TN: Some Zins & Mondeuses..(long/boring)

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TN: Some Zins & Mondeuses..(long/boring)

#1 Post by TomHill » December 20th, 2017, 9:36 am

We tasted last night (12/13/17) Some New Zins/Mondeuse:
1. Ridge Zin PasoRobles BenitoDusiRanch/PasoRobles (14.8%; bttld 01/17; Drk: 11/16-11/21-11/22: EB; 3.4% water
addition) 2015
: Med.dark color; strong ripe/PR jammy/blackverry/Zin light vanilla/oak classic Ridge PR Zin
very attractive nose; soft bit tangy very strong jammy/blackberry/PR Zin some vanilla/Am.oak flavor w/
light tangy tannins; very long soft ripe/blackberry/Zin/PR jammy bit chalky some vanilla/oak finish w/
light brisk tannins; seems less ripe and more restrained/balanced than previous vintages. $35.00 (SFW&S)
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2. Ridge Zin DusiRanch/PasoRobles (100% Zin; 15.5%; 48 brls; bttld Feb 2017; Drk: 11/16-11/26-11/28: EB;
1.4% water addition) 2015
: Dark color; rich ripe chocolaty/PR jammy/blackberry/boysenberry very light Am.oak
rather intense nose; soft very ripe blackberry/boysenberry/PR jammy rich/lush chocolaty very light vanilla/
oak flavor w/ ample ripe tannins; very long very ripe/chocolaty blackberry/boysenberry/PR jammy rather
concentrated/extracted very light vanilla/oak finish w/ ample ripe/soft tannins; verges on a late-picked but
not overripe/raisened/pruney and not so Ridge-like; carries the alcohol well; quite a good Ridge PR Zin.
$28.80 (ATP)
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3. DryCreekVnyd Zin VogensenRanch/DryCreekVlly (348 cs; 14.5%; www.DryCreekVineyard.com) 2014: Very dark color;
strong blackberry/Zin/spicy some dusty/OV light Am.oak/vanilla lovely nose; lightly tart raspberry/blackberry/
Zin/quite spicy rather dusty/OV attractive flavor w/ light tangy tannins; very long bit tart strong raspberry/
blackberry/Zin/spicy light vanilla/oak quite dusty/OV finish w/ light tannins; lots of classic DCVlly fruit w/
lots of dusty/OV character; a really lovely classic DCV Zin. $32.00
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4. DryCreekVnyd Zin WallaceRanch/DCV7 Estate/DryCreekVlly (20 yr old block; 336 cs; 14.5%) 2015: Very dark/near
black color; some blackberry/Zin bit less spicy light Am.oak somewhat simpler nose; bit softer strong blackberry/
raspberry/Zin/some spicy light Am.oak flavor w/ light tangy tannins; very long strong blackberry/raspberry/Zin/
lightly spicy light vanilla/Am.oak finish w/ light tannins; a bit simpler & less spicy w/ more blackberry and
a bit more oak; quite pleasant 4-square Zin. $32.00
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5. DryCreekVnyd Zin SomersRanch/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (14.5%; 767 cs) 2014: Very dark/near black color; beautiful
very spicy/blackberry/raspberry/Zin/bit peppery rather dusty/OV light pencilly/vanilla/Am.oak rather complex nose;
lightly tart/tangy very spicy/peppery very strong blackberry/raspberry/boysenberry/ripe quite dusty/OV light
pencilly/Am.oak complex flavor w/ modest tangy tannins; very long/lingering very spicy/bit peppery very strong
blackberry/raspberry/Zin rather dusty/OV light pencilly/cedary/Am.oak rather complex finish w/ light graceful
tannins; a beautiful balanced very spicy Zin w/ loads of dusty/OV character.$45.00
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6. Chester'sAnvil Zin MeadRanch/AtlasPeak/NapaVlly (14.9%) Lagier-Meredith/PottWines 2011: Dark color; rather
herbal/rosemary bright Zinberry/blackberry quite perfumey very spicy/exotic some cedary/pencilly fairly
complex/unusual nose; lightly tart rather exotic/non-Zin spicy rather herbal/rosemary bit Zinberry/raspberry
some cedary/pencilly/oak quite exotic interesting flavor w/ light gentle tannins; very long bit herbal/rosemary
some raspberry/Zinberry/Zin some cedary/pencilly/oak very spicy/perfumed/exotic finish w/ light gentle tannins;
a very unusual/exotic non-Zin Zin; has evolved into a very interesting/unusual old Zin; starting to show
its age a bit. $39.00
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7. Lagier-Meredith Tribidrag MtVeederNapaVlly RW (15.1%; 18 mo. in neutral Fr.oak; 77 cs) 2015: Very dark/near black
color; deep blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/very spicy rather floral/lilacs bit licorice slight earthy light toasty/oak
lovely nose; bit tart strong blackberry/Zin/very spicy light toasty/oak slight floral balanced beautiful flavor w/
light tangy tannins; very long/lingering strong blackberry/Zin/very spicy slight floral/peppery structured/balanced
finish w/ light brisk tannins; more fruit & more spiciness than the '14; an absolutely beautiful expression of
Crljenak Kaštelanski. $45.00
