Texan - Wine Nerd Herd Member
One of three bottles of bubbly (2014 Ultramarine BdN and 2010 Larmandier-Bernier VV du Levant) opened when a good friend, @Shawn R , was in town. EO is one of my favorite champagne producers, but this was actually my first experience with the rosé.
5yrs on the lees, disgorged mid 2019. Slightly orange pink in the glass. Initially, it was very razor sharp and intense. Jasmine, orange zest, and dried apricots on the nose. On the palate, the intensity picked up with a strong backbone of limestone, chalk, tangerine and some honeysuckle. When this paired with food, it showed its true colors with a touch more body and richness. Even more impressive was how much better this was on day two...likely a champagne that could benefit from a decant at this age. Much more creamy and showing more red Berry fruit like raspberries, rhubarb and also a little floral. Yeast driven notes didn’t appear until day two. Complex, intense and lots of potential. — 2 days ago
Christmas Eve bottle. Paired wonderfully with honey glazed ham and bacon & green chili hash brown casserole!
Jan 2019 disgorgement. Before opening, this evokes tasting notes of Ulysse Collin’s rosé (a true favorite of mine). The frosted bottle, the deep color, and even the initial aromatics. From across the room, you’d likely call this red burgundy. When diving in to it, notes of licorice, cinnamon, cardamom and rhubarb come to mind. Catches you off guard. On the palate, it’s super vinous and dense, yet has so much classical meunier notes of gummy red fruits, floral notes of violets, and a unique sugar frosted cranberry note toward the finish. What sets this apart from most is the finish when paired with food...it turns almost savory and there is zero sweetness or tart notes. Any type of food seems to make this infinitely better. There is tannin and weight too, which has this drinking like a red burg when the right food pairing is taking place. Delicious, and a no brainer for buying again. — a month ago
Having been to Napa many times, this is undoubtedly one of the best/most impressive winery tours out of all the ones we’ve done. So much so that we’ve gone back for a total of three visits.
After many visits, you start to pick up a scent from their caves...like menthol wrapped green peppercorn...and that’s exactly what is going on here. Extremely old world in style (left bank in a cool vintage) with a flair of new world. Aside from the methol and green peppercorn, there is fig and ripe rhubarb aromatically. On the palate it has nice weight at this age and seems to be drinking at peak. All things working in harmony. Bay leaf, fondue dipped dark fruits, mocha and black cherry skin towards the finish. I’d enjoy these sooner rather than later. — a month ago
My last of the 2014 Ultramarine’s. Sad day. Thankfully 2015s are up next, and I was able to secure extra 2016s during the release a few months back.
This was one of three bubblies (2010 Larmandier-Bernier VV du Levant, Egly Ouriet Rosé) opened alongside a lineup of some fun wines when a buddy, @Shawn R , was in town. As always, my experience with these wines is so unique. You can always tell this is like grower champagne from first smell and sip. Gorgeous golden color in the glass. I normally pick up aromas of cream soda with Ultramarine (aside from their rosé), but didn’t get that here. Caramel dipped golden delicious apples, spiced cider, brioche, a little shaved almond, sporting a gentle “oxidative” flair. On the palate it’s zippy and racy with a distinct herb crusted yellow fruit profile (which I get on some Heintz Chardonnays), alongside more apple, poached pear, and kiss of ripe red Berry fruits. There is also a backbone of limestone/mineral here. When compared to the Larmandier-Bernier, this drank more new world, though if I had tried this blind and not next to a true champagne, I may have been able to get there.
As an aside, we drank half of this bottle (and of the other two bubblies as well) and then put a champagne stopper on it to revisit the next day. Upon opening, the bubbles seemed to have diminish quite a bit and it drank closer to a still wine...and then 30mins later, it was like this roared back to life for one last hurrah, full of bubbles and totally vibrant. Not sure I’ve seen a bubbly do that before. The last glass on the second day was just as good as the first glass on the first day. — 2 days ago
I followed this over two days. It was initially opened alongside a 2016 Maybach Materium, 2013 Kapscandy Roberta’s Reserve, 2002 Colgin Cariad and a 2006 Dalla Valle Maya.
