Friday night's wine tasting focused on wines from the Silverado Trail. I have some issue with California wines, mostly related to pricing in relation to wines I love from Spain. But, they are undoubtedly terrific wines.
We started with ZD Wines
2007 Chardonnay. The winery describes tropical fruit aromatics. I got some green apple, nice acidity, great front to back balance, and no malolactic though there is clearly oak (American according to them). I usually don't drink Chardonnay, and I liked this one. About $35.
We moved then into the reds. First up was a Merlot. This is a varietal that I can take or leave, but rarely seek out. The 2005 Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot
is one I'd drink again, and I put one bottle in the cellar with hope it will evolve. It was soft, full mouth weight, but not velvety or unctious. Fruit forward but not layered or complex, new world style, and has some Cab, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot blended in for other characteristics.
The next three were terrific, Cabernet, Syrah, and a blend. They were the wines I enjoyed most of the night. First up was Adobe Road 2005 Cabernet Savignon
- Wine Spectator says 93 points in their Feb 29 issue, I agree! I like Cab in my blends but I liked this single varietal. I only put one bottle down, but I should go buy some more since they only made 685 cases. The dark fruit is prominent, maybe some roasted coffee or that might have been the toasty oak. Some of the people at the tasting thought candied cherry too. I also got a bit of eucalyptus or something similar around the edges. Great flavors. Great structure. Wonderful wine.Crane Brothers 2004 Syrah
was the next wine, I love Syrah, probably my second favorite varietal after Grenache, The wine has a nose of black pepper, and I thought white pepper as well. Crane Brothers notes say "Deep crimson/ Purple showing lush black raspberry, blueberry, black
pepper, mocha, minerals and bacon fat. The sexy middle is exploding with
black fruits, violets, crème de cassis and sweet oak. Beautifully structured
with a full-bodied yet elegant finish that keeps impressing as it opens up
in the glass." I agree with this. What a terrific wine! Again, one bottle into the cellar, and again, I should probalby buy more as it was one I really enjoyed.
The last wine of the night was The Oracle
by Miner Family Vineyards. A Bordeaux style blend it has 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Malbec. It is silky smooth wine. Blackberry and cassis of course. Spicy, probably the Cab Franc, and wonderful, deep red and purple color. Excellent wine and one I look forward to sharing with friends.
I cannot recommend highly enough The Wine House in Manlius. Matt and Tim provide excellent wine education, and the community they've created in the area far exceeded my expectations for a wine store in the area.