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Here From the Very Start




Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

WTN: New Releases..(long/boring)

by TomHill » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:03 pm

We tasted tonight (10/10/12) SomeNewReleases:
1. TablasCreekVnyd Vermentino Estate/PasoRobles (13.1%; Rolle; 825 cs; StainlessSteel; Drk: 8/12-8/14-8/15: JH)
: Light gold color; strong mineral/chalky/earthy some floral/carnations steely/austere nose; very tart/acid
almost schreechy very mineral/chalky/steely light floral/carnations austere flavor; very long bit perfumed talc
very steely/mineral/chalky light floral/carnations/perfumed finish; a classic Ligurian Vermentino at a good price.
$21.60 (VIN)
2. Jemrose Viognier EgretPondVnyd/BennettVlly/SonomaCnty (13.5%; 270 cs;
JimMack 2011
: Light gold color; very perfumey/fragrant pear/peach/Viog quite spicy slight Kansas haymow lovely/
aromatic nose; rather tart almost metallic quite spicy/floral/peach/very pear/Viog ripe really lovely flavor;
very long/lingering tart/bit lean very spicy/ripe/pear/peach/Viog/floral rather rich lovely finish; though plenty
ripe it definitely is non-DollyParton; has good acidity/structure/backbone and could use several yrs; reminds
me some of the Peay Viogs in structure & perfume; very lovely aromatics and well-worth $32.00.
3. TablasCreekVnyd Roussanne Estate/PR (13.0%; 620 cs; Drk: 8/12-8/22: JH) 2011: slightly cloudy color;
strong/ripe/honeyed/honeysuckle/Rouss/baked apple/spicy rather pencilly/oak/vanilla slight chalky/mineral quite
attractive nose; soft rather ripe melony/honeyed/honeysuckle/Rouss/pineapply slight pencilly/vanilla/oak rather
rich/ripe flavor; somewhat short honeyed/honeysuckle/Rouss bit soft/rich/ripe/lush finish; rather Jaffurs-like
w/o the toasty/oak; seems much more ripe than 13% would suggest; not as lean/hard as previous one; quite good
Rouss for $24.00 (VIN)
4. Pieropan LaRocca DOC: Soave Classico (13%) 2008: color; quite earthy some smokey low fruit bit clunky/
coarse nose that suggests maybe skin contact; rather tart/metallic somewhat earthy fairly spicy/rich/lush flavor;
fairly long rich/lush/appley/perfumed talc rather tart/metallic/earthy finish; not a lot of fruit but rather
pleasant Soave. $25.00
5. Jemrose Grenache FoggyKnollVnyd/BennettVlly/SonomaCnty (14.1%; 250 cs) 2009: Med.dark color; some buttery/buttered
popcorn very strong raspberry/strawberry/Grenache very spicy/cinammon light earthy light toasty/smokey/oak fairly
perfumed nose; soft/lush strong raspberry/strawberry/Grenache/bright quite spicy/cinammon rather toasty/oak
flavor w/ some tannins and slight bitterness; long bit bitey/tannic strong bright/pretty/raspberry/strawberry/
Grenache some toasty/oak finish; lots of very pretty Grenache fruit w/ some hard/bitey tannins. $38.00
6. Jemrose Gloria'sGem/ProprietaryBlend BennettVlly/SonomaCnty (65% Syrah/35% Merlot; 225 cs) 2009: Very dark/near
black color; very strong blackberry/plummy/Syrah some spicy/cinammon rather smokey/toasty/oak nose; biit tart
rather hard/tannic strong blackberry/plummy/Syrah rather toasty/charred/oak big/mouthfilling flavor; long tannic/
structured/hard rather plummy/blackberry/Syrah strong toasty/charred/oak/smokey finish; a big/intense/structured
wine that needs 3-8 yrs; speaks of ripe Syrah but not the BennettVlly cold-climate Syrah and not sure what the
Merlot brings to this blend; takes a bit of a leap of faith that this will something special w/ age. $65.00
7. TablasCreekVnyd EnGoblet ScruffyHill/Estate/PR (37% Grenache/28% Mourv/13% Syrah/12% Counoise/
10% Tannat; 14.5%; HeadTrainedVines; 700 cs; Drk: 8/12-8/17-8/22: JH) 2010
: Dark color; strong strawberry/Grenache/
plummy bit licorice/garrigue/SouthernRhonish slight alcoholic quite attractive nose; fairly tart big/strawberry/
Grenache/plummy/blackberry some earthy/rustic/SouthernRhonish spicy/garrigue/rosemary fairly tannic flavor; very
long some hard/tannic licorice/strawberry/Grenache/blackberry some earthy/rustic/Rhonish/garrigue finish; needs
some 5-10 yrs; more Beaucastel-like than the Esprit; a big rough/rustic red. $36.00 (VIN)
8. TablasCreekVnyd Tannat Estate/PR (14.5%; 760 cs; Drk: 8/12-8/22-?: JH) 2010: Very dark/black color; strong
blackberry/plummy/black cherry/licorice/RCCola some earthy/dusty bit mushroomy/wild/smokey rather exotic/sauvage
quite interesting nose; soft rather hard/tannic blackberry/black cherry/RCCola/licorice bit coarse/simple/rustic
flavor; med.long rather hard/tannic blackberry/black cherry/RCCola/licorice light smokey/sauvage/rustic/grapey
