Terroirist Sample Roundup #3

Tasted Friday, March 16, 2012 by davidwhitedc with 511 views

Introduction

Got together with some DC Terroirists (myself, Robby Schrum, Sarah Hexter) and some friends to formally taste several wines that had arrived as press samples over the previous few months. The wines were tasted in a single-blind format.

Flight 1 - Chardonnay (8 Notes)

  • 2010 Robert Oatley Chardonnay James Oatley TIC TOK 88 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Central Ranges, Mudgee

    SRP: $15. Fermented in both tank and barrel; partial, secondary, malolactic fermentation. The nose is very neutral – hint of lemon drop and grass, with faint pineapple and other tropical fruits in the background. This wine goes down real easy, and would make for an excellent summertime Chardonnay.

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  • 2010 Craggy Range Chardonnay Single Vineyard Kidnappers Vineyard

    New Zealand, North Island, Hawke's Bay

    SRP: $22. Fermented in both tank and barrel. On the nose, the wine doesn’t smell anything like -- extremely green, with strong, awkward notes of old vegetables and spinach. The acid is off-the-charts and doesn’t seem natural.

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  • 2009 CalNaturale Chardonnay

    USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino

    SRP: $13 (per liter). Comes in a Tetra Pak. Poured into a bottle to avoid bias. An extremely ripe chardonnay, with super sweet melon, mango, and orange blossom on the nose. On the palate, sadly, the wine is a big disappointment – as it’s oily, alcoholic, and too sweet.

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  • 2009 Robert Oatley Chardonnay Mudgee 86 Points

    Australia, New South Wales, Central Ranges, Mudgee

    SRP: $25. A small portion of the blend was fermented in stainless steel, the majority barrel fermented in mixture of new and one year old French oak. On the nose, honeydew melon, tropical mango, apricots and pineapple, with some reminds-me-of-Sauvignon-Blanc grass in the background. The oak is mild, but the malo comes across as burnt butter. A nice Chardonnay, but probably not worth the price.

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  • 2009 Smith-Madrone Chardonnay 89 Points

    USA, California, Napa Valley, Spring Mountain District

    SRP: $35. 100% barrel fermented. On the nose, the wine is super interesting -- eucalyptus, ripe, wild apples, some sour lemon, and a hint of sweet herbs. The oak – which comes across as smoky cedar – is in the background, and not at all overwhelming. Some petrol on the palate. It’d be fun to see how this wine ages, as it has a lot of stuffing.

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  • 2010 Morro Bay Vineyards Chardonnay Sur Lie Split Oak Estates 88 Points

    USA, California

    SRP: $10. Aged for six months on lees, with stirring every other week. On the nose and palate, tart lime, Green Apple Jolly Ranchers, and musty passion fruit, along with a strong note of vanilla.

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  • 2010 Pali Wine Co. Chardonnay Charm Acres 91 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    $24.00. 25% new French oak; 25% stainless; 50% neutral oak; 10 months in barrel. Beautiful sea water and gray minerality on the nose, with ripe green apple, sweet pears, and citrus along for the ride. The mouthfeel is lush and round, with great acidity.

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  • 2010 Joubert-Tradauw Chardonnay Barrel Fermented 93 Points

    South Africa, Klein Karoo

    SRP: $30. 100% barrel fermented. Wow – this wine is beautiful. Super ripe, fresh lemon on the nose, some grass and tart green apple, and a hint of tropical fruits. The lees comes across as lemon curd, and makes for a delightful, crisp-yet-creamy chardonnay. A fantastic, pure wine.

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Flight 2 - Pinot Noir (7 Notes)

  • 2006 Truchard Pinot Noir 90 Points

    USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros

    SRP: $37. 35% new French oak; 65% neutral; 10 months in barrel. Aromas of baked cherries, ripe strawberries and plum, with subtle notes of vanilla, fresh herbs, dried cranberries, pepper, and earthiness. On the palate, the wine is silky and juicy -- this is a great example of Carneros Pinot Noir.

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  • 2009 La Follette Pinot Noir DuNah Vineyard 92 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

    SRP: $50. Again, an intensely powerful nose that’s proud to be ripe. Plums, blackberries, black cherries, and vanilla with violet, eucalyptus, cedar, cigar box, sweet rosemary playing a supporting role. This wine is amazingly complex, and silky on the palate – with bright acidity and soft, well-defined tannins.

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  • 2009 La Follette Pinot Noir Van der Kamp 92 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Mountain

    SRP: $40. This wine is incredibly aromatic – it’s proud to be a ripe Pinot Noir. Big dark cherries, blackberries, candied rasberries, baking spices like cinnamon and clove, and dark soil. On the palate, the wine isn’t remotely overripe – it’s juicy and hedonistic.

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  • 2009 Pali Wine Co. Pinot Noir Riviera 87 Points

    USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast

    SRP: $19. 20% new French oak; 10 months in barrel. On the nose, liquefied Ludens Wild Cherry Flavored Cough Drops, candied blackberries and cherries, with subtle hints of licorice, leather, cardamom, and coffee. A bit hot.

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  • 2009 Pali Wine Co. Pinot Noir Fiddlestix Vineyard 88 Points

    USA, California, Central Coast, Sta. Rita Hills

    SRP: $48. 50% new French oak; 16 months in barrel. The nose is intense -- Purple Powerade, fresh blueberries, black raspberries, dried bing cherries, slate, and a hint of oak. It’s shier on the palate – with soft tannins and a plush, soft mouthfeel. The wine is tasty, but the ripeness of the fruit prevents the wine from tasting varietally pure.

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  • 2009 David Family Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 93 Points

    USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley

    SRP: $90. This wine smells serious. Perfectly ripe strawberries and raspberries, sour cherries, stems and gray stones. On the palate, it’s juicy with present-yet-delicate tannins, and obviously well-made. A Pinot that would benefit from age.

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  • 2009 Breggo Cellars Pinot Noir 90 Points

    USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley

    SRP: $38. Aromas of red cherries, raspberries, and black tea – with toasted oak, tree sap, and baking spices playing a supporting role. There’s definitely a hint of brett – but it isn’t overwhelming.

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