2005 Nevada City Zinfandel

Yet another post for a nice product from this winery in the Sierra Foothills.  Their Zin is a blend of 84% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 4% Syrah, and 2% Mourvedre.  The color is deep blackberry with legs that go on and on (14.7% alcohol).  The nose is blackberry, raspberry, black pepper, and a touch of clove. All that continues on to the palate with some medium heat.  The finish is medium and decent.  Not my most favorite Zin, but for the price point ($16 or so) it is worth a try.

2005 Nevada City Tempranillo

Actually 97% Temp and 3% Sangiovese, this one was awarded Double Gold and Best of Class at the 2008 New World International Wine Competition. Quite a feather in the cap of this small winery in the Sierra Foothills with limited distribution. The price point is around $19; I picked up a few on a recent visit to their tasting room.

The nose exudes black cherry and tobacco. The dark fruit and tobacco continue on the palate with the addition of leather and earthiness. The finish is medium with the tobacco lasting thru to the end. As with most Temps, this pairs well with meats off the BBQ yet even works well on its own.

Robert Young Scion Vertical Tasting

In the order tasted, we had a 2004 and 2005 Robert Young Chardonnay, then a 2003, 2002, and a 2001 Robert Young Scion. The 2002 and 2003 are Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2001 is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 9% Merlot.  All of the wines are from Alexander Valley.

We didn’t think to rate the Chardonnays but the 2003 and 2001 Scions were the favorites with the 2003 taking first place by one vote over the 2001 and the 2002 getting only one first-place vote.

Here were some of the comments from tasting notes on the three Scions:

2003 – Appearance: Clear, medium-dark color, nice legs. Aroma: Dark cherry, touch of leather, tomato, pepper. Taste: Nice leather, dark fruit, tomato, salty, dry, earthy, chocolate.  Aftertaste: Smooth finish, heat, balanced. Overall impression: Good, okay, nice.

2002 – Appearance: Darker than 2003, “Tina Turner” (nice legs). Aroma: Ripe dark fruit, touch of leather, vegetive, smoke, no aroma. Taste: Ripe dark cherry, leather, slightly sweet, no tannins, less flavorful and dry (than the 2003). Aftertaste: Smokey, short finish. Overall impression: Very nice, smooth.

2001 – Appearance: Starting to show age. Aroma: Dark cherry, dark berries. Taste: Nice dark cherry, leather, touch of cedar, spicy humidor, some vinegar.  Aftertaste: Beautiful finish with nice pepper. Overall impression: Most balanced good with chocolate.

Nevada City, Rough & Ready Red, Cask 205

Where the Cask 204 (posted below) is predominantly Zin, this one is 41% Syrah, 31% Zin, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Cab Franc, 5% Cab, and 3% Sangiovese. The 205 had a production of 966 cases and stands at 14.5% alcohol. I found this one at the local Trader Joe’s for $10.

The descriptors on this one are similar to the 204, but I got a bit of coffee on the palate and finish. Overall I liked this one a bit more than the 204. Not a great one, but good with pizza and pasta or simply relaxing with a touch of dark chocolate. For the price, it is well worth a return visit but I wouldn’t cellar for an extended time frame. Enjoy….

2004 Nevada City Syrah

My second venture into regional wines from the Sierras, this Sierra Foothills Syrah proved to be quite nice. Blackberry, dark chocolate, and a touch of smoke on the nose leads to a more intense blackberry palate with hints of leather and spice. The smoky notes continue in the finish where the chocolate lingers for awhile with a touch of heat.

The 2004s seem to be getting short in supply with the 2005s soon to hit the store shelves in our area.  Nevada City is just a couple hours away, so a visit to the winery and tasting room may be in our near future. I am eager to try more of their offerings; their Tempranillo sounds promising.  Stay tuned…

2005 Rosenblum Rockpile Zinfandel

If you check out October 2006, you will see that Dave posted notes on the 2004 Rockpile. The 2005 can be summarized in much the same way. Deep raspberry in color; black cherry, vanilla, and mocha on the nose, cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, with a bit of spice and leather on the palate, and the dark fruit and leather on the finish. Dave’s comments then still hold true with this one… a very good Zin but about $10 over priced (I paid $35 for this one).

