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Started with a little bubbly, always a great way to begin. 075 Carati 2011 Sparkling Ribolla Gialla, IGT, delle Venezie, Italy $19. www.pieramartellozzo.com. Toasty. Good starter.
Best of show Sparkling, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte 2004 Vintage Brut, Champagne, France $46. www.feuillatte.com Fruit Nose, on the mouth some petrol notes.
*Stoller Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir, SV Estate, Dundee Hills $40. www.stollervineyards.com Nose - earth. Mouth - Smooth, very nice cherry fruit. Liked.
*MacRostie Winery & Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, Sonoma Coast $40. www.macrostiewinery.com Nose - earth, leather. Mouth - Earth and dry cherry. Another rich good one.
*Best Pinot Noir, Lawson's Dry Hills Wines 2009 Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand $23. www.lawsonsdryhills.co.nz Nose - Not much but made up for that with the taste of nice subtle cherry.
Best Grenache, Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2010 Grenache, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills $35. www.alexandrianicolecellars.com Nose - restrained, light. Mouth - Thick texture.
The Colonial Estate 2010 Exile Shiraz, Barossa, Australia $220. Nose - A touch of solvent but not in the mouth. Full, rich, dark fruit. Quite enjoyable, but out of my price range.
Best Malbec, Alamos 2009 Malbec, Seleccion, Mendoza, Argentina $20. www.alamoswines.com Nose - earth, forest floor/mushroom. Mouth - Cherry, musty.
*Arizona Stronghold Winery 2010 Dala Cabernet, Graham County, Arizona $17. www.arizonastronghold.com I’d heard about this winery for a while but this was my first opportunity to taste their wine. Nose - nothing. Mouth - Tart cherry notes, pleasant tannins, pleasantly surprised on the whole. I wasn’t sure what I would encounter with an Arizona source. It’s not all hot there. They are located in mountains east of Phoenix. I’d like to try some more at my leisure and with food.
First Press 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $15. www.firstpresswine.com Smooth, cherry pipe tobacco,
*Trojak Knier Winery 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $60. www.trojakknier.com Nose - Earth, leather, forest floor. Mouth - Smooth, good cherry fruit.
*PerryMoore Wines 2008 Paradii Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $125. 94 CS/ 6 % Petit Verdot. www.perrymoore.com Nose - Subtler version of what I detected in the Trojak Knier. Mouth - subtler there too.
*Parallel 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $60. www.parallelwines.com Blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Cabernet Franc and less Merlot. Nose - Light. Mouth - Smooth. Young but quite smooth drinking between the small additions and the decanting.
*Best Cabernet Sauvignon, Parallel 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate, Napa Valley $125. www.parallelwines.com Nose - Earth, subtle forest floor. Mouth - Tart cherry, some pepper. These two wines had been decanted which added to their smoothness. Both subtly rich with lovely fruit. Can probably go for a while if you can leave them alone.
Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2010 Red Blend, Quarry Butte, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington $25. www.alexandrianicolecellars.com Nose - 'Sweat sox' musky, not bad at all, just an earthy description. Mouth - Nice red fruit.
*Del Fin del Mundo 2008 Special Red Blend, Patagonia, Argentina $45. www.bodegadelfindelmundo.com Nose - Earth, forest floor. Mouth - Some tobacco, restrained tannins on finish. I first tasted wine from this maker a couple years ago at a large South American wine event and was very pleasantly surprised. There is wine south of Mendoza and it is good.
*Best Petite Sirah, Stanton Vineyards 2009 Petite Sirah, St. Helena, Napa Valley $45. www.stantonvineyards.com Nose - earth, leather, tobacco. Mouth - Lush berry. Really nice full texture.
There were spirits, too! First was the EF Turkish Raki, $40. If you like licorice (and I do) this was quite nice. Thick texture and not hot. Then a wee dram of the Dalmore 18 year old Single Malt Scotch. Warms one up. Ah. In a chat I was given a recommendation to try the Aquavit…from Oregon! So I circled back and did so. Kroqstad Aquavit, Oregon. Listed as Best Aquavit, $25. Well, that was darn good. A much subtler anise than the Raki. Very easy to sip.
The asterisk (*) marks my particular favorites of the wines that day: three Pinot Noirs, a Shiraz, most of the Cabernet Sauvignons, the Patagonian blend and the Petite Sirah.
Thanks again to the indefatigable JD, who goes where I send him. Cheers!
Enjoyed reading your coverage JD! Hope to see you and Denise over a tasting glass soon!
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