WTN: New Calif/WashState White&Red Rhones...(long/boring)

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WTN: New Calif/WashState White&Red Rhones...(long/boring)

Postby TomHill » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:43 pm

We tasted last night (5/3/06) some White&Red Rhones:
1. BonnyDoon GrenacheBlanc MontereyCnty (14.5%) 2004: Pale gold color; light floral/pear rather
aromatic bit appley/Mosel valve oil interesting nose; very soft/fat light pear/appley slight
metallic/earthy flavor; med.short fat/underacid low-key floral/apple/pear finish; pleasant
enough nose but ratherr vapid on palate. $18.00
2. CarinaCllrs SantaBarbaraCnty Viognier (14.1%; http://www.CarinaCellars.com) 2004: Pale gold color;
beautiful/aromatic floral/peachy/Viognier slight reduced/H2S that clears some toasty/oak nose;
tart light toasty/oak ripe/lush/peachy/Viognier flavor; med.long light toasty/oak ripe/peach
finish; quite a lot of toasty/oak in nose but good Viognier character; nice Viognier at a
very fair price. $17.00
3. b.core SantaYnezVlly 57% Marsanne/Rodney'sVnyd 43% Roussanne/Camp4Vnyd (86 cs; 14.2%;
http://www.CoreWines.com) 2004: Light gold color; very strong toasty/Fr.oak bit reduced/burnt rubber
rather low-fruit nose; soft/rich/lush floral/tropical fruit/pear mouthfilling/glycerined
very attractive flavor; long tropical fruit/peach/pear rich/lush finish; rather stinky nose
but really great flavors; needs decanting to breathe. $27.00
4. Failla AlbanVnyd/EdnaVlly Viognier (14.5%) 2004: Med.light gold color; light pear/peach/
Viognier/floral/Mosel valve oil/complex light oak spicy nose; tart very spicy bright floral/
pear/Viognier light oak lean/rich flavor; long tart spicy/floral/pear/Viognier light oak
finish; a rather understated Viognier but great structure & acidity and needs several yrs;
very/very rendition of Viognier. $41.00
5. AlbanVnyds AlbanEstateVnyd/EdnaVlly Viognier (16.4%) 2004: Med.gold hazy color; attractive
floral/pear/Viognier spicy/nutmeg/light oak very interesting nose; searing/acid low-key/pear/
Viognier slight bitter rather nutmeg/spicy flavor; very tart/acid very long/lingering low-key/
Viognier/pear light toasty/oak/nutmeg finish; alcohol not obvious at all; badly needs
some age and should be a great one. $39.00
6. AlbanVnyds AlbanEstateVnyd/EdnaVlly Roussanne (16.2%) 2003: Dark gold color; slightly burnt
rubber/reduced intense hazelnutty/floral/honeysuckle/honeyed some toasty/oak complex nose;
soft/ripe/very lush intense floral/hazelnutty/honeysuckle very perfumed some toasty/oak
flavor; very long/lush/ripe hazelnutty/honeysuckle/floral complex light toasty finish; carries
the alcohol well; a huge/lush/ripe Roussanne. $39.00
7. Radio-Coteau LasColinas/SonomaCoast Syrah (14.6%; U/U; 780 cs) 2004: Med.dark color; lovely
spicy/pencilly/Burgundian light black cherry/blackberry rather Pinot-ish nose; tart very
Burgundian/Pinot bit hard/tannic/lean rather pencilly/Fr.oak bright/black cherry flavor; med.
long pencilly/Burgundian Pinotish/black cherry w/ some tannins; needs several yrs; a lovely
rather Pinotish rendition of Syrah; beautiful wine. $34.00
8. Radio-Coteau CherryCamp/SonomaCoast Syrah (240 cs; U/U; 15.0%) 2004: Very dark color; very
strong peppery/blackberry/Syrah perfumed/fragrant bit earthy some toasty/oak nose; tart spicy/
black cherry/Syrah/black berry some pencilly/toasty/oak slight dusty/earthy flavor; very long
spicy/black cherry/Syrah light pencilly/toasty/oak some tannic finish; needs 2-5 yrs; much
stronger Syrah/peppery character but in a Pinot style; beautiful rendition of Syrah. $48.00
9. Radio-Coteau Timbervine/RussianRvrVlly Syrah (350 cs; http://www.RadioCoteau.com; U/U; 15.0%)
2004: Very dark color; very strong blackberry/black cherry/Syrah pungent/licorice/dusty/bit
peppery/very spicy some smokey/oak nose; tart rich dusty/earthy strong licorice/blackberry/
black cherry/Syrah some toasty/oak/pungent bit tannic flavor; very long strong black cherry/
blackberry/Syrah light toasty/oak/pungent some peppery/dusty finish w/ some tannins; needs
several yrs; much more classic Syrah than the SonomaCoast versions; lovely/classic RRV Syrah.
10. K-Vintners TheBoy WallaWallaVlly (14.1%; 68% grenache/18%Syrah/14%Mourvedre; 525 cs)
2004: Med.color; very dusty/earthy/walnutty little Syrah or fruit slight oaked rather
interesting WashState Red nose; tart earthy/dusty some toasty/charred/oak sorta Chateauneuf-
like slight cherry/strawberry flavor; long dusty/earthy finish w/ light tannins; very low
fruit profile but quite an interesting WashState red w/ a sorta CdP style. $35.00
11. K-Vintners Syrah MilbrandtVnyd/WahlukeSlope/ColumbiaVlly (14.1%; 1200 cs) 2004: Very dark
color; strong blackberry/Syrah some toasty/oak slight earthy/dusty attractive nose; soft/lush
spicy/blackberry/Syrah light earthy/dusty some toasty/oak/pungent flavor; med.long blackberry/
