Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I’m pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently.
This week was Pinot and Cab week, it seems.
For starters, I was very happy to taste a couple of bottles from Waits-Mast Cellars, a tiny husband-and-wife operation in San Francisco who have been making North Coast Pinot Noir for some time. These two bottles were both delicious, though I preferred the Wentzel Vineyard for its brightness and freshness. It seemed a bit more youthful than its sibling from the Oppenlander Vineyard, but both represented the region quite well with red fruit and earthiness.
The next set of Pinots were a traunch of single vineyard bottlings from Dutton Goldfield, which is of course, the collaboration between Steve Dutton and Dan Goldfield through which the pair makes wines from many of the different sites that Dutton farms all over Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino Counties. I think my favorite of the ones I opened this week were the Angel Camp Vineyard from Anderson Valley which showed lovely herbal notes, along with the Devil’s Gulch bottling from Marin County, which is always a favorite. The Dutton Ranch bottling was also showing well.
Moving on to Cabernet, we’ll start in Lake County, where Steele wines offered their standard Cabernet Sauvignon which was nice and slightly spicy — and their Writers Block Cabernet Franc, which offered some nice varietal character.
This week I’ve also got two tiny production individual block Cabernet Sauvignons from Jericho Canyon Vineyard in Napa, just outside of Calistoga. These are wines that are sold only at the winery because they’re made in miniscule quantities, but both are interesting, and quite different from each other. The West Wall bottling was particularly demonstrative, and will command the attention and admiration of any classic Napa Cabernet lover.
From the other side of the hills comes the Laurel Glen Estate Cabernet bottling. Nestled up in the Mayacamas mountains above Sonoma Valley, Laurel Glen has been quietly making age-worthy Cabernet for decades. The 2014 was in nice shape, and clearly showing it could go for another decade, easily.
And last but not least, Morgan Winery had a small production Syrah from the Santa Lucia Highlands to offer which was delicious and a superb value at just $22.
All these and more below.
2014 Waits-Mast Cellars “Oppenlander Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
Light to medium ruby in the glass, this wine smells of cedar, orange peel, and red apple skin. In the mouth, velvety flavors of sawdust, dried cherries and dried herbs have a nice faint tannic backbone and decent acidity. Aging nicely. 13.4% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $45. click to buy.
2014 Waits-Mast Cellars “Wentzel Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
Light ruby in color, this wine smells of dried cherries and cranberries. In the mouth, cherry and cranberry flavors mix with cedar and orange peel backed by zippy bright acidity. Notes of red apple skin, dried herbs and a touch of sawdust linger in the finish. Complex and dynamic. Very tasty. 13.4% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $45. click to buy.
2016 Dutton Goldfield “Devil’s Gulch Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Marin County, California
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry and wet earth. In the mouth, raspberry and cherry flavors mix with freshly cut herbs and a touch of wet earth. Excellent acidity and very faint tannins make for a complex and lively package. Dried herbs linger in the finish. 13.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $75. click to buy.
2016 Dutton Goldfield “Angel Camp Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of cherry and raspberry fruit. In the mouth, cherry and raspberry flavors mix with the green herbaceousness of…
Source : http://www.vinography.com/archives/2019/08/vinography_unboxed_week_of_841.html