Home | Wine Reviews | Wine Journals | Updates

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 - April 11, 2012

We tried last night (4/11/12) some More New Wines:

  1. RoyalTokaji Mezes MalyVnyd Furmint Dry Tokaji Wine (1592 btls; 13.5%) 2009: Light gold color; rather fragrant/perfumed somewhat earthy/dusty/chalky fairly spicy/peppery light oak very interesting nose; rather dry/austere/tart quite perfumed/floral/spicy/peppery some earthy/dusty/chalky very interesting/attractive flavor; long rather spicy/peppery/ quite floral/pperfumed/aromatic tart/dry/austere finish; a bit like a dry Semillon from HunterVlly w/o the oak; a very interesting aromatic white w/ structure that will probably age well; fairly priced at $35.00 (CB)
  2. Iago'sWine Chinuri Chardakhi WhiteDry Georgian Wine (w/o skin contact; 11.5%; 50 yr old Chimuri vines; 150 btls/1 qvevri 300 yrs old) Iago Bitarishvili/Mtskheta/Georgia 2010: Very musty/TCA/corked nose w/ a slight apple/pear aroma buried underneath; unredeemedly corked; replacement btl on the way. $20.00 (CB)
  3. Agharta Cataclysm NorthCoast WW (43% Marsanne/33% Viognier/24% Roussanne; 13.9%; www.AghartaWines.com) PaxMahle 2009: Med.light gold color w/ noticible cloudiness; attracrive honeyed/honeysuckle/floral bit appley light toasty/oak rather low-key/quiet nose; somewhat tart light floral/honeysuckle rather appley/pear slight bitter/austere flavor; med.long rather tart/lean light floral/honeysuckle/pear/apple slight bitter/austere/tight finish; not a bombastic white Rhone blend but rather tight and will probably age well into something pretty interesting is my gut feeling. $45.00
  4. Arnot-Roberts OldVine WW Compagni-PortisVnyd/SonomaVlly (4.5 brls; 12.7%) 2010: Light gold color; rather light some appley/floral/apple blossom slight earthy very quiet nose; tart/lean/screechy light apple/apple blossom/floral quite austere/pinched/tight flavor; med.short lean/tight/schreechy/tart light apple/floral/apple blossom finish; a very light/schreechy/pinched/lean/austere wine that you can only hope will develop into something wonderful. $30.00
  5. Carlisle Compagni Portis WW SonomaVlly (14.2%; 56 yr old vines; GWT/TrousseauGris/Riesling + others; 105 cs) 2010: Light gold color; very perfumed/aromatic/floral/GWT-like/hair oil light pencilly/oak beautiful aromatic nose; soft/lush/ripe hair-oil/floral/aromatic/GWT-like light pencilly/oak lovely/perfumed flavor; very long soft/lush very floral/rose petal/GWT-like/hair oil quite fragrant/perfumed lovely finish; this is how they'd make GWT in Calif if they could; a rich/lush very perfumed/aromatic beautiful wine. $30.00
  6. BedrockWineCo Heirloom WW Compagni-PortisVnyd/SonomaVlly (Planted in 1954; Pharmed by PhilCoturri; 14.4%) 2009: Med.light gold color; slight floral/perfumed rather appley/earthy/mineral slight reduced/SO2/pungent somewhat old-timey Calif white quite interesting nose; bit tart somewhat earthy/minerally/appley/pear more austere quite interesting old-timey lovely flavor; very long pear/apple/earthy/mineral light floral/perfumed fairly tart lingering finish; a rather old-timey kind of Calif white. $28.00
  7. CortiBros Blaufrankisch WashState (12.9%) SteeleWines/Kelseyville 2010: Med.dark color; some buttery/vanilla/oak strong blueberry/licorice/plummy/grapey bit earthy/loamy/dusty quite interesting AustrianRed kind of nose; soft bit hard/tannic/bitey strong blueberry/plummy/licorice/pungent some earthy/loamy some vanilla/Am.oak bit rustic/coarse flavor; med.long earthy/loamy/rustic strong plummy/grapey/licorice/blueberry some vanilla/oak finish; quite a nice drinkable red for a good price. $13.00 (CB)
  8. Familie Bauer Naturnaher Weinbau Quiltaswein Trocken Grossriedenthal BlauerZweigelt Bassgeige (13.5%) Wagram/Austria 2007: Dark color; strong piney/forest floor/mushroomy lovely plummy/licorice/grapey slight pungent/reduced/ SO2/metallic/ozone fairly lush nose; soft rather earthy/dusty/loamy/rustic quite plummy/licorice slight chocolaty flavor w/ slight tannic bite; med. lush/plummy/licorice/chocolaty/grapey some earthy/loamy finish w/ bit of tannic bite; rather interesting grapey/loamy wine a bit on the rustic side. $20.00 (MX)
  9. Handcraft ArtisanCollection PetiteSirah Calif (14.5%) CherylIndelicato/Manteca 2010: Dark color; rather grapey/licorice simple slight goaty/hot-climate rather boring nose; soft rather tannic grapey/licorice quite sour slight goaty/funky flavor; med.short simple/grapey/licorice soft quite sour fairly tannic finish; move along, folks...nothing to see here. $12.00 (KK)
  10. Ridge PetiteSirah LyttonEstate/DryCreekVlly/SonomaCnty (15.2%; Bttld: 3/11; 100% PS; Drk: 11/10-11/20: JO) 2009: Very dark color; very strong vanilla/pencilly/toasty/Am.oak/coconutty/toasted coconut/ZagNut bar some blackberry/peppery/PS/black cherry/licorice/pungent slight earthy/loamy nose; soft rather gritty/tannic/hard strong vanilla/Am.oak/toasty/toasted coconut slight peppery/black cherry/PS/licorice/pungent flavor; long light black cherry/blackberry/PS/licorice strong Am.oak/toasted coconut/vanilla/ZagNutBar finish w/ hard/gritty tannins; a bit lacking in aromatics and shows the oafish/clunky/stupid side of PS; pretty structured & tannic and most likely will turn into something good; sometimes you just gotta have faith. $32.00 (KK)

