DaveZack

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  • 2010 Windward Pinot Noir Monopole

    We got this bottle from Windward’s wine club in September, 2013 (we’ve been members since 2009; their Pinots are ALWAYS good-to-great). Paso Robles is NOT a very good Pinot Noir region, but Windward found the perfect spot to plant their vines and year-in-and-year-out produces wonderful Pinots.
    The bouquet is mostly earth and oak, with suggestions of tart red and black fruit.
    This vintage pours dark (similar to the 2007, 2008, and 2009 vintages (whereas the 2006 vintage was very light-bodied and extremely Burgundian)). As the bouquet hinted, there is indeed tart red and black fruit, such as sour cherries, tart plums, along with hints/suggestions/rumors of blackberries and raspberries. In addition to the fruit profile, there’s a MOUNTAIN of dried, savory herbs in the flavor profile as well. This wine is VERY dry and shows magnificent structure (especially sharp tannins and food-friendly acidity) which should allow this wine to age/mellow/mature gracefully for another five years or so (possibly longer). The flavors linger nicely on the palate and the acidity and tannins politely cleanse said palate.
    This wine exhibits nice depth-of-flavors and complexity and because of its structure it’s a perfect Pinot to pair with the perfect main course. I paired this beauty with spiced pork loins and the wine paired relatively well with the pork, but because of its structure, I would recommend pairing this wine with fatty steaks (a perfectly-spiced ribeye or porterhouse steak) and/or richly-flavored braised beef dishes (i.e. stews that have rich wine-based sauces or lamb shanks braised in a bottle-of-wine curried sauce).
    I’ve been a HUGE fan of Windward’s Pinots for years (all they make is Pinot Noir (actually, Marc (co-owner and wine maker) makes a rose of Pinot as well, but it’s not for sale (he does share it at special events with wine club members, for example)). One of the advantages of belonging to a wine club for year is seeing how vintages change from year to year. 2006 was a SPECTACULAR vintage (light-bodied, elegant, and EXTREMELY Burgundian). 2007 was also a great vintage, but VERY different from 2006 (more like a Northern Sonoma Coast Pinot (dark, brooding, spicy, bold, etc.)). The 2008 vintage and 2009 vintages weren’t quite as good as the 2006 and 2007 vintages, but they were darker and creamer than the 2006 vintage but lacked the boldness and depth-of-flavors that the 2007 vintage exhibited. This vintage (2010) strikes similarities between the 2007, 2008, and 2009 vintages. We’ve received 2011 and 2012 vintages from Windward but haven’t opened them up yet (I pretty much ALWAYS open wines from oldest-to-newest vintage (I’ve only opened 2010 and (a couple) of 2011 vintage reds this year from all the wines we have in our cellar)). Looking forward to Windward’s 2011 and 2012 and 2013 vintages (I’m hoping one of those vintages mirrors their SPECTACULAR 2006 vintage). As always, great job Marc!!!!!

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  • 2010 Lynmar Estate Pinot Noir Terra de Promissio Vineyard

    We got this bottle in March, 2012 from Lynmar’s wine club. The bouquet is mostly dark fruit and oak, with secondary elements of earth, spices, and a slight floral character.
    This is a rich, dark, creamy, smooth, delicious Sonoma Coast Pinot (Lynmar’s Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from the Terra De Promissio vineyard are ALWAYS fantastic). As the bouquet suggested, this is indeed a mostly black/dark-fruited Pinot (which is pretty normal for Sonoma Coast Pinots), displaying elements of plums and blackberries, along with all of the usual oaky elements (richness, creaminess, along with a hint of a suggestion of a rumor of vanilla). I’m assuming/guessing that this wine was fermented in barrel based on the rich, creamy, silky texture. Along with the fruit profile, there’s also a savory herb and spice element, especially thyme, rosemary, sage, and black pepper. The wine’s structure is gorgeously well-balanced, exhibiting nicely-coordinated tannins and acidity that pair beautifully with the wine’s other flavor elements. Despite being rich and creamy (which often results in NON-food-friendliness), the acidity and tannins make this wine very food-friendly. This wine would pair well with just about any red meat dish, along with being a PERFECT accompaniment to duck confit, seared duck breast, and/or a perfectly-cooked prime rib, rib eye steak, as well as just about any lamb dish (rack of, chops, shanks, etc.). I paired this wine with an ox tail ragu, which wasn’t a PERFECT pairing, but it did go well with the ox tail’s rich, creamy essence.
    This wine is drinking perfectly-well right now and should continue to age and mature nicely for another five years or so. If you like rich, creamy, delicious, complexly-flavored Sonoma Coast Pinots that pair well with red meats, this beauty’s difficult to beat. Yes, I’ve had better, but this Bad Boy is one delicious beauty!!

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  • 2010 Fess Parker Syrah

    We received this bottle from Fess’ wine club in November, 2012. This is a 100% Syrah with grapes sourced from Fess’ estate winery (Rodney’s Vineyard, approximately 2/3) with the other (approximately) 1/3 of the grapes coming from the world-famous Camp Four Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley.
    The bouquet is spicy, earthy, and floral, along with a hint of a suggestion of oak. Flavor-wise, this wine exhibits classic Cali Syrah characteristics of black fruits like plums and blackberries, along with a TON of black pepper and secondary elements of dried herbs. This wine has serious structure (tannins and acidity), though those elements harmonize well with the ripe fruit, dried herbs, earthy element, and a perfect amount of oak. The only problem with this wine is that it lacks the complexity and depth-of-flavors that better Cali Syrahs exhibit.
    I paired this wine with my “usual other white meat usual suspect” (CostCo pork loins spiced with CostCo’s “Sweet Mesquite” spice blend (which they no longer carry (which pisses me off beyond belief))). This Syrah paired fairly well with the pork loin but would pair better with a grilled steak, hamburger, and just about any other red meat dish (especially lamb (rack, chop, shank, etc.)).
    This wine is drinking well right now and thanks to the sharp acidity and ripe, (relatively) smooth tannins, this wine should continue to age/mature nicely for at least another 5+ years. If you like fruity, spicy, smooth, food-friendly (thanks to the acidity and tannins) Cali Syrahs, this one’s pretty good. Yes, you CAN find better Cali Syrahs (Fess’ “Rodney’s Vineyard” Syrah is ALWAYS a “killer”), but this one’s pretty good (not too surprising considering ALL of Fess’ wines are (at worst) good to (at best) FANTASTIC).

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