So I have a week to kill in-between jobs, figure I should go hit some tasting rooms I never been before and revisit some that I didn't spend much time with in the past.

With that, the start of 2004 Whirlwind Tour. Cool

Monday, February 23, 2004
Diamond Oaks
This is a new winery with heavy Chardonnay lineup. They are located at where the old Vichon/La Familia used to be on Oakville Grade.

2001 Silver Carneros Chardonnay
Citrus nose with light pineapple. Green apple on the palate, simple.

2001 Chalk Hill Chardonnay
Rather light citrus nose. Green apple with touch of cream on palate. Rounder mouth feel than the Silver Carneros bottling. Still not too interesting.

2001 Reserve Carneros Chardonnay
Sweet oak with a touch of fig showing on the nose. Flavor of apricot and soft red apple on palate.

2000 Reserve Carneros Chardonnay
Best showing Chardonnay out of the bunch. Fullest body of the entire lineup. Cream, fig, caramel and light toffee.

2002 Carneros Pinot Noir
Nose of strawberries and red cherries. Soft red fruit on palate. Lack depth and complexity. Simple wine with touch of green.

Heitz Wine Cellars
Februay is there new release month, and I believe this is the only time you can walk into their tasting room and taste the current release of Martha's Vineyard bottling.
One interesting note here. They've had special label for three different vintages of Martha's Vineyard to recognize the wine's greatness, including the ever famous 1997 release. I asked the gentleman in the tasting room seeing if the 2001 vintage will be getting the same recognition, and the answer was probably not, but maybe the 2003 vintage.

2000 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Ruby color, typical of 2000 vintage. Five spice nose, bit green, very light body with cranberries.

1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Bella Oaks Vineyard
Nose of currant with slight heat that did not show on the palate. Good amount of black fruit on palate with a bit chalky, firm tannin.

1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard
Crushed blueberries with firm tannin with solid mid-palate. Definitely a wine with all the components in place to age. Would not touch this for at least another three years.

Darioush
Their seemingly forever under construction new winery is scheduled to be finished by the late summer. Shaping up to be a nice showpiece, will definitely go back for visit when it's done.

1999 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
A bit weedy nose with dry cranberries. Medium fruit, rough and angular on the palate.

2000 Signature Red Table Wine
A Bordeaux style blend bottling. Nose of current and light vanilla. Medium fruit, good acidity, decent weight. Showing a bit sharp with firm tannins.

2001 Signature Merlot
Nose of red cherry. Spice and red fruit on palate with slightly chalky tannin.

2000 Signature Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweet black cherry nose. Good amount of black cherries on the palate with firm tannin. A solid 2000 Napa Cab bottling.

2001 Signature Shiraz
Good fragrant black fruit nose with a hint of banana. Tight on palate, peppery with black fruit, and touch of cream. Good mid-palate weight with firm tannin. Would like to revisit this in 3-6 month, as this has not been in the bottle for very long. Top red wine of the day.

Nickel & Nickel
Well folks, guess what, this place takes the top honor for the best visit of the day. This is one of the better tasting you will get to visit on Hwy 29. Friendly, courteous and pleasant, a wonderful time. Will definitely visit when the 2001 vintage is released.

2001 Suscol Ranch Chardonnay
Canned pineapple showing on the nose with other ripe fruits. Creamy pear, peach, with balance of good acidity. Not over oaked in style. Long lingering finish with a touch of burned sugar. Best white wine of the day.

2000 Carpenter Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Lightest of the four Caberbet we tasted. Nose of eucalyptus and red fruit. Good acidity with red cherries, touch green.

2000 Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Fragrant black berry nose. Sweet cherry entry with a touch of mushroom. Firm tannin.

2000 Sullenger Vineyard
Plummy nose with a hint of caramel. Upfront sweetness, high-toned red cherry showing, a bit hollow on mid-palate.

2000 Rock Cairn Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Nice nose of fragrant blueberries. Good amount of cherries with nice hit on mid-palate. Firm tannin, good balance. fullest Cabernet of the bunch. Another top red wine of the day.

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Original Post
We barrel tasted the '01 Darioush Syrah way back when and it was the highlight. You were fortunate to taste all those wines. Noticed the construction was lagging, maybe it's all those those Persian rugs they're waiting on.

