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Here From the Very Start




Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

WTN: Some New Calif Reds...(long/boring)

by TomHill » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:54 pm

We tried tonight (10/24/12) Some New Calif Wines:
1. RichardGrant PinotNoir NapaVlly (WrothamClone; 13.9%; 522 cs; 2007: Med.light color;
very attractive cherry/PN/bright light toasty/pencilly/oak bit earthy/mushroomy/smokey lovely/perfumed nose;
rather tart subdued/bright/cherry/PN light pencilly/oak slight earthy/mushroomy/Burgundian flavor w/ light
tannins; rather long/elegant bright cherry/PN/CherryMash light earthy/mushroomy light tannic finish; quite a
nice elegant Pinot. $30.00 (CB)
2. Dehlinger PinotNoir AltamontVnyd/OldVines/RRV (EB; 14.8%) 2009: Dark color; deep intense black cherry/PN/
black cherry cola/framboise classic Dehlinger/smokey/toasty/oak lovely almost Zin-like nose; some tart bit
dusty/OV very strong black cherry/PN/cola/framboise strong smokey/toasty/oak bit chocolaty flavor w/ some
tannins; very strong black cherry/framboise/PN/cola some tannic strong Dehlinger/smokey/oak ripe/lush/
creamy finish; needs some 3-8 yrs yet; not as bright/fragrant as the Estate and almost Zin-like in intensity;
really delicious Pinot if a bit pricey. $56.70 (vBS)
3. Hamel PinotNoir CampbellRanch/SonomaCoast/Annapolis (14.4%) 2005: Med.color w/ slight cloudiness; bit earthy/
dusty slight funky some black cherry/PN light toasty/oak slight Burgundian/earthy/mushroomy/loamy/herbal rather
complex/interesting nose; soft/smooth/balanced light earthy/mushroomy/Burgundian bit herbal light toasty/oak
flavor w/ little tannins; med.long herbal/mushroomy/earthy/slight Burgundian pleasant/light/black cherry/PN
finish w/ light tannins; not a lot of bright Pinot fruit but a quite interesting rather old-timey Calif
Pinot. $25.00 (CB)
4. JCCllrs PinotNoir LancelCreekVnyd/RRV (14.5%) 2010: Med.dark color; strong pungent/toasty/oak/charred bit
fumey/alcoholic strong framboise/blackberry/Zin-like classic JC nose; soft strong charred/oak/pungent some
alcoholic/hot/fumey strong framboise/blackberry/Zin-like flavor w/ modest tannins; med.long strong charred/
toasty/oak very strong framboise/blackberry/blackcherry/cola finish w/ modest tannins; pretty classic JCCllrs
and speaks quietly of Pinot and growls sullenly of Zin; a bit hot/fumey but a pretty delicious red. $38.00
5. Hamel Syrah SonomaCnty (Vitis Allobrogica?; 63% RRV/37% DCV; U/U; 14.4%) 2000: Med.dark color w/ slight bricking;
slight funky/ozone/WWII beacon/pungent some earthy/Rhonish/Cornas-like light blackberry/Syrah rather interesting
nose; fairly tart some funky/earthy/Cornas-like/dusty bit funky/unclean slight bretty/horsecollar light blackberry/
Syrah interesting/rustic flavor w/ little tannins; med.short bit funky/unclean/earthy light blackberry/Syrah finish
w/ little tannins; a rather interesting rustic Cornas-like Syrah of a simple CdR level; by far best of the '00 btls
that I've had. $4.00 (S)
6. Hamel Syrah TimbervineRanch/RRV (U/U; 13.9%; 2003: Dark color w/ some browning; very
attractive blackberry/Syrah light pencilly/oak some Rhonish/roasted quite interesting nose; rather tart/
grapefruity spicy/blackberry/Syrah light pencilly/oak slight Rhonish/roasted/coffee flavor w/ light/smooth tannins;
med.long tart/tangy light/spicy/blackberry/Syrah light pencilly/oak slight pungent/espresso/Rhonish finish w/
light tannins; much more Syrah fruit than the '00; an attractive elegant/gentle/low-key Calif Syrah; some like
a Qupe CentralCoast w/ a bit of age. $20.00 (CB)
9. JCCllrs Zin IronHillVnyd/SonomaVlly (14.8%; 225 cs) 2008: Very dark color w/ strong toasty/charred/oak some
menthol/eucalyptus rather rosemary/thyme/savory/herbal strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/ripe quite unusual/
