Wine: Gosset Brut Excellence NV
Reviewer: Jason C
Paired with: Chinese dumplings
Rating: 4 stars
Review: For Valentine’s day dinner we decided to open a bottle of this wine. I had not sipped it in a few years and had forgotten exactly what makes the wines of this producer so different from the others. Unlike many other houses, the wines from Gosset do not go through malo-lactic fermentation, meaning that they keep more of their zingy acidity. The wine is a fairly medium to large bodied effort, with the palate more on the citrus and fresh fruit level. This does not express too much of the brioche or leesy quality you would get from something like Nichoals Feuillatte, which is certainly toastier and less primary. I love the heft of this wine combined with the very fresh and powerful fruit. Because of this combination of acidity and concentration, the wine will pair so well with so many kinds of food. I am so happy to renew my friendship with this wine after a few years. I would suggest if you do not have a lot of experience with different champagne styles, buy both these aforementioned wines so you can determine which style you like. This is a fantastic bottle for the price and is an excellent introduciton to Gosset.
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Went to the ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) grand tasting two weekends ago. This is the huge Zinfandel tasting that takes up 2 whole buildings in San Francisco's Fort Mason every year. Now this is an event which draws thousands of people and it can be a bit of a madhouse. There are so many producers showing that it can be hard to get a handle on which to taste. My strategy was to hit some of the ones I have liked in the past, yet try to taste some new ones as well. I tend to like the Russian River Valley and Mendocino and Napa Zins, along with the more restrained Dry Creek Valley producers. The reason is I like wines that have some acidity and balance to the fruit.
So I spent 4 hours there and here are some highlights, I won't bother describing the low points. From the wineries whom I am already familiar, I loved the whole Ridge lineup, in this case all 2009 Barrel samples. They were all good, but what really popped to me was the Paganni Ranch, really fantastic. The fruit for that wine had a super zingy and blast of red fruits, but balanced. Moving on to Ravenswood, I loved the barrel samples of the Old Hill and Teldeschi (year after year my favorites), these are cellar zins, which need a few years to combine the rather firm structure and loveley elegant and powerful fruit. On to Hartford where the Jolene's and Highwire were literally jumping out of the glass with their textbook Russian River character. Here we have high acidity and very vibrant brambly red fruits and spices. Over at Deloach the OFS was sprightly and again full of the RRV fruit I love so much, sadly they were not showing many of their smaller lot zins. Novy was showing some gorgeous easy to drink wine. A producer whom I have never tasted before, Gamba really excited me with big yet balanced and wonderful wines. Seghesio as usual had some big boned yet wonderful wines. For me the Cortina and Home Ranch really rocked. From Napa I loved the almost Claret like Chateau Montelena. Easton another producer whom I like showed a wonderful Shenandoah wine, and Claudia Springs rocked my world with all their lineup. Another new to me producer was Bedrock, who had a wonderful wine and Gundlach Bundschu was showing some fine form as well.
Anyhow, there were actually many more who I enjoyed, and it seemed to me that many producers were pulling back from some of the port-like monsters.. although there were still many of these producers and they have many fans, just not me. I really feel that people who don't look that deeply into the world of zin are missing something, because they can be such joyful and exhuberant wines. Zap was great.
Wine: Adelsheim 2008 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Reviewer: Jason Carey
Paired with: Mediterranean Mezze Platter
Rating: 4 stars
Review: This is a gorgeous Pinot Noir for the price , showing just why everybody is snapping at the 2008 Oregon wines.
They are structured, yet zingy with acidity. They are ripe but are not just about fruit. This is the entry level PN from Adelsheim, yet every year this bottle shows an elegance and purity that is hard to beat.
Adelsheim is known for its wines more on the lithe spectrum, along with Eyrie.
This particular wine starts with a nose has an interesting darker fruit component than normal for this cuvee, yet, as time moves on in the glass, it develops some earthy and cherry notes, along with a tiny bit of smoky pleasant oak, which does not intrude. There also is an interesting wee bit of chocolate and California Bay Leaf. This wine is stupendous on the nose.. really great. Upon entry to the palate, the wine has a powerful sour and sweet cherry sensation , along with a very smooth and elegant feel. It has a good whack of acidity (the sour cherry) and the spice coming from the tiny oak. There is something very alluring about this wine, and shows how in this vintage this wine which is usually a good value is extra special..
This wine will develop over at leat 5-8 years into something really great, with many complex and alluring secondary characteristics, but is hard to resist now.. a great wine for mediterranean fare, or duck. I have to agree with Wine and Spirits on this one. A warning however to those who like a bigger style, this is not that.
Bravo Adelsheim, sweet fruit along with firm acidity.
This is what makes Oregon Pinot done right a really wonderful thing.
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