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Quick Sips: Brief Notes on Eight Wines I’ve Tasted in the Past Week

The following are a few of the better wines I’ve tasted this week. Lucky me!

2010 Bokisch Albariño Alta Terra Vineyard Clements Hills AVA Lodi
The current vintage of this wine is 2011, but the 2010 was still drinking very nicely. Spanish-variety specialist Bokisch nailed traditional Albariño here. There are aromas of green apple and pear with subtle stone fruit and distinct minerality. The palate is medium-bodied and dry with zingy acidity and a hint of effervescence. Just 12% alcohol. It was perfect with a cold salad of dungeness crab, heirloom tomato, avocado, scallion and a touch of Kewpie mayonnaise with wasabi mayo on the side for dipping.

Corison_KronosCabernetSauvignon_Labelny_3001996 Corison Cabernet Sauvignon Kronos Vineyard Napa Valley
1996 was the first commercial vintage for Cathy Corison’s eponymous label. Her 1996 Kronos shows the virtues of her elegantly powerful style of winemaking, her old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard and of the patience to allow wines such as this age. It’s a nimble Cabernet Sauvignon, medium-bodied and silky on the palate. There is a chorus of aromas and flavors singing harmoniously and all at about the same level of volume. Gentle black currant, forest floor, black tea, spice, cedar and more. The wine is excellent now but will continue to build complexity for 20 years. (This wine was decanted for one hour prior to tasting.)

2002 Eberle Syrah Paso Robles
This wine is still dense and powerful. Dark, dark, dark in the glass with flavors of briary blackberry, unsweetened chocolate and oak. It’s full-bodied and sports medium-plus tannins. If I had another bottle, I’d either allow it to age further in bottle or give it 60+ minutes in a decanter.

2006 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Reserve To Kalon Napa Valley
Still a deeply pretty wine, this Fumé Blanc has grown more elegant with the years. There are gentle aromas and flavors of soft white peach, pear, perfume-like spice, magnolia flowers, dry grass, ightly-sanded oak and ginger from the outset. These become more pronounced with time in the glass. Consider decanting it briefly before serving.

2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia Napa Valley
This former Wine Spectaor Wine of the Year is still plush and powdery on the palate. Even when pouring the wine at arms’ length, loads of creamy black currant and blackberry reach your nose. Swoon. Decanting is not required.

2009 Phillips-Hill Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley
Who in their right mind would drink a Pinot Noir after an 02 Phelps Insignia? I can’t testify to my mental state, but I did exactly that this week. And this Pinot Noir was up to the task. It’s acidity cleansed our palates while it’s beautiful layers of fruit and spice commanded our full attention. “Oh my God. What is this?” asked the multiply-certified palate sitting next to me.

2008 Phillips-Hill Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard Anderson Valley
Less showy than the Wiley and more masculine, this is a handsome Pinot Noir with dark fruit and mysterious spice. Let it breathe in your glass for several minutes before diving in.

2009 Scholium Project Midan al-Tahrir
It was an appropriate week to drink this wine. It’s named for Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the marquee site for the protests which led to Mubarak’s ouster. This white blend includes 70% Verdelho complemented by Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurtztraminer. The nose is full of tropical fruit, pineapple, lychee and white flowers. It’s round and smooth in the mouth and gives the impression of slight sweetness. A very tasty wine this and it goes down easy and matches well with crab cakes. Be careful though, well-hidden inside all that fruit is alcohol of 16.35%. Drink this one with Asian fare, but nothing too spicy.


I purchased all of the wines above at shops or the winery except:
The 1996 Corison was purchased and consumed at Press Restaurant in St. Helena.
The Scholium was provided by a friend. 

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This article is original to Copyright 2011 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.