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Jenise

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WTN: Recent stuff, mostly in Hawaii

by Jenise » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:49 pm

2016 Seven Hills Winery Sauvignon Blanc Walla Walla Valley
This is good! Clean grassy notes with kaffir lime leaf and forward citrus fruit. New worldish without being a NZ copycat.

2014 Township 7 Syrah Okanagan Valley VQA
A friend's in their club so I frequently get to taste the wines. They virtually never impress but this was one of the more agreeable I've had. Modern, new world Syrah, amiable from bottle age with just a hint of citric acid-like sourness on the toasted oak finish.

2016 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Sétilles Chardonnay
Purchased over a case and still happy with that decision. A Bourgogne but from mostly Puligny Montrachet and Meursault fruit, and that shows. Classic white burgundy for a pittance. Btw this was the white served at Megan and Harry's wedding reception.

2014 Château Bolaire Bordeaux Supérieur Red Bordeaux Blend
Brought to dinner last night by a friend, apparently a $15 Costco purchase. And a good one--classic Medoc flavors, balanced and ready. Tastes like more $$.

2016 Tenet Wines The Convert Columbia Valley Red Blend
About half syrah and half many other things, a kitchen sink with all the edges smoothed out with the vanilla notes of CSM (Chateau Ste Michelle is the parent winery, even though the name isn't on the label) American oak. Not to my tastes but I can appreciate that it will have many fans.

2010 Whitehall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley
Very different from a bottle just a few weeks ago. Very youthful in color and flavor, no rust or "leathery aged splendor". Classic cal cab just entering middle age, and the best wine on the table.

2016 Airfield Estates Bombshell Red Yakima Valley Red Blend
Reading Asimov's column in the NYT the other day about $15-20 wines that deliver above price made me think about this wine. It's astonishingly good for $15; a balanced, correct, sturdy, cabbish red blend suitable for lovers of serious wine who lack a serious budget.

2016 Peter Yealands Pinot Noir Marlborough
Slick, polished, commercial. Good enough to drink, but merely that and a major let-down after the flawless QPR and hand-crafte qualities of the Otago-originated 2014.

2005 Bodegas Felix Callejo Ribera del Duero Crianza Tempranillo
Disagree with most of the scores on CT. This wine is Very Good, but not Excellent. That is, very decent for a 13 year old Crianza, neither polished-modern nor significantly old-school, neither impressive nor boring, neither old nor young: just a modestly priced wine one's happy to have in the cellar to go with a chicken paella on a cold Thursday night.

NV Taittinger Champagne Brut Prestige Champagne Blend
While noting that TNs on NV wines are completely useless, I have to throw in a compliment to the wine for showing this well five years out from date of purchase. I should buy, and put away, a case of this every year just to make sure there's more down the road to drink with five years of cellar age.

2014 Perennial Vintners Melon de Bourgogne Puget Sound
Grown and made on Washington's Bainbridge Island, and it's the only melon grown in Washington state. Sensuously bone dry with apple, pineapple, quince and nutmeg. Would not mistake it for a Muscadet, but it's nonetheless an exceptional wine. Geek alert! Already went back to the store I bought it from and took their last two bottles.

2017 Domaine de Saint Cosme Les Deux Albion Southern Rhône Blanc
Big wine. Viscuous blend with heavy perfume (viognier, I'm guessing) on the nose and RS-laden finish. Would have liked it less if I hadn't served it with grilled opah in a sweetish-kumquat sauce.

2017 Cruse Wine Company Valdiguié Petillant Naturel Deming Calistoga
Excellent. I've enjoyed this brands Pet Nats a whole lot more than the big boy Ultramarines.

2018 Morgenster Sauvignon Blanc Stellenbosch
Bought blind because I usually like So African SB's. But this one disappointed: very dry, maybe too dry, and dull. Lacks fruit and detail.

2017 Navarro Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé of Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
A little tight; think it's asleep. Wait til summer.

2017 Vincent Pinot Gris McMinnville Oregon
Put one in the case we took to Kauai and didn't remember until I poured it into a glass that this is a long-skin contact pinot gris. Light orange-y red color with a heady nose that forces you to remember that the pinot gris grape is a mutation of pinot noir. Interesting that CT files it as a rose--not sure where else it can go but that feels like a misnomer because it drinks like a light red wine. Delicious, a fascinator.

2017 Paul Durdilly Beaujolais Cuvée de Garde Gamay
Unpleasantly grapey with overriding Bazooka bubble gum notes. Reminds me of the old DuBuoef days. If all Beaujolais were like this no one would drink them.

