TNs---20 Kutch McDougall, 19 Dragonette Black Label, 11 Guiraud

A few wines shared with friends on Saturday. Tran generously contributed the Guiraud (he and other friends came over for a Mahjongg session :slight_smile: )

2019 Dragonette Black Label Chard

90 cases produced. Wow. I can’t remember having a more fruit-forward CaliChard. This is super-expressive and is pineapple smoothie all the way. Amazing intensity of the fruit—almost Gewurtz-like in terms of secondary perfumey aspect. 14.5% but carries it very well indeed. And no need to wait, it’s drinking splendidly now. Not my usual kind of Chard, but as a departure from that, I can sure appreciate a great deal about this wine.

2020 Kutch McDougall PN

popped and poured. Rhubarb is the dominant for me right now, with lots and lots of herbs–more than I can ever remember in a McDougall wine. The raspberries and strawberries are underlying, but will take a while to percolate through. Give these babies some time in the cellar.

2011 Chateau Guiraud

Drinking very nicely just now. Vanilla bean, some custard nuance, apricot and peach make up the aromatic and palate profile. Not all that racy, but a pleasure to drink.





Fellow TWEC ™ and board member Mike Grammer did indeed host an afternoon of Mahjong, wine and snacks for us this past Saturday. Yours truly failed miserably in his never-ending photojournalistic quest to bring the actual truth to Wine Berserkers because I was more focused on winning, natch. So I will share my thoughts and shamelessly scrape and steal pics from the Internet like a cheap ChatGPT AI wannabe.

DRAGONETTE CELLARS 2019 BLACK LABEL CHARDONNAY – Completely contrary to what one would expect from Chardonnay from California, this was incredibly light, refreshing and fruit forward. Michael pronounced it as a pineapple smoothie out loud to everyone. Certainly, there is a very tasty and refreshing pineapple note as opposed to the usual green apple. It’s also got quite a floral nose. This is very much akin to a good Alsacian wine, as the texture is noticeably smooth. No oak, vanilla or tannin flavors from overoaking and no heavy butter flavor from too much malolactic treatment. This is a great style of Chardonnay and I’d love to try this again.

KUTCH 2020 MCDOUGALL RNACH PINOT NOIR – Incredibly fragrant Pinot, lots of flowers and lavender in the nose. Texture is smooth as is typical of Cali PN with not a hint of tannic grittiness. Definitely some gentle pencil lead and raspberries on the nose and palate, but it seems reticient. I have to agree with Mike here that some aging is probably best but you can definitely tell the base is great.

Kutch 2020 McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir

CHATEAU GUIRAUD 2011 SAUTERNES – It’s been a while since I’ve opened up a Sauternes (I really have to do it way more often than I do) and there were at least 4 Sauternes lovers including Mike and I present so I brought this along as a treat for everyone rather than resorting to my usual tactics of either cajoling a Sauternes out of Michael or just outright stealing one from his wine fridges. :stuck_out_tongue:

This was in a great place. Well balanced sweetness, vanilla, and dried pineapple and banana flavors ride a smooth texture. The years have been good, taming the notorious Guiraud sweetness down a notch and that noticeably drier aspect really lets the other flavors shine through here. Great for drinking right now though you could probably let it sleep quite comfortably if you want to hold on to it.

Guys, thanks for the post on the 20 'Dougal. I’ve opened a # of bottles of this wine and there is a persistent tartness, what I have called cranberry a # of times in my accumulation of notes. Tannin, or whole cluster impact, or herb as you cite…this is not my favorite of this cuvee and I have one left, which I’ll just age a while longer. I know there is love for this plot, but for me, I always land back at Falstaff, which for me is king, or Graveyard Block from Bohan. These are the plots I focus on now for my orders.

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I love Dragonette’s Black Label Chardonnay, but I dont think I’ve had the 2019. The 2018 is singing.

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I believe it’s their most ‘highly rated’ chadonnay - and also the most expensive for sure.


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Thanks for your extra thoughts guys. Frank, agree I was somewhat unsure about this on first taste, but with 3 - 4 hours in the glass, the tartness/roughness receded quite perceptibly and the raspberry and your cranberry fruit shone through much more fully. McDougall still in general tends to be my fave of the excellent pinot sources Jamie is using, though I’m developing a rapid fondness for Mindego Ridge.