Christmas 2020 & Beyond -- Pandemic Wines

Quarantine in Arlington

Tasted January 27, 2021 by pgb67 with 60 views

Flight 1 - Domestics (6 notes)

Red
2012 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
92 points
Giving this a higher score than the Giscours, to honor the opinions of my Christmas Eve guests who loved this wine. Riper and denser than typical R-Ms, but hits the mark with persistent cherry flavors and smooth finish.
Red
2009 Saxum Bone Rock James Berry Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
90 points
This is another boom wine that grabs your attention with its full-throttled everything – nose, palate, density. Prominent blackberry aroma with oak overtones. Flavor profile of cherry liqueur with accents of Rhone-inspiring bacon, meat, and garrigue. Perhaps a tad one-dimensional and somewhat overpowering at an elegant dinner party.
Red
2015 Rain Dance Pinot Noir Estate Reserve USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Chehalem Mountains
93 points
Hits the sweet spot for me with a combination of delicious berry flavors and an Oregon “feel” from notes of forest, moss, and earth. Balanced acidity draws you in, but the length and density cause you to savor it. Actually served this at a small family Thanksgiving and it paired perfectly with the bird. Purchased at the lovely Rain Dance tasting room which I recommend visiting.
Red
2012 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
94 points
A lot going on here, although the fruit is the leading actor in this ensemble – raspberries, red and black cherries, rose petal, loamy soil. For a pinot, it’s pretty dense, but still is an easier drink than the Rhone varietals and Cabs in this lineup. An impressive tannic spine and long finish complete the package. Still going strong, but I would probably drink up. (served during the holidays but not together with the R-M, Saxum so no side-by-side comparisons).
Red
2015 Peay Vineyards Syrah Les Titans USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
88 points
Seemed a bit closed or even tired at first, but then opened up over time (days, that is, but who has days?). Smoky cherry and tobacco elements in the forefront.
Red
2015 Ridge Zinfandel Ponzo Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Fragrant with scents of loamy earth and sweet kirsch. Palate is very satisfying as well with vibrant acidity and flavors of red currant and spice. Evolves over time, if the bottle lasts, to offer a sappy and lush mouthfeel and show a long spice-driven finish.

Flight 2 - Imports (5 notes)

Red
2010 Château Giscours France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
91 points
Just a classic Bordeaux that showed a lot of class and paired well with a festive Christmas Eve dinner of roasted meats. It particularly showed well on the open, with vibrant plum flavors, while over time developing sophisticated notes of tobacco and cassis. Probably my favorite of the night, although my guests seemed to like the R-M pinot the best.
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Red
2008 Domaine Alain Burguet Gevrey-Chambertin Mes Favorites Vieilles Vignes France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Gevrey-Chambertin
90 points
High-toned and cool, suffused with minerality that outlines a medium-bodied cherry- and cranberry-infused palate. Nice flavors but dryness perhaps detracts from the overall experience.
Red
2010 Vietti Barbera d'Alba Vigna Scarrone Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
90 points
Surprisingly dense and tar-like, reminding me of Barbera’s Piedmont neighbor, Barolo. Long and complex, but might have wanted more fruit in this one.
Red
2017 Manincor Reserve del Conte Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
91 points
Always a joy to return to refosco, an underrated grape. Minerals, stones, coffee, spice – lots of interesting elements in addition to delicious cherry fruit.
Red
2017 Alfredo Maestro A dos tiempos Spain, Castilla y León, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León
92 points
A great new discovery for me – took a flier on it from Chambers and have no regrets (can’t source any more in fact). Zesty flavors of orange peel, bitter roots and botanicals, cherry and tobacco. Nice acidity makes you reach for more. A relative bargain at circa $25 (my score reflects QPR to a degree).
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