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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Russian River Barrel Tasting, Day 3

This day started north or Geyserville then worked down into Santa Rosa.  Many are very small operations sharing facilities with others.  As usual, I'm sticking to reds.

North of Geyserville near J Rickards and Pech-Merle
J Rickards
Sampled Zinfandels and Petite Sirahs out of barrels and bottles.  The 2007 Old Vine was very good, not a high alcohol fruit-bomb, and $28.  Real Zin! I think the '09 Petite Sirah out of the barrel will be good--some day.

Pech Merle
They share facilities with J Rickards.  Tried Zinfandels out of the barrel and bottle.  Out of the bottle the 2009 Dry Creek Zin was good, the 2008 l'entrée Dry Creek was very good and reasonably priced at $27.

The Dry Creek Zin was better than the Alexander Vly one and the Alexander Vly Cab was better than the Dry Creek (just as it should be).

Zins, Petite Sirah, and Cabs.  The Bordeaux-blend, Buck Pasture Red, was the star of the line-up.

The wines smelled or tasted of raisins, oxidation, and finger nail polish.

MJ Lords
From 2008 they were pouring a Sangiovese, a Carmenere, and a Montepulciano.  Carmenere they called "the lost Bordeaux grapes that's been rediscoved in Chile."  To me it needed a little more body by blending in some Merlot or Malbec maybe.  Montepulciano is Italian (duh).   It's a BIG, spicy wine with a bit of tannins and acids and should be really nice in a few years with a big ol' plate of pasta in marinara.  The Sangi was soft and round and easy to drink for its young age.

Wowee.  Exceptional wines. His last Malbec got some good write-up in Wine Spectator and is long gone, but the '07 Stagecoach Cab, blended with Malbec, is excellent.  I'm going back to try these again soon.

I've had them before and still like the style.  Numerous Rhone-style wines and others.  All have perceptible acid so they work well with food.  The home of the anti-fruit-bomb.  Their table was too crowded so I could only get in for one one this time (a Grenache/Syrah blend).  I'll have to go back on a "normal" day.

Best of the Day
Krutz 2007 Napa Valley Stagecoach Cabernet, $75.   But it was also the most expensive wine tasted over the three day event.