As today’s paper hits the streets, we’re in the midst of New Hampshire Wine Week and on the eve the biggest wine tasting north of Boston.
I wanted to wrap up our preparation for Thursday’s Easter Seals Winter Wine Spectacular by looking at a few more of the hundreds of wines that will be on hand.
So let’s get right to it:Adelsheim Pinot Noir, 2012, Willamette Valley Oregon. Oregon has become a premier site for the growing and making of Pinot Noir, and this one is a good example. It is a wine that is ruby at the core, with a pink to very thin clear rim, indicating that it is young but beginning to age. The nose is the medium intensity, rich in red fruits, with strawberry coming through along with some young raspberry. It is dry, with good tannin, not overwhelming but making its presence known, balanced alcohol and medium body with medium flavor intensity that follows the nose of strawberry raspberry and some hints of plum. Long, pleasing finish that holds the fruit right till the end. 90 points.Robert Sinsky Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2011, Los Carneros, Valley, Calif. The label tells me it is made from organically grown grapes. The 2011 growing season in California resulted in a smaller yield of grapes, so the 2011 vintage will be more limited than previous years. This one is lighter in color than the Pinot Noir we just saw, medium-pale. The nose is very different too, with a clear earthiness emerging right from the start. The red fruit is clearly there, and this wine has, overall, a more European character. It is a wine that is clearly meant to be paired with food to enhance the enjoyment of both. The palate is stronger than the wine’s color might suggest, dry, with medium acidity and medium tannin, the tannin leaning a bit toward the unripe. The alcohol is in good balance. The body is medium to medium-minus. The flavors of this wine also fill the nose with a rich earthiness, soil, and ripe raspberry and strawberry. There are hints of mushroom as the palate develops on the way to a complex finish. 91 points.Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards Pinot Noir, 2012, Willamette Valley, Oregon. Established in 1987, this vineyard is a testament to how quickly knowledge and skill can spread in the contemporary wine world, creating an excellent wine that would’ve taken decades, if not centuries to develop in the world of medieval France. While the 2011 season was a bit cooler, 2012 in the Northwest was much warmer. Don’t be fooled by the screw cap; there’s great stuff inside. This is a red that’s a bit deeper than the one we just looked at. The nose is a very nice balance of earth and ripe red fruit. It also has a dry palate, very well-balanced acidity and tannin, the tannin in this case being fine-grained and ripe. The alcohol, weighing in at 13.7% by volume, is exceptionally well-integrated, as are each of the components, into a harmonious medley. The body is medium to medium-plus flavor intensity of ripe raspberry, hints of cherry, ripe strawberry, and the subtle background earthiness they combine to create to make this an excellent one for drinking on its own and for pairing with foods, something rarely accomplished with such balance. The flavors hold right to the finish. We tried this wine just a few weeks ago, but since it’ll be at the tasting I thought it deserved mention again. I also thought it deserved 92 points.Dylan’s Ghost “Hell Hollow” 2010 Proprietary Red Wine, Meritage, Napa Valley, Calif. There’s poetry on the back label, from Dylan Thomas: “I hold the beast, an angel and a madman in me, and my efforts are their self-expression.” The wine is described as a Left Bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, in this case 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 40 percent Cabernet Franc. The fruit was hand harvested, with the maceration period of 26 to 42 days, and it was bottled without fining or filtration. So, we’re moving from wine inspired by western France’s Burgundy region, to Bordeaux in the Southwest. It’s a solid, heavy bottle with a deep punt (that indentation in the bottom that increases the inner surface area). This blend is purple in the glass with a light purple to clear rim. Its medium-intensity nose boasts black fruit and medicinal notes, and a slight hint of eucalyptus in the background. Alcohol is 14.4 percent abv. It is a dry wine with a strong tannin complement, coarse and mouth coating, with medium acidity and medium body. Medium-plus flavor intensity within earthiness that carries the medicinal notes I mentioned earlier, standing on a bed of black fruit, cassis, very ripe plum, blackberry. Lots going on here. This one has an overall profile that is akin to many Cabernets coming out of South America. There’s vanilla there too, from the many months in oak barrels. 88 points.
So, there you have it. If this and the past couple of columns haven’t revved you up for New Hampshire’s Wine Week, I expect nothing will. Go forth and enjoy!
(For more information on New Hampshire Wine Week events, go to nhwineweek.com.)
Beer lovers, I have not abandoned you, but the season must be given its due. I had actually intended to include several beers in this column and when I was shopping at Hannaford’s over the weekend I went to the place at the end of the aisle near the frozen foods where there were several shelves of 12-ounce bottles set forth for a mix-and-match six pack at $9.99. I put my 6 singles on the conveyor at the checkout, but was then told by the cashier that they weren’t sold separately. Methinks there was some failure to communicate… I will try again and let you know.
Contact local beer and wine writer Jim Beauregard at tastingnotesnh.com.