The following are brief notes on some wines drunk over a casual take-out lunch with Gerry and Tom over at Tom’s house a little while back. All four wines were pop and pour, but we were able to sample them over a good period of time to see how they evolved.
2002 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast. This shows a somewhat pale color, but the nose is very bright and profusive with elegant aromas of cranberries, baked cherries, menthol and pumpkin spices. In the mouth, it’s sleek, elegant and gently spiced, with crunchy acidity and a cool leafy sensibility running beneath the fine beam of cranberry and cherry fruit flavors. It’s not the most expansive or broad wine, but it does have a very good core of fine-toned flavor that is still doing just fine. I think there’s still a little bit left in the tank here, but I see no reason whatsoever to wait on it.
2006 Dain Wines Pinot Noir Rebel Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard Santa Maria Valley. This wine presents a fairly big, juicy, red fruit-dominated nose with a core of dark cherry fruit supported by background notes of smoke, limestone and funky undergrowth. In the mouth, it’s certainly plumper and more richly-fruited than the previous wine in style, and it also exhibits a fair bit of chalky tannin and faint oak accent still hanging around. The fruit, though, feels very giving and pliant and it fills the mouth with a lot of enjoyable dark red fruit flavor. This is pretty nice now, but could certainly be held a while, as well.
1995 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon Bosché Vineyard Napa Valley. Aromatically, this wine is dark, meaty, peaty, smoky and sort of treacled in tone—featuring pasty scents of black plum, black currant, rusty nail, multivitamin, orange peel and pencil shavings. In the mouth, it seems fairly medium-weighted and classically-structured to me, with a cool, earthy sensibility beneath the smoky cherry fruit core. It’s not too tannic and it seems like no problem to drink now.
1998 Seavey Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley. The nose here is a little astingent, with scents of grilled herbs, black currants, pen ink, dirt and soy sauce competing with an unusual sort of brothy streak that’s hard to describe but which does clean up a bit over time. It’s pretty structured still on the palate, not really seeming to want to release its full flavor profile just yet. I do like the mid-palate concentration of pure black cherry fruit, but otherwise it feels generally restrained at this time. As with the nose, I find it very slowly yielding a bit as we sit with it, but I’m still inclined to suggest waiting on this one or giving it a solid decanting.