WTN: New Calif/France Rhones...(long/boring)

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WTN: New Calif/France Rhones...(long/boring)

Postby TomHill » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:19 pm

We tasted last week (9/13/06) Some New Rhones:
1. JanKris AvaMarie's Viognier PasoRobles (Unoaked; 13.5%; http://www.JanKrisWinery.com) 2005:
Pale yellow color; pleasant pear/apple some fragrant/Viognier pleasant nose; tart very weak/
washed out/dilute slight pear/apple slight bitter flavor; virtually no finish; seems rather
underripe and very dilute; borrring at any price. $12.00
2. E.Guigal AC: Condrieu (13.5%) 2004: Med.gold color; attractive Condrieu/minerally peachy/
Viognier some SO2 slight oak rather light nose; fairly rich/lush attractive minerally/
Condrieu some oak pleasant peachy/Viognier light flavor; very long light minerally/Condrieu
some oak finish; an attractive Condrieu but a weak effort for Guigal and overpriced. $43.00
3. FireStationRed Calif Shiraz (13.7%; http://www.FireStationRed.com) JohnDrady/Winegrower
AnthonyAustin/Winemaker 2003: Med.color; ripe grapey/mushroomy/earthy/Lodi ripe/blackberry/
Syrah some toasty/oak slightly volatile/aromatic nose; soft/lust some ripe/blackberry/Syrah
earthy/mushroomy/plummy some oaked flavor; med.long soft/lush blackberry/plummy/black cherry/
Syrah rather earthy/mushroomy finish w/ light tannins; speaks more of Lodi than Syrah;
pretty nice red for the price. $12.00
4. Serenity Syrah SantaBarbara Reserve (13.2%; http://www.SerenityWine.com) KingCity 2004: Dark color;
pleasant blackberry/Syrah slight roasted/toasted nose; soft/fat some underacid/weak pleasant
blackberry/Syrah bit toasty/oak flavor; med.short soft/fat plummy/blackberry/Syrah light toasty
finish w/ light tannins; pleasant Syrah but the toasty oak can't quite save it from the lack
of acidity and structure. $15.00
5. PetiteRousse PasoRobles Syrah (14.5%) B by ClosMimi/SantaMaria 2004: Med.color; rather grapey/
earthy bit green light blackberry/grapey nose w/ light Syrah character; tart/citric/screechy
some earthy/grapey little Syrah flavor; short tart/citric grapey/earthy finish w/ little
tannin; pretty weird wine w/ little Syrah character; unattractive at any price. $15.00
6. SanSakanaCllrs Trio Syrah SonomaVlly (14.4%; TeldeschiVnyd/Healdsburg, ClaryRanch/
Petaluma, WhiteHawkVnyd/SBCnty) 2004: Dark color; very attractive blackberry/Syrah some toasty/
oak slight smokey/roasted nose; soft blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah slight toasty/oak very
attractive flavor; long light smokey/toasty/oak strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry finish w/
light tannins; very attractive well-made Syrah. $45.00
7. ShadowCnynCllrs Syrah SantaBarbaraCnty (14.8%) 2003: Black color; very intense blackberry/
boysenberry/Syrah some peppery loads of fruit very perfumed light toasty/oak nose; soft/rich/lush
very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah quite peppery/spicy light toasty/oak complex flavor;
very long/lingering light toasty/oak very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah some roasted/
peppery finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs yet; huge fruit but the structure to support
all that fruit; terrific Syrah at a great price. $26.00
8. McPrice Myers Syrah LesGaletsVnyd/ArroyoGrandeVlly (15.4%; http://www.McPriceMyers.com) 2004: Black
color; very spicy/peppery very strong blackberry/Syrah bit milky/lactic very toasty/oak rather
roasted/espresso complex nose; tart bit earthy very spicy/blackberry some toasty/oak/charred
bit roasted/espresso flavor; med.long tart light roasted/espresso strong very spicy/blackberry/
Syrah finish w/ fair tannins; great structure and the acidity that should carry it 3-8 yrs;
