Gems in My Glass . . . June 2011

Gems in MY Glass . . ., Sonoma, Tasting Notes

The delightful jaunt through Sonoma Coast wine regions continues this month with more delightful palate pleasers:

Patz & Hall 2009 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay, Carneros: The captivating citrus and stone fruit nose completely draws you in, and this Chardonnay is equally compelling on the palate. Juicy white peach and crisp pear flavors with a thread of minerality and dash of spice intertwine from start to finish, showcasing quite a stunning package, and the purity of fruit and uplifted acidity simply shine.

La Follette 2008 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast: Aromas of freshly harvested cherries and spice aromas float enticingly from the glass. Elegantly structured and balanced with a silky mouth filling texture, this wine joyfully awakens the palate. Nicely integrated oak weaves through the focused red fruit and minerality at the core, and the finish is round and full, holding the pleasing flavors firmly.

Merry Edwards 2009 Cooper Smith Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley: Attractive earthy, dried cherry notes on the nose make way for concentrated cherry and wild berry fruit accented with savory spice expanding fully across the palate. Rich, dense and complex, with fruit and acid in perfect harmony. The deft handling of quality oak from the Francois Ferre barrels is evident through the lingering, memorable finish.

Sojourn Cellars 2009 Rogers Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast: Provocative mushroom and red cherry notes wow the nose and really capture the essence of this variety. Velvety smooth, deeply layered and beautifully balanced with red cherries, black raspberries, a hint of truffles and accents of anise and spice sumptuously filling the mouth. A well-crafted wine that finishes strikingly with impressive length.

Freestone Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast: Barrel fermented in French oak; here is a plush, full bodied Chardonnay with panache. Aromas of buttered toast and citrus flecked fresh apples remain consistent with the flavors on the palate, and savory spice and minerally accents add complexity. Attractively balanced with a creamy texture offset by buoyant acidity and a lively finish.

Balletto 2009 Pinot Gris, Russian River Valley: Gorgeous aromas of fig compote and flowers jump from the glass and harmonize beautifully with the honeydew melon, citrus and apple flavors that dance on the palate. Bright, crisp and satisfying from the first sip through the last one; a wonderful example of Pinot Gris.

Siduri 2009 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir, Green Valley: Tantalizing aromas of warm cherry cobbler and fruited tea lead to gobs of decadent red and black fruit sprinkled with a dash of spice, and smoky, earthy notes entwining attractively and gliding seamlessly across the palate. Full bodied yet displays both power and grace. Nicely integration toasty oak tops off the pretty package.

And lastly, although not from the Sonoma Coast Appellation, a lovely wine (which I tasted the same evening I enjoyed the Keefer Ranch PN) produced by a “sister” winery of Siduri. Novy Family 2010 Blanc de Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley: Here’s one to surprise your wine savvy friends with – a still white (not blush colored) Pinot Noir that opens with floral aromas and greets the lips with subtle orange and delicate cherry notes boosted by brilliant acidity. This is a fresh summer quaffer, and nice as an aperitif or paired with fresh shellfish anytime.