TN: Some Calif Rhones...(long/boring)

We tried last night (4/24/13) Some Calif Rhones:

  1. Jaffurs Viognier SBCnty (14.0%; 75% BienNacidoVnyd/SMV; 25% VogelsangVnyd/HappyCanyon; BN SaH: 22.5 Brix,
    pH: 3.3; V SaH: 23.4 Brix, pH: 3.25; BN: Ibarra-Young clone, V: Davis 1 clone; 258 cs) 2011
    : Light gold color;
    very attractive quite perfumed/aromatic peach/pear/Viog/floral bit honeyed lovely nose; fairly tart lush/floral/
    Viog/ppeach/pear quite glycerined spicy lovely flavor w/ no obvious alcohol; very long/lingering spicy/peach/pear/
    Viog/floral finish w/ beautiful vanilla/cotton candy aftertaste way in the back; maybe best Jaffurs Viog yet.

  1. Jaffurs GrenacheBlanc ThompsonVnyd/SBCnty (14.0%; Entav Clone 141; SaH: 23.0Brix, pH: 3.2; 13.9%;
    Bttld: April 21’12; 154 cs) 2011
    : Med.light gold color; slight pungent somewhat low-key floral/GB/peachy
    slight R-like/Mosel valve oil attractive nose; fairly tart floral/GB/peachy/peach blossom slight R/valve oil
    bit closed/low-key ripe/lush flavor; long some floral/GB/peach/high-toned bit R-like/floral/valve oil/pungent
    finish; lovely floral/GB that seems a bit understated/reticent compared to previous ones. $27.00

  1. Jaffurs Roussanne StolpmanVnyd/SBCnty (13.4%; SaH: 22 Brix, pH: 3.4; Clone: Davis 1; Bttld: April 21’12; 126 cs)
    : color; beautiful floral/honeysuckle/honeyed/spicy/nutmeg light oak/toasty very perfumed/aromatic
    nose almost GWT-like in intensity; fairly tart beautiful/perfumed quite honeyed/honeysuckle/Rouss rather spicy/
    nutmeg ripe/lush/textured balancedflavor; very long/lingering honeyed/honeysuckle/floral/Rouss quite spicy/
    nutmeg/cardammon/Asian spices textured/rich light oak finish w/ a very good underlying acidity to carry the
    richness; a terrific Calif Rouss at a very good price. $27.00

  1. Turley The WhiteCoat (70% RattlesnakeRidge Roussanne/30% HowellMtn GrenacheBlanc; 14.1%) 2011: color;
    very ripe mango/pineapple/honeysuckle bit fumey/alcoholic strong toasty/oak/charred nose; rather soft/fat strong
    very ripe/mango/pineapple/tropical fruit/honeysuckle strong charred/oak flavor; long soft/fat very ripe/
    honeyed/honeysuckle/mango/pineapple charred/oak finish; huge very ripe/fruit cocktail character and rather
    soft/porky and lacking structure. $40.00

  1. Jaffurs Roussanne StolpmanVnyd (14.0%) 2003: Med.dark color; quite fragrant pineapple/floral/peachy quite
    spicy rather Viog-like/floral slight nutty/complex nose; soft slightly nutty/toasted hazelnuts very floral/
    Viog-like honeyed/honeysuckle/Rouss light toasty/oak some complex flavor; very long floral/aromatic/Viog-like
    some honeyed/honeysuckle slight nutty/toasted hazelnuts finish w/ some complexity; seems on the young side
    and not as much old-Rhone character as I’d expected; drinking very well. Costigan mystery.

  1. Donkey&Goat TheRecluse Syrah BrokenLegVnyd/AndersonVlly (U; 12.6%) 2010: Med.color w/ slight bricking; slight
    plastic/Pinotish/funky/strange some raspberry/cranberry nose w/ very little Syrah character; very tart/acidic/
    screechy quite tangy/grapefruity/metallic/pickle juice bit charred/pungent/earthy some raspberry/cranberry
    flavor w/ slighht tannic bite; med.long very tart/screechy/grapefruity/tangy slight plastic/funky/metallic
    light cranberry/raspberry finish w/ some bitey tannins; no Syrah character that I could tell; maybe something
    going on in the btl; pretty undrinkable. $40.00