finish; much more perfumed & fragrant and not the hard/coarse tannins of a Madiran; quite interesting red.
$32.00 (VIN)
9. TablasCreekVnyd Esprit de Beaucastel Estate/PR (45% Mourv/30% Grenache/21% Syrah/4% Counoise;
14.5%; 4400 cs; Drk: 8/12-8/32: JH) 2010
: Med.dark color; quite fragrant/perfumed very spicy/cinammon/nutmeg
somewhat plummy/grapey/strawberry/licorice very aromatic/spicy lovely nose; rich/lush very balanced/structured
strong plummy/licorice/strawberry/bright/vibrant flavor w/ smooth/polished tannins; very long/lingering strong
plummy/strawberry/licorice/vibrant very balanced/structured finish w/ smooth/velvety tannins; not a big/
powerful/dramatic/bombastic statement of a wine but an impeccable/seamless balance that will easily take it
out the 20 yrs Jason rrecommends; beautiful Rhone blend. $44.00 (VIN)
10. Jemrose Syrah CardiacHillVnyd/BennettVlly/SonomaCnty (14.0%; 475 cs) 2009: Very dark color; intense blackberry/
Syrah/blueberry some peppery/cracked black pepper/cold-climate light toasty/oak/smokey very spicy/peppery lovely
nose; bit hard/tannic/structured intense blackberry/Syrah/licorice/pungent some peppery/cold-climate quite spicy
light toasty/smokey/oak flavor; very long licorice/blackberry/Syrah/blueberry/pungent some cracked pepper/cold-
climate light toasty/charred/oak somewhat hard/tannic/structured finish; needs age; a very/very good cold-
climate Syrah at a more than fair price. $38.00
11. Jemrose CardiacCuvee CardiacHillVnyd/BennettVlly/SonomaCnty (90% Syrah/8% Grenache/2% Viog) 2011: Dark color;
very attractive/perfumed spicy/blackberry/strawberry/Syrah bit Rhonish almost Zin-like slight ozone/pungent/
smokey nose; fairly tart lighter/spicier light blackberry/Syrah/bright raspberry almost Zin-like very light oak
flavor w/ modest tannins; med.long lightly tannic bright/spicy/blackberry/Syrah light toasty/oak finish; not
as intensely cold-climate Syrah and almost Zin-like in its spicy fruit; needs a few yrs; quite an attractive
Rhone blend for a very attractive price; not yet released at $18.00
12. Ridge Zin PonzoVnyd/RRV/SonomaCnty (96% Zin/4% PS; 14.5%; Bttld: Dec 2011; Drk: 9/11-9/16-9/18: JO)
: Med.dark color; strong vanilla/oak pleasant/spicy/raspbberry/Zin/simple bit earthy/dusty slight ozone/
pungent/burning metal pleasant enough nose; rather tart/angular/acidified bright raspberry/blackberry/Zin bit
spicy/earthy/dusty/OV pleasant flavor; med. rather tart/almost schreechy bright/blackberry/raspberry/Zin/simple
strong vanilla/Am.oak w/ light tannins; has a sharp/piercing acidity as if acidified but apparently was not;
a pleasant simple Zin now that I suspect will put on weight w/ age and become much more interesting.
$28.00 (Z-List)
13. Ridge LyttonSprings DryCreekVlly (67% Zin/23% PS/7% Carignane/3% Mataro; 14.4%; Bttld: 3/12;
50% crop loss; Selection: 32 of 46 parcels; Drk: 10/11-10/21-10/26: JO) 2010
: Dark color; very classic LS/very
spicy bright/blackberry/Zin/raspberry rather dusty/OV light smokey/toasty/oak beautiful/aromatic/perfumed nose
that speaks more of DryCreekVlly than it usually does; very tart beautiful very spicy/blackberry/Zin/raspberry
light vanilla/toasty/oak some tannic/structured flavor; very long/lingering dusty/OV/light earthy very spicy/
blackberry/Zin/raspberry/bright strong DCV somewhat tannic/structured light vanilla/smokey/oak beautiful
finish; a classic/quintessential LS Zin; one of the best I can recall at this point on release; can only get
better for ?? yrs; may be a 20 yr Zin. $36.00 (Z-List)
14. Ridge Zin PaganiRanch/SonomaVlly (82% Zin/16% AlicanteBouchet/2% PS; 14.9%; Bttld: April 2012;
Drk: 1/12-1/22-1/24: EB) 2010
: Very dark color; somewhat earthy/herbal/sauvage ripe blackberry/Zin/licorice some
smokey/pungent/toasty/oak almost coarse very dusty/OV interesting nose; bit soft some tannic/hard/angular rather
earthy/dusty/OV bit coarse/sauvagestrong blackberry/Zin/licorice/DrPepper some herbal/rosemary some vanilla/
smokey/oak flavor; very long bit tannic/hard/angular rather dusty/OV strong blackberry/Zin/licorice/DrPepper/
root beer rather dusty/OV some smokey/vanilla/oak finish w/ ample tannins; speaks less of Zin and more of
Alicante than some previous ones; should develop into a wonderful Pagani eventually. $35.00 (Z-List)
15. Ridge Calif Zin Llewelyn SonomaCnty (OldVines; 77% Zin/23% Carignane; 15.2%; 42 brls; Bttld: Jan'02;
DutcherCreekRd; Drk: 11/01-11/05-11/06: PD) 2000
: Med.light color w/ slight bricking; lovely licorice/smokey/
pungent some chocolatey/blackberry/black cherry/RCCola slight herbal/rosemary complex bit cedary/oldZin nose;
