Posts Tagged ‘Wine Review’
This was was a
steal at Oliver’s Market
in Santa Rosa for $11. At 11.5% alc, and a fan of Grüner Veltliner, I couldn’t resist and bought blind without even looking
Sadly, domestic, good Gruner is hard to find, so indulge yourself with a foreign investment.
Tasting Notes: 2011 Höpler Grüner Veltliner
To The Eye: Pale straw color, with slight hint of effervescence.
On The Nose: Green apple, lime peel, hint of wet stone.
In the Mouth: Green apple, citrus, nice minerality, bright but well rounded fruit, despite the acidity.
Recommendation: A great summer sipper. Recommended. Great QPR. 89 points.
Expand beyond NZ Sauv Blanc will you?!
Please take out of the fridge 15 minutes before drinking.
Overchilling will obliterate the subtleties of most whites, expect the bad ones of course, then over chilling is encouraged!
I loved the 2009, which Jon Bonne’ picked as a top 100 wine of 2010, but if memory serves (sorry not digging into the cellar, although some 2009 is still for sale on BDV website) I like the 2010 even more.
This year’s blend is less a cornucopia as the 2009, made from 68% Carignane, 32% Syrah. Fermented with native yeast, in individual lots.
Carignane can be a difficult grape to vinify, tannic and harsh if over extracted and not worked with properly. Or wonderfully complex, meaty, and layered, as this example shows.
The QR code on label is a great resource – shows you local places to buy and price.
- To The Eye: A dark, menacing inky purple that if you gaze at too long may mesmerize you.
- On The Nose: Complex, layered. Meatiness, dark fruit, plums, black cherry, spice. There is a lot going on to enjoy.
- In The Mouth: As one might expect, the carnival of an aroma profile carries over to the palate: Blackberry, dark
fruit, hints of red fruits, its both bright and fresh from lively acidity, and slightly brooding, at the same time.
- Recommendation: A must buy for under $20. Received
a media sample, but as a Bonny Doon wine club member I’ll be receiving more.
Wine Geek Info:
- Varietal Composition: 68% Carignane, 32% Syrah
- Appellation: 68% Contra Costa, 25% San Luis Obispo, 7% Santa Maria
- Vineyards: 68% Gonsalves, 25% Alamo Creek, 7% Bien Nacido
- Alcohol by Volume: 13.7%
- TA: 5.8 g/L
- pH: 3.64
- Production: 1,989 cases
Valdiguié is a red wine grape grown primarily in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. In California it had been known as Napa Gamay and until 1980 Napa Gamay was believed to be the Gamay grape of Beaujolais.
After DNA anal
ysis the name ‘Napa Gamay’ has been banned from U.S. wine labels since January 1999. (Confusingly both the Pinot Noir clone Gamay Beaujolais and ‘Napa Gamay’ could be labelled ‘Gamay Beaujolais’, a name banned on labels from April 2007.) Guess the TTB is useful after all!
This wonderful bottle of Valdiguié is sourced from a what may be the oldest Valdiguie vineyard planted in the Knight’s Valley AVA. Fortunately it hasn’t been ripped out and re-planted to Cabernet Sauvignon which would be much more profitable. The vineyard is 60+ years old and produces a low yield 2 tons per acre. The vines are head pruned and dry farmed.
Vinification: Harvested October 28th & 29th
2011. 100% carbonic maceration
with 100% whole cluster fermentation and 100% ML secondary fermentation. Aged in neutral oak for four months, sterile filtered and bottled.
Review: 2011 Paul Mathew Valdiguié Turner Vineyard
- On The Nose: pleasant notes of strawberry, fresh raspberry, hint of cotton candy
- In The Mouth: An easy drinking, not complex, fun wine, if you like softer lighter reds. Likely not appreciated by some red blooded males who aren’t wine geeks or fans of Gamay (Beaujolais.)
Not structured like a Brouilly, but at this price point ($20) a fun summer wine. I’d be curious to see what this wine was like unfiltered. (Given 2011 challenges, not surprised it was though.)
- Recommendation. 89 Points. Buy a few bottles to drink this summer. Can serve lightly (lightly!) chilled even, Enjoy with grilled veggies, chicken. Or drinks quite nicely on its own, on the patio or watching live music in the Park.
Buy online for $20. Only Two hundred cases produced. Media Sample.
Dutton-Goldfield continues to climb
as a personal local favorite – not just for Pinot Noir, their specialty, but other interesting small lot wines as well. Tonight we taste anoth
er small lot, well made Pinot from Dutton-Goldfield.
Despite its youthful age, its showing wonderfully already, although I think a few more bottles to lay down for a few years are in order.
