Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A few good "natural" wines

I've got an article for Palate Press up today about Natural Wine Week in San Francisco that I won't repeat here.

This is just a little supplement. The article mentions only a few natural wines because it's an overview of the event. Here are a few more great wines I tasted, with ratings on the 100-point scale:

Arnot-Roberts Vare Vineyard Napa Valley Ribolla Gialla 2009 ($32): Winery co-owner Duncan Arnot Myers said this is from the only Ribolla Gialla vines in America, brought into the country in 1999. I like the length and vibrancy of the lime and melon fruit, and there's good acidity. It's pricey, but when you consider scarcity and vineyard location it's not a terrible deal. 91

Arnot-Roberts Hudson Vineyard Carneros Syrah 2008 ($59): I'll be honest -- I prefer the cheaper Clary Ranch Syrah I described in the story, which I would give 98 points if Palate Press used point ratings. But this wine is outstanding also. It tastes more Californian, with black and red plum fruit as well as floral and peppery notes. The fruit seems to blacken on the finish. 93

Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2008 ($19): Smells like limestone and clay; tastes like pineapple skin with lots of mineral on a long finish that seems to dry out the tongue, thus provoking another sip. Or maybe I was just thirsty. 89

Clos Tue-Boeuf Cheverny 2009 ($19): Red plum flavors with aromas of flowers and Tequila. It's chewy, even sticky, on the palate, but balanced with a long finish. 90

Domaine De la Pepiere Sevre et Maine Muscadet Sur Lie 2009 ($14): Like licking a stone, with hints of sea salt and a slight beery note in the background. If you ever put a stone in your mouth as a kid, this will bring back the feeling. 89

Francois Chidaine Touraine Rouge 2008 ($13): Lively wine with ripe red plum flavor, floral and peppery notes and a long finish. Made from Pineau d'Aunis, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. 91

Lioco "Indica" Mendocino County 2007 ($16): You have to like a wine named after a strain of marijuana. Quick lesson on marijuana varieties: "sativa" is the type of pot that makes you blather about the 10 best concerts you ever saw, whereas "indica" is the type that makes you melt into the couch, uninterested in changing the TV channel even if it's stuck on home shopping. This wine is a blend of Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre and Grenache and it's named in tribute to Mendocino County's more famous farm product. I only had two sips -- intense but not fat, red plum and cherry, seems to get more tart as it develops -- and the room around me seemed too crowded, so I went to eat something. Coincidence? 89


Joel BrĂ¼t said...

I don't know if you got a chance to taste the Arnot Roberts Chardonnay, it is incredible as well. It is so un-Californian in style but definitely not Burgundy. I did not think it was possible to get richness like that in CA with such low alcohol.

Anonymous said...

A power drill, an old rusted paint mixing wand, and a Mexican laborer at $7.75 an hour gives great lees richness - an hour a barrel weekly. - Bungalow Bill