Reds in Stock

posted Jul 24, 2011, 11:11 AM by christy bergman   [ updated Dec 6, 2012, 1:31 PM ]
Tasting Sun 4-6pm.  Enjoy a flight of 4 wines for $25; a full glass for $9.  Also open when we have special events, please check our Calendar of Events.  I selected all of these wines because they're local, small production, good value, and very enjoyable with or without food.  In cases where I haven't found a good local example, I've got an import on the list.

- 2010 Forlorn Hope, "Suspiro del Moro" Alvarelhão, Silvaspoons Vineyard, Alta Mesa, $25.  Greeted with the scent of white sweet pea flowers, if you were blind wine tasting, you'd never guess you were about to sip a brooding dark red wine, grown in the Alta Mesa appellation of Lodi by Ron Silva, a farmer entirely unafraid of embracing varieties hard to pronounce and hard to find. Whether pronounced in the Spanish, Brancellao, or the Portuguese, Alvarelhão, this variety is full of surprises.  Suitable for pairing with a meal of tapas, lightly chilled on a hot afternoon, or from a goat-skin held aloft at arms length. Whole cluster fermented.

- 2010 Muscardini Cellars, Barbera, Pauli Ranch, Mendocino, $36.  Barbera is famous for keeping its high acidity even when the fruit is ripe.  This fruit comes from the historic Pauli Ranch, originally planted by Robert Mondavi, in Ukiah Valley, on the banks of an old river bed with gravely soil. Cold soaked 3 days, fermented in open top tanks, aged 12 months in 30% new French and Hungarian oak. Opens up with aromas of bright red fruit, raspberry, wild herbs & roasted espresso. On the palate, lively flavors of ripe plum, raspberry and cherry, vibrant acidity, balanced tannins, silky mouthfeel and a long complex finish.

- 2006 - 5 Points Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville, Napa Valley, $60.  Fruit from the famous Beckstoffer’s “To Kalon” Vineyard. Owner Chuck Atkins, former dentist, now medical device startup founder, wanted the best wine he could buy.  Made at Clos Pegase winery with new French barrels. Dense tannins, black fruit, small production, American grand cru.

- 2005 Godspeed Vineyards, Estate “Trinity” blend Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah; Napa Valley. $35.  Owner/Grower: Larry Stryker.  With a nose of black cherry, roasted coffee & black pepper, it's mouth filling, superbly balanced with a lingering chocolate finish exhibiting the unique terroir of Mount Veeder. At 13.5% alcohol, this is a very food friendly wine.  I sometimes use this as a dry wine pairing for chocolate dessert.  Only 390 cases produced.

- 2010 Mary Elke, "Boonville Barter" Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, $20. This budget-level Pinot Noir, blended from the left-over fruit, was meant to keep the family from drinking the expensive wines and also to use for bartering in the nearby town of Boonville, hence the name. Pale red in color due to a majority of Dijon clones, cherries and strawberries on the nose, with a hint of wintermint. Well balanced acid is finished off with slight anise. Winemaker: Matt Evans.

- 2009 Elke Vineyards, "Blue Diamond" Pinot Noir, Donnelly Creek Vineyard, Anderson Valley.  $35.  Foggy mornings, hot days, and cold nights are what make Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs famous for developed flavors while maintaining acidity. Perfumed layers of black cherries, barnyard, chocolate, tea, and warm spice. The palate gets some earthiness, subtle oak, good acidity and finessed tannins.  It's a classic Blue Diamond (50% Pommard, 25% Elliott, 25% Stang "clones").  Allow this wine a while to breathe before drinking for maximum pleasure.  Production: 840 cases.

- 2010 Von Holt Wines, Pinot Noir, Bacigalupi Vineyard, Russian River.  $38 Fruit from the Bacigalupi vineyard, continuously owned by the Bacigalupi family since 1964.  This vineyard produces a recognizably spicy style of fruit, rumored to come from the high iron content of the soil.  Wente, Wadenswil 2A, Swan, Pommard, and Dijon 115 clones.  Bouquet of strawberries, bay laurel, cloves, smoke.  Perfumed with plum; dusky cherry and soft spice palate.

- 2010 Uvaggio, Primitivo, Lodi.  $20.  Back in stock by popular demand!  Owner/winemaker Jim Moore, formerly of Robert Mondavi and Bonny Doon.  Cold maceration, aged 6 months in 16% new Hungarian oak, 8% in 1-year old Hungarian oak, the rest in neutral French oak.  Fruit is soft, supple with aromas of black cherry, boysenberry, anise, vanilla.  13.7% alcohol.

- 2008 Robert Biale, Syrah, Kiger Family Vineyard, Sonoma.  $62.  Grown on the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas Mountains (the mountain range separating Napa and Sonoma valleys) by the Kiger Family.  This jewel of a farm, run by an ex-Silicon Valley tech couple, uses sheep during the winter to fertilize their vineyards.  Firmly tannic, with dark berry, mineral, licorice and sage, and a beautifully dark elegance.  Just a little Viognier co-ferment too.  90 points Wine Spectator "Drink now through 2020."  Winemaker: Steve Hall.

- 2011 Dashe Cellars, "les Enfants Terrible" Zinfandel, McFadden Farm, Mendocino.  $24.  From an organic vineyard in Potter Valley, Mendocino.  Native yeast, stainless steel fermented, semi-carbonic maceration, and aged in large-format (500 gallon) French barrels.  Tastes of fresh figs with an intriguing nose of dusty fruit, fenugreek, black & white pepper that will keep you coming back for more.  13.6% alcohol.  202 cases produced.