WTN: New White&Red Rhones...(long/boring)..

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WTN: New White&Red Rhones...(long/boring)..

Postby TomHill » Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:06 pm

We tasted last night (5/31/06) some New Rhones:
1. Ampelos QuatroVientoVnyd/SantaYnezVlly Viognier (14.4%; http://www.AmpelosCellars.com; 76 cs)
2005: Very light/near colorless; attractive appley/pear/Viognier bright/fruity nose;
soft/light pleasant/pear/peach/Viognier simple flavor; med. soft pear/peach finish;
a pleasant/drinkable Viognier a bit on the simple side. $25.00
________________________
2. Deux C Domaine des DeuxMondes (50%/50%; 14.0%) YvesCuilleron/MorganClendenen NV(2004?):
Med.gold color; lovely minerally/peachy ripe/pineapply rather toasty/oak/smokey nose;
soft pretty toasty/oak/charred slight minerally rather peachy/pineapply/ripe flavor;
short slight minerally strong peach/pineapple finish; some very pretty minerally/Condrieu
character in the nose but rather ripe on the palate; bit overpriced for the small amount
of Condrieu character therein. $50.00
________________________
3. ColdHeaven Viognier LeBonClimatVnyd/SBCnty (14%) 2005: Light gold color; attractive pear/
peach/Viognier clean/bright/spicy nose; tart clean/crisp/bright pear/peach/Viognier spicy
flavor; med. bright/spicy/clean/crisp slight earthy attractive pear/peach/Viognier finish;
good acidity & balance and plenty of bright Viognier character. Fairly priced at $25.00
________________________
4. ColdHeaven Viognier VogelzangVnyd/SantaYnezVlly (13.5%) 2005: Med.light color; intense
very ripe peachy/pineapple/floral/Viognier nose; soft/fat/underacid rather green/underripe
rather ripe/pineapply floral; short green/underripe soft/intense/peachy/overripe finish;
a rather porky/fat Viognier; lots of very ripe fruit but an underlying green character
that suggests grapes harvest at the right sugar level but not yet physiologically
mature. $20.00
________________________
5. SierraVistaWnry ElDorado Viognier(60%)/Roussanne(40%) (14.1%; http://www.SierraVistaWinery.com)
2004: Med.gold color; some earthy pleasant/floral light appley/honeysuckle/spicy/nutmeg
nose; soft bit earthy very low key floral flavor; med.short soft light earthy low-key
floral finish; a pleasant white that speaks in a very low whisper. $25.00
________________________
6. Turley TheWhiteCoat/SLOCnty (14.5%; Roussanne/Viognier) 2004: Med.dark gold color; very
ripe/pineapply/floral/honeysuckle slight minerally some toasty/oak complex nose; tart
rich/floral/spicy/very ripe/honeysuckle some toasty/charred/oak flavor; long some
minerally ripe/floral/honeysuckle/pineapply light toasty/oak finish; a nice underlying
minerality w/ a fair amount of oak; interesting white but not worth the price. $39.50
________________________
7. Peay PeayVnyds/SonomaCoast Roussanne/Marsanne (13.6%; 90 cs;www.PeayVineyards.com)
2004: Med.gold slight cloudy color; very attractive/lovely floral/aromatic/honeysuckle
slight minerally/Condrieu-like quite spicy/nutmeg light oak complex nose; tart appley/
floral/honeysuckle very spicy light minerally light toasty/oak flavor; very long/lingering
very spicy/floral/honeysuckle/appley some minerally/earthy/stoney finish; a lovely very
interesting RhoneBlanc w/ a nice underlying minerality. Fairly priced at $34.00
________________________
8. Peay PeayVnyds/SonomaCoast Viognier (14.1%; 80 cs;www.PeayVineyards.com) 2004: Med.gold
bit cloudy color; very perfumey/aromatic/exotic/spicy/floral/slight volatile(?) slight
earthy/stoney complex nose; very tart/acid bright/floral/very perfumed rich yet lean
very spicy/exotic flavor; very long/lingering tart terrific/floral/aromatic finish;
lots of richness but a racy acidity on the palate; a very exotic Viognier. $34.00
________________________
8a. PeterFranus Mourvedre MtVeeder/BrandlinRanch (13.8%) 1997: Blair's mystery: Dark color;
rather cedary/tobaccoy/smokey aged/complex some plummy/licorice nose; rather bretty/
horsecollar cedary/tobaccoy/leathery licorice/plummy flavor; long plummy/licorice pretty
bretty/leathery cedary/tobaccoy licorice/plummy finish w/ slight tannic bite; the color
suggested a young wine but the nose spoke of an old slightly tired wine; unusual in that
the flavor was strongly bretty/horsecollar/CdP-like but it didn't come thru in the nose'
________________________
9. WenteVnyds KarlWente The N'th Degree LivermoreVlly Shiraz (15.0%) 2002: Very dark/black
color; intense Am.oak/vanilla very plummy/licorice/toasted coconut/ZagNut Bar very ripe/
boysenberry/jammy Oz-style nose; soft/rich/ripe toasted coconut/oaked very ripe/plummy/
