March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Joe Moryl » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:30 pm

2009 Schild Estate Shiraz, Barrosa:
Can't recall the last time I bought a bottle of Aussie Shiraz, so I thought I might pick one up for this thread. Quite dark and youthful violet, not much going on in the nose. Very velvety and smooth on the palate - there are tannins, but they are ripe. Slick blackberry/mulberry fruit with some touches of black pepper and licorice. Clearly new-world but still nicely structured, it carries the 14.5% abv quite well, with no overbearing oak. Interesting trace of campari/quinine bitterness on the finish. Quite enjoyable, even though I wouldn't want this style every day. There was a bit left in the bottle the next day, when it was even better, with a much more effusive rosewater, berry nose. Screwcap closure, $15.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:17 am

Joe, I have notes I have to post on their GMS. Quite like yours.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby JC (NC) » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:54 pm

The Aussie wine I thought was a Rhone blend turned out to be 63% Shiraz/27% Cabernet Sauvignon so I am reporting on it in the regular forum, not this thread. Then I opened the 2008 MINER FAMILY VINEYARDS VIOGNIER, SIMPSON VINEYARD, CA. Simpson Vineyard is in the Central Valley at Madera, near Fresno. Low-yielding vines. Stainless steel fermentation. This bottle was signed by the winemaker at a wine and food event. Tears on the side of the glass. Medium gold color with transparency. Some apricot and ginger hints in the nose. Unfortunately, I let this bottle sit in my cooler for too long. It tasted less than fresh and probably should have been opened in 2010. I drank one glass and then poured the rest down the drain but I did like this when I first tasted it two or three years ago.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Victorwine » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:25 pm

Hi JC,
Robin didn’t actually specify that “New World Super Rhone blends” were totally out of place. (Maybe I got a little carried away, but that 20% Old vine Garnacha IMHO made that CS just a little “special”).

Salute
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Tim York » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:07 am

I know that this is brazen cheating, but Victor has already done so with his notes on a Catalonian tasting, so I am just following his example. (Perhaps Victor shares the view that modern Spanish wine-making is New World in spirit :wink: .)

As it happens the food on the table so far this week has be ideal for pairing with Rhône rangers and those in my cellar are the “real thing” or from close by in Languedoc/Roussillon. The first two come from stars in their respective appellations but the third comes from an “estate” about which I can find nothing; perhaps simply the supermarket’s brand name for a wine sourced from the Tautavel co-op. So here goes.

Crozes-Hermitage 2001 – Alain Graillot – Alc.13% - (€17 for 2010) -100% Syrah. Can Crozes come better than from Graillot? Lovely bouquet of sour/sweet cherry laced with steel and hints of grilled meat. Medium bodied linear shaped palate with fine focus, still bright fruit, aromas similar to the bouquet, minerals, lively acidity, fine grip and good tannic support for the finish. This wine is almost Burgundian in its elegance and purity. Graillot is a magician. 17/20 QPR.

Côtes du Rhône Terre de Galets 2010 – Domaine Richaud, Cairanne– Alc.14% - (€14), made from 42% Grenache, 34% Carignan, 24% Syrah. Marcel Richaud is another magician. In addition to the generous body, bright and quite rich sweet fruit, spice and tangy acidity which makes 2010 CDRs and Villages from estates like Réméjeanne and Fenouillet so delicious, he gets a seamless focus and elegance which is rare in the Southern Rhône valley; 16.5/20.
Richaud’s Cairanne cuvées are similar, but fuller and more complex, and rival those, more powerful, of Oratoire St.Martin for the title of the best in that excellent village.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel 2010 – Mas Jaume – Alc.13.5% - (<€4), made from Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. One can hardly do better at this price point. Much simpler than the Richaud CDR, it seems nevertheless thoroughly honest in its bright and savoury red and dark fruit flavours with hints of blackberry, touches of garrigue though less than in 2009, good acidity and supple tannins; 15/20 QPR!!

