Posts Tagged ‘Arroyo Grande Valley’

Drinks with Erin and Sean

December 8, 2011 2 comments

This past weekend long-time friends Erin and Sean trekked over to our house to catch up.  The wines were poured right after opening and were enjoyed by all.  Erin commented that she drank a lot of Gigondas during her trip to France last month.

2007 Talley Vineyards, Chardonnay, Rincon Vineyard, Arroyo Grande Valley
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from the 89 acre Rincon Vineyard.  The vines were planted in 1991 and are located on soils of shallow clay loam over sandstone.  The wine was 100% barrel fermented, malolactic fermentation in barrel followed by 16 months of aging on lees in 30% new French oak.  Drunk over three nights this bottle improved with time.  The color is of golden straw.  The rich nose makes way to fresher fruit in the mouth with immediate supporting acidity.  There is a mild, buttery texture the precedes flavors of stones, apples, and notes of toast.  There is prickly acidity on the tongue tip.  Jenn really enjoyed this on the second night.  Needs a bit more time. ***(*) 2015-2019.

2008 Willamette Valley Vineyards, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
This wine is 100% Pinot Noir that was fermented in small bins then aged in 10% new Alliers French oak barrels.  Red fruit on the nose followed by a mouth of concentrated notes of cherry and some spice.  This lighter bodied wine has balanced acidity, and unobtrusive tannins.  A solid bottle that could stand another year or two of aging. *(*) 2014-2019.

2009 Domaine Santa Duc, Cuvee Tradition, Gigondas
The cuvee Tradition is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault that was hand harvested before aging for 18 months in casks and tuns. I picked this up at the Bobby Kacher tasting.  This was drunk over a few hours.  It was enjoyably concentrated with good fruit that exhibited a lot of texture on the tip of the tongue.  The acidity comes out midpalate as fine, ripe, flavorful tannins step up.  This chewy wine has ripe fruit from the beginning with a spicy aspect, and is full of incense that fills the mouth.  Drink now for a robust experience or cellar for years to come. ***(*) Now-2022+.

Three From 1997

April 30, 2008 1 comment

Back in 2001 I drank the 1997 Nichols Chardonnays and enjoyed them. Curiosity got the better of me so I decided to try them again along with the Swanson Syrah. The Swason Syrah was by far the best of the three wines and certainly useful to drink as a reference point but not one I’d buy again. I didn’t much care for the Nichols.

1997 Nichols, Chardonnay, Talley Vineyards, Arroyo Grande Valley – $23
This is fermented and aged in 100% oak. A honey-yellow color that is lighter than the Soleil. A very light floral nose. There are faint toast overtones but the soft tropical fruit comes across. There is a pleasant light finish, that slowly develops.

1997 Nichols, Soleil & Terroir Chardonnay, La Colline Vineyard, Arroyo Grande Valley – $23
This too is fermented and aged in 100% French oak for 12 months. A light, golden yellow in the glass. A light nose of toasty-oak, somewhat sour. In the mouth an oak-fest with minimal fruit followed by a toasty oak finish.

1997 Swanson, Syrah, Napa Valley – $28
This is still primary in aroma and flavor. There are tart, dark fruits in the mouth that fade to some tannins and moderate acidity. I was surprised that it comes across as a lighter bodied wine. In short, this wine is surviving rather developing complexity.