Archive for February, 2007

2004 Tobin James Gang Reserve 50%Cab-50%Syrah

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

This is not our usual dinner wine.  We recently cancelled our Tobin wine club membership, and this wine is one of the reasons.  Why alcohol tasting (15%).  Really big, sweet fruit for ~1second then tart, bitter, alcohol.   BLAH :-(


2004 Summerwood Syrah Paso Robles

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Today was an interesting day.  Went to take the dogs to the park and found that the clutch in the Westy wasn’t working.  So I spent most of Sunday fixing it.  By 5:30pm I was able to take it for a test drive.  Seems to be working good so to celebrate we opened up a tasty Summerwood syrah.  This wine is really dark, black as tar.  It is very big, lots of fruit.  mmmmm.  Ends with a long finish… really hangs on.  This is their lower priced syrah, but still excellent.

 Rating: 9.0

2004 John Anthony Syrah

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Great color… really deep.  Tobacco and plum nose.  Coats the tongue nicely, slightly cold, needs to breathe.  When it opens up it is a really nice wine.  Good fruit flavors but not over the top.  Hints of cherries.


2005 Foley Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills “Clone 115″

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Young wine with lots of potential.  Delicate, fruit nose changes to light alcohol.  First taste is tight, but when it opens up it is really nice. slightly bitter finish.

 Rating: 7.5-8

Los Olivos Tasting

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Left Paso Monday morning and decided to have lunch in Los Olivos.  Linda and I haven’t done much tasting here, so we met some friends and jumped in. 

Started out a Consilience.  Theier wine was OK.  We liked the 2004 Star Lane Syrah.  It was somewhat tight and will probably do well with age.  The fruit definately came out in the beginning, but didn’t go anywhere. $34 a bottle.  We also tried the 2004 Santa Barbara County Syrah.  It is a nice wine for the price ($18).  We will try to get this for the store.  Finally we had their 2003 Camp 4 Cab.  Slight Vanilla nose with earthy tones.  Good balance, but dropped off at the end.  Pricey at $45

Next headed over to Epiphany Cellars.   First tried the 2003 Revelation blend.  Very interesting nose, very Blue Cheese smelling, but not really barnyard.  The taste was ok, somewhat sweet. ($35).  We also tried the 2003 Syrah HamptonVineyard.  This had a nice nose and good balance, ended slightly dry.  (35)  May get some of this in the store.

Foley was next on the list.  I was impressed.  We tried two of thier Pinot’s.  The 2005 Clone 115 and the 2005 Ranch Santa Rosa.  I bought a bottle of each and our friends bought two fo the Rancho Santa Rosa.  Both are really nice pinots.  I will taste them again before the final decision, but I think they will be in the store.  The wine hostess talked me into trying the 2005 Chardonnay Rancho Santa Rosa.  I thought this was a nice wine, buttery and oaky.  I am not a chard fan, but this was pretty good, but pricey ($30).  I’ll let you know if I get it.

 Down the street from Foley is Melville, Linda and I have read and heard good things about them so we were happy to finally get a taste.  The 2005 estate chardonnay was nice, had a slight citrus taste that was similiar to margarita’s. ($26).  We tried the 2005 Estate Pinot Verna’s Vineyard.  This was a very very delicate pinot, not enough body for us red people.  The 2005 Estate Pinot Santa Rita Hills was more our style.   Definately more fruit forward and a nice mouth feel.  Bought a bottle of this ($28).  Moved on to the 2004 Estate Syrah Verna’s.  Another winner in my book.  Good nose with lots of pepper.  Bought one of these also ($20) great price.   Also tried the 2004 Donna’s Syrah.  Very Vanilla on the nose, dry taste and finish.  May open up with time. ($36)

 Next door is Babcock Vineyards, so convient we had to stop.  The host and hostess were rude to our friends… they need to work on that.  We tried the 2003 La Moda Toscana.  It is a Sangiovese / Cab blend.  It was really nice, good fruit start and a dry italian finish.  ($20).  Next was the 2004 Syrah “Radical”.  For $50 a bottle I expect more.  It was good, but $50 is high.  The 2004 Syrah “Frying Pan” was the same story.  Really good but $50.  Need I say more???

 All in all we had a great time.  We found some good wines that we will try to carry in the shop, maybe even a couple of Chadonnays.

Paso Wine Tasting

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

Went tasting in Paso on Sunday.  We hit Summerwood, Terry Hoage, L’aventure, and Turley.

First we hit Terry Hoage.  Terry was pouring the wine and seemed to be a pretty nice guy, but points are deducted because he doesn’t miss Philadelphia. :-(   His 2005 “The Hedge”(Syrah) and “46” (Grenache/Syrah) is good, but not as nice as the ’04 we currently sell.  I think it needs more time in the bottle.  It was pretty young and tight.   We also tried “The Pick” (Grenache, Mouvedre, Syrah) nice nose, but somewhat chalky finish.  I will most likely get a few cases of each to sell. 

Headed over to L’aventure next…  I was very disappointed in what they were pouring.  Of course all their Estate wines have been sold out for months so we were left with the 2003 Syrah and the 2004 Optimus.  No one was impressed, very dry french style, we were told that the Esate wines are much better.  I hope to taste thier newer stuff at Hospice Du Rhone in the spring. 

Next we hit Summerwood.  This was really good, we received the royal treatment because we are wine club members.  We were able to taste their Estate Syrah, GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre) ,  Diosa Syrah, Denner Syrah, James Berry Syrah.  We are really taken by all of thier wines.  The estate syrah would probably rank the lowest.. maybe an 8, but the rest are definately 9’s.  I would love to carry their wines in my shop, but they only sell direct.  I do get a 15% discount on purchases, so let me know if you want anything.  :-)

We finished up at Turley.  Again we are wine club members, but still had to pay for tastings.  No freebies here.  Luckily their wines are fantastic.  We tasted their Zins and I believe everyone was impressed.  The desert port was too much for me.  I am looking forward to the “pick up party” on March 31st.  Should be a good time.  Anyone want to go?

 It was a really great day of tasting.  I need to keep better track of the wines we taste.  I will do a better job next time.

Party at Nina’s

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

Went to Paso this weekend, and like always stayed at Nina’s house.  She had the family over and we opened a bunch of wines.

1.  Zaca Mesa Syrah:  Nice body. good flavor.  Rating 8

2.  2003 Adelaida Schoolhouse Red:  Good nose, slight barnyard. lots of fruit.  Still tight needs to breathe  Rating: 8

3.  2003 Fiddlehead Lollapaloza Pinot:  Earthy nose, good flavor, slight tannins on finish.  Rating: 8

4.  2004 JC Cellars Arrowhead Zinfandel:  Balanced wine, sharp nose with nice finish.  Rating: 8

2004 Terry Hoage The Hedge

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Very tasty.  Really dark color.  Nice fruit, slight acid.  Somewhat tight but still wonderful.  Should age well, glad I have a few cases.  ;-)

 Rating: 9.2 

2003 T-Vine Zinfandel Brown Vineyard

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

This is a great wine.  Level fruit forward, good balance, really Chocolatey and plum finish, slightly tobacco.  Good body and nice mouth presence.

 Rating: 9

2004 Summerwood GSM

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

This 32% Grenache, 36% Syrah, 32% Mourvedre from Summerwood is fantastic, great nose (olive oil?), very drinkable.  Lots of fruit with a nice finish.

 Rating: 8.5