Vinography Unboxed: Week of 1/15/23

Hello and welcome to my weekly dig through the pile of wine samples that show up asking to be tasted. I’m pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently.

This past week included a few of the latest releases from long-time sparkling wine producer Argyle Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Their long history producing bubbly has allowed them to offer some special wines that have been aging for quite a long time in the bottle, the latest of which is their 2012 Extended Tirage Brut, which spent 10 years on the lees in the bottle. It’s my favorite of the three wines I tasted this week, with its salty, bready goodness.

La Folette Wines, a winery started by but no longer associated with its namesake, winemaker Greg La Folette, sent along a few of its latest wines for me to try: an entry-level Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (both excellent values at $25 a bottle) and one of their slightly more complex single vineyard Chardonnays. It’s quite odd and confusing to me that the winery continues to bear La Folette’s name, but maybe its owners are banking on that confusion.

Sticking with Sonoma Pinot Noir for the moment, I also received a bottle of the latest from Kathleen Inman, of Inman Family Wines, who has been making Russian River Pinot Noir for nearly two decades now in her Olivet Grange Vineyard. This latest effort is lush and bright.

I discovered another bottle from Terrazas de los Andes that I hadn’t managed to taste a couple of weeks ago, and lo-and-behold it was one of their flagship single site Malbecs from a high-elevation vineyard. All stony blueberry and earth, this is a worthy wine if you can find it, though my initial online searches didn’t turn up anywhere to buy it.

Finally, I tasted through a few of the latest releases from Linne Calodo, a stylish, boutique winery in Paso Robles. Of the three wines, all of which are brawny and rich, my favorite was the ‘SGM’ blend called The Problem Child, which had great acidity and carried its alcohol level very well.

Notes on all these below.

Tasting Notes

2018 Argyle “Brut” Champagne Blend, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Light gold in the glass with medium bubbles, this wine smells of apple and white flowers and just a whiff of toasted sourdough. In the mouth, a moderately coarse mousse delivers flavors of apple and pear flavors mix with a hint of berries that linger in the finish with a bit of citrus peel and a nice wet chalkboard minerality. A blend of 52% Chardonnay, 43% Pinot Noir, and 5% Pinot Meunier. 3 g/l dosage. 12.5% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $30. click to buy.

2019 Argyle “Blanc de Blancs” Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Palest gold in the glass with medium-fine bubbles, this wine smells of lemon pith and unripe apples. In the mouth, a soft mousse delivers bright lemon pith and lemon peel flavors, which have a stony, savory quality. Just a hint of salinity lingers with the orange peel, apple, and pomelo pith in the finish. 1.5 g/l dosage. 12.5% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $30. click to buy.

2012 Argyle “Extended Tirage Brut” Champagne Blend, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Pale gold in the glass with medium-fine bubbles, this wine smells of warm bread and lemon pith. In the mouth, salty, mouthwatering flavors of lemon pith and dashi are delivered on a soft mousse. There’s a wonderful saline lemon flavor that lingers for a long time in the finish with just the barest hint of acerola. A blend of 40% Pinot Noir and 60% Chardonnay. 2.5 g/l dosage. 12.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $85. click to buy.

2021 La Folette “Los Primeros” Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers and lemon pith. In the mouth, nicely lean flavors of lemon and honeysuckle mix with a touch of golden apple and wet chalkboard. Excellent acidity. 13.5% alcohol….


Source : https://www.vinography.com/2023/01/vinography-unboxed-week-of-1-15-23

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