WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Otto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:42 pm

There's a newish wine importer, Nomad Wines, operating in Finland and they kindly invited a bunch of local wine bloggers to try some wines. These were mostly wines that the Canadian owner had samples of but which he doesn't import. He wanted our opinions on which, if any, he should import. Sadly, apart from few delightful wines, these weren't a terribly interesting bunch!

We started with a bunch of whites, not blind and with the warning that some of these are really not grand wines! :D
Duck Pond Pinot Gris 2011 - Oregon
Reductive, unaromatic, tasteless and the only sensation is slight sweetness. Tap water tends to be more interesting and enjoyable.

Sutto Pinot Grigio 2011 - IGT Venezia Giulia
Much more interesting aromas than the Duck Pond but still in the neutral end of the vinous spectrum. Nice acidity, so it is fresh instead of just lacking in sensations altogether. Actually not bad.

Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris 2011 - Oregon
It says PG on the label but smells and tastes more like a slightly toned down stereotype of SB. Not to my taste. But at least it wasn't neutral like most non-Alsace PG!

Guenoc Pinot Gris 2011 - California
Some interest on the nose, with a bit of hay and spice aromas. But unstructured, sweet and very alcoholic palate though "only" 13,5% abv.

Duck Pond Riesling 2011 - Oregon
Sweet, unacidic, un-Riesling-like. How do you make such a lacklustre wine from this grape?

Desert Wind Riesling 2011 - Washington State
Heavy. And Riesling shouldn't be.

Sokol Blosser Evolution 16th Ed. - Oregon
A clean, light blend but I forget what of. It isn't too sweet or too heavy and has adequate acidity so was so far the best of the whites.

Firestone Sauvignon Blanc 2010 - California
Super-sweet, heavy, lacking in freshness. Terrible.

Ch. Négly Sauvignon Blanc 2010 - Languedoc
Watery and grassy. At least this smells of SB but I still don't like it.

Lost Angel Chardonnay 2010 - California
Lacks intensity and acidity but at least it isn't only oak.

Sebastiani Chardonnay 2010 - California
I can't believe it's not butter! (Good grief! How bad can wine be?!?!)

Galfano Cattaratto 2011 - Sicily
Orange colour and smells of funk and oranges, too. Really interesting! Sweet and obviously a warm area but lively on the palate, too, though fairly low in acidity. After all those neutral and horrible wines this was at least interesting, though I do wonder if drinking half a bottle is possible since it is quite heavy.

Galfano Giuva Zibibbo 2010 - Sicily
A really nice dry Muscat with fair bit of bite to keep it fresh.

Domaine Mucyn Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2011
100% Marsanne. Smells sweaty and reductive. Rich, sweet, low acid palate. Not too inspiring.

Ch. Négly La Brise Marine 2011 - Languedoc
70% Bourboulenc, 30% Roussanne. A lovely fresh aroma; sweetish fruit but perfectly adequate acidity and the Bourboulenc cuts through the Roussanne's richness admirably. Nice wine!


Then came some blind reds:
Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2010 - Oregon
Charred oak and cranberry harshness. Served blind, I thought this was a caricature of NZ PN. Not at all to my taste.

J. Lohr Valdiguié Wildflower 2011 - Monterey, California
Served blind. It smelled rather like a proper Gamay (not the bubblegummy style) but tasted quite sweet and low in acid. I wondered if this was a California Gamay but instead got to try a grape I hadn't tried before. It was a fun little wine but could IMO use a touch more acidity to give it a little more crunchiness and freshness as it does get a bit fruit-heavy when I took the remains home with me.

Desert Wind Tempranillo 2009 - Columbia Valley, Washington
Ewwww! Charred aromas and sweet, unacidic palate.

EOS Zinfandel Dry Creek 2009 - Paso Robles
Sweet, ripe, strawberry aromas and some minty/herbal lift - so I thought we had a well made but inexpensive Southern Rhone or Languedoc wine. Sweet palate but ok acidity; not too heavy though obviously a wine that has seen much sun.

Galfano Nero d'Avola "Alesia" 2009 - Sicily
Raisiny, unpleasantly bitter tannins. Disgusting.

Domaine Mucyn Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2009
Reductive and unclean - and not in a nice way (remember that I do like shitty wines). No sign of Syrah anywhere in this wine.

Pillitteri Cabernet Franc 2010 - Niagara, Canada
Sweet and syrupy, so ripe I thought we were in Napa! :O Not at all like any Cab Franc I've tried before and frankly not to my taste.

