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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.

Wines of Bokisch & Spain - August 12, 2009


We tried last night (8/12/09) some wines of Bokisch & Spain:

  1. Eleusis Albarino WW DdO: RiasBaixas (12.5%) Maior de Mendoza/Pontevedra 2006: Light gold color;strong citrusy/lime fairly stoney/minerally very attractive classic Albarino nose; very tart
    citrusy/metallic/lime some stoney/minerally flavor; med.short minerally/stoney citric/grapefruity/
    lime finish; a classic clean/minerally Albarino. $20.00
  2. DonOlegario Albarino DdO: RiasBaixas (12.5%) Olegario Falcon Pineiro/Pontavedra 2006: Med.gold
    color; slight herbaceous/cabbagy light floral/pineapply bit pungent riper nose; much softer/
    lusher bit pungent/cabbagy slight metallic light floral/pineapple/honeysuckle slight stoney
    flavor; long some pungent/cabbagy bit herbal/metallic light floral finish; some nice things but
    a bit too pungent/cabbagy; seems riper/richer/lusher. $21.50
  3. BokischVnyds Albarino LasCerezasVnyd/MokelumneRiver/Lodi (14%; www.BokischVineyards.com)
    : Pale yellow color; strong floral/lime/citric light stoney/minerally very attractive nose;
    tart bit lean rather floral/citric/lime rather stoney/minerally slight earthy flavor; long citric/
    floral/lime some minerally/stoney finish; a classic Albarino w/ lovey floral scents. Varietally
    correct & a great price. $16.00
  4. BokischVnyds Albarino TerraAltaVnyd/ClementsHills/Lodi (14%) Markus&Liz Bokisch/Lockeford/CA
    : Med.yellow color; riper/lusher flral/pineapply almost Viognier/floral very attractive nose;
    softer/riper but still tart floral/pineapply/peach blossom slightly GWT/hair oil-like light stoney
    flavor; long ripe/floral/pineapple almost pear/Viog finish; almost Viognier-like in aromatics and
    flavor; great acidity & balance but not the minerality of the LasCerezas; a lovely/beautiful/
    perfumed white at a great price. $16.00
  5. BokischVnyds GarnachaBlanca VistaLunaVnyd/BordenRanch/Lodi (14.5%) 2008: Pale yellow color; strong floral/honeysuckle/perfumed/aromatic slight pear/watermelon/peach blossom bit spicy lovely nose;
    soft rich/lush floral/honeysuckle/pineapple slight spicy/bacon textured flavor; very long soft/lush/
    ripe floral/honeysuckle/pineapply textured finish; softer & rounder but good acidity & balance.
    Not as soft/fat/porky as some GrenacheBlancs. great price at $18.00
  6. TablasCreekVnyd PasoRobles GrenacheBlanc (15.3%; www.TablasCreek.com; EG) 2005: Light gold color;slight herbal/floral/gout de petrol/Oz-riesling lovely/perfumed/aromatic nose; soft very gout de petrol/Oz-riesling slight pineapply/floral very attractive flavor; long petrol/Oz-riesling lightly floral/
    pineapply lovely finish; very little GrenacheBlanc character and much more like a very good Oz-
    riesling w/o the severe acidity; a beautiful wine at a great/mis-marked price. $16.00
  7. BokischVnyds Graciano MokelumneRiver/Lodi (14.5%; 375 cs) Novato/CA 2006: Dark color; strong floral/perfumed/aromatic/black cherry slighhht herbal/earthy/licorice almost Mondeuse-like or Refosco-like
    beautiful nose; soft/lush bit tannic black cherry/licorice/perfumed Refosco-like flavor; very long bit tannic licorice/black cherry/DrPepper/floral slight earthy finish; a lovely/serious red that reminds me of Mondeuse w/o the hard tannins and some like Refosco w/ it's round/lush fruit; a very interesting wine w/ little Lodi terroir. $26.00
  8. BokischVnyds Garnacha ClementsHills/Lodi (14.5%; 400 cs) 2007: Light color; very fragrant/strawberry/alpine strawberry very perfumed/aromatic bright lovely nose; tart bright/zippy strawberry/alpine strawberry/perfumed flavor; long very bright/vibrant strawberry/Grenache slight earthy finish w/light tannins; a lovely drinkable bright/zippy Grenache at a great price. $18.00