Speaking of rugs, I realize you have red carpet and all, Wink, but that $25 tasting fee at N&N is a little unwelcoming. Next time, we'll go with you. Smile

Thanks for the notes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
http://seattle.vinocellar.com
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
The wines tasted today is just a good notch above the Monday lineup. My wallet was happy yesterday, but not so happy today... Wink

Kelham Vineyards
This winery source most of their fruit from the estate owned vineyard in the heart of Oakville and towards the eastern mountain range. A block of Oakville hillside fruit is what they are making the 100% Reserve Cabernet with.

2002 Sauvignon Blanc
Light honey citrus nose with bright grapefruit on palate. Bright acidity makes this a wonderful food wine, should pair well with most seafood dishes.

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine has 4% of Merlot blended back in. Nose of red cherry, cinnamon, and cloves. Red ruby in color. Red fruit on palate with firm tannin, and maybe a bit chalky. Very approachable yet ageable 2000 Napa Cab. No sign of green, good effort.

2000 Merlot
6% of Cabernet Sauvignon was blened back into this merlot. Dr. Pepper comes to mind with this cherry filled nose. Medium cherry with good acidity on palate, nice hit on mid-palate.

1998 Cabernet Sauvignon
Good color, dark ruby, no sign of bricking. Cherry vanilla coke nose. Medium fruit with a touch of spice, a very well made 1998 Napa Cab.

1999 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep ruby in color, fragrant black fruit nose. Wonderful balance of black cherry, silky tannin, and acid to give this wine great aging potential. A full body Cab with structure and complexity.

2002 Sangiovese
The only wine in the lineup with purchased fruit. Will be bottled in second label.
About 17% of Cabernet Sauvignon was blended with Sangiovese. Fruity nose of strawberries. Loads of jammy strawberries, cloves, covers the palate. Great upfront entry, full body and dense, but does seem a bit hollow on mid-palate. Be interesting to see if this will pull back together to fill the hole.

Twomey
This is the Merlot project by Silver Oak, but have complete control of their own style of winemaking as it sees fit. Biggest different right off the bat is this is a 100% Frech Oak winery vs. 100% American Oak at Silver Oak.

2000 Merlot
Nose of red cherry mixed with blackberries, and a touch of pine forest. Again, 100% French Oak, 80/20 split on new and old. Elegant blackberries, firm but not offensive tannins. Slight brown sugar on finish. A wonderful merlot with good weight and struture. For my palate, take this over the 2001 Paloma anyday.

Spring Mountain Vineyard
Only recently re-opened to public by appointment only. Beautiful estate that's well worth the time to check out as one of the stops on Spring Mountain. Tasting was done in an refinished 19th Century house, just the architecture on it's own is worth the trip.

2002 Sauvignon Blanc
Bright citrus nose with ruby red grapefruit and lemon/lime sorbet flavor on palate. Good weight, oak fermentation showing through. Best white wine of the day.

1987 Cabernet Sauvignon
Very light sign of bricking on the outer most edge, virtually none. Fragrant plum nose with beautiful medium cherry showing through on palate and a touch of dried cranberries. Plenty of fruit and tannin left to carry this wine for at least another 3-5 years before heading downhill.

2000 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Floral high-toned cherry with anise on nose. Heavy tannin, bit chalky, bright red fruit with high acidity.

2001 Elivette (Reserve)
This Reserve bottling is released way ahead of the original schedule, but I am glad it's out so I can have the chance to taste this.
Dark ruby in color, currant, black fruit, cinnamon stick makes up the nose. Mixture of black fruits, cherries, berries, and plum. Definitely a more Bordeaux style wine, would not touch this again for at least a good 3-5 years. Seeing how the '87 is aging beautifully, the 2001 vintage will no doubt be a 20+ year wine.

1999 Syrah
Deep bury, bordering purple in color. Peppery nose with black fruit and Indian spice. White pepper and layers of various black fruit on palate. A bit sharp, couple years of cellaring time will only benefit this wine.

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www.winebid.com
Great notes Pyang....I missed your call tonight as I was watching a movie. I'll give you a buzz tomorrow.

