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Brian K Miller

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Another Forlorn Hope-and the Decline of a Classic

by Brian K Miller » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:34 pm

2015 Forlorn Hope "Suspiro del Moro" Alvarelhao (Lodi-Silverspoons)

I have never had a varietal bottling of Alvarelhao before and cannot claim any experience or expertise with Portuguese varietals* generally speaking.

Anyway, this wine was very bright and juicy and a little funky, but more in a high-toned way. Definitely on the funky cranberry and pomegranate side of things. Rather than a varietal character per se (not that I would recognize such), it spoke to me more of "high toned funky natural wine". Still enjoyed it quite a bit, but it illustrates comments here that the natural wine movement can result in wines that say "natural wine" more than place or varietal.

2014 Clos Du Val Cabernet Franc.

This wine also lacked?? "varietal character", but more because of "opposite" factors (and much less preferable to my taste). It was a massive black fruit bruiser with few of the violet notes and definitely no green pepper.

To me, they have lost their way with the new "Napa Valley Royalty" winemaker and vineyard management (and tasting room procedures). Sad. I used to love their wines because they had an Old World character that I quite enjoyed.

Now....this wine may have simply been "closed down", but even when buttoned up it should taste somewhat like Cab Franc and not another Valley Trophy Wine. :evil:

I far preferred the $16 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon my friends also popped and poured, which while a little oaky right now was definitely lighter and more pleasant.

* Or any other wine, to be honest! :roll: :lol:
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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TomHill

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Alvarelhao...

by TomHill » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:34 am

Brian K Miller wrote:2015 Forlorn Hope "Suspiro del Moro" Alvarelhao (Lodi-Silverspoons)
I have never had a varietal bottling of Alvarelhao before and cannot claim any experience or expertise with Portuguese varietals* generally speaking.
Anyway, this wine was very bright and juicy and a little funky, but more in a high-toned way. Definitely on the funky cranberry and pomegranate side of things. Rather than a varietal character per se (not that I would recognize such), it spoke to me more of "high toned funky natural wine". Still enjoyed it quite a bit, but it illustrates comments here that the natural wine movement can result in wines that say "natural wine" more than place or varietal.


Brian,
I've not tried my '15 yet. On the '14:
2. Forlorn-Hope Suspiro del Moro Alvarelhao SilvaspoonsVnyd/AltaMesa/Lodi (13.12%; 767 cs) 2014: Med.dark color;
rather dusty/root cellar black cherry/plummy bit herbal/rosemary some grapey/port-like nose; soft bit herbal/
plummy/black cherry/cola some dusty/earthy/mushroomy bit grapey/port-like flavor w/ light/smooth tannins; long
rather plummy/black cherry some earthy/mushroomy rather grapey/port-like finish w/ light tannins; a lush
drinkable red that speaks strong of Lodi; quite good at a good price. $24.00


To me, it spoke definitely of a Lodi red.
I don't particularly regard Matt as a strong proponent of the "natural" wine movement. At least, he
doesn't seem to wear it on his sleeve.
Tom
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Re: Alvarelhao...

by Brian K Miller » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:54 pm

TomHill wrote:
To me, it spoke definitely of a Lodi red.
I don't particularly regard Matt as a strong proponent of the "natural" wine movement. At least, he
doesn't seem to wear it on his sleeve.
Tom


I bow to your notes, but my bottle was definitely on the brighter and leaner, almost tart side. Which is a style I prefer to the bruiser style, as I said.

Maybe I don't drink enough Lodi wines*? I can, for example, recognize Alexander Valley Cabernet-it's pretty distinctive. Too many Lodi (and Foothill) wines are too high octane for me, anyway.

(I thought I signed up for Fields Family club again*. Wonder if I gave him the "wrong" credit card number?)
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Au Contraire

by TomHill » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:48 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:
TomHill wrote:
To me, it spoke definitely of a Lodi red.
I don't particularly regard Matt as a strong proponent of the "natural" wine movement. At least, he
doesn't seem to wear it on his sleeve.
Tom


I bow to your notes, but my bottle was definitely on the brighter and leaner, almost tart side. Which is a style I prefer to the bruiser style, as I said.

Maybe I don't drink enough Lodi wines*? I can, for example, recognize Alexander Valley Cabernet-it's pretty distinctive. Too many Lodi (and Foothill) wines are too high octane for me, anyway.


If you drink stuff like 7 Deadly Zins and that, certainly that's true. Fat/soft/mushy/goopy.
But there are wines coming out that are far from that old mold. Good grief, they even make whites
in Lodi that have balance & finess, like Acquiesence wines.
Tom
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Re: Au Contraire

by Brian K Miller » Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:56 pm

TomHill wrote:If you drink stuff like 7 Deadly Zins and that, certainly that's true. Fat/soft/mushy/goopy.
But there are wines coming out that are far from that old mold. Good grief, they even make whites
in Lodi that have balance & finess, like Acquiesence wines.
Tom


Ugh. Just ugh.

There is a winery in Vallejo that makes wine like Michael David-Vino Godfather. Only redeeming virtue is the fact they renovated a magnificent old commander's house on Mare Island, a decommissioned Navy Base/Shipyard. Blueberry Oak Milkshake with Vodka. Lodi sourced grapes, I recall??????

I loved the Fields Family Zin. Bracing and delicious-closer to the Rorick wine than Michael David. :)
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach
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Yup....

by TomHill » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:28 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:Ugh. Just ugh.

There is a winery in Vallejo that makes wine like Michael David-Vino Godfather. Only redeeming virtue is the fact they renovated a magnificent old commander's house on Mare Island, a decommissioned Navy Base/Shipyard. Blueberry Oak Milkshake with Vodka. Lodi sourced grapes, I recall??????

I loved the Fields Family Zin. Bracing and delicious-closer to the Rorick wine than Michael David. :)


Yup, Brian. I worked at MareIsland one summer when it was an active shipyard, 1964. There are some absolutely
beautiful old buildings there. It breaks my heart to drive the place now and see some of them. The church there
looks well-maintained and I'd love to see the inside again.
Tom

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