Foppiano "Estate" Russian River Pinot Noir 2008 wonderful aromas of raspberry jam with an added suggestion of sweet spices; nutmeg and clove and a mouth feel which evoked a sense of cherry cobbler, a touch of leather and wrapping itself around some mellow toasty oak in the long and fruity finish with trailing remnants of white pepper. This wine sells for an amazing price $23 most places and represents what I think is a screaming deal in Pinot Noir from the RRV, an uncommon luxury at near a paupers price, well done. Folks if I were you I would buy a case of the Foppiano, considering it myself.
Reviews: Now I'm not going to cover all the wines we drank or sampled that day, just some of the highlights as I saw it and I'm sure if you look on each one of our respective sites you will get a few different view points of views and take aways, these notes I've shared here are just from my perspective, recalled from my Vincellar note book. I won't be reviewing the Torres Celeste Crianza in this post, but instead review it on its own. I think it deserves a whole page.
Grenache: Okay last but certainly not least, we reviewed two different Grenaches which Katie the La Jolla Mom was nice enough to bring along with the wonderful home-made Chocolate Chip cookies [thanks they were so good]. She brought along Herman Story and I confess [and I'm embarrassed to say] to never having heard of him or his wines before, I am a huge fan of Grenache and love, love Paso Robles with their incredible wine scene going on there. Now speaking of Herman Story Wines and the beautiful expression of their grenache [although it needs decanting] in the glass expresses an inky dark core, on the nose of decadent plummy fruit and hint of well worn saddle leather. It can come off very tight if poured directly from the bottle [please decant first]. Once decanted I'm sure there it will reveal, what I only suspect could be its true character, what's that you ask? A New World style Grenache showing off ripe cherry, blackberry, tar and smoke with subtle floral framed around the mocha notes, it would do well if it had a place in your cellar and not be open for another year or two. Oh btw in case you need extra persuasion some guy named Robert Parker really liked it, gave it 93 points and the wine sells for $36, great price for a big wine.
The other Grenache was from Core Winery ,a family run winery located in Santa Maria Ca. Their primary vineyard is the Alta Mesa vineyard, located in Eastern Santa Barbara county and they are selling this wine for about $20 through the wineries website, most likely it will sell between $14.99 to $16.99 in retail shops, btw just found it at the San Diego Wine Company for $14.95, if they still have it in stock [geez can I pick prices or can I pick prices]. The whole group was curious about this wine, while some thought it to be very un-Grenache like, with the appearance and flavor profile of a over extracted Pinot Noir. But while looking up later at home, what a Grenache is suppose to be, I found that this style of Grenache is not A-typical at all, instead this style is thee most common [according to the Wine Lovers Companion]. It was a bit hot and the RS [residual sugar] seemed to be a little high side, but again consulting my copy of the Wine Lovers Companion [3rd edition] high RS and ABV are part of the equation when it comes to Grenache, wines which tend to be sweet, fruity and low in tannins. Even though my palate was fatigued near the end of tasting, this wine really shone through and I look forward to grabbing a few for myself to re-sample and enjoy.
Someone who goes by the handle UltraMarathoner rated this wine 92 points and had this to say about this wonderful wine, "A fantastic Grenache and could be my QPR of the year so far. Pop and pour. After an hour the wine became something completely different. The texture added weight and has a smooth, round feel. Nose has crushed rocks and floral\lavender tones . Deep red raspberry flavors with an orange-liqueur and red/dark fruit. Mouth watering acidity and firm, but ripe tannins that shorten a what could be a longer finish. Well balanced. Complexity well beyond the price point. I'm getting more of these." I couldn't agree more with the majority of these tasting notes or the score, my palate was nearly blown by the time we reached this very last bottle, that said I still highly recommend it to you. If this wine still had this much to say after I had tasted so many different wines, that's is quite impressive.