Birichino Malvasia Bianca 2012 – 15.57 – Santa Cruz, California – The moment the flavor spectrum includes flowers, sweet citrus, and still a touch of mint, the night sky lights up over Gotham. We continue our practice of extended skin contact, dual stream pressing, and extremely cold fermentation. The most relevant detail for 2012, forgotten until the end here, is that we now draw on a favored block at the northern boundary of the vineyard: a rockier, chalkier terrain which yields a slightly more refined rendition of malvasia, though the telltale response to this wine’s perfume we hear at tastings remains, “Holy extended massive organoleptic eruption, Batman…”
Lioco No-Co Chardonnay 2011 – 15.57 – From the proprietors of Sonoma’s Lioco winery, NoCo is an abreviation for “North Coast” and features wines grown in the “other” AVAs surrounding Sonoma County. This Chardonnay was fermented in 100% stainless steel on wild yeasts and was allowed to complete a slow, natural malolactic fermentation on its lees in the tank over the course of six months. Aromas of pear, citrus, and wet stone introduce a minerally palate of lemon zest and peach pit. The cool 2011 vintage is well on display in this aromatic and nervy Chardonnay.
Poppy Chardonnay 2012 – 12.57 – Santa Lucia Highlands, Central Coast – 2% Gewurztraminer. Juicy lemon and honeysuckle, with a ripe melong component, hard spices like nutmeg & clove. A sweet note from the ripeness of fruit and richness from lees stirring in French oak. 1/3 cold, slow stainless steel fermentation, 1/3 small barrel with lees aging and malo-lactic fermentation, 1/3 stainless with French Oak, with lees stirring. Final blend is 80% aged on oak with 10% fermented in small barrels, 33% malo-lactic fermentation completed, and 20% stainless steel only. This has been a favorite since we opened the shop.
Easton Zinfandel Amador County 2012 – 17.57 – From the winery: “Our popularly priced Amador County Zinfandel comes from 40-60 year old head pruned vines. The finished wine has full black cherry and blackberry fruit aromas with a beautiful balance and a big, sumptuous, and juicy mouth feel. It also presents complex spicy aromas, with a nice creamy texture derived from the 10 months time it receives in French oak barrels. It is consistently rated one of the top Zinfandels in its class and one of the best value Zins available. Although drinkable now, it gains complexity with bottle age. This wine’s release each Fall has become highly anticipated by many of our customers.”
– April 11, 2014 – 4pm – 8pm – Winemaker Jim Johnson.
2012 Graciano – 15.97 – Second drought year – small crop. Picked last week in August. More round and more ripe / herb note, frond / cocoa powder, less tobacco than 2010, more cigar box. Neutral. Cool to see 100% Graciano in this neck of the woods, done first in Australia by the Brown Brothers, we have a Vina Ijalba example from Rioja. Pretty stuff. Let’s see if it can really handle the “warm weather”. Cool varietal to have here.
2010 Syrah – 14.57 – 100%. Ripe / ample / red & darker fruited, light herb / pepper, juicy acid, small grain tannins. Pretty example. Like the juicy acid. From the home vineyard, classically peppery. Spice box, black plum fruit. Showing some nice echoes of the Rhone Valley. An old friend.
2010 Palette – 15.97 – Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault. Grown in a vineyard 3 miles away. Earthy nose, a bit more expansive / balanced. Complex. Drinking nicely. Really showing some Rhone influence here with a pretty brambly cuvee of the beloved Rhone varietals. Balance, some earthy tones underneath, light pepper. Ripe. Showing nicely.
2011 Texacaia – 14.57 – Sangiovese / Tannat / Petit Verdot – third iteration. Drought intensity. Scrubby. Tasty goodness. Cherry fruit from the Sangiovese and darker components and tannin from the Tannat & Petit Verdot. Smoky mineral, cherry pie, my mom’s raspberry jam from the farm. We have had success with this here, and at Headliners Club…