Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Wines from Steven Kent, Neyers, Blackburn, and Tudal, 15 May 2008

Wines from Steven Kent, Neyers, Blackburn, and Tudal, 15 May 2008


Here are four Californian wines that Jenn and I drunk during May 2008. We rather enjoyed the Steven Kent Chardonnay and found the 20 months of barrel aging did not make this an oak bomb. The Neyers Mourvedre made us happy, the Tudal Cab was quick to be drunk, and the Blackburn had us on the fence.

2005 Steven Kent, Chardonnay, Merrillie, Livermore Valley – $24
This is 100% Wente-clone chardonnay that was aged for 20 months in 70% new American & French oak barrels and 30% used. It is a very light, golden straw color. On the nose there were aromas of apples, some toasty oak, and creaminess. In the mouth there were round, soft apple/citrus type of fruit. There is focused acidity that gives way to a slightly flinty, toasty finish. The wine got better with warmth and was quite enjoyable on the second day. Jenn and I enjoyed this wine and would recommend it.

2006 Neyers, Mourvedre, Pato Ranch, Contra Costa Valley – $28
Tom Hill recently reviewed this but I only just bought a bottle this week based on a recommendation. This is 100% Mourvedre from 100+ year old vines. The light nose revealed blue fruits. In the mouth there were blue fruits, minerals, and some earth in this dense wine. It was balanced by the acidity and finely proportioned tannins that give way to a long dark aftertaste. The wine is slow to open so decant for a few hours, otherwise it could benefit by some age.

2004 Blackburn Winery, Proulx, Lux, Paso Robles, $22
This is a 52% Grenache, 22% Mourvedre, 16% Syrah. 6% Zinfandel, and 4% Petite-Sirah blend. A medium ruby with slight reddish-brown tones. A light nose of red fruit that is ripe and tart. In the mouth there is dusty fruit at first that turns to purer red and blue fruits with supporting acidity. There are light tannins in the finish. This wine had a slight funk to it that blew off.

2004 Tudal Family, Cabernet Sauvignon, Clift Vineyard, Oak Knolls District, Napa Valley – $25
This is a fairly low production wine of less than 200 cases. A light nose of chocolate and blue fruits. In the mouth there is brighter red/blue fruits that comes across as perfumed. This medium-bodied wine has low-level, fine tannins with prominent acidity. The somewhat short finish yields to a pleasing, simple aftertaste. A tasty, more elegant style for drinking now.

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