To return to the spirit of this thread, I ask how these compare with the Aussie Rhône rangers which I have recently opened. For the Syrah/Shiraz, there is no contest for me between the bright elegance of the Graillot and the spineless sweet fruit of the Shaw & Smith. Honours are much more even between the Richaud CDR and the d’Arenberg Shriaz/Grenache with greater elegance on the former and perhaps more generosity on the latter. As for the say <€5 price point, I haven’t dared to pick up any New World offering, so much do I fear oaky goop.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby ChaimShraga » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:22 pm

Tim York wrote:Graillot is a magician.


Yup!
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Carl Eppig » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:32 pm

2006 Tobin James Silver Reserve Syrah, Paso Robles. Alcohol level: 15%. List Price: $48, but paid around $25 through wine club. It gave gobs of black fruit on the nose and upfront. In the middle we found blackberries, blueberries, some pepper and spice, smooooooth tannin, and little heat as the gobs overcame the alky. It finished nicely. We matched with St Patrick's day dinner of thick grillpanned loin lambchops, pureed blue Hubbard squash well doctored, and baguette dipped in garlicy EVOO. Mmmmmmmm good!
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Tim York » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:44 am

Sorry more cheating!!

The extenuating circumstance is that I am looking for a modest but tasty Rhône ranger to go with a cold buffet which are giving for relations and friends next weekend. (The chosen white is Beaujolais blanc 2010 from Brun.) This explains why I have looked at several in the last few days. This one is my choice not because it is superior to Richaud, d'Arenberg, Réméjeanne's Chèvrefeuilles, etc. but because the others are a touch too rich and lacking in gaiety for the purpose.

Côtes du Rhône Le Petit Piolas 2010 – Domaine la Fourmente, near Visan – Alc.13.5% - (c.€8), made from organically grown Grenache 75% and Syrah 25%. This is a completely new estate for me recommended for my purpose by Roger and David Michel of la Cave des Oblats, the best wine pickers I know in Belgium. It showed dark purple colour, bright nose of sappy red and dark fruit, a supple and exhilarating medium bodied palate with crunchy fruit, non-jammy Grenache sweetness, slightly resinous sap, lively acidity, some bright minerals and faint dabs of liquorice. A model of appetising and unpretentious CDR; 15.5/20++.

Another one on show at la Cave des Oblats at a similar price was Côtes du Rhône Villages 2009 - Domaine Ste.Anne at St.Gervais which adds Mourvèdre to the blend. This was deeper, more complex, more elegant and more structured with some lovely pure fruit; 16/20. However I think that it is too serious and dominating for the cold buffet so regretfully I did not take it.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:08 am

2008 Wind Gap Syrah Griffin's Lair VIneyard (Sonoma Coast)
Inky purple - even black in the glass. I was somewhat surprised by this, and even mroe by the thick texture and overwhelming element of soy sauce that buried virtually everything else.

I like a lot of Wind Gap wines. Not at all sure what to make of this...
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Eli R » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:00 am

Dalton Alma S-M-V 2009
is a Rhone Blend made of 82% Shiraz 12% Mourvedre and 6% Viognier.
Separated for 12 months in new and one year old French oak, and then two more months as a blend. (paid about 20$ in local currency)
I like it very much for every day drinking. Just uncork, pour and drink.
It represents a new trend led by a new generation of wine makers in Israel, to produce "old world" young wines that could be drank with food without taking center-stage.
Dalton is located in the Upper Galilee in the north of Israel and the wine maker is a young lady: Naama Sorkin.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby JC (NC) » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:27 pm

Two New World wines from Rhone grapes--a red and a white.

2005 Milbrandt Legacy Syrah, Columbia Valley, Washington state. 14.6 % alcohol by volume. Dark purple-red color; opaque. Exhibits viscosity. Ripe dark blacberries on the nose. Ripe fruit and sweet oak on the tastebuds. Not yet at the end of its lifespan. Appeling in a juicy, mellow way. From Dr. Strangelove of Wine on Under the Grapetree website: "Milbrandt Legacy Syrah 2005 - the last vintage with the Legacy name on the package (a winemaker in California by the name of Jess Jackson wasn't happy with their use of the word "Legacy") - a remarkable Syrah with a little more than 3% Mourvedre splashed in to give this wine the complexity of a fine Chateauneuf du Pape. There is a richness and density that is amazing, with a thick, sanguinesque appearance in the glass, and lush aromas and flavors of black and red berries, leather, coffee, smoke, white pepper, violet and lavender. It is a superb red wine and added proof that Syrah is done well and done right in Washington State." This may now be labeled as Traditions Syrah?

