This is a long story but worth the read. McHenry Vineyard, which is own-rooted and dry-farmed, was replanted back in the 90’s. While they waited for their vines to mature, they purchased some fruit and this is one of those examples.
The first time I ever had this wine was back in 2007 with some dear friends of ours, celebrating a birthday. Her father was a construction executive who periodically travelled to the Bay Area and happened to bring a few bottles of McHenry back on one of his trips. I was early in my wine journey and remember thinking back then, “This wine is gorgeous and, wow, has it aged really well…for a California Pinot Noir”. In that instant, McHenry became a darling winery for me and I have been enjoying their wines ever since.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2019 when I first visited the vineyard. I mentioned to Brandon that my introduction to McHenry wines was the 1999 Massaro Vineyard and before I new it, he had pulled a bottle from the library. The wine instantly brought me back to that experience in 2007. He even agreed to sell me a bottle to take with me too! Anyway, on this night, since I was with the same group of friends from my first experience 13 years ago.
In the glass, this shows signs of age. There is some sediment and the rim shows a slight brownish tint. On the nose, the fruit is still very alive! A mix of dark and red fruits are the predominate feature but secondary characteristics of mushrooms, leather and damp earth are riding shotgun. On the palate, dried dark and red fruits with mushrooms. The finish is long and satisfying…almost candied in a way. The wonderful structure that McHenry wines are known for has done its job and there’s still life in this bottle and worked very well with the meal.
If you’re still reading this, I should share that McHenry Vineyard suffered heavy damage due to the CZU Lightning Complex fires. The winery, one of the dwellings, their well system and their entire library was lost. The vineyard itself sustained some damage but should be okay. The 2020 crop is a complete write-off. That being said, they were able to secure some fruit from the Christie Vineyard in Corralitos so there will be a small 2020 vintage after all. The family’s heart remains bound to this land up on Bonny Doon and their special vineyard. They are already in the process of rebuilding and I, for one, am very much looking forward to drinking their wines long into the future. — 2 days ago
Thanksgiving 2020; a quiet day with just my wife and the kitties, hopefully 2021 brings family and dear friends back for group enjoyment of this Holiday.
Nose has mashed cherries, moist garden soil, red raspberry smeared on old leather, blackcurrant, currant leaves, ripe plum and old tobacco.
Palate has black cherry, plum, cedar box, under-ripe blackberry, under-ripe blackcurrant, dry soil with iron, dried cherry but still with solid tannins. Medium acidity with a long finish.
Likely the best bottle of Domaine Camus Père & Fils we've had, in stellar shape with at least a solid decade in front of it, wow! — 8 days ago
Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁🦃🍽
Not in love with the style. Glad it was only $55-$60. We’ll see if it pairs better.
For my palate, there is a lot of funk here. The extraction is much more than I prefer.
The fruits are ruby, ripe, tart, somewhat sour; blackberries, black raspberries, plum, black cherries, blueberries cranberries & pomegranate. Edgy, grey volcanics, moist forest floor, cinnamon to stick, nutmeg, pronounced clove, dark spice, tree sap with bark, dry crushed rocks, eucalyptus, mid herbaceous-sage leafing with fresh, withering & candied florals of; dark, red, purple, blue framed lavender. The acidity is ok. The finish just doesn’t seem right to me. The bottles not corked or off. Just not my style or a very off vintage for them. It also shows elevated alcohol burn.
Can’t say the turkey made it better...did get a little better with my homemade cranberry sauce.
This did come around a bit after nearly 5 hours in the decanter, 9.0 to 9.1. Who thought I should have started decanting it at noon. — 7 days ago
This is a nice surprise. A nice Pinot Noir from Burgundy.
Dry on the palate with cherries, red currants, raspberries, light oak, spices, chocolates, peppercorn, vegetables, herbs, graphite, earth, leather and light barnyard.
Medium plus in body with medium plus acidity.