interesting lovely nose; soft rich/lush/ripe some menthol/eucalyptus/savory/thyme strong blackberry/boysenberry/
Zin some toasty/charred/oak bit chocolaty/licorice flavor w/ fair tannins; very long savory/thyme/rosemary/herbal
very strong blackberry/ripe/Zin/boysenberry some charred/oak finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs yet;
quite an unusual/exotic rendition of Zin. $35.00
10. JCCllrs Zin Landy SweetwaterSpringsVnyd/RRV (15.5%; 285 cs; Drk: 11/11-11/21: JC) 2009: Very dark color; some
vanilla/toasty/oak strong licorice/pungent/blackberry/Zin slight fumey/overblown nose; ripe/very ripe licorice/
chocolaty/boysenberry/Zin some vanilla/oak/toasty bit simple flavor w/ modest tannins; long very ripe/boysenberry/
Zin/chocolaty/licorice some vanilla/oak somewhat tannic finish; a bit on the overripe/simple side; seems pricey
at $38.00
11. JCCllrs Zin St.Peter'sChurchVnyd/AlexVlly (15.2%; 185 cs; Drk: 11/11-11/23: JC) 2009: Very dark color; very slight
TCA/corked slight funky/dead mouse rather fumey/alcoholic/overripe some blackberry/boysenberry/Zin light toasty/
charred/oak nose; soft/fat somewhat alcoholic/fumey some blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/overripe slight funky flavor
w/ modest tannins; med.long overripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Zin light toasty/oak finish w/ modest tannins; may
have been compromised a bit by the TSA but seems overripe underneath; pricey at $45.00
12. JCCllrs Zin DusiRanch/WestSide/PasoRobles (15.5%; 129 cs; Drk: 11/11-11/17: JC; 15.2%) 2009: Dark color; very
strong blackberry/Zin/black cherry/framboise bit earthy/peppery/spicy light toasty/oak slight herbal quite
interesting nose w/ little jammy/PasoZin character; soft very spicy/peppery strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/
framboise/plummy light vanilla/oak flavor w/ light tannins; very long spicy/peppery/blackberry/Zin/framboise
light vanilla/oak finish w/ modest tannins; carries the alcohol well, avoids the overripe/jammy/PasoZin
character and shows more spicy/peppery character than usual for PasoZin; quite a good Zin & fairly priced at
13. JCCllrs Zin BotticelliVnyd/Rockpile (15.5%; 226 cs) 2010: Black color; strong toasty/charred/oak slight alcoholic
strong spicy/blackberry/Zin/boysenberry some brambly/briary/mineral/graphite interesting lovely nose; soft somewhat
tannic/structured intense spicy/blackberry/Zin/peppery strong toasty/charred/oak flavor; very long strong spicy/
blackberry/Zin some brambly/briary/graphite/mineral strong charred/toasty/oak finish w/ fair tannins; needs 2-6
yrs of age; almost like an old-time Amador Zin; carries the alcohol well; my favorite of these Zins. $42.00
14. Tensley Syrah ColsenCanyonVnyd/SantaBarbaraCnty (15.0%) 2010: Very dark color; very strong pungent/toasty/oak/
charred some roasted/smokey/Rhonish very strong black cherry/blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry very ripe/chocolaty/
licorice/pungent slight alcoholic nose; soft ripe/blackberry/black cherry/Syrah/spicy some charred/pungent/oak
somewhat ripe/chocolaty w/ soft tannins; very long spicy/black cherry/blackberry/Syrah some charred/oak bit
roasted/Rhonish/coffee finish w/ some soft tannins; a big fleshy Syrah w/ a bit of Rhonish character; quite a
nice Syrah at a good price. $29.00
15. SaintCosme AC: CdR "LesDeuxAlbion" (14%; Syrah/Grenache/Carignan/Mourvedre/Clairette co-fermented) Gigondas
: Med.dark color; bit herbal/Zin-like slight funky/earthy/mineral some blackberry/Syrah bit rustic nose w/
little Grenache showing; somewhat earthy/Rhonish/rustic light blackberry/Syrah quite tannic/astringent/hard
rather tight/closed flavor; long rather hard/tannic/astringent bit coarse/earthy/rustic/rough slight blackberry/
Syrah bit Rhonish/smokey finish; not a very pretty wine and pretty atypical of CdR but I expect this will age
w/ 10 yrs into something very interesting; very hard/closed/structured and badly needs age; a great price if
