2018 Farmhouse Red by Amador Cellars, Plymouth CA

Tonight’s Occasion: 2018 Farmhouse Red by Amador Cellars , Plymouth CA

Almost opaque color. Out of the bottle, slightly under-ripe dark plum, star anise (very typical of this region), prominent berries (it is 43%Zin after all). In the back a subtle granite. The notes conspire to create a bubble-gum essence. Subtle floral notes of sweet rose petals, easily overshadowed by the star anise.

Balanced body is balanced, slightly restrained. Ripe dark plum up front quickly turns to fine dissolved and fully integrated tannins that stay suspended. A hint of oak vanilla accentuates the fruit in an otherwise fairly dry wine. The discerning palate would appreciate this. A smooth mouth feel gives way to an unceremonious finish leaving the lips slightly moist with a touch dusty tannic grit.

No secret here. I love this Winemaker’s work. Truly a family affair. This winery is family owned and operated. While Mike may have many more prized vintages under his belt, it’s always nice to take a look at his interpretation of the porch pounder and every day sipper. I love what he’s done here. It shows his versatility as a winemaker. If you read between the lines, you’ll find this is the type of wine that introduces the beginner palate to what great wines are all about. I believe among many-a-purpose, wine should also serve as an opportunity for enlightenment and education. This wine does just that.

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2019 Touriga by Amador Cellars

Tonight’s occasion: 2019 Touriga by Amador Cellars, Plymouth California.

Very aromatic, floral nose as soon as you open the bottle. Wow. Reminds me of spring blossoms, wild tropical flowers, passion fruit, a touch of jasmine and honeysuckle. Is this really Touriga? Wow. Closer inspection reveals ripe berries, sweet cherries, wet granite leather and touch of licorice. As it opens up it reveals subtle notes of baker’s cocoa. I can pick up the nose from two feet away on the patio outside. What an entrancing bouquet.

Body is light, plush, soft, and chock-full of subtle layers. My goodness. I have never seen a take on Touriga like this. Crisp caramel lingers in the back, thin whispy tannins provide an ever shifting structure. Transition to finish is seamless as the whole set shifts and fades. Various notes from the nose carry through, constantly rotating over the palate.

I remember Michael the winemaker telling me this was a not the typical Touriga. It was made to be enjoyed now, even chilled. Touriga is such a massive varietal, it’s shocking to see it in this form. I have never seen a Touriga (or a red for that matter) done like this. Very creative. This is a conversation piece. I need to get more for my cellar!

Nicely done Mike and the entire crew at Amador Cellars! Wow!

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2016 Grenache Noir (Reserve) by Amador Cellars

Tonight’s occasion: 2016 Grenache Noir (Reserve) by Amador Cellars, Plymouth, CA

Summary: Watch this Winemaker closely.

Rich, ruby color. Crisp nose with a subtle tart plums, hints of granite mineral terroir, licorice. Swirl vigorously to release puffs of sweet cherry, and a distant minty/eucalyptus herbal essence so subtle you’d likely miss it all together.

A vibrant crisp body greets with cola, cherries and a suggestion of oak. Thin, crisp tannins provide good structure without overpowering the palate. This combines to create a soft, silky slightly weighty mouth feel with lots of dimension. Transition to finish is characterized by the emergence of a crisp spice which together with the crisp tannins, hold the palate hostage for the duration of the experience while pops of cherry, licorice and cola fade away.

This is a Winemaker who’s work I will be following closely. His work I only simply describe as understated. Creating such complex, layered balanced wines at such an early stage in his journey, one can only imagine what his craft will look like a decade or two from now. I am looking forward to every single vintage…

Nicely done Mike, the Long Family and the entire team at Amador Cellars.

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