Tried these two Monday night at dinner:
1. Forlorn-Hope Nacre Semillon YountMillVnyd/NapaVlly (11%; 727 cs) V&B by MatthewRorickWines/Oakville 2013: Med.yellow color w/ lots of tiny bubbles in a mesmerizing swirl; strong Semillon/figgy/fig newtons/waxy/green olive slight grapefruity slight chalky/mineral/earthy rather fragrant nose; quite tart/tangy rather lean/austere some waxy/Semillon/green olive/figgy slight chalky/stony somewhat lean/eviscerated slight steely/metallic flavor; med.shortquite tart/tangy/steely/metallic some light/figgy/Semillon/green olive bit earthy quite lean/eviscerated finish; doesn't seem to be going anywhere & not sure it will ever be anything; a good shot of Fr.oak would help this wine but it'll never be a HunterVlly Semillon. $30.00
2. Ampelos Epsilon Dornfelder HuberVnyd/SantaRitaHills (14.5%; 5 brls) Peter/Rebecca/Lindsay/Don Lompoc 2007: Very dark color w/ little bricking; very strong grapey/plummy/boysenberry/licorice/Dornfelder some earthy/loamy bit toasty/oak slightly rustic fairly complex nose; rather soft very lush/ripe very strong plummy/grapey/Dornfelder/licorice/bit pungent slight tangy/metallic some toasty/oak light earthy/loamy fairly complex flavor w/ light ripe/gentle tannins; very long/lingering very strong plummy/licorice/Dornfelder/blackberry slight tangy/metallic fairly earthy/loamy slightly oafish/rustic some complex finish w/ light smooth tannins; reminds a lot of an Austrian Zweigelt; much better & richer than any Wurtenburg Dornfelder that I've had; showing no signs of its age; a very interesting Dornfelder & atypical of StaRitaHills reds; world-class Dornfelder.
3. JCCllrs Syrah CaldwellVnyd/NapaVlly (15%; JeffCohn/Oakland 2007: Very dark/near black color w/ little bricking; loads of toastycharred/Fr.oak very strong blackberry/boysenberry/ripe/spicy/Syrah slight alcoholic/fumey slight peppery fairly complex nose; fairly soft very rich/lush strong toasty/burnt/Fr.oak very strong very ripe/blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/licorice bit alcoholic/fumey bit complex flavor w/ light ripe/bit tangy tannins; very long bit hot/fumey/overripe strong blackberry/boysenberry/Syrah/licorice quite toasty/burnt/oak bit complex finish w/ modest ripe tannins; shows the classic JCCllrs hot/fumey/overripe/oaked Syrah character but showing no signs of its age; a bit simple for a 14 yr old Syrah & not the complexity you'd expect, but that's typical of this style of Syrah.
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Dornfelder: This was a cross of Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe, developed in Wurtenberg in 1955 for making a red wine w/ much darker color than is typical there. It was planted in the late '80's by NormHuber there in the StaRitaHills. I tasted the first Huber Dornfelder at JoeyTensley's wnry in Buelton in the early '90's at a pre-HdR StaRitaHills tour and was pretty impressed by it. Not sure how many yrs Peter&Becky made HuberVnyd Dornfelder. Norm went on to make his Dornfelder under the HuberCllrs label, but that operation now appears to be closed down. Not sure where those grapes now go. But make no mistake..this is World-class Dornfelder...FWIW.
2. JCCllrs: I cracked this wine w/ low expectations that it would still be good. This style typically falls apart fairly early. But it was sorta frozen in time & the tannins had somewhat moderated...but just not much signs of evolution or complexity.