Impressions 5-2-18

Wine impressions - 5-2-18 (homage to boatloads)

2016 Edmunds St, John, Heart of Gold - I like this at room temp better than chilled as the acidity is more integrated and the flavors are rounder, but either way, nice wine.
2016 Droin, Chablis - village wine that blows away many other Chardonnays at twice the price; precise, full without being soft, mineral accents to crystalline fruit, excellent length. A joy to drink.
2016 Lioco, Chardonnay Sonoma County - nothing deep or profound but 13.7 abv, bracing acidity and solid chard fruit. Atypical for CA; no wood, no butter, no spoof. By the case, less than $20/bottle and worth it.
2015 Louis Michel, Chablis Montee de Tonnerre - brilliant stuff; intense fruit, lovely accents, excellent length. Chablis love.
2017 Cowan Cellars, Ribolla Gialla - finally coming out of a funk from bottling in February, this has gained aromatics, volume and spice; we stopped the malo on this and the acidity fits so very well with a meal of pasta with tuna and arugula. Won’t be released for awhile . . .
2016 Dirty and Rowdy, Familiar Blanc - quite complete, the blend of several different varieties makes for good complexity, and the winemaking makes for whole cloth; nice wine
2016 Saladini Pilastri, Pecorino Offida - spicy sassafras flavors, textural, structured, crisp acidity and bone dry all for $13. Pretty nice.
2016 Rocca Felice, Roero Arneis - pretty, some spice, lovely balance, good flavors and a clean finish. I like this a lot and it’s only $16. That works.
2016 Pieropan, Soave - Leonildo Pieropan’s 50th vintage; of course his sons are now making the wine but how extraordinary to witness 50 years in your vineyard. And, as always, as good a wine as one could ask; aromatic, complete, integrated and plenty of cut. A life’s work, enjoyed. Worth every penny of $18.

2009 Ladd Cellars, Pinot Noir Cuvée Abigail - Sonoma Coast Pinot with a bit of sous bois and some secondary development, solid fruit flavors that are tending toward the savory, medium finish. The influence of oak is still upon it; if that disappears or morphs this has the promise to make old bones.
2006 Bjornstad, Pinot Noir Van Der Kamp Vineyard - Sonoma Mountain fruit that as aged pretty well and at 12, gives evidence of the vineyard. I like it better with air which leads me to believe it has time left in bottle.
2014 Vina Real, Rioja Crianza - medium weight, dusty but unobtrusive tannins, no evident oak influence, reasonable complexity and medium length. Not a heavyweight (thankfully); a pleasant accompaniment to lighter fare for less than $17, retail.
2016 Dirty and Rowdy, Mourvèdre California - straight-forward, correct and just a little more than that; easy to drink.
2016 Dirty and Rowdy, Mourvèdre Shake Ridge - herbaceous and a touch sharp but carries well focused fruit; needs time.
2016 Dirty and Rowdy, Mourvèdre Antle Vineyard - slight bubble gum nose but in a good way, but Lordy, this is fine in the mouth - breadth, balance and length. Terrific wine now or later.
2017 Dirty and Rowdy, Mourvèdre Unfamiliar - fresh, joyful, light, gulp-able but not without character. Not made for aging; drink now, preferably with me.
2016 Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Etna Rosso - crisp, light, intense, grippy, good cut and savory; the grip is strong so probably better with food.
2013 Sabazio, Rosso do Montepulciano La Braccesca - earthy, decomposing leaves, slightly fecal, angular dark fruit, balanced but sort of goofy - no real focus or depth - even so, good accompaniment with food and of interest. About $18 but not worth a rebuy at that price. Better on day two but I stand by my no buy again opinion.
2015 Cowan Cellars, Syrah Bennett Valley - coiled, intense and concentrated but so full of vibrant fruit and chalky tannins that it tastes good now; lots of future here.
2015 Cave de Tain, Crozes-Hermitage Nobles Rives - lovely Rhône nose with purple fruit, meat and olive but the palate is very tight and shows sharp initially; as it opens the flesh comes through and the acidity comes into balance. Needs time. $20 and not bad at all.
2016 Jadot, Beaujolais-Villages - dark fruit, good grip, solid structure, spice and no kinship whatever to Nouveau. (Actually closer to Côte du Beaune.) A bargain, for sure, at $10.
2015 Rocca Felice, Nebbiolo d’Alba Famiglia Lanzavecchia - reticent, complex and it expands with air; in the mouth this is elegant, integrated and a really pretty expression of the grape - with time everything gets more of a piece and I start to groove on the complexity. $18, American money - good deal.

Best, Jim

Nice notes, Jim. I’m interested to try the Soave, I haven’t had one in awhile and I used to enjoy them.

Pieropan also does two single vineyard Soaves: Calvarino, elevage in stainless; and La Rocca, elevage in barrel. Both are good but, I prefer the Calvarino.
Best, Jim