Browse Tag

edmunds st. john

Blonk de blancs

Edmunds St. John 2002 “blonk!” (Paso Robles) – Tastes like it’s just coming into its maturing phase – which is not to say it’s all the way there yet – with older, bronzed stone fruit and a lot of dusty trails running through the foundation. It gets a bit twisty with food, but with more aeration finds its voice and starts to hum an old, folkish tune with a decided desert twang. (11/08)


Edmunds St. John 2002 “blonk!” (Paso Robles) – Drinking very well, with moderate stone fruit resolving into something in the spiced stone (as in: rocks) realm, better acidity than one expects from the Rhônish grapes involved, and a long, come-back-for-more finish. (9/08)

I want to live, I want to give

Edmunds St. John 2007 “Heart of Gold” (El Dorado County) – Very cranky when opened, not showing any of the fun fruit, structure, or aromatics I expect. Damaged? Probably not, given the source; perhaps just a weird bottle. (9/08)

The search for intelligent bass

Edmunds St. John 2005 Syrah Bassetti (San Luis Obispo County) – Smoked salt on meat and fresh blueberry. Flawlessly poised, medium-bodied now vs. other Bassettis, but absolutely bubbling with potential. This will take a long time to unfold, and an even longer time to develop, but it should be a stunner when it does. (2/08)

He knows

Edmunds St. John 2002 Syrah “The Shadow” (California) – One corked bottle, one soupy bottle (that I had; there may have been more), but the rest are as terrific as expected, with a rare balance of primary and developing syrah characteristics buoyed by fine structure and the orchestral tune-up that precedes complexity, For now, it’s still closed down, or at least in much need of a slower-paced awakening if one must drink it now. But it’ll be far better in a half-dozen years, or so. (8/07)

Carapace & skeleton

Edmunds St. John 2003 “Shell and Bone” Red (Paso Robles) – 13.8%. All shell, no bone. It’s white-hued and brittle, showing almost nothing at this stage, with a very long finish full of the promise of…wait, what’s that? What did it say? It’s not quite audible. If you own this, do not drink it now. I have 100% confidence in its future based on its youth, but its present is a different story. (6/08)

Witters don’t use drugs

Edmunds St. John 2007 Gamay Noir Rosé Witters (El Dorado County) – Vivid, light red fruit with a persistent, perhaps insistent drone; it’s that midpalate monotone that slightly reduces the appeal of this wine for me, though it would be fine in any context other than that of its predecessor. Which is, actually, praising with faint damn, because that’s some august context. (6/08)

After Luke

Edmunds St. John 1997 Syrah Durell (Sonoma/Carneros) – Man, is this good. An intricately-plucked funk bass line propels low-toned, leathery fruit though a series of earthy, fruit-scowl verses and leathery, whip-strap choruses to a rousing climax of fruit-stained saddle, black trumpet, and a hurricane of pepper dust. I’d be inclined to drink this now, whatever it’s future. (6/08)

Still running for president

Edmunds St. John 2005 “Rocks and Gravel” (California) – One of the most complete young versions of this wine I’ve tasted; like the Wylie-Fenaughty, whatever he’s doing to make these wines more immediately appealing without sacrificing structure (or maybe it’s just the vintage), it’s working; this is a brilliant, well-knit, deceptively soft expression of California Rhônishness, with restraint applied to the usual stew of old-growth herbs and dried-out soil, lightly animalistic notes, well-baked red fruit, and a fine dusting of seed pepper. What a terrific wine! It might not have the pure aging potential of other vintages (though these wines can be deceptive, and I may well be wrong), but certainly many ever-shifting years lie ahead of it. (5/08)