8 Best Sonoma Wines from 2016 & 2017 Vintages

“Climate change is making itself felt in vineyards around the world as winemakers do what they can to adjust,” says Erin Brooks in the first installment of her extensive Sonoma report, entitled, “The Great Divide.” “But as the 2017 vintage in Sonoma shows, great winemaking isn’t just about what happens in the cellar—it’s the ability to react to unexpected events in the vineyard.”

Indeed, in terms of weather, 2017 was downright brutal for the state of California: heavy rains fell in the winter and spring and was followed up with brutal heat in September and devastating wildfires in October. Nevertheless, winemakers made the most of the hand they were dealt—check out the the top eight of the 2017 vintage below.

“Medium to full-bodied, it's wonderfully concentrated in the mouth with tricolored fruit and peachy goodness, framed by firm, grainy tannins and mouthwatering acidity, finishing very long.”

“Very deep, opaque purple-black in color, the 2016 Syrah Vellutini Ranch opens with aromas of bitter chocolate and violets with blueberry jam, blackberry and black cherry pie, boysenberry, olive and bacon fat—an incredible array of fruit and savory layers on the nose.”

Wow that's good! 

“Wonderfully concentrated in the mouth with spiced fruits, despite its only light to medium weight, it's framed by very fine, grainy tannins and juicy acidity, with a long, layered finish.”

“Pale to medium ruby in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyard has a singular nose of dried violets, prosciutto, perfumed earth, potpourri and dried leaves with briary black fruits, bergamot and pipe tobacco—so many layers!”

“Medium to full-bodied, it offers dense black fruits in the mouth with savory accents, firmly framed by grainy tannins and just enough freshness to carry all that denseness of flavor.”

“The 2016 Syrah Chico's Hill has a very deep, opaque, purple-black color and nose of blueberry liqueur, black cherry and berry jam, boysenberry, smoked meats, cracked pepper and violets with underlying savory olive notions.”

“I could smell this all day.”

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