Here are Craig LaBan's tasting notes on the local wines that won gold at the recent San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition in Sonoma:
Sharrott Winery Wicked 2013, $24.99: This port-style ruby sweet made from ripe chambourcin grapes cut with brandy was a consensus "double gold" winner, and I'm not surprised. Aged for up to 30 months in barrels, it's incredibly smooth, with deep black cherry notes that segue into tones of coffee, mocha, vanilla, and mint. Just as I was wishing for a touch more acidity, it rose up on the finish, tingling like a juicy berry on the tip of my tongue.
Galer Estate Vineyards 2015 rosé of pinot noir, $30: This coppery gold-colored rosé is classified as dry, and no sugar is added during a process of minimal intervention. But it nonetheless holds an undeniable hit of sweetness on the first sip due to the extraction of ripe pinot grapes, which also lend some darker shades of cocoa and cherry behind a dry finish that evokes tart bright berries and rose.