Mature Chapoutier and Turley with young Dirty & Rowdy
A recent evening tasting wine with Lou proved to be rather interesting. I do not recall ever tasting Hermitage blanc so I was completely surprised that the 2000 Chapoutier, Chante-Alouette, Hermitage Blanc continued to develop the entire evening. While it was always balanced it became more expressive on the nose and in the mouth. I usually save my leftovers for the next day but Jenn and I just had to finish it up when I returned home. If you open a bottle then double-decant it at least one hour ahead. Also interesting was the bottle of 2000 Turley, Zinfandel Juvenile. I would not think a high-alcohol Zinfandel could develop gracefully past 10 years of age. This one did. I would not say it developed any distinctive bottle aged flavors, rather it was youthful in a manner that belied its age. We finished up with a pair of Mourvedre from Dirty & Rowdy. The 2011 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, Shake Ridge Ranch, Amador County was a bit more robust and expressive, though the flavors waxed and waned. Though familiar on the nose the 2013 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, California Familiar proved to be a younger, lighter, and acidity driven relative. Not surprising given the change in fruit source and the inclusion of some Petite Sirah. My feelings oscillated but the wine did grow on me. In the end I felt it just needs some time. What really matters is that the 2000 Chapoutier rocked and the 2000 Turley was an outright tasty wine to drink.
2000 Chapoutier, Chante-Alouette, Hermitage Blanc –
Imported by Ginday Imports. This wine is 100% Roussanne. Alcohol 11-14%. The wine was a gold color. With air aromas of toast came out. The wine itself became rounder, riper, and weightier throughout the entire evening. There was a lovely, exotic mouthfeel with green herbs and eventually an interesting masa with fruit flavor. It had attractive glycerin and a flavorful aftertaste. **** Now-2020.
2000 Turley, Zinfandel Juvenile –
This wine is 100% Zinfandel sourced from young vines on estate vineyards. It was aged in 20% new oak. Alcohol 15.2%. The color was a light to medium garnet. The nose was grapey and meaty with some prune aromas. In the mouth the wine was very fruity before linear flavors of black fruit and lively young acidity came out. The wine was balanced, though you could work out some heat, and quickly took on a little ripe texture and tannins in the finish. With air the wine took on more grapey fruit, rosemary notes, and a powdery ripe aftertaste. *** Now-2019.
2011 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, Shake Ridge Ranch, Amador County –
This wine is 100% Mourvedre from two blocks of young vines that was aged for four months in neutral oak. Alcohol 13.4%. There was an enjoyable nose of gentle potpourri and red fruit aromas. In the mouth were forward, grainy fruit flavors that were tart, black, and acidity driven. After the start the wine fleshed out a bit in the middle but dropped off in the finish before resuming in the aftertaste. The wine became more floral with air, showing pepper, black fruit, and greenhouse flavors. It even took on notes of polished wood and vintage perfume. *** Now-2018.
2013 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvedre, California Familiar –
This wine is a blend of 93% Mourvedre and 7% Petite Sirah that was whole cluster fermented using indigenous yeast. Alcohol 13.2%. Familiar in the nose but certainly different. There were tart red and black fruit that had a more carressing feel. The wine was cleaner and lighter on its feet with cranberry acidity and a moderate amount of citric tannin that were still young. **(*) 2015-2019.