Wine Impressions - 7-13-19

Whites:
2016 Scribe, Skin-Fermented Chardonnay (500 ml) - a quiet, lower register nose and a lovely, textured mouthfeel with aged Chardonnay flavors. Quite attractive and both Diane and I are happy to have a few more “squatty little bottles” in the cooler.
2014 Louis Michel, Vaudesir - still in its primary stages with brief flashes of a fine future. Hold.
2016 Lioco, Chardonnay Sonoma County - as good a value in domestic Chardonnay as there is; nearly Chablis-like in flavor profile, lovely aromatics and great structure. For now or for later. Bravo!
2018 Gramercy Cellars, Picpoul - crisp, bright, flavorful and ready now; yum.
2018 Cowan Cellars, Ribolla Gialla - always amazes me how much volume this wine has but still with good cut. Typical of the grape and ready now.
2018 Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold - joyous, happy wine . . . and so are we who sip it.
2014 Ladd Cellars, Chardonnay Sonoma Coast - powerful acidity currently in charge - there is a lot here but it is coiled into a very tight ball right now. Hold.
2011 Dom. de Roally, Vire-Clesse - one of the rare wines where a little RS works; rich but etched Chardonnay with considerable length. Even Diane likes it and RS usually sends her running. Nice.
2016 Birichino, Chenin Blanc Jurassic Park Vineyard - 12.5% abv; precise, Chenin made of whole cloth - nothing out of place or over emphasized; layered, deep, nuanced and stunning with roast chicken with lemon-butter sauce.

Reds:
2014 Cowan Cellars, Pinot Noir Anderson Valley - as this gets bottle age it comes together and begins to impress. It started life as black cherry compote but it has morphed into a sort of Volnay-esque Pinot with texture and depth. Sometimes, I even surprise myself.
2016 Birichino, Cinsault Bechthold Vnyd. - quite lactic on day one - on day two its more to expectations with bright fruit, good structure and complexity. Maybe needs time?
2017 Black Trumpet, Syrah Heintz Vineyard (red capsule) - meaty, garrigue goodness with balance and structure. Touch of brett. Delicious with pizza.
2018 Harrington, Misteri - unknown cepage but not dissimilar to the Nerello Mascalese which is what the vines were first thought to be. Medium weight, plenty bright and long. Interesting stuff.
2010 Arpepe, Valtellina Sassella Stella Retica Riserva - mellow, beautiful Nebbiolo with complexity; weightless but intense and a glorious nose. World class!
2001 Veaux Telegraph, CdP - young and fresh; soulful and deep - what you want when you buy this producer.
2018 Edmunds St. John, El Jaleo - exuberant nose of fresh cut fruit, much the same in the mouth with a lot going on. Hard to believe this was bottled last week.
2014 Edmunds St. John, Rocks and Gravel - in its own way, as soulful as the Veaux; made for the long haul but showing well now.
2004 Lagier Meredith, Syrah - opened 24 hours earlier - sensational; loaded with tertiary and secondary notes, Hermitage-esque in style, meaty yet medium weight and the best LM Syrah I’ve tasted. 15 years have been kind.
2016 Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvèdre Antle Vnyd. - 12.6% abv; this vineyard seems to produce wines with more treble notes than several of the others that D&R work with, and of course, whole cluster fermentation emphasizes that. This vintage is pure, lightweight but intense Mourvèdre with complexity and an emotional appeal that carries me off to the Umbrian countryside. A moving expression of the grape and a delight with Diane’s tomato based vegetable ragout. Drink or hold.
2013 Ladd Cellars, Pinot Noir Nash Mill Vnyd. - effusive wild strawberry and cranberry nose; texture of silk, slightly bitter in the mouth which seems to give it more compatibility with food. Aromatics alone are amazing and the palate is not far behind. Even some secondary development. Good stuff.
1998 Chat. Cleric Milan, Pauillac (magnum) - youthful, minty, structured and opened too early. Hold.

Best, Jim
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Jim Cowan
www.CowanCellars.com