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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 Odds & Ends - May 27, 2009


We tried tonight (5/27/09) Some Odds & Ends:

  1. de bit 07 bibich debit NorthDalmatia/Croatia (Debit grape; 2500 cs; 12.6%; www.VinaBibich.com)
    : Pale gold color; rather musky/grapey/Isabelle-like/rotted apples/overripe/foxy/non-vinifera
    like/fruit cocktail slight stoney nose; tart/lean very ripe/grapey/Isabella-like/very ripe flavor; very short grapey/foxy/musky finish; lots like an EasternUS Isabella wine; not particularly underacid but has a lot of overripe character; strange wine. $14.00
  2. TelianiVlly Tsolikouri Tvishi/Lechkhumi/Georgia (Tsolikouri grape;12%) 2005: Med.gold color; very
    attractive floral/perfumed/spicy/nutmeg minerally/stoney peppermint candy cane very exotic nose;
    soft/light/delicate bit minerally lovely floral/aromatic/spicy/nutmeg/pepperminty flavor; med.short
    spicy/nutmeg/pepperminty/floral bit mineral finish; a really lovely/interesting white at a very good
    price. $14.00
  3. EdmondJacquin & Fils Roussette de Savoie Altesse (12.5%) 2007: Light yellow color; lovely appley/
    fragrant/minerally/spicy/apple pie/cinammon nose; tart ripe/lush floral/apple pie/nutmeg/cinammon/
    appley tart/buttery some minerally flavor; med.long apple pie/cinammon/floral some minerally/stoney
    finish; a lovely floral/minerally white at a very good price. $16.00
  4. Rene et Beatrice Bernard Apremont VieillesVignes AC: Vin de Savoie (Jacquere; 11.5%) 2007: Pale
    yellow color; rather earthy/dusty/minerally little fruit bit metallic nose; off-dry low fruit quite earthy/ minerally/dusty bit metallic/tinney flavor; med.short metallic/stoney finish; some like a Loire CheninBlanc; strong dusty character like walking down a Kansas dirt farm road on a hot summer day and kicking up a cloud of dust a la PigPen. $16.00
  5. LaColombera Derthona DOC: Colli Tortonesi Timorasso (14%) PierCarloSemino/Vhodi Tortona/
    Piedmonte 2006
    : Pale gold color; very attractive floral/aromatic/perfumed slight minty/dusty/earthy
    very pretty nose; rich/lush/tart quite floral/minty/peach blossom some stoney/minerally/dusty beautiful flavor; very long rich/lush/tart spicy/floral/peach blossom/minty finish; lovely strong aromatics almost like GWT; an absolutely beautiful white at a great price. $18.00
  6. MaisonAngelot Gamay VDQS: Bugey (12.5%) 2007: Pale red color; attractive grapey/floral some earthy/dusty slight earthy very pretty Gamay nose; bright/tart pretty/floral/Gamay/strawberry/grapey light earthy flavor; light floral/grapey/Gamay/strawberry spicy/zippy light earthy finish w/ little tannins; a very pretty Gamay; this is how SteveEdmunds would make BeaujolaisNoveau if he could/would/should. $12.00
  7. MaisonAngelot Mondeuse VDQS: Bugey (12%) 2007: Med.color; very earthy/dusty/wet pavement some plummy/black cherry interesting nose; tart earthy/dusty rather rough/rustic/hard/tannic slight plummy/black cherry flavor; med.long hard/tannic/rough/rustic slight plummy/black cherry finish; needs age but may not have the fruit to live that long. $21.00
  8. EricTexier AC: Cotes du Rhone Brezeme (NonFiltre; 12.5%) 2006: Dark color; slight medicinal/band-aid some NothernRhone/roasted/mocha/coffee light blackberry/Syrah strange/unusual nose; tart/hard rather medicinal/band-aid slight roasted/mocha/coffee little Syrah fruit flavor; long quite hard/tannic/acid/
    austere light roasted/NorthernRhonish finish; badly needs age but ?? $27.98
  9. StevenKentWnry Syrah FriedLiverWash GhielmettiVnyd/LivermoreVlly (14.9%; www.StevenKent.com) 2006: Very dark color; very attractive plummy/licorice/spicy/blackberry/Syrah some cold-climateSyrah/cracked black pepper bit NorthernRhonish beautiful nose; soft/rich ripe/ plummy/licorice/boysenberry/Syrah some cracked black pepper/Syrah lovely flavor; long peppery/black pepper/spicy strong blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/licorice/celery seed/SantaMaria rub complex finish w/ light tannins; an amazingly good Syrah...from Livermore?? Who'd of thunk.
  10. Saracina MendoCnty Syrah (14.9%; www.Saracina.com) 2004: Black color; huge TCA/musty/corked/wet cardboard nothing else nose; hard/tannic no fruit musty/TCA/wet cardboard chalky flavor; a TCA bomb; too bad at this price. $38.00
  11. two mile Sangiovese Polesky-LentzVnyd/DryCreekVlly (14.6%; 100 cs; www.TwoMileWines.com)
    Bttld by Gibson RPW/Berkeley 2006
    : Dark color; bit metallic some earthy/cherry/Sangio light toasty/oak
    underwhelming nose; tart/lean cherry/earthy/Sangio rather hard/tannic bit toasty/oak flavor; med.short
    tart/tannic/hard some bright cherry/Sangio some toasty/oak finish; good Sangio character but hard/tannic
    on the palate; little redeeming features and overpriced to boot. $40.00
  12. Tayerle elTravatore RanchitaCanyonVnyd/SanMiguel/PasoRobles RW (CabernetSauvignon/
    Sangiovese; 14.5%; www.TayerleWine.com) 2004
    : Dark color; strong plummy/blackcurranty/ Cab/ jammy/very ripe strong toasty/charred/oak nose; soft/ripe/overripe plummy/blackcurranty/Cab/very jammy some toasty/oak/charred flavor; long very ripe/overripe plummy/blackcurranty/jammy/Cab strong toasty/oak finish w/ light tannins; decent Cab at a good price but a bit too overripe in flavors for me. $16.00
  13. Tejada Reserve Tempranillo LakeCnty (250 cs; 14.5%) ByronKosuge/Winemaker 2004: Med.dark color; very attractive cherry/black cherry/Temp minty/menthol/eucalyptus light toasty/oak nose; soft slight bretty/ horsecollar/unclean cherry/black cherry/Temp/menthol/minty light toasty/oak flavor; med.long rather bretty/horsecollar strong cherry/Temp light oak finish w/ some tannins; bit too unclean for me and way overpriced. $45.00
  14. D'Arie EstateGrown PetiteSirah ShenandoahVlly/AmadorCnty (14.5%) 2006: Black color; intense blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/licorice strong Am.oak bit jammy/ripe/spicy nose; soft/fat/flat/porky very ripe/boysenberry/licorice/Oz-like strong vanilla/Am.oak/buttery flavor; med. very ripe/overripe plummy/licorice/boysenberry/jammy overripe finish w/ little tannins; very overripe character, no structure, and speaks little of PS. $25.00

