Showing posts with label Tangent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tangent. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It was dark, drizzly and cold in Los Angeles at lunchtime.  Ahh, perfect weather for the middle of May!  I tend to shy away from white wine in colder weather, but we were at Itacho for Japanese food, so I thought I'd give the wine list a quick look-see.

Two wines down I saw "Tangent," so I stopped and ordered.  Tangent is a favorite of mine from the Central Coast's Edna Valley.  The winery specializes in "alternative white wines." Their list includes such offbeat varietal wines as Grenache Blanc, Albarino, Pinot Blanc and Ecclestone, their white blend.

In that context Sauvignon Blanc may seem positively ordinary, but Tangent's Sauvignon Blanc is not ordinary.

Tangent uses no oak or malolactic fermentation in any of their wines in order to let the fruit stand on its own.  Winemaker Christian Roguenant harvests the fruit in three stages and then employs a number of different lots throught production.  His aim is to bring the styles of France and New Zealand together in one wine.

The grapes for Tangent's Sauvignon Blanc come from Edna Valley's Paragon Vineyard.  The vines have been there since 1973,  which makes them among the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vines in the Central Coast.

The wine carries an alcohol number of 13.5% abv.  It has a metal screwcap - as do all of Tangent's wines - and lists for $13.

The wine was served ice cold, which I do not prefer because it inhibits the bouquet and flavors.  Also, the weather wasn't exactly reminding me of summertime, so a lightly chilled wine would have been nice on this day.

Its color is lightly tinted, and the nose not all that grassy.  Minerals are apparent in the aromas, the scent of wet rocks making a big play.  The taste - which I expect to be full of grapefruit - is more heavy with green apples and tropical notes.  There is a bit of citrus in the profile, but it's not in the forefront.  the acidity is good and the wine provides a nice middle-weight mouthfeel.

I had it with Japanese food and found that it went very well with the spicy tuna roll, a sweet eggplant dish and mushrooms with broccoli.  I wasn't too wild about the way it paired with the freshwater eel sushi, however.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tangent Ecclestone 2007

Spring starts on March 20th this year.  That knowledge plus the weather turning a shade warmer in Southern California today put me in mind of some of the wines I thoroughly enjoyed last spring and summer.  And autumn, for that matter.

Ecclestone, from the Tangent Winery in California's Edna Valley region, is one of my favorites for when the last vestiges of winter have gone away for a while.  Tangent is an offshoot of Baileyana Winery.  You might expect a winery which specializes in white wines - and which has "tangent" as its name - to vary from the mainstream occasionally.  They do.  This "alternative white wine" utilizes so many varieties, it could be named "Pinot Kitchen Sink."  Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Albarino all combine to produce this unique and fascinating wine.

There is a very modern flair to the label with clean lines a crisp design. Remember those descriptive words.  They'll come in handy later when describing the wine.

Ecclestone's nose is gorgeous.  It's full of flowers.  It has one of the most intensely floral bouquets I can remember.  Orange blossom is billed, but to my nose it's more like honeysuckle with a splash of orange.  If you recall the intensity of the smell when walking near a honeysuckle, the first sniff of this wine is much like that.  Try to serve it only moderately chilled, as those floral notes really explode when not fully refrigerated.

The flowers don't quit after you smell them.  There is a floral carpet laid upon the palate as well, one which I welcome each time I experience it.  Citrus notes are here, along with a clean and crisp minerality that braces and refreshes.  There's a stony quality to the minerals that comes through, as opposed to chalky.  I love this wine on the deck on a nice warm afternoon.  It refreshes in much the same way a cold, hoppy ale does.  It just seems made for the sunshine. The acidity is certainly there, too, so don't think this is just a sipper.  Serve it with salads, Kalamata olives, mild cheddar or a nice plate of scallops.

Variety:   Pinot Gris, Viognier, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Muscat and Albarino
Appellation: California > Central Coast > San Luis Obispo > Edna Valley
Vintage: 2007
Alcohol Level: 13.5% abv
Price: $20
Acquisition disclaimer: Purchased by the author

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tangent Paragon Vineyard Riesling 2007

The Bottle: For me, no trip to Edna Valley is complete without a stop at what may well be my favorite winery anywhere. Tangent's "alternative whites" are a big attraction to me. This one is no exception. This wine cost $20 at the winery, a price I was happy to pay. But I'll get to that later. The abv is 14.1%. The back label offers a bit of exposition about the grape; the best-known varietal from Germany and the most prestigious from the Alsace region of France. They promise that the Edna Valley version will offer vibrant minerality and flavors of melon and peach. The wine is unoaked and did not go through malo-lactic fermentation.

The Nose:
The minerals come through quite strongly in the aroma, like rain-wet gravel. Minerality is what Edna Valley wines are all about, and nowhere more than at Tangent. I get some white peach notes and a restrained citrus aspect, too.

The Taste: The acidity grabs me right away. This is a great food wine. Dry and succulent at the same time, here are the peach and melon flavors they advertised. The finish is quite lengthy and there's a very enjoyable aftertaste. I tried this with with a tofu ceviche, California roll, spinach and ricotta calzone and some brie and hummus - a real multinational dinner - and it was an unqualified winner with all.