Nevada City, Rough & Ready Red, Cask 204

A recent transplant to Northern Nevada, I decided to try something from a regional winery. Nevada City is just a ways “over the hill” from here so their wines are plentiful in our area. This one is a blend of 40% Zin, 22% Petite Syrah, 15% Syrah, 10% Cab, 8% Sangiovese, and 5% Cab Franc. The wine is named after one of the early gold towns of the 1850s. Cask 204 appears to be their way of saying 2004.  With a lot of 1860 cases, this wine tops at 14.7%.

The color is a deep plum with a slightly clear rim – it is a 2004 afterall. The nose is vibrant with plum, cherry, and clove. On the palate the cherry and plum grow, the spice is joined with a bit of pepper with a hint of red licorice. The finish is nice and spicy with soft tannins.

My first venture into regional wines and I would have to say this one is a winner.  At only $12 this one begs for repeat purchase.  There is also a Cask 205 (you guessed it, 2005) with a different blend that sounds promising; haven’t located that one yet.  When I got this one, I also picked up a Syrah of theirs so stand by for a future post on that one.

2004 Yalumba M/G/S, Barossa Valley

The oldest family owned vineyard in Australia comes thru again. This wine is one of their Hand Picked series and is a winner. A blend of 60% Mourvedre, 22% Grenache, and 18% Shiraz, this Rhone from “Down Under” deserves your attention.

The color is a rich, deep purple. The nose exudes white pepper, black cherry, and a hint of herbs and spice. Dark fruit, leather, creamy milk chocolate, and a hint of coffee combine on the palate. The finish is long with more leather, fruit, and spice.

This definitely deserves repeat purchase. Although quite enjoyable now, 3-5 years in the cellar are not out of the question. Enjoy….

Garretson 2004 Mon Amie Syrah, San Luis Obispo County

Just as I was losing faith in screw caps, along comes a wine that makes me hesitate on totally giving up on them…

Actually a blend of 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier, this selection boasts 14.5% alchohol and is a limited production of only 250 cases. Named for and dedicated to the winemaker’s wife, this wine also boasts a 94 rating from Robert Parker.

The color is a deep, dark, inky blue-black. The nose is rich with dark fruits, cassis, graphite, smoke, and a hint of pepper. Those dark fruits (blackberry, plum, currant), smoke, and yes the pepper too, continue thru the palate with a hint of leather. The finish is long; the smoke and leather diminishing as the pepper takes over.

Do I have any regrets at all?  Yep, it could have cellared another couple years.  To be honest, I just didn’t trust the screw cap… been burned too many times. This is a winner.

Garretson Wine Company “The Decurion”

This showed up at my door the other day. I was quite intrigued as the label gives no information about the wine other than the 14.8% alcohol content.

My first taste told me that I opened this one many years too soon. So I let it sit for a bit and I was well rewarded.

This wine is awesome!

It is very dark in color, and it smells a lot like the grilled steak with freshly ground pepper that I served it with. There is a bit of plum and black cherry in there also.

It the mouth, it is very intense. The flavors include minerals, blueberry and a tinge of cherry-cola.

I really liked this one, but I’m sure that I’ve probably missed any opportunity to acquire more as they only produced 590 bottles…

1993 Stonestreet Legacy

I paid about $60 for this one a couple of years ago. I was cooking up a nice steak, home-made mashed potatoes and green beans and was looking for something to drink with the meal. I saw the “S” and thought to myself that it was one of the $23 current vintages so I pulled it out. I saw what it was and almost put it back. Then I said “What the heck. It is time.”

Boy did I get that right, as I don’t think this one could sit any longer. When I pulled the cork, it broke into three major chunks. I figured that the wine was probably toast, but the cork pieces all felt soft and the wine stain did not venture up the side of the cork more than about a quarter-inch.

The color is intense dark red with nice legs and the aromas are of toasted oak, ripe dark fruit – mostly dark cherry and a bit of dark chocolate.

