A Few Recent Tastes XV

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Marc_Hanes
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A Few Recent Tastes XV

#1 Post by Marc_Hanes » March 23rd, 2020, 5:16 pm

2013 Halcón Petite Sirah Yorkville Highlands Theopolis Vineyards Tierra. Immaculate, richly glowing purple color, thin crimson red rims, hums in the glass. Thankfully not getting any reductive notes in the nose, pure plum and black currant fruit dappled in floral perfume, sidebar of white grapefruit, clean and forward, doesn’t misuse its power. Medium-bodied, slimmer than anticipated, has tannin but it feels more impelled by acidity, mouthwatering. Sweet and sour blueberry, Italian plum, blackberry fruit, good bounciness, ripe not sugary. That said, there is a molasses coating, not sure of oak treatment here. Puts you in a good mood and the citrus, flowers and cocoa just continue the vibe. For the grape doesn’t tire out the palate. Don’t have the deepest experience with the producer but this is one of my favorite bottlings so far.

2016 Roth Estate Syrah Russian River Valley Reserve. Saturated day-glo purple core, fully opaque, thin crimson red rims. Big, pregnant cloud nose of mint, floral musk, vanilla, spiced orange peel, plum to cassis fruit, before the dissolve throws you grilled meat fat notes. Full-bodied, silky smooth for its weight, very calculatingly fashioned. The milk chocolate, vanilla, caramel tangos with the black currant, cherry fruit, while on the one hand it’s straight out of central casting, on the other hand there’s a reason it’s even in central casting. Floral and ever so suave. Tea leaf, mint, ginger spice. look, most of my wino friends would hate it but this checks off all the “guilty pleasure” boxes so I’m basically loving it.

2014 Munselle Vineyards Zinfandel Alexander Valley Osborn Ranch. Clear enough to avoid opacity, deep purple core with wide scarlet red rims, hard to tell visually where it is on the aging curve. Eucalyptus, pastille, grill smoke pair well with the ripe blueberry, raspberry scents, not overwrought and would have to in part attribute to the mix of varieties. Medium-bodied, nice fluidity, particularly given its high level of concentrated mixed berry fruit flavors. Floral, baking spices, mint, menthol, all the usual suspects are in the lineup. Nothing profound here, but its lightness on its feet makes it easier than most to pound. 80% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignane, 4% Mataro, remaining 1% Alicante Bouschet, Muscat de Canelli, Golden Chasselas.

2016 MoniClaire Vineyards Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Lytton Springs Estate Barnside. More ruby to scarlet than purple, unusually clear and transparent, visually you’d be hard pressed to peg it as a Zinfandel. Herbaceous nose, meadow underbrush, dirt trails then a briny cleansing sensation before lemon peel and slightly overwhelmed raspberry, red cherry scents. Medium-bodied, there’s a liqueur-like polish to it which is at once boozy and fluid. Raspberry, strawberry syrup, kirsch, maraschino cherry, concentrated and candied. Lemon curd, menthol, sweet tea leaf. Haphazardly successful at avoiding astringency. I like its general compactness but the concentrated sweetness kind of too much.

2014 Cast Wines Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Grey Palm Vineyard. Uncommonly clear and transparent, blood red throughout with a gentle darkening at the core. High flying nose, odd to register green apple and strawberry first, yet it is sappy and clings to the nostrils, potpourri musk yet lifts, pickle brine, very intriguing array of scents. Light-bodied, sleek and zips across the palate, almost fast enough to its detriment. Red fruited, floral, meadow brush, vaguely mentholated. Feels acidic with slightly underripe phenolics. Easy to characterize it as just ripe and not sweet. Still, kind of hard candy, lollipop concentration. Hard to get a solid read on it but good. (Composite Cork)

2015 Selby Zinfandel Sonoma County Old Vines. Luminescent crimson-purple, deeply saturated, showing more age than expected but unblemished. Grapey to pruney nose, makes every indication it was going for overripeness, menthol, gingerbread, cinnamon, way too musky to have any palpable lift. Full-bodied, runs hot, but packed with flavor, if not always the ones you wanted. Plum/prune, cassis, to blackberry jam lasts fully through the finish. Spicy with the eucalyptus type stuff in the nose. Can seem gritty at times, not sure if it’s tannin residue. Probably was over the top right out of the gate.

