Home | Recent Tastings | Wine Touring | Cellars | What's New

by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Some Dover Canyon Wines - November 26, 2008


We tasted last week (11/26/08) Some Dover Canyon Wines:

  1. DoverCanyonWnry WhiteBone PasoRobles (15.2%; 60% Viog/25% Marssanne/15% Roussanne;
    TempletonGap; BrrlFrmtd, 6 mo. sur lies; 5 brls; www.DoverCanyon.com) 2007:
    Med.light gold
    color; strong very ripe/Viog/peachy/floral/honeysuckle perfumed bit spicy/nutmeg lovely nose; rather sweet (2%-3%?) very ripe/floral/honeysuckle/fruit cocktail very ripe/peachy/Viog rather soft/fat flavor; long sweet very ripe/floral/honeysuckle/peachy/Viog finish; speaks more of Viognier than #2 does; a beautiful nose but the RS on the palate is a surprise; interesting Rhone white if you can get beyond the sweet. $26.00
  2. DoverCanyonWnry Viognier PasoRobles (14.7%; TempletonGap & ElPomar;BrlFrmtd; 6 mo. sur lies; 6 brls) 2006: Med.gold color; strong pear/Viog light earthy/minerally elegant/fragrant nose; tart elegant candied/pear/Viog light minerally attractive flavor; med.long pear/Viog/minerally finish; a lovely elegant/restrained Viognier that flits across the palate like Maya Plisetskaya, rather than slashes across like Madonna in stiletto boots. Very attractive price at $22.00
  3. DoverCanyonWnry Zin PasoRobles Cujo (15.7%; 12 mo. aged sur lies/AmOak) 2007: Med. color; strong very spicy/bright/Zinberry/raspberry light vanilla/oak lovely/fragrant nose; soft very bright/zippy/ Zinberry/raspberry very spicy/perfumed light vanilla/oak bit tannic flavor; long bright/Zinberry/raspberry/ framboise light vanilla/oak finish w/ light tannins; needs a few months yet and should go out 3-4 yrs;
    loads of bright Zinberry fruit that belies the 15.7%; no overripe or raisened character at all; rather
    in the DougNalle style; terrific Zin for the price. Not yet released. $19.00
  4. DoverCanyonWnry OldVine Zin BenitoDusiVnyd/PasoRobles (15.9%; 90 yr old vines; 16 mo. sur lies/AmOak; 12 brls) 2006: Med.dark color; very ripe/blackberry/Zin bit alcoholic/fumey quite spicy some dusty/old vines fairly rich/lush nose; rich some earthy/dusty/old vines strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin some vanilla/oak rather lush/spicy flavor; long rich/lush/blackberry/boysenberry/Zin/ripe finish w/ some tannins; not at all overripe or jammy; a more elegant version than the Ridge Dusi. $27.00
  5. DoverCanyonWnry Reserve Zin PasoRobles (15.2%; 16 mo. sur lies/neutral AmOak;4 brls) 2006: Dark color; very strong blackberry/boysenberry/Zin some Am.oak/toasty/vanilla very spicy/perfumed bit dusty/old vines nose; soft ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Zin bit earthy some vanilla/toasty/oak very spicy/perfumed flavor; very long/lingering soft ripe/blackberry/ boysenberry/Zin very spicy bit peppery slight vanilla/toasty/oak some complex finish w/ some tannins; still needs several yrs; much like the Dusi but a bit more oak, more spice, more complexity; lovely very spicy Zin w/ no overripe character &
    very/very spicy. $38.00
  6. DoverCanyonWnry TreNoce PasoRobles (15.8%; 66% Zin, 34% Syrah; EstateVnyd; 6 brls) 2006: Dark color; lovely blackberry/boysenberry/licorice some peppery/Syrah/blackberry some vanilla/oak bit alcoholic some complex interesting nose; tart bright/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah very spicy some peppery bit vanilla/oak flavor; very long bit tannic/hard strong/blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry somewhat spicy/licorice peppery finish; needs 2-4 yrs; lots of blackberry/Syrah character w/ a bit of perfumed/spicy from the Zin; very attractive wine. $36.00
  7. DoverCanyonWnry Barbarian PasoRobles (15.0%; 60% Zin, 40% PS; 18 mo. sur lies/neutral
    FrOak; 6 brls) 2006
    : Dark color; strong coffee/peppery/blackberry/plummy/boysenberry quite spicy
    bit smokey/complex mostly PS nose; soft rich/lush/plummy/licorice/blackberry bit tight/closed/clunky slight coffee/smokey rather tannic flavor; med.long rather tannic bit clunky/oafish strong licorice/plummy/ blackberry slight coffee/smokey finish; needs 2-6 yrs; speaks mostly of the PS; a bit on the oafish side, maybe even a bit of a...Barbarian. Great price at $24.00
  8. DoverCanyonWnry BoneLore PasoRobles (68% Grenache/16% Syrah/16% PS; 15.2%; 18 mo. sur lies/neutral FrOak; U/U; 6 brls) 2006: Med.dark color; lovely fragrant/strawberry/Grenache bit herbal/rosemarry very perfumed/fragrant/aromatic nose; soft very bright/strawberry/ alpine strawberry/Grenache light toasty/oak very aromatic/perfumed flavor; med.long bright strawberry/alpine strawberry/Grenache light toasty/oak finish w/light tannins; a very pretty/drinkable very fragrant Grenache; like hiking in the mountains w/your dog and you lie down in this bed of alpine strawberries to take in the majestic vistas, your pup resting his snout on your chest, slobber running down onto your shirt, and you can hear way in the background JulieAndrew's lilting voice..."the hills are alive....."; life don't get no better. $28.00
  9. DoverCanyonWnry Syrah Jimmy'sVnyd/PasoRobles (16.4%; TempletonGap; 16 mo. sur lies/new FrOak; 6 brls) 2006: Black color; big Fr.oak/toasty/spicy strong blackberry/Syrah slight peppery/coffee/ mocha aromatic/complex nose; very toasty/pungent/smokey/Fr.oak strong blackberry/Syrah bit herbal/ peppery flavor; med.long strong blackberry/Syrah light peppery/spicy/herbal rather toasty/Fr.oak/coffee/ smokey finish w/ some tannins; needs 2-5 yrs; lots of smokey/pungent character w/ lots of blackberry/ Syrah fruit; great structure & balance; beats the socks of many $50+ NapaVlly Syrahs. Vety fairly priced at $32.00

