Posted on May 11th 2010 @ 10:36 PM
TONIGHT! Wednesday, May 12 from 5:30 until 7:00pm
Stage One: Two wines. Blind and cheap…or are they?
One is from old-vine, high elevation, dry-farmed, ___________ aged in second use oak. I don’t think I would guess a) the region or b) the varietal if I had this blind. Can you? No prizes, just high fives and adulation.
The other is from a blend of old-vine _______, _______, & ________. High elevation, organic single vineyard on volcanic slate with a southern exposure. 8 months in used French oak. Nutrient poor soils, warm southern exposure, high elevation/cold nights, and ancient vines combine to give this wine an unmistakable “geographical” signature. High acidity, low pH and highly mineralic suggests cool climate. Dark fruit character implies warm climate though. Another hint: median price of wines from this region is $35 a bottle, probably higher. Any ideas?
Stage Two: Owen Roe 2008’s
2008 Sharecroppers Pinot Noir Oregon: Always among the best values in Oregon Pinot. This is particularly the case in the seemingly can’t miss vintage of 2008. Was $28. Now $25. $22.50 if you mix up a case of twelve. Can’t be that with a sharp stick.
2008 Ex Umbris Syrah Washington: Lots of baby fat yet, but this is fast becoming the benchmark for meaty Pacific NW Syrah. Down to $24 from $27!
2008 Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc: What is there to say? Sultry single vineyard Cabernet Franc from Yakima. $45.
Stage Three: 2007 K Phil Lane Walla Walla Syrah $75 for 1 or $67* for 4
Now granted, I don’t put too much stock in this, but in the very same issue of the Wine Advocate in which Dr. Jay Miller gave this wine 96 points. He says, and I quote: “His 2006 collection is as good or better than anything he has done to date, although a tasting of 2007 barrel samples indicate that the best is yet to come.” Indeed. Charles K poured from an advance bottle of the 2007 Phil Lane at an infamous trade event held at the capacious Plumbers Hall on Washington. I didn’t take any notes. I didn’t have to. Syrah like this etches itself into your mind. So when Shane S. mentioned that they had received their allocation of 5 cases, I decided to act. That’s five cases of the scant 141 cases produced.
Y’all get one crack at this wine and then it’s bye bey.
Phil Lane: Located in the Walla Walla Valley, K’s only estate vineyard and part of the original homestead property. Soil composition consists of Yakima cobbley loam in ancient dried riverbed. This well-drained site is part of the Mill Creek drainage system, resulting in a cooler climate than other parts of the Valley. The vines are trained very low to take advantage of the radiant heat provided by the large cobbles. Floral aromatics like lavender and lilac are common.
The vineyard is named for Phil Lane Sr. who raised his family on the property. His colorful past included amateur and professional boxing, the first Native American to obtain a degree in forestry, two citations from President Lyndon B. Johnson, a passion for training quarter horses, and a love for the Wallowa and Blue Mountains. Beginning in 2009, this vineyard will be sustainably farmed with draft horses. Planted in 2002.
