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Comments on my notes

(2 comments on 2 notes)

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2018 Forlorn Hope Queen of the Sierra Calaveras County Red Blend
1/27/2022 - bevetroppo Likes this wine:
88 points
How appropriate that after a ponderous Chianti Gran Selezione I opened this, a Calaveras County, Sierra Foothills field blend of god knows what. It came unbidden from a random cheap-o case selected by the experts at Chambers Street Wines cause there's a zero on the Kelvin scale chance I would have bought it on my own.

And what a loss that would have been, not to buy a wine labeled "A Forlorn Hope Joint." It's like Existentialism meets Spike Lee. And since I have no idea what's in it, except the labeled 12.6% ABV, this is for all intents and purposes a blind tasting.

The color is an appealing cherry red, lightening but not browning at the rim. Maybe a wavy sense of something pale in it, like schiava or trousseau. The nose is all fresh red and blue fruits, There's some deep sweet and sour cherry and raspberry and light appealing earth notes. Very primary, not a savory (Old World) impression in sight. It's not complicated at all on the palate but what's here is delicious, fruity and eminently quaffable. Abundant acid leaves a pleasing sour tang and gentle but persistent tannins on the finish.

So we'll take a guess and then look it up and see how wrong we were. The last refuge of a blind tasting coward is to say I don't drink New World wine very often (you can look it up to confirm based on the distribution of my notes), but here goes anyway: gamay cut with zinfandel and maybe something unexpected like trousseau for that lightness it conveys.

Alright, someone take the bag off. I went directly to the producer's website which looks something like a hippie bacchanal and after much scrolling and admiration for their seeming free-spirited approach found that the "Queen" series" are sold wholesale, while other wines are sold direct. The red Queen is "composed primarily of Zinfandel, Barbera, Tempranillo, Trousseau noir, and Mondeuse." Ok, so the trousseau was a super lucky guess.

Honestly, this is just a treat to drink and it's making me reevaluate my whole worldview regarding California. This is a simple pleasure that shouldn't be overlooked. One thing I'm pretty sure about is these folks have more fun than whoever presided over that over-oaked 15% Chianti.
  • cohnwine commented:

    1/29/22, 11:07 AM - I agree 100% on Queen of the Sierra. A lot of cool stuff coming out of California if you avoid the high-octane oak bombs.

2005 Ch√Ęteau Fontenil Fronsac Red Bordeaux Blend
This came out of the gate kind of beautiful. Great label, great vintage, great price and a lot of right bank character, merlot, Fronsac. I poured a glass and was wowed by the deep deep purple burgundy color and and the spicy smokey nose. Wow. This, right now, is presenting beautifully. Upon taste, the front and mid palate are silky an full of mystery, California Merlot does not come close, Long Island a lot closer. Wow again. The fruits were muted but the terroir shined. I sensed the bottle would shine in time. I have six bottles and was dancing until I tasted a bitter rough finishing edge. But the front of this wine shined. I had a glass or two and put the cork in and let it sit for a day. I revisted on day two and the only thing that had vacated/resolved was the back palate bitterness which had softened and allowed this wine to finish how it started, beautifully, confident and a great representation of right bank merlot in 2005. Some time - maybe five years maybe more in this bottle.
  • cohnwine commented:

    12/23/15, 10:33 AM - So, if I drink this now, should I decant it first?

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