(2022) A sumptuous style of Pinot this, brimming with the ripe fruit of California, bramble and nicely ripe red and black berries, but exotic too, Sandalwood and perfumed spices moving into floral notes. The fruit becomes more piquant and cherry-ripe with a little air. On the palate there is masses of sweetness and intensity, real concentrated and firm-edged black fruit, hints of bitter dark chocolate and spiciness to spare. Juicy but tart and mouth-watering plumskin grip from tannins and fine liquorice acidity adds some cut and thrust too. A relatively large-scaled Pinot, but very nicely made indeed.
(2022) Old vine Zinfandel weighing in with 14.8% alcohol, blended with around 10% Petite Sirah and other red varieties aged in French and American oak. Big and bountiful nose, crammed full of berries and spices, rich in dark chocolate and presenting that unique Zinfandel blast of hedonistic pleasure. Succulent and juicy on the palate, it is equally expansive with its fruit depth, but there is some structure and an edge of precision to the welter-weight of plump and sweet black fruits. The long finish cannot help but bring a smile to your face.
(2022) All fruit from the Daou Mountain, hand-picked,l and sorted by optical technology. The wine is fermented with proprietary native yeast from the estate, and aged 22 months in French oak barrels. Immediately aromatic, an intense mulberry and blackcurrant glossy depth with spice and cocoa notes, but there's a higher-toned floral aspect too, adding to the complexity. The palate has a silky texture and a smooth, velvety core of pure cassis and black plum. Lots of juiciness here, but also pot-pourri aromas and spices continuing. Touches of roses and patchouli continually draw one back to the aromas. A large-scaled but beautifully proportioned wine, where the attention to detail is writ large in every mouthful.
(2022) Very nicely pitched, succulent Chardonnay with a sheen of almondy oak and juicy pear and apple, a hint of lime. In the mouth there's plenty of inherent sweetness to the fruit that is broad and mouth-filling, but it is tangy too, shap apple and citrus adding refreshing clarity, the lightly toasty nougat-like oak sitting nicely in the picture. Stylish.
(2022) From a biodynamic estate in Rutherford, Napa, that is dedicated to this single Bordeaux blend (91% Cabernet Sauvignon plus Cab Franc, Merlot, Carmenere and Petit Verdot). The wine spent 22 months in French oak barrels, 60% new. It has an arresting nose, where balsamic and liquorice notes play against ripe black fruits, intriguing hints of anise and flowers, graphite, but a solidity too. In the mouth the sweet fruit and thick, creamy tannin coats the tongue. There's a hint of something edgy and herbal, and the acid beautifully pitched, adding a rasp of extra grippy freshness. Subtle spicing and dark, olive-twisted savoury fruit dominate the long finish. Very impressive and surely with a 20 years of cellaring potential. The wine will be released on Bordeaux's 'La Place' in September 2022 before being distributed to retailers.
(2022) Bringing back happy memories of a visit there a few years ago, this comes from the historic Hanzell Vineyard, part-fermented in barrel and aged one year in French oak barrels. Light gold in colour, some custard and Brazil nut oak character over very clean and precise peach and lemon. The palate has a juiciness that stays firm and focused, not veering into the more tropical spectrum, but the sweetness of ripe juicy apple and pear, with a lemony thrust of extending acidity.
(2022) The 75% zinfandel is blended with 24% syrah and 1% petite sirah, the whole lot aged 22 months in oak, 20% new. Big, spicy, plump and ripe, there's a hint of volatility to blackberry and very ripe plum aromas. These lead on to a palate that is chewy and dense, the fruit packed on top of a stripe of tannin and plum skin acidity in a big-hearted mouthful of steak-friendly red.
(2022) A southern Rhône-style blend, 40% syrah, 33% grenache, 21% mourvèdre, 3% counoise and 3% terret noir aged nine months in oak vats. Attractively bright and peppery on the nose, quite a cool climate Syrah feel in a way, the blackberry fruit coming through on the medium-bodied palate, where lively acidity and a sinewy thread of tannin adds layering to the sweet fruit.
(2021) Classic barrel-fermented Chardonnay first produced in 1989, this vintage seeing bine months in barrel, 30% new French oak and full malolactic. Loads of almond and crushed oatmeal, and interesting nutty notes, toast and spices, but the fruit is nicely judged - on the palate it becomes quite peachy and succulent, the fruit and a very nice pithy lemon and lime acidity giving cut but generosity too. This is a nicely pitched Chardonnay, creamy and quite hedonistic, but with a bit of steel at its core.
(2021) Albariño vines were first planted in 2007, with the first release in 2010. There's a nice combination of fresh pear and more peachy fruit here, lightly touched by honey. On the palate there is a sweeter tone that a typical Galician wine, more texture and lusciousness too. Not so saline and crisp as a typical Spanish wine, but has a larger-scaled and sweet presence that is a different but very lovely expression of Albariño.