Gusbo - The '99 Heitz regular bottling is pretty nice. I had it on release, but not since then. Very "Heitz" in style. A pretty straight shooter. Don't expect to be "wowed", but if you tend to like their wine and their style, this is a solid performance (89-91 pts).

Cheers,

-DRAB

So much wine.....so little time!!!
amedemonet, the 85 and 87 have been showing up retail quite a bit recently. From what I understand it is a recent re-release from the winery, that the had uncovered a previously unknown stash in prestine conditions back in the caves.

Once ... in the wilds of Afghanistan, I lost my corkscrew, and we were forced to live on nothing but food and water for days. - W. C. Fields
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Neal Family
No need for further introduction here, on with the tasting notes. Smile

2002 Chardonnay
Nose of creamy vanilla, ripe fig and tropical fruits. Beautiful mixture of mineral and papaya dances on the palate. No sign of typical heavy oak Cali Chard. Long lingering finish with a hint of butterscotch and toffee.

2002 Zinfandel
Loads of black cherries on the nose. Blueberry yogurt flavor coats the mouth with layering raspberries, black cherries, and black currant to follow. Soft elegant silky tannin balance out this beautiful Zin from Rutherford.

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
This bottle was opened on Monday, poured about a third, gassed and put back in the fridge.
Rich nose of dark chocolate and huge black fruits. Firm tannin, no sign of any heat, just layers upon layers of black fruit and strong mid-palate.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley - barrel sample
Brown sugar and caramel floats out from the glass. Cassis, black fruits, cocoa accompanied by firm tannin. More intensity than the 2001 bottling.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Wykoff Vineyard - barrel sample
This is the vineyard source for the Rutherford bottling.
Another monster wine with huge black fruit exploding from the glass. Complex layers of ripe black fruit and a bull's-eye on mid-palate. Long lingering finish of caramel and brown sugar. A beautifully balanced wine with ABSOLUTELY NO HEAT, weighing in at a whopping 16% on alcohol.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak - barrel sample
Spice, anise, and black fruits on the nose. Dense heavy mixture of expensive chewy black fruits. Strong mid-palate with a long lingering finish of cocoa beans.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain Estate - barrel sample
Signature Howell Mountain spice with cheery and cassis, a beautiful fragrant nose. Multiple layers of black cherries and spice with touch of mineral and wet stone. Long lingering finish.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Chafen Vineyard - barrel sample
Vanilla cream and black cherry ice-cream makes you want to smell this wine forever. Huge teeth gripping tannin with deep black fruits. Another wine with strong mid-palate, medium finish.

Igneous
This is a new label with the first vintage being 2002. Fruit source is from Thorevilos Vineyard owned by Ric Forman & David Abreu, located on the lower part of Howell Mountain just below Viader. Nils & Kirk Venge are the winemaking team. Production level is at about 180 cases for 2002 vintage and 320 cases for 2003 vintage.

The wine is being made on Spring Mountain, worth the trip if you are in the area to schedule a visit with the mind behind this new project, Don Huckfeldt.

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon - barrel sample, one year old barrel
Still very young at this stage and not grapey. A floral nose with black cherries on palate

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon - barrel sample, new oak
Same profile as above with obvious new oak influence.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nose of vanilla and milk chocolate, as it sits in the glass, spice develops and gives it another dimension. Warm black fruit makes the first strike on the palate, maybe just a touch of heat. As the wine warms up a bit, the Howell Mountain signature spice begin to display itself. A very tasty wine with solid mid-palate and medium finish. Will be very interesting to follow the progress of this wine as it completes 24 month in barrels.

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2004 Whirlwind Tour

[This message was edited by pyang on Mar 03, 2004 at 02:05 AM.]
All the wines were outstanding, but below are my two favorites of the tasting:

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Wykoff Vineyard - theived from the barrel

Very creamy and toasty nose with an equally complex palate. Chewy chocolate interlaced with spice. I couldn't really place the spice. Perhaps it's allspice. Lots of black fruit and some tannins. Good heavy mouthfeel with an incredible finish. 95 pts.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Atlas Peak - theived from the barrel

This is the wine to watch! I will be very interested to see how this one evolves. It's a monster! Again, alot of chocolate and chewiness which seems to be a theme running in Neal's cabs. Gobs and gobs of plums and dark cherries with an incredibly complex midpalate. Long finish. Not as spicy as the Wykoff. 97 pts.

