Vinography Unboxed: Week of 6/2/24

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.

Let’s start with the two top sparkling wines from Raventos i Blanc, their Mas del Serral that has been aged 100 months on the lees in the bottle, and their Manuel Raventos Negra that is aged 70 months on the lees. Both wines are elegant, poised, and classy, representing the pinnacle of Spanish sparkling wine, and priced accordingly.

I’ve also got a number of wines from Big Table Farm in Oregon to recommend today, including their Pelos Sandberg Pinot Noir, which is often my favorite of their Pinot Bottlings, as well as the wine they consider their top bottling, the “Earth” Pinot Noir. I also offer notes on their Syrah from The Rocks District of Milton Freewater. All are biodynamically produced, and exactly the kind of honestly produced artisan production wines that many are searching for in this day and age.

In the same vein, though perhaps just slightly larger in scale, I’ve got a few more single-vineyard wines from Dutton Goldfield to recommend, two from the coast, and one from Sonoma Mountain, all three quite tasty.

Before we move out of Pinot Noir and in the context of transitioning to another continent, I can recommend the Highbrow Hill bottling from Handpicked Wines in Australia’s Yarra Valley. It’s a little on the pricey side, but representative of the quality Pinot that the Yarra has been producing for years.

Sticking with Australia’s Victoria region to finish out this week, I’ve got an excellent value Shiraz from Best’s Great Western to offer (easily findable online) as well as a reserve bottling of Cabernet from Richardson that might be a bit harder to track down.

Notes on all these below.

Tasting Notes

2013 Raventós i Blanc “Mas del Serral” Cava Blend, Spain
A light bronze gold in the glass with copper highlights and fine bubbles, this wine smells of sweet brioche, apple compote, and marzipan. In the mouth, a silky, cloud-like mousse delivers flavors of salty applesauce, dried lemon peel, marzipan, and orange pith. Seductive. Fermented with native yeasts. After the secondary fermentation, this wine spends 100 months aging on the lees in the bottle before being disgorged. Alcohol unlabeled. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $136. click to buy.

2017 Raventós i Blanc “Manuel Raventós Negra” Cava Blend, Spain
Light bronze gold in the glass with medium fine bubbles, this wine smells of marzipan, butterscotch, dried lemon peel, and wet leaves. In the mouth, a voluminous mousse delivers flavors of dried orange and lemon peel, dried herbs, baked apples, and a hint of salty kelp. Notes of citrus pith and dried herbs linger with a little bitterness in the finish. Excellent acidity. 12.5% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $95. click to buy.

2022 Big Table Farm “Pelos Sandberg” Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Light to medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of chopped green herbs including marijuana resin, and raspberry fruit. In the mouth, bright raspberry and citrus peel flavors are juicy with fantastic acidity and aromatic with floral and resinous herbal notes. Hints of salinity linger in the finish, along with orange peel. Excellent. 12.9% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $72. click to buy.

2021 Handpicked “Highbow Hill Vineyad” Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Light to medium ruby in color, this wine smells of carob and raspberry fruit mixed with dried flowers. In the mouth, raspberry and floral flavors have a wonderfully silky texture with hints of red apple skin and mulling spices lingering in the finish along with a sour cherry and citrus peel tartness. Very good acidity. Barely perceptible tannins. 13.3% alcohol. Closed with a screwcap. Score: between 8.5 and…

Source : https://www.vinography.com/2024/06/vinography-unboxed-week-of-6-2-24