Tried these two last night w/ dinner:
- TablasCreekVnyd Roussanne AdelaidaDist/PasoRobles EstateGrown (13.4%) 2015: Med.light gold color; very strong Rouss/honeyed/honeysuckle/waxy light chalky/mineral beautiful intense Rouss nose; lightly tart/bracing/brisk rather rich/lush very strong Rouss/honeyed/honeysuckle/floral/waxy some mineral/chalky bit complex flavor; very long/lingering very strong Rouss/floral/honeysuckly bit chalky/mineral finish; still has loads of primary Rouss fruit & not showing much nutty/oxidative character yet; a beautiful Rouss that will only get better over the next 10 yrs.
Bedrock Zin EsolaVnyd/AmadorCnty (14.5%; Farmed by DeniseEsola) 2019: Med.color; lovely Amador/briary strong blackberry/Zin/spicy light toasty/oak slight earthy/peppery very interesting nose; lightly tart very spicy/blackberry/Amador briary bit earthy/dusty/OV light pencilly/oak flavor w/ light tangy tannins; very long/lingering classic Amador briary very spicy/blackberry/Zin light toasty/oak some dusty/OV finish w/ light tangy tannins; a rather restrained/elegant expression of Esola Zin; reminds me a lot of the Easton Zins or the old BeauVal Zins of ScottHarvey, some of the lighter Ridge Esola Zins but less oak; not your old-style of big/bombastic/alcoholic/extracted Amador Zin.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
- There has always been a soft spot in my heart for Esola Zins. Back in the early/mid '70’s, Ridge/MtVeeder/CarnerosCreek started making Zins from the Esola (and Chet Eschen) vnyds in Amador/ShenandoahVlly. Because of the distance from the wnrys to Amador, there was often an issue of overripe grapes coming out of Esola. Several were labeled as LatePicked or LateHrvst Zins. Usually they were spectacular. But because of the over-ripeness issue, all three dropped the Esola grapes in the late '70’s. So I was delighted to find out that Morgan was making Esola Zin a few yrs back. He has, single handedly, returned the past greatness to Esola Zin.
In the early ‘70’s, I fell in love with the Esola Zins from those three wineries. Around 1978, I wrote an article for Vintage Magazine (Philip Seldon) on “Zins of the Esola & Eschen Vnyds”. At that time, Esola was farmed by Ernie (Denise’s father) & John Esola. Afore writing the article, I made arrangements to visit Ernie & Lena d’Agostini Esola up in Plymouth. They invited me to stay for lunch. They were so impressed that a “famous” wine writer wanted to interview them, that they welcomed me at their front door, a few doors down from the Plymouth main intersection, dressed in their finest Sunday-go-to-meetin’ wear. It was a simple/modest home but the yard outside was strewn with “stuff” that made it look a bit like a hillbilly home in the Ozarks. It was a modest/simple lunch like you are likely to find back in a Kansas farmstead. The couple was absolutely charming in a down-to-earth/non-pretentious way. They loved telling this “famous” wine writer the story of their lives, after Ernie & I walked the Esola vnyd a few miles away. They were excited to give me a hlf-btl of the special Zin Ernie had made that FrankMahoney/CarnerosCreek bttld up for them as gifts at their daughter, Denise’s wedding. The wine was probably 2’nd crop Zin, made from very overripe grapes, pretty sweet, and on the rustic side.
As we chatted during lunch, I mentioned that my car (a '68 slant-6 Dodge Dart, with over 200,000 miles on it) was making a click/clacking noise when I accelerated it. So Ernie told me drive around back by the barn, jacked it up, and took a look-see, still dressed in his Sunday finest, sans jacket. Yup, he knew exactly what was wrong. “Badly worn U-Joints” (which I got fixed down in Sac the next day). I have little doubt that if Plymouth had had a NapaAutoParts, he would have gone down & bought new U-Joints and installed them on my car!!
Ernie died (in the '80’s, I believe) in a propane tank explosion as he was doing a welding job. A few yrs ago, I tried to reconnect w/ Lena, but I just missed her at the beauty shop in downtown Plymouth. Alas, she died not so long ago. And now Denise farms the EsolaRanch, and very/very well according to Morgan.
'Tis not often that a wine brings tears to my eyes, but drinking this last night, it did exactly that as it brought back very fond memories of this very special couple, Ernie & Lena. Great job, Morgan… probably the first time one of your wines brought tears to someone’s eyes!!