Vinography Unboxed: Week of 4/28/24

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 a few nice whites from around California, starting with the Sauvignon Blanc from St. Supéry in Napa, which is reliably tasty, though missing a little edge in its most recent vintage.

Winemaker Patrick Quigley started the small label Quigley Family Wines with his brother Jack and his father Jim, making tiny lots of wine from vineyards around the North Coast. They sent along two wines this week, the first, a lean and steely Chenin Blanc from the Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino, as well as a dark, earthy, savory Syrah from the same site.

Talley Vineyard has pioneered wine growing in the Arroyo Grande Valley in San Luis Obispo County since the early 1980s. For a long time, they were the sole winery in the region, and one of the few people convinced you could grow cool-climate grapes that far south in California. The Arroyo Grande Valley has recently been subsumed by the San Luis Obispo Coast AVA in recognition of the extreme coastal influence at play in the valley, its crisp temperatures demonstrated by the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that I tasted this week, both of which were quite nice, though the Chardonnay was particularly delicious.

Gainey Vineyard represents the 4th generation of the Gainey family to farm in Santa Barbara’s Santa Ynez Valley. The winery began in 1984 when Dan Gainey planted 50 acres of vines on the family’s 1800-acre ranch. Over time, the family also purchased land in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, which is where the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that I tasted this week come from. Both are excellent values, and reliably tasty.

I’ve written before, and at length, about the wines of Roland Velich, the man behind Moric, one of my favorite wine producers on the planet. His California importer sent along the latest release of his “entry-level” Blaufränkisch, which is anything but ordinary. Like the “plain” Bourgogne Blancs made by superstar producers like Coche-Dury and Roulot, this is one heck of a bottle of wine for the price and a wonderful expression of both the Blaufränkisch grape and the place it comes from.

This week offered up a moment I’ve been waiting for with great anticipation: my first sample bottles of 2021 vintage wine from Napa superstar Cathy Corison. The 2021 vintage continues to be my favorite in decades, even as I continue to taste more 2023 wines (which are showing fantastic potential). Cathy’s 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc did nothing to dispel my enthusiasm for the vintage. Her Cabernet Sauvignon may be one of the best she’s ever made, though we’ll need to wait 20 years to be completely sure, as I think it will improve for at least that long. It’s truly a tremendous wine, one that deftly marries power and depth with elegance and finesse. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Lastly, William Cole Vineyards sent along a very unusual and rare wine from Napa, the second rendition of their wine called simply “Ten.” This “Chapter Two” of this wine represents 10 vintages, beginning in 2010 and ending in 2019 each aged separately and then blended into this final wine. The first time this wine was created, it represented the vintages 2000 to 2009, so this is the second iteration of the wine. You’ll have to wait another decade for the next one. I find the wine a bit too wood-influenced, but it’s an intriguing mouthful nonetheless.

Tasting Notes

2023 St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, Napa, California
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of passionfruit and guava candy. In the mouth, guava and passionfruit flavors mix with kiwi and softer-than-I’d-like acidity. Pretty, with a cut grass note in the finish. I just wish this wine…

Source : https://www.vinography.com/2024/05/vinography-unboxed-week-of-4-28-24