quite jammy/boysenberry flavor; long very ripe/jammy intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah
toasted coconutty/oak finish w/ some tannins; very Oz-like Syrah. $40.00
________________________
10. YannChave Crozes-Hermitage (13.5%) 2004: Dark color; very strong blackberry/Syrah rather
roasted/gamey/smokey bit green olive almost Calif-style Syrah nose; tart rather roasted/
smokey/gamey some blackberry/Syrah light green olive bit toasty/oak flavor; very long
gamey/smokey/roasted bit toasty/oak strong blackberry/Syrah finish w/ some tannins; needs
several yr; lots of NorthernRhone character in a bit of a Calif style; impressive Rhone
at a great price. $23.00
________________________
11. YannChave Hermitage (13.5%) 2004: Dark color; very strong toasty/Fr.oak/charred very
strong/blackberry/Syrah nose; rich intense/blackberry/Syrah quite toasty/charred/oak
very slight roasted/NorthernRhone some tannic flavor; long very toasty/charred/oak very
strong blackberry/Syrah slight roasted/gamey/peppery finish w/ fair tannins; needs 2-5 yrs;
not a lot of NorthernRhone/roasted character, lots of toasty oak, and rather Calif in
style; too pricey for a Calif Syrah at $65.00
________________________
12. EdmundsStJohn Syrah "Wylie-Fenaughty"/ElDoradoCnty (14.2%; http://www.EdmundsStJohn.com) 2003:
Med.dark color; quite strong earthy/mushroomy some gamey/plummy/blackberry/Syrah slight
Rhonish interesting nose; strong earthy/mushroomy/gamey bit smokey/complex rather Syrah/
blackberry bit tannic flavor; long earthy/gamey blackberry/Syrah/spicy some peppery very
interesting finish w/ some tannins; needs ?? age; very fine rendition of ElDorado Syrah.
________________________
13. Carlisle SonomaCnty ThreeBirds RW (15.7%; 69% Grenache/23% Mourvedre from UntiVnyd;
7% Syrah; 155 cs) 2004: Med.color; beautiful strawberry/spicy/Nehi soda pop/bright/
vibrant loads of strawberry nose; soft bright/alpine strawberry/Grenache slight earthy/
licorice flavor; med.long bright strawberry/Grenache finish w/ light tannins; a bright/
vibrant loads of strawberry fruit Grenache; ready to drink. $22.50
________________________
14. Carlisle SonomaCnty Syrah (JudgeFamily/DryStack vnyds/BennettVlly; 15.6%; 160 cs) 2004:
Black color; huge blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/spicy slight toasty/roasted/mocha bit
Fr.oak/toasty nose; very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/licorice slight pungent/
roasted/toasty/Fr.oak slight earthy/peppery fairly tannic flavor; very long/lingering
extracted/tannic huge/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah some licorice/pungent bit roasted/
toasty finish w/ ample tannins; needs much age; carries the alcohol well and has a great
balance & acidity to it; a stunning/killer Syrah at a great price. $26.50
________________________
15. Carlisle DryCreekVlly PetiteSirah (15.9%; UntiVnyd; 60 cs) 2004: Inky/black/inpenetrable
color; very intense peppery/PS/very spicy some toasty/charred/oak slight pungent/earthy/
licorice nose; huge/extracted/mouthfilling black pepper/PS/licorice/pungent/spicy some
toasty/charred/oak flavor; very long/lingering very tannic/extracted peppery/PS/licorice
finish that Cotes the mouth; huge tannins but not brutally astringent or harsh; a killer/
killer PS that should live forever. $41.00
________________________
16. ColumbiaCrest GrandEstates ColombiaVlly Zinfandel (14.1%) 2000: Dave&Gloria's mystery
wine: Dark color; very strong black pepper/roasted/toasty/cedary some green olive/earthy
very Syrah-like complex/interesting nose; tart bit ripe very cracked black pepper/toasty/
cedary slight blackberry/Syrah bit tannic/hard flavor; med.long spicy/cracked pepper
toasty/roasted/cedary/pencilly finish w/ some tannins; very strong cracked black pepper
character and no Zin character whatsoever; much like a WashState Syrah; starting to dry
out on the palate a bit.
________________________
17. PeyVnyd PasoRobles Syrah The SpiceRack 2004: Chris' mystery wine: Very dark color;
intense blackberry/boysenberry/Shiraz very milky/Am.oak/vanilla very Oz-like/licorice
nose; soft/ripe to overripe intense blackberry/boysenberry/Shiraz rather vanilla/oaked
bit licorice flavor; med.long soft/fat intense boysenberry/blackberry/Shiraz pretty
oaked finish w/ some tannins; needs a few yrs of age; very much like an Oz or Saxum
Syrah. About $20.
________________________
18. Jaffurs SantaBarbaraCnty Syrah ThompsonVnyd (13.9%) 1996: Larry's mystery wine: Med.dark
color; strong/ripe blackberry/Syrah/peppery some cedary/toasty/oak bit dusty/complex
