Fourth Quarter 2017 Wine Club Recommendations
This quarter we are recommending three wines from our current list of available wines, and for once in a very long time, not one of them is a Zinfandel. Don’t get me wrong. I love Zin just as much as the next guy. It’s just that there is a whole world of wine out there, and it is fun to “play the field”, so to speak.
Again, many thanks to our dedicated Recommendation Selection Committee for coming up with such great wines to recommend.
2014 Cab Syrah
Like so many of my wines from the 2014 vintage, this wine exhibits the same deep intense color that we see across the board on wines from that year. On the nose, it hints of ripe plums with a slight suggestion of chocolate at the very end. On the palate it is spicy and bold with plenty of dark, ripe fruit, with a good balance of fruit, acidity and tannin. It finishes off nicely with a hint of oak from the new American oak barrels it was aged in.
This is a big wine and I recommend serving it with a meal with full flavored meats. And, like many wines made from these two varieties, I expect it will age nicely, showing well for years down the road if stored properly.
This wine, as well as the other two wines mentioned here, sell for $28.00 in the tasting room. Your price is $22.40, and re-orders before January 1 are just $19.60.
2014 Noma Vineyards Barbera
This was my first go-around with Barbera, and it has been a rewarding experience. If you are inclined to read it, the little story on the back label is mostly true: In late October of 2014, I was finalizing cleanup after harvest when Leland Noma showed up at my crush pad with two tons of Barbera. I told him I had just finished cleaning and putting all my equipment away for the season, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. “Just take the fruit, Tom”, he said. “You don’t have to pay me until it is in the bottle.”
To jump to the end, I’m sure glad I took his advice because this is a great wine. In the glass it has beautiful color with moderately heavy density. I would describe the aromatics as more floral rather than fruity, but with subtle hints of plums. In the mouth, it is nicely textured, expressing red fruit flavors, such as ripe bing cherries, coupled with a Barbera acid profile. It finishes nicely with light, lingering tannins that fades cleanly.
This is a wonderful food wine, but can certainly be enjoyed on its own or with a nice selection of aperitifs. And like the Cab/Syrah I mentioned above, this is also a wine that will lay down nicely.
2014 Shinn Vineyard Tempranillo
I’ve always felt that Tempranillo is a variety that was made for Lodi’s soil and climate. It does well here, always producing grapes with wonderful color, in part due to our hot days and cool nights.
This wine has dark hues and shows lots of density of color, making it almost opaque at the bottom of the glass. On the nose, it has the classic earthy, leathery notes that this variety is known for. It exhibits a nice texture, with a good acid/fruit balance, finishing with soft tannins and subtle oak.
I don’t think you could go wrong here putting this wine along side any holiday meal, particularly one where full flavored meats are served. I would venture even to pair it with Thanksgiving turkey. I do one of those every year on my Weber grill. It has become my specialty.