We tasted tonight (9/18/19) some New Amador Wines:
1. OverlookWnry Viognier AmadorCnty (14.4%; www.OverlookWinery.com) Drytown 2018: Med.yellow color;
attractive pear/Viog light pencilly/oak some floral/spicy quite lovely nose; lightly tart some
floral/pear/Viog/gardenias/rather spicy light pencilly/oak flavor; very long/lingering some pear/
Viog/floral finish; not particularly intense but very well made w/ a laser-sharp focus on the Viog
character; well far away from DollyParton territory. $18.00 (A360)
2. St.Amant Verdelho AmadorCnty (Miss Independent; 13.9%; www.stamantwine.com) Woodbridge 2018: Med.yellow
color; quite attractive floral/carnations slight earthy/dusty slight citrus/herbal nose; bit soft
strong floral/carnations/gardenias light earthy flavor; very long floral/carnations/slight pineapple
slight earthy finish; quite a pretty aromatic white on the light side but very fairly priced.
$17.00 (A360)
2a. Clime Falanghina VianiVnyd/ElDorado (12.1%) Placerville/ElD 2017: Pale yellow color; quite fragrant
floral/carnations/perfumed talc slight spicy/cardamon very attractive nose; lightly tart/tangy fairly
rich/lush light Falan/carnations/floral/perfumed talc/cardamon slight metallic/stony/steely quite
attractive flavor med.long bit tart/tangy/citric light floral/carnations/perfumed talc slight cardamon/
spicy quite pretty finish; really attractive aromatics that you don't often get in Falanghina from
Campania; quite a pretty white. $15.00 (CB)
3. St.Amant Trousseau AmadorCnty (The Little Bastard; 13.5%) 2016: Light garnet color; very fragrant/
perfumed Trouss/floral/cherry/cherry cola/bright bit toasty/oak some earthy/dusty quite attractive
nose; lightly tart bright cherry/cherry cola/floral rather earthy/dusty slight toasty/oak light flavor
w/ light tangy tannins; very long bright/cherry cola/floral light earthy/loamy finish w/ light tannins;
the earthy character suggests a Jura Trousseau; quite a pretty Vin de Soif at a good price. $21.00 (A360)
4. LaFolia Dolcetto SierraFoothills (15.2%; www.LaFoliawine.com/) RyanTeeter/Copperopolis 2013: Med.dark
color; some earthy/dusty rather Dolcetto/grapey/bit floral rather fragrant attractive nose; some tart/
tangy fairly strong Dolcetto/grapey/floral/plummy slight earthy flavor w/ modest tangy/bitey tannins;
very long bit tart/tangy strong grapey/Dolcetto/bit floral finish w/ modest tangy tannins; quite a
pretty rendition of Dolcetto and not as hard/grapey/tannic as many Piemonte Dolcettos. $28.00 (A360)
5. MatthewGibsonWnry Nebbiolo Estate/SierraFoothills (14.4%; www.MatthewGibsonWinery.com)
GibsonFamily/Ione 2014
: Med.light garnet bit orange colorvery attractive floral/Nebb/lilacs/violets/
spicy slight tarry/pungent classic Nebb nose; quite tart/tangy fairly strong floral/lilacs/violets/
Nebb/rose petal slight tarry flavor w/ modest hard/gritty tannins; very long/lingering somewhat floral/
Nebb/lilacs/rose petal slight tarry finish w/ hard gritty tannins; needs age; a pretty classic rendition
of Nebb w/ lots of floral character but pretty agressive tannins yet. $36.00 (A360)
6. FiddletownCllrs Zin JackRabbitFlat/FoxCreekVnyds (14.5%; www.FiddletownCellars.com) Plymouth 2017:
Med.dark color; very strong briary/Amador/blackberry/Zin/fairly spicy quite fragrant nose; lightly tart
