"That's what I do. I drink and I know things."—The Imp
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60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. The initial pepper on nose led me to believe there was some Cab Franc in the mix, but apparently not. Eventually ripe cherry and dark baking chocolate rise to the surface. Damp earth is neatly integrated and gives off a right bank feel. Everything is so pure, it's the Napa Valley version of holy water. — 17 hours ago
Zaca Mesa was the third winery in Santa Barbara County, and the first to plant Syrah (in 1978). This presents the beautiful paradox of massive extraction in a bone dry wine. Granted, there's some resemblance to something like Coke Zero, with all the sweetness on the front end. That said, this strikes the right balance to display what Santa Ynez Syrah is all about. Sage, worcestershire sauce, baking chocolate, underripe bramble, leather, and underbrush. — 7 days ago
oh... Oh... OH... this just took a wrench to my hedonism dial. And it makes me wonder if Russell From tripped and accidentally dropped a jug of creme soda extract into the tank, and then said "fuck it... we're good."
I can imagine this is what it would have been like to be front row for AC/DC at Oakland Coliseum in July of 1979 (They released Highway to Hell the next week, and I was 11 days old). Only, you were listening to Wagner on headphones.
The undercurrent is deceptively strong, and distinctly Northern Rhone. Like snorting a violet flavored vitamin in a horse barn just before you dig into the charcuterie plate in front of you. I'm stopping, but this wine just keeps going.
— 2 days ago
I'm still surprised that Joey Tensley hasn't received more criticism, mostly avoiding the label of "controversial winemaker," while Dave Phinney seems to take more than his fair share. Tensley's wines stress the boundaries for normally accepted levels of extraction, alcohol, and, for that matter, flavor, and this is no exception. A blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and Chardonnay, but it masquerades as a Gewürztraminer. Apparently overripe, fat Viognier can come off as fruit cocktail syrup. Well this is the best fruit cocktail syrup I've ever had. Peach, pear, melon, and apricot splash the palate wearing a coat of chalk that's been coated in honey. The weight of wine is like a newspaper laying atop a honey bee; eventually it will get out, but the weight is significant. Not for everyone, but those that it's for will really enjoy. — 6 days ago
In Somm: Into the Bottle, Greg La Follette described his commitment to providing value with the quip "I am perfectly happy scraping by and roasting squirrels under bridges, as long as I can make really great wine." That sort of masochistic pursuit of value deserves to be pointed out. And at $20, this is indeed a value. The bouquet intertwines ripe black cherry, richly spiced potpourri, and loam. The nose follows through in a juicy style on the palate, but with a notable measure of balance. I bought a lot of this, so maybe Greg can roast a pig tonight. — 4 days ago
The Fiddlestix Vineyard is located at mile marker 7.28 on Santa Rosa Road in Lompoc, California, which is situated in the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. In the mid-90's Kathy Joseph of Fiddlehead Cellars, along with the viticultural icon Taz Steinhauer, acquired the 133-acre, former flower farm, across Santa Rosa Road from the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, and in 1998 they planted 100 acres of Pinot Noir. Aside from the small amount earmarked for Fiddlehead's own production, much of the vineyard is contracted to other producers, including Ampelos, Ancien, Anglim, Arcadian, Bonaccorsi, Dragonette, Jonata, Ken Brown, Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post, Gainey, Ortman, Pali, Paul Lato, Prodigal, RN Estate, Rusack, Summerland, Tyler, Vogelzang, Wedell , and TAZ, not to mention Etude.
Opens with an austere earth note in a tone reminiscent of Barbaresco, and in the words of Miles Raymond, it's "tighter than a nun's ass." 45 minutes later, though, and it's singing and juicy. Black cherry, but not overripe, leads this medium bodied, pungent thinker, while a virtual greenhouse of floral shades help twist and shape its direction. Secondary dusty earth and walnut skin reveal the source of its austerity. True to its terroir, there's a tertiary layer of spice and rocks that provides the depth needed to go from good to great. — 5 days ago