2016 Failla Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
At Bar Acuda, Hanalei. $80 on list. Fantastic chardonnay, has everything right for place and vintage. Good concentration, focussed fruit, good complexity. I need to pay more attention to this producer.

2005 Azienda Bricco Rocche (Ceretto) Barolo Brunate Nebbiolo
Youthful with black cherry, raisins, rust, roses, not much tar but noticeably nebbiolo, lots of minerality, tannins got more puckery toward the end of the bottle. Good potential for the long haul, definitely needs more time. Will schedule my next bottle for no earlier than 2023.

2015 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Chianti Classico DOCG Sangiovese Blend, Sangiovese
Balanced, delicious, perfect compliment for food in an Italian restaurant. Expected just a bit more body/density, though, from this producer and vintage.

2016 Au Bon Climat Chardonnay Santa Barbara County
Nicely concentrated fruit reminding me of pineapple and Hawaiian apple banana with exemplary acidity and texture for a wine you can buy in supermarkets for $20-22. Suspect it would earn better scores from others if it were harder to acquire and more expensive.

2014 E. Guigal Gigondas Red Rhone Blend
Sweet red fruit (pomegranate and raspberry) with oodles of spice and black pepper. Drinks well as a PnP but gets bolder after a few hours, so uncork early if you can. Great QPR at $26, Costco.

2017 Bouchie-Chatellier Pouilly-Fumé La Renardière Sauvignon Blanc
Lemon-line fruit with a bit of pineapple and green banana, no herbal notes. Tastes like a chardonnay/sauv bl blend. Quite decent for $15 and I can easily finish this glass, but would not seek this out again.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Recent stuff, mostly in Hawaii

by David M. Bueker » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:35 pm

Glad you finally got to try the Failla. After a few years of tasting, I determined that I was not so hot on their Pinots (too similar to other things I already buy), but love their Chardonnays.

Interesting note on the Guigal. I was served the 2015 Guigal Cotes du Rhône red in a blind tasting last week, and liked it very much. Not the most distinctive stuff, but very drinkable for a low price.
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Bruce K

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Re: WTN: Recent stuff, mostly in Hawaii

by Bruce K » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:45 pm

2017 Vincent Pinot Gris McMinnville Oregon
Put one in the case we took to Kauai and didn't remember until I poured it into a glass that this is a long-skin contact pinot gris. Light orange-y red color with a heady nose that forces you to remember that the pinot gris grape is a mutation of pinot noir. Interesting that CT files it as a rose--not sure where else it can go but that feels like a misnomer because it drinks like a light red wine. Delicious, a fascinator.


Recently had this myself. Fascinating is exactly right. My notes say "spice-dominated strawberry, earth, flowers and minerals." First Pinot Gris vinified as a red I've ever heard of, much less consumed. Assuming he makes this in future vintages, it will definitely be a part of my order.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Recent stuff, mostly in Hawaii

by Jenise » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:33 pm

Dave, that's exactly why I never got around to a Failla chardonnay--had a Failla pinot and wasn't especially impressed. This bottle was a game changer.

Bruce, fun to know you also loved the PG. I don't think I've had one like it before either--I'm remembering what I think was instead a gewurz, perhaps with a dollop of PN. Did not love that, but this is outstanding. Can't wait to have another in a better wine glass than I was drinking out of in Kauai.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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ChaimShraga

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Re: WTN: Recent stuff, mostly in Hawaii

by ChaimShraga » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:38 am

Regarding the Au Bon Climat, would you have enjoyed a Chardonnay that reminded you of "pineapple and Hawaiian apple banana" anywhere but in Hawaii?

Assuming that's where you had. I'd pass.
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Jenise

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Re: WTN: Recent stuff, mostly in Hawaii

by Jenise » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:11 pm

ChaimShraga wrote:Regarding the Au Bon Climat, would you have enjoyed a Chardonnay that reminded you of "pineapple and Hawaiian apple banana" anywhere but in Hawaii?

Assuming that's where you had. I'd pass.


The question's more: did it occur to me to reference those flavors simply because I was in Hawaii? Yes, especially the apple banana, which is very unlike conventional bananas, and which are available only in Hawaii. They're super bright and tangy, and a lot less sweet. Closer to a green apple than a banana as we know it, and almost identical to that of a bright chardonnay. I could have used it as a descriptor for the Failla too, except it hadn't occurred to me yet.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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