it does develop into something great. $20.00
And the usual crap from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. WrothamClone: This is a vine that was discovered in the '50's growing in Wrotham, England along a
brick wall. The vine age was estimated to be 200 yrs old. It looked a lot like PinotMeunier, but was
resistant to downey mildew. No one knows how this vine got there. It was speculated that it was from
a vine brought into England by the Romans over 2,000 yrs ago (no...I was not there to take notes!!)
and over the centuries it adapted to the English climate (wet...they tell me) and developed a resistance
to downey mildew. Interesting details here: In the '80's,
DickPeterson, a Calif icon, brought cuttings of it to Calif and planted it in his 2 acre vnyd. He makes
both this still wine and a sparkling wine from it. Later DNA analysis has shown the vine to be identical
to PinotNoir. I thought it was quite a lovely & interesting wine made in sort of an old-timey style.
2. Vitis Allobrogica: Vienne was once the capitol of Allobrogia and there was a highly-regarded vnyd in
Seyssuel that made a legendary wine. This would be Syrah. At one time, there was speculation that Syrah
was not one of the European vitis vinifera varieties, but of a different species of grape. But DNA analysis
destroyed that myth and it was identified as a Duerza X MondeuseBlanche cross that evolved up in the
3. KevinHamel: Worked for a number of yrs for DarrellCorti in the wine department. He then went on to make wine
at PrestonFamilyVnyds, and then was winemaker at PelligriniFamilyVnyds for a few yrs. Where he is now, I
don't know. In the late '90's, he made some pretty exceptional Syrahs, mostly from TimbervineRanch grapes.
There is also a HamelFamily wnry in the area but they are, as best I know, not related to KevinHamel.
The original Hamel Syrahs were priced in the low $30's. And very good Syrahs and fairly priced. The '00
showed up at SunflowerMarket in SantaFe about 2 yrs ago at a stupid/silly price of $3.99. Some in my group
loaded up on it. Obviously being dumped by the distributor. I had 4-5 of them over the yrs and they were
very/very variable. Some were so bretty as to be undrinkable. Others were just sort of funky & unclean. This
btl we had was easily the best btl I've had since the wine was dumped.
The two younger Hamel wines were two that DarrellCorti featured in his latest newsletter. They were pretty
typical of the wines that Darrell likes...interesting/drinkable wines at a good price.
4. JCCllrs: This is, of course, JeffCohn. I have, of course, followed Jeff from the very start, from his early
days w/ KentRosenblum. Located in lower JackLondonSquare of Oakland. Mostly, I was attracted to his Syrahs,
but have pretty much liked everything he makes. Many of his early reds were a bit over-the-top, quite a lot
of charred oak, and somewhat alcoholic. I sense that he's back off a bit on the oak and the alcohol in
recent yrs. His blends sometimes mystify me and seem a bit muddled. He makes Syrah from Ventana that is an
excellent example of Calif cold-climate Syrah and one of his most interesting reds.
This was the most of Jeff's Zins that I've had in one setting. I was expecting them to be pretty
monolithic in character and speak mostly of JC winemaking. They were actually quite diverse in character...
maybe even expressive of the terroir. He should get more recognition for his Zins than he does. They're as
good as any being made in Calif.
5. Tensley: I have, of course, followed JoeyTensley from the very start...from his early days as asst winemaker
at FessParker. I've been such a slacker in following his wines over the last few yrs. This was SteveCostigan's
mystery wine. Every time Steve brings another Tensley, I kick myself for not being more religous in following
Joey's wines.

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