Monday, August 23, 2010

Laird Pinot Noir 2007 "Ghost Ranch"

I love a good Pinot Noir and I found one in Laird Pinot Noir 2007. The wine came from Ghost Ranch in the Carneros which is a wonderful AVA that straddles both Napa and Sonoma and known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (think Burgundy). The wine looks lovely in the glass, a light clean garnet. The nose was medium (-) intensity delivering cherries, rapsberry, a little strawberry and just a touch of earthiness that I really like in my Pinot Noir. The wine is medium (-) bodied, juicy acidity, almost mouthwatering with just enough smooth tannins to create a fine medium length finish. A juicy, subtle (for California) experience that I really enjoyed.

Number of wines reviewed in 2010: 110

Mason Sauvignon Blanc 2007 "Napa"

Dang it's been hot, so here we go for something nice and cool. The latest selection is Mason Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2007, a well-reviewed Sauvignon Blanc (Wine Spectator 90, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 88). Well, it was nice but it was a little bit of a disappointment... not bad, but a while the components were nice (pretty color, nice nose of pineapple, citrus and hints of grass), the oral experience was a letdown. I felt it wine coat my tongue due to a lack of acidity. There just wasn't enough acid in the wine to bring the flavors out, rather leaving them flat. A little sad, I was so looking forward to a refreshing experience.

Number of wines reviewed on 2010: 109

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beckman Grenache 2006

I'm missing the wineries of the Santa Ynez area. While searching through my holdings I came across this bottle which brought back so many memories of travels to the that area and to Beckman Vineyards in particular. Since it's first offering Beckman has been a producer of extremely well made Rhone varietals. Their Syrahs tend to be superb so this Grenache should not disappoint... and it it didn't. This wine is made from 100% Grenache from the Purisima Mountain Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley, barrel aged in 100% neutral oak so you get the full varietal experience. The nose on here is beautiful, full of red fruits (strawberry is the standout for me with maybe a little cranberry) along with a touch of vanilla. The wine is medium acidity, medium bodied with lovely black cherry along with hints of dark chocolate and spiciness on the tongue. Well made, well balanced, medium/(+) length finish all made this a lovely wine. If you have a bottle, drink it now.

Number of wines reviewed in 2010: 108

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Schloss Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner 2008

The August 2010 issue of Wine Enthusiast boldly stated on its cover "If you like Pinot Grigio you'll love Gruner Veltliner". Well, I do like Pinot Grigio, its light citrus notes and crisp acidity makes for a beautiful wine on a hot summer afternoon so I wondered if I really would love Gruner Veltliner. The Gruner Veltliner grape is found mainly in Austria and the Czech Republic and is made into white wines of many different styles, most of which are meant to be consumed young. The wine I selected to take up the Wine Enthusiast challenge was the 2008 Schloss Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner. This wine was light lemon in the glass and though it may have been a trick of the light seemed to have a light sparkle in my glass. The nose was very nice bringing to mind pear, hints of lemon peel and a few spicy notes that made me think crisp but surprising with some body (go figure). What the wine delivered to the palate was exactly that... medium/(-) body, medium-to-medium(+) acidity, spicy pears and just a little citrus combining to a medium/(-) length crisp finish. Do I love Gruner Veltliner? Can't quite say that, haven't tried the different styles but I can say they were right, this is a very easy wine to branch out to for something different. If you like Pinot Grigio or even the Kabbinet style German Riesling, give this wine a try on a hot afternoon... you won't be disappointed.

Number of wines reviewed in 2010: 107