Thanks Gove, for theiving away for us!Yummylicious! (Is that a word?)

We had a very nice time lunching with Mark as well.
Friday, February 27, 2004

Del Dotto
cave girl was pulling her hair out setting up for a party of 100 doctors Friday night. Wink

Caution, do not try this at home. This was the first stop in the morning at 11:00am, where I showed up on an empty stomach. Did not get up in time to have breakfast... Razz

Short and brief tasting notes from the cave... Smile

1999 Giovanni's Tuscan Reserve
Light fragrant nose with cedar, light red cherries and cranberries on palate.

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Pennsylvania Oak - barrel sample

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Les Bertranges - barrel sample
Medium fruit, firm tannin.

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Colbert - barrel sample
Medium fruit, burned sugar finish.

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot-C Colbert - barrel sample
Butterscotch popcorn nose, black fruit, good mid-palate with long finish. May have to get a few of these.

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot-D Limousin - barrel sample
Nose of brown sugar, black fruit on palate and cocoa bean finish.

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot-D Cooper Select - barrel sample
Elegant black fruit with silky tannin. Another one to consider picking up.

2002 Cabernet Sauvignon U-Stave - barrel sample
Black fruit with anise and toffee, burned sugar finish. Got my own special 50/50 blend of this and 2002 Cabernet Franc coming. Big Grin

2002 Cabernet Franc - barrel sample
Loads of strawberries on the nose, jammy fruit with burned sugar finish. Soft graceful wine.

2002 Merlot Allier - barrel sample
Juicy, jammy black fruit.

2001 the David - barrel sample
Port like nose, not quite what I remembered.

2000 Cave Blend
Chinese five spice with medium fruit.

2000 Sangiovese

1998 Cabernet Sauvignon
Anise, licorice, blackberries with soft tannin.

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon
Nose of brown sugar, sweet oak, cedar and medium fruit.

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2004 Whirlwind Tour
Pyang,

I've got a question for you. How does the Neal Zin compare to other Zins in the $20s (Hendry Block 28 and 7, Seghesio Home Ranch and Old Vines, Rosenblum Carla's Vinyard, Turley Junevile, etc)?

a

"What contemptible scoundrel stole the cork from my lunch?" -- W.C. Fields
Whiner15,

I like Zin, but don't really seek them out. Off of your list, the ones I remember having for sure are the two Hendrys, and they don't come close to Neal.

There are also few other Zins I've had recently, but not in the same price range, '01 Martinelli Jackass Hill, '01 Martinelli Giuseppe & Luisa, '01 Outpost, '01 Storybook Mayacamas Range, '01 August Briggs, and '01 Brassfield. The only one in the group I can say is better than the Neal is the Jackass Hill.

Hope this helps.

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2004 Whirlwind Tour
Saturday, Febrruary 28, 2004

Just one stop for the day before enjoyingwine and I went to play in a 30 people Texas Hold'em Tournament. Smile

Buehler Vineyards
This is a beautiful 300 acres hillside property situated in Conn Valley overlooking Lake Hennessey.

Not the easiest winery to get to through the twisting Howell Mountain Road, but definitely worth your drive to enjoy the wonderful hospitality at this place.


2001 Chardonnay
This wine is made with purchased grapes from Russian River.
Sweet nose of vanilla, cloves and light oak. Buttery ripe peach on the palate. Clean, nice weight, and a hint of oak influenced burned sugar finish.

2000 Zinfandel
Estate grown fruit that will be ripped on in the near future to plant with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Light fragrant nose of red fruit accompanied with flavor of dry strawberries and cranberries on the palate.

2000 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Another good 2000 vintage Napa Cab.
Black cherry nose with a touch of spice. Black cherries with well integrated silky tannin rolls onto the palate. Not one bit of green in this wine, a lovely wine to drink now and over the next few years. Surely deserving it's 90pts from WS. Keep your eyes open for their 2001 Cabernet release.

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www.winebid.com
2004 Whirlwind Tour
Thursday, March 18, 2004

Plumpjack
For those of you not yet aware, Plumpjack's winemaking is now under the direction of Tony Biagi, formerly with Neal Family.

