Tasting notes from Lauren's "Alexander Valley, no wait, um, er Russian River Valley, well, uh… Oh hell! somewhere north of Sonoma" tasting. :~)

There were 7 wines tasted: 3 Pinot Noirs; 2 Merlots; and 2 Cabernets. We chose not to rank the wines, due to the multiple varietals.

Food served with the tasting was standard - goat cheese, brie, cheddar, a pesto blend with goat and cream cheese, a stinky horrible Italian cheese that no one liked except for Mark Lakata, called "Tallaggio;" crusty breads, apple slices and Lindt and Scharffenberger Dark chocloate as a finale.

Tasting Notes are as follows:

PINOTS

Wine #1 - Shared the spot for "most liked Pinot" with wine #2
Rodney Strong Russian Rive Pinot Noir, 2000, $18 at the winery

· Distinctive pinot nose, tight slightly cloudy, brickish color. Slight barnyrad, earthy, smooth fruit bright tannints, long finish.
...Black pepper and green bell pepper notes.
· Very light - great nose! Taste a bit thin, but quaffable
· Full bouquet - earthy. Light body, fruit front, sour finish
· Earthy, wood, some fruit, some ammonia (pine sol), mossy
· Light, long fairly balanced, peppery finish
· Nose - earth; mouth - earthy, lean, light sour tart (food)
· Rubber on nose - some butter at first going to metallic on finish. Not much body, some spice. "obviously a pinot but not one that I like."
· Peppery, astringent like, better after first sip
· Orange/fruit note effervescent, peppery
· Stinky, icky thin some plum L

Wine #2 - See above for ranking - and below, are these people drinking the same wine?
J Russian River Valley Pinot, 1999, $20 at the winery

· Cherry, fresh pepper, um, brick, cherry J
· Spearment nose, brown color, better mouth feel, bitter finish, vinegary ê
· Good pinot nose, very sharp then fading to nothing
· N - more fruit, oak. M - more fruit, good balance, more body, crisp finish, slight sour, young? '99?
· Light, thin, short
· Mossy nose, very fruity, more body, yummier than 1 (but #1 was better on the 2nd taste); peper finish, metallic aftertaste J
· Pepper nose, same color as 1, fruity, heavy black cherry, thin tannis, short/sharp flat finish
· Deeper berry nose. Tast: acidic, veggies and candy-fruit
· Much drier; short and big
· Fruity, fuller than #1, acidic, deeper color
· Deeper, richer nose, more fruit more pepper

Wine #3 - Mueller Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Emily's Cuvee, 1999 - $35.99
(note, this wine was ranked a 91 by Wine Spectator)

· Nose: musty wood, cedar. Taste: deep syrupy, heavy on tongue, nothing distinctive, higher alcohol
· Not Pinot? Port-like riasin? Still pretty good, sippy
· Dark, cab color touch of brick, earthy nose. Does not taste like pinot, raisin, lactic sour finish
· Cedar, mossy, slight spearmint nose, broccoli, lactic, nicely balanced
· Earthy nose, huge thick full. J
· N- more oak, some fruit, some earth. M- medium everything, oak, not distinctive
· Douglas fir nose, unpleasant finish
· Bigger color less nose shallow, but a bit of spice..lasting finish on tongue - tongue grip!
· Musty, spice, not as full as #2
· 2 blanks…people were fading already

 

MERLOTS

Wine #4 - Alexander Valley Merlot, 1999, $16

· Little fruit on nose.. BIG fruit jammy chewy taste
· Inky dark, red-black, hot lactic, tight and tannic finish, needs to open. Cab blend - will age better
· Jammy, oaky, inky, young strawberries, very wooden
· Dad (?) thick, inky classic J (editor: note that it's the same person doing smileys for all of these wines…)
· Nose: deep, dark, inky. Taste: tight, tannic, closed young, wood
· Cabby merlot…Meritage? Rhymes with heritage. (editors note: um, was ANYONE paying attention at this tasting????)

Wine #6 - Chateau Souverain, Alexander Valley Merlot, 1998 - $17 at winery
(this got a 92 rating from Wine Spectator. The group agrees that Spectator is getting too liberal with their 90+ ratings…)

· Very rich, creamy, somewhat indistinct
· Nose: berries, vanilla. Taste: jammy, coffee
· Thin nose, a bit ashen. Yuck! Very sour (grapefruit!)?, thin and metallic
· The smiley face taster was asleep by now…
· Coffee, lemon
· Sour, not much smell, metalic
· Structured, funky nose, nice fruit, closed
· HOLY DEEP INK! Smells like basement fruity tongue, slightly absent or mellow finish
· Black cherry color, true merlot, non distinct

 

CABS

Wine #7 - Rodney Strong Cabernet, 1999, $18 at winery

· Jam on oak nose, smokey, tobacconist shop
· Berry pie! Blueberries/blackberries, pinch cinnamon, celergy, bell pepper, lot of tannins, pepper. Full mouth, oaky
· I welcome the cab nose & velvety tongue. deep chewy
· Very, very dark black. Oaky nose, oaky mouth, short finish viscous but not flavorful, no tannins

Wine #8 - Rodney Strong Reseve Cabernet, Northern Sonoma, 1997 - $40 at winery

· Saw dust and alcohol. Tannic and lighter than 7
· Super nose, great legs. A little young, but yummy. Big fruit, good finish
· Smokey, not good w/ chocolate
· Oak, but toasty, plum, sour cherry
· Eh- bad with chocolate
· Nose: oak, berry/plum, cocoa, vanilla. Big tannins, cola on finish
· Very oaky, dark and tannic. THE RESERVE!!

 

OH YEAH, and we started this whole thing off with a warm up bottle of Hop Kiln - Marty's Big Red.
At $7.99 a bottle from Weimax, this puppy was WAY too big and young to precede a Pinot, but oh well.