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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.

Odd Bunch of New Wines - March 6, 2013

We tried last night (3/6/13) an odd bunch of Some More New Wines:

  1. LaValentina bianco fiano IGT: Fiano Colline Pescaresi (13%; www.DallaTerra.com) Spoltore/Marche 2011:
    Light gold color; rather earthy/stony/wet pavement slight nutty verl light floral/grapefruity/citric rather pleasant nose; fairly tart stony/earthy/wet pavement light nutty/grapefruity/citric pleasant/ simple flavor; med. grapefruity/citric/lemony/nutty mostly stony/earthy finish; a rather pleasant/ quaffable white if a bit short on the fruit; pricey at $27.50 (KK)
  2. Harrington Fiano FratelliVnyd/SantaClaraCnty (13.5%) 2011: Med.light gold color; light toasty/oak/ smokey some floral/marigolds/perfumed talc some stony/mineral/chalky quite interesting/attractive nose; some toasty/charred/smokey/oak rather floral/marigolds/pungent/perfumed talk fairly tart/ tangy bit stony/mineral attractive flavor; rather tart some charred/toasty/smokey/oak rather tangy/ grapefruit/lemony/citric some floral/marigold/pungent light stony finish; quite an interesting white that speaks more of Calif white but has that underlying sony minerality of Fiano w/o being lean & eviscerated like many are. $25.00
  3. GoldenPoint SantaYnezVlly (64% Roussanne/21% Chard/15% SauvBlanc; 14.1%; www.StolpmanVineyards.com) Orcutt 2010: Med.gold color; fairly strong Rouss/floral/honeysuckle some herbal/SB slight pungent light toasty/oak rather attractive nose; slightly soft fairly rich/lush rather floral/honeysuckle/ Rouss slight herbal/SB light lemony/oak flavor; med.long soft/rich/lush strong floral/honeysuckle/ honeyed light herbal/pungent/SB some caramel/toasty/oak/lemony finish; quite an attractive white that speaks mostly of Roussanne. Very fairly priced at $nc (BS)/$20.00
  4. Bergerie de l'Hortus Classique IGP: Pays du Val de Montferrand (13%; EricSolomon/EuropeanCllrs;
    Chardonnay 30%, Sauvignon 30%, Viognier 30%, Roussanne 10%) Vignobles Orliac/Valflaunes/PicStLoup/
    Languedoc 2010: Med.gold color; lovely quite perfumed/floral/mango/apple/pear some orangey/citric/
    lemony/grapefruity somewhat spicy/nutmeg lovely aromatic nose; fairly tart/lean quite citric/ grapefruity /lemony some perfumed/mango/floral/pear spicy bit light flavor; med. lemony/citric/ grapefruity rather perfumey/floral /mango/pear rather light/delicate finish; lacks the coarse character many Languedoc whites show; almost Calif in style; quite an attractive if lightweight white at a good price. $17.50 (KK)
  5. AuBonClimat Chaparral Chard Reserve Cuvee (13.5%) 2010: Med.gold color; fairly attractive light toasty /oak/smokey light/low-key/melonu/Chard slight earthy pleasant nose; bit soft light/pleasant melony/ Chard light toasty/oak flavor; med. pleasant melony/Chard light earthy light toasty/oak bit tangy/grapefruity/metallic finish; not a very impressive Chard for ABC but rather pleasant and fairly priced; not sure what makes it a "Reserve Cuvee". $nc (BS)/$15.00
  6. Harrington GrenacheBlanc 1010 Vnyd/PasoRobles (14.2%) 2011: Med.gold color; beautiful very fragrant/
    perfumed very strong GB/floral/honeysuckle/honeyed slight yeasty/fresh bread/waxy very aromatic nose;  slightly tart quite rich/lush very strong floral/honeysuckle/GB slight yeasty/WonderBread light spicy/ nutmeg powerfully aromatic flavor; very long rich/lush/textured very floral/honeysuckle/GB light yeasty/WonderBread/fresh bread light spicy/nutmeg finish; quite rich GB but an underlying structure and not as soft.mooshy as many Paso GB/Roussannes; amazing aromatics and one of the best GB's I've had this yr; attractively priced at $25.00
  7. Saint Cosme Appellation Protegee: Cotes du Rhone (14%; Syrah) Louis et Cherry Barruol/StCosme/ Gigondas 2011: Very dark color; very strong meaty/Syrah/blackberry/gamey bit mineral/pungent/smokey some
    NorthernRhone/roasted beautiful nose; some tannic/hard/rough strong blackberry/Syrah/gamey/meaty some roasted/Rhonish bit mineral/earthy/pungent flavor; very long bit hard/tannic/angular strong blackberry/   Syrah/spicy some NR/roasted/gamey/earthy/mineral finish; not your typical CdR and more NothernRhone   than CdR; very structured and needs 2-6 yrs of age; an absolute steal at $11 (WineExchange). $17.00 (WF)
  8. Domaine GeorgesVernay Sainte Agathe AC: CdR (12.5%) Condrieu 2006: Dark color; strong roasted/Rhonish/
    espresso/smokey/gamey rather NorthernRhone bit alcoholic slight bretty some blackberry/Syrah rather
    complex nose; fairly strong NRhonish/gamey/smokey/roasted/espresso strong blackberry/Syrah bit
    earthy/mineral some tannic/hard flavor; very long NorthRhonish/smokey/gamey/roasted fairly blackberry/
    Syrah somewhat earthy/mineral/granitic finish w/ some tannins; not your usual blowsey CdR; quite
    structured and needs another 3-8 yrs; kinda pricey for a CdR but a real bargain for a NorthernRhone.
    $30.00 (KK)
  9. Tikves Vranec SpecSlctn Macedonia (14%; www.EuropeanCellars.com) Winemaker: PhilippeCambie 2010:
    Very dark color; strong very ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/framboise/raspberry/Zin-like bit licorice/ chocolaty slight earthy/dusty bit alcoholic nose; strong blackberry/boysenberry/jammy/framboise some earthy/dusty chocolaty/licorice quite ripe bit alcoholic flavor w/ rather hard tannins; very long rather hard/tannic intense blackberry/boysenberry/jammy/chocolaty/Zin-like light earthy/dusty finish; very much like a ripe/overripe Zin from Lodi but w/ hard tannins; needs a few yrs yet; a real steal at $11.00 (KK)
  10. Bouza Tannat (Vnyds: LasVioletas & Melilla; 13.8%; #3912 of 23,523 btls; www.BodegaBouza.com;
    www.SouthernWineGroup.com) Winemaker: Dr.Eduardo Boido Chacras del Sur/Montevideo/Uruguay 2009:

