CLONYC 24 has gone off perfectly. The crowd arrived thirsty and hungry. I chose to sit next to Russell as we tasted through his new releases (and barrel samples). I always enjoy the wine-makers perspective and stories as the night goes on. I can tell you this is a pretty amazing group of wines (We were treated to 22 bottles). The Danger D prop red is ridiculously awesome; deep and fragrant with so much going on notes can never do it justice. Parker said opulent & voluptuous first, and I agree with him. I wanted to sit with it all night. It also garnered 6 out of 12 WOTN votes (voting initiated by Russell himself, he voted his Wren Hop "Omens & Prophecy" Pinot).
2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Kick Ranch, Sonoma Coast, Maria's Cuvée --
Simply fantastic! Bottled just 10 days ago its youth evident, but its full cornucopia of all things wonderful was singing: melon and lemon-grass with brightness and focus. I did not spot the sulfur Russell mentioned. What a treat.
2009 Wren Hop "Omens & Prophecy" Pinot Noir- This was fragrant and beautiful. As it sat in the glass it took on some nice weight and balance. I am not known as a Pinot aficionado, but know what I like when I like ‘em and this is nice. This was elegant and focused with fantastic acidity and liveliness. stop and blind and it took on new character becoming more lush and deep. I am sure someone else can fill in the gaps better than I here, but it rocked.
2009 Wren Hop "Siren's Lair" Pinot Noir- this had an almost petrol jelly tone that was interesting. I found this changed moment to moment and kept evolving just like its brethren above.
2008 Proprietary Red Wine Showket Vineyard, Oakville, Danger D Cuvée- As mentioned above the quality and deftness of this is near mesmerizing. A fantastic nose of crush flowers mixed with blackberry and currant compote. Deep dark and luxurious, this is plush and gush. Tantalizing and inviting, one that beckons an over-sized well broken in love-seat with feet up and lights down. Preferably not alone. Can you dig it?
2008 Merlot Showket Vineyard, Oakville, Alexis's Cuvée- cocoa and black cherry nose. This was dark and multi-layered with some nice pure reddish black fruits. Elegant and refined while being slightly mischievous. Russells ‘Beyonce’.
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Showket Vineyard, Oakville, David’s Cuvée- Funny thing is how this showed when poured after the Danger D. If it had come earlier in the lineup I might be able to gush on it more, but the company you keep says a lot about you. Its real dark and real focused. The choices Russell has made in his oak regiment certainly become apparent when you get to these in the line-up and the lineage is uncanny. A nicely balanced, and focused wine with a nice mid weight mouthfeel, but one that never borders heavy. I got some warm vanilla and crème de cassis amidst black cherry and cola.
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Showket Vineyard, Oakville, David’s Cuvée- Barrel sample. Here’s the thing: I love such samplings where baby fat is oozing but lurking for the adventurous is some real nice ‘stuff’. I think I am going to LOVE the 2009 vintage better than 2008 and most definitely more than 2007. The depth, purity and focus is crazy. I love how this glides across the tongue and leaves a trace of itself for minutes. Even after discussing this with Kevin to my right I still had this going on and on. Bring them on.
2006 Bevan Syrah- I liked this one without food better. It was very exact pure with great balance, almost pinot like. I am awaiting clarification on the exact bottling. A bit of the outlier here tonight, but a nice addition to add dimension.
2008 Red Wine Showket Vineyard, Oakville, Double E Cuvée- a 50/50 CF and CS blend. In a similar way to the Cabs I spoke of above, this came from another angle altogether. The family resemblance still intact, this had maybe some more blue/black fruit profile. I almost sense there was some Syrah inside and clarified with Russell that I was wrong. My 3rd choice in the Danger/Cab/E-combo line-up of the night. All stylistic preference I’m sure.
2009 Red Wine Showket Vineyard, Oakville, Double E Cuvée- Again, I go with the 2009 over the 2008. Seeing where this is now and sensing where it is heading (as well as the 08 09 Cab combo above) is an interesting study within itself. It is intense and even more pure (If possible). A rounder and just more seemingly ‘complete’ wine. Very nice indeed.
2010 Morgado Cellars Pinot Noir- Now, remember what I said about Pinot above? Find this wine. It’s a minuscule production wine that delivers in a big way, a way that makes me, a certified (certifiable?) cab guy smile. It has an incredible intensity and presence that drifts across the palate; picture a ballerina in steel toed shoes. Red berries and cedar with leather and soy. Long finish that goes on and on. Look for this label in the future and remember who told you about it. Wow.
2009 Morgado Cellars Syrah- Another beautiful Syrah to add to the nights list. I did not make many notes on this one. I did note it had great balance with some notes of white pepper and a Northern Rhone-like feel. I was glad to get a view into these new exciting wines.
There are 2 fantastic Bevan Syrahs I am awaiting some additional details on. My book seems to have a wine smear and the exact names are unreadable.
I will fill in when I get them
There was a Bevan Chardonnay and a Bevan dessert wine but to be honest--- I was done. A man’s gotta know his limitations.
If you ever get the opportunity to meet Russell, you should not hesitate. he is a funny affable and downright honest guy, who happens to be a pretty talented wine master too.