Hdr Closing Tasting

Tasted April 19, 2016 by Loren Sonkin with 636 views

Introduction

The closing tasting for this years Hospice du Rhone concentrated on current releases. Again, there were about 150 wineries, each pouring multiple wines. One had to be judicious in terms of time, but more stamina. I managed to taste for almost the full four hours as this time i mixed in some water and some of the food from purveyors that was available. There were still so many wines I missed and so many I wish I could have spent more time with. That is especially true for this tasting as the wines were often very young and in need to air to coax them out. These are my impressions taken contemporaneously (you didn't think I could memorize all of this). The tasting was not packed but it was busy. Still, only a few places had a line and it wasn't bad. It was great to meet more people, some working some attending.

Flight 1 (72 notes)

White
2014 E. Guigal Condrieu La Doriane France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
93 points
Beautiful showing so this. Limes on the nose. Slight oak but less than expected. Oily texture. Obviously primary and in need of cellar time. Very pretty.
Red
2010 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Nice showing. Meaty nose with black cherries. Very deep. 80/20 Mourvedre/Grenache. Some tannins. Drinking well though.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2010 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
90 points
Quite tannic. Seems to have some ripe fruit but probably a bit shut down. Clipped finish. Hard to judge, but giving it the benefit of producer/vintage, seems like it just needs cellar time right now. Its good but I might expect better.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 E. Guigal St. Joseph Vignes de L'Hospice France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
92 points
Very nice showing. Young. Nose is meaty with black cherries. Soft. Complex though tight. Upside.
Red
2011 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie Château d'Ampuis France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
92 points
Also seemed to be a bit shut down. The nose is horsey. With coaxing some black raspberries come out. The palate is more open with a nice accessibility and complexity. Very smooth finish.
Red
2012 Ferrer Bobet Priorat Vinyes Velles Spain, Catalunya, Priorat
91 points
Inky purple. The nose has black raspberries and clay. More black cherries on the palate. Up front and ripe. No idea where this goes, but its nice now.
Red
2013 Château de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône Coudoulet de Beaucastel France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Côtes du Rhône
90 points
Really quite enjoyable. Cherries on the nose with some spice and floral. Somewhat deep. Mild tannins. Concentrated though on the palate. Nice finish.
Red
2013 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
90 points
Different than the Coudoulet but not necessarily better at this point. dark cherries but clean on the nose. Tannins and dark cherries on the palate. Obviously some upside development to come. Good finish.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2014 Denner Theresa USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
94 points
Gorgeous showing. Fruity. Peaches and melons on the nose, but more going on to. Slightly sweet on the palate. Great acidity. Lively and fresh yet big and powerful. Impressive.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Denner Stratus USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
94 points
This is mourvedre. Purple. Nose of black cherries, spice and Asian spice. Very ripe and delicious. Firm tannins. Great texture. Needs time but great now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Denner Sacred Burro USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles Willow Creek District
93 points
Carriagne. Cherries on the nose with some spice. A bit bitter cherry (not a bad thing) on the palate. Licorice on the finish. great texture.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Denner The Ditch Digger USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
95 points
My favorite of the group. It seemed to be the most ready and with the most complexity today. That may change. Black raspberries, dark cherries, spice and floral notes. A bit earthy as well. Complex. Some sweet tannins. Long finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Denner The Dirt Worshipper USA, California, Central Coast
94 points
This has 1% Rousanne which is different. Intense and concentrated. Black raspberries on the nose and palate. Very tannic. Seems the most backward of the four reds. Still, there is this powerful core that is very nice.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2013 Turley The White Coat USA, California
88 points
Light gold. Waxy lemons. Easy drinking. Thinner in body. Nice wine if the pricing is good.
Red
2013 Turley Petite Syrah Pesenti Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
93 points
Inky purple. Very nice nose of black raspberries and dirt. Bold black raspberry fruit on the palate. Surprisingly open and drinking well now. Thick tannins though suggest a long life.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Saxum Broken Stones USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
94 points
Inky purple in color. Black raspberries, violets and roasted meats on the nose carrying thru to the palate. No alcohol showing but this is a big wine. It was great to try as now I can let my bottles sleep. Huge upside I am sure.
6 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles Willow Creek District
97 points
Again, so early, but this has huge upside. Great texture. Nose of black raspberries, gamey meats, black olives and roasted herbs. Palate is huge but lots of fruit and tannins. Long finish. I do love these wines and this looks a lot like 08 to me only a bit better. It will be fun to watch these develop.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé
2015 Château d'Or et de Gueules Costières-de-Nîmes Les Cimels Rosé France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Costières-de-Nîmes
89 points
First, I felt terrible, the owner and Robert Kacher were there pouring her wines. There were a lot of them. Maybe ten in all. I know it isn't the best form to just choose a few, but i did not have the time or the palate to drink all of them. I would love to revisit but of course, won't likely get that chance. Add to that, these see such limited distribution and this was one of the regrets from HdR as all the wines were excellent but even better values.