  1. Donkey&Goat Syrah TheRecluse BrokenLegVnyd/AndersonVlly (14.1%; U) 2009: Med.color w/ slight bricking; bit
    smokey/pungent some light spicy/blackberry/Syrah bit earthy somewhat interesting/complex/bit aged slight
    spicy/cinammon nose; rather tart light blackberry/Syrah/earthy/dusty bit smokey/pungent/toasty/gamey some
    aged/complex flavor w/ light tannins; long some earthy/dusty smokey/pungent/gamey light blackberry/Syrah
    interesting finish w/ light tannins; not a lot of fruit and seems older than I’d expect; a bit tart/lean
    but still rather interesting. $40.00

  1. Donkey&Goat Syrah Reserve BrokenLegVnyd/AndersonVlly (U; 14.1%; #479 of 750; 3% Viog; 45 cs) 2007: Med.dark
    color w/ some bricking; slight fecal/funky/mousey nose that clears to pencilly/smokey/pungent/gamey light
    blackberry/Syrah/raspberry some earthy/dusty bit cedary/tobaccoy somewhat complex/low-key/interesting nose;
    rather tart/bit screechy some raspberry/blackberry/Syrah somewhat earthy/dusty/rustic bit funky/gamey
    flavor w/ some drying/hard tannins; med.long bit cedary/pencilly light raspberry/blackberry/Syrah some
    earthy/dusty/mushroomy/rustic quite tart/lean/angular fairly hard/tannic finish; seems much older than I’d
    expect for an '07; somewhat interesting but not a lot of pleasure. $35.00

  1. Jaffurs SantaBarbaraCnty Syrah (14.8%; 838 cs) 2004: Dark color w/ some browning; rather funky/mouse nest/
    hantavirus some pencilly/cedary/old Zin slight blackberry/Syrah/cinammon/spicy rather tired/aged nose;
    strong cedary/pencilly/old red rather tired/funky/mousey slight blackberry/Syrah bit dried out flavor;
    med.short tired/dried out slight blackberry/Syrah pencilly/cedary finish; seems pretty tired and gone
    well before it should be. $27.00

  1. Jaffurs Syrah SBCnty (14.3%; Syrah: TierraAlta/Verna’s/BienNacido/Larner/Ampelos; PS/Mourv/GrenacheBlanc:
    Thompson; Viog/Grenache: Vogelsang; 80% Syrah/7% Grenache/4% Mourv/3% PS/3% Viog/3% GrenacheBlanc;
    Bttld: Sept 16’12; 1421 cs) 2011
    : Very dark color; some Pepto-Bismol/chalky/mineral strong blackberry/Syrah
    some vanilla/toasty/oak pleasant nose; slightly tart strong blackberry/Syrah ;ight toasty/oak slight chalky
    pleasant flavor w/ light tannins; long strong blackberry/Syrah somewhat spicy/peppery/blueberry light toasty/
    vanilla/oak finish w/ modest tannins; a rather attractive Syrah at a very good price. $25.00

  1. Elyse PetiteSirah Rutherford/NapaVlly (14.6%; Drk: 2001-2009-2013: RC) 2001: Very dark color w/ little/no
    bricking; some peppery/plummy rather blackberry/PS/spicy/boysenberry rather toasty/oak some dusty/OV very
    impressive/fruit-driven nose; soft intense boysenberry/blackberry/peppery/PS/framboise bit toasty/oak some
    dusty/OV flavor w/ smooth/soft/graceful tannins; very long strong boysenberry/blackberry/PS/plummy/peppery
    some toasty/smokey/oak some dusty/OV finish w/ smooth/polished tannins; still lots of primary PS fruit and
    not showing much evolution, but has really smoothed out on the palate; probably will go another 10 yrs.