Nice length on the finish with spices and raspberries and fine grained tannins.
Needs a couple of hours to open up properly, and show the tannins and structure.
Thank you Wendy for sharing this with us.
Wine Enthusiasts 92 points.
This 6 year old is still young, and would be better in 5 years.
Better with food than just by itself, right now. Tangy and a little hot at the back of the throat. Spicy with a nice mouthfeel.
13.5% alcohol by volume.
$50. — 8 days ago
This is not cheap for what it is but I have a soft spot for this producer as the trousseau was among my first experiences with the region years ago. Plus I just dig the label. It has the expected reduction and yeast at first but dissipates quickly, revealing fresh red berries, rhubarb, pomegranate, rose petal, iron and that ineffable Jura funk. Enjoyed immensely while preparing and then devouring some rigatoni with pork sausage and mushrooms — 3 days ago
Blown away. I cannot recall a domestic pinot noir that holds a candle to this wine. A clear ruby in the glass with soaring notes of forest floor, crushed cherries and raspberries, tobacco and sandalwood. On the palate, elegant yet multidimensional with incredible depth of flavor, with gradually building notes of mushroom, meaty dark cherries, cranberries, leather and anise followed by a persistent spicy and mouth coating finish. Very Burgundian, leaning toward a top notch vosne romanee. — 6 days ago
Flowery on the nose, slightly earthy but dominating red fruit and a touch oaky. The palate is pretty nice, medium bodied with nice dosage of acidity and fine grained tannins, the finale is nice with red fruit and a touch though of dryness. Pretty good despite the youth, preferred the 2016 and 2014 drank recently, but very glad to have many bottles in the cellar that will sit a few years. 90-91 for now.
Nez avec une touche florale, du fruit rouge, un peu terreux et un peu de boisé. La bouche est avenante, acidité présente mais bien dosée, tannins aux grains fins mais un peu asséchante en finale, compte tenu de la jeunesse. Bien aimé mais moins profond que les 2016 et 2014 bu récemment. Content d’en avoir plusieurs en cave qui attendront. — 5 days ago
Always a treat to try a Bell Hill Pinot Noir. Quite light in colour. Wonderful florals of violet, roses and a stalky whole bunch note - a nose reminiscent of Vosne Romanee. A light to medium weight palate showing more body than the colour would indicate. Strong Sous Bois character with red fruits and great persistence. I have very few wines from Canterbury NZ but on this showing, should have more. This is Bell Hill’s 2nd ranked Cuvée. I have a few bottles of their 1st ranked Cuvée but they need more cellar time before popping the cork, as does this Old Weka Pass 2016. A great Pinot with further potential. — 15 hours ago
Benchmarking. Decanted for 6 hours in a wide-bottom decanter. In reality, opened this for Saturday (it is Thursday). On the nose: off the bat, perhaps doesn't have the intensity of the 15, but a coiled density, very much its own vintage...rose petals, leaves, wild strawberry, soft mulberry and pomegranate. By the way, the color is amazing for a Thomas: a dense magenta. On the palate: fantastic acidity, then soft stem notes, black raspberry, wild strawberry, excellent density, then sour cherry and soft finely grained tannin on the finish. Wow..perhaps not as immediately enticing as the 15, but undoubtedly one of my favorite early showings since at least '12. We'll see how this develops over the next few days. — 7 days ago
A bright crimson red. A dark cherry smoke earth nose; lingers with meaty pot soil minty notes. Initial taste— raspberry-cherry subtle vanilla flavors. Tannins and cedar softly grip the pallet, but a full body and well structured dry Pinot. Hints of earthy spice, wet leaves linger and should integrate nicely with the tannins and cedar medium plus finish. I’d give it several more years. Pairs nicely with the famous Zuni’s chicken recipe from San Francisco; made from our oven to the Thanksgiving dinner table during the stay at home 2020 year. — 7 days ago