very interesting Syrah w/ some NorthernRhonish character. $31.00
9. Jean-Luc Colombo LesFeesBrunes Crozes-Hermitage (12.5%) 2003: Med.dark color; some bretty/earthy
rather simple Syrah/berry nose; soft rather washed out/weak simple berry/Syrah somewhat bretty/
earthy flavor; med.short bretty/earthy washed out light Syrah finish w/ little tannins; rather
dull & simple and merely of CdR quality; pretty overpriced. $26.00
10. Jean-Luc Colombo LesLauves St.Joseph (12.5%) 2004: Dark color; some Syrah/blackberry rather
earthy/dusty little NorthernRhone nose; tart light rather earthy/dusty slight blackberry/Syrah;
pretty dull & undistinguished wine w/ little Rhone character; stupid price. $32.00
11. Viader NapaVlly Syrah (14.0%) 2002: Unredeemingly corked. $37.95/hlf
12. Babcock Syrah Radical HearthstoneVnyd/PasoRobles (14.5%; OQP; 139 cs) 2004: Very dark color;
ripe/jammy/blackberry/Syrah slight toasty/oak bit smokey nose; soft/fat jammy/blackberry/
boysenberry/Syrah light toasty/oak bit simple flavor; long soft ripe/jammy/blackberry/Syrah
finish w/ light tannins; not nearly as interesting as the other two; pretty classic jammy
Paso Syrah lacking in structure. $50.00
13. Babcock Syrah FryingPan AlisosVnyd/SantaBarbaraCnty (14.8%; OQP; 194 cs) 2004: Black color;
very intense blackberry/boysenberry/spicy/Syrah some toasty/oak bit roasted/espresso loads
of Syrah fruit nose; soft blackberry/blueberry/Syrah light toasty/smokey/oak slight peppery/
ripe/jammy spicy flavor; very long huge/blackberry/blueberry/Syrah light smokey/toasty/oak
finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs; packed w/ spicy Syrah fruit; terrific Syrah. $50.00
14. Babcock Syrah Nook&Cranny BabcockEstate/SantaRitaHills (14.5%; http://www.BabcockWinery.com;
OptimumQuadPossum; 124 cs) 2004: Black color; beautiful peppery/cracked black pepper very
spicy/blackberry/blueberry/Syrah coffee/mocha/espresso beautiful complex nose; tart bit leaner
very spicy/cracked black pepper smokey/roasted/espresso complex rather Rhonish flavor; very
long/lingering cracked black pepper/toasty very spicy/blackberry/Syrah finish w/ fair tannins;
needs 3-6 yrs; terrific Syrah w/ lots of NorthernRhone character. $50.00
15. AustinCllrs SantaBarbaraCnty JohannisbergRiesling Botrytis (Hrvstd: 11/11/83;
SaH: 38.2 Brix; RS: 17.6 Brix; 10.5%) 1983: Very dark/brown maple syrup color; intense botrytis/
apricotty/peachy/canned peach syrup old TBA complex nose; fairly sweet tart intense apricotty/
canned peach syrup/botrytis slight nutty/oxidized complex flavor; very long/lingering quite sweet
very intense peach syrup/botrytis complex finish; terrific example of old TBA-level wine.
More blatherings from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. FireStationRed: Kinda weird WebSite. If you use "www.FireStationRed.com", you get an image
of a flame that just sits there and flickers forever afore it eventually open a portal.
If you use "firestationred.com/FSRhome.htm" you can get directly to the home directory.
Winemaker is John Drady, a volunteer fireman w/ the GoldRidge Fire Dept. Consulting
winemaker is Tony Austin. John's wife, Barbara, runs the Wine Boot Camp
"www.AffairsOfTheVine.com". They have planted a vnyd of Pinot & Syrah not far from the
Phelps vnyd in Freestone, as I recall. A portion of the sales goes to support volunteer
fire departments around the country. I'm looking forward to trying their wines from their
estate when it comes into production.
2. TonyAustin: I've followed Tony's wines from the very start. He was founding winemaker at
Firestone Vnyds, w/ Andre Tscheliteff as consultant. I first met him there about 1975.
After he left Firestone, where he made some of the most interesting early SantaBarbara
wines, he started up AustinCllrs, w/ a tasting room there in downtown LosOlivos, just