    Very dark/near black color; huge vanilla/Am.oak/pencilly/dill very strong licorice/plummy/Mourv-like/
    very ripe nose; very soft/fat very strong vanilla/Am.oak/dill/pencilly strong plummy/licorice/
    Mourv-like/chocolaty flavor w/ light/soft tannins; med.long intense/pencilly/vanilla/Am.oak rather
    chocolaty/plummy/licorice/Mourv-like soft/mushy light tannic finish; not the structure or tannins
    of a good Tannat and way too much Am.oak. $19.50 (KK)
  11. EdmundsStJohn Syrah PeayVnyd/SonomaCoast (14.9%) 2001: Dark color w/ little bricking; slight burning metal/pungent/ozone/graphite nose that clears to cedary/pencilly/old red some blackberry/ Syrah/spicy slight smokey/roasted/Rhonish interesting/complex nose; tart/lean/hard some roasted/ Rhonish/meaty bit dried-out/tannic light blackberry/Syrah rather cedary/pencilly/old red complex flavor; fairly long tart/hard light blackberry/Syrah/spicy some roasted/Rhonish/pungent/smokey rather cedary/pencilly/old red finish w/ some astringent/drying tannins; some interesting Rhonish character but seems to be a bit dried-out/tired.

And more bloviations from the BloodyPulpit:

1. Tikves: I've had the Rikatsiteli any number of times and thought it a quite pleasant white. This was my first go at their red. Vranac (Dark black or Black Stallion) is indigenous to the Balkans and most at home in Montenegro. It is, in fact, an off-spring of Tribidrag (Zinfandel). The resemblance of this wine to Zin was uncanny. Definitely on the ripe side, it reminded me a lot of Lodi Zin, but not as soft/gooshy and rather more structured.
2. Tannat: Outside of Madiran, Uruguay has, by far, the largest plantings of Tannat in the world. It was introduced in the late-1800's where it was named Harriague, probably after the Basque settler who brought it over from France. This was not one of the better Tannats I've had.
3. StCosme: I had this StCosme'11 several months ago when I spotted it on a wine list in Taos and was rather impressed by it. Tried it again a month ago as was again impressed. Finally it showed up at retail but quickley vanished. Distributor ran out. But was able to find it at WineXchange at a terrific price, so we got another 2 cs. I'm not a very big fan of most CdR's because I'm not a big Grenache fan. But this is mostly/all Syrah and not your usual CdR. A terrific CdR it is.
4. StAgathe: Another very atypical CdR. Made from 100% Syrah grown just north of Condrieu.
5. GoldenPoint: This is a new wine from Stolpman, supposedly all from their Estate grapes. Not quite sure why the Orcutt address as the Stolpman wnry is in Lompoc (last I knew).
6. Harrington GB: This is probably the best white from BryanHarrington I've yet had. Wonderful
aromatics on it. On most Saturday mornings, my Dad would make his way down to Strausser   Hardware in Rosedale to get supplies for his weekend projects. It was a classic old-timey   hardware store the likes of which you never see anymore (thank you, TrueValue Hardware) with   bins & bins of various nails and screws....you could buy anything there...and, like a great   book store...it smelled "right". But the high point of those Saturday excursions was the   Strausser parking lot right hard-by the huge Hostess WonderBread bakery. It (the bakery) exhuded this wonderful yeasty aroma of fresh-baked WonderBread. When you'd peel off the end sticker of   a fresh loaf of WonderBread and opened the bag..that same yeasty aroma would come wafting out   out for just a second and then would be gone. True....the stuff tasted like very soft styrofoam..   but that aroma I associate w/ WonderBread stirs some very fond memories (as NealRosenthal   sez: "the finest of wines pave the path to memories"). I was finding some of that same fresh-baked   WonderBread aromas in this wine. Harrington GrenacheBlanc ===> WonderBread...the ultimate   accolade for any wine....the marketing potential boggles the mind!!!


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


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