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2009 Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc Jardine Vineyard Paso Robles

Vina Robles has been making wine in Paso Robles since 1999. I’ve only tasted their wines in the past few years, but I’ve generally found them to be both enjoyable and good values. In the past week, I’ve tried both their 2007 and their 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Jardine Vineyard wines. I’ll post the review of the 2007 in the future for the sake of completeness, but that wine is no longer available through the Vina Robles website. On the other hand, the 2009 Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc Jardine Vineyard Paso Robles is a recent release and the first of the winery’s 2009 wines to hit the market.

This wine is a light greenish gold and a nose that is slightly shy but attractive and a tad unusual relative to most Sauvignon Blanch with with you might be familiar. To some extent, it smells a bit more like a delicate Gewurtztraminer. The first aromas to emerge is white flowers, gentle tropical fruit and faint lychee notes. The wine sees no oak whatsoever, so the fruit is fresh and pure.

On the palate, the body is fuller than that of a Sancerre or New Zealand offerings. The Jardine Vineyard is located in northeastern Paso Robles where achieving ripeness is not a problem. It also has enough acidity to carry that weight well. (This wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation.) The flavors include slightly bitter stone fruit, light tropical fruits and more of the lychee.

The 2009 Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc Jardine Vineyard Paso Robles is a good value at $16. I would pair it the with a firm-bodied white fish that has been steamed or lightly girlled and covered with a tropical fruit salsa. It would also go well with macadamia nut crusted goat cheese. Drink now through 2012. Recommended.

Vina-Robles-2009-Sauvignon-Blanc-Jardine-Paso-Robles

Rating: Recommended
Retail Price: $16.00
Closure: Screwcap
Alcohol: 14.0%
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: Jardine Vineyard, Paso Robles

This wine was received as a review sample from the winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook.
Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

2007 Blackstone Pinot Noir Sonoma Reserve Sonoma County

The 2007 Blackstone Pinot Noir Sonoma Reserve Sonoma County is bright ruby with a medium intensity (you can read a page of text through the wine in your glass.) The nose is neither reticent nor one that leaps from the glass. Upon initial opening, the aromas are of candied cherry accented by orange peel, woody incense, spice and vanilla. With extended decanting, the candied cherry changes to black cherry.

The wine has a rich body, sufficient acidity to make it food-friendly, and flavors that echo the nose. It’s soft fruit tannins add textural interest and the option to age the wine in bottle for a few years. The finish is moderately long.

Blackstone is known primarily for it’s lower-priced wines. As a result, this is a wine that may surprise you. It’s very attractive and much more complex and well-balanced than one not familiar with their Blackstone Sonoma Reserve line might expect. The grapes for this wine were harvested by hand and then allowed to cold soak for five days before the fermentation which took place in stainless steel tanks. The wine was aged for fourteen months in French oak barrels.

I blind-tasted the same bottle twice, both times within a flight of six Pinot Noir with prices ranging from about $13 to $35. The first tasting session was with a small tasting panel I put together. Everyone was able to quickly identify the lowest priced wine. There was much less separation between the others though and one of the panelists found the 2007 Blackstone Pinot Noir Sonoma Reserve to be her favorite. It’s fruit-forward but not jammy by any means. It’s certainly among the better California Pinot Noir I’ve had at or below $20.

If you like your Pinot Noir with plenty of fruit and rich body, the 2007 Blackstone Pinot Noir Sonoma Reserve may be for you. It will be good with lightly grilled seafood or chicken. Drink from now through 2014. Recommended.

2007-Blackstone-Sonoma-Reserve-Pinot-Noir-Sonoma-County

Rating: Recommended
Retail Price: $19.99
Closure: Cork
Alcohol: 14.3%
Blend: 93% Pinot Noir, 7% Syrah
Origin: 45% Russian River Valley, 42% Sonoma Coast and 13% Sonoma Valley

This wine was received as a review sample from the winery.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook.
Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.

2008 Justin Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles

The 2008 Justin Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles is extremely different from the 2009 Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc Jardine Vineyard Paso Robles that we recently reviewed. Yet, both are from Paso Robles and both are expressive of their terroir. Whereas the Vina Robles wine was sourced entirely from a vineyard in northeast Paso Robles, the 2008 Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from two vineyards. One is east of Highway 101 in Paso Robles, but the other is high up in the Adelaide Hills in west Paso Robles. There, the close proximity to the ocean, the high altitude and limestone soils yield a much leaner and more citrusy wine and I suspect that the majority of the grapes used in the final product came from that vineyard. That said, Justin engaged in careful viticulture and made a point of picking the east side grapes early to ensure that they would retain plenty of acidity.

The grapes were handpicked and whole cluster pressed with each vineyard harvested and fermented individually. All fermentation and the 5 month aging took place in stainless steel. No oak was used nor was there any malolactic fermentation.

The resulting wine is a pale greenish gold in color with gentle, youthful aromas of lime, lemon, chalk and just a touch of kiwi. It’s a fluid wine with lively acidity and flavors of lime, lemon and mineral that is slightly drying rather than juicy. A moderately long finish is dominated by acidity and fresh lime.
I would serve the 2008 Justin Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles with ceviche or a salad of dungeness crab and Haas avocado. Drink now through 2012. Recommended.

2008-Justin-Sauvignon-Blanc-Paso-Robles

Note: The winery appears to be sold out of this wine, but you may still be able to find it at retail.

Rating: Recommended
Retail Price: $15.00
Closure: Screwcap
Alcohol: 13.5%
Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Origin: West Paso Vineyard, East Paso Vineyard (Paso Robles)

This bottle was purchased for review by NorCal Wine.

This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2010 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Follow NorCalWine on Twitter for breaking wine news, information on events and more. Become a fan and join the NorCal Wine community on Facebook.
Also check out our comprehensive Northern California winery listings. They are very useful for planning a tasting trip or just getting in touch with a winery.