Good day, Feastlings.
This month’s Last Sunday tasting brings us our good friend Luke Anable, who’s managed to wangle some wines for Arizona that haven’t been seen here before, or at least haven’t been in the state for years. Some toast some new wines and some old friends, all natural, all delicious, this Sunday, February 23, at 3:30 pm. We’re excited, and you will be too once you’ve tasted these wines. The tasting is $35 plus tax and tip and includes food pairings with each wine.
New and Natural
2018 Ryme Cellars Las Brisas Vineyard Vermentino, Carneros $30.00
The 2018 Vermentino ‘Hers’ Las Brisas Vineyard is bright, focused and energetic, with tons of varietal character and personality. Light earthy and savory notes add complexity to a core of bright citrus fruit in this nicely focused, expressive Vermentino from Ryme.
2018 Two Shepherds Trousseau Gris, Russian River Valley $25.00
A unique wine from an obscure grey skinned grape, originally from the Jura. The grapes are the only planting in CA, from a 40 year old vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Fermented with native yeast on the skins for five days to extract color, flavor and texture, then aged in neutral barrels for 6 months, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Similar to the 2017 release, this vintage is destemmed, allowing a fresh and vibrant expression.
2017 Two Shepherds Ancient Vine Cinsault, Lodi $34.00
This special 125 case lot from the famed 135 year old Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi, is believed to be the oldest surviving Cinsault Vineyard in the world. This dry farmed, organic vineyard has very low yield, and produces a very complex expression of this variety, normally best as a blending grape. The 2017 is the lightest, prettiest release ever, picked earlier, weighing in at 11.8% alcohol.
Always 100% whole cluster, foot tread, fermented with native yeast in small ½ ton bins. Gently pressed to neutral barrel to age on heavy lees for 8 months, then bottled. A thought provoking wine Eric Asimov of the NY Times called an example of “delightful, delicious wine from under-appreciated grapes.”
2017 Unti Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley $45.00
Unti Zinfandel comes from the Primitivo-clone vineyard planted next to the winery in 1998. Vine age, combined with Unti’s crop-thinning regimen renders a deep and structured Zin. Additionally, they blend Petite Sirah for body and structure, while they use Barbera to add freshness from acidity. 80% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 5% Barbera. 1,094 cases produced.
2017 Swick “Un Oeuf” Syrah, Columbia Valley, WA $34.00
A small lot of broody Syrah fermented with natural yeasts in a single concrete egg. Spicy and smokey, broad shouldered with fresh herbs and red fruit which provide lift and finesse.
2016 Unti Cuvee Foudre, Dry Creek Valley $60.00
The grapes are similar show pepper and tar. Grenache has raspberry fruit with lighter color and tannin, while Mourvedre and Syrah are darker and more tannic. The primary component of this blend comes from a 2.9 acre block, planted in 1998 to three selections of Grenache Noir, using budwood originally obtained from Tablas Creek and Alban Vineyards. These selections, originally from Châteauneuf-du-Pape give darker color and better structure than the majority of Grenache planted in California.
Excellent complexity and similarity to good southern Rhone wines. It will be very interesting to see this wine progress over the next 6 to 10 years. 38% Grenache, 33% Mourvedre, 29% Syrah. 254 cases produced. 93 points Wine Spectator