2000 Petite Sirah – Serpentine Meadow
So few wineries produce Petite
Sirah as a main varietal offering, and for good reasons.
The grapes are almost exclusively used in blends, due to their
robust nature, and in most cases, they require aging in bottles
on their own. We encourage winemakers to attempt the task
of producing a Petite Sirah, and here is an example from the
Guenoc Valley. Although the winery produces over 13,000 cases
under the North Coast label ($18), they also go premium with
the Serpentine Meadow Vineyard, which offers only 500 cases.
A deep, reddish purple, thick juice with long legs and intense
mouth feel delivers aromas and flavors of chocolate, dark
ripe plums and leather. A long velvety finish ensues. Be sure
to open the bottle early and try it with a leg of lamb with
reds we've tasted
To purchase, visit www.guenoc.com
Napa Cellars 2002 Zinfandel
The folks at Rombauer and Frank
Family wineries joined forces in the Napa Cellars project
in Oakville to deliver wines that are worth the price. After
tasting several of their offerings, we think this mission
was accomplished. Winemaker Todd Graff is in charge of overseeing
the production by blending juice sourced from several vineyards
in the Napa Valley. The 2002 Zinfandel, being extremely young
and dark, exhibits an intense nose composed of dark berries
and spice and a reminder of port. It’s a big wine in
the mouth and you’ll want to race after some venison
to pair it up or wait for cheese.
Zinfandels we've tasted
To purchase, visit www.napacellars.com
Republic – 2004 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Ready for a 2004? Okay, here is one for you: a crisp and well-crafted
Blanc from an upstart project manned by four veterans
of the food and wine industry. What’s different here,
you ask? “We are committed to becoming the experts on
Sauvignon Blanc and our commitment to produce it around the
world in the best locations should give us unique visibility,”
says John Buechsenstein, winemaker for Sauvignon Republic.
We think they are off to a good start offering from New Zealand.
Terroir is so important for that varietal and the 2004 stays
true to character without being too “pipi de chat.”
This is a clear, non-malolactic fermentation with no wood
product, which lets natural components express themselves.
Lime, rich tropical fruits and slight herbaceous scents fill
this medium-bodied wine, which is pleasant and refreshing
in the mouth with a lingering finish and a touch of sweetness.
Serve it with Halibut in lime sauce and tarragon.
Sauvignon Blancs we've tasted
To purchase, visit www.sauvignonrepublic.com
Tudor 2000 Pinot Noir - Santa Lucia Highlands
Can you believe it; a new winery? Dan Tudor after making award
winning wines at Tepuesquet in the Santa Maria Valley since
1982, proceeds with his namesake project. This time concentrating
on the Pinot
Noir grape and selecting fruit from family owned vineyards
in the Santa Lucia Higlands AVA of Monterey County. Small
yields, traditional techniques emanating of his ancestral
Croatia combine to make a totally handcrafted wine. Fourteen
hundred cases of this inaugural release were produced. Nice
color, not too deep and dark, very fruit forward, red berries,
dark cherries and a hint of spice and cocoa. Full bodied yet
velvety in the mouth, vanillin and smoke come mid-palate.
Layered flavors linger through the long and progressive finish.
Duck leg confit is a possibility.
Pinot Noirs we've tasted
To purchase, visit www.tudorwines.com