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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 LateHrvst Viogniers and Ports - March 3, 2011

We tasted last night some LateHrvst Vioniers and Ports :

  1. OjaiVnyd Calif Viognier (6 brls; RollRanchvnyd; 9.0%) 2007: Med.gold color; intense grapey/ peachy/Viog slight volatile/mustard rather exotic nose; quite sweet bit soft very grapey/peachy/ Viog/intense fruity bit simple flavor; very long very sweet intense grapey/fruity/peach syrup/Viog finish; huge peach syrup/Viog character but a bit simple on palate. $25.00/hlf
  2. OjaiVnyd Calif Viognier (6 brls; RollRanchvnyd; 10.0%) 2005: Dark gold color; very intense grapey/canned peach syrup/Viog/fruit cocktail/apricot juice slight botrytis some caramel/creme brulee bit complex/exotic nose; soft quite sweet intense/grapey/peachy/peach syrup/fruit cocktail slight caramel/botrytis exotic flavor; very long/lingering very sweet soft intense canned peach syrup/Viog/fruit cocktail slight botrytis bit creme brulee finish; showing a bit of development; very interesting/exotic dessert wine. $21.00/hlf
  3. Novy Oley Dessert Wine (12%; Viognier) 2006: Light gold color; some volatile/EA slight herbal/fresh mown hay quite intense/grapey/fruit cocktail/intense fruit little Viog nose; very soft/fat quite sweet intense/grapey/ fruity/canned fruit cocktail/canned pear syrup flavor; med.short soft/fat intense/grapey/fruity/fruit cocktail/ canned pear syrup very sweet finish; needs more acidity; bit on the simple side and like drinking the syrup from canned pears.
  4. Esoterica by KentRasmussen Viognier LateHrvst NorthCoast (SaH: 47 g/l; RS: 35 g/L; 9.5%) 2006: Very dark gold slight browning color; very intense raisened/overripe grapey/canned peach syrup some Viog/peachy slight earthy very Passito-like fairly complex nose; soft very sweet/syrupy intense peach syrup/passito some earthy/herbal some caramel/creme brulee flavor; very long/lingering very sweet intense peach syrup/grapey slight herbal/earthy very passito-like finish that goes on & on; beautiful/ exotic very intense dessert wine at a great price. $22.00/hlf
  5. Esoterica by KentRasmussen Vermelho Forte Calif DW (65% TintaMadeire/35% Touriga) 2008: Med.color; intense alcoholic/licorice Ruby Porto/grapey/old port pungent nose; rather sweet old Ruby Port fairly alcoholic quite old Port flavor; very long rather alcoholic old Ruby port/grapey finish w/ some tannins; more in a Ruby Port style than a Vintage Port; seems old for an '08. $25.00/500ml
  6. CreeksideCllrs Moscato Arancio American OrangeMuscat Port (18%) Evergreen/CO NV: Dark golden/murky brown/ burnished bronze color; somewhat oxidized quite alcoholic very stewed fruit rather earthy/dusty somewhat interesting nose; near dry quite hot/alcoholic stewed fruit/earthy/hay mow soft/fat/underacid flavor; short very alcoholic/hot near dry very stewed fruit/earthy/herbal/hay mow rather oxidized finish; no Muscat character at all; somewhat interesting nose but unattractive/oxidized on the palate.

And a wee BloodyPulpit:

1. The two Ojai Viogniers are supposedly freezer ice wines. In the past, I've found them rather on the simple side; just grapey & sweet. They didn't seem to age into anything special. These two were much more interesting and seemed to show a bit of complexity. Might have even been a bit of botrytis in the '05. Quite good dessert wines at a very good price.
2. Esoterica Viognier: The Esoterica label is one KentRasmussen uses for his small lots of wines made from purchased fruit. The sugar figures are wrong....should be per 100ml, or %. I liked this wine quite a lot. Very/very intense; very/very sweet. I thought it a dead-ringer for a Passito di Pantelleria, but w/o the Muscat/floral character those wines show. Most Italian passito wines are made as straw-wines, grapes laid out on mats in the sun to dry. This was not a Vin de Paille, but simply one in which the grapes were left to raisen on the vine. Not sure how these passito wines will age, but see no reason why it wouldn't. But no telling were it'll go. This is a genre of wine
they should be exploring more & more in Calif. The TablasCreek versions are also quite stunning.
3. Esoterica Forte: Since, apparently, the TTB has prohibited the usage of Port on a label except for the grandfathered ones, Kent labeled this Forte to indicate fortified. The Vermelho is Portugese for "red". He's made a number of Ports over the yrs that I thought were pretty good Vintage-style Ports. This one didn't seem quite as intensely grapey/Vintage port in style. Interesting rendition of Port.


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