Wine Spectator Recommended Rhone-Style Wines from California

SKINNER Mourvèdre El Dorado Estate 2010

Score: 94

Offers a powerful thrust of road tar-laced dark berry, black licorice, anise and cigar box notes. For all its torque, this retains a measure of grace and refinement. Dense and chewy, with beautiful flavors. Drink now through 2024. 73 cases made. –JL

SKINNER Eighteen Sixty-One El Dorado 2010

Score: 93

An intense version, with juicy, ripe, concentrated dark berry, plum, raspberry and spicy earth notes, joined by black licorice, dried herb and sage details. Delivers an expressive range of flavors that tighten and focus on the finish. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. Drink now through 2026. 320 cases made. –JL

SKINNER Petite Sirah El Dorado 2010

Score: 90

Offers pure, lush and rich flavors of blackberry, huckleberry and blueberry pie up front, with shadings and layers of cedar, roasted hazelnut, vanilla bean and sandalwood, graced by polished yet firm tannins. Drink now through 2026. 156 cases made. –MW

SKINNER Dry Diggings El Dorado 2010

Score: 88

This appropriately named version has a tannic rusticity, with dense loamy earth and dried berry flavors. Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Petite Sirah. Drink now through 2021. 250 cases made. –JL

SKINNER: Grenache El Dorado 2011

Score: 88

Very complete, this offers a fluid mix of red candy and dark berry notes, with pepper, cedar and spice details. Ends with a dash of rhubarb. Drink now through 2023. 402 cases made. –JL

SKINNER: Syrah El Dorado 2009

Score: 87

This rich, gutsy, muscle-bound effort is dense, chewy and tannic, with a loamy earth edge to the dried dark berry flavors, this never quite shakes a rustic edge of dried herb. Drink now through 2020. 397 cases made. –JL

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