very spicy nose; soft rich/balanced spicy/peppery/blackberry/Syrah bit cedary/toasty
slight tannic flavor; very long balanced/rich strong blackberry/Syrah/peppery finish w/
fair amount of tannins; no signs of drying out and should go another 3-5 yrs I would
guess.
________________________________________________________________________
And usual stuff from the BloodyPulpit:
1. AmpelosViognier: When I first had this w/ Peter&Becky Work, afore HdR, I was not very
taken by it. It's from a warm vnyd that's not a good Viognier source. But their intent
for this wine was to make a light/quaffable/drinkable poolside wine, not a serious
statement for Viognier. For that role, this is a very nice wine. But would like a bit
more acidity to it.
________________________
2. Peay Whites: Both wines had a slightly hazy/cloudy cast to them that caused me no problem
whatsoever; just means they were probably put to btl unfiltered. The group really/really
liked the R/M blend. I slightly preffered the Viognier because of its incredible aromatics
and its high acidity. It was like no other Viognier I can recall; not Condrieu, not Calif.
These are the first far SonomaCoast White Rhones I can recall having and I was mightly
impressed. Alas, tiny production.
________________________
3. WenteShiraz: I let out this big laugh when I saw a $40 Wente wine on the shelf at Darrell
Corti's store. He gave me this big $hit-eating grin and told me to try it. I humored him by
buying a btl for a tasting. As he often is, Darrell was right. Easily the best Wente (red)
wine I've ever had and one of the best LivermoreVlly reds I've had. Not a great wine and
maybe a bit overpriced, but a dead-ringer for a very good Oz Shiraz.
________________________
4. Wylie-Fenaughty '03: This was an extra btl Steve had at HdR and gave us to try. Not yet
released. A very worthy follow-on to his '01 W-F Syrah, which is an absolutely delicious
wine right now. This, I expect, will be every bit its equal with time. One of the things
I really like about Steve's wines is how they change w/ age, in ways that you really can't
predict. I have this sneaking suspicion that Steve's making his wines by intuition and
blind luck!!
________________________
5. PeyVnyds: This was Chris' mystery wine. I identified it as probably an Oz Shiraz from the
style. When he announced it was a PeyVnyd Syrah, I couldn't believe it; not like any
PeayVnyd Syrah I'd ever had. Then when he removed the bag & I saw the label, I knew it
was not THE PeayVnyds. This is a wnry in Marin Cnty owned by Susan & Jonathan Pey. Their
wines, until now, have all been labeled Pey-Marin Vnyds (and Mt.Tamalpais Vnyds for
Southern France-style wines) so there was no chance of confusion. But I could see where
the simple Pey Vnyds could cause some problems unless you see the label. But you can't
fool Google...when you Google "Pey Vineyards", it scolds you for mispelling Peay Vineyards!!
_________________________
6. CarlisleSyrah: When I visited Mike Officer in March, he barrel tasted Susan & I on several
Syrahs from the Bennet Vlly. I was mightly impressed with them. This is a growing area
to keep your eye upon. Home of the famous Russell Bevan as well.
This SonomaCnty Syrah is BennettVlly fruit and is an absolute killer Syrah, one of
the best Calif Syrahs I've tried this year. When the group tasted it, there was the
usual "Carlisle Lament" rippling around the room..."I shoulda bought more"!!!
_________________________
7. Carlisle PetiteSirah: Easily the best PS I've had since.....the last Carlisle PS. It has
loads of intense peppery PS fruit. Though a highly extracted wine, it seems to have very
fine-grained tannins, as distinguished from the rather coarse tannins you often get in
PS. I would venture a guess that this may, someday, be the equal of the famed Ridge
YorkCreek PS '71; a wine, at 25 yrs of age, that was probably the greatest Calif red
wine I've ever had. Shoulda bought more!!
_________________________
8. ColumbiaCrest Zin: Dave is from WashState and likes those WashState wines. This one was
easy for me to identify from the strong cracked black pepper character...WashState Syrah!!!
So I was pretty surprised when I saw it to be Zinfandel...and ColumbiaCrest no less.
Certainly one of the strangest, most bizarre Zins I've ever had in my life. Were I one to
worship at the altar of varietal typicity, I would have dissed this wine. But if this is
how WashState terroir displays Zin, I'm all for it. Damn fine wine, it is.
Tom
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Re: WTN: New White&Red Rhones...(long/boring)..

