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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 New Wines - February 8, 2012

We tried last night (2/8/12) Some New Wines

  1. LaSpinetta IGT: ToscanaVermentino (13%) 2010: Light yellow color; rather earthy/dusty/mineral slight grapefruity/ chalky/dishwater bit simple nose; soft rather light/weak some grapefruity/chalky bit earthy/metallic rather dilute flavor; med.short light grapefruity/metallic rather thin/dilute finish; pleasant enough Vermentino nose but rather vapid on the palate; doesn't hold a candle to TablasCreek. $23.00 (AV)
  2. Calera Aligote MtHarlan (330 vines grafted in 2004 & 2007; 116 cs; 6.18 tons/acre; pH: 3.40;
    www.CaleraWine.com) 2009
    : Pale gold color; slight pungent/reduced/H2S (that goes) rather floral/apple blossom/ fragrant/grapefruity light chalky/mineral/stoney nose; rather tart some mineral/chalky/stoney fairly rich/lush rather floral/apple blossom/grapefruity/tangy slight metallic flavor; med. grapefruity/tangy/floral/apple blossom slight chalky/mineral/stoney finish; quite a nice Aligote. $28.00 (AV)
  3. MarcoFelluga Molamatta DOC: CollioBianco (13.5%; www.MarcoFelluga.It) 2009: Med.light gold color;rather earthy/mineral fairly strong pungent/cat litter/Ribolla some fragrant/floral quite perfumed/ fragrant nose; soft/rich/lush bit tangy/ metallic/steely rather floral/perfumed somewhat pungent/coarse/ Ribolla/cat litter/earthy bit earthy/mineral flavor; long rich/lush rather tangy/metallic/steely fairly floral/aromatic bit pungent/earthy/mineral/chalky finish; lots of aromatics but some of the pungent/cat litter side of Ribolla. $26.00 (AV)
  4. AnneAmieVnyds Cuvee A Amrita WW WillametteVlly (37.6% Viognier/32.2% Chard/29.2% PinotBlanc/ 1% Riesling; 13.2%; www.AnneAmie.com) Carlton/OR 2010: Pale gold w/ some spritziness; very fragrant/floral/perfumed/peachy almost muscatty nose; totally dry rather sharp/acidic quite tangy/dissolved CO2 light floral/muscatty almost Moscato    d'Asti (but dry) flavor; med.short bracing/acidic dry quite floral/muscat-like Fresca-like (but dry) finish; lots of dissolved CO2 that makes it quite bracing/acidic on the palate; not sure where the muscatty character comes from; a rather strange wine and not sure where it'd fit at table. $18.00 (SFW&S)
  5. DomaineHippolyte Reverdy AC: Sancerre (13.5%; PinotNoir) Chadoux/Verdigny-en-Sancerre 2008: Rather light color; rather Loire/earthy quite lovely floral/violets/Pinot/cinammon/tobaccoy quite perfumey nose; bit tart/lean some earthy/Loire/ mushroomy rather perfumed/fragrant/Pinot/tobaccoy/ violets bit tannic flavor; med.long some earthy/Loire fairly tart/lean quite perfumed/violets/Pinot/ tobaccoy finish; quite a lovely perfumed nose but a bit lean/hard on the palate w/ only hints of the Loire earthiness. $25.00 (AV)
  6. DomaineFaury AC: St.Joseph (VieillesVignes; 13%) 2007: Dark color; very strong roasted/espresso/ coffee/black pepper/ pungent/smokey slight blackberry/Syrah classic NorthernRhone nose; tart bit hard/tannic/lean very strong espresso/roasted/ black pepper/smokey/pungent very light blackberry/ Syrah somewhat light/lean flavor; long strong roasted/peppery/espresso/ pungent/smokey/classic NR slight blackberry/Syrah somewhat lean/thin/tart/bit tannic finish; loads of NorthernRhone/ roasted character but lacks fruit and a bit thin on the palate w/o being elegant; pricey for what it is. $38.00 (AV)