He arrived in time to take over Plumpjack's 2002 vintage as it's sitting in the tank before going into barrels. The first true vintage for Tony will be the 2003 release, which should prove to have a bit of stylistic change in the good direction.

2002 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon - barrel sample
Aroma of Chinese five spice. Firm tannin with black currant and spice showing through on palate.

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon H Block - barrel sample
A voluptuous wine even at this young age. Round soft mouthfilling black fruit. A definite stylistic change vs. the 2002.

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon J Block - barrel sample
This is likely to be part of the reserve blend. Heavy smoke with sweet cherry entry, lots of mineral showing.

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon I Block - barrel sample
This is the another lot that's likely to be part of the reserve blend.

2001 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - final blend sample
Heavy aroma of clove and five spice. Pencil lead with black cherries and blackberries. A very complex wine with layers of exotic spice and black fruit. Should be a good wine to lay down for a while.
Buy!

2001 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Smoke and dark fruit leaps out from the glass. Dense and chewy with mineral. A luscious wine with plenty of black fruit and some chocolate, cocoa notes. A broad shouldered wine.
Stock up!

Whitehall Lane

2002 Sauvignon Blanc
Ripe melon aroma. Ripe cantaloupe and honeydew with a touch of spice. A very ripe and tropical Sauv Blanc.
Worth a shot.

2001 Merlot
Smoky with a touch of cedar and coffee bean on the nose. Medium-dark fruit, cherry, currant and cigar box spice.
Worth a shot.

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon
Aroma of cinnamon, cherry and clove. Firm tannin albeit a bit rough. Black cherry and exotic spice on palate. Needs time.
Worth a shot.

2000 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Pencil shaving, clove and dark fruit on the nose. Firm, mouth coating tannin with black fruit hiding in the background. Good mid-palate and structure especially for a 2000 Cal Cab.
Worth a shot.

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2004 Whirlwind Tour
i have tasted the 2002 vintage with tony last august. at that time showing very nice tons of fruit an tannins showing in the back ground this will be better then the 01as what i have tasted. at thatb time he tild me that the 96 plumpjack was drinking really good an they had some left . only bought one had it at mustards that night it was great. that is why i am buying it up 01 is good wait tillyou tastr the 02 estate!!!!
now that is just me! Cool Smile Wink
Ron,

amedemonet visited David Arthur on Fridau, and reported at tonight's dinner that the 2002 was at least on-par with the 2001 vintage, at least according to her palate.

FreeTheGrapes is visiting on Wednesday, so I am waiting to see what he will have to say. I think between the two, if they report back with the same opinion, we sould be in good hands.

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2004 Whirlwind Tour
Sunday, March 21, 2004

Pride Mountain Vineyards
Spring release should be just around the corner, keep your eyes open. Big Grin

2001 Chardonnay
Oak, spice, light pear with touch of citrus. Slightly buttery and a bit toasty. Aside from the reserve Chard bottling, this is the only other wine from the entire Pride lineup I do not like and have not purchased.
Can do better.

2002 Viognier
Tropical perfume nose with abundance of melon and cantaloupe, solid fruit translates well onto the palate with a touch of spice.
Worth a shot.

2003 Viognier - tank sample
Amplified across the board vs. the 2002 vintage. Stone fruit, clean and crisp on the palate.

2002 Cabernet Franc - tank sample, final blend
Cherry, currant and curry spice. Firm tannin and loads of dark red fruit with hint of tea leaf. Finishes with strong caramel and brown sugar flavor.
Buy!

2002 Merlot - tank sample
This will be finished with a touch of the 2002 Mountain Top Merlot. Fragrant black fruit with oak and spice.

Duckhorn
Although I tasted the 2001 Merlot at a tasting just a week prior to the winery visit, they were still pouring the 2000 vintage in the tasting room.

2002 Sauvignon Blanc
Grapefruit with a hint of sweetness. Sharp, citrus, and finishes with granny smith apple flavor.
Can do better.

2000 Merlot
Aroma of red fruit and spice. Tannic, edgy, rough, angular. Raw green bean flavor.
Not a chance.

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Grown
Black fruit with cinnamon stick. Firm tannin with medium-dark fruit. Nice entry but drops off with no mid-palate.
Not a chacne.

