20120305-205110.jpgWow, a nice wine, but just a baby. Almost black in color with a nose that reminds me of baking a berry pie. Tart raspberry flavors with charcoal and cedar notes. Significant but smooth tannins in this balanced wine promise even a better future and long life. If you don’t have Jean Edwards wines to your cellar already, you’re missing out on a small Napa gem. Hold this wine for 2-3 more years. Decant to remove sediment.

20120224-224017.jpgGott’s Roadside Tray Gourmet (former Taylors Refresher) and Match Cabernet on an 80 degree Napa afternoon.

20120222-182745.jpgThe vines at Butterdragon are ready for spring, which judging by the downright balmy temperatures today, is already here.

I also had a great vertical tasting today of our 05’s – 07’s. All the wines were nice but the 2005 Baconbrook and the 2007 Butterdragon are in a really special place right now.

20120122-181837.jpg2010 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc Rarangi Vineyard – one of the more distinctive Sauv Blancs we tried on our trip to New Zealand. Besides the tell-tale typicity, it showed distinct jalapeno pepper, asparagus, and celery seed. It was more attractive and interesting in the tasting room than on the dinner table but still… ***1/2

2010 Wither Hills Chardonnay – non distinctive

2011 Wither Hills Pinot Gris – nicely balanced, peach, 9g residual sugar ***

2009 Wither Hills Pinot Noir – lean but with some charm and upside potential. *

2008 Wither Hills Pinot Noir – Rounder than the 09 with spicy notes. **

20120123-233522.jpg2011 Te Whare Ra “Toru” – Perhaps the best of an outstanding lineup from wife and husband winemakers/owners Anna and Jason Flowerday. A lovely blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling, and Pinot Gris, it’s cotton candy and bubblegum but deftly avoids being cloying with just the right balance of acidity. “Toru” is the Maori word for “three” meaning the 3 varieties making up this wine. ***1/2

2011 Te Whare Ra Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough) – almost clear color, delicate, pineapple **

2011 Te Whare Ra Riesling “D” – their Dry Riesling… Banana… Nice. **1/2

2011 Te Whare Ra Riesling “M” – their Medium Dry Riesling *

2011 Te Whare Ra Pinot Gris – bubblegum flavor *1/2

2010 Te Whare Ra Chardonnay – really lovely drinking with distinctive roasted coconut element ***

Te Whare Ra is a biodynamic and organic winery.

20111120-110217.jpg We had a great night last night at a benefit for MSforward, physical training and fitness for folks living with Multiple Sclerosis. Today we’re pouring at Omaha Wine Company.

Match Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Butterdragon Hill 2008
92 points | $63 | 314 cases made | Red
An engagingly complex wine that combines firmness with supple textural notes, this is full-bodied and centered on ripe plum, blackberry, tar, smoke and espresso. Gains depth and holds its focus. Drink now through 2022.—J.L. (Wine Spectator Magazine Insider 11/2/11)


20110914-043129.jpgWe dodged a bullet today.  I got a call from a neighbor that there was a fire at Baconbrook.  Fortunately the temperature was only about 80, there was virtually no wind, and Cal Fire was able to hit it and hit it hard with a tanker, two helicopters, and numerous trucks and personnel.  They got it out with less than an acre of wild land burned and no damage to the house, vineyard, or the neighbors (in whose direction it was headed).

The suspicion is the fire started after some teenagers snuck on the property and were partying.

2006 Alban Vineyards Grenache Alban Estate Vineyard – USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley (7/22/2011)

Bold, mouthcoating, and heavy… cloying and of questionable enjoyment UNTIL the main coarse of citrus soy marinated pork tenderloin was served. It’s a tale of two wines: untempered, the unctuous cherry liqueur flavors overwhelm, but balanced with food, it held up well and complemented, revealing additional fresh turned earth, smokey grill, and raspberry. No rating as this is definitely an exceptionally well-made wine in a style that is not really my cup of tea but with the right meal, it’s the right choice.

Posted from CellarTracker

1992 La Jota Cabernet Sauvignon Anniversary Release – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain (6/16/2011)

Brooding and powerful with balanced and long lasting waves of flavor – dried cranberries, cherries, bitter-sweet chocolate, pencil lead, creosote. Exceptional wine at its peak and no sign of decline. 1992 Napa is a great vintage and this was a wonderful wine to celebrate my own 1992 vintage son, who graduated high school today. (95 points)

Posted from CellarTracker

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