Gems in My Glass . . . September 2009

Gems in MY Glass . . ., Tasting Notes (1 Comment)

Martinelli 2007 Woolsey Chardonnay:  From the Russian River appellation, this delectable Chardonnay opens with juicy apple and lemon drop aromas alongside a delicate strand of florality.  On the palate layers of tree fruit and minerality blend harmoniously with the bright acidity creating a wonderful sipper and excellent food pairing wine – think seafood risotto or lobster bisque. 

Martinelli Winery 2006 Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay:  Aromas brimming full of fresh pear, apple and spice notes that remain focused on the palate; here’s a Chardonnay that will remain in your memory just like the long, lip-smacking finish it boasts; forever.   Subtle oak notes from the French oak barrel aging nicely accent this full bodied Chard.  It is rich and creamy with plenty of acidity to offset its sumptuousness.

Martinelli 2007 Three Sisters Vineyard Pinot Noir:  From the Sonoma Coast appellation this gutsy Pinot Noir shines with its smoky, spice tinged cherry and raspberry aromas that carry through seductively on the palate along with additional layers of nutmeg and cinnamon spiciness and mouth-watering strawberry rhubarb pie flavors.   Beautifully structured and balanced with deft handling of oak that adds complexity.

Martinelli Vullutini Ranch Zinfandel:  Gorgeous purity of red and black berry fruits and a plethora of fragrant baking pie spices jump from the glass and lead to lush and generous juicy flavors that unfold deliciously on the palate.  Balanced, fresh and clean with subtle oak, a hint of vanilla and black licorice notes that linger on the pleasing finish.

Martinelli 2007 Jackass Hill Zinfandel:   Explosive fruity aromas laced with cola, spice box and earthiness are just a hint of what’s to come with this exotic, stunning Zin.  Tons of complexity with layers of bright and juicy blackberry, black cherry, cola, mixed pepper spice and smoky notes; a masterpiece in a glass.  And if that’s not enough, the memorable finish persists beautifully.   Clearly one of the most praiseworthy examples of Zinfandel (“America’s sweetheart grape”) that I have ever tasted. 

Martinelli 2006 Zio Tony Ranch Syrah:   Aromas of sizzling bacon draw you in; and blend effortlessly with dense, chewy dark berries and plums laced with anise that intermingle with notes of roasted meats.  Rich, full bodied and intensely structured with great depth of flavors unfolding from first sip to the long, lingering finish. 

Mara 2008 Laughlin Ranch Road Pinot Noir:   I was fortunate enough to taste a barrel sample of the Mara 2008 Laughlin Ranch Road Pinot Noir.  I’ve boasted about earlier vintages of this exquisite Russian River Valley appellated PN, and based on this delectable barrel sample I am confident the 2008 vintage will be another stunning, ageable Mara wine.   Aromas of fresh cherries and smoky notes lead to a rich and enticing mouthful of cherry, cola, ginger spice and the essence of new French oak barrel aging, which all come together and showcase an impressive balance of intense, striking flavors.  It is not yet released, but do keep your eye out for this beauty!

Iron Horse 2004 Ultra Brut:   Freshly baked bread and yeastiness dominate the nose of this elegantly structured sparkling wine.   Crisp Asian pear flavors and a dash of citrus unfold on the palate creating a lively mouth feel with a good bit of minerality threading through from start to finish. 

Iron Horse 2006 Wedding Cuvee:  A beautiful mousse and nice yeasty aromas guarantee a celebration is right around the corner; and it is!    Delicate peach and apple notes intriguingly interact with fresh dough spices, and the delicate stream of bubbles persists through the last glorious sip.

Anaba Sonoma Coast 2007 Chardonnay:  Sun ripened tree fruit with a subtle thread of oak on the nose precede a creamy mouthful of juicy pear, Macintosh apple, pie spices and vanilla scented oak.  A generous level of acidity keeps it artfully balanced.

Anaba 2007 Coriol White Sonoma Valley:  This melodious blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Grenache Blanc opens with aromas of bright stone fruit and a pleasing dash of fresh chives.  Round and viscous in the mouth with crisp white peach and apple notes surrounded by herbs, spices and minerality lingering through the finish.

Anaba 2006 Coriol Red, Sonoma Valley:   An attractive blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Counoise and Petite Sirah that strikes a beautiful chord.   Pretty raspberry notes dominate the nose and lead to dark berry fruit, a hint of meatiness, and nicely integrated oak on mid palate.  Balanced with a velvety smooth texture; finishing with pleasing vanilla and caramel notes.

Dry Creek Vineyard 2004 Endeavor Cabernet Sauvignon:  This powerful, dense Cab (blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petite Verdot) from the Dry Creek Valley appellation is aged 25 months in French Oak.  Opens with cassis and earthy aromas that lead to dense, expressive layers of blackberries, wild berries, cocoa bean, vanilla notes and a pleasing sprinkling of licorice drops and spice.  Structured and complex; here is one to age, if you can manage to put it down.

Last but certainly not least, Dry Creek Vineyard 2008 Fume Blanc:  Bright and sassy; grapefruit and lemon grass captivate the nose and carry through on the palate with enticing hints of jalapeno.  A great aperitif and/or food pairing wine; perfect with a variety of dishes including oysters, crab cakes, herbed goat cheese or savory shellfish pasta.  Crisp, fresh and clean with racy acidity from first sip to delightfully lingering finish.   Always a personal favorite, always a winner!