  9. Grego Garnacha Centanaria DdO: Vinos de Madrid (14.5%; 100+ yr old vines) Vinos Jeromin 2005:
    Med.color; some earthy/dusty dull/fruity/black cherry/cola nose; soft bit hard/tannic earthy/dusty/
    black cherry/cola flavor; med.long rather tough/tannic/astringent earthy/dusty black cherry cola/
    Grenache finish; a bit on the dull side and pretty hard/tannic on the palate. $14.50
  10. AltoMancayo Garnacha DdO: Compo de Borja (16%) 2006: Dark color; quite alcoholic/hot/fumey very
    intense toasty/oak/vanilla little fruit nose; soft/fat alcoholic/hot very strong vanilla/toasty/
    smokey/oak slight black cherry/Grenache fruit flavor; med.long hot/fumey toasty/smokey/vanilla/oak
    slight black cherry/Grenache finish w/ some tannins; a classic Millerized Spanish red; some
    Priorat-like fruit underneath wave after wave of oak and alcohol; way overpriced at $50.00
  11. Borsao RW DdO: Campo de Borja (75% Garnacha/25% Tempranillo; 14%) Borja 2008: Dark color; very strong grapey/black cherry cola some earthy bit oaked somewhat fumey/alcoholic nose; soft/lush very grapey/black cherry/cola little tannic bit earthy flavor; soft/lush/fat black cherry/cola/Temp finish
    w/ little tannins; lots of lush/fat/porky/grapey character; good wine for the price. $10.00
  12. Palacios Remondo Propiedad DdOC: Rioja (14%) 2005: Very dark color; very strong toasty/oak slight
    mousey/funky/musty slight black cherry/Temp nose; tart bit tannic/hard/astringent black cherry/Temp/
    ripe slight toasty/oak flavor; long slight funky/mousey light toasty/oak some black cherry/Temp
    finish; good modern-style Riooja but bit on the pricey side. $35.00
  13. BokischVnyds Tempranillo Jahant/Lodi (13.85%; 400 cs) 2006: Dark color; strong black cherry/Temp/bright/spicy slight earthy/rustic some perfumed nose; tart bit hard/tannic strong black cherry/Temp/cola bit earthy/dusty/rustic flavor; long some earthy/tannic/hard strong black cherry/Temp finish; needs several yrs of age; not quite the brightness of the Verdad but one of the better Temps from Calif. $21.00
  14. PantheonCllrs Panthos Lodi Lot06 (37% Syrah/LaRozaVnyd/BordenRanch; 35% PS/18%Syrah/
    BelleCollineVnyd/ClementsHills; 10% Mourvedre/SilvaspoonsVnyds/AltaMesa; 15.0%; www.PanthosWine.com) NV (2006)
    : Very dark/black color; some toasty/charred/oak bit Rhonish/mocha/smokey very strong blackberry/Syrah slight coffee/espresso boysenberry slight earthy very interesting/attractive nose; big/rich/soft strong toasty/roasted/espresso rather tannic strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry flavor; very long bit tannic toasty/espresso/coffee strong blackberry/Syrah/blueberry finish; needs 3-6 yrs; no Lodi red character and very much like a Paso/Westside blend, like Saxum or VillaCreek;veasily the best Lodi red I've ever had; this is serious Rhone blend; ambitiously priced for Lodi but not out of line relative to other Calif Rhone blends. Amazing wine. $45.00
  15. KlinkerBrickWnry OldGhost OldVine Zin (15.5%) 2005: Very dark color w/ slight bricking; strong
    blackberry/Zin rather chocolaty/ripe/earthy/dusty some Lodi terroir nose; soft/fat slightly sour
    somewhat tannic/extracted chocolaty/ripe/blackberry/Zin flavor; med.long rather extracted/tannic
    chocolaty/blackberry/Zin earthy/dusty finish; shows ample classic Lodi terroir and dusty/old vine
    character; structured but a bit on the overextracted side; not worth the $39.00
  16. FincaSandoval DdO: Manchuela (76% Syrah, 13% Mourvedre, 11% Bobal; 14.0%) 2005: Black color; strong blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry bit toasty/oak somewhat earthy/rustic nose; soft/rich/lush strong blackberry/Syrah bit hard/tannic/sour some toasty/oak biit earthy/dusty/rustic flavor; med.long
    strong blackberry/Syrah light toasty/smokey/oak somewhat hard/tannic/astringent/rough earthy finish;
    pretty interesting Syrah that I thought was from SantaBarbara, maybe an Ojai. Larry's mystery. $26.00

