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Brian K Miller

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Ridge, Bonny Doon, Laura Michael, etc.

by Brian K Miller » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:18 pm

This four-day weekend, tried a variety of wines with various peoples. Quick notes:

Ridge "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon: 2012 AND 2013

The 2012 was a wow wine. Polished, classic Cali Cab flavors. The American Oak is there but not obnoxious in any way. Plush and elegant and just plain lovely.

The 2013 is a more...surly teenager....of a wine. Started out tight as a drum. Definitely some tannins here. Needs five+ years, but over the evening it opened up a bit and began to show the elegance and polish of its older sibling.

Bonny Doon 2009 Bien Nacido Syrah. Wine of the Week for me. But then I love Syrah, so...Classic Northern Rhone flavors. More high toned red fruit than the sample in Davenport the other day, but the meaty earthiness is still there as well. Captivating wine!

2005 Sequoia Grove Rutherford Reserve. In a lovely late middle aged state. Classic Rutherford dust. Beautiful and still full of fruit and some tannins. Could go another5-10 years?

Bonny Doon Late Harvest Grenache Blanc. Only Randall would think of making a desert wine out of Grenache Blanc! Quite light and elegant, actually, with some nice acidity that went well with the pear-based desert! A favorite of the table because it was low in alcohol and balanced.

Laura Michael. A fine visit to this "hidden" Calistoga winery. Quite a nice lineup of wines, with favorites being the Barlow Calistoga Cab (dark and savory) from just down Silverado Trail, the steel-aged Chardonnay, and a delicious Oat Hill Estate Zinfandel. The latter really showed the lithe red fruit character I find in Napa Valley zinfandels!

Speaking of which: 2015 Goosecross Howell Mountain Zinfandel. Despite the source of fruit (burly black fruit from Howell Mountain), this house style of the winery shows through with a lithe, elegant, electric red fruit zinfandel. Lovely, soft tannins. Not sure there is enough acid for an ager, though.
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