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Monday
Mar232009

Rhone Rangers 2009 Grand Tasting

JM for OTV  Off the Vine attended the trade tasting at the 12th annual Rhone Rangers event in San Francisco. Ably represented by OTV contributor James Melendez “the wine guy”… we saw overall attendance down just a bit from last year. A few of the big time producers were absent, but overall quality was outstanding; with the majority of wines scoring over 87 points. Out of over 100 wines tasted more than 18 scored 90 points. Top pick here was the 91 point score given to the 2005 Michel-Schlumberger Dry Creek Valley Coteaux Sauvage Wild Hills Red Blend. Wines are listed alphabetically. 90 point scores in bold… 

1. Adelaida Cellars Glenrose Vineyard – 2007 – 88
2. Arrowood Saralee’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Viognier – 2007 – 89
3. Arrowood Cote de Lune Blanc Russian River Valley White Blend 2007 – 87
4. Bella Lily Hill Estate Syrah – 2006 - 90
5. Bella Big River Ranch Grenache – 2007 - 87
6. Cambria Tepusquet Syrah – 2005 – 87
7. Cambria Estrella Clone Syrah – 2005 -88
8. Cass Paso Robles Viognier – 2008 – 89
9. *Cass Paso Robles Roussanne – 2008 – 90 - a bold white wine; a rare word to describe a white wine; this wine gives abundant white pepper, nectarine and crushed almonds.
10. Cass Paso Robles Grenache – 2006 – 88
11. Cass Paso Robles Mourvedre – 2006 – 8912. Cass Paso Robles Petite Sirah – 2006 – 89
13. Changala Syrah – 2005 – 90
14. Changala Red Blend – 2004 – 89
15. Chateau Ste Michelle Ethos Syrah – 2005 - 87
16. Chateau Ste Michelle Wahluke Syrah Limited Release – 2005 – 88
17. Chateau Ste Michelle Boreal Syrah Limited Release – 2005 – 88
18. Chateau Ste Michelle Cinsault Limited Release – 2005 – 89
19. Chateau Ste Michelle Grenache Limited Release – 2005 – 90
20. Clos Saron Carte Blanche White Blend – 2008 – 86
21. Clos Saron Heart of Stone White Blend – 2004 – 86
22. Clos Saron Holy Molly Red Blend – 2003 – 86
23. Clos Saron Black Pearl – 2004 – 85
24. Clos Saron Cuvee Mysterieuse Red Blend - 2005 – 86
25. Concannon Viognier – 2007 – 89
26. Concannon Grenache – 2006 – 88
27. Concannon Syrah – 2006 – 87
28. D.H Gustafson Dry Creek Mountain Vineyard Petite Sirah - 2006 – 87
29. D.H Gustafson Dry Creek Mountain Vineyard Syrah – 2007 – 87
30. Delille Doyenne Roussanne – 2007 – 89
31. Delille Doyenne Metier Red Blend – 2006 – 89
32. Delillle Doyenne Signature Syrah – 2006 – 90
33. Domaine Serene Rockblock Del Rio Viognier – 2007 – 89
34. Domaine Serene Rockblock Seven Hills Syrah – 2005 – 90
35. Epiphany Petite Sirah – 2005 – 90
36. Epiphany Santa Barbara Grenache Blanc – 2008 – 89
37. Epiphany Revelation Santa Barbara Red Blend – 2006 – 88
38. Eric Kent Kalen’s Big Boy Blend Syrah – 2006 – 88
39. Eric Kent Dry Stack Vineyard Bennett Valley – 2006 – 88
40. Hagafen Cellars Roussanne – 2007 – 89
41. Hagafen Cellars Don Ernesto Collage White Blend – 2007 – 87
42. Hagafen Prix Vineyards Reserve Napa-Sonoma Red Blend – 2005 – 86
43. Hahn San Luis Obispo Estate Syrah – 2007 – 90
44. Hahn Syrah – 2007 – 88
45. Hahn Petite Sirah – 88
46. Halter Ranch Paso Robles Estate Red Blend – 2006 - 86
47. Io Upper Bench Syrah – 2005- 90
48. Io Rhone Red Classic Syrah – 2005 – 87
49. Jemrose Egret Pond Viognier – 2006 – 87
50. Jemrose Cardiac Hill Syrah – 88
51. * Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah – 2006 – 90
52. Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah – 2005 – 89
53. Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah – 2004 - 89
54. Lone Madrone Points West Roussanne – 2006 – 89
55. Lone Madrone Glenrose Vineyard Syrah – 2006 – 88
56. Longboard Russian River Valley Syrah – 2005 – 88
57. Longboard Dakine Vineayrd Syrah – 2005 – 89
58. Martinelli Zio Tony Syrah – 2006 - 90
59. Martinelli Terra Felice Syrah – 2005 – 87
60. Meyer Family Syrah – 2004 – 89

61. Michel-Schlumberger Dry Creek Valley Syrah – 2006 - 90
62. Michel-Schlumberger Dry Creek Valley Coteaux Sauvage Wild Hills Red Blend – 2005 – 91