  7. Avanthia Tinto Mencia CuveeMusteiro Dd'O: Valdeorras (14.5%) Galicia 2009: Dark color; very strong grapey/chocolaty/ black cherry/cola/RRV-Pinot-like very strong toasty/Fr.oak/vanilla nose; slightly tart rich/mouthfilling very strong black cherry/chocolaty/RRV-Pinot very strong vanilla/oak/pencilly/toasty rather rustic/tannic flavor; very long intense grapey/black cherry/chocolaty/ripe lush/ripe/rich very strong vanilla/pencilly/toasty/Fr.oak fairly tannic finish; needs several yrs of age; loads of ripe/intense/grapey/ chocolaty slathered w/ new oak; very modern style expression of Mencia; lacks the rough/rustic character many usually show. $28.00 (AV)
  8. Domaine Richou Les 4 Chemins AC: Anjou (13%; CabFranc + CabSauvg) Moze/Louet 2010: Dark color; rather floral/fragrant/ perfumed/cinammon toast fairly earthy/Loire nose; tart quite earthy/dusty/ Loire/damp cellar rather fragrant/perfumed/ cinammon toast/spicy flavor w/ some tannins; long rather tannic/hard quite earthy/dusty/Loire/root cellar strong floral/ fragrant/cinammon toast/spicy finish; quite a nice example of Loire CabFranc w/ an unusual perfume; very good price at $14.50 (PrimaIlC)
  9. SonomaCoastVnyds PinotNoir FreestoneHills/SonomaCoast (72% BellaSonoma/20% Petersen/8% SalmonCreekBlock; Clones: 114/115/667/777/828/Pommard; pH: 3.50; 14.3%; 1952 cs; www.SonomaCoastVineyards.com)  AnthonyAustin/Healdsburg 2009: Med.dark color; very intense ruhbarb/ruhbarb pie quite spicy/bright cherry/black cherry/Pinot some earthy/dusty strong toasty/charred/oak/pungent very fragrant/perfumed quite lovely nose; very tart strong ruhbarb/black cherry/spicy/ cold-climate Pinot strong toasty/pencilly/oak/pungent slight earthy/dusty flavor w/ fair tannins; very long quite tart very strong ruhbarb/black cherry/cherry cola/perfumed/Pinot strong toasty/charred/oak/pencilly finish w/ fair tannins; needs 2-6 yrs; a wonderful example of cold-climate Pinot at a very fair price. $32.00 (SFW&S)
  10. Failla PinotNoir SonomaCoast (13.9%; www.FaillaWines.com) 2010: Dark color; strong toasty/Fr.oak/charred/pungent strong pungent/black cherry/Pinot/black cherry cola/boysenberry nose; tart very rich pungent/toasty/charred/oak intense ripe/ black cherry/boysenberry/licorice/pungent/Pinot rather tannic quite structured flavor; very long strong toasty/Fr.oak/ charred very strong black cherry/Pinot/boysenberry/licorice/pungent slight earthy finish w/ ample tannins; needs 3-8
    yrs of age; a structured cold-climate slightly blocky Pinot at a very good price. $33.00 (SFW&S)

And the usual pandering to the grandstands from the BloodyPulpit:

1. Calera Aligote: The first thing that caught my attention on the wine was the > 6 tons/acre crop level. I was expecting it to be rather watery & dilute. It was not. It had a good blend of the mineral/stoney character I get from French Aligote plus the rich/lush character of Calif.
2. SonomaCoastVnyds: An operation I've followed from the very start. Founded by John&Barbara Drady, but sold several yrs ago to VintageWineEstates, a corporate operation of a number of purchased wineries.

Winemaker is TonyAustin, a person I've followed from the very start. He was the founding winemaker at Firestone, with AndreTschelitchef his consultant. Tony doesn't get the credit he deserves, IMHO, foor his pioneering work w/ Pinot in SantaBarbaraCnty. He then left Firestone (Allison Green followed him) to start his own label and plant his vnyd up in AlisosCanyon, now regarded as one of SantaBarbara's primo vnyd. After a break from winemaking of several yrs, he returned home to SonomaCnty and became winemaker at SCV. Focus is on wines made mostly from the extreme SonomaCoast. The wines are really quite good, if a bit on the pricey side for the Pinots. I was surprised to see SCV turn up here in NM, w/ a reasonable price on this Pinot.


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