next door to ChrisBenzinger's place. I have in my mind that he was the one that planted
the original Alisos Vnyd not far from the Thompson Vnyd, but I could be wrong. After a
several year hiatus from the wine biz, he's returned to his roots back up in Sonoma and
is now apparently back at winemaking. A good thing I think; he's very talented.
This Botrytis JR was opened in celebration of Tony's return to winemaking. I picked it
up at his tasting room in the mid-late '80's. I had also picked up a botrytis SauvBlanc
that was terribly weedy and pickle juice. So I sorta dismissed this and stuck it way in
the back of my cellar, never to see the light of day. When I saw his name on the FSR wine,
I was able to retrieve it. Very/very good example of old Calif botrytis Riesling.
I also recall that Tony may have made a StirrupCup PinotNoir at Firestone, though it
may have been under Allison Green's tenure. It was a Late Harvest Pinot Noir, not too
far removed in character from a lightweight current style SantaRitaHills Pinot!! :-)
At about 20 yrs of age, it was mighty fine drinking.
3. SanSakana: This Trio is the latest release from SanSakana (http://sansakana.com/) and the
4'th wine of theirs I've tried. All of them have been first rate efforts, I thought. Of the
two '05 Viogniers, I far preferred the BrokenLeg vnyd version. Of these two '04 Syrahs, I
somewhat preferred the LasMadresVnyd/Carneros to the Trio. It was just more interesting
Syrah that had more things going on in it. I winery to watch.
4. ShadowCanyonCllrs: I've followed GaryGibson's wines from the very start, when he showed me
his first wine at HdR before it was released. I was immediately impressed. All the wines of
his that I've tried at HdR have been even more impressive. Alas, he's been discovered
by Arpy, so the wines can be hard-to-find.
His estate vnyd is up in the YorkMtn appellation. This is, I believe, the smallest AVA
in Calif. The AVA was created from the inititiave of Steve Goldman (Max's son) back when
he was making wine under the YorkMtnWnry label. The wines could be a bit spotty, but I saw
enough in the wines to think that the AVA could, potentially, make some great wines.
YorkMtnCllrs was eventually bought by Martin & Wyerich, so I presume the wines these days are
no great shakes. Not sure what happened to the wnry because it was having trouble, I recall,
meeting earthquake standards. I'm not sure that any of the wines actually come from YorkMtn
Anyway, YorkMtn is an AVA that can make world class wines and I think Gary has been the
one to show that.
5. ViaderSyrah: This was two half btls, both with sediment. I decanted both into the same decanter
w/o first checking. Argggghhh...one of them was very badly corked. Friggin corks!!
6. BabcockSyrahs: This is the 2'nd vintage of Brian's TerroirExclusive Syrahs. These are absolutely
first-rate Syrahs, some of the best wines Brian makes. The OptimumQuadPossum on the label refers
to Brian's secret technique of tossing four dead/road-kill possums into each fermenting vat to
increase the protien content of the wine and optimize the effeciency of the protienaceous fining
agent he uses on the wine.
Here From the Very Start
Posts: 3296
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

Cazar Update...

Postby TomHill » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:18 pm

From Bill Hunter of Chasseur:

Cazar does belong to Chasseur as a second label. I have been looking for a Syrah source that works for the Chasseur brand but have not been able to find one. The '05 will be the last Cazar Syrah for a while.
Bill Hunter
Here From the Very Start
Posts: 3296
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

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