TN: A Bunch Of Tastings From California and a Couple From Oregon

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Tom DeBiase
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TN: A Bunch Of Tastings From California and a Couple From Oregon

#1 Post by Tom DeBiase » May 3rd, 2020, 3:57 pm

A lot of different wines, mainly from recent shipments, pick ups, deliveries but also a few others with a few years age. All from California except a couple from Oregon.

In no particular order:

2018 Vincent Pinot Noir Eola-Amity Hills Oregon: Ripe dark plum and berry nose. Mix of red and black cherry, sweet fresh green herbs and pepper. Mouthwatering acidity, medium body a long clean finish. Very young, still primary but also very nice flavors and texture. Hard to pick a winner between this and the 2018 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir. As with the RR, a silly good value at $22.00 pre release price. Kudos to Vincent for making these tasty high value Pinots. 13.0 ABV

2018 Ryme Cabernet Franc Alegria Vineyard: The wine was fermented in two separate lots. One was a whole cluster fermentation in a tank and pressed gently by foot once a day to keep the top fresh and release some juice. This results in a partial carbonic fermentation. The other lot was whole cluster into clay amphora. Both fermentations were pressed separately to neutral oak barrels and blended prior to bottling.
Bright fresh cherry, crushed black pepper, green herbs, basil and cedar. Very good acidity and some grippy tannins on the finish. Year after year the Ryme Cab Franc is a favorite of ours. Very versatile with food. 12.5 ABV.

2014 Calluna CVC Cuvee: Pretty Bordeaux nose of red fruit and cedar-graphite. Cherry, graphite, green tobacco, smoke and charcoal. Good acidity and also some mild tannins. It's a nice blend of Bordeaux flavors but the oaky charcoal flavors are a bit too much for me though I admit to being overly sensitive to oak. Preferred the 2013 and 2015 versions. More oak tolerant folks will like this a lot.

2017 Ruth Lewandowski Merlot "Abandoned Meander" Cuvee Zero Fox Hill Vineyard: Don't ask me, I don't know :) This is what I call a straight forward wine and that is a good thing. Why, it simply tastes like quality merlot. No new oak to muddy it up just tasty merlot. Red cherry, cassis, herbs and mint all in good balance. Medium body, good acidity, mild tannins and some earthy notes on the finish. Cuvee Zero means no added sulfur, Sans Soufre, this is as close to natural wine as it gets. No perceived funkiness. 13.8% ABV

2014 Scherrer Old & Mature Vines Zinfandel: This is so consistent bottle after bottle. Fresh ripe Blackberry, red currant and blueberry pie. Licorice, spice and bits of smoke and vanilla. Medium body, flavors stay fresh with the moderate acidity. Each year since release has made for a more complex wine. Will drink my last few bottles over the next 5-6 years. Excellent value, especially when futures are purchased. 14.5% ABV

2018 Idlewild Arneis Wild Ruth Ranch Yorkville Highlands: I think Arneis is an under appreciated grape. Sure it doesn't reach the heights of other white grapes but when done right it can be complex and compelling. Arneis ripens quickly. Its acidity can fall away overnight on the vine but one of the pleasures of Arneis is the floral notes that can be lost if picked too early. The wine was fermented via native yeast in stainless steel after a whole cluster pressing. Secondary fermentation and aging for four months in neutral oak on lees adds texture and complexity.
Aromas of stone fruit, peach, jasmine and chamomile. Peach pit, lemon drop, floral notes, beeswax and honey flavors are balanced and layered. Medium body with very good acidity, the wine show good tension and balance. Aged 4 months in neutral oak the wine is racy, perfumed and mouth filling, A pleasure to drink. 12.2% ABV

2018 Vincent Gamay Eola-Amity Hills Bjornson Vineyard: Fruity, grapey, spicy nose. Ripe rich cranberry and candied cherry. Very young, still somewhat grapey. Fruit flavors, spice and earthy notes fan out nicely and coat the palate. Mouthwatering acidity makes for a nice balance and contrast to the fresh ripe fruit. At this stage a young very enjoyable bottle of gamay.
For that annoying 3 times a year question of "Best domestic wine at $20.00 or less" This wine is the correct answer! Just a super value at the pre release price of $20.00. 12.5% ABV

2017 Ruth Lewandowski L. Stone Sangiovese Fox Hill Vineyard: I have had 3 bottles of this wine and they are consistent. This one from last week showed dried cherry, spice, leathery notes along with subtle notes of violet flowers. Flavors are pure, there is nothing resembling new oak used here. Medium body, savory-umami effect and good acidity. A wine made for red sauce pizza or pasta. Would I like a bit lower price.. yes but can't have everything. Like the merlot, Sans Soufre. 13.2% ABV

2015 Dirty & Rowdy Mourvedre Shake Ridge Ranch: I remember Hardy mentioned recently this vintage might be tight so decanted 2 hours and glad I did. Exotic red fruits, rosy like florals and crushed herbs are powerful and will make you smile. Red cherry, raspberry notes are weightless yet substantial on the palate. The perfumed fruit (Rosy with hints of violet) linger and are pronounced on the finish. Very good acidity and savory notes that keep you engaged and sipping. 12.4% ABV

2019 Jolie Laide Trousseau, Poulsard, Gamay, Valdiguie California: Only took about 6 days from Scott's delivery for us to crack one of these :) Fermented partially carbonic for brightness and all whole cluster adding to the complex spice aromas. Cherry, rose petal, raspberry nose. Flavors of red cherry twizzler, wild strawberry, cranberry. earth, spice and some bitter grapefruit pith surrounded by a core of minerals. This wine is full of energy, very good acidity and would pair well with practically any food. We had this directly from the cellar but I think you could also put a slight chill on this if desired. 12.2% ABV

2014 Skewis Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley: Light in color but delivers nice aromas of candied fruit, black tea and spice. Flavors follow with pomegranate, mixed berry, tea and hints of mushroom. Good acidity and still a bit of tannic grip. It's at a enjoyable stage, not sure where it goes from here. Will wait a couple years to have our last bottle. 2014 Vintage was the last for Hank and Maggie Skewis, they are an awesome couple who always made tasty restrained pinot noirs. 13.8% ABV

We had some great shelter in place dinners with the wines above but will save the bandwidth and not post photos. Maybe over in the food area.


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