Archive for March, 2007

2004 Summerwood Table Wine

Monday, March 26th, 2007

Went out to the beach tonight and had dinner.  Chicken and Albacore with Zooks and Red pepper.  Opened up this Summerwood.  What a great wine for a BBQ.   Lots of fruit with slight tannin finish.  Really nice.  We had a great time, watched the sunset and finished the bottle.  A nice end to a great weekend.

 Rating: 9.0

Golly Gosh Grenache tasting at Mark’s

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Once again we had a wonderful time tasting at Mark’s house.  This time it was Grenache from around the world.  We brought the Terry Hoage “46” which is a 50-50 blend of Grenache and Syrah and the Edward Sellers Grenache which is 85% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre & 5% Syrah.  We really liked the 2005 Schwarz Thiele Road, 2004 Samuels Gorge (cool label), & 2003 Linne Calado Stick & Stones (GSM). 
So here is the list.  (Linda’s comments and rating first)

1.  Villa Creek Denner Vineyard 2004:  Heavy Alcohol-Hot, big fruit, slight dry, good potenial.  rating 7/8

2.  Terry Hoage “46” 2004 50/50:  Smooth, Metallic, funky, very warm, grapefruit nose, dry finish.  Bitter need revisit.  Rating 5.5/6

3.  Greenock Creek Cornerstone 2004:  Currant black cherry nose, finish is tangy, earthy flavor, tangy but nice balance.  Rating 6/8

4.  Arthur Earl 2000:  Amber color, alchol nose, vulcanized, brandy, past its prime.  Rating 3/3

5.  Edward Sellers 2004?:  Slightly warm, Deep color, well balanced, minty nose, tannins on finish, bubbly dry, light.  Rating 8/8

6.  Schwarz 2005 Thiele Road: Clear, bright red, cherries up front, long long finish, Slight barnyard.  Rating 8.5/9

7.  Coto de Hayas Centonaria 2005:  Nice Color, no nose, palatable but dull, weak dry cheap bland.  Rating 4.5/5

8.  Costers Priorat 2001:  High Alcohol, tar, diesel,wierd, dry,  burning rubber nose same taste.  Rating 2.5/2.5 (almost undrinkable $80 yikes)

9.  Samuel’s Gorge 2004:  Vanilla, Eucalyptus nose, Excellent, Jammy fruit, long rich finish.  Best wine of the night.  Rating 8.5/9.5

10.  Elk Cove Del Rio 2004:  Bubble gum, dry finish, tanny, granny smith apple, did not like.  Rating 4.0/3.5

11.  Ojai Grenache Purisma 2003: Med body fruit, dry finish, tannins.  Rating 5.5/6

12.  Villa Creek 2003 Grenache:  Pepper nose, fruit bomb, tannin on finish, pink grapefruit.  Rating 5.0/6.5

13.  Pax Cuvee Mariah 2004:  spicy complex nose, spicy nose, light fruit, no umph.  wanting.  Rating 6.0/6.5

14.  Le Vieux Dunijon 2002:  Farty french wine, old and dry (like Paul), brandy nose, weak, bland rating 3/5

15.  Alto Mancayo Verata 2004:  Spanish, $25, fruit forward, almost too big, abrupt finish, vanilla nose, big fruit,  Rating: 7.5/6.5

16.  Tompkin Celllars 2004:  Spicy nose, simple fruit, balanced, big fruit nose, med tannins, good color, spicy, good balance.  Rating 7.1/7.5

17.  Marilyn Remark 2004: tangy nose, light, old fruit, tired, moldy nose but good fruit.  Rating 5/7.5

18.  Elevation Sensation 2004:  Stringent, blah, cheerios nose, fruit, tannins.  Rating 3.5/6.5

19.  R.B.J.  2001 Theologicum:  Alchol, manure nose, yuck!, aged and pepper nose, bad.  Rating 1.5/2

20.  Shadow Canyon Syrah 2004:  Tannins, doesn’t lack charachter, good fruit nose, tannins.  Rating 5/7.5 (Duh.. not Grenache)

21.  Delesio Mclarenvale 2004:  Fruit, tangy, tannins, tight but well balanced, good nose, good fruit, tangy, tannin.  Rating 8/8.5

22.  Betts Scholts 2004:  Fruity with tang, almost spritz like, astringent, barnyard!, balanced but no strength, bright, sweet.  Rating 6.5/8

23.  Herman Story 2003:  Beautiful, dark red, 16.3% Alc.  Dark color, huge, slight barnyard.  Rating 7.9/7.5

24.  Las Rocas 2004:  Sulphur!! smelled like Harris Ranch (Linda held her nose), Shitty (mmmmoooo), Sulphur, Flat.  Rating 3.0/1.5.