This rose has a wonderfully fresh and vibrant nose. Cherries and peaches with slight herbs. That follows thru to the slightly oily palate. Nice vibrancy. In fact, I just bought some upon returning home.
Red
2013 Château d'Or et de Gueules Costières-de-Nîmes Cuvée Trassegum France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Costières-de-Nîmes
90 points
Black cherries and black raspberries. Nice acidity. Firm tannins. Clean.
Red
2013 Château d'Or et de Gueules Costières-de-Nîmes La Noblesa France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Costières-de-Nîmes
92 points
Dark purple. Black raspberries and dark cherries with spice and salinity on the nose. Very tannic. clearly needs some time. Super concentrated though. Lots of upside potential here. Great acidity.
Red
2013 Stolpman Syrah USA, California, Central Coast, Ballard Canyon
92 points
i have always been a fan of this vineyard. It was nice to meet Peter Stolpman. He is very knowledgeable about his vineyard and passionate about the wines. Another person I have "known" online but never met.

This is from estate grown fruit. very nice. with black raspberries, black pepper and some roasted meats. Very bright and energetic. Medium tannins. Tight complexity. Needs time/air but delicious.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Stolpman Syrah Ruben's Block USA, California, Central Coast, Ballard Canyon
93 points
A step up. Black raspberries, black pepper, roasted meats on the nose. Very complex on the palate if still tight. Medium tannins. Great mouth feel. Long finish. Very bright acidity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Stolpman Syrah Originals USA, California, Central Coast, Ballard Canyon
94 points
And another step up. Seems like there is more new oak on this but not sure. The nose has the added element of chocolate to the black raspberries, pepper and roasted meats. On the palate, it seems tighter but perhaps more going on. Delicious though at this stage.
Red
2005 Stolpman Syrah Hilltops USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
I missed Stolpman on Day 1 and there were a few mags of various vintages still open and left over but under the table. Peter said it was not as good today, but poured some anyway. So no rating. Still, I found the nose slightly oxidized but still nice. very fresh and lively on the palate. Good fruit. I have no doubt these will age just fine. Plenty of nice black raspberry fruit. Good complexity.
Red
2013 Campesino Syrah Sangiacomo Old Lakeville Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
93 points
Always great to see Macario. I love his Syrah but this was my first glimpse at the 13. Another winner for sure. Nice black raspberry fruit. Some black pepper and roasted herbs. It runs down the middle in style as ripe fruit from a cooler climate site. Love that. Fresh. Moderate tannins. Needs time based on prior vintages.
2 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2014 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
92 points
These are always going to be controversial. Something I learned is that the Marquis Philips wines of 01 thru 04 used the same vineyards that Mollydooker uses starting in 05. That make sense but I did not know that. The 14 is what you would expect. Big and fruity. Lots of black raspberries. Juicy and delicious. Nothing coy here. If you love this style, this is another one.
Red
2011 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
92 points
Actually seemed to be just a bit mroe refined than the 14. I do find these mellow a bit with age. Having had the 05 recently, its not so much development, as they don't change much, as a slight integration. They also don't show much age at 10 years. Same story - love it or hate it.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Jaffurs Syrah USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
92 points
I always say this is one of the great values in the wine world. World class, ages well, and especially on the futures program, great pricing. Nice black raspberry fruit, black pepper and bit of grilled meats. Lush texture. Good acidity. Delicious. Gaining some complexity but needs some time.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Jaffurs Syrah Kimsey USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
91 points
Nice black raspberry fruit. Warm and delicious. Slight tannins.
Red
2013 Jaffurs Syrah Larner Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
93 points
A step or two up. Tannic. More concentrated. Black raspberries. Spice. Long finish. Ripe fruit. Needs time.
Red
2013 Jaffurs Syrah Upslope USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