Aside from BV’s Guest Cottage, this is the only wine from them I haven’t had. Sporting almost a 16%ABV, it poured like motor oil in to the glass. Thick, rich and heady aromatics. This has that classic high quality Napa cab smell to it...smells of expensive toasted oak, espresso, fondue dipped dark fruits, and spiced nutmeg. A meal by itself on the palate, this is a 2013 that is unsurprisingly massive and in need of food to cut through the tannins. Dark initially before it turns slightly red fruit forward at the finish...dark cocoa topped black cherries, espresso sweetness, and black currant. I’d hold at this point. Not sure a decant is doing much at this stage. — a month ago
As I’m a fan of Barnett’s Rattlesnake Cabernet, this was my first experience with their Cabernet Franc. Spring Mountain CabFranc is normally a slam dunk, so I was excited to try this.
Made up mostly of cab franc with a 23% splash of merlot, the longer this was open, the more the merlot expressed itself. The aromatics range from ripe red fruits like fresh raspberries, to more mild blue fruits like underripe blueberries all the way to dried black cherries and blackberries. On the palate, it’s very juicy and nimble...the weight here is effortless yet carries so much flavor. Staying true to cab franc, it’s floral with notes of potpourri and violets while also showing a good bit of dusty/mineral and herbal driven notes like black tea and cardamom dusted red and black berries at the finish. This was great with very little air, and I expect this to be at peak in the next year or two. — a month ago
First time trying a sparkling chenin, and this producer obviously makes this a safe place to start.
Golden in the glass. Appears to be slightly oxidized. Aromatically, this is apples and pears all day. Reminds me of spiced apple cider from the holidays. Ripe golden delicious apples mixed with cinnamon and holiday spices alongside those Harry & David pears you get in gift baskets. Undoubtedly chenin Blanc on the palate with sharp bubbles, and a mineral driven backbone...slate and limestone. As it warms, it gains a slightly waxy trait to it and drinks like a straight up non-sparkling chenin. Unique. Paired perfectly with sushi. — 13 days ago
WNH Montelena Estate virtual tasting. Others represented were the ‘94 (evidently corked), ‘01, ‘03, ‘07, ‘15.
I may be an outlier here, but Montelena is one of the few wineries where I not only don’t care for them young, I just honestly don’t enjoy them at all (and that’s coming from someone who enjoys the likes of Myriad, Bevan, Rivers Marie, etc on the young side). For my preference, they are just so vastly better with 15+yrs of age to them. YMMV.
After standing this upright for about two weeks, I gave this about a 45min decant. Starting off fairly thin and having some funk to blow off, it really bulked up after an hour and a half. Dark ruby/tawny in the glass. Reminiscent of left bank Bordeaux (leather, herbs de Provence, only a hint of tobacco), but a sweet cherry liqueur and dried cranberry on the nose bring this back to possibly New World. On the palate it sports underripe and dried black cherries, red clay, cedar, bay leaf, and earthy tertiary notes. Gripping, tannic finish with balanced acidity. In harmony here. I’d say this likely has another 3-5yrs in this beautiful drinking window before evolving more. — 15 days ago
I opened this alongside a 2012 Cedric Bouchard Bechalin BdN, Krug 167, Vilmart Coeur, and a 2014 Christophe Baron.
After having the 2013 Laherte Empriente about 6 weeks ago, I was curious to try this. This took the best parts of the Empriente (aromatics of spiced Granny Smith apples, honeysuckle, Carmex?, and chamomile), and improved on the parts that were lacking (more robust, fleshed out palate of lemon confit, herb crusted yellow fruits, lemon cream spread over English biscuits, and truffle honey). This leans oxidative (on the palate) without the sherry notes aromatically. The lean and racy style in regards to dosage is much more in harmony than the Empriente (which came across as too dry and in need of added dosage). This improved as the night went on (unexpected for a 2015 champagne), so enjoy now if you have multiple or hold for a few years. Definitely buying more. — a month ago
My first pop of this vintage of Geyserville. I don’t open zin often, and when I do it’s normally on the young side, so I was unsure how this would show (perfect, too early or too much in a quiet period). I think this is a combo of the last two.
Following over two days (and out of a Zalto universal), this sports a beautiful dark ruby color in the glass, albeit closer to black cherry at its core. Aromatics really jumped on day two showing notes of rhubarb, rosemary, mint, and just a faint kiss of that classical Ridge American oak usage. Vibrant and energetic acidity on the palate...certainly not a jammy/flabby style zin. The palate reveals red and black berry medley, cherry infused mocha, cocoa, and a slight note of spice on the finish. I think this may be in a quiet period, but more than anything, it’s young...I’d decant a couple hours if opening any time soon. — a month ago