1. OjaiWhites: We are now several yrs into Adam's segue into a different style with his whites. Harvesting earlier to achieve lower alcohols, less use of oak, more mineral and terroir (how, exactly, does one do that?), higher/ crisper acidity. It's a show that's not played well in Monktown. He's been severely rebuked by noted critics for his excessive yields.
I guess for me the jury's still out on this move. Some ask if he's gone too far? I rather liked this SauvBlanc for its understated character; finding many Calif SauvBlancs agressively herbal & grassy. If this were judged as a Sancerre, nobody would blink an eye. The Chard, however, didn't do a lot for me. Certainly, the acidity was there in spades, but no more than your basic AC CHablis of yore. But it seemed sort of lean and eviscerated on the palate and didn't deliver much flavor.
The big question is what are these wines going to age into?? My guess is that they'll do just fine with age and turn, like Chablis and German Rieslings can do, from rather severe wines into something pretty interesting. But, right out of the gate, these are tough wines to taste. They won't win any kudos out of Monktown. Sometimes, you just gotta believe and trust Adam's instincts.
2. Rhyme: This is a cooperative effort of Ryan & Megan Glaab. Ryan's asst winemaker for Pax at WindGap. They are making some very/very interesting wines. Quite a bit of interest in Friulian wines and orange/qvevri style of wines. I was quite taken by these two reds. The Aglianico is a bit riper than they are interested in making, but thought it was pulled off very well. Best Aglianico I've ever had. The Cab was a gift from Ryan because I'd not ordered it (not much of a Cabernet fan) and he thought I should try it...with an open mind. Glad I did. I liked it quite a lot. It was an old-timey Calif Cab the likes of which I seldom seen any more. It had that touch of Cabernet herbaceousness that made it very interesting; a trait that has become anathema for most Calif Cabs anymore, driven towards that super-ripe style. It reminded me of the Freemark or the MikeRobbins/SpringMtnVnyd Cabs I used to love in the '70's. Reminded me of why I was once a big Cabernet fan...afore I done see'd the light and went to Syrah.
3. ForlornHope: Winery of MattRorick whose focus is on lesser known varieties..grapes that are a "forlorn hope". He's doing some very interesting things. He makes his wines up at the TenbrinkWnry in SuisunCity...also the home of Abe's ScholiumProject...another set of interesting wines. Over the yrs, I've had a number of wines from SuisunVlly/ SolanoCnty. Not been impressed at all. They have seemed to have a soft/soupy/unstructured quality to them. But what Matt has done w/ this PV and PetiteSirah from here has totally changed my thinking about the SuisunVlly.
The MilAmores comes from up in AmadorCnty, the DeWitt Vnyd where he also get Verdelho. This is a blend much like they use in the DouroVlly, where they are now making a lot of dry red wines. Tempranillo is known there as TintaRoriz. The '06 vintage was a much warmer one in Amador than the '07 vintage. Probably why the '06 reminded me a lot of the dry reds out of the Douro, which resemble the aromatics of Porto w/o the searing alcohol those have. I much preferred the '06 to the '07...but it may be just the additional age on it.
4. A tasting w/ two Cabernet wines....and two that I actually liked quite a lot. Shocking, it is.