Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! The Charles family got together this morning for ham, eggs and homemade biscuits with homemade raspberry jam - a family tradition that dates back to my grandmother from the Dakotas (on my father's side). They only thing we were missing were the mimosas, which weren't needed after last night's Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir tasting. :)

My two brothers - Matt and Tim - and Matt's girlfriend Joann all joined us for Easter dinner last night, along with friends Rose and Gary. Joe decided that we are too busy to plan a formal tasting so he brown-bagged five Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs from 2006 for us to taste.

This was the consistently best flight of wines that we've tasted blind. Truly all impressive in their own right. I had only two wines that I thought were a little less impressive - one because it needed at least a few more years in bottle to tame the acids, and the other because I got an impression of stemminess from it. I have to hand it to the Sonoma Coast - a region I area like Anderson Valley - I always find something that I like there. (What, did you think we just drank Anderson Valley all the time?)

Here were the wines and how I ranked them:
1. Landmark Grand Detour Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir - I was seduced by the Pinot funk in the nose. I don't know how Eric does it, but he does it every time. I found the rest of the wine (mouth and finish) on-par with the others, but it was the funk that stood out.
2. Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir -- Because of the much higher percentage of new oak it seemed so much more ready to drink than the others. The only minus was that the alcohol was 14.9%, which is not the highest Pinot I've had by far, but because it was so much higher than the other wines in the flight (as such that stood out). Altogether a very nice wine, although normally out of my price range at about $65 a bottle.
3. Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir -- A very nice, elegant wine, but needed several more years to soften the acids up. Lean and mean was my description for the mouth, but balanced and some pretty fruit in the nose.
4. Roessler La Brisa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir -- Muted in the nose right now but overall a nice mouth, with soft fruit and a moderate finish. Would have been higher had the nose been there.
5. Alesia Chileno Valley Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir -- At first whif I got asparagus and all kinds of green veggies out of this wine, but also in the mouth, which leads me to believe it's due to the 100% whole cluster fermentation. Simple stems. Was more subdued upon returning to the wine later in the evening. (This is Rhys' appellation wine brand.)

Hope your Easter weekend is as good as ours!

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