I missed a great tasting a few weeks ago that one of my wine brokers hosted at Redd Wood, one of my favorite restaurants in Yountville. It included a wine line-up that I was really excited to taste but the good news is,Jonathan, my wine rep, was nice enough to leave the open bottles for me to taste on my way home from work. Since Redd Wood is just down the street from my house, I stopped by and I tasted all of them with one significant lack of knowledge - I didn't know the price for any of the wines I tasted. And the cool thing is, I just found out pricing and love that they're fairly reasonable in relation to the quality in the bottle. Below are a few of the wines from the tasting I was especially impressed with and will be bringing into D&D before the end of the week. - Kerrin Laz, Wine Director
The wine above... Big Table Farm White Hawk Syrah 2009 – Big Table Farm has coined themselves as purveyors of fine meat, eggs and wine- a combination of products that I love. And while based out of Gaston, OR, owners Brian Marcy and Clare Carver are no strangers to the CA wine world. Before starting this venture with Clare Carver, an incredible artist who is responsible for the wine label designs, Brian worked with Turley Wine Cellars, Neyers Vineyards, Marcassin and Blankiet Estate. For this particular ’09 offering, vintner and winemaker Brian Marcy sourced from White Hawk Vineyard down in Santa Maria Valley in California’s Central Coast. This 201-case production of 100% Syrah is a seamless, smooth Syrah with really nice purity of blackberry notes. There’s a little grip that the tannin provides, which makes it even more enjoyable. Retail for this will be $48 per bottle.
The wine above... Matthiasson Red Hen Vineyard Merlot 2010 - This is the first vintage of Merlot for Steve and Jill Matthiasson that I've tasted and I have to say, this was a standout of all the wines I tasted. Steve’s hot right now and is making some great new wines under their label. This is 100% Merlot and comes from block 3C of Red Hen Vineyard along Dry Creek. Rich and concentrated, this ’10 Merlot seeps onto the palate with really deep notes of dark cherry and cocoa. What a great Merlot. 124 cases were produced. Retail for this will be $83 per bottle.
The wine above... YoungInglewood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 - Now I know the building that was going up for the last year that I would pass as I walked my dog, Ramsey down the street behind my office. It’s the new home to YoungInglewood on Inglewood Ave in St. Helena. Again, like some of the other wines I tasted, I didn’t know the full story behind it but am happy now that I was able to taste them and get to know the story since I first tasted. This debut vintage is a production of 398 cases of Cabernet with a touch of Cab Franc and Merlot in the mix. It’s full-bodied with good, natural acidity creating a solid backbone to the wine. Dark fruit and a smooth mouthfeel make this a great first vintage. After learning who’s on their winemaking team, it’s no wonder this is such a good Cab. This wine will retail for $90 per bottle.
The wine above... Scholium Androkteinos Hudson Vineyards Syrah 2011- This was a showstopper in the line-up. At the time, I didn’t even know that it was made by Abe Schoener and fell under his Scholium Project label. Now I know 24 cases were produced. That wasn’t the intention but because of the tough 2011 vintage, Abe only kept one barrel of the wine to bottle. I’m not sure what the other barrel tasted like but I’m really happy to say that this ’11 is delicious. It’s not as chewy and meaty as you’d expect from Hudson Vineyard fruit; it’s actually almost elegant. This wine will retail for $75 per bottle.
The wine above... Macauley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 - Mac and Kirk have done it again and produced an outstanding Cab release. Vintner Mac Watson and his friend, winemaker Kirk Venge, took their best barrels of 2010 Cab and added a splash of Beckstoffer Tokalon to make this focused, complete Cab. Dark blue and purple fruit with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel is what’s in the glass. 110 cases were produced. This wine will retail for $125 per bottle.