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Monitor Ledge Vineyard
Black cherry accomapnied with a hint of cigar box aroma. Bit more polished than the Estate Grown bottling, but still lack structure, depth and mid-palate.
Not a chacne.

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Patzimaro Vineyard
Black fruit and slight chocolaty nose. Very sweet upfront entry, still no structure or mid-palate.
Not a chance.

2001 Paraduxx
An interesting blend with loads of strawberries on the nose and palate. Showing a bit warm. A broad wine that would be interesting to taste again as it settles down a bit.
Worth a shot.

Lewelling
Still one of the best kept secret even with Parker's high praise on both of their 2001 release. Cool

2000 Cabernet Sauvignon
Aroma of black fruit with pine and cedar box. Firm but intergrated tannin. Lush medium-dark fruit with nice mid-palate weight. Medium finish.
Buy!

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon
Beautiful aromatic of black fruit laced with soaked tea leaf. Sweet, ripe black cherry with firm tannin in background. A massive wine.
Buy!

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2004 Whirlwind Tour
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Shafer Vineyards

2002 Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay
Aroma of fig, butter, cinnamon, and sweet floral scent. Perserved mango and pineapple attacks the palate followed by the melody of ripe tropical fruits, layers upon layers. Lingering finish, slightly toasty.
Worth a shot.

2001 Firebreak
Caramel and butterscotch accompanied by toasty oak rises from the glass. Heavy oak influence with red fruits hidden in the background. Seem a bit rough and unsettled, will likely settle down with additional bottle age.
Comments reserved.

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon
Sorry, no detailed notes, sidetracked by conversation. Razz
Worth a shot.

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2004 Whirlwind Tour
Thursday, June 10, 2004

Herb Lamb Vineyards
Wasn't really a tasting appointment. Originally intending to pick up my 2001 E II on Thursday evening, then Jennifer & Herb Lamb graciously invited me to join them for dinner, how can I possibly turn that down. Big Grin Lafon Rochet came along for a wonderful evening at almost Howell Mountain. Wink

1999 Lamb Family Vineyards Almost Howell Mountain
2000 Lamb Family Vineyards Almost Howell Mountain
2000 AG Supply Sangiovese
1975 Leoville Las Cases
1975 Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace
1996 Antinori Guado al Tasso
2001 Spring Mountain Derby

No tasting notes to speak of, just a wonderful evening of food, wine and great company.

The Almost Howell Mountain bottling is their home wine from a little plot of vines at the bottom of their beautiful property, the juice would rival the various Herb Lamb vineyard designate bottling.

Can't say enough to thank Jennifer & Herb for having us over for dinner, this is what life is all about in Napa. Cool


Friday, June 11, 2004

Gemstone
Paul & Suzie Frank welcomed us at their home & vineyard in Yountville. I was joined by futronic's dear friends visiting from Toronto. Can't ask for a better way to start off the weekend, Friday afternoon, great wine, new friends... Big Grin Winemaker Andy Smith also took the time from his busy day to make an apperance during the second half of our visit.

2000 Gemstone
Fragrant aroma of vanilla and ripe Bing cherries flows out from the glass. Great balance of acid and fruit with firm but well integrated tannin. Layers of elegant cherries and spices is the centerpiece of this beautifully structured wine. As I said before, one of the very best Napa Cabs/blends 2000s available.
Buy!

2001 Gemstone
Beautiful fragrance of mineral and ripe cherries rises from the glass. Loads of elegant black fruits explodes on the palate. Vastly different than most of Napa Cabs/blends, this wine features a tremendous amount of mineral and stone that gives the wine amazing freshness. Ripe yet refreshing with impeccably balanced structure. Silky tannin and beautiful lingering finish.
Stock Up!

2002 Facets - barrel sample
Lush! Sweet fruit on the nose with mocha and a hint of mint. Firm and slightly chalky tannin, crushed black fruits with very slight heat.

2002 Gemstone - barrel sample
Ripe black fruit on the nose. Lush syrupy black fruits on the palate. A big dense wine, chewy black fruits and firm tannin, a touch of heat.

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2004 Whirlwind Tour

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