At my brother's with turkey and the timmings: 2010 Jeremy Quastana L'Insurge Loire Valley Gamay. Definitely from the "natural wine" school of things (Selection Massale is the importer!) I though this wine was spot on for a rich Turkey dinner. Earthy, funky, red fruit, quite rich but with a hint of effervescence that added an interesting touch to the palate and mouthfeel! I loved it, Kit, my sister in law thought it was interesting, my brother finished a few glasses but was less enamored (it did have that prickly acidity...is this VA?)
Clos Du Val tasting. Love the lighter touch, the herbal notes in their cabs. The Pinots were surprisingly restrained and earthy for Carneros fruit! Loved the new house blend...they lost a big part of their Carneros Chardonnay crop in 2011, so they made the white blend with a dominant slug of Roussanne which was deliciously stoney and fine.
Hidden little winery (the private road where Bell Cellars is located) south of Yountville which I consistently like. Leaners, earthier style of wines...they make some very fine Sonoma Valley Merlots, several earthier cabernets, and, new for this stop, a quite fine Petit Sirah that was lean and structured but full of black pepper goodness!
At Joe's Saturday Night: Pinot and Pig
Thanks to our friends Randy and Laura, who bought a small Pinot Vineyard near Salem (Laura is the chief bond officer for the State of Oregon, so they had to move away a few years ago ).
2005 Stangland Estate Vineyard (Eola Amity Hills) Pinot Noir. Quite big and bold with a (to me) delicious licorice/menthol note. Smooth, but still some tannins! My wine of the night.
2006 St. Innocent Seven Hills Vineyard. This was a very balanced and elegant wine. Laura thought this was her favorite. i can see why, but the Stangland was more...intriguing...to me.
2008 Russian Hill Vineyards (Russian River Valley) (my bottle). More cherry fruit than I remember from the winery tasting...definitely the black cherry side, though! But, this wine had such fine structure and acidity and an earthy undernote that made it quite enjoyable. I would like to see where this goes in 3-5 years!