A fellow Brit, Michael Sones was born in Worthing in the south of England. After a career as a cruise photographer, during which he met his wife Lois, they settled in the Bay Area. Michael worked at Bonny Doon and David Bruce wineries before becoming the winemaker at Bargetto. Sones Cellars was launched in 2003; the figurehead emblem on the labels reflecting the couple's maritime history.
Sones Cellars concentrates on Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. They also make a white blend which has had several names.
2008 Cancion del Mar, California
The name means "Song of the Sea". It's a blend of Viognier and Torrontés from Lodi with some Pinot Gris from the Dettamanti vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains and
Sauvignon Blanc from Monterey.
A lovely floral nose. Light, crisp and floral with lots of white stone fruit. 90 $21
2007 Zinfandel, Central Coast
A blend, sourced mainly from the Wiedeman vineyard.
Light raspberry nose. Layers of rich, sweet raspberry/brambly fruit. 88
2007 Zinfandel, San Lucas
The San Lucas AVA lies at the southern end of the Salinas Valley in Monterey County
This has a lighter, smoky nose than the Central Coast, but on the palate it's concentrated, tannic and intense with lots of acidity. 90 $26
2007 Petite Sirah, French Camp Vineyard, Paso Robles
A barrel sample; the wine is ready to be bottled. Michael does a particularly good job with Petite Sirah. It often makes tough, tannic wines that can (or must) age for years, but if the tannins are controlled the grape can show rich dark fruits.
The nose is smoky, gamey and meaty. There's loads of rich, smooth black fruits and a nice finish. 89
2008 Zinfandel Wiedeman Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley
Another barrel sample, this has around 1% to 2% residual sugar.
Fruity raspberry nose and lots of sweet berry fruit. Despite the sugar there's good tannin and acidity. 88