Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2010 Evening Land Vineyards Bourgogne Blanc (Chardonnay) France.
This year’s Bourgogne Blanc is in my opinion light years better and fresher than the prior vintage and much more interesting with bright flavors and cool mineral tones that ooze elegance and life. I would also say the wine doesn’t show the sulphur notes the 2009 did and the use of neutral wood allows the Chardonnay to shine more fully in the 2010 version giving an almost Chablis like charm, but with true Beaune depth. This is a darn good White Burgundy with citrus, green apple, pear and yellow peach layers, wet stones, golden fig and hints of tropical essences. The full malo gives body, but crisp and tangy acidity lifts this pretty Chardonnay and everything is balanced and as it should be. I guess now I’m a believer and I recommend this wine whole-heartedly!

Evening Land Vineyards and the talented Christophe Vial, the long time winemaker at Domaine des Comtes Lafon with the famed Dominique Lafon have crafted three little beauties that have just been released here in the States from the 2010 vintage. These Burgundies (Bourgogne Blanc, Rouge and Etoile-Pouilly-Fuisse) offer generous fruit, class and vibrancy while the price could hardly be more fair, making these wines stunning values. While the great talents and personalities of Evening Land Vineyards continue to impress the wine world with the likes of Dominque Lafon, Larry Stone, Raj Parr, Sashi Moorman and Isabelle Meunier, it is great to see the product get better with each year!
($30 Est.) 92+ Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2009 Sheldon Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley.
This almost Loire inspired Cabernet is a throwback to the 70’s and early 80’s style California Cabs with modest alcohol, spice, crisp acid and tannin balance that take equal status with the fruit core. This easy to drink Cabernet is a wonderful food wine and shows a clean and refined palate with blackberry, cedar, peppery spices, sage, tobacco and subtle oak shadings. The nose hints at black olives, pepper, cherry fruit and mineral notes before a plummy mouth that feels vibrant and med weight throughout, though look for this wine to build in body as it ages. This wine continues to grow on me and it has grown into a beautiful Cabernet since I first tried it in barrel last year. If you enjoy old California cabs, Loire Cab Franc or a nice Claret then you will love this wine. The Sheldon’s were looking for a new and more refreshing Cabernet, and they nailed it with this subtle and elegant wine from a tiny vineyard in the Dry Creek that has a truly interesting terroir.
($TBD) 93+ Points, grapelive

www.sheldonwines.com

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2010 Sheldon Pinot Noir “Roma’s Vineyard” Anderson Valley.
This wine, a early bottle sample is one of the most beautiful and detailed young Pinots I’ve tried in many years! Everything was stacked against it, the vintage was tough, it is from an extreme site that saw storms and rain right at harvest, and I have just come off a Burgundy binder where I was drinking some amazing wines, including single vineyard Meo-Camuzet, so it was against all odds to find this wine the match of those wines, but it is and I was blown away… Dylan and Tobe Sheldon know they have created a special wine with this 2010 Sheldon Pinot Noir “Roma’s Vineyard” Anderson Valley and they should be very proud of this stunning wine. They have allowed this balanced and delicate Pinot Noir to show the most feminine and perfumed qualities it could and timed the bottling to perfection, not letting oak or time take away any of the subtleties or pretty nature. This wine that Dylan likens to a Sauvigny Les Beaune is not a blockbuster or intense, but it is glorious and layered with bright and sexy fruit, floral tones, soft minerallity and lingers on the finish like a first kiss. The nose shows violets, roses and fresh raspberries with hints of briar and white pepper leading to a round silky palate of bing cherry, plum and almost a nectarine hint. This gentle wine is all you love in Burgundy and can find in cooler climate Pinots here in California and Oregon, and if you want beauty than this wine will charm you and intrigue you. I was completely and utterly shocked at the poise and grace in this young and truly remarkable wine, without question this little darling is world class juice, and it should gain with a bit of cellar time, though for me it would be too hard not to drink sooner vs later. This wine is a little bit of magic, and I’m totally smitten, I would beg, cheat and steal to have more!
($35-40 Est.-TBD) 94 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