2018 Jean-Claude Lapalu Beaujolais-Villages Vieilles Vignes. Bright ruby to cranberry red, clear and spotless, consistent throughout. Dusty, sparkly nose, a “sneezer” with good minerality and a little grassy snap, lean but not underfruited strawberry, rhubarb scents. Medium-bodied and closer to light, makes the tannin more pronounced, luckily no sign of underripe phenolics. Accents of licorice, rose water, blood orange yet dry enough that breadth is hampered. Similar strawberry, raspberry, blueberry fruit, sour and more red-fruited than dark. Tea leaf, almost lemongrass notes but here too not “green” in the pejorative sense. I’d prefer a richer finish but it’s right there for those who prefer “classic styling.” Lapalu is near the top of my current faves in Beaujolais.

2001 Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée. Cough syrup hued core, more of a rusty pipe red through orange, yellow near the rims, initial glasses pour clear. Cedar, teal leaf fills the nose, no sous bois funk but plenty of tree bark driftwood type stuff, chocolate powder, kirsch and candied cherry scents, at this point it has melded into a formidable whole without many soloists. Medium-bodied with a velvety grip, feels like there’s sufficient tannic residue to glue it all together. More tea leaf, sage, close to bay leaf notes. The raspberry, red cherry fruit hasn’t lost a step. Orange peel, ginger, mukhwas round it out. In keeping with previous bottle consumed June 2019, makes you want to savor it more than analyze it. Mainly Grenache, remainder Syrah, etc.

2012 Tollot-Beaut Chorey-Les-Beaune. While clear there’s something heavyset about its appearance, runs from a light violet through garnet with a a suggestion of bricking at the rims. Muskily perfumed nose of incense, ginger root, even the earthiness seems billowy, blunt cherry to black raspberry fruit scents, given the lift it doesn’t noticeably persist. Full-bodied, from the first sip it layers itself on the tongue, about as oozy as red Burgundy can get, there’s no subtlety here. Green apple and strawberry permeate the blueberry, cherry base, credibly highlights the submerged acidity. Lemony edge. Mukhwas, more ginger to cumin spice. Nothing classic about it but it sure is tasty.

2016 Comte Abbatucci Corsica Vin de France Rouge Frais Impérial. The ruby red color isn’t watery but it’s so transparent that you, err, almost look right through it, holds the hue well into the rims. In the nose there’s an underlying funk which takes the sweet patina off the strawberry, rhubarb scents, then lemon and sandy to volcanic earth lend dimension, close to hot rubber now and then, suspect it could develop more interest going forward. Medium-bodied, really zips through the mouth, to the point where the acidity and tannin barely have time to structure things. Lemon zest, stony brown dirt, cut grass, the flavors are clearly delineated and come off as unregistered due to the speed, Luckily, that strawberry, cherry, raspberry fruit hits the brakes. As a total experience it is quite energizing.

2017 Domaine des Schistes Côtes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel La Coumeille Le Parcellaire. Not quite saturated, stays within the norm of purple to fresh brick red, clean throughout. Initially the nose throws some peanut shells and merde your way, relents into ripe cassis, black cherry scents, pressed flowers and orange peel but not all that expressive. Medium-bodied, more than enough tannin and acidity to hold it together. Loaded with violets, adorned with molasses, candied orange peel and some tar to graphite notes. While it never seems “fruity” definitely dependent on the fruit for impact. Speaks of its place and arguably punches above its weight. 85% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 5% Carignan.

2010 Château Beauséjour Montagne Saint-Emilion Pentimento. While the purple core is saturated it remains transparent on the whole, the thick crimson rims have that “menacing” vibe. On the whole it smells youthful impelled by cedar, mint, vanilla powder, menthol, not the usual array of expected scents, assuming oak residue, straightforward cherry to currant fruit scents. Full-bodied, still packing a nice tannic punch, welcome given that the oak isn’t fully knit in and it needs a jolt of ruggedness. Sour Italian plum, red cherry fruit keep it lively. More of that mentholated element, floral too. Grows on you, honest enough you take t at its word. 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc.