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8. Lagier-Meredith Tribidrag MtVeederNapaVlly RW (15.2%) 2014: Very dark color; strong blackberry/Zin/raspberry/spicy
light toasty/oak rather perfumed bit more complex nose; lightly tart/tangy not as intense blackberry/raspberry/Zin/
spicy light toasty/oak bit complex flavor w/ light smooth tannins; very long/lingering lightly tart structured
strong blackberry/raspberry/Zin light toasty/oak rather perfumed finish w/ light smooth/ripe tannins; a bit more
high-toned fruit, not quite as spicy, a bit more evolved/complex than the '15; a beautiful expression of Primitivo.
$45.00
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9. Jean Vullien St.Jean de la Porte Mondeuse AP: Vin de Savoie (MeBalP; 12.5%; Regal Imports) Freterive 2015:
Med.light color; rather earthy/dusty/Savoie bit herbal light spicy/blackberry/black cherry rather funky/
bit mousey somewhat rustic nose; bit tart earthy/dusty/alpine red some black cherry/Mondeuse flavor w/
light gentle tannins; med. earthy/dusty light black cherry/Mondeuse lightly tart finish w/ light soft
tannins; a pleasant enough Savoie Mondeuse but a bit underwhelming. $17.00 (DiV)
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10. CortiBros Mondeuse AtlasPeakVnyd/NapaVlly (TW) P&B by NapaCllrs/StHelena 2009: Med.dark color; very strong
Mondeuse/herbal/rosemary/thyme/pungent light black cherry slight cardboardy very exotic complex nose; rather
tart/tangy quite herbal/pungent/rosemary/thyme slight black cherry/peppery/Mondeuse very exotic/complex flavor w/
light smooth tannins; very long rather tart/lean/angular very strong herbal/rosemary/thyme/pungent slight
peppery/black cherry/Mondeuse very exotic finish w/ light gentle tannins. $10.00
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11. Lagier-Meredith Mondeuse MtVeeder/NapaVlly (14.1%) 2013: Very dark color; very strong herbal/rosemary/thyme strong
spicy/black cherry cola/blackberry light oak fairly complex nose; rather tart strong herbal/rosemary/thyme strong
black cherry cola/blackberry structured/balanced very spicy light oak flavor w/ some hard tannins; very long strong
herbal/pungent/rosemary/thyme fairly tart/tangy/angular light toasty/oak complex finish w/ modest hard tannins;
lots of herbal Mondeuse character but plenty of Mondeuse fruit; a terrific expression of Mondeuse that needs more
age; this is how they'd make Mondeuse in the Savoie if they could. $41.25
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12. Lagier-Meredith Mondeuse MtVeeder/NapaVlly (14.3%) 2014: Very dark color; very strong some herbal/rosemary/thyme
strong black cherry/black cherry cola/blackberry/quite spicy light toasty/oak some complex lovery aromatic nose;
lightly tart somewhat pungent/herbal/rosemary/thyme strong black cherry/black cherry cola/Mondeuse quite spicy
very structured beautiful flavor w/ modest brisk tannins; very long/lingering some pungent/herbal/thyme slight
earthy strong black cherry cola/Mondeuse finish w/ modest tannins; shows less herbal character and more
black cherry fruit; lovely world-class rendition of Mondeuse. $41.25
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13. Lagier-Meredith Mondeuse MtVeeder/NapaVlly (14.5%; 89 cs; 23 mo. in neutral Fr.oak) 2015: Very dark color;
very intense blackberry/black cherry cola/Syrah-like some light herbal/pungent/rosemary/thyme quite peppery/spicy
light toasty/oak beautiful nose; lightly tart some toasty/oak very strong blackberry/black cherry/very spicy very
light herbal/pungent/Mondeuse flavor w/ modest ripe tannins; very long/lingering lightly tart light toasty/oak
strong blackberry/black cherry cola/very spicy structured/ripe very light herbal/pungent/thyme finish w/ modest
ripe tannins; shows less of the herbal/Mondeuse side & more spicy/blackberry fruit; almost more like their Syrah
than the two previous Mondeuse; a lovely structured red. $45.00
____________________________________________________________________________________
More stuff from alt-BloodyPulpit:
1. Vogensen: This is a vnyd you don't hear much about anymore. It came to fame (such as it is) because it was
one of two vnyds JoelPeterson used in his inaugural 1976 Zin. The other vnyd was Polson, which seems to have
vanished.
_____________________
2. Chester'sAnvil: This is the label Steve/Carole use for the wines they make from purchased grapes in a joint
effort w/ AaronPotts. The anvil is one Steve talked out ChesterBrandlin in exchange for disking his vnyd one
time. Steve hoisted it onto his forklift and drove it home, then polished it all up. It is a beautiful hunk
of steel that was probably manufactured back in the mid-1800's. A visit to Steve & Carole's is not complete
w/o a viewing of Chester'sAnvil. It's probably not suitable for anvil firing (Google that term for some great