25.  Linne Calado Sticks & Stones 2003:  Mmmm fruit, balanced, mild finish, flower nose, fruity, balanced, Yummm!!.  Rating 7.5/9.0

2005 Domaine Alfred Edna Valley Pinot Noir

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I just bought a case of this wine today… opened it with dinner.  Really a good wine.  Lots of citrus on the nose, but good balance and nice finish.  Not bad for a blind purchase.

 rating 8.5

Zin Fest in Paso

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

Headed to Paso for the Zin fest this weekend.  Starting tasting around noon on Saturday.  Hit several wineries, starting with Hug, Garretson, Edward Sellers then ending at Summerwood and Four Vines.  Hug was pretty good, they had a really good BBQ and the tasting was free for us.  The Syrah from Montery was excellent as was the reserve.  Next we went to Garretson, which is right next door.  Their wine did nothing for me.  I had to dump it and move on.  We had heard that Edward Sellars had good stuff, so we headed that way.  I was really impressed with their wine.  They have just opened thier tasting room in downtown and really a nice atmosphere.  Edward was doing the pouring and seemed like a really nice guy.  We all were impressed with the whites, (which we never drink).  The Viognier was excellent and so was the Cote de blanc.  We then hit the reds.  ALL were excellent, turned out to be the best wines of the day.  I joined thier wine club and am going to talk to Edward about gettting the wine in the store.  Next was Summerwood, always a good tasting spot.  They also let us in for free because we are wine members.  We tasted the GSM, Diosa, Denner reserve, and James Berry.  I think that Denner had a better feel then the James berry.  Four Vines was disappointing, we had to pay for the tasting and they did not have the Heretic.  The other wines are OK, but not really what I like.

 We headed back to Nina’s house where a Cornbeef and Cabbage were waiting… mmmm.  Jerry had picked up some value wines at Albertson’s so the drinking began. 

Shadow Canyon, Wild Coyote, Vino Robles, Stephan Ridge, Norman, Adelaida, Sextant Hollystone all fell, but I don’t recall all of these.  The Shadow Canyon, Norman, and Sextant were at the top of the list.

 All in all it was a great day.. lots of fun with friends and we found some new wines!!!

Wine Cask Futures tasting

Monday, March 12th, 2007

I am copying this post from erobertparker… didn’t want to lose it.  ;-)

Bernard Roth

Senior Executive Oenophile

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Join Date: Apr 2000

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Default Re: Wine Cask Futures 2007

Here’s my impression of the tasting:I was on a mission to add Pinot Noir to the cellar, along with everyday whites, so I skipped most of the red Rhone offerings. My impression of 2005 PN is that most producers pushed the wines to excess. Maybe the vintage gave excellent grapes, and that caused producers to believe they could push the skin contact and use more high toast oak. I came away thinking that far too many 2005 pinots were vin de garde in style, with little historic basis for such a style in this region. So, on to the wines…

Ampelos – My favorite pinot, called “Lambda”, is estate grown. Rich, deep, expressive, and balanced, not over the top. Lovely nose.

Arcadian’s 3 PN offerings were typical for Joe Davis, meaning fairly backwards now. All showed a bit much oak for now. Fiddlestix is closest to ready. Clos Pepe is extremely oaky, but the vineyard’s fruit is most likely to soak it up in 5-8 years.

ABC’s PN were all extremely dry and unyielding (except I did not try Knox). I have no idea what they’ll turn into. The 30th Harvest Bien Nacido shows the most substance.

Brander’s Au Naturel Sauvignon Blanc is excellent again.

Cargassachi’s 06 Jalama pinot showed better than the 06 SRH Estate PN, being more feminine and restrained. Pete does a good job dialing back the alcohol.

Clendenen Family Tocai Friulano might be my favorite white of the day. A must buy at $15. However, the Petite Verdot is stern and tannic and may take forever to nicen up.

Cold Heaven S&B viognier didn’t do it for me. But the Domaine Des Deux Mondes (Morgan teams with Yves Cuilleron on this project) is excellent and, despite Morgan’s misgiving re: use of new oak, the fruit really sucked up the oak and is a reasonable facimile of Condrieu. Good price at $20.

Flying Goat – The 06 PN was a bit coarse. Obviously too young to judge, so best to try again at release before committing.

Foley’s Clone 2A PN is one of the best showing on this day. The Pommard clone, though, only came across as chunky.

