Bunch 'O TNs: Loring, Copain, Carlisle and 3 Frenchies, Too

Little dinner last night…we did not taste in this order but I let CT do the work here and it reverse sorted them. Kiser side by side…a trip down Chardonnay lane with my wooden bat…and of course, Hawks Butte. [wink.gif]

  • 2005 Copain Syrah Hawks Butte Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands (6/7/2010)
    Opened and decanted but the initial impression is a bouquet of pepper, meat, menthol. The palate, just with the 30 mins of air, shows a core of soil, menthol-like stems, black cherry and blueberry fruit, along with a crushed stone overlaid note through the finish. The menthol is quite active in the wine so the aeration, let’s see what those do after a couple hours. Chose this wine specifically for what I expected was the more old world notes, to go with a beef and tapenade dish…and h I have so over dinner, served from the decanter. The wine comes off with some burnt embers, which I have found on some of the Copain syrahs before. The fruit is leaner, crunchy and as opposed to the 2004 HB that I had in April (which was quite ripe IMO), this 2005 is much more restrained. Still tight, too, with bright cherry and roasted fruit notes, with the stems still showing some of the menthol edge in the wine. Still has a good life ahead so drink starting in 2011 and I bet it goes to 2014, probably longer.
  • 2005 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (6/7/2010)
    Early on with Brian’s 2005s, I remember tasting and documenting them–they had tension and structure and I felt they would age. Now, at this stage, this 2005 is in a good place. Sure, has some dark fruit tones but the fruit comes off as ‘crushed’ to me, even with some cranberry in the background. Drinking well now, let 'er rip.
  • 2006 Carlisle Syrah Russian River Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (6/7/2010)
    A bouquet of flowers, blood. Dark hued and plush, with some decadence but it all stays together. A bit more opulent then the last bottle I drank last year. Interesting (well, maybe not to everyone!), we drank this with a appetizer of toasted, sliced ciabatta that was covered with a parmesean, garlic, pine nut, olive oil, thyme and kalamata topping. It paired very well with this wine, even seeming to lean it up a bit. I have a big fondness for Mike’s basic RRV syrah, this one showed well again.
  • 2006 Newton Chardonnay Unfiltered - USA, California, Napa Valley (6/7/2010)
    A friend of mine used to love this wine, well, until recently and while I believe he was looking forward to trying this, his comment when we started to drink it was something to the effect of “too much oak”. Man, his palate is changing, and he called it right. I tasted this wine and it was buttery, with oak and creme brulee type feel. It wasn’t bad but I dumped most of mine out after the first 2 tastes. I just can’t drink this style anymore and it seems now that the minerality, acidity and refreshing tones of chardonnay done without all the wood and malo is what I am seeking.
  • 2007 August West Pinot Noir Rosella’s Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (6/7/2010)
    This wine seemed big to me in ripeness. We had it the right temperature, as I was in charge of cooling it, along with the other wines. Some graphite on the nose, with dark berry, strawberry, some of the typical grapefruit but big boned. Lacked the feminine profile that Ed has interpreted before into Rosella’s. I did not bring this bottle to the dinner and my impression written here is pretty different than the one I chronicled just one month prior with a bottle from my own cellar. That bottle I really enjoyed but also studied within my TN and I wonder about bottle variation here?
  • 2007 Copain Pinot Noir “En Bas” Kiser - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (6/7/2010)
    god, so few notes on this wine in CT…the En Haut gets much more pub, it seems (and rightly so, as the En Haut is tremendous). Drank this En Bas right next to the En Haut, a simple side by side comparison with the same decant time and drank with the same food over dinner. Like the En Haut, a cologne-like note on the bouquet and the dominant note at this stage in the wine is the dried raspberry component. Seems much more rugged in texture than the En Haut. This wine will need time to soften.
  • 2007 Copain Pinot Noir “En Haut” Kiser - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (6/7/2010)
    Drank side by side with the 2007 En Bas. A simple two wine flight to contrast the wines. You know, this En Haut is a beautiful wine. More suave and lithe than the En Bas, which is more rugged and wrapped up right now. This En Haut shows florals, mineral and crushed rocks. Raspberry, apple, pure and focused with a nice swath of river rock texture on the finish, which is long and delicious. The praise that this wine gets is well deserved. I have 2 bottles left, will enjoy the next one in 2011.
  • 2007 Sebastien Roux Rully Clos des Mollepierre - France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Rully (6/7/2010)
    Well, we paired this wine with a 2006 Newton Unfiltered from Napa and in honesty, this Rully beat the Newton up. While the Newton is high in oak, etc…this Rully has a big swath of lemon peel, minerals and good acidity, along with a hint of pear and golden delicious apple. Refreshing.
  • 2008 La Vieille Ferme (Perrin & Fils) Côtes du Ventoux - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Ventoux (6/7/2010)
    This was supposed to be included in a Rose flight and the color puzzled me. Given my vast knowledge of french wines, I finally made the obvious connection that this was not Rose, I started to think about the wine (once I got the damn ice chill off the wine and warmed it up!). Dark spice nose, with a bit of a gingerbread oak-like note, with the oak also showing up in the body of the wine. Also seemed quite big and ripe, and married with the oak, I would have not guessed french, aside from a bit of the funky, stable note that is in the palate of the wine. I wonder as to whether this wine was opened too soon or is this the style of the producer. This wine needs another 1-2 years to settle (?).
  • 2009 Domaine de la Mordorée Côtes du Rhône Rosé La Dame Rousse - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône (6/7/2010)
    Salmon colored, with licorice, anise seed, sour strawberry and a nice, long fresh finish. Would buy again.