And the usual stuff from the BloodyPulpit:

1. Debit grape: My first exposure to this indigenous grape from Croatia. Don't think it's gonna set
the world on fire (us LosAlamos guys like to make grandoise extrapolations from just one data point...sometimes from even no data points). It had a musky character that reminded me some of the wines from the EastCoast I've had from the Isabella grape, a non-vinifera grape. Not much info out there on Debit except the name comes from the Napoleanic era when it was used in commerce...whatever the heck that means.
2. Tsolikouri grape: Another new one for me. I've had maybe a half dozen Georgian (including a Georgia Smilin'Peach wine from the USofA) wines, mostly very sweet and uninteresting. Easily this was the best one I've yet had. The most common grape of the region is Rkatsiteli. This Tsolikouri was far better than any Rkatsitelis I've ever had.
3. Roussette: This is a variety native to the Savoie. When labeled Roussette de Savoie, it can have
up to 50% Chard blended in. When labeled w/ its alternate name, Altesse, it is 100% varietal.
It is often described as being Furmint-like in character, but not felt to be related to that Hungarian grape. The Savoie is a very interesting region that I must visit someday. It has some very interesting/ indigenous grapes and is the birthplace of the Syrah grape, a cross between MondeuseBlanche and Deureza.
4. Timorasso: I first had a wine from this indigenous Italian variety w/ DarrellCorti some 6-7 yrs ago. I thought it pretty good...but just that. So this is my second one..and I was mightly impressed.
Far/far superior to any other white Piedmonte wine I've ever had. They oughta be planting this like
crazy in Piedmonte. There are only some 50 acres planted amongst some 15 different growers.
5. Many of these lesser-known wines came from PaulMarcus wines in RockRidge, downstairs from Oliveto.
6. Mondeuse: I try every Mondeuse I can lay my hands on. I've always liked this grape since the first time I tasted it from barrel out in MikeOfficer's garage around '96-'97. His Twackers vnyd has a fair amount of Mondeuse and he should have another Mondeuse release from the '08 vintage. His is easily the world's greatest Mondeuse. But in a few yrs, he's gonna have to go mano e mano w/ SteveLagier & CaroleMeredith. And there's a good chunk of Mondeuse masquerading as Refosco up at AtlasPeak that I expect NateWeis will do some interesting things with. This Angelot Mondeuse was not a strong testimony for the variety. The nose was pretty interesting, but it was pretty hurtey on the palate w/ fierce tannins.
7. Brezeme: EricTexier certainly marches to the beat of his own drummer. I'd had this wine at dinner with SteveEdmunds after RhoneRangers and thought it pretty good, if a bit hard & tight. This night's version had a strong character that resembled cloth band-aids and few people liked the wine. Underneath this band-aid character was a bit of NorthernRhone/roasted character, but a real paucity of fruit. This wine has structure, in spades, but I haven't a clue as to where it's going to go.
8. StevenKent: This Syrah was gifted to me by the Payne's with Mike's stern admonition that it was a Livermore wine, not his favorite of the StevenKent line, and to keep my expectations low. With such a recommendation, I kept my expectations low. Man...was I wrong. It was one of the best LivermoreVlly wines I've had in yrs...maybe ever. It may be a bit lacking in structure and probably not a Syrah to age, but I was quite struck by the cracked black pepper character it displayed, something I only find in very cold-climate Syrah. Where that came from, in Livermore...not exactly what you'd call cold-climate..I have no idea...but it was definitely there. Amazingly good Syrah. Don't know the $$ for it.
9. Tejada: I was most interested in trying this wine because of its LakeCnty origins and its big $$ pricetag. ByronKosuge is a pretty competent winemaker and I was expecting one of the best LakeCnty reds I've yet had. Such was not the case. Some good things in there but too unclean/bretty for me.


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