Out with friends (Scarecrow, Jonata, 7 Stones, Kutch, Rhys, Baumard)

University Circle

Tasted November 19, 2016 by Loren Sonkin with 323 views

Introduction

Last night my wife and I joined Tom and Kathy for a night at one of our favorite restaurants. It had been a while since just the four of us went out. We do tend to bring too much wine which we share with the staff and an occasional patron at the restaurant. It was a night of excess, but a lot of fun, great conversation and good times.

Flight 1 - Chardonnay Flight: (2 notes)

White
2014 Kutch Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
95 points
My first time trying the Chardonnay. Beautiful. Like a blend of California sunshine and Chablis minerality. The bottle was served at slightly cooler than cellar temps (maybe 50F). Light golden in color. Very nice nose with a slight chalkiness, and some bright red (fuji) apple fruit. Maybe a slight tropical sense to it, but very slight. On the palate, this has a creamy texture. Did this see oak? I don't taste it, but it has that feel or perhaps that is from stem inclusion? Not sure. In any event, the palate is all about the apples. Mostly green, some red, a slight cider note at the back end. Really delicious. This was the opening wine and I look forward to another bottle that I can really spend some time with. I am not sure I did not score it too low. In many ways, this reminds me of the Rhys Chards which I love.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2012 Rhys Chardonnay Horseshoe Vineyard USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains
95 points
From a 500ml size bottle. More forward than a Magnum of this opened a months or so ago. The nose is big with oranges, peaches and slight vanilla notes. A bit of spice. On the palate, this has a creamy texture. Red apples with a nice streak of minerals. Also some citrus especially on the finish. There is a nice complexity in this and it is quite open and drinking well. No hurry, but certainly no harm drinking now.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - A couple of California Cabs (2 notes)

Red
2008 Jonata Winery El Desafio de Jonata USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
94 points
This had been opened and allowed to breathe for a few hours before pouring. A beautiful wine and on another night, it might have stolen the show. Tonight, it brought up the rear. We are lucky people. The nose has black raspberries, a bit of roasted meat and roaster herbs, cassis and spice. Very nice. More earthy than big fruit. On the palate, this is entering a nice maturity although it still has a long life left. Nice texture. Cassis and blueberries although that roasted meat streak continues. Deep layering unwinds in the glass. Good finish. Worked well with food especially a roasted eggplant and butternut squash dish.
Red
2009 Seven Stones Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena
97 points
Wow, great showing. The bottle was opened and allowed to breather for a few hours. This kept getting better all night long. A unanimous WOTN. In a gorgeous place right now, just entering maturity. Best showing yet for this wine by far. Purple in color. Very nice nose of cassis, charcoal, slight brown tobacco note and a bit of licorice. On the palate, this is seamless. Great texture. Layers of complexity flow thru. Cassis fruit with an undertone of charcoal. Great balance. Long finish. The kind of wine that you want more as soon as you finished the prior sip. Worked great with our food.

Flight 3 - Scarecrow flight (2 notes)

Red
2005 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
95 points
While this wine was tremendous, I had hoped for a bit better. Maybe it was the night, maybe the bottle. Don't get me wrong, 95 is an amazing wine, but I was looking for more (teach me to be greedy). That said, purple in color. The nose is very expressive with cassis, coffee and spice. On the palate, it seems a bit chunky in a nit picking way. I might wait to let this sort out for a bit. Plenty of fruit. Still plenty of tannins. Lots of depth. Juicy. Lots of cassis. Long finish. Went well with our pasta dishes. Funny how one's expectations can change our perceptions. I need to try and work on that.
Red
2008 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
96 points
OTOH, this performed above my expectations. A California version of a second growth in style. That is to say, cassis, graphite, slight earthiness and char to it. The bottle had been opened and allowed to breath for a few hours. It was drinking quite well with a young maturity. Deep with tight layering that opened in the glass. Medium tannins. Plenty of cassis fruit. Almost a floral quality on the finish. Good balance. While I would not say seamless, it was closer to that than not.

Flight 4 - Always nice to try our own wines (2 notes)

Red
2009 SonkinCellars Persona USA, California
Not the best showing for this wine. The cork on it wasn't the best as it broke while opening. It seemed to be stained up the cork more than half way. Not sure what was going on here. That said, my wife loved it. Although it had some air in the bottle, it did seem to get better once we started to pour it. Still, in my biased opinion, a very good wine, it was not as good as a few other recent bottles. We did pour some for another table and they asked for more, so it didn't suck. Obviously I am biased, but its king of when your kid gets all A's and brings home a B+.
Red
2014 SonkinCellars Unmasked USA, California, North Coast, Yorkville Highlands
This bottle had been opened for 27 hours and allowed to breather prior to drinking. In my biased opinion, this is our best wine yet. I know the WA gave the Persona 96 points, but I love this wine (it still got a 95). It needs time or air. It is mostly Halcon fruit which takes a long time to develop. A bit riper than most Halcon fruit wine I think, yet this is still about cool climate Syrah. I have only had this wine a couple of times, so I am still figuring it out. I would hold for a while or maybe let it slow ox for 72 hours if you can.

Flight 5 - Dessert (1 note)

White - Sweet/Dessert
2002 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Quarts de Chaume
96 points
Pop and pour, this was served at about 52F. It had been some time since I opened a bottle and all my prior bottles were 375's. Patience was rewarded. This is stunning right now. This is why you age sweet Chenin. Golden in color. The nose has oranges, honey, minerals and canned peaches. On the palate, It is slightly sweet, but that has faded a bit with age. In its place is a complex and layered collection of candied oranges, honey and a nice minerals streak. Great balance. Long finish. Nice to know I have a couple more of these.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Closing

Let's get another date on the calendar soon.

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