***

2010 Sheldon “Vinolocity Blanc” Sonoma Coast (Viognier, Roussanne & Grenache Blanc)
I was granted a sneaky peak to this new wine from the Sheldon’s, along with their wine club, and I must say, this is a must get at all costs wine that is dynamic and full of potential! This wine, inspired by Chateauneuf-du-Pape whites and Dylan and Tobe Sheldon have nailed it and then some with their 2010 Vinolocity Blanc. In a week when I had tasted many a glorious Burgundy and other greats, I found myself even more impressed by the new lineup at Sheldon Wines, even though I consider myself a friend and fan of their wines, these pre release samples on show were stunning in pleasure, freshness and complexity. With out any question, the direction and winemaking at Sheldon has stepped up a few notches and these are the best set of wines yet made by Dylan and Tobe. The 2010 Sheldon “Vinolocity Blanc” is a Sonoma Coast gem, made with about 50% Viognier (early picked) 25% Roussanne and 25% Grenache Blanc and left on skins and stems for a bit to add complexity, spice and grip, while the earlier picked Viognier give subtle perfume and a touch more crisp acidity, making for a vibrant and intense wine. The nose has just a whiff of jasmine, honeysuckle and white flowers, but the stony minerals and nectarine shine brighter, leading to a round and deep palate of yellow citrus, peach and white stone fruits with hints of exotic tropical fruit, smoke and clarified cream/butter, and the finish has pepper, Indian spices and candied hot ginger notes. Old and New Worlds collide in near perfect order here to create something remarkable and special. This is a fantastic and sexy wine, get on the Sheldon’s list to get this beauty, you’ll be very happy.
($32 Est.-TBD-Pre Release) 94 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Weekend Treat

By Kerry Winslow

***

2007 Remelluri Rioja, Spain.
This beautiful and seductive Rioja is everything you could ask for in a wine, everything is balanced and graceful, but with life and vigor as well. Close to 90% Tempranillo the Remelluri has a touch of Graciano and Garnacha that give perfume and spice, really they help frame the rich and complex old vine Tempranillo that shows creamy cherry and blackberry fruit on the palate and the long lingering finish. The 2007 vintage was a tough year and the selection for the perfectionist styled Remelluri was severe and it shows in this amazing wine. The nose has lovely floral notes and smoky sweetness along with bramble berry and briar spices leading to a mouthful of sexy fruit. Hints of lavender, pepper, vanilla and soft mineral tones add complexity to the full bodied texture that feels plummy and round. Always a class act, this Remelluri really stands out in a crowd of impressive Spanish wines that are hitting the stores. Drink now and for the next 3 to 5 years, this is an outstanding wine.
($41 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

Avail. at www.sfwtc.com ($39.95)

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Reviews: New T-Vine Releases

By Kerry Winslow

***

2009 T-Vine Grenache “Frediani Vineyard” Calistoga, Napa Valley.
This bold expression of Grenache has depth and beauty to go with the vintage’s ripe fruit and thick texture, making T-Vine’s 2009 Grenache one of the best Napa Grenache based wines I’ve ever tried. While Paso and Edna Valley get a lot of attention, not to mention the new hot spot Bennett Valley, for this grape, the old vines of Napa can once in a while produce a stunning Rhone like example, and this wine is one of them. Having just had a lovely Ridge Grenache and a couple of Gigondas and Chateauneuf’s recently, made this wine from the T-Vine team stick out, with out question it held it’s own and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. The nose is full of flowers, spice and a touch of creme de cassis before a rich palate of boysenberry, strawberry, black cherry and grenadine with hints of mocha, licorice and herbs de Provence. Given time to unwind and open up this lush red shows lavender oil and pepper with just the right amount of oak shadings to provide nice framing of the fruit, while a kiss of acidity keeps things fresh for a bigger style, think Chateauneuf, wine.
($36 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive


***

2008 T-Vine Cabernet Sauvignon “Monte Rosso Vineyard” Sonoma County.
T-Vine’s last ever Cabernet from the famed Monte Rosso Vineyard the 2008 vintage is a remarkable and fitting end to this string of Cabernets that T-Vine has made from this site. Sadly, the fruit has since been priced out of this small almost cult like followed winery’s budget, but they have found a few more exciting sources, so all is going strong, and like I mentioned this vintage is a stunner. This 2008 T-Vine Monte Rosso is pure class and while Sonoma doesn’t usually get headlines from Cabernet, this wine will turn a few heads and make believers out of even the most hardened of critics! I, myself, must confess to being one of them, am now telling you this is as good as Cab gets and easily competes with $100 Napa Cabernet, no question. This wine is big and dense with 14.9 % Alcohol, but it feels alive and vibrant with little heat and sublime balance. The nose is lively with red currants, lilacs, minty spice and bitter chocolate leading to a lavish palate of blackberry, cassis, red berries, tobacco leaf, cedar and vanilla scented oak shadings. This Cabernet Sauvignon finishes long and has fine tannins supporting the fruit in smooth fashion.
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive



