At $5.99 a can or about $12 a bottle for Pinot Noir typically screams skip, but for wine in a can this surprised everyone. Definitely has that Oregon Pinot profile, big cherry, medium body. If we were to describe this can in a word, quaffable.
Had the pleasure of tasting two verticals last evening. The first Cuvee Cathleen from 2007 thru 2012, and in the back Vine Hill from 2006 thru 2012. Jeff from Kistler was also on hand explaining their philosophy, theory and product. He mentioned they do not make wines to cellar, but people obviously do anyways and after experimenting a few years they like them between 4-6 years of age.
The Cuvée, as the name implies is a much more approachable wine. Mellow, round and satisfying. The vine hill is definitely more wine geek, and particular high in acid. This lot demonstrated the integrity of these Chardonnays, especially when grown on volcanic soil which is typically better suited for Cabernet grapes. Amazing product and extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Rene Barbier and his Clos Mogador are synonymous with the Priorat region of Spain, but few know about his Manyetes label. Manyetes is the name of a place in the village of Grattalops. The soil being poor and the sun being too hot the grapes in this region really struggle to survive. This was a delight to drink. Big notes of plum and fig, black fruits, some cocoa nibs, a little clove. It’s drinking well right now.
L-R: 2012 Beringer Luminus, 2005 Oakville East Exposure, 2005 Opus One
2012 Beringer Luminus - bright, low acid, good balance, oak, citrus, great summer sipper.
2005 Oakville East Exposure - mature tannins, big red fruit, plums, wet tobacco leaves, forest floor, maybe even a little crushed clove. rewards you instantly but over the course of 20 odd minutes it breaks down quickly. Browsing of the edges and prune notes quickly invade.
2005 Opus One - exceptional structure, long tannins, oak, a very subtle menthol quality, woodsy, mossy, and delicious. Over the course of 20 minutes this one just became better. Complex chains of flavor and a finish that kept on going. Was mature but vibrant toward the end.
If this is wrong than I really do not want to be right. We’re sampling a plethora of Priorat for an upcoming tasting next month and if this is an average example we can’t wait until we get to the good stuff. 70% Grenache and 30% Cariñena, it shimmers with transcendence and possesses a feminine quality like the best burgundies. Easy fruit and a little morning forest floor.
Ridiculously delicious. A little thicker and more velvety than the Willamette Valley pinots that we love, but this is so very enjoyable. Bright cherry fruit that you don’t have to work for, wet to the tongue, a touch of oak, faint tobacco, and a touch of fresh cracked pepper. Very well balanced. Could drink this all night.
This is one of those bottles where if you’re patient it will reward you. Petite Sirah is like Cab Francs for us, they’re good anytime. Not as big and overpowering as Cab Sauvs, and not as gentle as Pinots. Pick up a bottle, sit on it and enjoy.
On first sip this wine rushes through you’re palate but crescendos just before it reaches that full over-extracted body we’ve come to expect from Napa Valley Cabs. There’s a nice feminine quality to this Broman wine, and pays off in spades as it allows some of the lesser pronounced flavors to shine through. Good minerality, berry and cassis but nothing jammy or sticky getting in the way. Well crafted, and very enjoyable - not to mention the fruit for this wine comes from Dr. Crane and George III.
It is my understanding there are two distinct camps when it comes to Turley zinfandels. There is the Hayne Vineyard camp, and the Ueberroth camp. We’re definitely in the Ueberroth, but beware this is not your typical zinfandel. The first thing you’ll notice is a big eucalyptus profile which will grab you and hold you hostage, if you do not like eucalyptus or menthol you’ll want to skip Ueberroth zins all together. Once you get past the eucalyptus you’ll find minerality resembling washed river stones, cassis and even some stone fruit.
For seasoned wine consumers looking for something different and wakes the palette this may be the definitive, or at least the most contested, bottle of zinfandel amongst our friends. So if you had both Hayne and Ueberroth, which do you prefer and why?