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Brief Wine Note – 2009 Kelley Fox Pinot Noir – Maresh Vineyard

18 Nov

Light ruby color – a bit of cloudiness to the wine, but nothing off-putting.

Aromas of red fruit – cherry, raspberry, cranberry, Oregon strawberry (the little ones you get by the roadstand and nowhere else because they don’t travel well), with sweet spicebox.  Flavors of red cherry and raspberry with just a hint of oak barrel (cola and caramel).

Exceptional balance; soft, velvety tannins, and an extremely long finish.


Brief Wine Note – 2003 Domane Wachau Terrasen Federspeil Gruner Veltliner

18 Nov

Before we get into the note – it was not my intention to age the wine as long as I did. I had actually placed it in a converted refrigerator in my garage where I stage my early drinking white wines and Champagne. The fridge is set to it the warmest level I can get it to without using a converter, so it runs between 45 and 50 F. One thing led to another, and the wine was forgotten until this past Friday.

The was pale straw in color and star bright. The nose was relatively muted, but hinted at Granny Smith apple and an almost herbal peppery note.

On the palate, there was a mix of stone fruit (peach and apricot) with honeyed citrus. There is a slight minerality on the finish.

Despite the age, the wine shows a vibrant acidity. Wish I had some more of these “happy accident” wines!

Brief Wine Note – 2008 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Zinfandel

18 Nov

Not your typical Zin, and certainly does not remind me of anything I have had from Howell Mountain in quite a while. Ruby in color (almost Pinot-esque), with floral, spice, and red cherry and plum fruit aromas. Red fruit dominates on the palate, with spicebox and some white pepper on the finish. The wine is well balanced and, despite a label-specified 14.8% alcohol, does not come across as hot. Nor does it show the glycerol typically associated with such levels of alcohol.

Long and elegant finish. Quite a nice Zinfandel in a definite Burgundian style

Brief Wine Notes – Champagne Voirin-Jumel 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs NV

30 Oct

This 1er Cru (from plots in the Cote de Blancs village of Vertus) Champagne is made in a style that is at once both food and quaffing-friendly.  Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel with a nice light, bready, yeasty note and some chalky minerality.   Nose of green apple, white flowers, citrus, caramel, and almost a cinnamon spice note.  Palate continues with the apple and some stone fruit.  Fine and persistent mousse, long finish.

Brief Wine Note – 2006 Quercus “Theia” Chardonnay

30 Oct

Quercus is one of the many unsung small producers in Oregon, putting out wonderful Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

The ’06 Chardonnay is a great representation of Burgundian winemaking style applied to Oregon fruit.  Notes of green apple, lemon curd, apricot, and stone fruits.  Hints of vanilla and butterscotch.  Intense minerality.

Fairly good dose of acid (medium ++), firm grip, and a LONG finish.

If I recall correctly, this was all Dijon Clone 76 fruit from the Temperance Hill Vineyard.

I understand that Michael Beckley (winemaker and owner) decided to pursue his music career and not the winemaking.  This bottle and bottles of his 2007 “Harmonia” Pinot Noir make me wish that he had kept making wine.

Brief Wine Notes – 2009 Kelley Fox Mirabai Pinot Noir

30 Oct

This wine is a beautiful example of balance – feminine, red fruit, delicate components from the Maresh fruit, more masculine, darker fruit, brooding elements from the Momtazi fruit.
Beautiful nose of red fruit – strawberry, red cherry, and currant, with a hint of smoky incense. The palate has a great complexity of flavors – there is the red fruit, and some darker fruit that eludes identification, with hints of white pepper that grow in prominence as the wine lingers on the palate. There is a minerality to the wine that is akin to what I associate with white Burgundy – wet stone as opposed to the turned earth I typically perceive with Pinot.

Everything is in balance… there is lovely fruit, mouth-watering acidity, silky tannins, and a very long finish.

Elegance with power.

Brief Wine Notes – ’93 Latour Bienvenues-Bâtard-Montrachet

23 Jul

I recently had the opportunity to try this wine from a large format bottle at a friend’s 30th birthday.  The wine was a medium gold color, with aromas of butterscotch, cooked apple, and baking spices.  The palate followed through on the aromas, with the apple and the baking spices taking the forefront.  The finish was a bit abrupt and rough, with almost a citrus pith flavor.