Monday, January 5, 2009

Return To Santa Ynez Wine Country - Part Two

The afternoon of the first day took us to the winery that my beau had longed to return to... Beckman. He didn't want to return just for the wine (Beckman is often noted as a winery to watch). No, he wanted to come back because of the Aussie that caught his eye when we were last there. Alas, "Patrick" had moved on to another winery, so we had to settle for the lovely wines. Here the tasting was of seven wines:

  • 2007 Purisima Mountain Sauvignon Blanc: lots of tropical fruits and apricot on the nose, but I think the nose overpromised the palate. I found the finish to be a bit on the short side, the experience being a flash of potential but failing to follow through.

  • 2006 Purisima Marsanne: Relecting a Northern Rhone approach this white contains 20% Roussanne in the final blend creating a creamy, clean wine of peachy notes and a nice minerality. Didn't knock my socks off but a good wine nonetheless.

  • 2006 Estate Grenache. I enjoyed this Grenache more than I did at Bridlewood. Strawberry jam and hints of oak with a touch of pepper. A very versatile wine, very nicely made.

  • 2006 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Aged for about 19 months in a combination of new and neutral barrels, this wine brought aromas of dried cranberries and flavors of chocolate and spicy cloves. My one complaint was that the finish seemed way too short for a wine with this much promise. Good, but coming up a little "short" to this taster.

  • 2007 Estate Syrah: I agreed with Cory when he said "pot roast" (a hint of gaminess I think). Black fruit, smoke, black pepper and solid tannins all combine to make a big wine that definitely benefits from decanting and shows good cellaring aspects.

  • 2006 Purisima Mountain Syrah: Here we get Beckman at their best. Spicy chocolate strawberries, gives the impression of being "hot" until you take that sip and get wonderful rich mouthfeel and soft texture to aid the fruit and acid tapering out to a long, delicious finish.

  • 2005 Purisima: A blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah the notes said "This wine captures the soul of Purisima Mountain". If that is true what a wonderful soul it has. Chocolate covered raspberries, blackberries and cherries with a hint of smoke and spice that literally evolves in the mouth from very good to excellent and a lingering finish that is hard to interrupt for the next taste (but go ahead, you know you want to).

    With my disappointed beau in tow we went to our final winery for the day, Gainey. Gainey makes solid, reliable wines and they did not disappoint. The only kink was two of the pourers called out sick so one person was doing the pouring for the rather large group, so "Tio Ely" and I batted our eyes at our significant others and off they went to stand in line for us to get each subsequent pour. While there we tasted:

  • 2007 Limited Selection Riesling: A touch of residual sugar shaped up nicely with the good acid of this wine. The nose is greated with floral fragrances (mainly Honeysuckle) and apricot. The palate tasted peach, pears, spice and a touch of minerality on the finish. A nice, well-made Riesling.

  • 2006 Limited Selection Sauvignon Blanc: 50% barrel fermentation with 8 months barrel fermentation makes this Sauvignon Blanc a little different than those we had tasted. Hints of melon and pineapple are present, a slighly creamier texture than the typical Sauvignon Blanc. The palate picks up a little citrus towards the mineraly finish.

  • 2006 Limited Selection Chardonnay: 100% barrel fermented, 11 months barrel aged in 45% new oak. This is a California Chardonnay (but not in a bad way). Intense, complex aromas and flavors that keep popping up as this taster continued through the pour. Light toasty oak, almost creme brulee or butterscotch. Fruits appeared... mostly peach and mango with a touch of apple and I recall a little peach. Good acidity with a lingering minerality on the finish makes this a wonderful wine.

  • 2005 Limited Selection Merlot: Gainey does a nice Merlot. Spending 21 months in oak makes for a nice complex wine. Chocolate, toasted hazelnuts, black cherries all together made for a wonderful mouthful of well-made Merlot wine.

  • 2006 Limited Selection Pinot Noir: Again, hints of the oak come through but not in a bad way. Raspberry, cherries, maybe a hint of tea and spice on the nose combine to make the mouth want a sip. That sip brings excellent acidity with the above mentioned fruits and soft tannins for an enjoyable experience.

    Unfortunately I don't have my notes so I don't remember the rest of what we tried. If you have had Gainey or if you like most of your wines to have a kiss of oak then you will enjoy what they produce.

    After Gainey it was time to check in to the motel (my tradition, The Windmill Inn as featured in Sideways) for a clean up and a short walk to dinner at the delicious Hitching Post 2!

    Next up... day two!
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Hitching post?
    Wasn't that featured in "Sideways"?
    My favorite episode in Sideways was the one involving the waitress, the tow truck driver and the wallet. You need more juicy stuff like that. The wine is a bit dry.