Some TNs: Rhys, Scherrer, Carlisle, Pisoni, Mouzon-Leroux, Bouchard, Marie-Courtin,

Some TNs from this weekend. Thanks for reading.

  • 2013 Mouzon-Leroux & Fils Champagne Grand Cru Special Club Parcellaire La Blanche Voie - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (6/29/2020)
    First of two. Disgorged July 2018, no dosage, with an equal blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This is bright and citrusy, reminding me a lot of the flavors that come inside a can of mandarin orange segments. In the US, you can find the can at Trader Joe’s, and the flavors of the juice and fruit inside that can is very close to the fruit impression in this wine. Interestingly, I also found some blackberry, which I rarely use for Champagne impressions but for me, it was in there. Peaches and sliced green apple, too. Finishes with a light touch of honeyed green apple and mineral. This was very good.
  • 2014 Carlisle Petite Sirah Palisades Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (6/29/2020)
    I finished my last bottle of this in the Fall of 2019, so I was thrilled to see it appear again from Brig’s cellar to be enjoyed. This is petite for sure, inky with blueberry goodness, along with stone fruit pit, fresh leather and a touch of heat. Finishes with a charcoal note and a push of concentrated blue fruit. Have another glass left for tonight so we’ll give it another go with a clean palate and a full day of air that has seen…retasting without food, from the bottle that is sitting out on the counter from last night simply closed with cork, at 71f. Remains inky in color, a maroon/black. This amount of air it has seen has softened it up substantially, rendering the wine ready to drink–smooth, flushes my palate with dark fruit. The fruit seems a bit blacker too, more blackberry than the blue tones from yesterday. The charcoal remains in the finish, with an addition of dark chocolate. Overall, this is very good, dark and intense enough to be petite but not so much that it’s overpowering as petite can be. Terrific.
  • 2015 Scherrer Winery Chardonnay Helfer Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (6/29/2020)
    Served blind. I guessed something along the lines of Viognier or Marsanne, as the texture through me off. It had a glossier note and was floral too. I was wrong, it was Chardonnay. This wine seems overshadowed my oak, giving it tones of butterscotch and marshmallow. Pear and green apple are the main fruit components.
  • 2016 Pisoni Pinot Noir Estate - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (6/29/2020)
    Dried cherry, dark raspberry (same impressions as I wrote about on the previous bottle from July 2019). Lots of intensity and freshness, too. Neither big nor extracted, the best way I can frame this is to call the wine ‘generous’, as well as fruit driven. Finishes with a juicy, dark plum and a touch of brown sugar. My remark to the group after a few pours of this was that I thought this was one of the better Estate bottlings made in the last many years. It has some juicy, crunchy elements yet retains the pleasure of what Pisoni Estate can be, and this is a very strong vintage for it. We crushed the bottle so nothing to retest from last night.
  • 2016 Roses de Jeanne / Cédric Bouchard Champagne Blanc de Noirs Côte de Val Vilaine - France, Champagne (6/29/2020)
    People keep sharing bottles of this wine with me, which is super as I have yet to open any of mine. The back label info rubbed off when I touched it so I can’t offer any. This had an apple sauce note, along with lime skin, a spicy finish and a lick of wood. Lively and balanced.
  • 2017 Rhys Pinot Noir Alpine Vineyard - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (6/29/2020)
    This showed excellent, seeing about 4 hours of air. This bottle has the same pinot funk aroma that the July 2019 bottle showed, too. The wine fans out across the palate, with a tangy, herby note, followed by cranberry, strawberry jam and asian 5-spice. I found this to be ‘pure’, that sense of purity that the bottle from last year showed, too…retasting 24 hours later without food and at room temp of 71f. Aromatic now holds the 5-spice, along with a touch of evergreen. The intensity on the wine dials up more today, along with the juicy red fruit notes–cranberry, cherry and strawberry. And the palate weight impression today is clear, showing a true medium weight. I mention this because of my reference to strawberry ‘jam’ from yesterday’s impressions. There is nothing heavy here. What I do predict can happen with this wine is for the brown spice notes (from the 30% new oak) to fold in better, which would soften some of the spiciness. Overall, this is a strong, deeply flavored version of Alpine, with a mix of savory, crunchy and juicy components.
  • NV Rhys Ultra Brut Bearwallow Vineyard - USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (6/29/2020)
    A blend of Chardonnay (62%) and Pinot Noir (36%), with two-thirds of the fruit from the 2017 vintage, the remainder from 2016. About 20 months on the lees, with 2g/L dosage. Disgorged April 2020. Citrusy, with some light notes of jasmine and pounded rock. Pink grapefruit, honeyed yellow apple and a good dollop of orange really underpins the palate. It also reminds me of jasmine, as the floral note gets infused into the wine, along with even a little spicy bergamot. The acidity here is bright and long throughout the wine, ending with a lemon rind impression and the same cool orange fruit note. Knowing there is Pinot Noir here, and perhaps biased by the intent to ‘find it’, I was careful to not try and push that grape into my note here but as I retaste the wine this morning, with most of the CO2 gone and at a room temp of 71f, there is a strawberry note here but in total, the Chardonnay does speak in the wine at this stage, and it drinks with a purity, a successful balance and the acidity really helping it all come together.
  • 2013 Marie Courtin Champagne Allégeance Extra Brut - France, Champagne (6/27/2020)
    Second of two. The first bottle I opened last month, with the result of ‘flawed’ for my note. The experience seemed odd for a Marie Courtin wine, the bottle showing advanced. So, to decide if this was a style issue or simply a one-off bottle, I figured I would open the second of two and see. Same details as the first bottle…disgorged December 2018, no dosage, no sulfur, 100% Pinot Noir. This wine is copper colored, quite unique in that aspect as I can’t recall a Rose colored this way. When cold, this bottle shows a white pepper aromatic, turning more smoky, more chene-like. There is plenty of texture in this bottle, even a bit glossy as it warms. Strawberry, mandarin orange, bitter grapefruit, watermelon and licorice. The hallmark of this wine is the acidity, woven throughout and most present into the finish where the citrus pith is prominent. Overall, there is a distinct difference in comparing this bottle to the one last month. And, the acidity and energy in this wine, the unique mix of fruit, citrus and wood will probably make some folks pause, perhaps not care for it. I do like it, but to be candid, the Efflorescence cuvee beats this cuvee to me, for sure.

