Notes from the party

One of our guests on Saturday reads my blog and gave me a hard time after my last party when I said I wasn’t able to provide wine reviews.  She came to the party with several bottles of wine and a notebook with pink trim :).  She thought I could use it to take notes during the meal for the blog.  So I dutifully took some notes and here they are.

Carpene Malvolti Prosecco $?  This was one of the wines my friend brought over.  It was a delightful way to start the evening and brought a lot of citrus, especially pronounced orange and lemon, to the nose.  One the palate it is crisp and refreshing with a flavor reminiscent of a creamsicle.  For those not familiar, an American frozen confection of orange and cream.

Elizabeth Spencer Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 $?  This was yet another bottle my friend brought over.  For those not familiar Elizabeth Spencer is a charming little winery whose tasting room is right off the main drag (route 29) of Napa just south of St Helena.  Definitely worth a stop if only because their tasting room is open later than most ;).  I decanted this wine and later found a nice mixture of kir, cherry, strawberry, and a touch of menthol on the nose.  The palate followed the nose with nice red fruit and the tannins which were stiff on opening mellowed with decanting though could still be felt on the inside of the cheeks.

Wind Gap Syrah Coast 2008 $36.  Wind Gap is a recent discovery and personal favorite of mine.  First, a confession.  I was pretty down on Syrah for a long time.  It always came across as overly alcoholic, too big, and too gamey for my palate. Then I started finding wineries like Wind Gap and Drew who specialize in cool climate Syrah.  This is an entirely different beast.  Wind Gap is named after a portion of Sonoma California where the cool wind off the Pacific blasts through the coastal range.  Instead of fruit bombs you get balanced wines, especially with the hands of Pax Mahle, Wind Gap’s winemaker.  I first heard about them at the Wine and Spirits Top 100 which led to a visit when I was in the hood.  To say their Forestville tasting room is not presumptuous would be quite an understatement.  When we pulled to the back of the non-descript warehouse in “downtown Forestville” we were greeted by Pax himself and had just a wonderful time tasting their wine.  What I find amazing about this Syrah is the distinct aroma of black olives combined with dark cherry and pomegranate , just a wonderful nose.  Not the typical California fruit bomb.  On the palate the olives, cherry, and pomegranate continue but are joined by a hint of cinnamon and black licorice and finish with something that closely resembles black tea.  A great food fine that will match all manner of cuisine.  I highly recommend it or at least trying a similar cool climate Syrah if you too had given up on “hot Syrah.”

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8 Comments

Filed under Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, Prosecco, Sonoma, Syrah, Wine, Wine tasting, Winery

8 responses to “Notes from the party

  1. You certainly took heed with your new notebook and took great notes.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. I hadn’t given up on hot syrah, but this one sounds really fabulous. So does that cab. Great notes, and really Joshua how dare you not take copious notes as you orchestrate dinner parties!

  3. I have taken your recommendation and ordered 4 bottles of the Syrah. I find myself in wine boredom these days in that I pretty much continue to drink the same old Chardonnay over and over again. I’m hoping to jazz it up a little and your Wind Gap notes may do the trick. I’ll let you know what I think. Thumbs up to CA wines….can’t drink much else since I left San Francisco.

    • I am an unabashed advocate of California wine thought this is not a terribly controversial thing when you live in the state. You are the first, at least the first to write, about purchasing a wine I reviewed. I am both flattered and nervous. I hope that you enjoy their wine as much as I do!

      • Being a lover of CA wines is tough here in NY and CT where everyone thinks French wines rock. It’s changing, but I stand firm in my love of all wines Californian in nature. Regarding Wind Gap, I’ve only been able to find one bottle via the internet. You drink some nice wine if it’s this hard to get. Any tried and true sources you could recommend? I’ll let you know how I like my one bottle. With my luck, I’ll love it and then never get anymore. Oh well. 🙂

      • I suppose I drink some “esoteric” wine. I will have to mix in some easier to find things as well. I’ve actually bought my Wind Gap wine directly from the winery. They have a few things for sale though not the exact bottle I reviewed. You could send a note. Sometimes they have things not on the purchase list in smaller quantities. WineLibrary has a couple of bottles as well but when I looked they didn’t even have a Syrah.

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