West's Best Wine 2011: Connoisseur

These bottles range from $26 to $40, and are ideal for an adventurous palette

Whites: Winner

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Whites: Winner

Robert Sinskey 2010 Scintilla Sonoma Vinyard "Abraxas" Vin de Terrior
A vibrant white blend that packs dried apricot, peach, apple, and lemon with a whiff of honeysuckle. (Los Carneros; $34)

Whites: Runner-up

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Whites: Runner-up

Tablas Creek 2009 "Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc"
Roussanne and other white Rhônes offer spicy citrus (Japanese yuzu), almond, resin green herbs, and preserved lemon. (Paso Robles; $40)

Whites: Runner-up

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Whites: Runner-up

Ponzi 2008 Reserve Chardonnay
Rich and delicate at once, with lightly toasted lemon brûlée, pear, and tropicals lurking around the edges. (Wilamette Valley; $30)

Reds: Winner

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Reds: Winner

St. Innocent 2009 Zenith Vineyard Pinto Noir
Spiced red berries with haunting layers of vanilla, forest floor, and florals show off with Willamette Valley's signature red grape. (Eola-Amity Hills; $36)

Reds: Runner-up

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Reds: Runner-up

Andrew Murray 2008 "Espérance"
This inky "GSM" blend (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre) delivers juicy dark fruit, black pepper, cured meat, and chocolate. (Central Coast; $30)

Reds: Runner-up

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Reds: Runner-up

Saddleback 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel
A bright, stylish Zin with briary fruit well seasoned with vanilla, fresh mint, and black pepper. (Napa Valley; $36)

Reds: Runner-up

Photo by Jeffery Cross

Reds: Runner-up

Stone Edge Farm 2007 "Surround" Cabernet Savignon
Loads of cherry flavor delivers on the promise of an aromatic nose of cedar over red fruit and pepper. (Sonoma Valley; $30)

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/wine-pairings/best-wine-connoiseur-00418000073848/