A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life
To subscribe and be notified anytime we post a new article, enter your email address in the box below, then click on Subscribe Now.

Distinctive New Wines

Similar Articles:

  1. 2018 ROSÉS – THE GRAND FINALE
  2. GREAT NEW WINES – RIDGE & TABLAS CREEK
  3. TOAD HOLLOW VINEYARDS
  4. CHANIN WINE COMPANY
  5. 2018 ROSÉS – PART 3
  6. BONNY DOON VINEYARD LAUNCHES A NEW LE CIGARE VOLANT & LE CIGARE BLANC
  7. 2018 ROSÉ – Part 2
  8. RIDGE VINEYARDS – SPRING 2019 RELEASES
  9. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD – SPRING 2019 RELEASES
  10. HAT TRICK WINES FROM TOAD HOLLOW VINEYARDS
  11. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD – FALL 2018 RELEASES
  12. RIDGE VINEYARDS – FALL 2018 RELEASES
  13. 2017 ROSÉS – PART II
  14. 2017 ROSÉS – A REMARKABLE VINTAGE PART I
  15. RIDGE VINEYARDS – SPRING 2018 RELEASES & MORE
  16. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD – SPRING 2018 RELEASES
  17. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD FALL RELEASES
  18. DOMAINE ANNE ET HERVÉ SIGAUT
  19. RIDGE VINEYARDS - FALL 2017 RELEASES & MORE!
  20. 2016 ROSÉS: A GREAT VINTAGE AND MANY BARGAINS
  21. 2016 ROSÉS – TIS THE SEASON & WHAT A SEASON IT IS!
  22. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD SPRING 2017 RELEASES
  23. DOMAINE BALLOT MILLOT & FILS – THE 2014S ARE HERE!
  24. CHANIN WINE COMPANY AND LUTUM WINES – AN OUTSTANDING GROUP OF 2014 CHARDONNAYS AND PINOT NOIRS
  25. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN: A DYNAMIC DUO
  26. 2015 ROSÉS AS SUMMER ENDS AND THE FALL SEASON BEGINS
  27. RIDGE VINEYARDS: SUPERB NEW RELEASES & WINE INGREDIENT LABELING
  28. NEW RELEASES FROM DOMAINE-SAUMAIZE MICHELIN
  29. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD: FIVE OUTSTANDING NEW RELEASES
  30. MORE 2015 ROSÉS
  31. CALERA – LATEST RELEASES
  32. RIDGE VINEYARDS - SPRING 2016 RELEASES
  33. TIS THE SEASON: 2015 ROSÉS ARE HERE
  34. NEW RELEASES FROM TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  35. CALERA WINE COMPANY
  36. DOMAINE BALLOT-MILLOT ET FILS: THE 2013S ARE HERE
  37. 2014 ROSÉS – IS IT THE SEASON OR THE END OF THE SEASON?
  38. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  39. 2014 FRENCH ROSÉS
  40. MORE 2014 ROSÉS
  41. WINE IN A BOX?
  42. 2014 ROSÉS
  43. RIDGE VINEYARDS – SPRING 2015 RELEASES
  44. DOMAINE FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN
  45. NEW RELEASES FROM THE CENTRAL COAST - CALERA AND TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  46. ROSÉ TIME?
  47. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  48. SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD AND QUINTA CRUZ
  49. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN
  50. MORE 2013 ROSÉS
  51. TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  52. 2013 FRENCH ROSÉS
  53. UNDER THE RADAR CHAMPAGNE
  54. 2013 ROSÉS
  55. MORE 2012 ROSÉS
  56. 2012 ROSÉS
  57. UNDER THE RADAR AND VALUE PRICED WHITE WINES, SPARKLING WINES, AND RED WINES FOR SPRING
  58. DOMAINE FRÉDÉRIC ESMONIN
  59. MORE OUTSTANDING 2011 BEAUJOLAIS
  60. NEW WINES AS WE APPROACH 2013
  61. RíAS BAIXAS & ALBARIÑO – SPANISH GEMS
  62. NEW WINES FOR THE UPCOMING HOLIDAYS
  63. RED WINES FOR THE FALL
  64. UNDER THE RADAR & VALUE PRICED ROSÉS AND WHITE WINES
  65. A FEW NEW ROSÉS & WHITE WINES FOR THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER
  66. A VARIED SELECTION FEATURING SOME GREAT WINE VALUES
  67. SOME GREAT NEW WINES FROM OLD FRIENDS AND A FEW NEW SURPRISES
  68. SPRING WILL SOON BE HERE: THESE ARE WINES FOR THE SEASON
  69. A PAIR TO DRAW TO – ALBARIÑO AND TORRONTÉS
  70. MORE TERRIFIC 2010 BEAUJOLAIS, ANOTHER 2009 CHINON, AND A 2007 SAINT JOSEPH PLUS A COUPLE OF INEXPENSIVE RED WINES AND A 2009 SANCERRE FROM ONE OF THE GREATEST PRODUCERS
  71. A SHORT LIST OF NEW WINES TO START THE YEAR
  72. NEW WINES TO CONSIDER AS WE RAPIDLY APPROACH THE END OF THE YEAR
  73. MORE NEW WINES TO FALL INTO
  74. CHANGING OF THE SEASONS - HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS TO FALL INTO
  75. TWO FAVORITE CHAMPAGNE HOUSES
  76. 2010 ROSÉS -- A ROSE IS A ROSE, IS A ROSE, IS A ROSE…BUT A ROSÉ IS A ROSÉ
  77. An Eclectic Selection Of New Wines
  78. Call For Torrontes, Other Terrific Inexpensive White Wines, An Old Friend Chardonnay, And A New Friend Pinot Noir
  79. One New Star Producer For White And Red Burgundy, Revisiting An Old Favorite Producer For Affordable White and Red Burgundy, And Trying To Get Back A Best In Class Rosé
  80. You Don't Know Jura?
  81. Five Lovely Red and White Wines from Northern California
  82. Champagne -- Any Time Is Time For Champagne
  83. More 2009s And A Few Others
  84. More 2009 Beaujolais
  85. Under The Radar 2009 Wines
  86. Even More 2009 Rosés
  87. More 2009 Rosés and Other Wine Bargains
  88. 2009 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Inexpensive 2009 White Wines
  89. A Selection of Reasonably-priced, Premium Wines
  90. Recession Busters/Best Buys
  91. Ah, Spring, The Vintage of the Century Is In the Air!
  92. A Selection from California and France
  93. Bargain Wines/Best Buys
  94. California and French Wines

Five Lovely Red and White Wines from Northern California

Wyatt Peabody • 1/6/11        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

The five wines tasted here from Northern California were a delightful surprise to me.  My palate usually leans toward European wines.  I like earth, unadulterated purity, varietal correctness, balanced alcohol and wines that are made to be aged.  I have had the great pleasure of drinking decades’ old Mayacamas, Diamond Creek, Inglenook, Freemark Abbey and the like.  Contemporary California wines can sometimes be lost on me, with the great exception being producers like Dalla Valle and Ridge, the latter of which I believe to be the most important producer in the Americas, bar none.  But, I must say I really liked these wines from Dry Creek Vineyard and Rock Wall and they are worth searching out.  You won’t be disappointed.

Rock Wall Wine Company.

Established in 2008, located in an airplane hangar on what was once a Naval Air Base in Alameda County, this boutique winery produces wines from some of California’s top grape growing regions.  Noted wine industry veteran Kent Rosenblum is the consulting winemaker.  Rock Wall’s Zinfandels come from Sonoma County and Contra Costa County

Rock Wall 2008 Sonoma County Zinfandel (15.6%)
Vibrant, wild aromas of pure fruit—black cherries, blackberries and plums—with additional nuances of briar, cassis, figs and blueberries.  The palate is big and chewy, with stout tannins and structure, offering ripe blackberry, with undertones of candied boysenberry.  The sweet, clean fruit lingers well past the long, delectable finish.  $25

Rock Wall 2008 Jesse’s Vineyard Contra Costa County (16.3%)
If you like big wine—and love complexity—run to find this wine.  The nose is intense, revealing a labyrinth of aromas: concentrated, ripe black fruit, plums, figs, spice, subtle chocolate and faint candied undertones.  As for the palate—wow—big! Immense tannins, acid and fruit, with a long, broad finish.  This has to calm down. I really want to see where this wine is in ten or fifteen years.  After a few hours in the decanter—some of the candied, extracted nuances burned off, leaving voluptuous layers of pure, ripe fruit.  Built to last, today this wine will stand up beautifully to grilled meat and spice.  $28

Dry Creek Vineyard

Founded in 1972 by David Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard, the first winery built in Dry Creek Valley after Prohibition, revitalized the region’s wine industry which was just a few family farms and prune orchards at that time.  Stare purchased an old prune orchard and began planting vines inspired by trips to the Loire Valley in France.

Dry Creek Vineyard 2009 Dry Chenin Blanc
Surprisingly elegant nose with faint floral spice; subtle nuances of apple and nectarine are pure and clean, followed by subtle salt water taffy.  The palate echoes salt water taffy, which is predominantly overpowered by clean fruit—balanced, good acids and a nice, crisp finish.  A lovely wine.  $12

Dry Creek Vineyard 2009 Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley
An unexpectedly distinctive nose—question: can Sauvignon Blanc show umami?  Hardly typical New World varietal expression; but rather: fat, rich, sensual aromas with faint undertone of racy candied fruit.  The palate is rich in yellow fruit and nectarine, with faint nectar.  The wine finishes a bit short; but nice and clean.  Great food wine!  $16

Dry Creek Vineyard 2009 Fumé Blanc Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County
Shows pleasant aromas of yellow fruit and dried flowers with undertones of sweet nectarine.  The palate is well balanced—fairly soft with good structure, mid-palate and a fairly long, sweet finish—not cloying, but crisp.  With time, additional characteristics of tart green apples and the slightest hint of peach—subtle candied undertones.  Very interesting complexity.  $12

Post a Comment

One comment so far for “Five Lovely Red and White Wines from Northern California”

  • Bill Smart says:

    Hi Wyatt,

    A great review of our wines. I am with you on the balance and food friendliness aspect of wine as well. I find it an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as the other producers you list above. They are among the great producers of California. The hallmark of Dry Creek Vineyard has always been to produce wines that are balanced and food friendly, adhering to the integrity of the varietal, and most importantly, overdelivering in terms of value to the consumer. That’s our mantra and we live it every day.

    Thanks for the review and kind words.

    Cheers,

    Bill Smart
    Dry Creek Vineyard

  • Post a Comment

    Leave a Reply to Bill Smart Cancel reply

    Your email address will not be published.