The Latest Reviews of Sheldon Wines
by Kerry Winslow, grapelive.com
2007 Sheldon Wines, Deviant Velocity, California.
This remarkably elegant and vibrant red is unbelievably 100% Petite Sirah from near Lodi, but such is the deft winemaking that you’d almost never guess the grape or region, even though it is worth mentioning that the vineyard site is completely unique as it is limestone soil and sits below sea level. All of these factors shine through of this medium weight Rhone like wine that shows bright blueberry, tangy boysenberry and juicy plum fruits with pepper and sweet spices along with hints of briar, mineral and bitter chocolate. This wine dances on the palate and lingers well on the finish with just a hint of tannin. This under 14% wine is well balanced and has all come together nicely and should drink gracefully for many years to come, this is a truly special example of Petite Sirah.
($28 Est) 93 Points, grapelive
2008 Sheldon Wines, Vinolocity, Proprietary Red.
The Sheldon’s are Grenache fiends and adore the grape, so it is the flagship wine in their line up, the Vinolocity and their passion and love for this grape shows deeply in this artisan wine crafted from vines at the Voglzang Vineyard in Santa Ynez. Dylan and Tobe started their winery wanting to make wines that showed the essence of their much loved Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, they even spent part of their honeymoon working with Louis Barruol at Chateau St. Cosme, which is the oldest estate in Gigondas with some of the most interesting terroir and vines in the region, not only that St. Cosme makes some of the greatest Grenache wines in the world, and from that experience Sheldon Wines was born and has led to their Vinolocity wines based on Grenache. The 2008 Sheldon Vinolocity is vibrant and sweetly elegant showing framboise and kirsch along with strawberry and pomegranate fruit while pepper and fennel add contrast and spice. Silky smooth and lengthy this Grenache is framed by subtle wood and nice acidity with lingering plum and lavender.
92+ Points, grapelive
2009 Sheldon Wines, Weatherly Cuvee, Old Vine Field Blend, California.
This vintage of “Weatherly Cuvee” is 50% Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Calistoga Petite Sirah from vines that average 70 years old and was fermented on Viognier skins and aged in neutral French oak barrels. It is really hard not to love this wine just for the label and elegant wax capsule, but the wine inside is stunning and full of fruit, life and charm with violets, blueberry, sage, tobacco leaf, blackberry, plum and cassis all bursting from the glass. This perfumed and medium weight red shows fresh red, black and blue fruits and has excellent balance and length with touches of earth, spice and mineral. This is a great drinking wine now, though I should think a bit of cellar time with have rewards as well, the Sheldon’s are really making some fantastic wines and this one is especially pleasing and graceful.
($42 Est.) 93-94 Points, grapelive
2009 Sheldon Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County.
I have watched this wine from barrel to bottle with great interest and it just continues to gain in class and depth with intriguing flavors and old school or old world character. While in barrel it was heady with perfume and Loire Franc like spiciness and acidity, but while keeping those qualities it has gained real Cabernet Sauvignon grip and force, pushing it along and reminds of the 1970’s Joseph Phelps Cabs, wines that showed California fruit but had Bordeaux like grace and refined tannins. Not a modern port like rich Cab, but a wine to enjoy with a meal that while deep and darkly flavored it never feels overly heavy or over-oaked. From an old vine plot of Cab in Dry Creek Valley the 2009 Sheldon Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County is a graceful wine with acacia flowers, cigar box, cedar and pepper leading to blackberry, tangy plum, currant and kirsch while melted licorice, vanilla, smoke and sage linger in the background. This wine is a throw back to the lower alcohol style cabs with fresh vibrant flavors that can be found in the Ridge wines as well, I can’t wait to have some more of this one.
($32 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive
2010 Sheldon Wines, Pinot Noir “Roma’s Vineyard” Anderson Valley.
I have twice now reviewed this wine, but it deserves the attention, and it keeps getting better and changing all the time, easily making it one of my favorite wines of the vintage. The 2010 Sheldon Wines, Pinot Noir “Roma’s Vineyard” Anderson Valley is something of a miracle, as it had to survive a very difficult vintage and a huge storm that threatened to ruin harvest, but it lives and is glorious in everyday from it’s floral perfume to the long sexy finish. The nose is seductive with a dance of violets, roses and dried currants with hints of vanilla and subtle wood, plus a touch of truffle and spice. The palate is alive with tangy cherry, framboise, fennel and plum with a streak of mineral rockiness and touch of pepper along with tea notes. This fresh and silky Pinot is a match for any Premier Cru Beaune wines with it’s Burgundy like class and texture. This wine cannot be recommended more highly, I urge you to jump on it while it is still available from the winery, don’t wait as sadly it is a tiny production artisan wine that will disappear quickly.
($45 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive
Visit the Sheldon Wines Tasting Room in Santa Rosa, known as “The Sippy Lounge” and check them out online at www.sheldonwines.com