My Top Ten Highlights: Family Winemakers California Tasting 2011
Marilyn Remark Winery: Another wonderful winery from Monterey County. You know how some folks say their in the zone, well these folks are in the Rhone-Zone. I was so glad I stopped at this table, I had know idea who they were or what they were about, except for the fact that some Rhone varietals were lined up on their table and that was enough for me.
4. Arroyo Loma 2008 Syrah: Another inky gob of goodness, interesting nose of camphor, tobacco, vanilla and hunk of earthiness. A rich sumptuous wines with gobs of rich [but not over-ripe] fruit, dark licorice, earth, floating on well integrated tannins and bursting with a gamy note on the plush finish. I gave it a score of 93 points, SRP $36.
6. VMR - White Rhone Blend 2009: A wonderfully different blend, of Viognier, Marsanne and Rousanne. A unique blend, great for summer time fare and wonderfully thirst quenching. Very clean, light golden core and crisp, just a taste of Meade and honey suckle with a waft of smokiness on the finish. This finish is long and invites you back again and again. Selling for a SRP of $28, I gave it a score of 90 points.
7. 2008 Semillon, Casa Santinamaria: A classic field-blend of Semillon, Muscadelle du Bordelaise and Sauvignon blanc. This wine screams, summer time out-loud in a crowded mall. A ball of white peach's, figs and orange blossoms explode in a burst of flavor and mouth watering acidity bringing it all together. It sells for $25 and I scored this beauty 92 points, another thirst-slaker fo-sure. Run, don't walk!
8. 2008 Chardonnay, Durell Vineyard: Hello beautiful balance and skillfully integrated use of oak. This folks is textbook how you balance over-oaked California style of Chardonnay. This wine tip-toes the line between abuse and non-use of oak barrels and the 100% Mal. Beautiful light golden core, the nose said Chablis all the way. A bouquet of floral notes and aromatic fruit. On the palate you will appreciate the down right creaminess and density, resting lightly over crisp acidity. A nice layer of toasted nut, citrus and honey, flowing effortlessly toward the long finish. This wine sells for a bit more than I hoped it would, with a SRP of $48, I still scored it a 93 points.
10. 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: This wine is one big-bad bamma-jamma. It's epic in size and scope, it drinking like a freight train of flavor, with no engineer, skidding out of control on my palate. This wine said one thing to me "game-on" folks this is how you do it. The nose just reaches out, grabs you and eventually pulls you into smoky and spicy rich dark fruit flavors.
This wine has see plenty of barrel time, three years to be precise in French Burgundy barrels[unbelievable] and another two in the bottle before release. I couldn't believe he was pouring this monster of hedonistic proportions. On the palate just an explosion of dusty, dense dark fruits and bacon-fat, sprinkled black pepper and leather. Damn winetastic juice, giving this wine 95 points worth of "wow" factor. It sells for a SRP of $70. This wine is drinking pretty fab now, but will continue to improve over the next few years. I would recommend at least an hour or more of decanting to maximize your enjoyment of this wine.