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Here From the Very Start




Wed Mar 29, 2006 1:01 pm

WTN: Two Calif DessertWines '06 (Ojai/TCV)..(short/boring)

by TomHill » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:45 pm

Tried these two dessert wines over the last few days:
1. OjaiVnyd Chard SolomonHillsVnyd/SantaMariaVlly Special Bttling (2 barrels made; 11%) 2006: Deep amber/golden brown color; intense grapey/passito very slight melony/Chard slight orangey/orange blossom very slight cedary nose; rather soft quite sweet (12%-15% r.s.?) rich/lush intense grapey/passito slight honeyed/orangey very slight cedary flavor; very long/lingering very intense grapey/passito some honeyed/orangey soft very sweet finish; loads of grapey/passito character w/ lots of unresolved sugar but scant signs of evolution or development other than the dark color; a bit on the simple side.
2. TablasCreekVnyd Vin de Paille Estate/PasoRobles (12.2%; 40% GrenacheBlanc/23% Viog/20% Rouss/17% Marsanne; SaP: 34 Brix; RS: 17.4%; PasoRobles 2006: Deep gold color; very intense orangey/passito very grapey/honeyed/honeycomb bit honeysuckle/GB quite complex nose; quite tart intense grapey/passito/honeyed/orangey some GB/honeysuckle very sweet some complex flavor; very long/lingering very sweet fairly tart very rich/lush intense grapey/passito/orangey/honeyed some honeysuckle/GB/Rouss complex finish; a beautiful young dessert wine w/ no signs of oxidation other than the color; great stuff. $60.00/hlf
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Ojai: This wine was, as I recall, a freezer ice wine, not a late-hrvst. The juice was taken to a commercial freezer in Ventura, frozen, returned to the wnry to ferment. As the blocks thaw, the sugar-rich juice melts first and when the right brix is attained, the block of ice is scooped out and the ferment is allowed to proceed. I think RandallGrahm was the first one in Calif to invoke this technique.
My experience with these freezer ice wines is that they are very sweet, show little or no varietal character (could be made out of ThompsonSeedless I suspect), and just never evolve into anything very interesting.
2. TCV: This lonely hlf btl was on the remainder table at ArroyoVino at 40% off, making it only $42/hlf...a real steal.
This wine is a true Vin de Paille. The harvested bunches of grapes are laid out on straw mats (don't know why they can't use plastic trays...more sanitary and less fuss) in their greenhouse (which they used when they were in the grape vine propagation business) until the desired brix is reached. Like the Sforzato process in the Valtelline or the Amarone process in the Veneto. Then pressed, fermented, and put to barrel. They also make a Vin de Paille from Mourvedre as well. Two of the best passitos made in Calif...or the World, for that matter.

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