(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.
(2021) From the coastal-influenced and relatively cool Pinot country of the Russian River Valley, this wine was matured in French oak barrels, 35% new. It has a lovely spice and aromat nose, infused with the mocha coffee of the barrels, but delightful fruit too, little earth and truffle aromas adding complexity. The palate has a more raspberry-like, firm juiciness of fruit, but then that density of chocolate weight and creamy tannins, with finely-balanced acidity extends the finish with its fresh edge. Watch the video for food matching suggestions and more information.
(2021) The blend here is Zinfandel, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvèdre and Grenache in a big and generous style. No mention of the oak regime in the notes for this but it certainly sees some oak influence with a mocha coffee and fudge-depth to the aromas. Sweet and creamy on the palate this is formulaic, a dollop of sugar, super-ripe berries, tannins surgically removed and acid balanced on fresh cherry. It's fairly cynical, but fire up the barbie and it will be a winner.
(2021) A certain dustiness and sweet plummy fruit depth here, a touch of tapenade and also some sweet floral aspects as cassis asserts. Smooth and silky on the palate, more toast and nutty oak components showing through, but everything polished and creamy, tannins and acids integrated with the substantial fruit. Stylish. Price and stockist quoted is for a more recent vintage at time of review.
(2021) Made only in stainless steel ('Acero') with no oak contact, Marimar selects the most intense fruit from the coolest, ocean-influenced sites for this cuvée. The nose has a gentle creaminess, presumably from some lees ageing, nutty and creamy apple fruit and a zesty hint of lemon. On the palate good bite and freshness here, clarity to the fruit and acidity, which is well-balanced without being aggressive. It's a wine that does not have the sharp precision of the best Chablis (unsurprisingly) and arguably should or could be a few pounds cheaper in my opinion, but it is elegant, restrained and delicious.