Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Glug, Glug, Glug

Here's a few more quick reviews of the wines I pounded through in the last 6 weeks or so, three very different whites from the same grape, for your consideration.

Melville 2004 Chardonnay Clone 76 Inox, Santa Rita Hills. I've reviewed Melville wines previously and noted that Greg Brewer is the mastermind at work here. Melville grows its own grapes too, something that is becoming relatively rare, with so many virtual wineries out there buying grapes from the 15 wines in the K block, elevation 1,111 SW, you know what I mean. The idea of farmer cum winemaker is more appealing to me, at least in theory. At any rate the Inox is made entirely in stainless steel and never sees a speck of oak, doesn't even look at a barrel. I guess the idea to get more of a classic Chablis grand cru thing going here but, while I enjoy an Inox now and then, it has never evoked images of a good Fevre to me. The wine checks in at 14.9% alcohol, suggesting a long hang time (do I hear over extracted??). I picked this bottle up direct from the winery and paid something in the mid-$20s. Here are my notes: Green/straw in the glass, with effervescence. Yes I mean some bubbles, weird, but not the first time for a bottle of Inox. Apricots and peaches on the nose, juicy, some minerality with tropical notes and pineapple ice at the finish. Melon aftertaste. Not enough acidity for me, making the wine a bit cloying.

Rating: Good.

Landmark 2003 Lorenzo Chardonnay, Russian River Valley. I'm a member of the Landmark Vineyards club and have accumulated a number of Pinots and Chards from the winery over the years. While the wines are quite consistent, and the Overlook version of their Chardonnay is a consistently great value, my tastes have moved on and it's time to quit getting this juice. I bought this bottle with the club discount for the low $40s, too expensive in hindsight. The wine checks in at 14% alcohol and, as with the Inox, was grown, produced and bottled by the folks at Landmark. The notes: Strawgold in the glass, lemon zest on the nose, vanilla and apricots with integrated oak throughout. Rich and syrupy with good acidity but not really structured or complex for me. A pleasantly tart finish with floral notes. Some life here but given the quality of wines out there, this should be a $25 wine.

Rating: Very good, quaffable.

Domaine Latour-Giraud Meusault Genevrieres, 1er Cru, 2002. I picked this wine up through my grey market connection in London when the dollar was stronger and paid about $40 a bottle all in, which turned out to be a fine deal. This wine claims the ever present 13.5% alcohol, though I think it's accurate if not a bit high. I wanted to love this wine as much as some of the critics do, but it falls just a bit short of being a great great white for me. Anyway, here are the notes: straw gold in the glass, flowers and lemon-lime nose, zesty, green apples and honeydew mid-palate, great balance and mouth feel, well textured with only an OK finish with more citrus tones.

Rating: Very good/excellent.

Cheers, Barrld

2 comments:

Randy said...

It's nice to see that you finally reviewed a wine that I've owned and tasted, although I think I liked it a tad better than you did, having polished off a six-pack of the Melville '04 Clone 76 Inox/Santa Rita. I almost visited their winery when I was in Solvang on business last May, but it was close to their closing time and a local friend convinced me that Bridlewood was a better place to see. I'm not sure how much of it was the quality of the wines, how much the amount I consumed, er, tasted, and how much was due to the influence of the enthusiastic young person behind the bar, but I went away with three cases of assorted Bridles and joined their club for a year. I've been very pleased with the wines I've received so far, mostly Syrahs, and the deep discounts that are often available. I'm sure, however, you'd rate most as 'quaffable', which is what I can afford these days. [Just wait until your two are in college at the same time and you'll see what I mean.]

Anyhoo, I'm still enjoying your reviews...and their wines.
-Randy

P.S. Happy Birthday!

Barrld said...

Thanks Randy, never tried Bridlewood but will look for some.