94 points
Very deep. Tight complexity. firm tannins. Lush black raspberry fruit. Long finish. Patience will be rewarded.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Law Estate Wines Intrepid USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
88 points
A new winery for me. I had heard good things about this winery, but was unimpressed with this vintage. Perhaps I did not have a proper bottle, but nothing noticeable. It may be just totally shut down. No nose. Not much fruit on the palate. Lovely texture. Sweet fruit on the finish. Its not bad, but seemed to be lacking.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Law Estate Wines Intrepid USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
92 points
On the other hand, I liked this 13. Sure, it is also tight but the potential is there. Black raspberries and slight yeast on the nose. Great fruit although densely packed on the palate. Black raspberries and some grilled herbs. Nice texture. Big finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Law Estate Wines Sagacious USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
I didn't rate this one. My notes wondered if they had issues in 2010 or the wines are shut down tight. The people at the table with me agreed that both 2010's showed nothing at this point. Love to hear others thoughts.
Red
2011 Linne Calodo Perfectionist USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
92 points
This is a bigger ripe wine especially for 2011. Yet still crisp acidity. Nice black currants and black pepper. Good texture. Slightly candied on the finish.
Red
2011 Linne Calodo Nemesis USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
94 points
Very good wine. Complete and almost seamless. Lots of black raspberry fruit, some blueberries. Delicious. Slight tannins. Long bright finish.
Red
2012 Kale Wines Home Run Cuvée Kick Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County
91 points
Very nice showing. Cool climate profile. Black raspberries, some black cherries and pepper. Medium tannins. Nice lean texture. Bright acidity. Good finish.
Red
2012 Kale Wines Broken Axle Stagecoach Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County
92 points
This is a bit riper but more middle of the road in style. The nose has nice black raspberry fruit with some black pepper. On the palate, leaner but polished fruit. Good acidity. Long finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Epoch Estate Wines Sensibility Paderewski Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
91 points
This was an unreleased blend (or possibly a barrel sample). It is young and in need of time. ;-) Nice black cherry fruit. Surprisingly light tannins at this stage. I am sure they will emerge. Good acidity and concentration. Lots of upside.
Red
2012 Epoch Estate Wines Ingenuity USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
92 points
This is a GSM blend. Inky purple in color. The nose shows black raspberries, some cherries, black pepper and roasted meats. On the palate, this is big, thick and rich. That said, very concentrated as well. Good acidity. Tannic. Lots of upside.
Red
2013 Epoch Estate Wines Authenticity Paderewski Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
93 points
Purple in color. The nose shows black raspberries, blueberries, black pepper and black olives. Very nice. On the palate, this is very concentrated and tight complexity. Lots of fruit. Delicious. Long finish.
2 people found this helpful Comments (6)
Red
2012 Domaine de Cristia Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
94 points
The same wine poured at the seminar I believe. Another great showing. Inky purple. The nose has black raspberries, black cherries, slightly earthy. On the palate, this is ripe and deep. drinking very well now. Medium tannins. Long finish. Surprisingly open.
Red
2013 Domaine de la Solitude (Lançon Père et Fils) Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
89 points
Solid wine. Nice black cherry fruit. A nice complexity. I would like a bit more acidity. Drink earlier.
Red
2012 Domaine Saint Préfert Châteauneuf-du-Pape France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
92 points
Nice big cherry and dark cherry fruit on the nose. Some floral notes. A bit earthy as well. On the palate, there are tannins, but this has a seamless complex quality to it that is quite good. Nice dark cherry fruit. Good finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Domaine Saint Préfert Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve Auguste Favier France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
95 points