2015 Domaine Daniel et Julien Barraud Pouilly-Fuissé Sur la Roche. Very dark gold in hue but glassy with a fine reflectivity, holds well enough into the rims. Muscular if pretty nose of mint, violets, lime zest with an underlying note of whipped cream, well-fruited with ample peach, apricot, pear, that muscularity keeps it taut. Medium-bodied, tart mouth entry highlighted by oak spice. The florality beat out by nuttiness and blood orange, lime citrus. Dry enough to mildly shorten the presence of the peach, mango, apricot fruit. No major pro or con in perceptible acidity. Shows best with food than for casual sipping, no reason it couldn’t improve for another 4-5 years, has the bones to hold it together awaiting tertiary stuff.

2012 Antoine Arena Corsica Patrimonio Grotte di Sole Vermentino. Strong gold color throughout, dull and translucent, does fill the glass well enough. Nose has richness but dances nimbly, lemon curd, licorice, pressed flowers, apricot, peach to yellow apple scents, stream water, fresh for its age. Medium-bodied, fluid enough, pauses now and then. The acidity lacks cut but more than enough to nudge things forward. Tangerine, lemon spritz, sweet and close to creamy. Licorice in spades. Wet stone to slate, suggestion of sage or fennel. Nectarine, peach fruit flirts with pineapple but too sugary and agreeable. Likely more linear in its youth but right now there’s no lack of pleasure to be had.

2001 Albino Rocca Barbaresco Vigneto Brich Ronchi. Dull, the opaque core remains purple on the whole, the rims rust red to orange. The nose is super-funky with sous bois, wet cowhide, tarry earth elements, may be too volatile for some, anise tries to pretty it up, kind of pruney, not a great deal of fruit scents. Full-bodied to heavy, clumpy tannic residue, the acidity fights to get a few words in by the finish. Substantial cocoa powder component, here the fruit shows no drop off (albeit not what some would expect), cherry, currant to plum. So, the fruit and oak persist, maybe the cedar, potpourri, tar evince aging. More floral at the end. In 2004 this was all bound up in its structure, not so today but the intervening years haven’t done much to improve the flavor profile.

2016 Bodegas La Cartuja Priorat. Unblemished and clear, more scarlet to rust red than purple. The nose is oddly inert, starts to unfold strawberry to red cherry fruit scents then shuts down, tea leaf, orange peel, mild wet slate, no length. Medium-bodied and sort of weightless, drifts about the mouth. The sourness of the raspberry, strawberry, cherry fruit not all that bracing, the white grapefruit citrus might also be sweeter than desired. Tar, more tea leaf, liquified stone. Not especially distinguished but factoring the very low price for the region it’s hard to quibble with what’s in the glass. 70% Garnacha, 30% Mazuelo.
ITB: Manhattan Wine Company

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Paul Gordon
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Re: A Few Recent Tastes XV

#2 Post by Paul Gordon » March 25th, 2020, 9:45 pm

Marc

Our 2013 Petite (and 2014) utilized 1/3 whole-cluster and around 25% new oak. After those first two years we moved to 50% whole-cluster and zero new oak. To be honest Petite has enough chocolaty character and in my opinion does not need new oak.

Paul
Paul Gordon
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TomHill
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Hmmmm...

#3 Post by TomHill » March 25th, 2020, 10:13 pm

Hmmmm, Marc....I wonder how the Montclair was able to use LyttonSprings on their label?? I believe the Ridge has trademarked the LS name. I doubt that Ridge was selling any of their LS grapes. Any idea what's going on here??
Tom

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CJ Beazley
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Re: Hmmmm...

#4 Post by CJ Beazley » March 26th, 2020, 4:59 am

TomHill wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 10:13 pm
Hmmmm, Marc....I wonder how the Montclair was able to use LyttonSprings on their label?? I believe the Ridge has trademarked the LS name. I doubt that Ridge was selling any of their LS grapes. Any idea what's going on here??
Tom
Their physical mailing address is literally on Lytton Springs road, I’m not sure other than that it’s featured on the label, but the only pic I can find is small/blurry.
It's C(raig)

Marc_Hanes
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Re: Hmmmm...

#5 Post by Marc_Hanes » March 27th, 2020, 9:56 am

TomHill wrote:
March 25th, 2020, 10:13 pm
Hmmmm, Marc....I wonder how the Montclair was able to use LyttonSprings on their label?? I believe the Ridge has trademarked the LS name. I doubt that Ridge was selling any of their LS grapes. Any idea what's going on here??
Tom
Tom, I can send you photos of a label on another one of their bottles if you want to check it out. It threw me off a little too.
ITB: Manhattan Wine Company

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