And the usual BloodyPulpit:

And the usual BloodyPulpit:
1. Bokisch Albarino: I was simply dumbfounded by the quality of these wines. They had a great acidity and balance and amazing aromatics. I loved both of these wines, for different reasons. The LasCerezas was as varietal correct Albarino as you can get. The TerraAlta didn't speak so much of Albarino, but was a very exotic white. Amazingly good for the price.
2. Graciano: This is one of the minor varieties that is used in the blend of Riojas. I was quite taken
by this wine and the way it resembled both Mondeuse and Refosco. I'd be interested in knowing why they happened to bring back Graciano....not an obvious choice for Calif. I gather Graciano is
not prized in Rioja because of its miserly yields. There is more grown in the Languedoc/Rousillon
region, where it's called Morrastel...not to be confused w/ the Spanish Monastrell (Mourvedre).
3. Bokisch: A winery started about 2000 by Liz & Markus Bokisch. His parentage is half Spanish and
he spent summers w/ relatives in Spain. Hence the focus on Spanish varietals. He was formerly the
vnyd manager at JosephPhelpsVnyds. Since the Eastern foothills of Lodi reminded him of his days in
Spain, they purchased land and planted there.
I'd read some good reviews by KenZinns of their wines, so Bokisch was on my radar. After last
week's Odisea wines made such an impression, I thought I'd give them a test drive.
And, like last week's Odisea, these Bokisch wines completely changed my mind as to what Lodi
can produce. They had a brightness and vibrant character that completely belied their Lodi wines;
not waht I'd come to expect from Lodi. These are wines worth trying.
4. Lodi: I was quite struck by the quality of the Odisea wines, primarily from Lodi. I was equally
impressed by these Bokisch and Panthos wines. As last week, my people entered the tasting w/ low expectations. This is Lodi wine...how good can that be?? Again, they were mightly impressed by what we tasted. Easily the best wines I've ever had from Lodi.
After this tasting, I decided it's time to quit cutting Lodi so much slack. One of the things that
always gets my dander up is when some young guy will come up to me after a bout and say "You're a pretty good fencer at epee". I'll then admonish him to finish his sentence...."for an old guy"...which is usually what they're thinking. (and I won't tell you what I was thinking after a bout where I blew away this young USC kid and he said afterwards as we shook hands..."Good job, Pops"!!) Over the last few yrs, when I've tasted a Lodi wine, I've often thought in my head or stated out loud...."That's a pretty good wine". But in the back of my mind is usually the rest of the sentence..."for a Lodi wine". Well....I think it's time to drop that last phrase. Now it's going to be..."That's a pretty good wine". Stop/fini/period/end of discussion. That's it....no more slack for Lodi. Their quality can stand on its own.
5. Panthos: JonBjork had noted some of my recent posts on Lodi wines and contacted me to thank me. I
noted his PantheonCllrs tag line and noted their focus on Rhone-style reds, so inquired about his wine. Soon a sample btl was on its way to try.
Jon writes a blog on Lodi (www.lodinews.com/blogs/wineguy/) that I found pretty interesting.
This wine was labeled Lot06 because it was their 06 release. It is mostly 2006 wine, but it has
a bit over 5% of '07 wine therein, so can't (legally) be labeled 2006.


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