This was really good. Its everything the regular cuvee is only more intense. earthy with dark cherries and black raspberries. Bright acidity. Complex though tightly packed. Long finish. Plenty of upside as well. Maybe the best CdP of the weekend.
4 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Paul Lato Syrah Cinematique Larner Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
94 points
This is really good. Black raspberries. Very ripe nose and palate. Yet, it all works in a seamless way. Medium tannins. Lush fruit. Deep. Good bright acidity. Sweet finish.
Red
2013 Paul Lato Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
93 points
Purple in color. Like the Larner just a bit less of everything. Still a great texture. Complex. Bright acidity. Long finish. Lots of black raspberry fruit, black pepper and slightly roasted herbs.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Kilikanoon Shiraz Killerman's Run Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
91 points
Its been a while since I had any of this. Dusty nose with black raspberries and pepper. On the palate, not over the top. Nice black raspberry fruit. good acidity. Need to revisit these.
Red
2014 Innocent Bystander Shiraz Mea Culpa Yarra Valley Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip, Yarra Valley
92 points
Purple in color. Earthy nose. Black raspberries. Slightly dusty on the nose. Black raspberry fruit and peppery on the palate. Juicy acidity. Medium tannins.
Red
2012 Jasper Hill Shiraz Georgia's Paddock Australia, Victoria, Central Victoria, Heathcote
93 points
I really liked this. Again, it had been years since I have had one. The nose has black raspberries, dusty. Lots of fruit on the palate. Big but not a monster. Juicy.
Red
2013 John Duval Wines Shiraz Entity Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
93 points
Boysenberry and peppery nose. Good fruit on the palate. Firm tannins. Juicy acidity.
Red
2012 d'Arenberg Shiraz The Dead Arm Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale
92 points
Black raspberries and cedar on the nose. Tannic. Black raspberries on the palate. Its been a decade since I had one and about how I remembered it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 ONX Reckoning USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
91 points
A new wine for me. From Paso. Black raspberries, black currants and spice. On the palate, this is concentrated. Lots of fruit. Lots of tannins especially on the finish. Big and fruity, needs time to settle down. Jeff Streakas, the assistant winemaker was pouring. very nice and passionate guy. Nice to meet him.
Red
2013 ONX Petite Sirah Black Orchid USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles Templeton Gap District
90 points
This is a very large scale petite. It needs time to settle and may have some upside. Kind of rough right now in a Petite Sirah way. I liked it, but after so many wines, a little went a long way. Would love to revisit by itself or with some time/air.
Red
2012 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Old Corral USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
92 points
Its been a while since I bought these. They used to be in an over-sized bottle that didn't fit anywhere IIRC. This was better. Cooler climate syrah. A nose of clay and black raspberries. Slight peppery. On the palate, nice fruit. Slight tannins. Different than i remember these wines being. Nice.
Red
2012 Big Basin Vineyards Syrah Coastview Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County
90 points
Black raspberries and clay on the nose. This is a bigger warmer wine. A bit disjointed at this time. Some heat on the wine and finish. Drying tannins. Perhaps not in a great place, but I preferred the Corral.
Red
2014 Brecon Estate Syrah USA, California, Central Coast, Ballard Canyon
92 points
This was very good and a new wine discovery for me. I think there is some upside of a couple points. 6% Petite. It is seamless and refreshing if that makes sense. After some big Paso Syrahs, this comes across much more balanced yet still with a lot of fruit and complexity. Black raspberry fruit. Some grilled meats on the nose. Medium tannins. Good acidity. Lots of juicy black raspberry fruit. Nice finish.
Red
2013 Brecon Estate Petite Sirah USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey
91 points
A more restrained version of Petite Sirah which I enjoyed. Seems like it should age very well. Boysenberry fruit and slight earthy/clay on the nose. Good acidity. Matching fruit on the nose. Long finish.
Red
2013 Brecon Estate Mourvèdre Paso Robles Estate USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
91 points
