I cannot get enough word play. Especially as it pertains to wine, French Stuff, and outer space. Although I’d like Uranus jokes over UFO ones. That joke wrote itself only because I also adore alliteration. Ahem. Anyway this homage to Chateauneuf de Pape’s refusal to allow UFOs in its terroir (I don’t let them in mine either, honestly) is ever so transparent in what is in it, ever so zing pow wow, but shhhhhh chillout sweet babygirl that I am now a Bonny Doon convert. I wish I could say I was more than a half glass in writing this but you can blame to wordplay/slight tawdry-ness/silliness on...me. And the following tasting notes don’t do anything to actually explain this wine. Less than the prior paragraph anyway. But know it is more than the sum of its parts. But! If you want tech:
Appearance: pale pink. Nose of red fruits of all types, Whole Foods bulk section and a new fountain perhaps in a cheeky avant- garde art garden. Tongue: dry, medium acid, medium alcohol (whoops it’s 13.5!) body is silky and neatly suede-y. You’ll taste bright underripe strawberries, overripe raspberries, maybe an iris or so and something mineral and also green let’s call it pussywillows just to keep me thematically on track. Finish is medium plus with a hint of candied fruit punch. — a day ago
Color of shades of purple, with a bit brown and red tone. Nose of cherry jam, oak, spice, black pepper, strength of alcohol, and indeed some ripe strawberry. Taste is quite silky, with juicy sweet grapes, nice polished just enough tannins, some oak note, cherry jam, and more sweetness. Aftertaste is sweet, spice, more berries and medicinal note, and medium long. With her price, what a pleasant surprise. — 7 days ago
This modest red wine punches above its weight, or more accurately, above its price point. It’s not a status wine by any stretch of the imagination, but there is quite a bit going on for a $10 wine. Zinfandel, Merlot and Petite Sirah combine for a nose that’s magnificent - full of campfire, caramel and a rack of spices. Dark fruit flavors keep things sweet on the palate, while that four-month smattering of oak leaves a mark, but does not obliterate what the grapes have to offer. — 11 days ago
Part of their "Blue Series," Isabelle, named after the birth of Jim’s daughter in 1995, was first top end Pinot Noir that was a blend from different locations, 6 in 2015. Aromas of berry fruits with citrus, herbs & floral notes, aged for 2 years in new French Oak. On the palate layers of gentle ripe fruit flavors of raspberry and cherry with citrus and oak wrapped in gentle spice. Wine has great depth, soft tannins, well integrated, savory, lingering ending with a nice mouthfeel. Very Nice! Tasting Sample! — 14 days ago
2016 Sine Qua Non "Dirt Vernacular" California Grenache. The blend is 78% Grenache, 11.5% Mourvedre, 7% Touriga Nacional and 3.5% Petite Sirah, dominated by estate fruit, but some 9% came from the Krankl's blocks at Bien Nacido Vineyard that are farmed to their specifications. 16% alcohol. So for me, it all started with “Incognito.” Greatest Grenache I’d ever tasted. Simply stunning and still one of my favorites. How do you top that one? Well then “The Inaugural” showed up. Phenomenal!Then it’s “Ode To E.” Y’all know I absolutely LOVE that wine! Oh but wait, here comes “Trouver L'Arène.” Exquisite! And just in case you missed them all, now there’s tonight’s selection. And I’m pleased to report that the streak continues. As I’ve mentioned previously several times, Grenache is quite possibly the most difficult and finicky grape. But what really sets SQN apart is the final blend. Simply stated, Manfred is a genius when it comes to blending. If you have one, feel free to pull the cork as this wine is absolutely open for business. About a 3 hour decant at cellar temperature, the nose is, as usual with SQN, mind blowing. Cherries, plums, pepper, teriyaki, kirsch and a bouquet of roses. Full-bodied, ultra-rich, multi-layered palate-staining ripe black fruit smorgasbord. Tremendous depth and purity. What a finish! The parade of excellence marches on! — 6 days ago
Weekly Wine Committee. 1 sparkler, 3-4 whites, 3-4 reds and 1 dessert wine format. Served blind.
As this was poured, my first guess was west coast sparkler. As the lunch went on, I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it, so I called it French NV. Ha! Very little reductive or bruised notes here I associate with west coast Sparklers. Limestone, Granny Smith Apple, little yeast, and a touch of sweetness on the back. — 9 days ago
The initial Grenache from @Jason Chang is rocking. Infanticide, but paired very very well with some strips and potatoes tonight. Compared to the No Girls, this was showing better in my opinion, but it’s certainly also a style of the grape I’m more accustomed to. — 6 days ago
2016 Sine Qua Non "Rätsel 16" Syrah, originally “Cypher 16,” renamed because of potential legal problems with the rock band? Not sure of the backstory on that one, but it’s pretty clear that Rätsel (enigma, mystery, puzzle, riddle) is simply the German word for Cypher (a secret or disguised way of writing; a code). The wine however, not the band, is a monster. Gargantuan really. Typical SQN nose, and black as a moon-free, starless night sky in the stem. Tonight’s photo should not to be confused with Katie Bouman’s Black Hole masterpiece, although no light can escape from either. Very tight upon opening, singing an aria 36 hours later. SUPER concentrated with unlimited upside potential. More detailed tasting note to come. Yet another stunner! — 5 days ago
Deep ruby in color with a short purple rim.
Strong nose of cooked blackberries, sweet plums, cherry pie, dried figs, tobacco, spices, cedar, vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, mocha, tobacco, earth, peppercorn and leather.
Full bodied, rich, extracted and bold, with medium acidity and nice legs.
Dry and extremely fruity on the palate with blackberries, cooked cherries, figs, raisins, vanilla, oak, licorice, spices, chocolates, smoke, mocha, light vegetables, dark coffee, pencil lead, earth, leather, coke, tobacco leaf and peppercorn.
Long finish with medium tannins and tangy raspberries.
This is a great Petite Sirah blend from the house of Orin Swift. Rich and fruit forward with great complexity and mouthfeel. Still shows some alcohol on the palate.
This 7 year old is good right out of the bottle and better as it opens up (90 minutes).
Spicy with a beautiful nose. Delicious and yummy.
Thank you Scott for sharing this with me.
A blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Grenache. Aged for 10 months in French oak barrels.
15.7% alcohol by volume.
94 points. — 9 days ago
First allocation bottle I’ve opened. Lemon and fresh linen notes in nose. (I was skeptical about linen aroma mentioned by others, but yes, they were accurate. Does anyone remember what line-dried linens smell like?) Very crisp, dry, creamy with lemon pulp and candied lemon skin flavors. Great potential as a food wine. Simple, well crafted. Later hints of melon and mint flavors emerge with rounded mouthfeel, slight astringency
— 11 days ago