J. Lohr Hilltop Cab Sauvignon 2008 - Napa
Huge amounts of toasty oak; thick, massive as a neutron star and just as deadly. Not my thing.


Then we opened some reds, not blind:
The Lane Vineyard Block 5 Shiraz 2010 - Adelaide Hills, Australia
A supremely peppery nose; delightfully light body (only 13%) with proper acidity. Refreshing and moreish. I really wouldn't mind trying this again as it seems like honest wine.

Firestone Syrah 2009; J. Lohr Syrah 2010; Pinot Noirs from Duck Pond, Lost Angel, Sebastiani, J. Lohr & Los Osos Merlot 2010 and Petite Sirah from J. Lohr
Ugh. Sweet and syrupy messes. Pointless.

We finished with an EOS Zinfandel Port 2008 which actually wasn't too bad. Dark fruit aromas; sweet but decent structure, doesn't of course have the complexity of a 1966 Taylor's but it who cares, it was a fun little sweetie.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.

No longer ITB.
User avatar
Otto
Musaroholic
 
Posts: 3976
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Brian K Miller » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:38 pm

Not a fine showing for American Wine. :lol: :shock: :oops:
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
Brian K Miller
Passionate Arboisphile
 
Posts: 6596
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:05 am
Location: Northern California

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Lou Kessler » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:54 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:Not a fine showing for American Wine. :lol: :shock: :oops:

Nobody would expect the group of wines presented to be fine. Bleh!
Lou Kessler
Doesn't buy green bananas
 
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:20 pm

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Otto » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:02 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:Nobody would expect the group of wines presented to be fine. Bleh!


True. The purpose was just to go through all the importer's samples and hope that something interesting turned up. And the Valdiguié and a couple others did amuse me. I went with low expectations but did end up enjoying a few of these. So it was a couple hours well spent IMO.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.

No longer ITB.
User avatar
Otto
Musaroholic
 
Posts: 3976
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:07 pm
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Mark Lipton » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:19 am

You most likely know this already, Otto, but Valdiguie has a long, ignominious history in CA as "Napa Gamay." Interesting that yours actually bore some resemblance to true Gamay as so often they don't.

Mark Lipton
User avatar
Mark Lipton
Oenochemist
 
Posts: 4281
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:18 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Sam Platt » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:38 am

U-S-A! U-S-A! :)

I have tasted many Firestone wines over the years and none of them have ever failed to disappoint me. I believe that Firestone now owns EOS or vice-versa.

PS: We do actually make some good wine in the U.S., Otto. Just not the ones that you tasted.
Sam

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson
Sam Platt
I am Sam, Sam I am
 
Posts: 2274
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Indiana, USA

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Shaji M » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:00 pm

Otto,
Going through your tasting notes (thank you for posting them), it appears that very few wines even managed to make the standard (from both sides of the pond). I agree that the US wines on the list are not the best epitome of winemaking here, but I cant help wonder if the list represents a flaw/taste/preference of the importer.
-Shaji
Shaji M
Wine guru
 
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Brian K Miller » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:30 pm

Shaji has a point. Importer palate. Sounds like the Vino End Times may be here, as the Anti-Kermit Lynch has appeared on a pale horse! :lol:
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
Brian K Miller
Passionate Arboisphile
 
Posts: 6596
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:05 am
Location: Northern California

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Brian Gilp » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:46 pm

Sam Platt wrote:
I have tasted many Firestone wines over the years and none of them have ever failed to disappoint me.


You just need to lower your expectations. Seriously, I have had a few Firestones over the years that served me well for a basic mid-week house wine. I don't recall the vintage but I went through a case or two of their cab a while back which turned out to be a steal.
Brian Gilp
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1457
Joined: Tue May 23, 2006 6:50 pm

Re: WTN: Quick notes from an importer's tasting (lots of US)

Postby Lou Kessler » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:57 pm

Sam Platt wrote:U-S-A! U-S-A! :)

I have tasted many Firestone wines over the years and none of them have ever failed to disappoint me. I believe that Firestone now owns EOS or vice-versa.

PS: We do actually make some good wine in the U.S., Otto. Just not the ones that you tasted.

I agree it's been a good many years since Firestone made good wines. :(
Lou Kessler
Doesn't buy green bananas
 
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:20 pm


Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Doug Surplus, Yahoo [Bot] and 4 guests

cron