strong briary/Amador/Zin/spicy/blackberry/bright light pencilly/oak flavor w/ some hard/brisk tannins;
very long spicy/briary/AmadorZin slight peppery bit oak finish w/ modest hard tannins; speaks of classic
ShenandoahVlly/briary Zin; a rather old-timey Amador Zin like some of the early ShenandoahVnyds of
LeeSobon. $36.00 (A360)
7. Binz Zin EsolaVnyd/ShenandoahVlly (13.3%; www.BinzWines.com) GordonBinz/SutterCreek 2013: Dark color;
strong blackberry/very spicy/rather briary/ripe some dusty/OV light pencilly/toasty/oak/bit smokey rather
fragrant nose; lightly tart strong briary/SVZin/blackberry/spicy some pencilly/oak flavor w/ light smooth
tannins; very long classic/briary/AmadorZin some pencilly/toasty/oak finish w/ light smooth tannins;
starting to show a bit of age on the palate; probably about its peak; a bit old-timey classic Esola Zin
like the Ridge Esolas of old but not as much oak; very fairly priced at $20.00 (A360)
8. Bedrock Zin EsolaVnyd (14.4%; Tended by Denise Esola) Sonoma 2017: Dark color; very perfumed very strong
briary/spicy/AmadorZin/blackberry/cassis/bit peppery light toasty/oak lovely nose; lightly tart big/rich/
lush very strong briary/blackberry/AmadorZin/very spicy/bit peppery mouthfilling/structured light toasty/oak
beautiful flavor w/ modest ripe tannins; very long/lingering very strong AmadorZin/briary/blackberry/cassis/
very spicy/bit peppery structured finish w/ modest ripe tannins; needs 3-6 yrs yet; a beautiful classic
briary Amador Zin of old; reminds some of the old CarnerosCreek Esolas but less alcohol & oak. $35.00
9. St.Amant Souzao AmadorCnty (13.5%; www.StAmantWine.com) Woodbridge 2017: Very dark/near black color; very
strong grapey/bit Port-like/bit licorice/pungent lovely aromatic nose; bit soft very strong grapey/Port-like/
bit chocolaty/licorice/boysenberry flavor w/ modest ripe/bit tangy tannins; very long/lingering strong ripe/
grapey/Port-like/plummy/some chocolaty/licorice rather structured finish w/ some ripe tannins; needs another
3-8 yrs yet; an outstanding red much like a dry Duoro red at a great price. $21.00 (A360)
10. Portalupi {Barbera} ShakeRidgeRanch/AmadorCnty (14.6%; www.portalupiwine.com) Geyserville 2016: Very dark
color; strong very spicy/Barbera/Italian sausage/fennel/blackberry/black cherry light toasty/oak beautiful
fragrant nose; fairly tart very strong classic Barbara very spicy/blackberry/Italian sausage/black cherry
cola structured flavor w/ some hard tannins; very long/lingering very spicy/Barbera/fennel/Italian sausage
quite structured fairly acid finish w/ some grippy tannins; very structured and needs 3-8 yrs of age; some
like the old Montevina Barberas but less oak and more structured; one of the best Barberas I've had this yr.
$42.00 (A360)
11. fate PetiteSirah DoubleBarrel ShenandoahOaksVnyd/AmadorCnty (13.6%; www.FateWines.com) Plymouth 2017:
Med.dark color; fairly strong blackberry/PS slight peppery/spicy light toasty/vanilla/oak pleasant if a bit
simple PS nose; bit soft some toasty/Am.oak light PS/peppery/bit blackberry some old-timey flavor w/ light
gentle tannins; long rather light/PS/peppery some vanilla/Am.oak slight earthy finish w/ light tannins;
a rather old-timey Calif PS along the lines of the old Parduccis; pleasant enough red but just that.
