Stonehedge Reserve Petite Syrah

We feel confident in saying that this wine will not appeal to most tasters. One of us described the palate as almost-rotten fruit, soy sauce, and green vegetable. Another described it more succinctly as smelling like a dried Italian sausage. On the palate, there was a pronounced oakiness, almost like smoked mesquite wood. One of us thought the whole package was a disaster, while the other thought it was interesting and different enough to merit (just barely) one star.

Chateau Mayne Guyon Grand Vin de Bordeaux

The nose is predominantly oak and sulfur, with some dried flowers lurking in the background. On the palate, there are aggressive tannins, but not much else.

Islay Peak Pinot Noir

A nose of cherry, dark dried fruit, spice, and sweet oak. The palate is more earthy and gamey. One of us thought it was nicely balanced, but the other two found it a bit cloying.

Leonhardt Dry Creek Valley Reserve Zinfandel

The nose offers very ripe fruit, mushroom, and a bit of yeast. Very fruity, not obviously oaked, and with soft—but lingering—tannins.

Mission Point Pinot Noir

Previous vintages of this wine have been well received by bargain-hunting Pinot fans. The Value Vine found those earlier efforts a bit cloying, but certainly fair for the price. Not so with this 2007. The atypically dark color of the wine suggests a blend of some sort. The nose reveals a V8-inspired blend of tomato, pickle, and black olive. The taste suggests some residual sugar in addition to the aforementioned vegetable character. This is surprisingly bad, and one to avoid at any price.