And the usual BloodyPulpit:

1. Furmint: This wine, which I found at CortiBros, was easily the best dry Furmints I've yet had. From the 19-ha Maly vnyd, which apparently has a first-growth/grand cru status. It had really lovely aromatics but quite structured. Furmint has the highest tannin contents of any of the white varieties.
2. Compagni-Portis: These three wines were an amazing contrast. Hard to believe they cam from the same vnyd. The A-R was widely disliked because of its lean/strident/screechy character on the palate. "Vapid" was a term that was oft applied to it. A-R is one of the leading proponents of the harvest early/natural wine/low alcohol style wine.. oft termed "wines of balance". This wine was not a good example to support the "wines of balance" concept. The very high acidity of this wine made it definitely not in "balance". I did not find it a pleasant wine to taste...maybe w/ some foods, perhaps sauced in carbolic acid, this would taste much better. Just a difficult wine to love. But, that said, it is a wine I have a sneaking suspicion will develop into something interesting. Back in the '70's, back in the pre-Z-H days of Alsatian wines, back when Alsatian Riesling were high-acid, low-alcohol, totally dry wines; my rule of thumb in buying Alsatian wines was the more acid/unpleasant they were in their youth, the greater potential they held for developing into magnificant wines with age. It was a rule that stood me well....until they quit making Rieslings of that style in Alsace. This A-R made me recall some of those Alsatian Rieslings of days gone-by. I think this A-R will evolve into something very/very interesting with time. I've got three more bottles with which to prove the nay-sayers wrong.

On the other hand, the Carlisle was amazing stuff. This is, of course, Mike's first white wine. From his reds, I was sorta expecting a wine w/ a rich/lush character on the palate. What I didn't expect was the powerful aromatics the wine showed. It spoke a lot of GWT in its character. I can hardly wait to see what he does w/ his Gruner now.

OTOH, the Bedrock was a much more earthy/mineral type of white; probably more expressive of terroir than any of the three. A bit more of an intellectual experience and made you think about the wine. It had kind of an old-timey Calif white wine character that reminded me of some of the white back in the '70's that were raised in large oak ovals or redwood tanks. Or some of the old Ridge Sylvaners from the SantaCruzMtns. Again, a white wine I think will develop nicely w/ some age.
3. Blaufrankisch/Zweigelt: This is a grape widely grown in Central Europe/Austria. It goes by the name of Lemberger in WashState. Jed Steele has made this wine for a number of yrs under his ShootingStar label. I thought this Corti version was better than any of Jed's renditions. Zewigelt is another Austrian grape, a cross of Blaufrankisch X StLaurent. I though the Corti was particularly good, reminded me a lot of Austrian versions, and very well priced.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


Home | Wine Reviews | Wine Journals | Updates

Copyright © 1993 - 2012, Tom Hill- All rights reserved
No original material may be reproduced without written consent
Mail & Comments
- Grape-Nutz
Updated 4.01.12