Thursday Walk Around Tasting 9/22/2011

WineStyles Columbia, SC
Tasted Thursday, September 22, 2011 by Mike Kopanski with 338 views

Introduction

Still Summer time here in Columbia. This Thursday we stopped by Wine Styles for the afternoon tasting. Robert the owner was out of town, so Kevin Webb from Southern Wines and Spirits took over the pouring chair. 4 of the six wines were from known, reliable California producers. A couple of refreshing new names from Austria, and Australia were included in the mix. Nice way to end the day.

Flight 1 (6 Notes)

  • 2009 Francis Ford Coppola Chardonnay Director's 88 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    Everything from Francis Coppola is competent and worth the money, this is no exception. I think they captured the essence of pure Russian River Chardonnay. It is fairly big in the mouth, without being heavy. They left a little Granny Smith apple acidity to keep things honest. They even had the audacity to admit they used 50% new oak. This is one of those wines that is totally inoffensive, it can be served chilled or at room temperature, with or without food. The PC crowd that complains about too much oak, can't bitch about this one. Typical to Russian River fruit, the pear, lemon, apple, and tropical fruit is more rounded, and less quick hitting than Carneros fruit There is some honey, backed up with some vanilla spiciness. They made a thoughtful decision about the acidity, which is quite complimentary to the fruit and mouth feel. Nice job.

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  • 2009 Lenz Moser Grüner Veltliner Heuriger 87 Points

    Austria, Niederösterreich

    This is one of those Gruner Veltliner's that does not overpower you with young acid. It is more fruit driven, but still maintains a nice crispness. Fresh on the nose, with white flowers, and an earthy spiciness. Yellowish hay in color. Very nice viscosity, actually pretty heavy for a totally dry wine. Some white pepper spice along with the acid. Pretty refreshing, and easy to drink.

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  • 2009 Francis Ford Coppola Zinfandel Director's Cut 88 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley

    I liked this wine a lot. It may be textbook in terms of bringing us the essence of Dry Creek Valley, at this price point. They used intelligent wine making techniques and whole cluster pressed half the grapes. They used French oak, probably lots of it. The result is plenty of that up front fruitiness we expect, but backed up with some structure. They even had enough sense to add a little Petite Sirah. But, his is still Zinfandel, which means big, brambly fruit. Purple color. Mulberry, spice, vanilla, alcohol, and oak on the nose. Fruity palate. Not particularly big in the mouth. Minimal tannins. Balanced acidity. The finish is kind of thin, but still some tar and tobacco along side some roasted blueberry.

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  • 2007 Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 90 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley

    Compared to the 2006 of this same wine, I liked this one much better. We all know the 2007 vintage was much superior in many ways. This wine seem more natural, and has much less oak. There is a lot going on here with 14% Syrah, and 11% Petit Verdot adding structure, fruit and complexity. The nose starts with that really nice, oily coffee bean aroma. It continues with a rich, ripe blackberry and vanilla. The palate sports layers of fruit, starting with a bright red cherry supported by blueberry jam, and black currants. There are several of those non fruit supporting flavors looming in the background, like mocha and caramel. There is plenty of oak, but it seems vibrant, happy and enhancing, rather than domineering. The tannins are super soft. This tastes great, has a long lingering finish, and just makes you want to take another sip.

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  • NV De Bortoli Moscato Emeri 86 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Big Rivers, Riverina

    Only 8% alcohol, this is a very light refreshing easy drinking wine. Sweet and luscious. The color is quite clear. The nose is fresh fruit with some unusually red berry aromas for a white wine. There are even some red fruit hints on the palate, along with some peach and apple. Cute little bubbles. Nice and creamy. Just barely enough acid to keep things interesting. The light finish still cleanses the palate. You can drink this like soda.

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  • 2007 Rodney Strong Symmetry 92 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley

    This is one of those Sonoma County wines that may even earn a small amount of respect from those wine drinkers on the other side of the big pond. It is a big wine, but still very harmonious. Most of the qualities we expect from a premium offering are here. It has that rich, layered, structured feel of low yield vines. It definitely benefits from the blending of the Bordeaux varieties. The multidimensional nose starts with violets and other floral qualities, continues with spicy dark fruit, and some vanilla. Cassis is the word with the fruit, with plenty of blackberry preserve, dark cherry, and blueberry. This is a big mouth full of taste. Some spicy dark chocolate with the silky tannins. Ready now but will only improve with age. Very nice touch with the oak, some of it medium to medium to heavy toast. Balanced and well rounded. Every taste component wants to act individual, while still working together. Pretty heavy duty finish with chocolate, tobacco, graphite, minerals, vanilla, and dark cherry.

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