***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Week

By Kerry Winslow

***

2008 Meo-Camuzet Fixin, Red Burgundy, France.
Sometimes you can’t escape the charms of Burgundy, and I’m already I huge sucker for Meo-Camuzet, so I knew I was going to love this one, and I did, but, even in my influenced state this wine impressed me with lovely balance and silky texture. I was able to try two separate bottles, and as always with Burgundy they were different with each mental state, one bottle showed more earth and game up front, and the second was far lovelier and more elegant, though it was most likely my mood that allowed the second bottle to shine, plus it was with food and good company, which always brings out the best in fine Burgundy. Meo-Camuzet is one of the stars of Kermit Lynch’s fantastic portfolio of wines and has long been a favorite of mine, but this was my first chance to have the Fixin, and I can tell you right now it will not be the last, this lesser known part of Burgundy makes for one of the great secrets and values of the region. The nose is floral and earthy with loads of mineral and spice and as with most Meo-Camuzet Burgundy it has ripe fruit essence leading to a refined palate of cherry, plum, raspberry and cranberry with hints of smoke, truffle, game and rocky minerals. Everything is in beautiful smooth layers and subtle wood notes frame the fruit perfectly making for a remarkable Pinot experience. The vintage with not go down as a great one, but so far all the Meo-Camuzet wines are fantastic and pure, and I recommend you get some.
($50 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive


***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2008 SalBide Rioja, Spanish Red.
European Cellars is renown for finding great wines from southern France and Spain, and for those that like Rioja, this wine is a must have. The 2008 SalBide Rioja is 100% Tempranillo and is aged in French oak barriques, making for a stylish and classy wine with nice richness and depth of flavors. Considering the quality of fruit and cost of the barrels this wine seems like a great deal, and to be honest it would be successful at twice the price, so I recommend you search it out and give it a try. The nose is smoky with char and cedar notes with floral touches that lead to a silky palate of black plum, cherry and bramble berry with hints of blueberry, mineral and baking spices. This wine picks up depth and weight with air, making a creamy and long lasting finish. Best with food, but really is enjoyable to sip and have with a selection of Spanish cheeses.
($16 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2010 Monasterio de Corias (100% Albarin Negro) Spanish Red.
This has to be one of the coolest wine discoveries of the year! Monasterio de Corias comes from the Asturias region, in Northwest Spain and the wine is grown in de la Tierra de Congas, close to Galicia.This wine is stunning and flavorful with glorious Rhone-like qualities and a unique flair all its own. This rich and vibrant wine is medium weight and has silky texture, but has good fine tannins and plenty of lifting acidity to give sublime balance, this is a serious wine that is a joy to drink. I found some Syrah like character as well as Pinot Noir like class in this wine that shows perfume, mineral and spice complexities to go with layers of red and black fruits. The nose has violets, roses and white flowers as well as earthy game, mineral and briar leading to a palate of boysenberry, blueberry, cherry and plum fruits with a stony essence and dried flowers. There is a long fruit finish that also brings a pepper note, making for a very interesting wine that I hope to have many times!
($18 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

***

Grapelive Latest

Grapelive Wine of the Day

By Kerry Winslow

***

2008 Podere Le Cinciole Chianti Classico “Le Cinciole” Tuscany, Italy.
This is a wonderful Classico that delivers fresh Sangiovese flavors and character with loads of charm and life, not only is it fun and food friendly, but is a richly textured and deep Chianti that is a steal. The nose is full of herbs, dried flowers and red fruits with hints of mineral and licorice all of which are present on the palate as well along with blackberry, plum and strawberry fruits, while tobacco leaf, cedar and truffle play in the background. This is a super wine and shows the glories of the Tuscan terroir perfectly, I hope to enjoy a few bottles of this wine again soon, this is a pure and complex Chianti Classico that intrigues and seduces, don’t miss this one!
($25 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

***