Because I am at the Wine Bloggers’ Conference, I am taking a little recess from Italian wines for the Live Wine Blogging Session, which is an exercise where all those attending are presented with 10 wines in only 50 minutes and are supposed to write a blog entry on the spot.
I know you are all like, “Thank God(dess)! I didn’t think she drank anything else?!”
I am not a naturally spontaneous person. But I’m working on it. I thought about skipping out on this session but my ability to focus and tune out what I don’t want to see or hear made this possible for me. Although I have to say, having Jonathan Cristaldi, Deputy Editor of The SOMM Journal and The Tasting Panel magazines, next to me made this pretty fun!
Ten wines in 50 minutes: here are my notes and photos. Notes galore. I am a nerd. 😉
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2012. Randall Grahm sold the brand in 2006. 95% of their production is Riesling. On the nose: simple, light, floral, not sweet pineapple, no petrol … fresh, textured, good length. Winemaker is still Nicolas Quille, who was the wine maker for Randall when I worked there, 10 years ago. They’re based in Portland. ★★
Urban Legend Grenache blanc 2013. Grapes from Capay Valley East of Lake Berryessa. Winery in Oakland. They make a variety of wines and grapes come from diverse places all over Claifornia. On the nose: sweet & peachy. Rich but sees no oak; really full and yeasty.
Uproot Grenache blanc 2012. Santa Ynez Valley. “We’re all about transparency.” Every year the label changes to reflect the wine that vintage. Clear in color. Sweet and fruity aromas, vanilla, caramel apple. Light on the palate. Strange glycerin, steely texture. ★
Charles Krug Sauvignon blanc 2013. St Helena, Napa Valley. I just bought grapefruit chapstick the other day and this smells almost just like that but less sweet. Fruity, fresh, not too much of the tomato leaf and cat’s piss that I hate. Slow, cold fermentation.
Oro Bello Chardonnay 2013. 80% Monterey 20% Napa. Grapes from Monterey fermented in neutral oak. Grapes from Napa fermented in stainless. Combined to be aged in 30% new oak. Minerals and caramel all the way through. He was inspired by the flint flakes in Burgundy vineyards and that’s where the name “Oro Bello” (beautiful gold) comes from.
Agnitio Sauvignon blanc 2013. Napa Valley. 8% new oak, a barrel called, “cigare,” developed by Didier Dagenau for lees contact. The rest in neutral oak and stainless. Nutty, minerals, peach. Fresh acidity; a joy to drink. ★★
Maryhill Arelia2012.Roussane 54%, Marsanne 46%. Columbia Valley. Nutty, floral, easy, stone fruit. “Froooooty!”
Yorkville Cuvee Brut. Located between between Alexander Valley and Andersen Valley. Dusty; smells a little like older wine; vegetal. Fresh on palate. Lingers. Okay but I’m not a sparkling wine judge. Don’t like most of it. Sorry; tastes like a headache but I can’t claim to be normal.
Gypsy Canyon Ancient Vine Angelica. Mission 100%. Planted in 1887. Marcelina’s Vineyard. Santa Rita Hills. Amber color. Honey, butterscotch, apple, hay, Hefeweizen, fresh, honey texture. I need to visit this vineyard only because of the name: “little Marcella.” 🙂
Aridus Chardonnay 2012. Santa Maria grapes; Arizona winery. 50% Native; 50% Industrial yeat. 75% new French oak; 25% neutral. Golden yellow. Rubber, truffle honey, hay, caramel apple. Intense, hot, oaky.
PS – To read Jonathan Cristaldi’s take on this session, go here.