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[jensen]Tasting notes from the Boston Wine Expo. Note the usual caveats about speed-tasting in boisterous environments, where mistakes are rampant and palate fatigue is a factor. These are brief impressions, not full examinations; the phraseology reflects these conditions.

Part 6: USA

Calera 2004 Pinot Noir Jensen (Mt. Harlan) – Pretty and full-bodied. Plummy, with golden beet and silken earth. Perfectly balanced. Wow. (2/08)

Talley 2005 Pinot Noir Rincon (Arroyo Grande Valley) – Pure essence of fermented beets, both fresh and roasted. OK, perhaps not quite so pure; there’s an addition of simple strawberry and an underbelly of earth. I find it hard to criticize much in this wine, mostly because it’s so boring and one-note. (2/08)

Dutton Goldfield 2004 Pinot Noir Dutton Ranch Sanchietti (Russian River Valley) – Great intensity of fruit – mostly mixed berries – with a gorgeous, silky finish. Nice hints of structure, as well. Quite good. (2/08)

David Bruce 2004 Pinot Noir (Santa Rita Hills) – Dirt, minerals, and structure overpower beet and orange. Highly ungenerous, but not overly off-putting. (2/08)

Paul Hobbs 2005 Pinot Noir Hyde (Carneros) – Big fruit, beety strawberry, then fruit concentrate verging on syrup. Tasty, but…eh. Perhaps better for pancakes. (2/08)

Archery Summit 2004 Pinot Noir Red Hills Estate (Dundee Hills) – Dark, concentrated fruit. Beet and cedar. Crunchy. Decent, but simple, and lacking the promise of future complexity; the wine is awfully monolithic. (2/08)

Adelsheim 2006 Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley) – Fennel and minerals, with a fine spiciness. Light but firm. Tasty. (2/08)

Adelsheim 2006 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) – Soft pear. Leafy and fluffy. Acid emerges on the finish, but by then it’s mostly too late. (2/08)

Adelsheim 2006 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) – Cherry, strawberry, beet, and blood orange rind. Floral and pretty. Nice, if perhaps a bit too easygoing. (2/08)

[label]Adelsheim 2006 Pinot Noir “Elizabeth’s Reserve” (Willamette Valley) – Dense and earthy, showing full-bodied plum, juicy berries, and spiced beet. Big and fulfilling. It lacks complexity, but that will likely come; this has both the stuffing and the structure to age. (2/08)

Elk Cove 2006 Pinot Noir Rosé (Willamette Valley) – Pretty. Strawberry, raspberry, with good length and texture. A little flowery. (2/08)

Elk Cove 2006 Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley) – Sweet pear water ice (or, if you’re not from Philadelphia, Italian ice). This just tastes sweet with aught else to show for it; a common flaw with pinot gris. (2/08)

Elk Cove 2006 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) – Slightly dirty and hot. Baked plum and black cherry. And then, feel the burn. (2/08)

Elk Cove 2006 Pinot Noir Five Mountain (Willamette Valley) – Solid, with density traversing the palate. Very gravelly, some beet, but while there’s gravity there’s no freshness. (2/08)

Leonetti 2005 Merlot (Columbia Valley) – Big, lush black cherry with mixed chocolates. Satiny tannin. Syrupy and port-like. Excellent in a style I find fairly repellent after about two sips. (2/08)

Ridge 2001 Monte Bello (Santa Cruz Mountains) – Gorgeous. Soil, gravel, sand, and loam. Herbs and the suggestion of fruit to come. Dark, smooth, and balanced, with an elegant power, well-restrained for now, but far superior to raw size or brawn. Epic. (2/08)

Newton 2002 “The Puzzle” (Spring Mountain) – Intense, dark chocolate-coated blueberry. All crushed fruit and slathered jam. Long, decidedly New World, but tasty in that style. (2/08)

Shafer 2004 “Relentless” (Napa Valley) – Wafts of pretty oakspice, good red fruit, and lots of tannin…both grape and wood. Ultimately, the wine is completely dominated and then overwhelmed by the arbor, and lacks character as a result. (2/08)

Forman 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – A bit closed, but authentic, with peppers bracing the sweet fruit. The only flaw is a bit of obvious heat on the finish, but that could be exacerbated by the stage the wine’s in. Not bad. (2/08)

Duckhorn 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Patzimaro (Napa Valley) – Very dense. Blueberry milkshake, both vanilla and chocolate versions, with a full, lush texture. Tannic. New World all the way, but with more tannin than is typical in the genre. (2/08)

Dunn 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – Dense and thick with chocolate and lactic finish. Very long and well-balanced. Very good in its style, though this sort of thing is beyond my ability to truly enjoy. (2/08)

Beringer 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – Good raw materials: bell pepper, cassis, some tobacco. A little under-stuffed and simple, though the finish is long enough. This is aging nicely. (2/08)

Concannon 2006 Zinfandel (Central Coast) – Spiced plum, black pepper. Tries to be forward, but ultimately it’s just flat and simple. (2/08)

Concannon 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Central Coast) – Basic plum. Watery. Some sugar-like characteristics on the finish. Yuck. (2/08)

Concannon 2005 Petite Sirah (Central Coast) – Dark, intense plum, perhaps with a few tighter, darker berries. A pure fruit explosion, with vinyl in the mix as well. Acid and tannin are present, but this is neither as harsh, as dark, or nearly as good as many petite sirahs. (2/08)


Copyright © Thor Iverson.