Wine & Food

Snooth User: outthere

Pinot and Fine eats at John Ash & Co, 7th Annual Pinot Family Reunion

Posted by outthere, Jul 11, 2011.

Had a fun time yesterday at the Vintners Inn/Jon Ash & Co in Santa Rosa tasting a slew of nice Pinot Noirs and eating some real tasty food. The event is an annual fund raiser for Sutter Hospital with lots of local big name wineries on hand. We arrived a little late as we were staying for the following family styled dinner featuring the same wines. A few of the labels had poured out such as Kosta Browne and Ketcham Estate. Somewhere aorund 40 different brands. A lot to do in 1-1/2 hours so we grazed the best we could and the follwing notes are my highlights. Not real lengthy notes. Too much to digest in a short time. Hope you enjoy them though.

  • 2009 Siduri Pinot Noir Rosella's Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (7/10/2011)
    This backed up the'09 SLH nicely and showed off it's spice, tartness and great texture. Lots of upside to this wine. Both the Siduri wines were in my wheelhouse.
  • 2009 Siduri Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands (7/10/2011)
    Dark color, floral, dark cherry and raspberry nose. Ripe fruit but not over done. Great central coast blend of Rosella's, Pisoni and Gary's fruit.
  • 2009 Holdredge Pinot Noir Bucher - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    Dark ruby color, black cherry on the nose and palate combined with a soft herbal note Finished medium and smooth.
  • 2009 Holdredge Pinot Noir Mazie Rose - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    This Holdredge flight consistently got better. The Maize was very expressive with lots of cherry and blackberry fruit, bright acidity, minerals and glycerin on a long finish. Wow.
  • 2009 Holdredge Pinot Noir Selection Massale - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    Same dark ruby color as the Bucher with a bit of funk on the nose. The palate exhibited some spiciness to go with the black cherry and finished with some strawberry notes. Yum.
  • 2009 Holdredge Pinot Noir "Shaken Not Stirred" - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    This one was icing on the cake. All kinds of fruit. Cherry, strawberry and blackberry balanced with nice acidity good structure and a long savory finish. WOTN.
  • 2008 Littorai Pinot Noir Platt Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/10/2011)
    If it wasn't for the Holdredge wines Littorai would have stole the show. Great coastal fruit exhibiting peppery notes to go with some barnyard notes. Big spicy red fruit palate and a long long finish.
  • 2008 Littorai Pinot Noir The Haven - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/10/2011)
    Interesting nose of herbs and rose petals which roll over into the palate to accentuate the black and red fruit. Tartness is very up front and carries through the finish with moderate but smooth tannins. Littorai fruit rocks.
  • 2008 Littorai Pinot Noir The Pivot Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/10/2011)
    This one would benefit from some cellar time but is really a treat to drink now which speaks to its potential. Nice notes of cherry, earth, black tea and some smokiness that isn't wild fire related but terrior driven. Love the coastal fruit. Very distinctive.
  • 2007 Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Estate Bottled - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (7/10/2011)
    This one almost mirrored the Benovia with rich fruit, mouth coating texture and a touch of sweetness. Too extracted for a pinot but again the table seemed to like it.
  • 2008 Gracianna Pinot Noir Bacigalupi - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    This wine is consistent if nothing else. Cinnamon, cherry and plum abound but it finishes with a nice spiciness that lingers for a good 30+ seconds.
  • 2009 Gracianna Pinot Noir Bacigalupi - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    This one had much more going on with it. Earthy notes on the nose accentuate the red and black fruit. Pretty wine with a light to medium texture, soft fruit and lengthy finish.
  • 2008 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Meredith Estate - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    Floral and cherry notes take control here but are balanced out with real nice acidity and a mineral and soft tannin finish. Tasty wine.
  • 2008 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    This one was a bit hot and the alcohol took away from what seemed like nice notes of tar, leather and cherry. Needs time to balance out.
  • 2008 Twomey Pinot Noir Russian River Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    The waiter brought this one when we finished the Benovia and Sonoma-Cutrer. Another fruit forward wine with too candied a taste. A little more structure than the previous bottles but in the end not real notable. Nice acid and a fairly smooth finish but just OK.
  • 2009 Benovia Pinot Noir Russian River Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (7/10/2011)
    This one was on the table for dinner. Very fruit forward with a dark ruby color and mouth coating texture, dark fruit and almost no acidity. A little over the top for me but others at the table liked it

 

Replies

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 11, 2011.

Thanks, outthere, for sharing. Wouldn't mind having such access to the Littorai bottlings, as well as others....

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 11, 2011.

Next time tell us how to get an invite! There's a cool lunch restaurant behind the Sutter Med building in SR--weekdays only, lunch only, so drinking is kind of a low priority, but really good French food hard by the highway.  Can you also post the prices so I can make some buying decision?

