Thursday, April 16, 2009

Last weekend

Last weekend one of the local distributors had a meet and greet at his warehouse with Jim Anderson, who is part of the ownership/winemaking team at Patricia Green in Oregon. He and Patricia had previously been the wine making team at Tori Mor. We were treated to a great selection of their current vintages a one off sauvignon Blanc called Panama White 2006. This was a neat wine. The 2006 growing season had been very hot, so the winery team was occupied harvesting their Pinot Noir fruit when they would normally have been been picking the Sauv. Blanc. Thus this fruit was harvested at almost 20 brix and was destined to produce a really hot wine. It was decided to ferment the juice in neutral oak This gives the wine much more body than is normally found in Sauv Blanc and gives it a hint of creaminess while still maintaining some of the citrus more common to the grape. Though this wine is over 15% alcohol, it is smooth without a hint of the heat that one would expect. This, with the wonderful Pinots should have been enough, but Jim also brought six older vintages including a 1997 Balcombe vineyard from their time at Tori Mor. This twelve year old Pinot was still fantastic and still had great fruit. For all of you out there who were under the impression that Pinots did not age this wine shows that they can hold up beautifully. I am finding that there is a whole crop of American Pinot producers capable of making wines that will age. Let me know if you find a good age-able Pinot , I always enjoy finding new ones.

Not too old!

Last night we had dinner with my brother and his family. His birthday is later this week, but this was when the celebration would be at his home. Since he likes fine wines and new experiences, I brought over a bottle of Sequoia Grove Napa Cabernet vintage 1995. I checked Wine Spectator and in their consideration this wine was edging past it's prime. With this particular bottle, I would have to disagree. It still had a load of lush red fruit, granted it had mellowed. We did not decant, but let the wine open up in the glass and I feel this was the best course to take since the wine was fairly delicate. The wine paired well with the spaghetti with meat balls that was served. All in all, this wine attests to the quality of wine making that was found at Sequoia Grove. I believe that the current wine maker was apprenticed with the wine maker James Allen. If you have chance to try older vintages of Sequoia Grove try it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another dazzling Zin

Over the weekend my wife and I went to Louisville to attend the Humana Festival of new American plays. We always have some down time and of course we tend to enjoy wine and cheese during these brief periods. We took down a bottle of Vineyard 29 Aida Zin. I had been looking forward to trying this bottle since I purchased it late last year. This was a big Zin, rich and sophisticated, while not jammy, there is still a lot red raspberry and even a little strawberry. This is a wine that does not need food, but will handle anything thrown its way. With a whopping 15.8 % alcohol level one would expect an extremely hot wine. While I do not like these high alcohol beasts, I can at least accept them when there is good balance. Yes it is expensive ($92), but if you want to experience a really sophisticated Zin give it a try.