TN: The night before the night before Xmas (including Vermont wines)

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT BEFORE XMAS (INCLUDING VERMONT WINES) - My backyard around the fire (12/24/2015-12/25/2015)

Here on America’s north coast it is quite rare to be sitting outside by the fire in late December. Yet, here we were, with temps in the 60’s. We lit a fire, invited over some neighbors and took advantage of our luck. The bottles were pop and pour. Lots of varying foods were served. It was a great evening of just enjoying the day.

  • 2013 Liquid Farm Chardonnay La Hermana - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley (12/24/2015)
    I have been underwhelmed with the 2013 wines so far. This has been the best of the bunch so far. This is very good. The oak seemed less obtrusive than other bottlings for my tastes. Light golden in color. The nose is grapefruit and pears. There is a sweaty quality as well that is nicer than it sounds. On the palate, this has a nice creamy texture. Creamy grapefruit flavors if that makes sense (creamsickle?). A very full bodied wine that is very rich. It worked great as a cocktail without food but there is some acidity there. Was popular with the neighbors. (92 pts.)
  • 2014 Lincoln Peak Vineyard La Crescent - USA, Vermont (12/25/2015)
    This was a gift from some friends in Vermont. We had no expectations. I am told La Crescent is a varietal developed in the upper Midwest that is the hardiest cold weather varietal. It was good and interesting. The nose is nice. Someone said Torrontes and there is some resemblance. A sort of canned peaches meets pineapple quality. Nice texture. Fine acidity. On the palate, it more resembles apple cider (which is what I might have guessed blind) but certainly has a wine feel to it. Does not seem like it would age but who knows. In any event, everyone seemed to like it, and no one dumped it. I think had the label said France, everyone would have made excuses, but since it said Vermont, it over achieved expectations. A real treat to be able to try a new wine from a new place. Thanks Stephanie. (87 pts.)
  • 2010 Domaine Javouhey Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Puligny-Montrachet (12/24/2015)
    My neighbor brought some of these back from Burgundy. I believe it is made for the owner of a wine shop there as a private label. I have had it before a couple of times, but this was the best showing. That said, there is a deep golden color that worries me about its future. This bottle was great but it is advancing quite quickly. Deep golden in color. The nose has lemon creme, some vanilla and slight pineapple notes. Great creamy texture. It is deep on the palate with a nice complexity. Citrus and pineapple notes. Good acidity. Good finish. A real pleasure to drink. (92 pts.)
  • 2014 Lincoln Peak Vineyard Marquette - USA, Vermont (12/25/2015)
    Another Vermont that was part of the same gift. The grape is Marquette which I have never heard of before. A quick Google tells me it is the grandson of Pinot Noir and a cold hardy hybrid. Ruby/purple in color. The nose is very nice with cherries, sandalwood, and slight green notes. On the palate, this has a nice texture. good acidity. Cherries with a bit of spice. Tart. Nice finish. We saves some for day 2 to see how it developed. A very fine wine though and doesn’t need a “from Vermont” qualifier although that certainly helped it perform above expectations. (88 pts.)
  • 2011 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (12/24/2015)
    I wouldn’t say TRB nailed it in 2011, but the RM wines are a bit better than most. This is the basic cab. This is still drinking young, but it was a crowd pleaser among the neighbors. Purple in color. Cassis, grilled herbs and a bit of green tobacco on the nose. On the palate, this has a nice juicy acidity. Cassis and cigar box notes. Some depth. Picks up on the finish. Very nice. (91 pts.)
  • 2012 Carlisle Zinfandel Bedrock Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley (12/24/2015)
    Sitting outside by the fire in December is pretty special in Northeast Ohio. This seemed to be a great match. The crowd sucked (drank?) it down immediately. Purple in color. The nose is big with black and red raspberries, pepper, and floral notes. On the palate, what a great texture. Supple and elegant yet powerful and broad. Juicy acidity. very deep. Lots of black raspberry and blueberries with some licorice too. Delicious. Makes you want to keep sipping. Long, satisfying finish. Just a great wine with a long life ahead. (94 pts.)
  • 2006 Domaine de la Mordorée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de la Reine des Bois - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/24/2015)
    Great showing for this. Really in a great, if a bit young, spot right now. Inky purple in color. The nose has dark cherries, black currants, spice and slight grilled notes. On the palate, this unwinds in the glass to show a nice complexity. Good acidity. Lots of black raspberries and spice. The finish lingers. Not as big as the 05 or 07, but not shy either. No hurry. (94 pts.)
  • NV Rare Wine Co. (Vinhos Barbeito) Madeira Historic Series Savannah Verdelho Special Reserve - Portugal, Madeira (12/24/2015)
    The rain was bout 30 minutes away and maybe just a last glass by the fire, so this was opened. Iced tea in color. Gorgeous nose of orange peel toffee, coffee and slight green note. On the palate, there is a milk chocolaty and orange note with a nice nuttiness. Great acidity. Long finish. Slight alcohol notes but not bothersome or hot. Great value in Madeira. (93 pts.)

Jane and I are quite blessed in many ways, not the least of which is living in a wonderful neighborhood with great neighbors!
Posted from CellarTracker

Glad to see the hybrid (though that is considered a dirty word and some people prefer the term “resistant”) perform well. Though they may not produce world-class wine, they have a place and a purpose and can make very nice wines for people with open minds. It would have been interesting to taste them blind to see how much opinions were swayed (up or down) by the Vermont origin.

We visited a winery outside Middlebury one year. They told me the canes grew between 12-16 feet every year. The wines were well made and clean.

Loren - Nice to see some notes on Vermont wines. I believe the wines are Lincoln Peak Vineyard wines (not Lincoln Park as noted).
From my random sampling over the years of most of the Vermont producers, i have found that Lincoln Peak makes some of the better wines in Vermont.
I have yet to have any wine from Vermont that I would consider ‘outstanding’ but it is fun to try and to see the growth of the industry and the experimentation going on with the cold hardy grape cultivars.

Very cool to see VT wine notes. I spent tons of time in Vermont from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s, and there was nothing except some apple wine for most of that time.

Vermont wine?!? Cool experience!

I found your notes fun and educational

Thank you. Corrected above (and on CT).

I do not remember the name of the estate, but somewhere near Ludlow I remember seeing apple/pear wine signs from a local producer.

Perhaps UC Davis has programs/seminars on making non grape wines.