Yield: 1.3 tons per acre
Sorting: 1 time
Treatment: Punch down
Malolactic Fermentation: yes
Ageing: French Burgundy Barrels
Total Production: 141cases
Release date: September 15, 2009
Total Acid: .60
Residual Sugar: none
Tasting Notes: Violets, lavender, roasted meat, game, crushed stone, and a super long finish. —Charles Smith
*4 pack price applies to the tasting offer only.2007 K Syrah “Phil Lane” —Walla Walla Valley100% Syrah, Phil LaneVineyards:Phil Lane: Located in the Walla Walla Valley, K’s only estate vineyard and part of the original homestead prop-erty. Soil composition consists of Yakima cobbley loam in ancient dried riverbed. This well-drained site is part ofthe Mill Creek drainage system, resulting in a cooler climate than other parts of the Valley. The vines are trainedvery low to take advantage of the radiant heat provided by the large cobbles. Floral aromatics like lavender andlilac are common. The vineyard is named for Phil Lane Sr. who raised his family on the property. His colorfulpast included amateur and professional boxing, the first Native American to obtain a degree in forestry, two cita-tions from President Lyndon B. Johnson, a passion for training quarter horses, and a love for the Wallowa andBlue Mountains. Beginning in 2009, this vineyard will be sustainably farmed with draft horses. Planted in 2002.Technical Information:Yield: 1.3 tons per acreSorting: 1 timeYeasts: NativeTreatment: Punch downMalolactic Fermentation: yesAgeing: French Burgundy BarrelsFining: noneTotal Production: 141casesRelease date: September 15, 2009Alcohol: 14.5%Total Acid: .60pH: 3.75Residual Sugar: noneScore: 94 (2006 vintage)“This rich, ripe red is generous with it’s spicy green and black olive flavors, which weave through plums, black-berry and wet stone character that remains powerful through the deftly balanced finish. Best from 2011 through2016.” —Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator, July 31, 2009Tasting Notes: Violets, lavender, roasted meat, game, crushed stone, and a super long finish. —Charles Smith
Posted on 1st Feb 2010 @ 10:03 PM
Self-effacing “slow wine” genius Fred Scherrer is stopping by Saturday evening for an informal tasting of his “new” releases Saturday evening, and by new, Fred means 2003 Scherrer Vyd Cabernet (Seriously, can you think of any other California producer that is just now releasing their ’03 Cab to restaurants and resellers … on purpose?), the “sneaky” as in the bottles seem to empty themselves without permision 2006 Russian River Valley Pinot, and the 2004 Old and Mature Zinfandel, which Fred describes as “comfort food for the nose.” Knowing Damien (Fred’s Chicago distributor), I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few library wines which highlight how gracefully these wines age, even (and maybe especially the Chardonnay!).
These new releases, which include what Fred considers to be his favorite bottling of Scherrer Vineyard Cabernet to date, all sell less than $50. They represent what I call “secret genius wines” — traditional American artisan wines that offer as much, if not more complexity, personality and limbic titillation as some triple-digit boutique wines while somehow remaining just below the inflationary notice of the wine punditry — a jealously guarded secret kept amongst those in the know.
Monday 26, April 2010
Don’t forget to stop by tonight and taste with Aldo Vacca of Produttori del Barbaresco, winemaker extraordinaire for the farmers’ cooperative of Barbaresco, whose wines regularly outperform and outclass considerably more expensive “estate” Barbarescos. Goodness knows you cannot have enough ageworthy (and affordable) Nebbiolo in your crawl space. I don’t. More to the point, if you are a Burgundy freak, Aldo’s wines will immediately appeal to you. He’s all about fragrance, super-fine delineation, and lively acidity. So as a public service, we’ll offer one-night only special pricing on the Aldo’s current releases, including the 2005 single-vineyard Riservas, the 2006 Barberesco DOCG and the young vine Barbaresco Nebbiolo delle Lange 2008.
I know it’s Monday night, but are we not men and women? Open house from 5:30 – 7:00pm. Read More:>>
Posted on 17th Mar 2010 @ 12:48 PM
Breaking the law: Produttori del Barbaresco violates the presumption that wine with pedigree and terroir cannot be produced by a co-operative winery. Not so here, especially under the inspired stewardship of winemaker Aldo Vacca, the Nebbiolo — that’s all they make — from Langhe up through the single-vineyard bottlings are every bit as good as any estate bottled Barbaresco, and, they do that at normal people prices.
Don’t take my word for it. Antonio Galloni, who covers Italy for the Wine Advocate, had this to say: “The Produttori del Barbaresco have another set of wonderful wines on their hands with these new releases. The Produttori have long made delicious, ageworthy Barbarescos, but in the last few years the overall level of quality and consistency has gone up several notches. Best of all, prices have remained exceedingly fair.”
