What I Drank the Last Few Weeks (August 15 – September 22)

By Nikki Lincoln

The last few weeks of wine fun have been kind of a blur. With my WSET studies, a lot of my wine tasting was in a more formal set up rather than the one offs that I prefer for this series so I realized that even though I skipped a few weeks, I still had about the same amount to write about. It was an exciting and delicious month of wine drinking though and I’m excited to share some of that with all of you.

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Two Sheperds 2011 Pastoral Blanc 375 mL

As most of you know, William also makes wine under the Two Shepherds label and for some of the bigger events, I help him pour. At his summer release party, I was really excited that he had bottled some 375 mL bottles and made sure to bring a couple home. He advised to not hold onto it too long so when I was looking to only have a couple of glasses of wine on a warm afternoon, I knew exactly what to open. The 2011 Pastoral Blanc wine is very refreshing with apple, pear, and white peach on the nose. The palate also exhibits the apple with some citrus as well. It is very acidic and was exactly what I needed to quench my thirst on an unusually warm city day. The small bottle also made me not feel so guilty about finishing it all in one go either…

Price: $24 for 750 mL

 

Townley 2010 La Encantada Pinot Noir

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I first tried the Townley 2010 La Encantada Pinot Noir at the Vinify tasting event back in June. I went into the event not intending to buy a lot of wine – only the really special ones. I left with about a dozen bottles, but that’s a story for another day. The important thing now is that the Townley 2010 La Encantada Pinot Noir was one of them. My intention had been to only try the Pinot that winemaker, Randal, was pouring. I liked it so much that I needed to try his Chardonnay and Cabernet (appropriately named the Shizzle) as well. I left with a bottle of each.

As with all of my pinots, I saved it for a visit from my friend Natalie who loves them. We love to catch up every couple of weeks over a bottle of Pinot Noir, some nice food, and lots of fun stories. It had been a few weeks since I’d had her over and knew I wanted to pick a really special bottle so I grabbed this one. It didn’t dissapoint and we both loved the fruit forward flavors and earthy tones.

I’m also a fan of fun labels and Townley delivers on this front as well. Each label features the skyline of a different city or town. It’s fun to try to figure them all out but be careful, some are very tricky.

Price: $48

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Imagery 2008 Cabernet Franc

One of the nights, I was looking in the mood for a big, bold red and decided to grab this Imagery Cab Franc from the collection. The wine very much delivered on bold flavor with intense black fruit and leather. I was hoping the wine would soften a little bit overnight but it still brought the same intensity. I would advise holding onto it a few more years or decanting if you have one of these.

Price: $44 for the 2010, older vintages not available directly

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2009 Viandante del Cielo Pinot Noir Skywalker Ranch

The night before the WSET exam, the boyfriend decided he wanted to surprise me with a treat to help me relax before my test so he tracked down a bottle of Pinot Noir from Skywalker Ranch that he had told me about on our first date. He admitted that he’d been looking for it since then since he thought it was a great way to combine my geekiness with my love of wine. I decided I just wanted to relax and enjoy it so I didn’t take any detailed notes on the wine, but I did love the fact that for once, the night before a test, I didn’t feel bad about enjoying some Vino. I do know that I really liked the bottle and (knowing that he reads this) am really looking forward to trying moreSkywalker wines…

Price: $35 for the 2010 vintage, 2009 is no longer available directly

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Idlewild 2010 Vin Gris

Idlewild is one of a handful of winemakers that I met through William and have kind of a wine crush on. I was really happy to pick up a few bottles of rosé from their first release because I loved what I got to try at the Rhone Rangers Rosé tasting. I think a great rosé is perfect for a warm day in the park. When I saw that Sunday was going to be a hot day and I had a friend visiting from out of town – I knew exactly what to do. I grabbed my Vin Gris and a blanket and we met in Dolores Park for a beautiful afternoon of sunshine and great wine.

I really love sharing rosé with friends. They often don’t understand why I love them so much because when they think of rosé they think of inexpensive, sweet, pink wine from the supermarket. I love showing them how much more it can be and without fail, my friend said “Wow, I love this rosé. It’s not sweet or anything and has so much flavor!” Exactly.

Price: $22

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Turkovich Family Wines 2011 Grenache

By the afternoon, I was ready to get home and relax a little bit. I decided to treat myself to a bottle of Turkovich 2011 Grenache I’d picked up a few months earlier and settle in with the 49er game on and a wine themed crossword puzzle. Unfortunately, the game and the crossword didn’t turn out very well for me but the wine was fantastic and almost made the rest of that better (almost.. I really like football and really dislike the Seahawks so that still stings…). The wine’s light body made it a great pick for the warm San Francisco afternoon and the fruit forward  red berry flavor was balanced with the pepper from the bit of Tempranillo that was blended with the wine.

Price: $24

Alamos 2011 Mendoza Selección Malbec

20130921_171736The following Sunday, I decided I wanted to have a relaxing night. With no roommate or boyfriend around I decided to relax with a bottle of wine and some Assassin’s Creed. I was curious about one of the wines I had received as sample so I decided to open the Alamos 2011 Malbec. I’ve always been a big fan of Malbec but as my palate has gotten more refined, I’ve been much pickier with them.  The Alamos Malbec passed the test though. The wine was very smooth and not overly tannic as I was worried it might be. The tasting notes said that it had been a cool season and it’s reflected in the wine. The nose had blackberry and earth tones which carried through on the palate in addition to oak and stone flavors. I definitely would like to pick up some more of this wine for some of my Malbec loving friends.

Price: $20

All in all, the month was filled with some wonderful wines and the reviews practically wrote themselves. I’m also happy that I have other varietals on hand from each of those winemakers (except Skywalker…) and you’ll be seeing more about them in future reviews.

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