Tag Archives: Myriad

Las Madres Winemaker Lunch 2012

This past Wednesday, we were fortunate to attend the 2012 Las Madres Winemaker Lunch. The intent of the lunch is to get all winemakers using grapes from the Las Madres Vineyard together to discuss and taste barrel samples from the current vintage, in this case, 2011. We also had the opportunity to taste through previous vintages in bottle.

Las Madres is a beautiful vineyard located on the Sonoma side of Carneros. In our opinion, the cold climate Syrah that come from the property are some of the best examples you could find anywhere in California, and might add, at some of the most attractive prices. We highly recommend the wines to our customers. The 2011 wines all showed a relatively consistent, creamy, ripe and clean style.

2011 Las Madres Barrel Samples
2011 Apsara Las Madres Syrah – Made by Robin Akhurst, the barrel sample just went through malolactic, as did all other samples. His wine made with once used french oak white wine barrels, equal parts clone 174 and 300. Thought it was a clean, very well made wine, not over the top, a wonderful expression of cold climate syrah.
2011 Vie Las Madres Syrah –  Bryan Kane’s wine used indigenous yeast to ferment, co fermented with about 3% Viognier. It was approximately 60% clone 174, 40% clone 300. Year after year, Vie has always showed well, and has a good grasp on this vineyard. Find their wines more compact and nuanced, tend to have a slightly darker fruit quality to them, yet well within the vineyard profile.
2011 Vanite Las Madres Syrah –  Brenda Martin’s wine used 100% new french oak, co-fermented with about 8% Viognier. A very good wine where the aromatics leap from the glass. Think it will be quite age worthy and one I hope to revisit in the future!  Was a distinct wine and showed uniqueness, primarily due to the Viognier.
2011 Myriad Cellars Las Madres Syrah –  Mike Smith’s Myriad and Quivet were our first introduction to Las Madres Syrah. 100% clone 174, no cold soak. This was a big, clean, pure, intense wine. Thought it was excellent, and highly curious to revisit with time in the bottle.
2011 Quivet Cellars Las Madres Syrah –  100% clone 300, Mike Smith’s other Syrah showed distinctly different. It does not have the intense round fruit of the Myriad, more reserved with a touch of oak that added a little spice and elegance to the wine. A fantastic effort that I thought showed slightly better than the Myriad.
2011 Eric Kent Cellars Las Madres Syrah – .  Kent Humphrey’s wine, approximately  60% clone 174 and 40% clone 300 with 60% whole cluster. A lovely standout for someone who likes a stemy quality to their wine. Thought it was exceptional and like where the wine is headed. Based on previous tastings of whole cluster inclusion, found it works very well with wines from the Las Madres Vineyard. Look forward to see how the wine evolves over the coming years in bottle.
2011 Lois Rae Cellars Las Madres Syrah –  Mark Finver’s 1st commercial vintage from the Las Madres Vineyard, the wine showed slightly less dense than the other wines, but highly approachable. Comparing Marks wine to last year, the wine making has matured considerably and he is on the right track to producing an enjoyable wine!
2011 Orin Swift Cellars – Dave Phinney and Kevin Fox’s wine was probably one of the most closed on the table. It did not want to come out of its shell and was one of the more challenging to see where it was headed. A wine that will have to be revisited in time. It was balanced, which should bode well for the future.
Las Madres Lunch Wines
2002 Las Madres Garagiste – Made by Armando Ceja and John Painter, 3rd leaf 50/50 clone 174 and 300. A very young wine, spritzy, a curious early effort!
2004 Nicholson Ranch Las Madres –  Made by Thomas Brown, a very hot Carneros summer, did not find this wine showed well. Plums, prunes and raisin notes.
2004 Nicholson Ranch Consentido Las Madres – A fantastic wine, thought it was well integrated, good fruit, complex, my favorite bottled wine with a lot of life ahead of it.
2005 Nicholson Ranch Las Madres –  Made by Thomas Brown and Mike Smith.  60% whole cluster. Second favorite bottle tasted, round, expressive Las Madres fruit, easy drinking, and yet, still very youthful. Could easily continue to age for some time.
2006 Myriad Las Madres Syrah –  The Myriad Syrah remained consistent to their style, clean, ripe, big fruit, nothing out a place. Year after year, a beautiful wine.
2008 Vie Las Madres Syrah –  As a producer, Vie has previously had a style more unique to the producer than the vintage, leaner toward darker fruits, slightly more restrained. Was a little surprised how ripe the fruit was in this wine! Very nice, however different than expectations.
Sadly, did not taste the 2010 Apsara Cellars Las Madres Syrah, 2010 Lois Rae Garagiste, or 2006 Eno Wines “In Your Own Time” Syrah while enjoying the wonder lunch offered by Las Madres Vineyard owners, John and Jean Painer.
This was a fantastic event! Great food, great company, and great wine! Our second time attending this tasting, cheers to joining the third!
Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine

San Diego Blind California Dinner

During our recent visit to San Diego, enjoyed attending a California Wine Dinner at Quarter Kitchen. The restaurant was excellent and a great venue for a wine dinner. On this occassion, it was decided to taste all wines blind. The group tasted three flights of four wines, and ranked each wine per flight. It was a larger than normal group, so pours were relatively small not allowing an opportunity to revisit in time and see how they develop.

As often happens at wine dinners, a wine shows up that is not to theme, in this case a few Bordeaux. As luck would have it, a 2000 Cheval Blanc was brought, and turned out to be the wine of the night by a long shot! All wines opened are sorted in order of personal preference by flight.

Champagne Opener

2004 Taittinger Champagne – Honey, medium bodied, crisp, nice acid balance, touch of creaminess, an easy drinking start to the evening.

Chardonnay Flight

2006 Kongsgaard Judge Chardonnay – Initially very simple, no nose, in time more lemon and lime citrus, a tight young wine that leaned to the white burgundy end of the wine spectrum.

2008 Aubert Hyde and Sons Chardonnay – A close second place, far sweeter, cotton candy, balanced and oily. More creamy and balanced than the Kongsgaard, enjoyable young.

2008 Aubert Ritchie Chardonnay – Similar to the Hyde and Sons, sweeter, but with a little more spice. Some unexpected funk on the finish that never quite went away.

2004 Kistler Vine Hill Chardonnay – Deeper yellow color, full bodied, yeast, hazel nut and mildly floral. Did not find this wine particularly appealing.

Cabernet Flight

2002 Kuleto Reserve Cabernet- Dark berry, minty, spice, soy and chocolate, a very nice drinking wine that had Bordeaux leanings, a restrained and elegant wine.

2006 Ghost Horse Shadow – Tannic, black licorice, bitter coffee, an interesting wine that was quite enjoyable, and not far separated from either the Kuleto or Shafer Hillside Select.

2003 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet – Rich, good tannin and menthol. A very nice drinking wine that was close, but not quite to the level of the Ghost Horse or Kuleto.

2008 12C Georges III Cabernet – Very ripe style of wine, vanilla, full bodied, bright red fruit, a solid representation of the Georges III vineyard. Should improve considerably with age.

Syrah Flight

2006 Myriad Las Madres Syrah – A lovely cold climate Syrah. Clean, pure, stemy, awesome floral aromatics, think Myriad consistently over performs on their Las Madres Syrah.

2005 Grand Reve Reserve Syrah – Far more flashy than the 2006 Myriad, more powerful, exotic, sweet, pure and muscular. Like the Myriad, a gorgeous wine, but for very different reasons.

2008 Myriad 100% Whole Cluster Las Madres Syrah – Similar to the 2006 Myriad, stemy, blue fruits, a little bigger style and more course. A solid showing.

2006 Samsara Alder Springs Syrah – Disjointed, simple, lacking character, one of the few wines I struggled to think of something nice to say.

Bordeaux Finish

2000 Cheval Blanc – Wine of the night by a long shot! Expected it to be way too young, but with a quick decant, and a little time in the glass, improved considerably. The definition of a perfect Bordeaux, perfectly balanced, highly complex, chewy, mineral, leather, meat, exotic. A wow wine!

2000 Pape Clement – Did not particularly enjoy the Pape Clement, just an ok wine. Some animal and game, which is typically a nice thing, but not well put together in this wine. Overshadowed and dominated by the Cheval Blanc.

Cheers to a wonderful tasting with a generous group of friends in San Diego!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine