Well I just returned from an overnight stay in Point Arena, Mendocino County, and unfortunately did not visit any wineries. Instead most of the time my girlfriend and I were at a wedding party, eating terrific, spicy homemade lamb sausage (aka merguez), venison prepared from a deer recently shot by the groom (yep, it was my first Northern California hippie style wedding), and a wonderful variety of fresh salads and vegetables: tomato and mozzarella, caponata, Israeli cous-cous and corn kernels, shredded beets and cabbage strands in a sweet and tangy dressing. There was cheap, highly chaptalized Cortese and Barbera, so I opted for some Scrimshaw Pilsner instead. Much better.
A few nights ago I tasted a few things at Terroir:
2007 Dashe McFadden Family Farms Potter Valley Zinfandel ‘L’enfant Terrible’– Approachable, juicy, well-behaved zin. Apparently this comes from a single 900 gallon barrel of zin, with very little added sulphur in its production. A bit ripe for my tastes (strange as it’s from fruit grown in the ‘cool’ climate Potter Valley – ok, it actually is really cool there from what I hear, certainly cooler than Napa or much of the Sonoma coast). Dashe zins have recently struck me as being good and ripe though.
2000 Ferret Pouilly Fuisse ‘Les Menetrieres’–
Fully mature, plus a little more maturity. Then again, I tasted from a bottle opened a few days earlier. If you’ve got it in your cellar, drink up this PF from the iconic, now defunct Cote Chalonnaise winery, lovingly depicted in Neil Rosenthal’s recent memoir.
2004 Raveneau Chablis ‘Les Forets’ 1er Cru
Clearly this is very good wine. Very clean, very focused. Very tight and very difficult to describe. Maybe this recently arrived to the shop? My first Raveneau experience. BRIGHT citrus and mineral. But it really seems tight and not too generous right now. I’d like to try it again, maybe even in another 6 months to see what happens.
Luc Massy Chasselas Dezaley Chemin de Fer Grand Cru 2001
My favorite wine of the evening – thanks again for the tastes, Guillhaume. 100% Chasselas from Switzerland (imagine that) labeled as Grand Cru. I would tell you more about the wine but it’s imported by Robert Chadderdon, who of course as everyone knows does not need to have a website or any information about his producers because – as everyone knows – they’re the best. Why offer more info, just buy the wine, and know that you’re getting the best. Anyway, the wine was fleshy, viscous, with some red apple and yellow stone fruit flavors, a touch of red banana, moderate acidity, and super intense minerality. A hint of white pepper as well. Gruner veltliner-like, just alpine style.
2000 Roagna Barbaresco ‘Paje’
Thank you to SFJoe, who was in the house and was generous to give me a taste of this soft, juicy, precocious Barbaresco. Dark fruit, cocoa powder, just a suggestion of secondary flavors; fun and genuinely approachable.