Saturday Wrist Band Wines!!!

Have you had the chance to try out our new Saturday Wrist Band Program?  Well if you stop by the store any Saturday afternoon,  you can purchase a wrist band at the front of the store that will allow you to taste the high end wines brought in by our distributors.

This weeks bottles include….

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2012 Fort Ross Sea Slopes Pinot Noir

Rating: 89

The 2012 Pinot Noir Sea Slopes Fort Ross Vineyard comes from multiple clones, including Calera, Pommard, Swan and Dijon clones 115 and 777. Again, little new oak was used, about 4%, and the wine was aged ten months in neutral French oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this is a relatively large cuvée of 2,038 cases. A lot of cranberry, pomegranate and the red fruit spectrum of Pinot Noir aromas and flavors are present in this medium-bodied, crisp, very Burgundian and cool-climate Pinot. The wine shows excellent texture and a good, long finish. It’s still youthful and may put on more weight. It’s not by any means a big wine. Drink now-2020.

The winemaker at this small, boutique operation is Jeff Pisoni, who works for the two South African owners, Lester and Linda Schwartz, who began planting what has now turned into 55 acres of vineyard in 1994. The first vintage was 2000. This is my first look at their wines, and several of them are absolutely spectacular offerings.

2012 Fort Ross Chardonnay

Rating: 94

The 2012 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard (447 cases) comes from an old Hyde Vineyard clone of Chardonnay (80%) and 20% from the old Wente. Aged ten months in French oak, of which 10% was new, and bottled unfined and unfiltered, this is just a killer Chardonnay. A rather thick-looking light gold color is followed by loads of spring flowers, wet rocks, honeysuckle, almond paste and caramelized citrus with a touch of brioche and white peach. It’s beautifully textured, full-bodied, incredibly elegant and intense. This is a superb Sonoma Coast Chardonnay to drink over the next decade or more.

The winemaker at this small, boutique operation is Jeff Pisoni, who works for the two South African owners, Lester and Linda Schwartz, who began planting what has now turned into 55 acres of vineyard in 1994. The first vintage was 2000. This is my first look at their wines, and several of them are absolutely spectacular offerings.

 

2012 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 

Rating: 92

The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged nearly 25 months in oak. The wine shows the floral/blueberry notes that often come from higher elevations on Spring Mountain. A nice hint of chocolate, toasty oak, bay leaf and spice box. It’s rich, layered, full-bodied and another beauty. This is also a fairly small cuvée of 335 cases, making it the smallest of any of these cuvées from winemaker Ted Edwards.

Freemark Abbey has hit pay dirt big-time, with plenty of terrific offerings that are being released now and early in 2016. Winemaker Ted Edwards seems to go from strength to strength and readers looking for top-flight Napa wines priced under $50.00 need to check out several of these immediately, as I’m sure they’ll be huge crowd-pleasers.

2010 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Monument is gorgeous and totally juicy. Blackberry jam, blueberries, savory herbs, tar, pencil shavings and sweet spices all burst from the glass in this deeply resonant, expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. Hints of mocha, espresso and vanilla linger on the finish. The 2010 includes a splash of Petit Verdot and Malbec to round out the Cabernet.

2011 Stonestreet Upper Barn Chardonnay

The 2011 Chardonnay Upper Barn comes across deep, rich and implosive. A wine of considerable energy and sheer power, the 2011 boasts serious extract. The Upper Barn is the biggest and broadest of the Stonestreet Chardonnays. It will appeal most to readers who like powerful Chardonnays. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2018.

Stonestreet is arguably the greatest undiscovered gem in the Kendall-Jackson portfolio. The wines are always distinctive and full of personality. Best of all, they remain exceptionally fairly priced. I hope readers will take the time to check out these fabulous new releases. The Sauvignon-based whites and Chardonnays are especially strong this year. I find less excitement in the 2010 Cabernets, which come across as lacking a bit of depth, most likely owing to rain during the harvest.

2014 Sheridan La Belle

The rich, unctuously textured 2014 La Belle Blonde Chardonnay gives up tons of caramelized orchard fruits, sweet oak, toasted bread and white flowers in a full-bodied, concentrated, beautifully layered style. There’s some serious heft here, but it says balanced, fresh and thoroughly drinkable. It should keep nicely for 3-4 years, possibly longer.

2013 Rotie Cellars Northern Blend

Incorporating 5% Viognier, the Syrah dominated 2013 Northern Blend comes all from the Walla Walla Valley in 2013 and saw the same 14-16 months in older barrels that all the reds saw here. It has a similar savory herb character found in the southern blend, with lots of dried garrigue, olive, smoked meats, mulled blackberries and pepper emerging from the glass. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, elegant and supple, with bright, yet nicely integrated acidity, plenty of texture and a clean, dry finish. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.

 

 

 

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