Similar to the bottle I had at lunch earlier in the day. Black cherries. Tight complexity. Not a monster and very polished.
Red
2014 Paix Sur Terre Mourvèdre The Other One Glenrose Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
89 points
Another first time. The nose is good; clean with black cherries. The palate may be just a little too young right now. It is choppy with some heat. There is plenty of black cherry fruit and tannins as well. Revisit in a couple of years.
Red
2007 Westerhold Family Vineyards Syrah Shootout Westerhold Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
93 points
Not sure where this came from, but I was told it won the Syrah shootout at a past HdR. Very nice. Black raspberry fruit and some graphite on the nose. Light tannins. Good fruit with nice complexity. Slight menthol on the finish.
Red
2014 François Villard Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes L'Appel des Sereines France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
88 points
I thought I would just have this one expensive wine, instead I ended up trying most or all of the offerings as I found them quite interesting. This one is a basic Syrah which I believe retails under $20. Great value.
White
2014 François Villard Condrieu Les Terrasses du Palat France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
91 points
Great nose. Lovely. Floral nose with ripe orange rind. Nice acidity. Oily texture. Slight heat on the long finish. Just a really pretty wine but the nose is the star.
White
2014 François Villard Condrieu Le Grand Vallon France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
92 points
Gorgeous nose on this. Orange blossoms, crushed rocks, slight salinity, and white flowers. So pretty. On the palate, this has a slightly oily texture. Very tight but no heat. I suspect a few years will bring out some layering while not losing much freshness. very nice wine.
Red
2014 François Villard St. Joseph Poivre et Sol France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
90 points
Ruby/purple in color. The nose is nice with boysenberries and some pepper. On the palate, this is soft, deep and reasonably complex. Nice tart black raspberries on the palate. finishes with tart acidity. Needs food to bring out its best I would think.
Red
2013 François Villard Crozes-Hermitage Comme Une Evidence France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Crozes-Hermitage
91 points
I am assuming this is priced reasonably (it is a Crozes) and if so, there is a lot of value here. Nice black raspberry fruit. Good acidity. Nice fresh and bright acidity. Clean finish. Happy to drink this wine any time.
Red
2013 François Villard St. Joseph Mairlant France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
90 points
Solid wine. Black raspberries on the nose and palate. A bit of roasted meats. clean. Good acidity. Long finish.
Red
2013 François Villard St. Joseph Reflet France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
92 points
This is a step up. A very concentrated and intense wine. Tight black raspberry fruit. Great concentration. Juicy acidity. Very tannic. Long finish.
Red
2013 François Villard Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes Seul en Scène France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
92 points
Interesting counter. This is really good but quite approachable. Lots of black raspberry fruit. Some black pepper. Floral nose. Soft and still complex. Ready to drink now it would seem. Light tannins. Long finish.
Red
2013 François Villard Côte-Rôtie Le Gallet Blanc France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
91 points
I have only had this one time and that was a 2009 which I remember as being very good. This is a great wine, but not at that level. I assume vintage differences. Lots of black raspberries, black olives and slight roasted herbs. Good depth. Tannic. Deep. Nice finish.
Red
2013 Villa Creek Avenger USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
91 points
This is a big tannic but fruity wine. Lots of black raspberries, blueberries and also smoke. Palate matches. Licorice on the finish. Tannic.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Villa Creek High Road James Berry Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
93 points
Lots of black raspberries, blueberries, white pepper and lavender on the nose. The palate has more fruit than the other stuff at this time. Quite primary. Deep with tight complexity. Fresh acidity. Tannic. Long finish. Needs time but has some upside.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Closing

And on to the final dinner.

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