Reserve: 2015 Riserva Sangiovese by Vino Noceto

Tonight’s occasion: a side-by-side with the 2015 Riserva Sangiovese and the 2015 Sangiovese by Vino Noceto.

This winemaker from Plymouth, Amador, California has been putting out an amazing Sangiovese with surgical consistency for as long as I can remember – well over a decade.

The Sangiovese alone is a benchmark by which I measure all other Sangiovese, regardless of where it’s from. I cannot overstate how well made it is. There is a more limited companion, the Riserva Sangiovese. I have been meaning to open both at the same time and explore them together, side-by-side.

Sangiovese

My previous notes hold. It is very well behaved. A mild mannered nose with hints of raspberry and cherry which become more prominent in a very well structured and balanced body. There is a subtle creamy under layer to the body. The finish is unmistakably peppery. The spice lingers long after the finish has faded away, like the tannins of a Syrah. It doesn’t take long to open up but when it does a light buttery, oak undertone permeates the entire experience. I consider this Sangiovese a prime example of what is possible with this varietal, in this region and the greater California wine region.

Riserva Sangiovese

Color has a hint of brown and a touch darker compared the Sangiovese. Nose on the Riserva has unmistakably a more oak. This is expected as it is barrel aged 6-8 months longer than the Sangiovese. This has the effect of smoothing out the edges and giving it a velvety mouth feel. It seems a tad more acidic.

Like any Sangiovese, I think it’s meant to be paired with food, especially meats. The Riserva even moreso. They both paired well with the New York Steak but it was pretty obvious this is where the Riserva really shines. It instantly cut through the steak, creating one seemless cohesive, creamy, buttery smooth experience. Wow. Hints of caramel, cocoa and tobacco emerge when paired. I’m not one to pair my wine as I like to fully immerse myself in all it’s nuance and complexity but this wine absolutely must be paired appropriately. The Riserva makes a great treat for any guest with a discerning palate. The Sangiovese is very approachable and an accessible price point, easily making it a very high quality every day wine.

I always keep several bottles of this Sangiovese in my cellar as a reference and to show fellow WineSnobs what is going on off the beaten path.

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Wine Review: 2014 Cabernet Franc by Easton

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.

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Reserve: 2008 Syrah by Terre Rouge

Tonight’s occasion: 2008 Syrah (Sentinel Oak Vineyards) by Terre Rouge.

Deep inky color. Rich nose with lots of plum, blackberry and a hint of caramel on the back. Big, beautiful and bold structured body with great balance. That plum and blackberry carries through into the body accompanied by a little acidity. Massive finish dominates the palate as those big tannins roar to life and demand your attention. This is a fantastic wine. A well built wine that punches above it’s weight. The winemakers’s tireless attention to detail, commitment to excellence without compromise and decades of practice in the art and science of wine making really shows here.

This wine is just now becoming approachable in my opinion and has easily another decade of expression ahead of it. At 11+ years old, it is nowhere near its peak expression.

Well done Terre Rouge * Easton! 😁🍷🍷🍷

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Reserve: 2011 L’Autre by Terre Rouge.

Tonight’s occasion: 2011 L’Autre by Terre Rouge. This is a GSM – Grenache, Syrah, Mauvedre.

A red blend from one of our favorite winemakers. Warm rich nose, with lots of cherry and plum wrapped in just the right amount of oak. Earthy mineral terroir is nicely expressed. Body is all business. Very structured, complex and balanced. Just the right amount of acid, tannin, fruit, oak, and terroir. A vibrant finish plays back and forth with tannin and spice, finally relenting to long lasting tannic grip. Once opened up, the tannins begin to spread from the finish to the back of the body, slowly dominating the entire experience reminding you that even though this is the 2011 vintage, it is still young and nowhere near it’s fullest expression.

We opened a 1992 GSM by this winemaker earlier this year. It was a true honor to partake in such a well built well preserved wine. So tonight we continue to explore this winemaker’s craft and how it evolves. There are moments where we feel fortunate to indulge in such art in a bottle. This would be one of them.

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 Terre Rouge wines delivered to your doorstep.

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Reserve: 2015 Resolute by Iron Hub

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Resolute by Iron Hub, Amador County, California. This wine inched ever so slightly ahead of their Esola Zinfandel. Both capping a respectable lineup of well built wines. It has a restrained nose with a suggestion of oak. If you don’t like big earthy noses, but like a big wine, you will like this one. It is somewhat fruit forward but not as much as one might expect from the region.

The body has a really good balance of acid, spice and fruit, quite impressive when you consider it has a 14.7% ABV. A testament to the winemaker’s craft. The finish is smooth with a healthy amount of tannic grip. It’s a great sipper, a high quality conversation wine. Several days ago I explored the obscure Italian varietal Aglianico. Little did I know I would encounter it this weekend. This is a refreshing, surprisingly approachable take on that grape. Well done guys!

Reserve: 1999 Syrah by Terre Rouge

Tonight’s occasion: 1999 Syrah by Terre Rouge of Shenandoah Valley, California.

It has an elusive nose with a hint of oaky chocolate, maybe a little plum.

Once opened it almost vanishes. Body has a mature late stage balance with a hint of acidity that gently and patiently segues into the finish which is introduced by a very brief bite of spice before riding into the sunset with a final gentle wave of mild tannic grip. This wine is ripe and has been ripe for a while.

After 20 years of patiently waiting, it came right out of the bottle ready with the posture of an old sage. It needs no decanting. It is absolutely beautiful. I cannot say enough about a winemaker whose craft shows so well after so long. A bottle like this is a distinct honor, privilege and true occasion. Where were you in 1999? Now imagine where this winemaker was at the same time.

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 Terre Rouge wines delivered to your doorstep.

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