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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.

Some New Wines - September 30, 2009


We tried (9/30/09) Some New Wines:

  1. Navarro Dry Riesling AndersonVlly (13.4%) 2004: Med.gold color; lovely floral/R bit Mosel valve oil/
    gout de petrol slight pineapple nose; soft/lush ripe/floral/R rather pineapply/perfumed talc flavor;
    long very ripe floral/pineapple/perfumed talc finish; would like a bit more acidity; a lovely nose
    w/ some petrol character but a bit simple/pineapply on the palate.
  2. BrunoVerdi Riesling Renano VignaCodat DOC: OltrepoPavese (12.5%) Canneto/Pavese 2007: Med.gold color; rather earthy/minerally/chalky slight petrol/celery seed very light floral nose; very
    dry/austere chalky/minerally bit earthy/dusty slight petrol very light floral/pineapple flavor;
    med.long dry/austere some minerally/chalky/petrol very light floral/fruit finish; probably needs
    5-10 yrs of age; more about minerals than fruit; interesting rendition of Riesling. $16.00
  3. I Dania di Montalto Roncobianco Riesling DOC: OltrepoPavese (13%) 2004: Med.gold color; quite
    earthy/minerally/stoney very light floral/pineapple/weakly Riesling nose; tart fairly rich quite austere/ minerally/stoney/earthy very weak floral/pineapple flavor; med.long tart rich very austere/stoney/earthy weak Riesling/floral finish; more about earth & stones than fruit; interesting but just that.
  4. Terre Bianche DOC: Alghero Torbato (12.5%) Sella&Mosca/Sardegna 2006: Light gold color; slight Malvasia/floral/muscatty bit rat poisen/insecticide attractive nose; soft earthy/floral some Malvasia/muscatty rather perfumed/fragrant flavor; med.long soft floral/Malvasia some earthy finish; bit on the soft side but a lovely Malvasia-like perfume to it. $22.00
  5. AndrewLane GamayNoir NapaVlly (Planted over 3 decades ago; www.AndrewLaneWines.com;
    13.5%) NV
    : Med.light color; strong earthy/grapey/loamy bit spicy/cinammon slighht herbal/bannana oil
    pleasant nose; soft grapey/earthy/loamy some strawberries/grapey bit bannana oil/Beaujolais flavor;
    med.short grapey/strawberries some earthy/loamy finish w/ little tannins; pleasant rendition of
    a Beaujolais, but lacks brightness. $18.00
  6. Dubost Negrette SanBenitoCnty (14.5%; 100 cs; www.DubostWine.com) 2004: Dark color; very strong toasted coconut/ZagNutBar/oak slight earthy/dusty/black cherry/gamey/earthy rather volatile/EA little fruit nose; tart very strong toasted coconut/ZagNut slight earthy/loamy/black cherry fairly tannic/dusty flavor; med.long strong toasted coconut/oak/ZagNut sligt black cherry raather earthy/dusty finish w/ fair tannins; rather rustic peasant red. Overpriced at $45.00.
  7. Dubost HomesteadRed RW (60% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre; 15.2%; 300cs) 2006: Med.dark color; attractive black cherry/cherry bit toasty/oak slight blackberry/plummy/jammy slight earthy fairly strong toasty/oak nose; tart some black cherry/cherry/plummy some toasty/oak/vanilla bit tannic flavor; med.long cherry/black cherry/plummy strong toasty/oak finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs; though fairly oaky it's quite a nice wine aat a very good price. $16.00
  8. Dubost Tempranillo PasoRobles (StarrRanch; 14.5%; 125 cs) 2006: Med.dark color; rather musty/TCA/mousey/corked light perfumed talc nose; rather musty/TCA very slight perfumed talc some tannic flavor; hard/tannic no-fruit pretty musty/mousey finish; pretty much robbed of everything by the TCA. $28.00
  9. DryCreekVnyd BeesonRanch Zin DryCreekVlly (5 acre, 8 acre planted in the 1890's; 15.0%;
    www.DryCreekVineyard.com) 2006
    : Med.dark color; very strong bright/zippy/raspberry/blackberry/Zin bit peppery old vines/dusty slight vanilla/coconut/oak lovely nose; tart very bright/vibrant/raspberry/
    blackberry/Zin slight peppery/licorice some dusty/old vines flavor; very long spicy/blackberry/
    raspberry/Zin light vanilla/oak slight licorice/peppery finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs;
    a lovely classic DryCreekVlly Zin. $34.00
  10. Outpost HowellMtn Zin (Winemaker: ThomasRiversBrown; 16.2%; www.OutpostWines.com) 2006: Dark color; strong toasty/oak/charred some earthy slight overripe strong blackberry/Zin nose; hot/alcoholic/fumey rather hard/tannic/raspy strong toasty/charred/oak some blackberry/Zin flavor; med.long rather fumey/alcoholic quite toasty/charred/oak w/ a hard/tannic finish; very structured and badly needs age but not certain where it will go; not raisened or pruney but any fruit is covered by all the oak. A gamble at $46.00
  11. LinneCalado Leona's PasoRobles (62% Zin, 30% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre; www.LinneCalado.com;
    15.3%) 2005
    : Dark color; attractive peppery/spicy/plummy bit fumey/alcoholic slight earthy/funky
    rather interesting nose; soft very attractive plummy/blackberry/Zin peppery/spicy bit black cherry cola
    very perfumed/aromatic beautiful flavor; very long very spicy/blackberry/Zin/plummy/black cherry cola
    some cracked black pepper some tannic finish; a beautiful Zin w/ lots of peppery character. $44.00
  12. FourVines thePeasant PasoRobles (33% Mourvedre/30% Syrah/25% Grenache/7% Counoise/
    5% Tannat; 1396 cs; 15.3%; "Temperance, Like Chastity, is its own punishment";
    www.FourVines.com) 2007
    : Dark color; classic plummy/Mourvedre some black cherry quite perfumed/fragrant nose; soft/rich/lush ripe very plummy/Mourv some black cherry/cola flavor; soft/fat lush/rich/ripe very plummy/Mourv finish w/ light tannins; bit lacking in structure but loads of ripe/plummy/Mourv character; bit pricey at $37.50
  13. NuganEstate ManukaGroveVnyd Durif SouthEasternAustralia (14%) Willbriggie/NSW 2003: Very dark/black color; some menthol/eucalyptus attractive peppery/spicy/blackberry some vanilla/Am.oak very Oz-like nose; soft/ripe strong black cherry/cola/DrPepper/root beer rather vanilla/Am.oak slight eucalyptus very Oz-like flavor; long rather vanilla/Am.oak some DrPepper/licorice ripe black cherry cola finish w/ fair
    tannins; needs 2-5 yrs; very Oz-like in character & structure but very attractive/interesting rendition
    of PS. $26.00
  14. FourVines Heretic PetiteSirah PasoRobles (14.8%; 1400 cs; www.FourVines.com) 2007: Very dark/black color; very strong plummy/licorice/milk of magnesia ripe/chocolaty/jammy/blackberry nose; soft very lush plummy/licorice/black cherry/blackberry ripe/jammy flavor; long soft/fat very ripe/jammy/ blackberry/PS slight pungent/licorice/chocolaty finish w/ light tannins; quite a nice/atypical version of PS; bit pricey at $38.00
  15. Ridge Calif Alicante PaganiVnyd (23% Zin; SonomaVlly; 13.5%; 32 brls; Drk: 2/96-2/01: PD) 1994: Dark color w/ slight bricking; some bretty/horsecollar beautiful/complex root beer/black cherry rather dusty/earthy/old vine bit rustic/gamey rather complex nose; soft very lush root beer/black cherry/DrPepper dusty/old vines some gamey slight bretty/horsecollar flavor; very long slight tannic/rough lushroot beer/black cherry dusty/old vines complex finish; maybe starting downhill but in great shape.
    Sterbenz mystery wine.

