Saturday’s Speed Tasting: Reds

Today’s speed/Twitter tasting of reds:

Maryhill Winery 2008 Zinfandel. 14.5% ABV. $16.99. Nose: zings! 🙂 Family-owned and operated. Growing more than 1/2 of all the zin in WA. Location: next to river, next to mountain, no freezes. Fruit forward, smooth. Cedar, an eensy bit of spice on the finish. Lovely! 80,000 cases.

J. Christopher, 2010 Pinot Noir, $30. Willamette Valley. Soft and appealing. 2010 began a partnership with Dr. Loosen. 15 months in barrel. The wine, not Dr. Loosen. 🙂

Archery Summit 2010 Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir. W Valley Dundee Hills, volcanic. Sustainable, $48. 13.5% ABV. Distributed in all 50 states. Mouth filling yet not overwhelming. Well balanced.

Cornerstone 2009, Napa and Willamette Valleys. Pinot Noir/Willamette. $50. 5-vineyard blend. A bit of spice and cedar. (Napa/Cabernet). Vanilla, cherry pie. 14 months in barrels. Most would take it out at 11 months to have the barrels for the next vintage. But he thinks the 14 months makes a huge difference in taste, and he said the barrels actually start to re-absorb the tannins.

2010 Quatro Castas (“4 grapes”), Portugal. Aragonez, Tinta Muda, Tinta Calada, Alfrocheiro. $17, 14.5%. Cola, caramel, yet it doesn’t bonk you in the head. Lovely.

Decibel 2010 Pinot Noir, New Zealand, Marlborough. $28, 14%. Earth, piquant, slight ginger ale impression, horizontal in mouth.

Tapena 2010 Garnacha, Tierra des Castilla, Spain. 95% G, 5% Tempranillo. $10, 13% ABV. Spicy nose, slightly sweet, opens to soften, beautifully drinkable.

Willamette Valley Vineyards 2009 Estate Pinot Noir. Sustainable. 700 acres. $45, is about to replace the Tuxedo line with $30 price point. Lovely.

Sokol Blosser (Sokol Mom’s name, Blosser Dad’s), Alison. Red blend “Evolution,” NV, $18, 13%. Rich, spicy nose. Delicious. Syrah-based blend, 12 other varietals as well. This was a happy wine with no confusion at all, rather a surprise with this much in the recipe.

Tendril 2009 Pinot Noir, White Label. 14.2%, $48. 500 cases. A more oak-based PN; 100% French, 15 months, 40% new. Vanilla, cola, long finish at back of palate and throat.

Milbrandt Vineyards, 2010 Malbec (Northridge Vineyard), WA. 14.5%, $25. DELICIOUS. (I don’t usually care for Mendoza Malbec at all. This Washington State version is lovely.)

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