LASHER'S OFFLINE - Long Beach, CA (11/29/2007)

Whites
  • 2002 Adelaida Grenache Blanc Roussanne - USA, California, Central Coast
    Notes of beeswax, oyster shell, and citrus, especially on the finish. (88 pts.)
  • 2004 Copain Roussanne James Berry Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    A bit soapy at first, but then reveals notes of straw and honey-glazed brioche. A lively wine with terrific acidity and balance. (91 pts.)
  • 2005 Sine Qua Non The Petition - USA, California
    What is in this wine? My guess is some Roussanne as well as some Viognier. Unusual and exotic nose of beeswax, straw, honey-glazed ham, and with more air, bubble gum. A viscous and mouth-coating palate of peach, apricots, and hay. Extremely rich and concentrated. A slight touch of heat on the finish. Probably too young to drink right now, as the fruit is just so exuberant, but it certainly has all the components for an interesting and ageable wine. One to sip and contemplate. 91-92 points. (91 pts.)
  • 2005 Turley The White Coat - USA, California, Central Coast, San Luis Obispo County
    Notes of white flowers, peaches, and vanilla. Lovely, elegant, and balanced. Although not a rich as the SQN Petition, for the purposes of this meal, it probably edges it out by just a hair. 91-92 points. (92 pts.)
  • 2005 Melville Viognier Estate Verna's - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    Compared to the many white Rhone varietals tonight, this one came across as a bully. Aggressive nose of sweet candied lemon rind and honey. On the plate, sweet melon, peach, and apricots. Racy acidity, but just a tad too crass for me. I would have preferred something a bit more restrained and elegant. (87 pts.)
  • 2005 Domaine Michel David Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Clos du Ferre - France, Loire Valley, Pays Nantais, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine
    A fantastic marriage of oyster shell, fennel, lychee, and mineral. The finish does not exactly follow thorough to the end, but what comes before it is absolutely delicious. 90-91 points. (90 pts.)
  • 2005 Peay Vineyards Roussanne/Marsanne Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Notes of candle wax, white flowers, and peach. Nice. (89 pts.)
  • 2006 L'Aventure Roussanne - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Really interesting notes of straw, buttercream, oyster shell, melon and cheese rind. Balanced with very nice acidity. 90-91 points. (90 pts.)

Rose
  • 2006 Sine Qua Non Autrement Dit - USA, California
    At 15.6% alcohol, one would expect a considerable amount of heat. But there is none, not even a whisper. How does Manfred do it? I don't know, but it's magic. Without a doubt, the darkest rosé I have ever seen; one could easily mistake it for a pinot or a grenache. But it is a rosé, and unmistakably so. Notes of roses, watermelon Jolly Ranchers, raspberries, lemon-lime, and mineral. Probably the finest rosé I have ever tasted. What a treat! 93-94 points. (94 pts.)

Reds
  • 2003 Tensley Syrah BMT - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    I have to say that I was a little disappointed by this wine, especially in light of the fact that I am a huge Tensley fan and this was my first time trying this wine -- and from a magnum! Perhaps this had something to do with the high quality of the other wines we had this evening, but in any case, the wine, while quite good, nonetheless seemed less than outstanding. Notes of cotton candy, black raspberries, plum, and gravelly earth. 87-88 points. (87 pts.)
  • 2004 Linne Calodo Sticks and Stones - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Rich and concentrated, but perhaps too much so. Notes of overripe black fruits, raisins, mocha, and cinnamon. Heat on the finish. (87 pts.)
  • 2004 Sine Qua Non Into the Dark - USA, California, Central Coast
    The irony of this wine is that it made me see the light in terms of what grenache can achieve. Dense and seductive notes of kirsch, black raspberries, wet earth, and cocoa powder followed by a chalky texture in the mouth. Rich and decadent and powerful. After all the hype about this producer, I finally get it. In a word, wow! (95 pts.)
  • 2004 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    This bottle was much better than my previous one. Notes of raspberry, garrigue, rosemary, and white pepper. (91 pts.)
  • 2004 Halter Ranch Syrah Estate Bottled - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    76% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 8% Grenache, and 2% Petit Verdot. This wine was really singing by the end of the evening. Notes of plum, brown sugar, espresso, and wet soil. 91-92 (91 pts.)
  • 2005 Lucia Syrah Susan's Hill - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
    Notes of blueberries, blackberries, graphite, and earth. Nice lifted acidity toward the finish. Some exceptional syrah coming from this (very young) vineyard. I'm excited to see what will come from these vines 5-10 years from now. Until then, I will be working on building a vertical. 92-93 points. (93 pts.)
  • 2005 Champ des Soeurs Fitou La Tina - France, Languedoc Roussillon, Languedoc, Fitou
    Notes of brown sugar, kirsch liquer, black raspberries, and dried herbs. The heat on the finish mars what could have been an outstanding wine and a terrific QPR. (89 pts.)
  • 2005 Linne Calodo Sticks and Stones - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    This vintage shows more red fruits than the 2004, as well as a bit more spice. Finishes rather short, however. (86 pts.)
  • 2005 Henschke Johann's Garden - Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Eden Valley
    Initially begins with some reductive aromas, but with air, blossoms with ripe red fruits, bacon fat, and baked bread. Tangy finish. (89 pts.)
  • 2005 Bonnefond Côte-Rôtie - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
    Decent, but not really my style of syrah. Notes of animal, earth, and dried porcini mushrooms. (85 pts.)
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