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.
Monday, February 23, 2004
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.
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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