  1. Jaffurs PetiteSirah ThompsonVnyd/AlisosCanyon/LosAlamos/SBCnty (15.3%; ArchibaldCuvee; Carrari clone;
    Bttld: Sept 15’12; 510 cs) 2011
    : Very dark/black color; some chalky/Pepto-Bismol very intense blackberry/
    PS/boysenberry/huge fruit strong toasty/smokey/oak slight peppery/earthy nose; soft rather tannic/hard very
    intense boysenberry/PS/blackberry/framboise some toasty/charred/oak slight peppery flavor; very long very
    strong blackberry/boysenberry/PS some peppery/earthy/gamey finish w/ ample tannins; needs 4-8 yrs; some
    a bit harder/more angular than previous ones but typical huge PS fruit. $30.00

  1. Carlisle Syrah RRV (15.7%; 260 cs) 2005: Dark color; strong smokey/Rhonish/roasted very strong blackberry/
    Syrah/licorice some toasty/oak nose; soft bit alcoholic some roasted/Rhonish/smokey light charred/toasty/oak
    strong blackberry/Syrah/spicy rather Rhonish/complex flavor w/ slight tannic hardness; very long charred/toasty/
    oak strong blackberry/Syrah/licorice/chocolaty slight roasted/Rhonish/smokey/gamey finish w/ light/smooth
    tannins; shows some whole-cluster/Rhonish character in addition to the intense Syrah fruit; holds the alcohol
    pretty well and not at all hot/fumey; really tasty now and hard to see it getting even better. Larry’s mystery.

And the usual BloodyPulpit:

  1. D&G: These three Syrahs were pretty disappointing; the '09 being the best of a sorry lot. They had just not
    developed in a very attractive way. The '10 was very bizzare and most felt it was undrinkable because of the
    screechy acidity. If this is an IPoB/balanced Syrah because it’s alcohol is low…then OK. If it is an IPoB/
    balanced Syrah because of its “balance”…then it’s a “fail”. The teeth-chattering acidity suggests that it
    may age into something interesting…but I think that requires a huge leap of faith. If it’s intentionally made
    this way to appeal to the IPoB/sweet Alice cabal, then they may have taken it to the extreme. I generally
    like the D&G wines, especially the ElDorado ones. These three were a tough slog.
    Because of the color on the '10, it may be that something is going on in the btl. Maybe a pediococcus
    infection that produces wines w/ a shrill acidity?

  1. Jaffurs: The recent Jaffurs were pre-release prices. I (as well as the group) were pretty much blown away by
    this trio of whites. The GB was a little understated & reticent, but the Viog & Roussanne were some of the best
    whites yet from Jaffurs. They were all pretty rich & powerful, but they had a nice brisk acidity to them
    and were not at all over-the-top nor overblown. They also seemed to have less oak than previous ones.
    All in all, lovely/balanced/textured whites.
    The '04 Syrah was a disappointment. I would have expected this wine to be in splendid shape. But it was
    way old before its time. Maybe a cork failure?? We had an Ojai SBC Syrah '04 the next night that was singing.
    The basic Jaffurs SBC Syrah is always one of my favorites and a very god Syrah value. This '11 version seemes
    a bit leaner/tighter, maybe more structured, than previous ones, maybe a bit less JaffursJr in style. Still a
    quite good Syrah for the $.
    OTOH, the PetiteSirah was wonderful…one of the best PS’s being made in Calif. The fragrance suggests
    Syrah more than the usual clunky PS aromas. This btl was one from the famous Archibald Cuvee…available only
    from the Jaffurs outlet in LosAlamos.

Jaffurs’ excellent single vineyard syrahs lead me to try his whites. I couldn’t agree more that those too are excellent QPR’s. Craig Jaffurs and his small team are making some of the more outstanding Rhone value wines in California IMHO.

Bummer about the D&G wines.

Regarding Pediococcus…infected wines become oddly viscous. It can produce off flavors as well, but primarily it’s the odd texture. Doesn’t sound like that was an issue, given your description.

The only way I can think of to increase acidity in the bottle is VA (acetobacter)…doesn’t sound like this was an issue either.

The 2010 D&G sounds like a wine that needs a lot of time…a lot can be hidden when wines like that are very young. So it might all resolve itself with time.

Thanks for the input on Pediococcus, Eric. I think I may have gotten the wrong name. One of our mutual friends/winemakers had a
problem in the btl w/ one of iis Syrahs back in the early '90’s that gave it this very screechy acidity. My recollect was that he
attributed to Pedicoccus…but I could have forgotten the actual name.

My understanding of Pedococcus is from discussions with other winemakers (and reading)…not first hand (fortunately).

I’ve always heard that it’s main impact is the viscous (‘ropy’) texture. Perhaps there’s some side effect that I don’t know about that causes the acid imbalance longer term? If you find out more here, let me know…always want to keep up on my foes :slight_smile: