Upcoming CLONYC events



CLONYC 46, Craig Haserot and Sojourn Cellars

Yes, you read it correct, CLONYC 47. I started this thing in April 2006. Hard to believe where we have been.
Simple theme: 2012 Napa Cabs. very 'Old School' for CLONYC. Tweleve guests, tweleve wines, 4 flights of 3.
Lets jump into it.

2012 Maybach Materium- Dark and ominous. Pretty expressive nose of black currants and the darkest blackberries you can fine. Bold and deep and keeps with Materiums style.

2012 Becklyn- I love these type of tastings; this was one I figured for my top on the evening but as it sat between the Materium and the Stone The Crows, it just got lost. It’s a bit redder in style and certainly less exuberant on the nose, but as far as QPRs go, it shines. It is multi-layerd and quite textured.

2012 Stone The Crows – Very similar to the Maybach in style. Bold and densely packed with notes of cardamom. Big boned and tightly knit, this is winner in this vintage and in this flight. My WOTF

7 votes for WOTF go to 2012 Stone The Crows, 2 to the Maybach and 2 to the Becklyn.

2012 Hobel- Starts a bit alcoholic on the nose. In time this fleshes out to become a bit more refined and approachable but unfortunately, I am in no mood to deal with more alcohol so I dumped it.

2012 RM Panek- I always love the multi-dimensional aspects of these and this one is no different. Deftly balanced and a bit more focused than anything before it save for the Stone The Crows. Aromatics on this shows a little vineyard distinction. Always a great one to have on my table. My WOTF

2012 Schrader RBS- When we are speaking Cabernet we can’t ignore one of the bigger players in the field. This is super-dark and dense. Cassis driven with a touch of minerality, I always enjoy these more than I like to admit. Loving a $200 Cab is easy, maintaining that relationship is hard.

The Schrader got 7 votes WOTF, tha Panek 3 and the Hobel 1.

2012 Outpost Howell- I think I have moved away from mountain wines and I think I would have enjoyed the True better, but this it is and this it was. It’s clearly TRB with a more chewy tannic style.

2012 Quivet Pellet- As one of my favorites from last years Mike Smith dinner, this one seems to get a little lost in this crowd. I think it has a bit more refinement and gets clobbered in an array such as this. Had I had a better plan, I would have placed this with the Becklyn.

2012 Pride Cabernet Reserve- I am a fan of the new direction pride has taken. This is a red and black fruit wine with focus and elegance. Tannins behaved but present and finish long. Love the aromatics on this one. I wish this was served earlier and maybe with the Becklyn and the Quivet but it was too cold when it arrived in the dining room.

Between the Pride and the Outpost, this was the most diverse flight.
The Pride garnered 7 WOTF votes (me too) and the outpost 5.

2012 Vine Hill Ranch- if there is one wine on the table that I think I did not give a fair evaluation to, it’s the VHR. It was in position number 10 in a lineup of near bruisers. My notes tell me it had tremendous dept and verve amidst its classic black fruit profile. I mention super deft and very elegant but that’s about it and that is so not me. I would like to give this another try, but again, at $185+, it may never happen…

2012 12C Georges III- I have had this a bunch of times and it was always quite nice but tonight it comes across and pedestrian and run-of-the-mill. Dump.

2012 Plumpjack- Arrived even colder than the Pride, this had the widest style profile in the group; first it was red, then black ; it was very fragrant with notes of flowers and worn leather. It had the highest acidity of the group. It showed intense boldness wrapped within some pretty femininity. It was pretty and handsome all at once.
Loved it but loved the VHR more.

The Vine Hill Ranch had 8 votes for WOTF while the Plumpjack had the balance of 4.

In keeping with the ‘don’t think, just answer’ theme, I asked the group without overthinking it, what wine would they consider their unofficial-official WOTN.

The VHR had 6 votes, the Stone The Crow 3. The Schrader and Plumpjack 1 each and Rays vote is unreadable…..

It was a fun night and was my son Michael’s first CLONYC. He was more quiet than usual. After 47 CLONYCs and a large amount of wine dinners in general I have forget what is like to go to my first one. He is untarnished whereas I am tiring. The young will inherit the 


PLONYC 1 (CLONYC 42) Craig Haserot & Sojourn Cellars


PLONYC One enters the books in a big way last evening when Craig Haserot of Sojourn Cellars agreed to be our guest. With my new love for Cali Pinot I felt like a big gift had been hoisted onto my lap. I have never met Craig before and can tell you some things I have learned about him in person last night. Firstly, the passion he brings is second to none, but he backs it all up nicely with a knowledge that is incredible. Listening to him speak is somewhat mesmerizing; he knows where the bones are buried on many subjects California wine. He also has a super sharp palate and listening to his descriptions while tasting the wines really paints the picture well about what is in your glass. All of this made for an amazing, insightful and energetic evening, one that the membership has become quite accustomed to when they attend any XLONYC.

Oh yeah, Craig brought wine, lots of it. 5 amazing Pinots, a Chardonnay that astounds and a few Cabs just for the fun of it. It was a great evening. Thanks to all that attended.

2012 Sojourn Chardonnay Sangiocomo Vineyard- I love this on nose alone, it showed a nicely pure sweet honey and melon that catches your attention. Mouth feel is deft with just the perfect amount of tastiness and buttery-ness. A nice balance which always displayed a fresh minerality that is pretty nice too. It has to be one of the best Chardonnays I have had in a long time, one that displays the Sun, earth and hand well. Forthy-five dollars worth of Heaven :)

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast- great balance on this one with some notes of strawberries and cherries. The 2010 version of this was my first Sojourn into this label, and this one holds up to that standing. A true crowd pleaser.

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir, Rodgers Creek, Sonoma Coast- For those with an extra $9 to splurge, this may be your best QPR decision of the year. This shot from the glass with tremendous finesse; a darker shade of berries and a bite riper all around. Love the slight bramble in the middle-palate, this showed some richness and distinction that boggles my mind. It took me a bit to wrap my head around this one. I loved the aromatics and wondered aloud if the 15% whole cluster adds to any of it. What we got was a crash course in whole cluster I won’t soon forget. Phenomenal.

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir, Sangiocomo Vineyard, Sonoma Coast- A bit more boisterous with a sense of self, this went even darker with a slightly elevated acidity that it seemed to deserve. Another achievement in aromatics, this one played with the senses a bit more. An underlying damp earth component brought interest and a bright-boldness grabs you. This is the second Sangiocomo Pinot I have sampled to date, and I sense I will need to explore it more going forward.

2012 Sojourn Pinot Noir, Gap's Crown, Sonoma Coast- Similar a bit to the Sangiocomo, this had a bit more verve. An interesting viscousness ran through this. This one had some great richness as well. As it sat in the glass it went a bit redder strawberry in style. Another winner with tons of upside.

2013 Sojourn Pinot Noir, Sangiocomo Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, Barrel Sample- Some similarities to its young sibling, but also a hint of what the Rodgers had too. Some darker fruits included a bit of cassis and blackberry. A bit of expected youthful heat showed through, but such deft and balance so early in its ‘wood’ life, this should be truly incredible come next year when released.

I loved this whole lineup. The family traits were evident but as any family there is and well should be singular characteristics. Any of these could be enjoyed with dinner tonight. A few interesting Pinot Noir conversations broke out, one about alcohol (ABV) and another about age-ability of any or all of these wines. I think I have found one of the reasons I am attracted to these wines, the ability to Pobega them with the UPS guy remains intact.

My favorite appetizer is the wine friendly Lobster & Crabcake with seaweed & coconut curry sauce.

Some Cabernets.

2011 Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Home Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Valley- Craig’s ‘house’ wine, literally. Grown out back from his home this shows some pretty black berry notes as well as some cola and sassafras. Its big boned and bold with nice balance. Tannins well formed and acidity just right. A nice first step into the Sojourn Cabs.

2011 Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, Napa Valley- Possibly the best QPR cab here, this is where Georges fruit goes once it has been given the boot. All the declassified GIII is here and its breed shows. Love the velvety mouth feel and silky tannic structure. Fantastic aromatics with great verve and lift. The PV adds some wonderful dimension and complexity. A must buy.

2010 Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley- Bold and distinct, the small berry shows through wonderfully always keeping balance and elegance in play. Love this expression of cab today. Some interesting exotic tea leaf notes, violets and some earth is in here too. Black currants, black raspberries and crème de cassis complete a well-formed package. A truly wonderful, aromatic wine with years of life ahead. Find some, buy some, this is Spring mountain at her best.

2009 Sojourn Proprietary Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (cellar wine)- Wow, this is amazing! Plush, deep, bold and elegant. Black cassis with hints of spring flowers and cocoa powder. Mouth feel is sexy with a lingering note of cardamom and a wee bit graphite. Holy smokes, this is great.

2010 Sojourn Proprietary Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley- A bit more subdued and less dimensional than the 2009, this should blossom in a few/three years and if it is anything like the 2009, you will smile, big.

2012 Sojourn Cabernet Sauvignon Home Ranch Vineyard, Sonoma Valley barrel sample-Young and fresh, this is all primary. If coaxed you may glimmer a sense of its future, and if its family here on that table has any say, this will be another great Cab expression from Sojourn for a silly price and who can look that horse in the mouth……

This lineup was a spectacular look into Sojourn Cellars. Come for the Pinots, stay for the Cabs and be amazed by it all. I am glad I found Sojourn this year. Better late than never I say.

Craig was gracious enough to offer us one of two classic Sauternes to enjoy with dessert: A classic and beautiful (so I was told [wink.gif] )1976 Chateau Climens 1st Cru Sauternes-Barsac that was received gratefully from us all! Thanks for all the awesome wines, Criag!--- both from this millennial and last.
Timely? Sure is, the offer came out like twenty minutes ago!