soft very smooth/polished some blackberry/black cherry/RCCola some cedary/pencilly/oldZin light smokey/oak
lovely complex flavor w/ no tannins; very long/lingering gentle/blackberry/Zin/RCCola smooth/polished/elegant
some cedary/pencilly/oldZin finish w/ little tannins; a smooth/balanced/gentle oldZin that has good complexity
and come together quite nicely; in the twilight of its years but still absolutely delicious. $24.00 (ATP)
And the usual blatherings from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. Vermentino: This Tablas Vermentino seemed like a departure from their previous versions. Which usually seemed
to be a Calif expression of Vermentino. This '11 had a steely/austere character that much more resembled the
Ligurian expression of Vermentino. I think it really needs more age and I expect it to go out beyond Jason's
2015 drinking window.
2. Jemrose: I have been trying JimMack's Jemrose wines from the very start; back when he first showed them at
HdR some yrs ago. In general, I've thought them to be very/very good wines; though tasting them in a venue
like HdR or RR is not a particularly good place for them to show well. For no particular reason, I've never
included them in a tastings of Calif Rhones I do; except for laziness, I suppose. Jim queried me about that
oversight last Spring & I told him I'd love to try them w/ my tasting group. So a month ago, he sent me these
wines to try w/ my tasting group.
This tasting of Jim's wines was even better than I expected. The Gloria'sGem was a wine I didn't quite
understand the reason behind and seemed a bit pricey for what it was...but all the rest were very good wines
and fairly priced. The Viognier was one of the best Calif Viogniers I've had this yr. The Syrah was an
excellent example of cold-climate Syrah and as good as any I've had this yr as well. The BennetVlly is a
rather cold-climate growing area and I don't think the wines receive the recognition they truly deserve.
3. Llewelyn: This wine is a splendid example of the problem I have w/ the Ridge ATP wines. They often are terribly
unthrilling upon their release...but sometimes have this uncanny knack of putting on weight and rising up and
biting you on the a$$ down the road w/ some age they are so good. When I looked back at my TN from July'02, I
found the wine quite light raspberry, loaded w/ diactyl/buttered popcorn, "pleasant but unthrilling", and saw
no potential for it whatsover. Paul's drinking window was confirmation of that assessment I thought. So I stuck
the 2'nd btl away and forgot about it. Who'd of thunk it'd be this good. Friggin' ATP wines.
4. Ridge: 2010 was a pretty tough yr for Zin on the NorthCoast; when a big heat spike around veraison fried a lot
of the vnyds and sometimes even obliterating the crop. It was a yr in which meticulous sorting was necessary
to salvage the crop from some vnyds. My impression is that Ridge did a very good job w/ the '10's and have
given us some impressive wines. The LyttonSprings has an amazing spiciness to it and strikes me as one of the
best LS's in yrs. The Pagani is often my favorite Ridge Zin because of the dusty/sauvage character it often
shows, presumably from the high Alicante content. This '10 version diidn't seem to have the intensity of
blackberry/boysenberry fruit it's shown in the past; but I'm confident it, too, will age into another great
Pagani. The Ponzo didn't particularly thrill me, but it often has this way of coming around and I expect
this '10 version will as well.
5. Tablas: I have, of course, followed TablasCreek wines from the very start and even before...back when they
were just growing grapes and selling plant material. When I think of wineries in Calif who have the greatest
skill in blending, Tablas (and Ridge) are always the first to come to mind. A lot of the Calif red Rhone blends
seem sort of muddled and pointless...they often leave me scratching my head..."it must be Monday...let's make
a Rhone blend". When I try the Esprit...I never get that feeling. "Seamless" is about the best word to describe...
everything put together in exactly the right proportions...sorta like looking at a lovely piece of finely-crafted
PasoWestSide is pretty much known for making big/bombastic/showy/overblown wines. The Tablas wines very rarely
are described by those words. Restraint and understated are much better suited for the Tablas wines. One of
my favorite wineries in all Calif and I'm always excited to receive their new release.

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