Here’s the dance card:
2008 Nebbiolo delle Langhe
Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate 10/09: “The 2008 Langhe Nebbiolo shows gorgeous depth and purity in a core of dark fruit, spices and minerals. The finish is long and polished, especially for a wine at this level. This fresh, vinous Nebbiolo offers terrific balance and is a great choice for readers who want to begin an exploration into Nebbiolo – one of the world’s noble grapes – without breaking the bank. Once again, the Produttori have turned out what may very well be the very finest value in Nebbiolo, and all from young vines in Barbaresco to boot! Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016.” 90 points
Galloni: “The 2006 Barbaresco is a gorgeous, generous Barbaresco loaded with ripe dark fruit. This is an especially harmonious, refined Barbaresco from the Produttori that is also somewhat unusual for its dark, brooding personality. Licorice, leather and tar linger on the powerful finish. Today the wine is remarkable for its depth and concentration, while the aromatic complexity will develop in bottle. If the regular Barbaresco holds this much power, I can only wonder what the Riservas might have in store. Simply put, this is a marvelous effort. This is Lot 9.125 Anticipated maturity: 2011-2031.” 92 points
2005 Barbaresco Riserva “Rio Sordo”
Galloni: “The 2005 Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo jumps from the glass with an exciting array of freshly cut roses, spices and raspberries. The 2005 is an especially dense, rich Rio Sordo endowed with superb depth and great overall balance. Floral notes accompany the wine from start to finish in an irresistible display of the perfume that makes Barbaresco such a sexy wine. In 2005 the Rio Sordo is not to be missed. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2025.” 92 points
2005 Barbaresco Riserva “Moccagatta”
Galloni: “The 2005 Barbaresco Riserva Moccagatta is one of the more compact, linear wines in this vintage. The Moccagatta offers up sensations of bright red fruits, flowers, spices and vanilla in a rather unyielding style. The wine should improve in bottle but the tannins will likely always remain somewhat firm. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.” 90 points.
Thursday 22, April 2010
We are blowing the proverbial roof off the joint, not once, but twice in the next few days. Find a way to get here, if only for ten minutes. You. Me. Amy. Damien. Aldo. Transcendental wine bliss state. No proverbial roof. See below.
Friday 5:30 – 7:00pm — Importer/Distributor Damien Casten is presenting new wines from arguably the most bleeding edge, uncompromising, driven young European wine growers/makers on the scene.
Klaus Peter Keller, Rheinhessen. Estate and single-vineyard trocken (dry) Riesling and Pinot Noir, including new Grosses Gewachs (trans. Grand Cru) Burgel Pinot Noir ’07 and Kirchspiel Riesling ’08. Am I excited? You have no idea! There goes the tax refund.
Romain Guiberteau, Saumur. Mind-melting estate and single vineyard Chenin and Cab Franc from the Loire. These wines slay me. And I can’t decide what I like better, the whites or the reds. Rarely is a winemaker so tuned in to both.
Riecine, Chianti Classico (Sean O’Callaghan). Super-pure, etched 100% sangiovese from a Gaiole purist, ’06 Chianti Classico and ’05 Riserva from a winery whose founder famously proclaimed that he would add Cabernet to his Chianti when Baron Philippe de Rothschild plants Sangiovese. Not gonna happen. A sleeper estate, that Matt Kramer ranks as among the top half dozen producers in Chianti.
This Friday only. Open house from 5:30 – 7:00pm.
I’ve published the complete lineup along with more background on the producers online at: www.thebottleshop.net/news.php?newsid=144
Monday 5:30 – 7:00pm –– Do you have enough Nebbiolo in your crawl space? I didn’t think so. Stop by Monday night and rectify the situation. Ageworthy Barbaresco priced within reach of normal wine loving people. Check it out:
Produttori del Barbaresco violates the presumption that wine with pedigree and terroir cannot be produced by a co-operative winery. Not so here, especially under the inspired stewardship of winemaker Aldo Vacca, the Nebbiolo — that’s all they make — from Langhe up through the single-vineyard bottlings are every bit as wonderful and ageworthy as any estate bottled Barbaresco, and, they do that at normal people prices. But, don’t take my word for it. Antonio Galloni had this to say in last October’s Wine Advocate: “The Produttori del Barbaresco have another set of wonderful wines on their hands with these new releases. The Produttori have long made delicious, ageworthy Barbarescos, but in the last few years the overall level of quality and consistency has gone up several notches. Best of all, prices have remained exceedingly fair.” Stop by, say hello to Aldo and taste some righteous Piedmontese Nebbiolo.
Aldo’s pouring the newly released 2008 Lange Nebbiolo (YOUNG VINE BARBARESCO!!!), which at only $24 a bottle, may be the best Nebbiolo value ever, the 2006 DOCG Barbaresco and two single vineyard 2005 Riservas, Rio Sordo and Moccagatta. Here’s the dance card and more background on the wines: Read More:>>