Home | Wine Reviews | Wine Journals | Updates

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.

A Few Wines - January 1, 2013

We had MattLatuchie and Summer over for apps and a few wines:

  1. MichelGahier Chard LesFollasses WW AC: Arbois (VendangesManuelles; MeBalP; 12.5%) Montigny-Les-Arsures/Jura 2009: Med.gold color; rather strong stony/mineral/earthy slight nutty/phenolic (skin contact?) very slight grapefruity/Chard nose; very tart/lean/austere/tight/bracing very stony/earthy/mineral/granitic slight lemony/grapefruity/Chard flavor; long lean/tart/austere/almost screechy strong stony/earthy/mineral/granatic very slight lemony/Chard finish w/ slight oxidized/nutty/wet dog fur aftertaste that detracts; a very austere/stony wine that speaks strongly of its terroir and only whispers of Chard; a teeth-chattering acidity that speaks strongly of a mountain-grown white; maybe w/ a bit of skin contact.
  2. ForlornHope TheFaufreluches GWT HillFamilyVnyd/RRV (13.0%; 27 cs) MatthewRorick/Fairfield 2011: Deep gold/bronze color; some light/hair oil/lychee/GWT rather phenolic/orangey/waxy/orange peel rather complex nose; rather tannic/astringent/bitter some phenolic/orangey light GWT/lychee/hair oil tart/tangy; very long/lingering somewhat phenolic/orangey some astringent/tannic light GWT/lychee/hair oil complex finish; somewhat phenolic in character and needs to be served at room temperature to show its best; not a GWT for wusses and quite different from any other GWT; quite an interesting/savory wine. $23.00
  3. Trimbach GWT VendangesTardives AC: Alsace (13.5%) Ribeauville 1999: Deep gold color; very strong spicy/GWT/hair oil slight piney/pungent/smokey lovely complex old GWT nose; soft very rich/lush near dry intense spicy/nutmeg/hair oil/old GWT/cinammon quite complex flavor; very long/lingering strong GWT/hair oil/spicy/nutmeg very rich/lush complex finish w/ a trace of bitterness; not overly sweet like most Alsatian VT GWT's; a beautiful example of a fully mature old Alsatian GWT at a great price. $32.00 (AV)
  4. FamillePeillot Mondeuse AC: Bugey (MeBalP; 12%; Louis/Dressner) Montagnieu 2010: Med.dark purple color; strong black cherry/grapey/Mondeuse/licorice/plummy some earthy/dusty/forest floor slight floral/lilacs classic Savoie Mondeuse nose; fairly tart bit rough/tannic/rustic/earthy/dusty some black cherry/plummy/licorice/Mondeuse flavor; fairly long rough/tart/rustic/earthy/dusty some black cherry/Mondeuse/plummy/forest floor/piney finish; not a lot of Mondeuse fruit and lots of rough/rustic mountain red character; probably not going to get dramatically better; enjoy w/ hearty fare for its rustic character.
  5. JeanBourdy AC: Cotes du Jura (12.5%; Garagiste; Poulsard/Trousseau/PinotNoir) Arlay/Jura 2006:Med.dark color w/ slight bricking; slight bretty/barnyardy/gamey/horsecollar light licorice licorice/plummy/bing cherry little fruit quite earthy/dusty nose; quite tart slight bretty/unclean rather rough/tannic/coarse/earthy/dusty light bing cherry/plummy/spicy/licorice flavor; med.long some bretty/horsecollar/unclean rather earthy/dusty somewhat rough/coarse/tannic very slight bing cherry/plummy/licorice finish; a rather rough/rustic/coarse peasant mountain red.
  6. BernardBaudry LaCroixBoisser AC: Chinon/Loire (MeBalP; 13.5%; CabFranc/CoteauCalcaire; Louis/Dressner) 2006: Med.dark color; classic herbal/licorice/CabFranc somewhat earthy/loamy strong Loire CabFranc nose; fairly soft/smooth some herbal/CabFranc/smokey/plummy rather earthy/loamy slight tannic flavor; very long/lingering slight herbal/CabFranc/licorice smooth somewhat earthy/loamy finish w/ a slight wet dog fur/buttered popcorn/funky aftertaste that distracts; a very nice example of a mature Loire CabFranc but the funky aftertaste is distracting.
  7. Ryme Amphora Aglianico PasoRobles (13.1%; www.RymeCellars.com) Forestville 2010: Dark golden/orange/bronze/slight reddish color; light floral/phenolic/orangey some spicy/cinammon/cranberry rather low-key quite exotic/attractive nose; rich tart dry slight phenolic/orangey quite lush rather low-key/spicy/cinammon/floral/cranberry flavor w/ light tannins; very long rich/lush/tart somewhat spicy/cinammon/floral/cranberry slight phenolic/orangey finish w/ light tannins; very light phenolic character and no signs of oxidation; a rather quiet/low-key rose that is quite exotic/interesting.
  8. Dom.Labet AC: Macvin du Jura (18%) DomaineLabet/Rotalier NV: Deep golden/burnished bronze color; very exotic vanilla/oak/Bourbon orangey/nutty some herbal/thyme/pungent/Kansas hay mow/tea leaves slight woodsy/earthy/soy sauce/smokey/BarBQue sauce somewhat alcoholic quite perfumed very exotic/beautiful/complex nose; very rich/honeyed fairly sweet intense honeyed/orangey almost Vermouth/woodsy some nutty/herbal/thyme/tea leaves/fresh hay mow/dried straw bit alcoholic very complex/exotic flavor; very long/lingering rather sweet/honeyed/rich/grapey some herbal/tea-like/dried straw/thyme/pungent slight Vermouth/woodsy bit vanilla/Bourbon very exotic/complex finish; a very unusual/exotic wine that go best w/ blue cheese and sweet condiments. $37.00
  9. Holredge PinotGris LateHrvst Grace'sCuvee RRV (13.98%; SaH: 38.5 Brix; RS: 12.2%; www.Holdredge.com) John&Carrie Holdredge/Healdsburg 2006: Deep gold/slight browning color; intense botrytis/peachy/apricotty slight volatile slight herbal/hay mow quite honeyed bit toffee fairly complex nose; rather sweet intense botrytis/peachy/apricotty very slight volatile/pickle juice slight herbal/Kansas hay mow fairly tart quite lovely/complex flavor; very long/lingering rather sweet tart very strong botrytis/peachy/apricotty nslight herbal/haymow finish; will easily go another 10 yrs; starting to show some complexity; a lovely dessert wine.
  10. OneHandClapping PinotBlanc LateHrvst BienNacidoVnyd/SantaMariaVlly (13.5%; SaH: 47.2 Brix; RS: 23%) Jim/Morgan/Isabelle/Knox Clendenen/SantaMaria 2005: ark gold/brown/some browning color; very intense apricotty/peachy/peach syrup/fruit cocktail/botrytis very ripe huge botrytis nose; tart quite intense peachy/apricotty/botrytis/canned fruit cocktail fairly sweet flavor; very long/lingering rather sweet huge botrytis/peachy/apricotty some toffee/creme brulee/butterscotchy finish; huge degree of botrytis and not much else; should go another 10-20 yrs; not as interesting as the Holdredge and needs more age to develop that complexity.

