Tonight’s Occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir (3BBL) by Roger Roessler Wines (@rogerroesslerwines), Sonoma CA.
Clear ruby color. Gentle, plush, aromatic nose. Earthy notes take center stage with wet wood, damp forest floor, a touch of that all too familiar Sonoma Dirt and Mushroom. As it breathes, slightly ripened cherries creep forward. Swirling vigorously intensifies, fruit and floral notes. A sweet cola makes an appearance. Beautiful!
Body is nicely balanced, greeting with a gentle touch of acidity which is quickly replaced with a smooth, silky, slightly viscous body. Paper thin layers of crisp tannin are laid down beneath layers of thin wisps of cherry cola, faint crisp caramel and viscous leathery essence. Transition to finish is characterized by the emergence of a gentle but firm spice towards the back. Body vanishes, leaving behind slightly bitter cola as crisp, clean tannins assert themselves amidst a gentle warmth.
This 3BBL is a blend of this vintner’s top Pinot from that vintage. Each vintage unique in its own expression. This vintage is a beautiful representation of the greater Sonoma region. It preserves this identity very well in an all around classy expression. If you haven’t explored Roger Roessler wines, I highly recommend them. They make for a great study, a compendium of Pinot Noir from up and down the Pacific Coast. I have been following their wines for well over a decade now.
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Tonight’s Occasion: 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Grey – Glacier) by Ventisquero , Maipo Valley, Chile
Warm earthy nose with damp woody leather. Hint of mushroom. Dark plums characteristic of Cabernet Sauvignon linger in the back.
Body shows great balance from front to back. A dry plum and damp old wood greet the palate immediately. Ever increasing tannic structure follows. This progresses though the entire experience all the way through the finish ending with a slight spice tingle and warm heat lower towards the chest. Subtle oak soften the body. A mild acidity dances in the back. As it opens up, a dry tannic grip grows even more massive and dominates the finish rendering the palate dry and parched shut.
I absolutely love what this Winemaker and his team are doing down in Chile. A recent entry into the US (and global) markets, it presents great value, punching way above its weight. I highly recommend following them closely and seizing any opportunities as they come up.
Beautiful clear ruby color. Bright nose out of the bottle, with subtle berries, dusty slate-like mineral essence and a honeysuckle so faint it could be missed. Swirling vigorously unlocks even more mineral leather, red berries and sweet cherries. Just gorgeous!
Bright body with good acidity on the attack. Dry berries, cherries and subtle, crisp, clean oak vanilla follow closely, adding great dimension, a pinch of structure and lush mouth feel. This quickly exits the stage, leaving behind a slightly bitter, dry mineral underlayment. This marks the transition to finish which results in thin but firm, dry tannic grip, slightly moist tingling lips and an ever increasing heat in the chest.
This Pinot has lots of personality. A very classy execution without being boring or predictable. It is a beautifully made Pinot. I love it!
See more about my visit to their location in Woodinville below.
Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir (Sanford & Benedict Vineyard) by Sanford of the legendary Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills, Santa Barbara California.
Subtle aromatic nose characterized by rich fine leather of slightly damp loamy terroir intertwined with faint sweet berries, touch of dark cherries and vanilla. This wine commands a clean palate and clear mind.
Body is balanced right down the middle, front to back. An attack with suggestion of acidity is quickly counterbalanced by subtle tannin in the form of dark cherries. This creates just the right amount of background structure and foundation for a silky, whispy mouth feel. Oak vanilla and berries continue their gentle interplay as they carry over from the nose, introducing yet more whispers of musical harmony. Body and finish appear as one through a seamless transition culminating with gentle whispers of dry tannic grip and faint spice.
This is a terroir driven wine. An exercise in restraint and balance. A strict adherence to core principles. It reads like a thesis in Pinot Noir excellence. You cannot explore wines from the California central coast without indulging in this specific Pinot Noir by this storied founders’ vineyard. I keep this particular Pinot Noir on hand in my cellar as a benchmark and reference.
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Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Cabernet Franc (Chinon) by Remy Pannier, Loire, France.
Dark plum color. Warm restrained nose with a lovely leather of slightly mineral, sedimentary terroir. You get a punch of mushrooms right out of the bottle. This quickly dissipates and is replaced by dark plum and blackberry. There’s a bit of a smokey cocoa essence. I like the nose on this one.
Haha this is definitely a Cab Franc by all accounts. Body is balanced. It has a plum mouth feel with lots of crisp clean tannic structure. The mineral leather carries over here as well as it’s smokey cocoa essence. Once opened the already graceful body softens around the edges for a smooth gentler feel. The finish is rather unceremonious, fading away, leaving behind a dry moderate tannic grip.
This is a Cabernet Franc after all. A great example too. I don’t expect too much drama or dimension from this varietal but what it does, it does it well. At 12.5% ABV this is one you can take your sweet time and eek out every nuance without any palate fatigue. I don’t think I’ve tasted Cab Franc from Loire before. I like how the terroir is so nicely expressed.
Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Remy Pannier wines delivered to your doorstep.
Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Petite Sirah by Peterson, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County. Courtesy of Casemates who invited me to review tonight’s offering. I am writing this as I begin my review.
Dark opaque color. Warm intense nose full of big plum and dark cherry. I pick up secondary notes of berries tertiary notes of cedarwood and wet sand sedimentary earth.
Body is mild mannered with just a touch of acidity accompanied by big buttery plummy tannins creates a very nice full mouthfeel. Body has good fruit but remains dry (not sweet). The sandy terroir makes an appearance towards the back with a hint of minerality. Finish is smooth, crisp and brisk ending with a dry tannic grip that leaves the palate parched.
This is a surprisingly mature wine that is showing really well right now but should further develop nicely over the next few years. At $159.99/case from Casemates (as of this writing), I would buy a case, enjoy half now and lay the rest down. This winemaker is onto something. I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their wines and the head scratching value. This is without doubt a good deal on a great well made wine!
Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Langhe Rosso by GiA, Langhe, Italy.
Nose is restrained overall however the introduction of mineral terroir is clear and unmistakable. This is followed by subtle secondary cherry and tertiary oak caramel upon vigorous swirling. The body is moderately acidic, dry, further restrained. It feels like this wine does not appreciate being disturbed. Minerality carries through the body. I am reminded by what enchanted me about this wine many years ago. Towards the back of the body, clean, crisp tannins begin their relentless rise to dominate the palate and transition into an otherwise smooth finish, overshadowed by powerful dry grip that leaves the palate parched and craving more.
This is the wine that started my obsession with Nebbiolo and more specifically the Langhe region. It is a relatively inexpensive wine. It comes in very manly looking 1 Litre bottles and a case will typically set you back well under $200. Keep in mind that more than a typical case of standard 750ml bottles. It’s a great way to introduce the region to guests and curious wine enthusiasts.
Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Cabernet Franc (Monarch Mine Vineyard) by Easton.
From the 2019 WineSnob.blog Winemaker of the year. I have been looking forward to exploring his work with Cab Franc.
Deep inky color. Aromatic nose for a Cab Franc. Big plum and blackberry on the front and mineral earthy terroir on the back. Big bold fruity body dominated by tart plum and blackberry. Heavy chewy tannins make a delayed entrance and turn slightly creamy once it breathes a little. Nice seamless transition to a long woody, tannic finish capped with moderate spice.
This wine is well built and very approachable now. It should age nicely over the next few years. Wines like this are why I choose to stay off the beaten path.
Thanks you Bill & Jane. I’m looking forward to many more great vintages.
Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Easton wines delivered to your doorstep.
Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir by Bulgariana. This one comes from the Danube Plain in Bulgaria. Yes, you read that right!
Wine is an art form. To truly appreciate it you have to constantly seek it out. You have to venture off the beaten path. You can’t just stagnate with what seems popular. You will miss out on some of the greatest wines you never knew about.
I’m impressed with this wine. It has an aromatic nose rich in cherry, plum, a hint of leather and tobacco. A subtle bitter reminiscent of cocoa. The body is fairly full for a Pinot, introducing more plum and a hint of licorice on the front. Earthy terroir and tobacco conspire to create an intriguing expression in the back. Once opened up, bold creamy tannins dominate a long lasting finish capped with a healthy note of spice.
I picked this wine up at out of curiosity. I wanted to explore that corner of the world and I certainly am surprised. Furthermore at $14 a bottle it definitely punches above it’s weight. This is how you find good value. It is far superior to some of the Pinot I had last weekend in Napa and Sonoma, for a fraction of the price.
Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Pinot Noir by Dierberg * Star Lane Vinyards, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, California.
Light ruby color. Very restrained and delicate nose characterized by sweet berry, hint of cherry, oak and the faintest slightly mineral terroir. The melange creates a subtle and unmistakable slightly caramelized marshmallow essence. It is rich, clean, crisp, layered, highly delineated. Body is just as restrained, very subtle, delicate balance of mild, berry, faint oak and leather as the terroir becomes slightly more expressed. Body makes a subtly tannic transition into the finish which quickly turns creamy and dissipates into the very gentle finish capped by a restrained spice. This is a traditional Pinot and it is showing perfectly right now!
My goodness this is an amazing Pinot!!! After weeks of bold big bodied wines, it is a breath of fresh air upon the palate. It is a reminder that some of the best Pinot in the world is crafted here in California. You won’t find this at the store. You will have to make the journey of a lifetime to this understated region. I wrote about my visit to this winery on my blog (see link in bio). Well done Dierberg * Star Lane! Hope to see you again soon. 🍷😁👌🏽
Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Dierberg Star Lane wines delivered to your doorstep.