|December 17th, 2008|
|SF Chronicle - Top 100 Wines of the Year - Syrah/Pinot Noir |
Every year the Chronicle releases a list of what they consider some of the top wines of the year. Here are a few choice Syrahs and Pinots with a variety of price ranges.
2006 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
"Kosta Browne's reputation for rich, big wines is well established, but this appellation bottling brings a fine nuance to the style, with nutmeg, damp soil, lacquered red fruit and blue plum plus a balanced oak presence. The texture is ropy and dense, but fine tannins and subtle acidity tie it all together."2006 Calera Mt. Harlan Cuvee Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir
"If not as monolithic as Calera's single-vineyard wines, this blend of mostly younger fruit from Josh Jensen (our 2007 Winemaker of the Year) is still an excellent example of Mount Harlan's extraordinary terroir. Delicate loam aromas open it, with touches of musk and thyme, and then darker fruit notes. Cranberry and fern highlights, and a chalky grip, give it ample power."2006 Cadaretta Columbia Valley Syrah
"Rick Middleton's family started in logging near the Washington coast; now he tends a different crop. His Walla Walla winery hired the talented Virginie Bourgue (Bergevin Lane), and already the results are very promising. This blend from such vineyards as Pepper Bridge and Alder Ridge has terrific aromas of herb tea, charred wood, cured meat and plum. Sweet, tangy and, like the best Washington Syrahs, even more rewarding with a bit of decanting or cellar age."2006 Failla Phoenix Ranch Napa Valley Syrah
"Ehren Jordan's label (he also makes wine for Turley Wine Cellars) continues to make one of California's finest Syrahs. His latest effort verges on sensory overload: It brims with scents of fine black pepper, graphite and dried flowers, adding depth to ribboned cherry and wild blueberry flavors. Tangy, briny and almost savory, its silkiness and long finish belie a giant tannic structure."
| The Wine Spectator - Wine of the Day |
Dec, 17th, 2008
By Harvey Steinman
2006 Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Reserve
"Lithe and open-textured, with a welcome transparency to the blackberry, currant and plum fruit and the shadings of star anise and black pepper. The finish sails on with minimal impediment from tannins."
Reviews by Robert Gauthier
2005 Château Montus Madiran
"Every year about this time I break out my well-worn copy of Paula Wolfert's magnificent "The Cooking of Southwest France," and start thinking duck -- braised duck legs, confit, cassoulet, bowls of garbure -- a thick soup of salt pork, cabbage and beans embellished with duck confit. And that's when I hanker after an inky dark Madiran made from the earthy Tannat grape peculiar to that region. Alain Brumont at Château Montus makes one of the best, rounding out the Tannat with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The result can only be described as a lusty wine with the structure and heft to stand up to the richness of duck. Which is not to say the wine is rough: It has a lovely softness too."