$30.00 (A360)
12. Aratas PetiteSirah ShakeRidgeVnyd/AmadorCnty (15.1%; Aged: 23 mo. in Hungarian oak; www.AratasWine.com)
MikeDrash/Napa 2011
: Very dark/black color; strong pungent/licorice bit blackberry/PS strong toasty/oak slight
spicy/peppery nose; soft strong blackberry/PS/licorice/pungent/boysenberry very strong toasty/oak structured
flavor w/ ample hard/ripe tannins; long strong blackberry/boysenberry/PS/licorice/bit chocolaty quite toasty/
charred/oak finish w/ ample hard tannins; a pretty big expression of PS but slammed w/ a lot of oak; tastes
like an Amador PS made by a NapaVlly Cab producer; just seems to be lacking something but oak. $45.00 (A360)
13. Uvaggio Charbono vitigno oscuro/ElDoradoCnty (13.5%; www.Uvaggio.com) L'Uvaggio di Giacomo/Napa
: Very dark/black color; rather earthy/dusty/bit loamy some licorice/grapey/bit chocolaty some toasty/
oak bit rustic very interesting nose; bit soft strong licorice/chocolaty/Charbono/grapey/bit plummy some
earthy/loamy light toasty/oak slightly rustic flavor w/ modest ripe tannins; very long/lingering grapey/
Charbono/chocolaty/licorice earthy/loamy some toasty/oak bit rustic finish w/ light ripe tannins; shows
some of that oafish/bit coarse character of Charbono w/ a bit of the ElDorado earthy/mushroomy character;
much like a PetiteSirah but stronger in character; very good expression of Charbono at a very fair price.
$24.00 (A360)
More lipoparp from TheBloodyPulpit:
1. St.Amant: This is a wnry I've followed from the very start. Their first Port (1981). Started by TimSpencer w/
a vnyd in the JacksonVlly of Amador. Their WebSite (www.stamantwine.com) has an entertaining story on how Tim
segued from grape grower into winemaker. Tim died in 2006 and St.Amant is now run by his widow, Barbara, and
his son, Stuart. The original focus was Ports from Portgese varieties, but has now expanded slightly to dry
wines from Portugese varieies and Zin.
I was pretty impressed by these three St.Amants. I haven't had a St.Amant since I had the '83 Port about a
yr ago (terrific Port). I need to try more of their wines. I wish I'd have stopped in when I went thru Lodi
several weeks ago on my way to Darrell's.
2. AmadorCnty: I have, of course, followed the wines of AmadorCnty from the very start...CharlieMeyer's ho-made
DeaverVnyd Zin '64. The '70-'80's were probably the heyday for the big/ripe/briary Amador Zins. Led by
SutterHome (until about '76), Montevina/ShenandoahVnyds, and Renwood. All big flashy/in-your-face Zins. But
there were also a lot of less-good Zins, mostly on the high-alcohol/overripe side. In fact, it became to be
called "Amateur County" because of their quality. For the last 20 yrs or so, the Easton/TerreRouge wines have
probably been the best coming out of AmadorCnty.
When I visited the ShenandoahVlly a few weeks ago, I stopped in at Amador360, a terrific wine shop in the
heart of Plymouth, and picked up this mixed case of things I wanted to try. Mostly new producers and non-Zin
varietals. I was rather impressed by this selection of Amador wines as showing better winemaking and greater
diversity in varieties and styles than ever before. Probably their best wines ever are coming out of AmadorCnty
these days.
3. Esola: I have, of course, followed the EsolaVnyd from the very start, back when it was farmed by Ernie & John
Esola. Ernie was married to Lena d'Agostini Esola, a famous name up in AmadorCnty. Ernie & Lena were a
terrific/down-home couple who I once intervied for an article on Zins of the Esola&Eschen Vnyds in Vintage
magazine, back in the late '70's. Ernie tragically died in a welding tank explosion some yrs ago and the vnyd,
at least the Zin part, is now managed by their daughter, Denise Esola.
Esola Zin was made by both Ridge & CarnerosCreek from about '73 until '78. Both dropped the vnyd, not because
of the quality of the grapes, but because of the harvesting logistics and issues of overripeness. The vnyd,
though still producing, sorta vanished from my radar. Morgan picked up the Esola vnyd several yrs ago and has
now returned Esola Zin to the greatness it once enjoyed. In fact, probably the best Zins ever now coming out
of Esola.
4. Uvaggio: This is a NapaVlly producer that makes a lot of interesting wines from everywhere but Napa Calif.
JimMoore is the winemaker but MelKnox, who sells a lot of Fr.oak barrels in Calif, is the primary Uvaggio shill.
The wines have more of an old-world sense and very reasonably priced. This Charbono was one of the better ones
I've had in a number of yrs, save for the great ArbeGarbe Charbono.