Tag Archives: Pride

Rhone Rangers 2011 in SF

This past Sunday, we attended the 14th annual Rhone Rangers tasting in SF at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason. It is a great opportunity to try several hundred California Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and a few other Rhone varietals under one roof!

In a tasting where so many wines are poured, we are not typically looking to capture specific tasting notes, but more so, wines that showed well in the very short time span given each wine. That said, the following are wines that immediately came off as excellent, very good, and worth a revisit. If a particular wine or producer is not listed, either we did not taste the wine, or did not find it particularly note worthy.

Highly Recommended

  • 2009 Arnot-Roberts Hudson Vineyard Syrah
  • 2009 Arnot-Roberts Griffins Lair Vineyard Syrah
  • 2007 Bella Lily Hill Syrah
  • 2006 Cabot Kimberly’s Syrah
  • 2006 Cabot Aria’s Syrah
  • 2007 Cabot Klamath Cuvee Red Blend
  • 2008 Jemrose Cardiac Hill Syrah
  • 2008 Jemrose Gloria’s Gem Blend
  • 2009 Pax Mahle Orra Blend
  • 2008 Pax Mahle Rana Blend
  • 2009 Pride Mountain Viognier
  • 2008 Pride Mountain Syrah
  • 2009 Ridge Buchignani Carignon
  • 2006 Ridge Lytton Syrah
  • 2007 Stolpman Angeli
  • 2009 Stolpman Originals Syrah
  • 2008 Stolpman High Density Syrah
  • 2008 Truchard Carneros Syrah

Recommended

  • 2007 Anglim Mourvedre Hastings Ranch Vineyard
  • 2009 Arnot-Roberts Alder Springs Syrah
  • 2006 Arrowood Red Blend Cote de Lune Rouge
  • 2006 Arrowood Syrah
  • 2008 Bella Lily Hill Grenache
  • 2008 Bella Big River Petite Sirah
  • 2007 Cabot Humbold County Syrah
  • 2009 Jemrose Viognier Egret Pond
  • 2008 Jemrose Foggy Knoll Grenache
  • 2007 Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah
  • 2008 Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah
  • 2009 Landmark Espirit du Rhone Grenache
  • 2007 Martinelli Lolita Syrah
  • 2007 Montemaggiore Reserve
  • 2006 Montemaggiore Paolo’s Syrah
  • 2009 Outpost Howell Mountain Grenache
  • 2008 Pax Mahle Sonoma Coast Syrah
  • 2009 Pax Mahle Griffins Lair Syrah
  • 2006 Ridge Syrah/Grenache Blend
  • 2005 Ridge Lytton Grenache
  • 2008 Stage Left The ExPat Red Blend
  • 2008 Stolpman Originals Syrah
  • 2008 Stolpman Roussanne
  • 2008 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel
  • 2009 Truchard Carneros Roussanne

Revisit

  • 2009 Arnot-Roberts North Coast Syrah
  • 2008 JC Cellars Stagecoach Marsanne
  • 2007 JC Cellars Rockpile Syrah
  • 2009 Landmark Steel Plow Syrah
  • 2008 Morgan Double L Syrah
  • 2004 Outpost Petite Sirah
  • 2009 Ridge Lytton Petite Sirah
  • 2009 Stolpman Syrah
  • 2008 Tercero Camp 4 Mouvedre
  • 2007 Tercero Camp 4 Grenache

Some of our top producers: Arnot-Roberts, Cabot Vineyards, Jemrose Vineyards, Pax Mahle Wines, Pride Vineyards and Stolpman Vineyards. One of the top wines tasted among all these excellent producers and wines, a 2007 Stolpman Angeli.

The biggest take away from this tasting was a perceived movement in style towards more age worthy, structured, and restrained wines. Expected to taste quite a few full bodied, candied, high alcohol fruit bombs, but was pleasantly surprised. Generally find cleaner, elegant, balanced wines more appealing, those that will slowly develop and improve over time, and that is what we got for the most part at this tasting!

Cheers to a great event and a quick snapshot of some quality California Producers!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine
http://www.santarosafinewine.com/

Small Burgundy Tasting

This past Friday, attended a small Burgundy Tasting in Sonoma. It does not happen often, but the White Burgundy out shined the red! The 2007 Blain Gagnard Batard Montrachets were both outstanding, and hopefully representative of what should prove to be an excellent vintage for White Burgundy.

As with other local Burgundy tastings in Sonoma, it is basically no format, bring what you would like to share, open and enjoy. Wines are rarely if ever decanted, and slowly enjoyed over a long evening. Sometimes curiosity wines are thrown into the mix. On this occasion, they were interesting, but none particularly inspiring. As with previous tastings, wines are sorted in order of personal preference by flight.

White Wine of the Night:
2007 Blain Gagnard Batard Montrachet

Red Wine of the Night:
2001 Denis Mugneret Clos de Vougeot

White Flight

2007 Blain Gagnard Batard Montrachet – Initially, noted acidity and hard to discern fruit in a very young wine. In time, the nose became more floral and yeasty and the body, creme brulee and full bodied with awesome balance and length. A precise wine that should show extremely well with a few years of bottle aging.

2007 Blain Gagnard Croits Batard Montrachet – The bottle was pulled from the refrigerator of our always generous host, after being opened two days. Showed more citrus, asian spice, and firm acidity in a well balanced, excellent drinking wine than the other Batard Montrachet.

2004 M. Chapoutier Chante Alouette – The Chapoutier started out showing promise with sweet, honey, lemon oil notes. Overall was a fat wine with a predominate butterscotch component and smooth texture. Over time, thought it quickly lost what originally made it interesting. Did not care for this wine.

Red Flight

2001 Denis Mugneret Clos de Vougeot – The best wine of the flight, thought the Clos Vougeot was interesting, blue fruits and game meats, in time, picked up a touch of forest floor and spice. It was a clean and pure drinking wine, very enjoyable. Held a glass over to the next day, and it showed even better!

1999 Lucien le Moine Clos St Denis – Interesting nose that was reminiscent of Brandy and fresh cut grass. The wine was rich, balanced and enjoyable. Thought it was just slightly under the 2001 Denis Mugneret Clos de Vougeot as wine of the fight. Went back and forth between this wine and the Clos Vougeot as to personal preference.

1995 Georges Lignier Clos St Denis – Light, lean, some mineral and spice though thought the acidity was a little disjointed in relation to the rest of the wine. Had moments of being brighter and younger than the other wines, but out of balance overall. Not a great showing for the wine.

Curiosity Wines

1995 Beaucastel – Initially a light wine, noted wheat, and became more chewy and stewed rhubarb, barnyard, and other exotic components in time. Not sure anyone was particularly thrilled with the wine, an end of evening curiosity.

1963 Beaulieu Vineyard Beaumont Pinot Noir – A blind mystery wine, the group guessed it as 70’s / 80’s California, and one Burgundy. The wine was very light, and bricking in color. Initially mushroom, smokey, meaty, dry carmel, sherry and nice acidity. It very rapidly declined. Of note was one of the shortest corks I have seen in awhile, about an inch at best. A curiosity more than anything.

2001 Pride Cabernet – Normally, a big fan of Pride, this wine was one of the least favoriate showings I have had from the producer. Had boat loads of Vanilla that reminded me of a Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet. Not an exciting wine at all, and like the other two wines, opened at the end of the evening more as a curiosity.

Cheers to another interesting, however small tasting!

Nick Wittman
Santa Rosa Fine Wine
http://www.santarosafinewine.com/