When you pop open an Alexander Valley cabernet, you expect a full mouthfeel and well balanced fruit. The Arbios Cabernet brings something slightly atypical. It is clear that this winery is trying to bring a little bit of Bordeaux to the land of in your face, fruit forward Cabernet.
2009 Saracina Sauvignon Blanc: Giving New Zealand A Run for Her Money!
Of late, New Zealand has taken the popularity crown for their Sauvignon Blancs. People have been after the intense fruit characteristics that you often see in those wines. But California is making some gems that find a balance between fruit and great minerality. The 2009 Saracina Sauvignon Blanc is one of these wines. This Sauvignon Blanc has a nose that implies that it will be a very fruity wine, with a lot of honey and melon, and a sweeter citrus zest. But when you take a sip, you discover something quite different: a very crisp sauvignon blanc with a great acidic backbone. This sauvignon blanc is fruit forward tending towards more of the citrus than melon family. The honeydew nose is replaced by minerality and even some grassiness. All these elements create a really well balanced, easy-to-drink wine that would be perfect to start a meal, and would work really well with shellfish, especially raw!
In the spring of 2009, the 2006 Ensueños Tropicales Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley, $20) made a brief but sublime appearance at our tasting room. Now, with an exclusive, limited allocation of wine, this popular, fruit-forward pinot noir returns, all grown up!
As before, this wine ably shows off the by-now classic Russian River pinot noir flavor profile. Built on those bright red cherry and subtle cola flavors, the wine is also exquisitely balanced, with a lush mouthfeel and solid tannins on the finish. 100% French oak barrels were used.
The extra time in the bottle has been good to this wine. Fall deep into this dandy daydream…and get a great buy too…while it lasts only!
This 2006 Zinfandel/Petit Syrah blend from Russian River Valley is a true lesson in versitality and balance. On the nose, you get great fruit notes of raspberry and blackberry as well as really strong cloves and cinnamon.
The palate doesn’t disappoint and holds true to the flavors on the nose. Upfront, all the fruit (blackberry and dark cherry) shines through, and then is followed by the spices: cinnamon, clove, and some black pepper as well. Where some zins can be jammy bombs, the Pendleton showcases the best quality in good Russian River wines: even balance. The wine is medium bodied and balances fruit and spice very well. It has enough acid and tannin to hold up well to many different foods, especially dishes with some kick to them. The fruitiness will balance out the spice in a dish, and the spices on the finish of the wine will enhance the heat in a dish. And best of all, this is a Zin that can be enjoyed on its own without being heavy or overdone.