Postby JoePerry » Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:31 pm

TomHill wrote:________________________
12. EdmundsStJohn Syrah "Wylie-Fenaughty"/ElDoradoCnty (14.2%; http://www.EdmundsStJohn.com) 2003:
Med.dark color; quite strong earthy/mushroomy some gamey/plummy/blackberry/Syrah slight
Rhonish interesting nose; strong earthy/mushroomy/gamey bit smokey/complex rather Syrah/
blackberry bit tannic flavor; long earthy/gamey blackberry/Syrah/spicy some peppery very
interesting finish w/ some tannins; needs ?? age; very fine rendition of ElDorado Syrah.

________________________
4. Wylie-Fenaughty '03: This was an extra btl Steve had at HdR and gave us to try. Not yet
released. A very worthy follow-on to his '01 W-F Syrah, which is an absolutely delicious
wine right now. This, I expect, will be every bit its equal with time. One of the things
I really like about Steve's wines is how they change w/ age, in ways that you really can't
predict. I have this sneaking suspicion that Steve's making his wines by intuition and
blind luck!!

Tom


Bottle variation? :shock: :wink:
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Bottle Variation???

Postby TomHill » Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:35 pm

No....I drink his wines often enough that I haven't observed a higher-than-normal variation from btl to btl.
What I was trying to say is that, as Steve's wines age in the btl; they sometimes take some unexpected/surprising twists and turns. For example, I had a btl of his '96 ElDorado PinotGrigio last Winter. I fully expected it to be totally dead&gone. It was, on release, nothing to get excited about. Surprise, it was absolutely stunning... very much alive and one of the best PinotGrigios I'd ever had. I'll occasionally have one of his Syrahs after 2-3-4 yrs that has become pretty funky/bizarre/sometimes stinky/totally not what I'd expected of it; only to find it had turned into a magnificant wine a few yrs later. But I don't think it's btl variation though.
I wouldn't be surprised that Steve sometimes get surprised by how some of his wines evolve. It's that "intuition and blind luck" thing I suppose.
Tom
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