redneck videos) because of its size w/ anything less than 10 kT. This joint effort has now been abandoned.
This MeadRanch has evolved in a very unusual way. Almost not recognizable as a Zin. Unlike any that I've
seen. Quite an exotic wine that was not universally laked, but I loved it for its exotic character.
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3. Tribidrag: This is the ancient name for Zinfandel that originated in Croatia, though Macedonia seems to be
elbowing its way into claiming the origins of Zin. Also known under the names of Crljenak Kaštelanski and
Primitivo. Tribidrag is not a recognized varietal name for Zin, but I suspect the TTB folks are clueless and
just regard it as a proprietary name of L-M. If they were coniving folks, Steve & Carole could probably
trademark the name Tribidrag; just like the folks at Hop Kiln did yrs ago w/ Primitivo, before that trademark
was rescinded. Thus far, none of the other Zin producers have recognized the marketing genuis of Steve &
Carole and there has been no groundswell of demand to use the Tribidrag name. And you can pretty much blow
off anyone wanting to use the Crljenak Kaštelanski name.
As I tasted thru these two Tribidrags, I was trying to pigeonhole these L-M style w.r.t. other folks in
my Zin universe. Of the current Zin hotties (Bedrock/Carlisle/LimerickLane/Ridge/Once&Future/DryCreek), I think
they resemble mostly LL. The L-M Zin carries the alcohols very well and have no sense of overripeness. They
have a certain spiciness that characterizes their MtVeeder origins. Mostly, they have a balanced structure
that you don't find so much in Zin. They resemble somewhat the rather rugged Zins you get from the Rockpile
AVA because of their structure, like JeffCohn's or Mauritson. If anything, they resemble a lot the old
MtVeeder Zins of Mike Bernstein (who I understand is still alive). Maybe the old PeterFranus BrandlinRanch
Zins. Hmmm....maybe L-M deserves their own pigeonhole and let it go at that.
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4. Corti: This wine was made from the last crop on Antinori's AtlasPeak vnyd. When Piero/DickPeterson/GlenSalva
originally planted that vnyd, it was mostly to Sangiovese/Cabernet (gonna make us a SuperTuscan and blow
away the wine world). They also planted a little bit of Refosco. Turns out, what FPS was distributing as
Refosco was, in fact, Mondeuse. Trinchero made several vintages of Refosco for Darrell. Then one yr, they
Made Refsco/Mondeuse (w/ the Mondeuse upside down attached the the Refosco on the label). Darrell wanted
to make one last vintage before they ripped out the vines. Whatta shame...being Mondeuse is not a bad thing.
In Mondeuse, I often find a pungent/herbal/rosemary/thyme character I find rather interesting. This
Corti Mondeuse had a paucity of fruit, but that character in spades. The wine was widely reviled in my group.
I rather liked it for its bizarre/exotic character. Just like Quasimodo can be kinda endearing, though he's
never gonna win a beauty contest.
______________________
5. Mondeuse: This is a variety grown primarily in the Savoie. There is also a Mondeuse Blanche that has a perent/
offspring relation w/ MondeuseNoir. MondeuseBlanche X Duerza produced Syrah. Steve was interested in Mondeuse
as being the bastard uncle of Syrah, so they planted a small amount at L-M. Their rendition is definitely
world-class Mondeuse.
I often find a noticible herbal/rosemary/thyme character in Mondeuse melded w/ a black cherry cola fruit.
In the Savoie versions, I usually find that same earthy/loamy character that you often find in Alpine-grown
reds like Val d'Aosta/AltoAdige/Jura/Savoie. I never get that in the L-M. Maybe MtVeeder doesn't qualify for
consideration for being in the French Alps...that terroir thing that folks blabber about.
_______________________
6. DryCreekVnyds: I think DRV is killing it these days w/ Zin. They don't have the buzz of all the Zin hotties,
probably because of their size, but their Zins are as good as any out there. TimBell is doing a great job for
them. They make a bunch of Zins focused on the DryCreekVlly. The HeritageVine Zin, at about $14 here in NM,
is, $ for $, one of the best Zin buys around. Their flagship Zins are the SomersRanch/BeesonRanch/OldVines.
I prefer the first two to the OldVines, tending to prefer Beeson over Somers by a slight margin.
I have, of course, followed DCV from the very start, the Gamay '72. I remember when Dave's first Zin came
out, the '73, being profoundly disappointed. It was very pretty/balanced/elegant. In those days, power &
extract & alcohol were what I was looking for in Zin. But times & palate have changed. Now I also value Zins
that show balance/finesse/elegance. And that's what the DCV are all about.
Tom