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Nice notes as usual Frank, we popped a ‘14 Helfer last week That did not show the Heavy oak signature you had with the ‘15. Ours was quite good, I ordered a couple more.

We also opened my last Marie Courtin Resonance and it was lovely. May have to reload there as well, thanks for the recco.

Rat, allow yourself to spend another 10-15 bucks and try the Marie Courtin Efflorescence. I know there is still some left at Sec Wines in Portland, along with Resonance (or, there was recently). The Efflorescence is the sibling of Resonance, and it gets an extra year before disgorgement and also is done in wood (Resonance done in steel, less time on lees). Both come from the same parcel, one higher up (Resonance) and the other lower on the slope (Eff). Just might be a cool comparison for you, based on your palate savvy to discern the differences.

I’ll get to the rest of the notes soon. Loved the Carlisle PS, so good. Rhys vs. Pisoni PN was a good head to head battle.

Light to Medium gold color. Pours a bit foamy and then settles down. Has a classic champer nose with an every so slight bit of oxidation. The citrus/stone fruit didn’t scream Pinot or Chardonnay only. Has a fuller mouthfeel than some of the classic acid driven growers so i’m leaning towards a more classic champagne blend of grapes and house style. I like it. Good complexity.

When the bag was pulled I just starred at the label. Rhys but… Ultra Brut? what? I had heard rumors last year during a visit from Brinkman and company that there were more sparklers coming down the pipe but with Rhys that could mean they’re looking to purchase land, or it’s already sitting down in the cellar for 4 years or anything in between. No idea when this will see the light of day but it’s very good right now.

Posted from CellarTracker