Browse Tag

el dorado county

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)

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)

Buckaroo Banzai

Edmunds St. John 2007 “Heart of Gold” (El Dorado County) – Grenache blanc & vermentino. One of the best whites I’ve had from ESJ, with an immediacy formed of bright acidity and intense, white-out fruit with complexing rindy components. It’s long and a bit linear at the moment, but there seems to be a lot lurking, and I expect great things in the near future. Right now, however, it’s a very “immediate” wine. (5/08)

Peter Coyote

Edmunds St. John 2005 Syrah Wylie-Fenaughty (El Dorado County) – The most easily-accessible W-F I think I’ve ever tasted, already fully-formed but not seeming to sacrifice any of the usual promise. Blueberry with a touch of black, nuts (again with a touch of the black), and plenty of dusky soil. Very balanced. (5/08)

Dis a gris

Edmunds St. John 2006 Pinot Gris Witters (El Dorado County) – Though Steve remains baffled, I still think this tastes like a crisper form of viognier. It’s floral, perfumed, and slightly honeyed, with neither the spiced pear of Alsace, the squiggly citrus or crystalline minerality of northeastern Italy, or fruity fennel of the more innocuous versions from Oregon, New Zealand, and so forth. I will, however, note that after three days open (only part of that time refrigerated), a little bit of pear does emerge…while the wine fades around it. I do like the wine, despite my struggle to embrace its varietal turmoil, so Steve and I will have to agree to dis a gris. (5/08)


Edmunds St. John 2007 “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir Rosé Witters (El Dorado County) – A clear step down from the previous vintage. It’s still very tasty, with medium-light red fruit, some spice, and a fine foundation of gray-grained pebbles, but it’s a lower-volume wine in which the more delicate treble and bass have become difficult to hear. (5/08)

Gamay one more

Edmunds St. John 2006 “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir Witters (El Dorado County) – Darker but more sullen than the previous vintage (on the rare occasion I tasted it intact), with a refreshing underbelly of crushed-cherry acidity and old potpourri on the finish. There seems to be some dark soil to it as well, but it’s hard to get at right now. Beyond benefiting from time, I think this needs time. (5/08)

Edmunds St. John 2006 “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir Witters (El Dorado County) – A second bottle, this one put through several days of uncorked chilling, warming, re-chilling, etc. The soil has receded, with some compensating expansion of the fruit and a rounder, fleshier mouthfeel. For me, the changing form of this wine is further evidence that time is required for this wine to show its best. (5/08)

I keep on searching

Edmunds St. John 2007 “Heart of Gold” (El Dorado County) – 54% grenache blanc, 46% vermentino. It should amaze me that wines with this sort of acidic presence can be made in California, given the endless evidence to the contrary, but then I remember who’s behind it. Crisp greenness, lemon, mixed citrus and orchard fruit rinds, with a dry minerality that hums along in the background; a rocky feedback that never achieves prominence until very, very late in what is almost a shockingly persistent finish. Really striking, and extremely drinkable. (5/08)

Angelina Jolly

Edmunds St. John 2007 “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir Rosé Witters (El Dorado County) – Wide-open…perhaps a bit stretched…showing pale strawberry and a long, flat horizon of grey stone. It’s tasty and accessible, but it’s not quite up to the standards of the lovely ’06. (5/08)

Witters in Florida, summers in Beaujolais

Edmunds St. John 2004 “Bone-Jolly” Gamay Noir Witters (El Dorado County) – Corked. Or at least, so it appears; there’s no aroma, and since the previous five bottles have been corked, it seems like it’s inevitable that this wine be similarly afflicted, albeit in a lesser fashion. But – and granted, this is unusual – I happen have the winemaker at my house the next evening. He tastes and finds it not corked, and in fact performing correctly, but perhaps a slight bit cooked. It’s still, to me, suffering from near-complete aromatic dampening, and I don’t know how to define that outside of mild TCA, but I have to defer to the winemaker here. In any case, it’s not right, and I find no enjoyment in it. (5/08)