Tasting notes

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.

Karamoor Estates 2013 petit verdot, $55: This 100 percent petit verdot is made only in years when the fruit is right, and the 2013 was a winner that delivered a deep purple juice jammy with blackberries, but that also unfolded as more interesting, with layers of black licorice, tobacco, earth, and a tingle of numbing Sichuan peppercorn spice that rides a light pucker of black plum on the finish. The price tag is prohibitive, but collectors will now realize this grape has a future in Pennsylvania.