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TN: Some Zins & Mondeuses..(long/boring)

#2 Post by Larry P » December 20th, 2017, 11:07 am

Well that's an interesting story about the anvil. I always assumed, given the existence of the Chester's Anvil "Gretna Green" wine, that the anvil had something to do with someone running away to get married:
Gretna Green is one of the world's most popular wedding destinations, due to its romantic wedding traditions dating back over centuries, which originated from cross-border elopements stemming from differences between Scottish marriage laws and those in neighbouring countries. ... Scottish law allowed for "irregular marriages", meaning that if a declaration was made before two witnesses, almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. The blacksmiths in Gretna became known as "anvil priests", culminating with Richard Rennison, who performed 5,147 ceremonies. The local blacksmith and his anvil became lasting symbols of Gretna Green weddings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gretna_Green
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TN: Some Zins & Mondeuses..(long/boring)

#3 Post by Bud Carey » December 20th, 2017, 11:20 am

I've seen the anvil. It's in Steve and Carole's garage.
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TN: Some Zins & Mondeuses..(long/boring)

#4 Post by Ken Zinns » December 20th, 2017, 11:24 am

I recall Steve Lagier hauling the anvil into a tasting in SF some years ago - Rhone Rangers or maybe Family Winemakers.

BTW, the Chester's Anvil label is no longer active. From the Lagier Meredith website:
We reluctantly stopped making Chester’s Anvil wines in 2013 because we were all stretched too thin. We have only a few cases left.
ITB, Harrington Wines & Eno Wines, and Grape-Nutz.com

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TN: Some Zins & Mondeuses..(long/boring)

#5 Post by Carole Meredith » December 20th, 2017, 5:21 pm

Larry P wrote:Well that's an interesting story about the anvil. I always assumed, given the existence of the Chester's Anvil "Gretna Green" wine, that the anvil had something to do with someone running away to get married
You're partially right Larry. The origin of the Chester's Anvil label was our (late) neighbor Chester Brandlin's gift of his old family anvil to Steve after Steve disked Chester's vineyard and refused Chester's offer of money. But then, later, we used the anvil concept as inspiration for both the Gretna Green name (because of the blacksmith weddings) and the Hattori Hanzo. The real-life Hattori Hanzo and the character he inspired in Kill Bill were both swordsmiths who did their work on an anvil.

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TN: Some Zins & Mondeuses..(long/boring)

#6 Post by Drew Goin » December 21st, 2017, 5:34 am

I knew Dr Meredith would come by to share all the pop culture references linked to the anvil of Chester Brandlin's proper-tie!

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#7 Post by Larry P » December 21st, 2017, 10:23 am

Carole Meredith wrote:
Larry P wrote:Well that's an interesting story about the anvil. I always assumed, given the existence of the Chester's Anvil "Gretna Green" wine, that the anvil had something to do with someone running away to get married
You're partially right Larry. The origin of the Chester's Anvil label was our (late) neighbor Chester Brandlin's gift of his old family anvil to Steve after Steve disked Chester's vineyard and refused Chester's offer of money. But then, later, we used the anvil concept as inspiration for both the Gretna Green name (because of the blacksmith weddings) and the Hattori Hanzo. The real-life Hattori Hanzo and the character he inspired in Kill Bill were both swordsmiths who did their work on an anvil.

Carole
That's excellent, thanks Carole! I'm going to miss Chester's Anvil, although we still have quite a bit in the cellar.
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