1. LimerickLane: I have, of course, followed LLVnyds from the very start when MikeCollins bought the
property way back when. The early Zins he made were classic RRV Zins and some of my favorites. At
some point along the way, I just sort of lost track of LL and seldom tried their wines.
In 2009, Mike sold the property & wines to the Bilbros (dad Chris; sons Jake & Scot, not sure of Sam's
involvment) of MariettaCllrs fame. Somewhere along that time, they also bought the old GibsonRanch up in McDowellVlly in MendoCnty. That vnyd is, too, like Collins, a national treasure. These 2011 wines
are the first LL wines made under the Bilbro regime.
The LimerickLane refers to the road, south of Healdsburg, on which the CollinsVnyd & wnry is located.
It is not Limerick...as in "There once was a man from Nantucket...". The Limerick refers to the lime kilns
that once were in that area. But, as best I can tell, most people pronounce it as "limmerick", not
"lime rick". I think it would be a neat idea for LL to have a contest to come up w/ the best limerick
for the wnry. Just a thought.
I've known Chris & Jake for a good many yrs, mostly from their travels to NM for the Taos WWF, where
they've been known to cut a curve or two on Al'sRun. Chris/Jake/Scot will be here next month for the
2014 TWWF and will be doing a dinner at RestaurantMartin in SantaFe the Tues before (Jan 28). Jake wanted our group to try their new releases afore so sent me a selection of samples.
The Zins were very/very impressive. They had a brisk acidity to them you don't get very often in
RRV Zins. They are, IMHO, Zins that can stand up to the best in Sonoma (Bedrock/Carlisle/Bucklin/
Ravenswood...any of them). Stylistically, the probably resemble WillBucklin's more than anything.
All three show some of the strongest dusty/OV character I've seen in old-vine Zin. For my $$'s, the
regular LL Zin is what I'll be buying, but the other two are more profound Zins and, maybe, worth the
The Syrahs also impressed me. Very good/solid/interesting/well-made Syrahs that I think are worth
buying. They strike me a lot like Bedrock Syrahs; very good but not quite of the stature of profundity
that they're getting from their Zins and red blends. I don't know what the age of the Syrah vines are
in the CollinsVnyd, but that may be the reason. For me, MikeOfficer's Syrahs are my benchmark for RRV.
Anyway, it was fun to take a stroll down LimerickLane w/ these wines. It's clear to me that Jake &
Scot have lifted LL back into the big-leagues of RRV reds.
2. These LL wines were are from the '11 vintage, a vintage that has been widely trashed for showing
a lot of mold & rot problems from the rains during harvest by some wine critics. I was particularly
looking for this sort of problems in the wines. There were no such signs. Whatever Jake & Scot did
to deal w/ those problems of the '11 vintage, they did it very well. If this is what they can do in
a (supposedly) miserable vintage like '11, then I can hardly wait their '12's.
3. One of the things that MikeCollins did at LL some 10-15 yrs ago was to plant Furmint, the grape
of Hungary's Tokaji. Probably w/ the intent to create a Tokaji-style sweet wine. Whether he ever
did such, I've not seen any. The two that I've tasted were dry wines, some yrs ago. They reminded
me of some of the dry Furmints that come from Tokaji today. It took the Hungarians a while to figure
out how good dry Furmint can be. It's not clear what Jake & Scot will be doing w/ the Furmint...but
I've made it clear to Jake there will be hell to pay if they pull those vines. Old-vine Calif Furmint?
The possibilities boggle the mind.