TN: Arnot-Roberts..A White & 2 Reds '14..(short/boring)

Tried these 3 last night:

  1. Arnot-Roberts GrunerVeltliner AlfaroFamilyVnyd/SantaCruzMtns (12.2%; 2 brls) Healdsburg 2014: Light yellow bit cloudy color; light pear/GV slight floral/white pepper slight chalky very quiet/restrained nose; very tart/tangy/metallic/steely light white pepper/GV/pear/floral bit chalky rather lean flavor; med. quite tart/tangy/acidic/metallic very quiet GV/pear/floral finish; a very quiet/restrained somewhat vapid/eviscerated very unthrilling expression of GV.

  1. Arnot-Roberts Trousseau NorthCoast (12.6%; 1 Foudre/5 Puncheons/6 brls) 2014: Med.light ruby color; rather earthy/dusty/loamy light plummy/Trouss/bit licorice slight floral/lilacs/Alpine interesting nose; fairly tart/tangy light Trouss/plummy/licorice rather earthy/loamy/dusty light bodied slight oaked bit thin/eviscerated flavor w/ light tangy tannins; med.short tart/tangy light plummy/Trouss fairly earthy/loamy finish w/ light tannins; speaks some of Jura Trouss but rather on the light/vapid/lean side; interesting glou-glou red but not very thrilling.

  1. Arnot-Roberts Syrah NorthCoast (12.2%) 2014: Fairly dark color w/ little ricking; quite smokey/Rhonish/roasted/w-c/cracked black pepper some blackberry/Syrah/framboise so me earthy/dusty rather complex Rhonish nose; quite tart/tangy rather shrill/screechy strong w-c/black pepper/Rhonish/smokey/pungent some blackberry/Syrah/peppery/c-c light toasty/oak somewhat complex flavor w/ ample sharp/tangy tannins; very long tart/tannic/screechy some blackverry/c-c peppery rather Rhonish/w-c/roasted/smokey rather complex finish w/ some tangy tannins; lots of interesting w-c/c-c/Rhonish character but rather on the lean/screechy/pinched side on the palate; not showing much evolution; sorta hurts to drink but interesting.

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. Arnot-Roberts is/was one of the heroes of the late IPoB movement. I want so much to like their wines…but it’s sometimes rather a struggle…as last night was. In their pursuit of low-alcohol, the wines oftentimes come across as lean/vapid/eviscerated…and certainly a long way from being in balance. The French can certainly deliver wines in the 11%-12% range that show ample flavor. But maybe not in Calif w/ very few exceptions. I’ve always hoped the high-acidities would yield complex wines down the road with age. Yet these three, at 6 yrs of age, failed to show any evolution at all. Sometimes I just feel like throwing in the towel. But still I persist & buy their wines. Guess I’m just a slow learner.

Good data points.

I think A-R have been better with providing more rounded wines as of recent vintages.

  • The chardonnays still need a few years under the belt, but are quite drinkable with some air on release.
  • Old vine white is ready to go on release
  • Their rose is in my top 2-3 roses to drink every year. No harsh angles at all. And it fleshes out with a year sideways.
  • Their cabernets are very classically balanced and are not at all harsh. Elegant even.
  • Syrahs are more of a mixed bag in terms of thin bones. Que Syrah is the richest of the syrahs; Clary ranch can be a bit too lean for me but I haven’t bought this wine in years; the Sonoma Coast bottling depends on vintage but as of late is lighter and very drinkable.

By contrast, I did try some backfills of whites in the 2011-2013 period and they were quite harsh even with six years bottle age.

So, on the whole, I continue to buy and perhaps luckily I was a bit late to the train starting in 2016.