'14 SA SB, '09 OR PN

I’ve been off the boards, too busy to post, almost too busy to drink. The whirlwind is finally subsiding.

Two outside the mainstream, in good ways.

2014 Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc – Vivid, very young aromas have touches of hay and grass but stronger floral and white spice (ginger, coriander seed) notes. Not mainstream Sauvignon Blanc but very appealing. The palate is relatively light in body but the flavors, which faithfully follow the aromatics, have fine intensity. The balance is superb. Slightly light body and a slightly short finish keep it just short of excellence. Rated about 89.5, could improve up to a point… it’s a question of whether the freshness and vivacity will hold up before the body fades.

2009 Powell Hill Winery Pinot Noir, Maresh Red Hills Vineyard, Dundee Hills, Oregon – Quite light color with no bricking. The aromas are a little diffuse and not exactly what I expected… there is some of the pure black cherry fruit but also something a little coniferous, slightly reminiscent of Santa Cruz Mountains (this is not a complaint!). On the palate, there is an initial flash of bitterness that quickly passes and actually adds intensity. The mid-palate flavors again lack some precision, but the texture is wonderful, moderately light but also with a sense of solid breadth that reminds me of Burgundy. This is very good but even more interesting. Rated about 90.5, seems fully mature (but I wish I had another bottle to try in ~3 – 4 years).

Dan Kravitz

Mulderbosch is a good winery. The SB is a good wine and a solid value. Compared to New Zealand, it shows more grass and snap pea type flavors, less grapefruit. At least that’s my general recollection from past vintages.

They make some nice Bordeaux-type reds as well which I have enjoyed, wines which occupy a nice place in between Bordeaux and New World cabernet, maybe shaded more towards Bordeaux in character.