||And a few gems delivered from the BloodyPulpit:
Eaglepoint Grenache: Casey's first one I tried was the '02 and I was blown
away by it loads of bright/exhuberent/juicy fruitiness. This '03 version
to not shown quite that same amount of juicy fruit, a bit more Mendocino
character, and more along the lines of a Beaujolais w/ its earthiness.
Still a pretty tasty/easy-drinking wine.
Kaena: This was my first wine from this producer. Winemaker is Mikael Sigouin,
asst winemaker for Steve Beckmen. Only tiny amounts produced, presumably
from Beckmen fruit. Also has a Syrah I've not yet had. The Grenache is
quite different in style from the Beckmens; not that lush juicy fruitiness
that Steve's wines show. The name immediately grabbed my attention as there
is a Jean-Francois Sigouin who I've watched who happens to be one of Quebec's
top-notch epeeists. Don't know if they're related or not.
Ridge Syrah/Grenache: A new ATP wine for Ridge. One of the best ATP wines
I can recall from the '01 vintage. I see comments from time-to-time that
Ridge is not making the quality of wines they used to. I guess I've not
seen any signs of slippage in any of the wines I've tasted. Many of the
'01's weren't as intense as previous yrs, but that's more a reflection
of the vintage to me. The '02 I've tried have all been pretty tasty. I
occasionally hit an ATP wine that I don't find that exciting; but I think
they've been quite consistent towards their vision of what Draper wants
from his wines; even though John Olney and Eric Baugher have more responsibility
for their winemaking than ever before. I just wish they'd go back to Mendocino
and Amador for grapes again. Jeez...I'd even settle for a CoastRange PinotNoir
Andrew Murray: Eiyiyiyi....one of the most volatile/EA wines I've had from
Andrew. He had a lot of problems like this w/ his '96 (or '97) ones, but
I thought he'd licked that. It can only come from sloppy/inattentive winemaking.
RO can do a pretty slick job on taking that VA out.
Eaglepoint Petite: This was just btld back in June, so should still be
recovering from btl shock. Whatever...the wine showed well enough for my
group to order 2 cases, though it's not yet released. It shows lots of
spicy fruit and great intensity w/o that coarsness that intense Petites
often have. Maybe Casey's best wine yet.
Carlisle Birds: Another Carlisle winner, though more restrained and less
intense than many of Mike's wines. The 3 Birds refer to the three of them
(Mike/Kendall/Jay) as graduates and strong supporters of the Claremont
College MudHen's Football team, a recognized powerhouse in SoCal football.
Clos des Fees: This is one of the cult wines coming out of the Sud France.
The estate/ winemaker was featured in the latest (June/July) Decanter.
Because of the price, I assume Arpy must have given it big scores. Like
most of these cult wines from the Sud, they stand out in comparison to
the rest of the wines from their areas. And like most, the prices can only
be supported by their scarcity. The wine had the classic old-vine black
cherry/Carignane character gobsmacked by a ton of new French oak. I was
particularly interested in this wine because of the Lladoner Pelut contribution;
which was, of course, obliterated by the oak, if it was ever there. Some
sources describe that variety as Grenache-like, some as a Grenache clone,
some as an indigeneous variety. Don't know the truth, though.
Moscatel Romano: This is the Iberian name for Muscat of Alexandria nee
Malaga nee Moscatel de Setubal (Portugal) nee Zibibbo (Italy) nee Lexia
(Oz). It was obviously harvested very late, maybe made as a passito/dried
grapes and obviously some time in barrel. Much better than any young Setubals
I've had. A killer dessert wine. A stupid price. This is what I would put
into the genre of Rancio wines. This was the classical/ traditional style
of wine made in the Priorat until the genre was pretty much extinguished
by the modern style/Arpy-annointed Grenaches now being made by BMW-driving
noveau riche. Those Rancios could often be incredibly complex wines. Alas...no
more..gone/gone. Let's hope Arpy never ventures into Alicante.
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