And please, outthere, post more.  Your insights and access for Sonoma are really great.  (HondaJohn, that goes for you, too.)  As experienced Snoothers know, I like the underdogs: Sonoma (esp DCV) over Napa, Spain over France.

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Reply by outthere, Jul 12, 2011.

In that redwood sided office complex behind Kohls? That place does a great lunch.

The Littorais are in the $60-75 range

Holdredge wines are $35-45

The two Siduris were low to mid $40's but range across the board from like $20 to 60

The Gracianna is $48

Merry Edwards $40-50

Twomey $45

Benovia $45

Sonoma-Cutrer  $24

 

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 12, 2011.

The restaurant is called Chloe's--just looked it up.  BTW, if you like the bread, they'll sell you a loaf, but they don't advertise it.  Shame, because it's really good and about $2.95 a baguette, which is cheaper than anything in the closer Bay Area.  And far better than Semifreddi, Metropolitan, La Farine.  Although I feel lucky to have all those and a ton of great wine shops in my back yard.  It's sick that I can go about a mile in any direction and get amazing wine and bread--as close to living in Paris as you can get in the US.  My friends back from a year in Paris were actually saying that the restaurants here are a better value, although wine there was a relative bargain, thanks to subsidies. 

Thanks for posting the prices.  Sounds like a great event. I've got vineyard designated pinots from Rosella's, Garys' and Pisoni, so it will be interesting to try the Siduri blend.

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Reply by outthere, Jul 12, 2011.

Adam Lee of Siduri is real deft at hiding alcohol in his wines. Many people mistake his wines for lower abv than listed on the label when tasting blind.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 12, 2011.

Including some folks who were not happy when he fooled them right after saying that they wouldn't buy PN with ABV over 14%. 

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Reply by outthere, Jul 12, 2011.

I hate wine snob somm's ;-)

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 12, 2011.

But I love snob somms who think a) they're god's gift to us, the unwashed, b) know all that's worth knowing about wine, c) anybody who employs them is an extremely lucky person, and d) they know more than they actually do know. Why wouldn't anybody?

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 12, 2011.

Sounds like a nice event, Outthere.  I went to a Pinot tasting on Sunday but haven't brought myself to report back just yet.  I'm still a little bit awash in Pinot, but came out of it a little better off.

Agree with you on the Twomey, wouldn't buy that label again.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Jul 12, 2011.

What a killer write-up on a killer event. Thanks for taking the time to share.  Love Holdregde's wines. For a loud mouth lawyer from Detroit he's gottta pretty deft touch!

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jul 12, 2011.

Okay, gotta sneak some Holdredge into the cellar on GDP's reco, and find some cash--the untraceable kind--to buy that and the Siduri, since I just dropped a bundle on 4 bottles of Roar Pinots from Pisoni and Rosella's Vineyards, all so I can compare the grower's expression of those grapes to Adam Lee's. ;-)

BTW, we all know the ABV numbers are bogus, right?  According to a winemaker I know, cab makers routinely claim higher ABV than it would test out to be. I kind of think that's gotta be changing, if it was ever common practice.  For tax reasons, you want to keep it under (I think) 14%.

Lee's stunt was kind of, well, a stunt, but the fear that this particularly snobby somm was trying to cause was pretty pathetic, too. If that's your decision, then fine, but don't go shouting it just to scare diners who are afraid to trust their own taste and to justify your own little bit of tyranny.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 13, 2011.

OK, you've all talked me into hunting for the Holdredge, too. Haven't had a single bottle yet. Unfortunately, nor have I seen any on Tokyo shop shelves. Guess there is some value to online ordering, assuming I can find somewhere that vends those wines.

Hmmm, for the 2009 all I find on winesearcher is Chambers, Sussex and Sokolin, all in New York. Open up the vintages and then I find Wally's in LA, K&L, HDH and a very few others....

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 13, 2011.

outthere, if there was any way to provide metrics on our stimulated purchasing behavior, you should qualify for some free wine from Holdredge, at least...

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Reply by outthere, Jul 13, 2011.
Edited Jul 13, 2011

dmcker: Now your talking. I'll take it up with John. Uh huh...

I would contact them direct and see if they have the capacity to ship overseas. Good time to buy is on Berserker Day @ WineBerserkers.com in late January. He always offers a nice lineup at a reduced price. Caveat is keeping your wineberserkers membership open. Great day to buy wine though.

Enjoyed a 2008 Holdredge "11" last night that was really tasty. Was my last bottle. May need to talke a drive to H'burg this weekend.

Foxall: Got the Roar offer this week as well. A bit tapped though after buying my Myriad cab allotment last week. Ouch, but oh so worth it.

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Reply by napagirl68, Jul 14, 2011.

Darn... missed it by a few days!  Had fun in the area tho... tasted Taft St. which I really liked, as well as a few others.

One I wanted to taste and didn't was Woodenhead for the pinot... it was closed when we drove in.   Have you tasted it?  Any impressions if so?  Heard it won last Pigs and Pinot...


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