November 30, 2009

Two Wines I'm Thankful For: 1999 Arcadian Pinot Jill's Cuvee, 2001 Edmunds St John Los Robles

Haven't posted in a week or so. Was busy last week with Thanksgiving festivities. I chose not to take lots of pics of all the cooking I did, I was concentrating on relaxing and hanging out with the family. I did have a couple of really nice wines during the weekend for which I am most thankful!

I think I have run out of superlatives for Arcadian. Remember my testaments to the brilliance that Joe Davis' pinots achieve with age.

1999 Arcadian Pinot Noir Jill's Cuvée - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley (11/26/2009) What a terrific wine. Stunning nose of smoke, black cherry, meat. Palate is coated by tart cherry and raspberry, along with herbal notes and an earthy essence. Long, puckering finish that shows long notes of cherry and spice. Just great with the turkey day food stuff. Another home run from Joe D.

As for Edmunds St. John, another brilliant winemaker, Steve Edmunds, has been cranking out age worthy rhone-styled wines for nearly 20 years. Brilliant wines that often take 10 years to strut their stuff and are pretty widely available in the under $30 zone.
 2001 Edmunds St. John Los Robles Viejos Rozet Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (11/25/2009) Deep and dark. Notes of garrigue, pepper, dark fruit. Nice touch of acid runs across the back end. Drinking perfectly now. Yeah. Just a joy to drink. Held up nicely over two hours. Hello. It's a $20 wine. How does Steve do it? Genius.

November 24, 2009

Having a Ball at PRIMAL ATL

I joked that I wasn't going to blog about this event having read Atlanta Wine Guy's brilliant recap of the events. However, I do have a few observations from the evening.

For Full Disclosure I will say that I was fortunate to be invited as a guest to this event which saved me the $100 VIP admission fee.

Primal is the brain child of Brady Lowe, and it was a celebration of wood-fire cooked meats, the Art of Butchery, and the importance of sustainable food production. Primal had already made a stop in Napa before landing in Atlanta on Nov. 21. The event was held at the very cool Sweetwater Brewing Company.

The Oregon Wine Experience was also part of the festivities.There were a number of top Oregon producing pouring including: Soter, Elk Cove, and Daedalus.

My favorite wine of the night came from Ann Amie. The 2006 Ann Amie Pinot Noir Winemaker's Selection was beautifully fragrant, with a restrained palate featuring truffles and dark fruit. Definitely in an old world vein. Great little wine. Helped that Suburban Wino was pouring at Ann Amie and gave us some real generous pours!

When attending an event like Primal, one hopes to encounter some interesting foods. I think bull testicles qualifies as interesting. The folks from Joe's Bacon were serving up bacon lollipops and bull balls. The bacon lollipops were killer, and the bull's balls, well...they were balling.

Atlanta Wine Guy, Surbuban Wino, and I stepped up for the bullish challenge. Here is a pic of the action from Suburban Wino.

Bulls Testicles & Bacon Lollipops.  
Pic courtesy of Atlanta Wine Guy.

There was also some other tasty treats like the Lamb Tacos from The Livingston, and killer sliders from Grindhouse Burgers. And while the line was ridiculously long to get to the bacon, the awesome and sublime Benton's smoked bacon made the wait worthwhile.

All in all, it was a successful event. There were a couple of logisitcal mishaps that could have used a fix; like waiting 30 minutes in the "VIP" line just get in to the event, and the ridiculously long line to get some bacon. Still, a fun and educational evening for fans of carnivorous pursuits!

Below is a short movie of some pics from the event:

November 20, 2009

2001 Domaine Pavelot Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Aux Guettes

Continuing my descent into the world of Burgundy, I popped something with a liitle more age on it recently. While the Burg section in my cellar is still in its nascent stage, I do have a bit of experience with Domaine Pavelot. The Pavelot family has been making wine in Savigny-les-Beaune for many generations; the estate is now run by Jean-Marc and his son Hugues. Pavelot produces numerous bottle from SLB, including wines from Dominode, Narbantons, Gravains, and this one from Au Guettes. Nice wines often available at attractive prices in today's market.

