Gems in My Glass . . . November 2017

Tasting Notes

Navarro Vineyards 2015 Deep End Blend Pinot Noir; Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California:  Seductive earthy, floral aromas up front lead to richness and elegance from first sip to last drop.  Alluring flavors of cherry, cedar, pomegranate, licorice and blood orange mingle with exotic spices unfolding on the palate.  Aged in French oak barrels for sixteen months, and skillful management keeps the oak nicely placed in the background.  Complex and well defined with refined tannins, and good lift on the memorable finish.  SRP: $55

Navarro Vineyards 2015 Methode a l’Ancienne Pinot Noir; Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California:  Deeply fruited and engaging on the nose, here is a vibrant and pure PN with black cherry, wild raspberry, sassafras, hints of mushroom and a savory spice element weaving throughout.  Silky smooth and ethereal with a brightness on the finish that sings.  SRP:  $32

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards 2015 Cana Bloc Pinot Gris; Umpqua Valley, Oregon:  Opening with entrancing citrus blossom and stone fruit on the nose, here is a finely balanced Pinot Gris.  Vivid and fresh with Granny Smith apples, tree ripened nectarines, a touch of grapefruit, and honeysuckle melding in harmony.  Smoothly textured with bracing acidity through the long finish.  SRP:  $23

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards 2014 Pishon Bloc Pinot Noir; Umpqua Valley, Oregon:  Burgundian in style, this PN fully draws you in with its fragrant earthy, wild berry aroma.  On the palate, raspberries, cherry cola, anise seed and hints of forest floor entwine in precise balance, and the 65% new French oak barrel aging adds lovely oak spice nuances.  Expressive and stylish with a lingering finale.  SRP:  $35

Rain Dance Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Noir; Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon:  From Jory and Laurewood soils comes this fruit dominant, well balanced and lively Pinot Noir.  Black cherry, wild raspberry, and tart cranberry fruits join a touch of spice, and subtle oak (10 months aging in 33% new French, 22% one year French and 45% neutral French oak barrels).  A touch of earth peeks through on the pleasing finish.  SRP:  $30

Succession Wines 2016 Antoine Creek Rosé; Columbia Valley, Washington:  This Pinot Noir based dry rosé has lovely density of fruit while remaining vivacious and well balanced from the moment it hits your lips.  Strawberry preserves, red cherries and wild raspberries entwine on the palate with herb infused tisane notes and a hint of fresh squeezed lemons.  SRP:  $22

Domaine Papagiannakos Retsina; Traditional Appellation Mesoagaia, Greece:   Much appreciated in its native country, Retsina is distinctive and it may take a few sips to acquire a taste for it.  I find this Retsina quite quaffable!  Crafted of the drought resistant Savatiano grape and resin from pine trees in Attica, the piney, eucalyptus leaf aroma is indeed distinctive.  The palate offers flavors of menthol, yellow apples, eucalyptus, lemon zest and a note of salinity; refreshing and well balanced, too.   SRP:  ~$14

Jeff Runquist Wines 2014 Silvaspoons Vineyard “R” Tannat; Lodi, California:   Tannat, a grape more widely planted in Uruguay, has found a home in Lodi.  This focused, deeply fruited example struts out with cranberry, cocoa dusted blackberries, and boysenberry pie flavors, accented by fresh herbs and tobacco.  Round and rich with velvety tannins and fine balance, it finishes persistently with notes of vanilla and spice from French and American oak aging. SRP:  $26

Walla Walla Vintners 2012 Cut Bank Estate Cabernet Sauvignon; Walla Walla Valley, Washington:  This sophisticated blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot and 4% Petit Verdot leads off with classic aromas to please any Cabernet Sauvignon fan.  Cassis, black cherry and a touch of herbs gets the juices flowing.  Multi-dimensional, pure and precisely balanced, with notes of blueberries, savory spice, tobacco, and oak nuances kicking in mid palate through the extended finish.  A backbone of firm tannins suggests ageworthiness; decant if enjoying now.  SRP:  $60