Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Savory White Wine Of France, California And Oregon

Serendipity is a beautiful thing.  I stumbled upon one wine event on the way to another that was being held in the same hotel at the same time.  The event featured wines represented by the Estates Group, a division of Southern California wine distributor Young's Market Company.  Here are some quick notes on some very fine - mostly savory - wines.

Dominique Lafon Wines

Dominique Lafon is considered a pioneer in Burgundy and one of France's finest winemakers.  He oversees his own properties and is the consulting winemaker for America's Evening Land Vineyards as well.  Lafon took over his family’s estate in 1987 and raised a few eyebrows as he moved away from traditional farming methods involving chemicals.  He improved the quality of the fruit and proved his critics were wrong when they said his wines would never amount to anything.  His bottlings - particularly the premier cru wines - command a hefty price.  My thanks to the hosts for allowing me to step in and sample.

Bourgogne Blanc 2010
Smoky nose with tropical fruit.  Savory grapefruit edge on the palate, but not tart.  Gentle acidity.

Bourgogne Blanc 2011
Light nose, savory flavors of melon, cantaloupe.  Gentle acidity.

Meursault 2011
Lightly smoky nose , savory pear on the palate.

Meursault Les Narvaux 2011
Smoke, pear juice aromas, savory flavors of pear and white peach.

Puligny Montrachet, Premier Crus Champ Gain 2011
Nice, savory melon and pear.

Volnay Villages 2011
Delicate nose of strawberry and roses.  Bright cherry and strawberry on the palate.

Beaune Epenottes Premier Cru 2011
Beautiful acidity.  Nose of dusty strawberry, palate showing beautiful cherries and roses.

Volnay Les Lurets 2011
Lovely, delicate nose, bright fruit palate.


Evening Land Vineyards

Always seeking great vineyard sites, Evening Land started with Occidental Vineyard in Sonoma Coast, moved north to Seven Springs Vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley, then to Burgundy.Producing wines in California, Oregon and Burgundy presents some logistical hoop-jumping as well as some neccessary duplication of efforts.  Winemakers Isabel Meunièr and Cristophe Vial oversee the Evening Land wines in America and France, respectively.  Dominique Lafon consults.  The company’s Central Coast California offerings will be going by the wayside as their American arm shifts its focus to the Sonoma Coast.

Au Château de Bligny Pouilly-Fuissé 2011  $28
Malolactic fermentation, 35% of the wine spent eight months in french oak, the remainder rested in a tank.  Tropical fruit on the nose, with a mouthful of minerals, tangerine peel and lemon. Brilliant acidity

Chardonnay Eola-Amity Hills, Seven Springs Vineyard 2011  $65
Whole cluster pressed, and the herbal element comes through.  Aged eleven months in oak, another five months in steel tanks.  The Eola-Amity Hills AVA is located within Oregon's Willamette Valley.  Smoky oak on the nose, savory fruit on the palate.

Chardonnay, Edna Valley 2011  $25
Single vineyard, two miles from the Pacific Ocean at 900-foot elevation.  Barrel fermentation in French oak, whole cluster pressed.  Smoky minerals with a savory, tart palate.

Au Château de Bligny Bourgogne Rouge 2011  $25
Least expensive of the Evening Land French wines.  Half is aged in French oak for ten months, the rest in stainless steel.  Aromas of roses, light cherry flavors.

Pinot Noir, Eola-Amity Hills 2011  $50
Aged 16 months in French Oak.  Funky nose, cherry and strawberry on the palate.

Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, Occidental Vineyard 2011  $120
A real terroir wine.  12-14 months in French oak, a miniscule amount made.  Smoky funk dots the nose, while the palate shows delicate flavors of  cherry and plum.