2001 Domaine Pavelot Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Aux Guettes
A 700 case production from 25 year old vines. Popped and poured, probably should have decanted. Earth, spice, anise on the nose. Palate is mostly red fruited, some hints of coriander, coca, and cherry. More tart cherry comes on with time. Slightly austere for me tonight. I like it, but I was waiting for something to pop. Needs some time.

November 16, 2009

2002 Arcadian Syrah Sleepy Hollow Vineyard

I love what Joe Davis of Arcadian does with Sleepy Hollow fruit. See my pevious posts on the 1997 and 2001 Sleepy Hollow Pinots. The Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, located in the Northern tip of the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County is a world-class vineyard. The grapes from this renowned vineyard yield wines with forward fruit flavors and superb aging potential.

Not sure I have any superlatives left for this little wine. Numerous bottles over the past few years have been in my sweet spot. Last night, perhaps the best showing, which is what I said about the last bottle I opened.

2002 Arcadian Syrah Sleepy Hollow Vineyard -Santa Lucia Highlands
One of the best showings after several bottles of that I thought were best showings. That funky-haunting earthiness I get from Joe's Sleepys, and some herbal notes on the nose. Expansive mouthfeel that is marked by pure dark red fruit, spice box, and a just a hint of roasted fruit sweetness. Nice acidity that still lingers and focuses the midpalate. Persistent finish with some residual sweet tannins and notes of coffee and peppery spice. Drinking so well. Widely available for under $25 on release. Bravo.

November 6, 2009

Wines of Chile-Some Awesome Values in Carmenere

I was fortunate to be invited by the good folks at Wines of Chile to participate in a tasting of some very fine Carmenere-based wines from Chile. The Carménère grape is a wine grape variety originally planted in the Médoc region of Bordeaux, France, it is a member of the Cabernet family and is widely grown in Chile.

It was a fun night of tasting, many of the more popular wine bloggers from around the country participated including AtlantaWineGuy, WineforNormalPeople, 1WineDude, and mmmWine.

The full lineup included the following wines:

2007 Santa Carolina Reserva
2007 Odfjell Armador
2007 Viu Manent Reserva
2007 Cono Sur Vision
2008 Vina La Rosa Barrel Reserve
2007 Ventisquero Grey
2007 Terra Andina- Altos
2004 Carmen Winemaker's Reserve

All of the wines showed very well Wednesday night, there is not a wine I would not buy to drink again. The 2007 Santa Carolina showed a lot of oak early, but at $10, it's a fine bottle of wine. All of the wines offer pretty outstanding values, with most available for under $15.

Notes on some of my favorite bottles appear below:

2007 Odfjell Armador-Terrific coriander and tarry nose. Spice box-Red fruit wrapped in herbal notes. Silky tannins. Great with the steak.

2007 Venisquero Grey-Dark, dark wine. Some herbal notes on the nose. Sophisticated. Old world. Bright red fruit and pepper. Integrated.

2007 Terra Andina Altos--Wow. Kicking bottle of wine for $18. Sweet spice, cedar. Cocoa and coffee notes. Clean profile. Very nice.

2004 Carmen Winemaker's Reserve-Very sophisticated wine. Reminded me of a young Bordeaux. Cedar and red fruit, with spice box and robacco notes. Still wrapped pretty tightly, this has a few years left in the tank. Very nice wine.

November 1, 2009

The Last Riesling Tasting with Wines of Germany and TasteLive!

I was fortunate to be invited to another tastelive event with the good folks at Wines of Germany and the folks at TasteLive. The final Riesling tasting for the month of October featured the wines of Schloss-Reinhartshausen. Schloss-Reinhartshausen has a long and storied history of producing world class Reisling since the 14th Century. For those of you who failed math, that's a long time.

We tasted four wines on Oct. 30, including the '07 Old Vines and '07 Fountain Blue. The wines were across the board very nice, and though I receved these wines as complimentary samples, I'd love to own more of each. I'm starting with a note on my favorite of the night, the 2007 Erbach Schlossberg Monopole Erstes Gewachs Riesling. This baby showed lots of petrol on the nose and a crisp acidity and minerality. Full of lemony fruit, peaches, and an almost savory palate. Full bodied and built to age for a while. Paired nicely with German brats and pommes anna. A nice classy wine.