry jam and cigar box. On the palate, the wine is instantly ‘silky,’ coating the mouth, and carrying ripe dark fruit, coco, and faint – though noticeable – herbal notes.
The Stone Edge Farm 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley is what I’ll describe quite plainly as well-crafted and well-structured, that does things ‘by the book.’ On the nose, the wine offers aromas of dark fruit and sweet spices, veiling hints of dried leather, tobacco, and cedar. Mixed dark fruit, ripe cherries, and faint notes of spice round out the palate, carried on a medium-to-heavy body that’s masterfully textured. Ending on a pleasant finish that left me craving a second sip, this bottle was thoroughly enjoyed.
Pairing Suggestions – What to Eat
- With the Cabernet Sauvignons. The go-to pairing for Sonoma County cabernet sauvignon is grilled steak. The bold flavors and rich texture of the cabernet sauvignon excellently complement the richness and heaviness of the steak, and does so without either being overpowered, or itself overpowering. You might also consider hardy stews, red sauces over pasta, or spicy dishes. This bold, think substantial, and think flavorful when pairing food with Sonoma County cabernet.
- With the Syrah. To my mind, the best pairings for Sonoma County Syrah include hearty stews, braised meats, and aged cheeses. Consider something like my Braised Rib Stew, which features short ribs stewed with chilis, onions, and plenty of veggies over rigatoni. Syrah is also a great accompaniment for something like a lush charcuterie board, where cured meat and sharp cheeses are allowed to complement the beautiful flavor profile of the Syrah.
And that’s my review of this selection of Moon Mountain wines from Sonoma County. If you enjoyed this review, and would like to see more content like this, let us know in the comments below, we love hearing from you! Also, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe!
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