2021 Nebbiolo (Clarksburg) by Haarmeyer, West Sacramento, CA
Think you’ve seen all Nebbiolo can be? Think again!
Light clear, transparent almost iridescent color. Bright crisp nose with subtle citrus and sweet cola. Swirling unlocks a gentle sedimentary earth leather and intensifies the cola, adding a little zest.
Slight Citrus and lemon zest up front on the body. This is quickly followed by subtle bitter cola, mineral and sedimentary leather. A touch oak lends a crisp refined caramel that further accentuates the fruit with hints of raspberry, red cherries and strawberry. Beneath all this lies a bone dry wine. This all quickly vanishes across the palate leaving behind parched lips and a touch of spice. Most certainly a chillable red.
Nothing ventured nothing gained. The wine world seems to have no shortage of folks who insist on having found, seen, tasted or learned all there is to know about wine. To all, I suggest you take a look at what the folks at Haarmeyer are doing. It’s a great approach to and perspective on wine I think we all could use these days. From harvesting for pH instead of Brix and creating subtle, low intervention wines that are simply delightful.
Thank you Craig for the great wines and hospitality! I’m excited and look forward to many more vintages.
Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Grenache (Heringer Estates) by Passaggio Wines, San Francisco, California.
Just look at the color. Wow. Nose is slightly shy out of the bottle with primary notes of a crisp sweet cherry cola. A damp old oak leather lingers in the back. Swirling vigorously unlocks a burst of bright, sweet cherry, strawberry and red vines licorice. Faint blueberries linger in the back. Ugghhh… Seriously!
Body is restrained and precisely balanced. A plush, cola greets the palate, imparting a soft bitter essence. Cherries and crisp oak add a soft, fleshy, palate-wetting, mouth feel. Bacon Fat! That’s it! Thin crisp tannins provide just enough structure while remaining almost unnoticeable. As it progresses, a firm heat slowly ramps up, fully engulfing the palate from front to back. Over time this heat falls way back. Giving way to a dry dusty finish with cola and cherry dancing into the sunset, as it comes full circle. At 13.4% ABV, I am going to thoroughly enjoy this occasion.
Cindy’s wines are highly understated, precise, balanced, crisp and beautiful. There’s a certain obsession with perfection I don’t see often. This starts with the color. Usually wines this good, have an element of creative chaos. Not her wines. I cannot say enough about this Winemaker’s work.
Cindy… Stoppit! You’re killin me!🍷😭👌🏽
Read more about Passagio Wines on WineSnob.
Tonight’s Occasion: 1885 Established (2013 Red Blend) by Three Wine Company, Contra Costa County.
Dark opaque color. Out of the bottle nose is slightly subdued but clearly intense with big, dark, tart plums, hints of slightly ripe, dark cherries a damp, old oak leather. Swirling vigorously unlocks bursts of red vines licorice and a certain cool crispness. Interesting. I think
This wine needs to be decanted for a while. It is still very tight.
The nose is completely misleading! Body is very smooth and balanced from front to back. Tart plums turn ripe providing a great marriage between measured acidity and gentle tannic structure. The oak and cherry fill and soften the mouth feel very nicely. In a vanishing act, the body quickly dissipates across the palate leaving behind a fine, dusty tannic grip and gentle but persistent warm spice heat midway down the chest.
This is a treat of a wine. The kind I would open with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. It is by all accounts a big bold wine at 15.3% however the winemaker has actually pulled off this balancing act quite nicely. Well done Matt and the entire crew at Three Wine Company!
Tonight’s occasion: 2018 Aglianico (Heringer Estates, Clarksburg) by Passaggio Wines
The color is mesmerizing. Nose is a little shy out of the bottle with subtle hints of dried tart fruit. Swirl vigorously to unlock crisp plum, slightly ripe cherries and a wet loamy soil and driftwood underlayment typical of Clarksburg. Distant floral notes I can’t pinpoint, dance in the background. Gorgeous!
Body is crisp. Mildly acidic. That tart fruit carries forward, immediately accompanied by an unmistakable clean, crisp, refined caramel. Crisp, clean tannins provide a sparing framework without dominating. This is a massive beast of a varietal and I have never seen it tamed like this. Terroir is almost neutral. Transition to finish is seamless and ends in a subtle spice heat while those restrained tannins finally show themselves in the form of a long, dry enduring grip.
This winemaker took a chance with this beast of a varietal and I think it paid off. She also has another Aglianico made in the more typical/traditional style. I highly recommend getting them both together. They make a great study of this grape’s broad potential.
Cindy is a small artisan winemaker to follow closely. Her wines are all amazing if not head-scratching at at times.
Nicely done Cindy! 🍷😁👌🏽
Read more about Passagio Wines on WineSnob.