Vinography Unboxed: Week of July 2, 2017

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07.08.2017

bigstock-box-of-wine-on-the-plain-backg-26760620.jpgHello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I’m pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently.

This week’s wines included another gorgeous still wine from the Penedes region of Spain made by one of their top producers of sparkling wines Raventos i Blanc. Made from the same local grape used for Cava (Xarel lo) this bottling named “Extrem” is a crackling mineral mouthful of crispness. Don’t miss it.

Closer to home, Dry Creek Vineyard has a very nice Chardonnay on offer from Block 10 of their estate vineyard. Speaking of Chardonnay, lovers of the grape will doubtless enjoy the rendition from Capensis in South Africa.

Before we move on to reds, Poggio al Tesoro’s Vermentino is worth looking at, too, especially for anyone looking to expand their white wine horizons.

I tasted a number of bottles of Pinot from Oregon producer Raptor Ridge this week, all of which were (unsurprisingly) high quality and worth attention. Especially the Meredith Mitchell Vineyard bottling, which was layered, complex, and delicious.

Finally, I’ve also got notes on two more wines from Big Table Farm, the biodynamically inclined producer in Oregon that continues to impress with their honest, dynamic wines.

All these and more below.

Enjoy!

2014 Capensis Chardonnay, Western Cape, South Africa
Light greenish gold in color, this wine smells of cold cream and buttered popcorn. In the mouth, wonderfully saline flavors of melted butter, lemon curd, and pastry cream have a silky aspect and filigreed acidity. While I wish there were just slightly higher acidity here, there’s no denying the deliciousness of this wine. Positively gulpable, with the wood only barely peeking through the long salty lemon finish. 14.5% alcohol. 1000 cases made. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $80. click to buy.

2014 Dry Creek Vineyard “Taylor’s Vineyard – Musque Clone” Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of melon and green apple with hints of white flowers. In the mouth, melon and green apple flavors have a faintly sweetish aspect to them, and just slightly less acidity than capensis_sm.jpgI would like, but that’s typical for this clone of Sauvignon Blanc. Tasty and clean. Ice it and enjoy. 14.1% alcohol. Score: between 8.5strong> and 9. Cost: $28

2015 Poggio al Tesoro “Solosole” Vermentino, Tuscany, Italy
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of asian pear, lime and a touch of chamomile. In the mouth, beautiful asian pear flavors mix with a hint of lemongrass and crème anglais. The acidity in this wine sneaks up on you, leaving the tip of your tongue prickling many seconds after swallowing. Quite pretty. 14% alcohol. Closed with screwcap. Score: between 8.5strong> and 9. Cost: $19. click to buy.

2015 Raventos i Blanc “Extrem” Xarel lo, Penedes, Spain
Palest gold in color, this wine smells of pomelo pith and wet chalkboard. In the mouth, gorgeous lemon and lemon pith flavors mix with a floral note of pink grapefruit and pomelo. Fantastic, crackling acidity emphasizes the wet-chalkboard minerality. Killer wine that’s crying out for some freshly shucked oysters. 12% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $25. click to buy.

2014 Dry Creek Vineyard “DCV Estate Block 10” Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Light yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of cold cream and buttered popcorn. In the mouth, lemon curd and pastry cream flavors have a slight butterscotch note, but mostly an electric lemon aspect. Excellent acidity and beautiful silky texture. Nice finish and beautifully integrated wood that you sense as texture much more than flavor. 14.5% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $??

2014 Raptor Ridge “Estate” Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of black cherry and dried flowers. In the mouth cherry flavors are juicy and boisterous thanks to excellent acidity. Lovely herbal notes linger in the finish, but mostly this wine is about pure, pure cherry fruit. Lovely. 13.8% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap. 450 cases produced. Score: around 9. Cost: $50. click to buy.

2014 Raptor Ridge “Barrel Select” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of wet earth and cherries. In the mouth, potting soil and cherry and raspberry bramble all combine under a gauzy slip of tannins that intensify as the wine finishes with earth and herbs. Excellent acidity. 13.8% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap. Score: around 9. Cost: $29 click to buy.

2014 Raptor Ridge “Meredith Mitchell Vineyard” Pinot Noir, McMinnville, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of crushed dried herbs, sagebrush and wet earth. In the mouth, beautifully savory flavors of wet earth, sagebrush and cherries are gently held in a muscular fist of tannins. Excellent acidity and length. Dried flowers and earth emerge on the finish. 13.8% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap. 150 cases produced. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $50. click to buy.

2014 Raptor Ridge “Shea Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton District, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Light to medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of raspberries and cherries and raspberry leaf. In the mouth, raspberry and raspberry leaf flavors mix with earth and a touch of dark cocoa powder. Faint, fine grained tannins float light chalk dust around the mouth, as the wine finishes with aromatic sweetness. 14.3% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap. Score: around 9. Cost: $50. click to buy.

2014 Martin Ray Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry and raspberry. In the mouth, raspberry and cranberry flavors are wrapped in a muscular skein of tannins that linger with cherry notes in the finish. Decent acidity. 13.8% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $25. click to buy.

2014 Wrath Wines “Ex Anima” Pinot Noir, Monterey, California
Light ruby in color, this wine smells of cranberry and raspberry. In the mouth, faintly sweet flavors of cranberry and raspberry have a nice muscular tannic backbone and a wet chalkboard minerality that is quite nice. Notes of herbs emerge in the finish. Aged in tanks and neutral oak. 13.4% alcohol. Score: between 8.5strong> and 9. Cost: $29 click to buy.

2015 Big Table Farm Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Light to medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of wet earth and raspberry and raspberry leaf. In the mouth beautiful flavors of raspberry and earth are delicate and fine, with gorgeous acidity making them vibrate with life. Faint but muscular tannins surround the fruit and prop it up on its journey across the palate. Gorgeous floral finish. Lovely. 13.9% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $35. click to buy.

2015 Big Table Farm “Pelos Sandberg Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Light garnet in color with a slight cloudy haze, this wine smells of raspberry fruit, earth, and exotic incense. In the mouth, raspberry and earth flavors mix with the bright flavors of citrus peel and are dusted with powdery tannins. Gorgeous bright acidity lingers in the finish along with the chalky minerality of the wine. Lovely. 13.3% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $70. click to buy.


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