63. Mitchell Katz Livermore Valley Nelson’s Nook Syrah – 2006 – 89
64. Mitchell Katz Livermore Valley Clark’s Corner Syrah – 2006 – 90
65. Mitchell Katz Livermore Valley Falling Star Petite Sirah – 2006 – 8.9
66. Mitchell Katz Livermore Valley Petite Sirah Port – 2006 - 90
67. Naggiar Reserve Syrah – 2006 – 90
68. Naggiar Sierra Foothills Grenache – 2006 – 87
69. Naggiar Sierra Foothills Viognier – 2007 – 88
70. Naggiar Sierra Foothills Petite Sirah - 2005 – 90
71. Novy Family Napa Valley Syrah – 2006 – 89
72. Novy Family Sonoma County Syrah – 2006 – 89
73. Novy Family Russian River Valley Syrah – 2006 – 90
74. * Novy Family Parson’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Syrah – 2006 – 90
75. Olson Ogden Sonoma-Napa Syrah – 2006 – 87
76. Olson Ogden Unti Vineyard Syrah – 2006 – 88
77. Olson Ogden Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah – 2006 – 89
78. Ortman Family Wittstrom Vineyard Paso Robles Petite Sirah – 2006 – 90
79. Ortman Family Cuvee Eddy Red Blend – 2007 – 88
80. Ortman Family Brave Oak Vineyard Syrah – 2006 – 88
81. Peltier Station Viognier – 2007 – 89
82. Peltier Station Petite Sirah – 2006 – 90
83. Peay Estate Viognier - 2007 - 89
84. Peay Estate Les Titans Estate Vineyard Syrah – 2006 – 87
85. Peay Estate La Bruma Syrah – 2006 – 89 (coldest producing region for syrah in US)
86. Quivira Wine Creek Ranch Syrah – 2006 – 87
87. Quivira Wine Creek Ranch Grenache – 2007 – 86
88. Quivira Wine Creek Ranch Mourvedre – 2007 – 87
89. Qupé Ben Nacido Hillside Estate Roussanne – 2006 – 89
90. Qupé Santa Ynez Marsanne – 2007 – 86
91. Sarah’s Vineyard Besson Vineyard Syrah – 87
92. * Sawtooth Snake River Valley Viognier – 2006 – 89
93. Sawtooth Snake River Valley Syrah – 2005 – 88
94. Shane The Villain Mendocino Syrah – 2007 – 2007 – 87
95. Shane The Unknown Sonoma County Syrah - 2007 – 87
96. Twisted Oak Calavaras County Petite Sirah – 2006 – 87
97. Unti Vineyard Benchlands Dry Creek Valley – 2005 – 87
98. Valley of the Moon Sonoma County Syrah – 2006 – 87
99. Valley of the Moon Russian River Valley Petite Sirah – 2006 – 88
100. Verge Dry Creek Valley Syrah – 2006 – 87
101. Snoqualmie Reserve Syrah – 2005 - 89 –
102. Skylark Unti Vineyard Dry Creek Syrah – 2006 - 86

  • *2008 Cass Paso Robles Roussanne – a ‘bold’ white wine; a rare but apt word to describe a white wine; this wine gives abundant white pepper, nectarine and crushed almonds. 
  • *2006 Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah – Mount Veeder is a splendid place to grow Syrah—the high altitude imparts herbaceous notes like Eucalyptus and abundant acid. 
  • *2006 Novy Family Parson’s Vineyard Russian River Valley Syrah – this wine a guaranteed winner for beef, lamb and venison imparts delicate notes of baking spices, roasted plum, blueberry and a touch of cedar. 
  • *2006 Sawtooth Snake River Valley Viognier – this wine is a testament of promise of the Snake River Valley producing a gorgeous Viognier; makes one wonder what else is coming from this winery and region. This Viognier had no floral notes but gave sophisticated notes of papaya, anise, green apple and fennel.

2008 Epiphany Santa Barbara Grenache Blanc – an exciting wine that has a profile that is unexpected; soft, gorgeous acid 

 

Thursday
Feb052009

At the ZAP Festival in San Francisco

OTV attended the annual Zinfandel Advocates & Producers ZAP Festival at Fort Mason in San Francisco. The always large and enthusiastic crowds of wine lovers filled the two halls for the grand tasting on Saturday, January 31st.  

We tasted over 200 Zinfandels from the 2005 and 2006 vintage, along with a few barrel samples from 2007. Most wines we sampled scored in the range of 85 to 92 points, which underscores the fine quality produced from California Zinfandel producers in these years. 

Some of our favorites were from Ridge, Novy, Seghesio, Manzanita Creek, Edmeades and Storybook Mountain Vineyards. Many reviews and scores for our standout picks from this tasting can be found in the "tasting notes" section of OTV and in "wine picks".   

Monday
Jan192009

A visit to the 18th Annual Winter Wineland Event

Off the Vine enjoyed two sun filled days along the Russian River at the 18th Annual Winter Wineland event. Over 100 wineries opened their doors; offering wine tasting and food pairings, along with gracious and welcoming hospitality. We visited Carol Shelton, Hook and Ladder, Joseph Swan, Gary Farrell, Selby, Murphy-Goode, Topel, Williamson, Kendel Jackson, Quivira, Porter Creek, Arista and more. 

We also had a chance to dine at Charlie Palmers’s Dry Creek Kitchen, and at Zazu. Breakfast pastry at the wonderful Costeaux French Bakery and a bar stop at Barndiva. We highly recommend a weekend in Healdsburg with it's world class dining and access to the Northern Sonoma wine country.

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