Posts Tagged ‘Central Coast’

Drinking New Wines With Lou

August 28, 2013 2 comments

Between the end of summer vacation and the start of the school year, Lou and I managed to squeeze in a quick gathering to taste some wine.  We both opened several recent purchases from Weygandt Wines, Premier Cru, and Chambers Street Wines.  I was thoroughly pleased with what we tasted.  The NV Salinia Wine Company, Twenty Five Reasons bore the expected skin contact notes but otherwise was completely surprising in profile.  I preferred it after half an hour of air from the top of the bottle, before it took on a strong citrus profile.  If you want a different wine that is drinkable, complex, and affordable then pick up a bottle.  The 2011 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires Blanc slowly opened up with air to become an engaging wine.  I thought it drank best the first night yet it also seems young, so try a bottle next year.  Lou had opened up the 2009 Pascal Lahcuax, Pinot Fin the night before so my first glass was fully open.  Pascal Lachaux is the son-in-law of Robert Arnoux.  The quality of his fruit and wine making was clearly evident in this bottle.  Very enjoyable and one I recommend you try.  The 2010 Farmers Jane Wine Co., Field Red took some air before the balance of complexity and freshness made it one of my favorite wines of the evening.  This wine is the joint venture of Angela Osbone of A Tribute to Grace Wine Company and Faith Armstrong of Onward Wines.  I recommend you try a bottle or two.  The 2011 Birichino Amici, Grenache Vieilles Vignes remained drier, tighter, and firmer over two nights.  It might just need some time so try it again at the new year.


NV Salinia Wine Company, Twenty Five Reasons, Petillant White Wine, Mendocino –  $22
This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc sourced from 42-43 year old parcel of organic vines in Redwood Valley.  They were was skin fermented with indigenous yeasts.  It is a blend of 10% 2012 vintage, 85% 2011 vintage, and 5% from reserve barrels of 2010 and 2009 vintages.  Alcohol 12%.  The wine is cloudy.  The nose begins with complex, ripe, floral, skin contact aromas.  On the second day it bore stronger grapefruit aromas.  In the mouth the wine is bubbly at first then quickly becomes petillant as it warms up and breaths.  It almost becomes a still wine.  It was quite good after half an hour with lemon and citrus flavors then with warmth complex orange peel and wet baking spices.  It becomes tart with air and towards the bottom of the bottle.  *** Now.


2011 Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires Blanc, VdP des Cotes Catalanes –
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is a blend of 50% Muscat, 30% Chardonnay, and 20% Macabeu sourced from 15-50 year old vines.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged on the fine lees for eight months.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose bore floral, white tropical undertones, stones, and with warmth, melon and bitters.  In the mouth there was a little yellow and white fruit mixed with acidity.  Then the wine fleshes out a little with a tropical bit coming out.  It has some weight, orange peel, and a spine of flavors.  **(*) 2014-2017.


2009 Pascal Lachaux, Pinot Fin, Bourgogne – $27
Imported by Premier Cru.  This wine is 100% Pinot Noir from 60+ year old vines on old Pinot Fin rootstock sourced from blocks in several villages, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanee, and Nuit-Saint-Georges.  The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and aging in French oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was very finely textured with herbs, cardamom like spices, with a hint of fruit underneath.  The flavors were similar in the mouth but with more red fruit.  The wine was gentle but firm with focused ripeness, black cherry, and a modest structure in the finish.  A nice wine.  *** Now-2019.


2010 Farmers Jane Wine Co., Field Red, Santa Barbara County – $26
This wine is a blend of 93% Grenache from 60-80 year old vines sourced from the Watch Hill Vineyard and 7% Carignan from 60-80 year old vines from the Hawkeye Ranch which were aged in neutral oak.  Alcohol 14.3%.  The nose was fresh, almost crisp, with baking spices.  In the mouth were ripe strawberry and red fruit flavors that mixed complexity with freshness.  It was a light wine with a little weight and moderate, salivating acidity.  It took on a floral complexity until the finish where good bitters-like flavors came out followed by a woodsy note in the aftertaste.  Perhaps some minerals.  *** Now -2014.