And a bit of a BloodyPulpit:

1. DoverCanyon: I've been such a slacker over the yrs in keeping up w/DoverCanyon. I go way back w/ DanPanico when he was the winemaker at Eberle. In fact, I think Dan was the last winemaker at Eberle to make really exciting wines there, back when they were moving into the Rhone program pretty heavily. I've known MaryBaker almost as long, back when she was involved w/ the group of tasting room folks who hung out together & took tours. When I'm at HdR, I seldom have any slack time to visit any of the Paso tasting rooms, so DoverCanyon has been getting short shrift from TomHill over the yrs. I decided it was time to remedy that and ordered an assorted case of Dover Canyon wines several months ago to get caught up w/old...errrr...long-time friends.

My people really liked the wines, accross the board, save the WhiteBone. As a white Rhone blend,
we were expecting a rather dry/austere style of wine. So it came as a bit of a shock when it hit
the palate w/ the noticible RS. Actually, in the context of a German or Austrian Riesling, the wine is really a lovely wine, w/ lots of perfume & aromatics. I think the label should have given a head's up on the RS. All of the wines were above the 15% level. We were expecting pretty big/alcoholic/ overripe/jammy kind of wines. They were not. I was struck w/ the rather restrained style the wines displayed. There were a couple where you could get the alcohol, but, by and large, they showed a sense of balance and elegance and structure that belied their alcohol level. Kinda like watching Shaq O'Neil dance in SwanLake ballet... he has the physical skills that he could probably dance it well, just that he'd look a bit funny in a tutu. In particular, the Cujo and the Barbarian were big hits because they're very attractively priced.


<< back to TomHill archive

Home | Top of page | Recent Tastings

Copyright © 1996 - 2008, Tom Hill - All rights reserved
No original material may be reproduced without written consent
Mail & Comments
- Grape-Nutz