Foxen’s Chenin Blanc is the best domestic chenin I’ve had and comes across as fresh. lively and mineral driven a la Savennieres. Top rate and a good deal at $19. The Foxen Sea Smoke PN is the best PN of the tasting, very Chambertin-like with the rich black fruit, deep tannic core, ferric minerals and some immense complexity. A bit of a gamble to sell this for $75, but in terms of quality it is reasonably priced. Just prepare to sit on it for 15 years. Foxen also produced the best Sangiovese of the day, very Tuscan in style – as opposed to the other versions mostly made from Stolpman fruit that were too sweet and CA in style. But… the price of $33 for a Foxen sangiovese is plain dumb. You can get the real deal for that kind of money.

Hitching Post’s Cargasacchi PN and Highliner were both very good, but their Fiddlestix was over the top.

Jaffur’s 06 Petite Sirah was still in fermentation stage, so it is best to simply rely upon past performance – or stop by the winery in 5 months when it settles down in barrel.

Of the few syrahs I tried, Seth Kunin’s 06 SB County showed best.

I do not care for Gold Coast Vineyard PN – always seems like the place beggars go for fruit when they cannot contract at better local vineyards – and Paul Lato’s version did nothing to convert me.

Rick Longoria is hitting his stride with his Fe Ciega PN. The 05 is the 3rd straight excellent vintage for him. Gorgeous stuff. OTOH, I cannot figure out his Clover Creek Temperanillo. Way too tannic and talcky.

Doug Margerum’s Vogelzang Sauvignon Blanc is usually a pretty consistent and reliable drink. The 06 still had some RS (must be still fermenting), because it came across as cloying. So one needs to try this again in 3 months.

Native9 Rancho Ontiveros Santa Maria Valley PN showed very similar expression as PN from Bien Nacido across the road. Although the clonal varieties and terrain are different, something about the SMV climate in that part of the valley must imbue the PN fruit with a common terroir profile in the nose and flavor. This was pretty good.

Ojai’s Westerly Sauvignon Blanc is same as every other superb vintage. I did not care for Adam’s version of Fe Ciega PN (2004) compared to Longoria’s version from the previous year.

Of Steve Clifton’s two barberas, the Honea came across as more to my taste, meaning closer in style to the barrique aged versions from Asti, e.g. Braida. Needs a good 5 years of age.

Qupe’s Hillside Syrah is excellent and worth laying down for 8 years. The Bien Nacido X Block is a bit over the top for Bob Lindquist, though still restrained by the Parker design troop operating elsewhere in the county. Judgment reserved on this one.

Sea Smoke has come through with another trio of standard issue PNs, which is to say holding back for now with promise to drink well in 2-6 years as you work up the line. Again, worth the buy.

I did not care for the 06 pours of PN from Summerland because they were still in fermentative stage.

Tensley’s syrahs this time around are too over the top and did not interest me.

The Verdad Albarino is fantastic, again. It compares favorably with the best Spanish versions, but at $16, maybe it loses on price.

Vino V Solomon Hills PN had nice perfume and stern tannins. Pass.

Overall, I was dismayed by seeing so many 2006 barrel samples still incompletely fermented. When even winemakers don’t really know what a finished product will be, it toys with the public to put such specimens out there for “evaluation” and then stick a 6 bottle minimum purchase on the deal. I understand how small wineries are at the mercy of cashflow, but it really does not serve the public to be showing 2006 pinots and Rhones that are still bubbling away in barrel and won’t be ready to deliver to the buyer for 10-18 months.

2004 Eric Kent Kalen’s Big Boy Syrah

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

This is a pretty good wine.  It is not overpowering or two big.  It has good balance from start to finish, but could use a little more finish.  Has a thick color and good feel on the tongue.  The label on the bottle is really cool.  Check it out

 Rating: 8.4

2004 Drew Family Vineyard “Larner Estate” Syrah RETASTE

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

I was so disappointed with the wine from Friday’s dinner, that I went over to Wades Wines and bought another bottle to retaste.  I do believe that the first bottle from Westside was flawed.  The second bottle was better, but still not great. 

Rating: 8

2004 Kilikanoon Medley Blend

Sunday, March 4th, 2007

This is a Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre blend from Australia.  Has a high alchol nose, lots of fruit taste, and a dry finish.  Not our favorite.


2004 Drew Family Vineyard “Larner Estate” Syrah

Saturday, March 3rd, 2007

Well, I was lucky enough to have Linda take me out to dinner last night.  We went to Westside Cellars, here in Ventura.   Had some really great food, but were disappointed in the wine we selected.  The wine list is pretty extensive at Westside, also fairly pricey.  It was a toss up between 2004 Eric Kent Syrah, Kalen’s Big Boy Blend and Drew Larner Estate Syrah.  We decided on the Drew Family wine.   The wine has a really great color and the nose is milk chocholate and earthy.  The taste seemed a bit off,  I think now that it may have been flawed or cooked.  It is unfortunate because Robert Parker gives it 94 points.  I will have to try it again.