2011 Birichino Amici, Grenache Vieilles Vignes, Besson Vineyard, Central Coast – $26
This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from 101 year old vines. Alcohol 13.5%.  In the mouth there was redder fruit with a slightly, powdery ripeness.  The acidity and dryness builds into a fine, pebbly textured finish.  The wine remained tighter in flavor and firmer in the finish.  ** 2014-2019.


Pinot on the Deck, Peay, Kistler, KB, Stemmler, and more! 25 August 2008

August 25, 2008 1 comment

This Saturday a group of us got together for a casual evening to taste Pinot Noir outside on our deck. Present were Deborah, Dave, Ross, Angela, Denise, Shane, Jenn, and myself. Deborah, Dave, and Ross are former co-workers. While Dave was in Iraq we exchanged email about wine and promised to get together once he returned. The wines were double-decanted within an hour of tasting and all wines were brown-bagged.

The top-ranked wines were:
1st: Dierberg
2nd: Kosta Browne
3rd: Kistler
4th: Peay and Stemmler

The quality of these bottles spanned a wide range. It was of great suprise to Shane and myself that the Dierberg was clearly the group favorite. We drank a bottle one month prior which we thought was good but certainly not remarkable. This bottle rocked. The Kosta Browne came in a close second. The Kistler, Peay, and Stemmler followed in a tight grouping.

I’ve done my best to summarize the tasting notes:

2003 Shea Wine Cellars, Estate, Pinot Noir, Willamete Valley
Garnet in the glass, definitely an older color. A light nose. In the mouth black fruit, some cool blue fruit, and some creaminess. There are minimal tannins. While some found this wine average, most disliked it with comments of “wow, so bad,” “jammy” fruit, or “alcoholic aftertaste.”

2004 Robert Stemmler, Nugent Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Almost as perfumed as the Dierberg but definitely a delicate nose. Angela thought it had a “great smell.” Sour red fruit at first then with air it became cloying and herbed. Heavy-handed in the mid-palate. The tannins were present but hidden by the fruit. I decanted all of the wines myself and when I got to this one I could smell it two feet away. It was intense but the power faded off when it came to the tasting.

2007 Sterling Vintner’s Collection, Pinot Noir, Central Coast
Purple-ruby in the glass. A light nose of bright fruit. Purple fruit and toasted flavors in the mouth. Two people enjoyed the long finish.

2005 Dierberg, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley
The most perfumed and aromatic nose out of all of the wines. Very articulated dark red and blue fruits, black cherries. There was attractive grit to the fruit with excellent supporting acidity. There were fine tannins in the finish. This was deep, lush, and had a long finish. Dave found it “bold.”
Jenn found it “rich.” Deborah thought “It’s almost a religious experience – like being in a rural chapel.” I was certain this was not the Dierberg.

2004 Kosta Browne, Kanzler Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Garnet with slight-brick cast to it. Sweet round fruit that improved with air. Both Deborah and Ross enjoyed the berry flavors. Dave thought that although a high-alcohol wine it was well-balanced.

2005 Peay, Scallop Shelf, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Very light color. A nose that is very lightly perfumed. Red and blue fruits up front then a tad flat in flavor mid-palate. Deborah thought is “very delicate” and many found it a “lush” or “smooth” finishing wine. I think it is a bit young.

2006 Willakenzie Estate, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley
A brighter, light raspberry color. Brighter red fruit on the nose. The nose immediately stood the wine out from the rest. Candied raspberry and cherry flavors in this “thin,” “light”, and “austere” wine.

2006 Kistler, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
This was a youthful purple in the glass. A “soft” or “delicate” sweet nose. Sweet fruit, though a little cloying. After the initial fruit flavors, the tannins become evident as they build to a short, slightly hot, coarse-tannic finish. Most people enjoyed the wine’s initial flavors but there were many comments highlighting the short finish and aftertaste.