Browse Tag

livermore valley

Fewer Coynes in the fountain

[coyne]Thomas Coyne 1999 Syrah Detjens Farms (Livermore Valley) — Pepper, herbs, liquid smoke, a lot of humid airspace. Whatever maturation was going to happen has, I think, happened, and now it’s a process of thinning. Drink up. (10/16)

Lovin’, Detjens, Squeezin’

Thomas Coyne 1999 Syrah Detjens Farm (Livermore Valley) – Interestingly, there is no alcohol indication anywhere on the label. I thought that was a regulatory no-no. Anyway, this has aged and not-aged, in a way that’s become fairly typical of California syrah. Smokier and more sepia-toned Old Western than it was, yet still full of primary-textured heft. This has not moved so much as…slid. Will more time help? Perhaps, but I lack another bottle with which to find out. (12/11)

Well & no good

Murrieta’s Well 2004 “Meritage” (Livermore Valley) – 51% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 18% petite verdot, 10% cabernet franc. Solid, straightforward, entirely decent. Dark fruit inhabiting the cassis/blackberry/black cherry range, medium-weight structure, a welcome note of green leaf and black pepper, but mostly about forward fruit and early generosity. Not overoaked, which is a blessing. Gets a little cumbersome late, and I think the wine’s future is portended by that tardy clumsiness. (5/10)

Livermore or less

Kalin 1996 Semillon (Livermore Valley) – While it takes a while to get going, this wine is as funky and fascinating as usual; wax and candlelight, old melon and spice remnant, brass and bronze. It’s not particularly aggressive, and in fact this isn’t the best bottle of this wine I’ve had; perhaps it grew tired somewhere along the way, or perhaps something made it tired before its time. But if there’s one producer that no one ever believes is New World no matter how it’s blind-tasted, this is it. (4/08)

TN: Hairy Potter

Kalin 1996 Semillon (Livermore Valley) – Lightly oxidized, but in a good way, with waxy Rainier cherry, preserved citrus rind, gravel and honeysuckle slashed by cider. The density is striking, as is the acidity, but if there’s a flaw it’s that the wine is a bit hot for the form. It won’t be for everyone, but I like it. I think. (5/07)

Kalin 1990 Sauvignon Blanc “Reserve” (Potter Valley) – Flop sweat and sweet, metal-encased apples and pine. There’s a strongly insistent note of old Sherry wood as well. This draws raves from everyone but me; I think it’s very good, but that it has reached that asymptotic old wine stage where everything tastes the same. It’s not bad because it’s at that point, but it’s not declarative either. (5/07)