Monthly Wine Group: Domestic Pinots and Chards From Some Top Producers

Levain, Mpls
Tasted Sunday, July 22, 2012 by rocknroller with 470 views

Introduction

This was our monthly tasting group event. The theme was domestic chards and pinots. About 14 of us gathered at Levain in Mpls for an outstanding tasting menu and a stellar lineup of wines. There were certainly some fine producers represented here tonight.

Flight 1 - Table 1 Champagne (2 Notes)

  • NV Louis Roederer Champagne Brut Premier 90 Points

    France, Champagne

    Ironically, I broght this wine to a tasting a week ago. I got this this event a few minutes late and this was AT 62.5 degrees when tasted. It definitely had lost its finesse, but the substance was still there. the green tree fruit and the minerality was evident. It just wasn't as lithe and lively. I'll hold my score at 90 , based on my previous experience and the fact that this was warm.

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  • NV Agrapart & Fils Champagne Les 7 Crus 89 Points

    France, Champagne, Avize, Champagne

    Pale gold color. Drank one glass over 15+ minutes. I like the nose here a lot. Very fresh, lively, minerals, apple, pear. The palate is fresh, light, consisitent, the finish is a bit short. On the whole I enjoyed this quite a bit. It ended clean, and was quite pleasant. 89+pts.

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Flight 2 - Table 1 Chardonnay (5 Notes)

  • 2006 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard 94 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Medium light gold color. Drank one glass over 45 minutes. Wonderful nose, orange oils, butter, lemon, mineral. The palate is elegant, balanced, medium butter and lght oak, great acid, lovely tree fruits, round on the palate with a very long finish.
    Outstanding, 93+ to 94pts.

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  • 2007 Ramey Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard 92 Points

    USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros

    Medium light gold color. Drank one glass over 30 minutes. This was bigger than the Aubert, more overt oak and butter, not in a bad way, just different. Lemon, apple, bfutter, oak, subtle mineral. The palate is full bodied, round, opulent. Lemon, apple, oak, butter, medium finish that is more one domensional. Does what it does very well.

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  • 2008 Frank Family Vineyards Chardonnay Napa Valley 88 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley

    This shows citrus, some tropicals, and average length. Decent.

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  • 2009 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard 93 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Medium gold color. Drank 1 glass over 45 minutes. Definitely different from the others, nice sea air, this was much more tropical on the nose, pineapple, mango, swett, ripe. The palate shows full body, lively acids, consistent tropicals plus some citrus, and a long finish.

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  • 2007 DuMOL Chardonnay Isobel 95 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley

    Medium gold color. Drank one glass over 45 minutes. This is one of those wow wines. When it makes me smile right off the bat, you know you've got a winner. This wine just screams balance, everything is aligned and seemless. The nose is wondeful, showing minerals, white flowers, lemon, nuts,. The palate is oh so elegan, balances, tropicals, citrus, delicate, great acid, and a very, very, long finsh. WOW. My white WOTN. 94-95pts.

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Flight 3 - Table 1 Pinot Noir (7 Notes)

  • 2009 Kutch Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard 90 Points

    USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley

    Medium dark red color. Drank 1 glass over 30 minues. This was ripe, sweet red fruits, berries on the nise. The palate came off asl red fruited, spicy, a bit tannic, fairly round. Very good on the whole.

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  • 2008 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Westside Road Neighbors 93 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

    Very dark red color. this had it all going on tonight. Probably my pinot of the night. Ripe, black cherry, earth, mineral, florals. The palate is fresh, not over the top, black cherry, red currants, round tannins, layered, long finish.

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  • 2009 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Estate Etzel Block 90 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge

    Medium red color. Drank 1 glass over 45 minutes. Nose is nice, with blackcherry, a little black raspberry, vanilla, spice, lightly floral. The palate has rip darker fruits, tart, spice, medium to lighter body. Medium finish. Very similar to the old vine really.

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  • 2009 Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir Estate Old Vine Ribbon Ridge 91 Points

    USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Ribbon Ridge

    Medium red color. Drank 1 glass over 45 minutes. Nose is a more intriguing than the Etzel Block, showing similar dark red fruits of black cherry and raspberry, more of the earthiness that I like in my pinots, more floral, spices. The palate is also medium light in body, consistent with the nose, tart, nice mouth feel. Medium finish. Both of these wines were a bit too tart.

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  • 2008 Saintsbury Pinot Noir Carneros 86 Points

    USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros

    No detailed notes on this one, but my one word descriptor was yuck. Just very mundane.

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  • 2007 Rhys Pinot Noir Family Farm Vineyard 93 Points

    USA, California, San Francisco Bay, San Mateo County

    DArk red color. Drankone glass over 30 minutes. Nose was different from many of the night: very dusty, minerals, earth, black raspberry, some dark cherry, and spice notes. The palate was quite elegant, nice mouthfeel, round integrated tannins, consistent with the nose, good depth and layering of flavors, long finish. This is a winner.

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  • 2004 Calera Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard 90 Points

    USA, California, Central Coast, Mount Harlan

    This was a bonus bottle near theend of the pinots. Drank one glass over 20 minutes. Earth, spicy, maybe some heat on the nose. The palate was a bit thin, tart, glycerin, red fruits, spicy. I liked it, but not as much as several others.

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Flight 4 - Table 1 Dessert Wine (1 Note)

Flight 5 - Table 2 Wines (10 Notes)

Generally smaller pours with less time to examine

Closing

My WOTN for the Chards (and overall) was the '07 DuMol Isobel, this was a wow wine for me. The Aubert was also spectacular.
My top Pinots of the night were the '08 Williams Selyem West Side Road and the '07 Rhys Family Farm.

This was a splendid event all the way around. Kudos to everyone on a great job!

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