What’s in the glass tonight July 5th – Zinfandel, under cork.

Sebastiani Zinfandel Sonoma 2013

Off Topic: Sebastiani Zinfandel Sonoma County 2013 – $$

Nice to pull a cork every now and then…

14.6% alc. Inky ruby. This may be a monster….

Sumptuous and rich bouquet, with strong aromas of black fruit, vanilla and cedar…

..and a mouthful of the stuff shows it’s packed with flavour – luscious dark fruits, plums,  prunes – and with a really hot finish.  Spicy through the mid palate, and finished very fleshy, and scratchy.

A showstopping, car-crash of a wine, this. Too much alcohol. It may have suited the beef stroganoff we ate for dinner, but it’s no good as an aperitif. A firestarter maybe, not a fireside drinker…

Too bad. An earlier vintage really impressed me up the skifield three years ago. Perhaps the high altitude dulled my senses? The grunty and forward fruit flavours really showed well up there in the cold.

However, I still mark this wine Highly Recommended and score it 90 points, as I reckon you gotta give a belter like this it’s due. But this wine would be even better if it were a point and a bit less alcoholic!

A drought wine?

Highly recommended 90 points

What’s in the glass tonight August 13th – Chardonnay

Bogle Chardonnay 2014

Off Topic: Bogle Vineyards Chardonnay Clarksburg California 2014 – $$

Pale lemon gold. 13.5% alc.

Quite a barnyard nose, but not oxidative or reductive. A leggy hot chardy. Nice flavours and acid balance. Simple mouthfeel and texture. Apricots and ground almond notes. Reasonably long and pleasant aftertaste. Nice enough.

85 points

What’s in the glass tonight – American Independence Day July 4th

Au Bon Climat Chard 2013

Off Topic: Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara California Chardonnay 2011 – $$$

I tried this, a couple of Californian Zinfandels and a Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon at a July 4th tasting at my local fine vinopolis. Brought this one home for dinner.

13.5% alc. Pale gold colour.

Angular, citrus nose. Phenolic characters, and mandarin and garden herbs.

Strong tertiary flavours, and butterscotch. Quite lean, minerally. A developed line of acidity in this one too.

Characterful and interesting, quite unlike a Kiwi Chardonnay, and for that I like.

VG 4


What’s in the glass tonight July 3rd

McManis Chardonnay 2013

Off Topic: McManis Family Vineyards River Junction California Chardonnay 2013 – $$

This is a practice run for July 4th. Recommended by the American woman working at my favourite vinopolis. I don’t drink much US wines, mainly cos it’s either very expensive (Ridge et al), or you just can’t get it here.

This is a developed gold colour. 13.5% alc.

Smells opulent and tropical. Citrus and green apple. Oaky.

Tastes quite oaky too. Golden fruit. Nice line of acidity through the wine. Mouthcoating and enveloping, very long. Attractive phenolic characters – both on the nose and on the palate.

I liked it muchly.

VG 4