It is very smooth with quite a bit of pepper (which went nice with the freshly ground pepper on my grilled steak…). There is a bit of cedar in amongst the dark fruit but the wine changes as it sits in the glass. At first the cedar flavor is a bit too intense, but after a few minutes, that burns off and the dark fruit takes over, as it should.

The finish builds with a bit of heat but then tapers off quite nicely with a touch of mocha at the end.

I’m glad that I opened this one. I would have been sad if I would have waited any longer.

2004 Linne Calodo Outsider

This is an awesome blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Mourvedre.

I  must say upfront that I think that I opened it much too early. This is a huge wine with a lot of alcohol, but I think it sit another year or two. It is very fruity, but has a great mouth-feel, the taste curve is well-balanced and it matched up with my Trader Joe’s Goat Cheese pizza quite nicely.

Color is dark purple and the wine has nice legs.

Aromas include blackberry, leather, a touch of blueberry, some cedar, and a touch of vanilla. I would like to say it smells like a late harvest Zinfandel, but that doesn’t quite explain the rich and ripe aroma.

In the mouth, it has a great balance.  Flavors include blackberry, blueberry, and a horse saddle. (Ok, there’s a bit of leather in there.)

The finish is hot with tons of dark fruit and perhaps a touch of eucalyptus on the very end.

I like it a lot!

2002 JC Cellars Rockpile Vineyard Syrah

I figured that I probably waited too long to open this one, but I think I caught it right at the peak. It is much more intense than I remember.

The color is intensely deep, dark purple in color. The aromas include very ripe blackberry and blueberry, with a just a touch of vanilla. The flavors include a lot of very ripe dark fruit.  And the finish is very hot. There is a lot of alcohol in this one.

This one scores 20 out of 20 points for me!

2004 Stolpman Hilltops Syrah Estate Grown

Got this one on a recommendation at a local wine store.  After a brief discussion about my preferences (no slander to be given here), he steered me in the direction of a few choice selections; one was this most excellent product from the Santa Ynez Valley. Research shows a rating of 95 from Robert Parker and I totally agree with it.

Complex and full bodied, this wine is dense purple in color with notes of blackberries, blueberries, cassis, licorice, vanilla, oak, and pepper. Gotta love the heat (15.2%) and the finish is long. As memory serves, this one was priced around $35 and well worth a second purchase.

2003 Domaine de L’Hortus Pic Saint Loup Grande Cuvée

This is the best Coteaux du Languedoc wine that I’ve ever tasted – period!

I’m not totally over my cold, but I can smell well enough to drink wine for the first time in over a week!

If I had this one blind, I would never guess that it was an old world wine.

It has a bright appearance with a black-cherry color with nice legs.

The aroma almost says “Paso Robles.” (The color is not dark enough though.) I say “almost” as I think I smell some roses or other flowers…I don’t smell any wood what-so-ever. (Which is why I wouldn’t think it is a French wine.)

Flavors are well-blended, there is nothing overbearing. There is a little cherry-cola, a touch of licorice, a touch of chocolate, a touch of grilled steak,

A nice long finish it falls off very slowly. Every time you exhale, it comes back to remind you what was just there. Finally a touch of cedar at the back of the mouth… Very nice indeed.

2003 Ramey Diamond Mountain District Red Wine

According to their web site, a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petite Verdot. This is a beautiful dark ruby red wine. I smell dark cherries, blackberries and chocolate liquor. The flavors are dark cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate, and just a hint of smoke. The finish is huge, it builds a little heat then turns sweet and has a long gentle finish.

I believe this wine will compliment a standing rib roast quite nicely.

Merry Christmas!

2004 Rosenblum Rockpile Zinfandel

This is an awesome $25 wine. Unfortunately, they are charging $40 for the thing. I blame the big wine magazine for rating last year’s vintage so high. Talk about ruining a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Kent Rosunblum’s wine. I just hate paying more than they are worth.

This wine has an awesome deep purple color.

The aromas are dark cherry, black pepper, mocha and a little vanilla.

Tastes include dark chocolate, dark cherry, blackberry, vanilla, charcoal. Lots of fruit and leather on the finish.

This is a great zinfandel but you are going to pay…go ahead and get one bottle, you’ll not be disappointed…