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 week included another lovely wine from Cantina Kurtatsch, the excellent co-op winery in Alto Adige. The wine they call “Amos” is an unusual and compelling blend of white grapes that offers a wonderfully bright balance of fruit and freshness.
I also received a coupe of wines from Sirin, a brand developed by a company called Ranch Wine and Spirits, which looks like it is all about developing brands for placement in bars and restaurants. Their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were both tasty enough. I preferred the Pinot Noir.
While we’re on the subject of Pinot Noir, Minus Tide sent along their latest vintage of their Manchester Ridge bottling, which offered a really lovely combination of savory and fruit character, with the energy of the cooler reaches of Mendocino County.
Perhaps the “main event” this week are another tranche of wines from the Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! including their Mourvèdre, for which proprietor Hardy Wallace is well known. All these wines are worth experiencing, including their orange wine, which is an unusual blend of grapes from the Brousseau vineyard in the Chalone appellation. It speaks of its deeply mineral soils. The other three wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Cabernet Franc, and a Merlot are from a plot in the Santa Cruz Mountains that Wallace was convinced to visit and subsequently fell in love with. They are each quite compelling, but my favorite of the three was the Merlot for its wonderfully floral lift.
Finally I’ve got two heavier wines to recommend, although their weight is something I’m quite disappointed with, from a bottle perspective, that is. Both have opted to signal their aspirations with heavy glass, environmental impact be damned.
The first is a ripe, Riserva Montepulciano from Masciarelli that will appeal to those looking for dark and rich wines, this one with supple tannins, if a bit high octane. It is made from a single vineyard, and ages in new French oak.
The second is a classically-styled Napa Cabernet, from a small producer named Hoopes Family Vineyard. Proprietress Lindsay Hoopes, a former prosecutor, has been in the news lately for counter-suing Napa County over the fact that they are trying to prevent her from holding wine tastings despite a permit saying she is permitted to do so. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts. In the meantime, we can enjoy her wine, though not the weight of the bottle.
Notes on all these below.
2021 Cantina Kurtatsch “Amos” White Blend, Südtirol Alto Adige, Italy
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers, star fruit, and citrus peel. In the mouth, juicy bright green apple and grapefruit pith flavors have a zippy crunchiness to them thanks to excellent acidity. There’s a faint salinity to the wine that lingers with hints of lime zest and orange peel in the finish. A blend of Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Kerner, and Sauvignon Blanc, all fermented separately and later blended. 13.5% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $24. click to buy.
2021 Sirin “Reserve – TNT Vineyard” Chardonnay, Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma, California
Pale greenish gold in color, this wine smells of lemon pith and lemon curd. In the mouth, white flowers and lemon curd flavors mix with a hint of pineapple and pastry cream. Softer acidity than I would like. A faint bitterness lingers in the finish. 14% alcohol. 110 cases made. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $54. click to buy.
2021 Extradimensional Wine Co. Yeah! “Close Encounters” Skin Contact White Blend, Chalone, Central Coast, California
Light to medium amber gold in the glass, this wine smells of poached pear, apricot, and yellow herbs….
Source : https://www.vinography.com/2023/12/vinography-unboxed-the-week-of-12-17-23