Outstanding California Wines
New reviews of Syrah, Zinfandel, Chardonnay and more from across the Golden State, each priced under $40
2010 Landy Sweetwater Springs Petite Sirah - 93 pts Wine Spectator. A huge wine, not for the faint of heart. Offers vivid aromatics of coffee and campf...
Some years, The Impostor reminds me of the Northern Rhone Valley with its smoky roasted notes and spiced bouquet. Other times it reminds me of the Southern Rhone, with exotic and compelling aromatics, and a lush, seductive flavor profile. And then sometimes, there is even a splash of the Priorat in Spain that shows a fantastic array or aromas and flavors that are intense, forward and always unforgettable.
The Impostor is all of these, an unpredictable wine of fantastical aromas and flavors. Wine is whatever you want it to be, not what someone tells you it should be. So, who is The Impostor to you?
Broodingly dark in aromatics, flavors and appearance. Yet there is brightness to the wine, exotic in nature, with its compote of black and blue fruits. All highlighted by minerality that gives structure to a whirlwind of aromas and flavors, ranging from ground red peppercorns, lavender and bittersweet chocolate to freshly baked raspberry tarts.
Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mouvedre, Viognier
Loaded with fruit and personality, this offers aromas of spicy cinnamon and smoky wild berry that lead to ripe, jammy and layered flavors of raspberry and toasty vanilla. Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Viognier. Drink now through 2020. 1,080 cases made.—T.F
"Exotic and altogether distinctive, with aromas of smoky black cherry and asian spice that lead to rich, lush flavors of huckleberry and date bread. Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Vigonier. Drink now through 2017."— T.F
JC CELLARS The Impostor California 2008 Score: 91 | $35 Rich and exotic, but complex and well-focused. Aromas of blackberry and smoky charcuterie lead to layered and ultraripe flavors of boysenberry, toasty caramel and Asian spices. Appealingly distinctive. Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Carignane, Grenache and Viognier. Drink now through 2015. 1,200 cases made. —T.F.
The 2008 Imposter Proprietary Red (39% Zinfandel, 29% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah and the rest Tempranillo and Carignan) has turned out brilliantly. An earthy, peppery, spicy nose is followed by a dense purple-colored wine exhibiting blueberries, black raspberries, cherries and loamy soil underbrush-like notes. This Provencal-styled red can be drunk over the next 3-4 years.
Fortunately, there is enough of the 2007 The Imposter (a 659-case blend of 32% Petite Sirah, 31% Syrah, 30% Zinfandel, 5% Mourvedre, and 2% Viognier) that some readers may be able to latch on to a few bottles. Its inky/purple hue is followed by a wine with dense, full-bodied flavors, along with notes of graphite, creme de cassis, blackberries, pepper, and camphor. This beauty should drink well for 7-8 years.
As exotic as it is potent, with deep blackberry liqueur, sandalwood
and wild game aromas and rich, ripe cassis, blueberry and licorice
flavors that power on toward the bold, spicy finish. Zinfandel,
Mourvédre, Petite Syrah and Syrah. Drink now through 2012. Tasted twice
with consistent notes. 1,143 cases made.
Its curious moniker suggests that this wine is somehow not what it
seems, but there is little doubt that big Zin it is, and it is very
much driven by ripeness. It leads with concentrated aromas of sweet
berries, briar and cream, and it follows on with ripe berry flavors
that are generously filled out with oak. Very rich, but at the same
time just a touch heavy, it has the extract needed to hide its high
alcohols, and it avoids the common big-Zin pitfalls of coarseness and