I always wonder why we don’t see more wine grown in Marin County (perhaps save the price of land) and this wine serves to ponder it again.
Tasting Notes: 2010 Dutton-Goldfield Pinot Noir Azaya Ranch, Marin County
- To The Eye:A slightly darker ruby red, although clearly still Pinot by its color.
- On The Nose: Strawberries leap out of the glass, with undertones of spice and bramble.
- In The Mouth: Bright cranberry, cherry notes with lively acidity dance on the tongue. If you are looking for a Pinot fruit bomb, move on.
(Or buy a bottle, drink it and evolve your palate.) There is plenty of fruit, but it’s vibrant and fresh not big and jammy, with a lingering finish.
I enjoyed it more after being open for 15-30 minutes. Decanting not required, but allows it to show even better.
Recommendation: 91 points. Buy. Drink and enjoy now. Or buy 3-6 bottles and try them over time. The acidity will preserve the fresh vibrant fruit for years.
Unlike those hot jammy fruit bombs in your
$58 at the winery. Media Sample
Wine Geek Info:
- ph: 3.60
- TA: .62
- Alcohol: 13.8%
- Cases Made: 190
- Barrel Program: 11 Months in French oak, 50% new
My first Syrah
from Vice Versa, and sadly maybe the last for awhile, as they have stopped producing this Russian River Syrah.
The wine is a perfect Napa meets Sonoma crossover – its cool climate RRV Syrah, matched with a Napa Cab maker of finesse, which is Vice Versa’s ‘core’ program. Long corks, heavy elegant Burgundy glass, it’s certainly Napa grade packaging and marketing.
When I popped the cork and poured it into the glass, I suspected I would
like this unfined, unfiltered beast that appeared to be be dark, brooding, and promising.
Buy our Wines
Tasting Notes: 2007 Vice Versa Syrah Ulises Valdez Vineyard, Russian River Valley
- To The Eye: Impenetrable to light, inky black purple.
- On The Nose: Layered nose of smoked meat, blackberry, leather, mocha, and a subtle note of earth.
- In The Mouth: A beefier Syrah, with the body to support the balanced 15% alc, as well as acidity. Modest oak has had time to integrate into the wine, and provide sweeter tannins, that combine with dark black fruits, pepper to make a Syrah with backbone, but isn’t a fruit bomb.
Bigger red wine drinkers, not looking for “Shiraz” will love this. But don’t wait, must call the winery to purchase, and its the last of its kind. Contact the winery and see if you can get some of the <50 cases left.
Best served with grilled lean meats like fillet, lamb, or perhaps game. 91 Points. Media Sample
It’s a only matter of days and hours until I spend 2 days in the Rhone mecca of Hospice du Rhone, so as I work tonight, I am sipping and paying homage with a white Rhone blend from small local producer, Sheldon. I had originally intended to review their Grenache based Vinolocity a few weeks ago, but it was one of those nights where I just enjoyed the wine too much to put thoughts
keyboard. Should make Eric Asimov proud after his comments at the last Bloggers conference.
I recommend Sheldon winery regularly to Sonoma visitors, although I have only reviewed one of their wines, officially, to date. (It was, however, one of my highest ever scoring red wines.) Tobe and Dylan have a true passion for making wines that are unique, expressive, and truly artisanal.
Review: Sheldon 2010 Vinolocity Blanc – Sonoma Coast Rhone Blend
I fell in love with this wine during Wine Road Barrel tasting weekend in 2011 and bought futures, something I do rarely for whites.
Like all Sheldon wines, this is unfined, unfiltered. Only 13% alc. A blend of 50% Viognier (with skin contact), 25% Grenache Blanc, and 25% Roussanne.
To The Eye: Light yellow straw color, quite clear and bright. (Who says unfiltered means cloudy.)
On The Nose : Tangerine, white peach, white grapefruit, spice.
In the Mouth: Nice mouth feel from combination of acidity and Malolactic. Citrus at front palate, viscous slightly tropical mid palate, and an interesting pleasing finish of acidity and slight nuttiness.
It’s now less than a week until the International Hospice du Rhone. To celebrate, I am diving into a few imported French Rhones.
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This wine is imported into the US by Pasternak, a high quality importer whose media shipments are always a pleasure to receive. This wine is no exception.
Wine Review: 2010 Maison Richard Côtes du Rhône La Petite Fontaine
A blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Cinsault and 5% Carignan.
To The Eye: Dark red, to purple color.
On The Nose: Raspberry, graphite, smoked meat
In The Mouth: Mostly red fruit, blackberry, with a nice note of
Recommendation: A keeper wine for the price, and a wonderful example of what red wine can be without oak. Grab a few bottles if you see them around.
89 Points. Media Sample