A couple years back I attended a dinner with Steve Edmunds, of Edmunds St. John fame.  While at the time I was a little underwhelmed by the wines from this esteemed California producer, I will honestly admit that my palate has changed drastically since then (for the better!) and the honest style of the wines produced by Steve Edmunds represent one of the most honest and reliable wines from California.  Okay, I know I used honest three times in that last sentence but I am trying to get a point across; the wines from Edmunds St. John are the real deal.  I mean, I look at the words from Steve Edmunds where he suggests that if he has done his job well then the earth, the fruit, will speak.  That is the ethos of a small but growing number of hands off California producers like Edmunds St. John.  And while there are some fresh faced California pioneers out there (La Calrine Farm, Clos Sarone, etc.), there are a few guys (and I mean a few guys) who paved the way.  People like Steve Edmunds, Tony Coturri, and maybe in a broader sense, Paul Draper).  The Cali revolution is on, and I like it.

Edmunds St. John 2011 “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir Rosé

One of the best California rosés I have ever tasted.  And I say that as a great lover of rosé.  This walks a fine line between dry and fruit drive rosé, and oh so well.  There are sweet strawberry notes, mango, papaya, and pineapple upside down cake with a touch of fresh almonds.  This is a fine rosé, one of the best from the Americas.  That there are dancing Skeletons on the label is only a further selling point.  One could do worse with trying to find an acceptable California rosé.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Edmunds St. John 2009 “Wylie” Syrah, El Dorado County

I will readily admit that this wine holds a very special place in my heart as it bears my son’s name.  That said, this is pure Syrah.  And I will also admit that it needs time.  The first night the bottle was open I was on the fence a bit.  Could not get back to the bottle for a few nights and I thought the wine would be a goner, but it was much better!  The rough edges were gone and the dark fruit purity was there.  Yes, this is one of those wines; one that you need to open 48 hours in advance if you want to drink it now; violets, dark brambly fruits, and hints of spice.  Otherwise, give it some respect and let it ride in the cellar for 5 years, or 10 if you really want to do it justice.  Follow these rules and you have a highly recommended Syrah.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED