Truchard Estate Syrah 2018, Carneros
The 2018 vintage is nearly identical to the outstanding 2017 harvest! A dry winter followed by a warm, dry spring resulted in excellent berry set and an above average crop. Moderate temperatures throughout the growing season easily brought the fruit to full maturity. The wines of 2018 are elegant, with intense aromas and flavors. A complex nose of cassis, ripe cherry, and black plum; with a hint of vanilla, leather, and white pepper. The mouth is layered with jammy flavors of blackberry, boysenberry, and currants; followed by mineral and cracked black pepper. Mouth-filling tannins provide an opulent finish of fruit and spice.
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Stolpman Angeli 2016, Ballard Canyon$76.00
In 2001, Tom Stolpman asked his winemaker to blend the few best barrels and create a wine in honor of his wife, Marilyn, and her Italian heritage. Through this wine, the Angeli family of Lucca would live on. By 2002 he identified the very top part of the Block 5 ridgeline as the vineyard’s standout micro section. Ever since, he has selected the best barrels of this block for Angeli. Not only will the 2016 blossom in the cellar, it blows us away today, right out of the gate. Our favorite type of wine, Angeli combines intense, bright perfume with ripe, rich, and mouth-filling robustness. It’s delicate and pretty while powerful and lasting. 2016 Angeli might be the most hedonistic of the altogether pleasurable, yummy 2016 vintage. Richer and deeper than the higher toned Angeli of the past few years, the 2016 offers immediate gratification. “In every wine we make, our goal is to combine ripe richness with savory liveliness – interesting wines that coat the palate and leave one yearning for more. In 2014, not only did we nail this balance, but the exquisite tight-rope of fresh red fruit and deep ripe yumminess are palpable upon release. No need to wait for tannins to soften or the mid-palate to flesh out, Angeli is a wow wine right out of the gate. In one of our best vintages to date, Angeli already flaunts its pedigree as the best wine of the vintage.” Tom Stolpman.
Owen Roe Sinister Hand 2019$28.00
Long ago, during the 17th century, the O’Neills and O’Reillys were two revolutionary Irish families. They formed a rowing competition to reserve rights to some highly regarded land. The two rowing teams agreed that the first to touch the land, after rowing across the lake, would become ruler of the land. O’Neill’s boat was falling behind so a member of the crew grabbed his own sword, cut off his hand and threw it ashore, winning the title to rule the land. This land still remains in the family. This generous fusion in the Owen Roe Sinister Hand 2019 of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault is easily approachable while displaying undeniable complexity. The Grenache portion of the blend contributes cranberry and raspberry candied fruit notes, while the Syrah delivers darker fruits and savoury characteristics. Mourvedre enhances the structure and richness of the body and provides delicate aromas of violets. The partially carbonic macerated Cinsault brings liveliness and tropical fruit flavors to the blend. Try pairing with a smoked salmon dish with cranberry sauce and grilled portabello.
Sexual Chocolate 2017$30.00
As you can see from the picture – the front label is a handwritten tome by winemaker, Brandon Allen. Here is what it says, “This bottle originated from a bootlegging operation my Buddies and I had in college. We started making wine knowing it would be used for late night drinking, and that the French are annoying. It took some time, but we finally perfected our Blend, and came up with this full bodied red that pairs well with Wednesday nights and pizza. We use grapes from all over California so we recomend [sic] this be drank [sic] immediately, and shared with girls.”
It’s not getting routine; it just keeps getting better. The 2017 Sexual Chocolate is pure hedonism in a bottle, but crafted with great care and consideration toward quality. Having made the blend for nearly ten years, winemaker Brandon Allen has developed just the right formula for a wine that delivers loads of flavor for a value. The 2017 vintage is mostly a Syrah blend that delivers an intense combo of ripe, dark fruit with a long, smooth finish. This is a wine that can hold its own but is also a most welcome addition to a variety of foods.