Posted from CellarTracker

Hey Frank,
Have you tried any Chablis?
I am now drinking a 2008 Domaine Servin Les Pargues. Real nice wine with plenty of fruit, lemony zest, minerals, sea shell notes and acidity. Think it goes for around $20ish.

Newton Chardonnay has always been an oak bomb to my palate. Never understood it’s appeal, but then again Rombauer is the top selling Chard. [dontknow.gif] Just p/u a btl of the Copain Kiser En Haut so I appreciate the comments. Great to see you experimenting in FR. I’ll continue your exploration when I see you next month.


Look for the Forman Chard. … I think it would be right up your alley. I believe it does see oak, but it’s not overbearing, and it’s a non-malo. Kind of reminds me of Arcadian’s Sleepy Hollow Chard., but a bit brighter/fresher/broader/deeper/better.

Beautifully done Frank. I’m seriously upset that there will be no 08 Kisers. Lots of great Pinots in California, but none quite like these.

Appreciate the feedback on the notes. As to the CA chardonnay comment I made, I still have about 2 cases of it in my cellar, although most if it is Diatom now, which I buy every year. Ultimately, I wish the alcs on them were a bit lower but ultimately, we enjoy the wines and I appreciate that Greg Brewer makes them totally stainless (no wood at all) so they drink to me fresh and I like them a lot. I also have some Rivers-Marie and Wind Gap. I do like the mineral aspects of chardonnay and I believe Copain is coming on line with chardonnay soon and knowing Wells, I can do that [cheers.gif] On the occasions to have drank the Arcadian chards, I have liked them.

Dan, as I dabble more and more with French, I will do more whites, like Chablis, although I don’t have much experience with it admittedly. On the Domaine Servin that you mention, I see that Woodland Hills WC has some. Damn it, I am trying to avoid a trip to WHWC, as I suspect it could be an expensive visit, and you ARE NOT HELPING! [swearing.gif]

Frank - damn your palate is definitely shifting. You have to try some Fevre. I recently had a bottle of '02 Bougros Cote de Bouguerots which blew my mind.

I’ve been rubbing your guys nose in Chablis for a few years now. Glad someone is coming around. [berserker.gif]

Good Chablis is a thing of beauty.

I forgot to add this in my notes, as I wanted to give the Kiser comparison a little more distinction. This is from the Copain website, relative to the difference between the En Haut and the En Bas. Aside from the slope difference, with the En Haut being on the hill, so to speak, there are some clonal inputs that differ, too:

The vineyard upper block is planted in fractured sandstone from the Franciscan Formation with equal proportions of the 114, 777, and 667 Dijon clones. The lower block is planted in a dense sandy loam with the 115 Dijon clone and a select Burgundy clone. Both blocks are south facing but distinct in their soil composition and microclimates. Vines are planted with 8 X 6’ spacing and farmed organically with emphasis on fruit quality.

This illustrates why I love Wells’ wines. He’s not obsessed about details at all! [wink.gif]