Gems in My Glass . . . March 2011

Gems in MY Glass . . ., Tasting Notes

The winemaking efforts of Eric Trojak and Jim Knier have been on my radar screen for many years.  They have been crafting well made wine for more than 15 years for friends and family; and a year and a half ago they were licensed.  Now consumers can purchase Trojak ~ Knier wines (try local Half Moon Bay wine shops, or call  650 728-3613).  Here is a snapshot of my latest tasting with them:

Trojak ~ Knier 2009 Chardonnay, Napa Valley:   An impressive melding of old world and new world wine with its minerality and nicely integrated oak profile.   The rich mouthful has a pleasing texture and purity of pear fruit at the core.  This chardonnay is distinctive and bright, and keeps you engaged through its lingering toasty, vanilla finish.

Trojak ~ Knier 2009 Pinot Noir, Napa Valley:  Opens with intoxicating earthy, dried cherry aromas and blossoms expansively on the palate with cherry and cranberry notes blending seamlessly with anise and baking spice accents.  Lifted by beautiful acidity, this vibrant PN is elegant and perfectly balanced, leaving you wanting more.

Trojak ~ Knier 2009 Sangiovese, Napa Valley:  Aromas of bright red fruit and enticing dash of herbs rise from the glass.  The flavors remain focused and vibrant with tart cherries, dried herbs, leather and a touch of earthiness rounding out the palate.  Light on its feet, balanced and brilliantly flavorful with a touch of vanilla on the finish.

Trojak ~ Knier 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley:  Inviting cassis and red currant aromas proudly scream Cab Sauvignon.  This classy, powerful wine is well structured with lively acidity.  Firm tannins provide a solid backbone for the juicy plummy fruit that interweaves artfully on the palate with cassis, spice, toast and a hint of graphite.  Finishes long with nicely integrated oak and a solid promise of ageworthiness.

It’s been years since I’ve visited Bouchaine Vineyards and Winery in the Carneros region, and I surely should not have let so much time lapse between visits, there are many selections that impress here.  The following are a few of my favorites after a recent visit:

Bouchaine Vineyards and Winery 2009 Pinot Blanc, Las Brisas Vineyard, Carneros:  The bright expression of juicy stone fruit mingling with pretty floral notes on the nose echoes beautifully on the palate.  A rich, viscous mouthful with a delightful level of acidity that keeps it fresh and clean through the creamy finish; an irresistible example of Pinot Blanc.

Bouchaine Vineyards and Winery 2008 Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley – Carneros:  Spicy and aromatic, this chardonnay showcases a delicious blend of sun ripened pear fruit, spice and a deft handling of oak that integrates harmoniously from start to finish.   Very well structured and balanced with good acidity holding up the core of generous fruit.  A stunning chard that finishes memorably with good length.

Bouchaine Vineyards and Winery 2007 Estate Pinot Noir, Napa Valley – Carneros:  Provocative aromas of mushroom and dried cherries waft from the glass and lead to a richly textured, supple mouth full of cherry cola, forest floor notes, herbs and baking spices that continue to evolve more broadly across the palate through the ever so persistent finish.  This well crafted elixir holds your attention effortlessly with its complexity, verve and promise of longevity.

Bouchaine Vineyards and Winery 2008 Gee Vineyard Pinot Noir, Napa Valley – Carneros:  This is one beguiling pinot noir with its gorgeous floral notes beckoning you into the glass, immersing you gleefully into its concentrated, lip-smacking black cherry, wild berry, nuances of spice and a touch of earthy notes that fill out the palate deeply and linger forever.   Complex, full bodied and ageworthy, with quality French oak aging shining through with style; an amazing convergence of power and gracefulness in the glass.