And the usual stuff from the BloodyPulpit:

1. Torbato: This is one of the Sardinian indigenous varieties. Never had one before. Makes up
about 10%-15% of Sardinian wines. Quite a nice perfume to it.
2. Gamay: The AndrewLane is labeled as GamayNoir. It is most undoubtedly not the true Beaujolais/GamayNoir a jus Blanc. If it's 30+ yrs old vnyd, it is either GamayBeaujolais or NapaGamay, which can be either Valdigue or a enfeebled clone of PinotNoir. Their WebSite simply refers to it's once-large plantings in the NapaVlly and characterizes as a cousin of Burgundy's PinotNoir. It was a perfectly pleasant Beaujolais wanna-be...but doesn't hold a candle to SteveEdmunds GamayNoir from WittersVnyd in ElDorado.
3. Negrette: This is a (very) minor French variety grown in the Tolouse region. Never have had a
French version of this wine. Some 10-12 yrs ago, KennyVolk/WildHorse discovered an old vnyd of
Negrette whilst poking around in the CienegaVlly, and started making one. It was a pretty good
red, if a bit rustic and coarse in character. But nothing that would compell e to want to plant
more Negrette in Calif. This Dubost version, presumably from that same vnyd, had a bit too much
toasted coconut/oak for me, but did display some of that Negrette rusticity.
4. Dubost: This is a rather new wnry in the WestSide PasoRobles area. I was steered to try them by a suggestion by MaryBaker/DoverCanyon as worth trying. Alas, the Syrah, which most interested me, was sold out. Was also very interested in the Tempranillo...but the TCA quashed that possibility. I did like the HomesteadRed and their Chardonnay. Will try them again down the road.
5. RidgeAlicante: Ridge has made a few AlicanteBouschets over the yrs from PaganiRanch. Alicante is a tenturier grape (juice has color, rather than colorless like most varieties) that makes a wine as black as the AceOfSpades, but who color stability is short term and rapidly drops its color. Certainly
not so for this '94. It was in wonderful condition still, well beyond Draper's recommended drinking
window...which tend to be on the conservative side. Wish Ridge would make more Alicantes.


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