And the usual bloviations from the BloodyPulpit:

1. I've known MattLatuchie on several wine boards for a fair number of yrs....followed him from the very start..I did/I did. He was going to be in SantaFe over Christmas to see family and suggested we get together over a glass of wine or two. He was accompained by SummerNelson. Joining us was SalmanHabib and Katrin, two who used to be in my LosAlamos wine group until they moved to Chicago (where Matt&Summer live). Matt brought a bunch of wines I hadn't seen before and was interested in trying. So we spent almost 3 hrs eating/drinking and getting acquainted.
I was aware from his posts that Matt had a blog (http://www.terroirist.com) but had never bothered to look at it. So a spent several hours browsing thru it the next day. Lots of very interesting stuff in it.

With 10 wines for 6 people, there was plenty left over. These notes reflect them after retasting that evening and over the next two days. It's not easy tasting wines at 7:00am in the morning.
2. MacVin du Jura: This is a rather rare wine..one that I'd never tried before. It is grape must that is/may be allowed to ferment a bit and then fortified by local brandy ("mac" in the dialect they use in Jura) up to around 18%, leaving a fair amount of RS in the wine. Exactly as is Pineau de Charentes (PinotNoir), Ratafia (Champagne version), Angelica (traditionally from Mission grape), and Quady Essensia (OrangeMuscat) or Elysium (BlackMuscat). One reference stated that the wine is made from boiled-down must (mosto cotto), but I saw no evidence of that in this wine.
3. ForlornHope: This is, of course, a wine from MattRorick...who specializes in wines made from off-beat (and not so off-beat) varieties that are a "forlorn hope" for any kind of commercial success. He makes his wine at TennbrinkWnry in the SuisunVlly...the same place that AbeSchoener makes his ScholiumProject wines. This GWT was made w/ skin-contact throughout its fermentation...than made in a reductive manner thereon-out. When I first tried this wine upon release, I was struck by its lack of any/much varietal GWT character. It's been my contention that white/gris wines made w/ extensive skin-contact have their varietal character obliterated.
What struck me about this '11 this time around was that it was starting to show some GWT varietal character. Maybe that's a character of skin-contact white/gris wines?? Need to take more data points I guess.
4. Bourdy: His WebSite doesn't identify the cepage on this Cotes du Jura wine. First time I've had this wine, so wasn't sure what to expect. I found it rather amusing that, on his WebSite, he asserts that this wine can be kept 50-60 yrs. Is he kiddin'??? Doesn't have enough oak, doesn't have enough gobs of hedonistic fruit, doesn't have enough alcohol...no way will it go 50-60 yrs.
5. Ryme: This is, of course, Ryan & Megan Glaab. They also produce more conventional wines under the Verse label as well. Followed them from the very start.
They are quite interested in use of Amphorae in making wines. They had a friend who's a potter craft them some amphorae to make this wine. In '10, they made both RibollaGialla (a la Gravner/Radikon) and the Aglianico, from LunaMatta grapes in PasoRobles.
This wine was quite a bit different from what I was expecting. Not quite sure exactly how it was made. I would guess that it was drawn off the skins after a few days and then allowed to ferment in the amphorae. It was not nearly as phenolic in character as I expected. And I picked up little oxidation, so it was clearly not a Gravner/Radikon wanna-be. Whatever they did, it was quite an interesting wine. Will be interesting to see what it ages into.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


Home | Wine Reviews | Wine Journals | Updates

Copyright © 1993 - 2012, Tom Hill- All rights reserved
No original material may be reproduced without written consent
Mail & Comments
- Grape-Nutz
Updated 4.01.12