Vinography Unboxed: Week of 5/19/24

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 couple releases from one of my favorite Napa producers, Spottswoode Winery. Their Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite versions of that grape variety every year, and the 2023 doesn’t disappoint. More from Spottswoode in a moment.

Speaking of white wines from Napa, I’ve got three of the most recent releases from Massican, Napa’s white-wine-only brand that was recently purchased by Gallo. That purchase was announced in September of last year, which either makes these the last wines produced before the new corporate ownership, or the very first wines produced under new ownership. Either way, they are the same reliably delicious versions of themselves that I’ve been buying regularly for years. My favorite of the three I’m sharing this week is the Annia blend, but all three are worth seeking out.

Hirsch Vineyards is known for their spectacular, ageworthy Pinot Noirs in particular, but winemaker Jasmine Hirsch has recently introduced a rosé into the lineup. This is my second taste of this wine, which continues to be made in a serious, ageworthy style. It’s quite good, but might actually benefit from some more time in the bottle.

I’m reviewing two wines from Dutton Goldfield this week, their Deviate Pinot Noir, which is made in a richer style with deliberate oak treatment to accentuate spice and flavor, and their more traditionally restrained Emerald Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir from the Dutton Ranch. I prefer the latter wine, but those who enjoy more robust Pinots may like the Deviate, which is named not so much for its flavor profile as much as the fact that it breaks from the brand’s tradition of single-vineyard bottlings.

I’ve got two more wines to recommend from Tenuta Cucco this week, their simple Langhe Nebbiolo, which is quite pleasurable and accessible, as well as the more serious Barolo from Serralunga d’Alba, which, though drinkable now will age beautifully for ten or more years.

Finally, Spottswoode also sent along their generally more approachable and earlier released wine, Lyndenhurst. I was excited to taste this wine from the 2021 vintage, and found it quite tasty, but for the first time I can remember since the winery began making it, I think this bottling needs more time before you drink it. Give it two or three years and watch out.

Notes on all these wines below.

Tasting Notes

2023 Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc, North Coast, California
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of passionfruit, grapefruit, and flowers. In the mouth, passionfruit, white flowers, and grapefruit have a zippy brightness thanks to excellent acidity. Clean, fresh, and mouthwatering with a touch of salinity. One of the most reliably delicious renditions of this grape in California. A blend of fruit from Napa and Sonoma Counties. 13.8% alcohol. Certified B Corp. 1% for the Planet. Score: around 9. Cost: $48. click to buy.

2023 Massican Pinot Grigio, California
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of pears and white flowers. In the mouth, lemon pith and pear flavors are bright, shot through with wet chalkboard minerality, and vibrating with excellent acidity. A faint chalky note lingers in the finish with citrus peel. 12.1% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $25. click to buy.

2023 Massican “Hyde Vineyard” Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon curd, lemon pith, and a hint of pineapple and melted butter. In the mouth, tangy lemon curd flavors mix with lemon oil and pink grapefruit as a lightly bitter toasted nut quality emerges in the finish. Excellent acidity and brightness. 12.8% alcohol. Score: around 9….

Source : https://www.vinography.com/2024/05/vinography-unboxed-week-of-5-19-24