Syrah light dusty finish w/ light tannins; a very attractive straightforward/blocky WashState
Syrah at a good price. $25.00
12. K-Vintners Syrah Lucky#7 7HillsVnyd/WallaWallaVlly (13.9%; http://www.K-Syrah.com; 800 cs)
2003: Black color; rather toasty/Fr.oak/charred ripe/blackberry/Syrah/blueberry light earthy
complex bit peppery/spicy nose; very intense/tannic blackberry/Syrah dusty very charred/toasty/
Fr.oak/pungent/espresso bit tarry flavor; very long tannic/extracted blackberry/blueberry/
Syrah bit Rhonish/coffee rather charred/toasty/oak finish; needs much age; some Rhonish
character; loads of charred oak but plenty of fruit underneath; terrific Syrah at a fair
price. $35.00
13. OwenRoe Syrah LadyRosa DuBrulVnyd & Rosa Mystic Block/YakimaVlly (14.1%;
http://www.OwenRoe.com) 2004: Black color; very intense blackberry/boysenberry/ripe/Syrah some
toasty/oak bit roasted/espresso complex Rhonish nose; very intense boysenberry/blackberry/
Syrah/ripe some roasted/espresso/mocha some toasty/charred/smokey/oak complex flavor; very
long boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah some roasted/espresso/smokey finish w/ fair tannins; needs
2-6 yrs; a terrific WashState Syrah w/ lots of Rhone character. $46.00
14. AlbanVnyds AlbanEstate/EdnaVlly REVA Syrah (15.8%) 2003: Very black color; very intense
toasted/charred/burnt/oak/pungent very intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah huge fruit slight
peppery/dusty nose; rich/lush/fat very ripe/boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah some charred/burnt/
toasty/oak extracted some tannic flavor; long/soft/fat boysenberry/blackberry/Syrah some
burnt/charred/oak bit hot/alcoholic finish w/ some tannins; huge/huge fruit but a bit lacking
in structure. Pretty expensive. $66.00
And the usual nonsense from the BloodyPulpit:
1. Alban Whites: These both are huge wines. The high alcohol levels were not at all bothersome for
me, though I'm pretty tolerant of alcohol. John's whites used to be loaded w/ toasty/charred/
Fr.oak. He seems to be toning that down quite a bit over the last few yrs, though. Both of
these whites I liked a lot, for that big style.
2. Radio-CoteauSyrah: Eric Sussman's rendition of Syrah is one that I particularly like. Syrah
does not HAVE to be all about bigness and extraction. His skills w/ Pinot are very much
reflected in his Syrahs; being much more elegant and reigned in than most Calif Syrahs.
Terrific wines from a winemaker who's one of the best. I'd love to see what he could do with
3. Worshiping At The Altar Of Varietal Typicity: There is much whining from some quarters,
complaining that some Pinots are much more Syrah like than Pinot. They go on the whine
about how upset they'd be if they opened a Pinot w/ their fresh salmon and got one of
these "grotesque" Syrah-like Pinots. I sometimes wonder if they'd whine just as loud if
they opened up a R-C or Dehlinger Syrah to accompany their mastadon steak and found it was
one of these bright/lively/vibrant Pinot-like Syrahs?? These Pinot-lovers can be such whiners.
My take on the subject is if you're opening a Pinot or Syrah from a producer/area that
you've never had before, then all bets are off and you just take your chances. It behooves
one to know the style of the producer of your Pinot or Syrah afore you start whining
about its lack of varietal typicity.
4. Alban Reva: I was a bit disappointed in this '03 version. It had the typical huge Alban fruit
and charred oak, but felt it was somewhat lacking in structure and not the usual searing
acidity his red wines typically show.
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Re: WTN: New Calif/WashState White&Red Rhones...(long/boring)

Postby Randy Buckner » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:19 pm

loads of charred oak

I take it this is not a negative character for you? K Vintners was undrinkable for me.
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Postby TomHill » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:09 pm

I just took it as an expression of the terroir of the oak forests in France!!!
The oak was pretty evident, but there was enough other things in there that I really liked and the oak didn't obliterate them.
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Re: WTN: New Calif/WashState White&Red Rhones...(long/boring)

Postby Marc D » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:34 pm

The only K syrah I've tried was the 2001 'End of the Road' syrah and charred oak, blocky fruit with a cough syrup medicinal note would fit this one.
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Postby TomHill » Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:37 pm

Had that one, too, and you pretty much sum it up. I liked it because it was pretty bizarre/idiosyncratic. I like that character in my friends...AND my wine.
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