2007 D'Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier/Marsanne, Adelaide, Australia. We have already had an entry on The Hermit Crab but I found this in my collection and decided to have it now. 13.5% alcohol. Screwcap closure. Pale gold with transparency, Aromatic. Favorable impression although I'm usually not drawn to Rhone whites with the exception of Condrieu. I'm not familiar enough with Viognier and Marsanne to know which variety contributes what tot he aroma and taste. Well made. The grapes are grown on limestone, calcified soil with ancient crustacean fossils. Recommended pairing is shellfish and seafood. I drank this to accompany ham steak baked in a tropical marinade sauce.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Brian K Miller » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:37 am

2007 Donati Family Vineyards Syrah (Paicines AVA near the Ocean in Climate Zone II).

This was a delightful Syrah I was allowed to taste by some good friends. Dark, even inky color. Nose is all about the meat, with floral overtones. Label claims ABV of 15%, but there is no obvious obrtrusive heat. Classic Syrah flavors of meat and red fruit, with strong acidity and fine tannins. Quite delicious.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Mark Lipton » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:57 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:2008 Wind Gap Syrah Griffin's Lair VIneyard (Sonoma Coast)
Inky purple - even black in the glass. I was somewhat surprised by this, and even mroe by the thick texture and overwhelming element of soy sauce that buried virtually everything else.

I like a lot of Wind Gap wines. Not at all sure what to make of this...


Eek!! I think that I have a bottle or two of this (either that, or the '09). When I get back to my cellar (and revert to previous CT ID) I'll have to check.

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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Andrew Bair » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:58 pm

Rhône varieties are not exactly an area where I have as much experience as I would like. I'm thankful that the monthly Wine Focus gives me an incentive to explore a less familiar (to me) grape or region, even if this end result is not always what I am expecting. Then again, surprises can make life more fun.

Anyway, I am sure that others will definitely have a different take on this wine than I did, and I completely understand and respect that.

2007 Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit de Beaucastel Paso Robles
44% Mourvèdre, 29% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 6% Counoise. From 375 ml bottle; opened ½ hour before pouring.
Nose of black cherries, currants, and ground black pepper. Full-bodied, round, rich, concentrated, and smooth. Sweet, high in extract, somewhat porty, moderately oaky, seamless, with smooth, spicy tannins. Tastes of blackberry molasses, cherry liqueur, cranberry sauce, dates, iron, minerals, and mixed peppercorns. Moderate+ length on the finish.
I am surprised to see the alcohol listed at only 14.5%, when it tastes more like 15.5%. As others have said, the Grenache is very noticeable here; as much so as the Mourvèdre, in my opinion. The alcohol is not as well hidden here as in some of Tablas’ other wines, which I have usually liked in the past. Maybe time will help; the structure is definitely there. Right now, however, this might be the best dessert wine that nobody has ever heard of – think Banyuls or Maury with an added level of complexity.
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Re: March Wine Focus: New World Rhone Varieties

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:28 am

Brian K Miller wrote:2007 Donati Family Vineyards Syrah (Paicines AVA near the Ocean in Climate Zone II).

This was a delightful Syrah I was allowed to taste by some good friends. Dark, even inky color. Nose is all about the meat, with floral overtones. Label claims ABV of 15%, but there is no obvious obrtrusive heat. Classic Syrah flavors of meat and red fruit, with strong acidity and fine tannins. Quite delicious.


Sounds delicious indeed.
Last night I opened a GSM from Mitchell Clare Valley. I will post but I cheated...it has Sangiovese in the blend!!
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