Archive for December, 2012

A Late Model Wine Guerrilla Trio

If you’re in the market for old-school styled Zinfandel, you would do well to check out the wares of Wine Guerrilla. WG head honcho Bruce Patch has made it his mission to source fruit from some of the best vineyards in Sonoma County and craft wines in a manner that allows them to express themselves nicely, without excess oak, extraction, residual sugar or other such atrocities that have too often plagued the grape. I first tasted Zinfandel in 1976, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. As was the case with the previous batch of Wine Guerrilla Zins that I reviewed, these three remind me of many of those from back in the day when I first gained an appreciation for the variety.

2010 WG Zinfandel Sonoma Monte Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley Block E44, $42.00: Deep, dark color, almost opaque; classic aromatics of spicy black raspberry with a judicious kiss of sweet oak, which follows through nicely on the palate, less sweet and ripe then the nose might promise, with more earth and hints of dark chocolate. That’s all good in my book, since I don’t care for the excessively ripe style. Sleek, full bodied and structured for several years in the cellar, with acids every bit as prominent as the tannins. A little prickly right now, so this needs some time in the bottle (please, no Jim Croce jokes, let the man rest in peace), or at very least, decant it for a while before drinking now. Almost reminds me of some of David Rafanelli’s Zins back in the day, which also showed this kind of zippy acidity. 200 cases made. Find this wine

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On the Cornerstone

It seemed like we had hardly had time to catch our breath after posting our last feature on new wines from Cornerstone Cellars, and they were already sending us more things to try. That’s OK, we’re professionals, and we can handle it. This time, there were three selections from Cornerstone’s Oregon operation, two Pinot Noirs and a Chardonnay. Here’re our impressions:

2010 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone Oregon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 13.5% alc., SRP $30: Pretty ruby garnet color; fragrant smoky black cherry nose carries over nicely on the palate with some subtle earthy undertones. Medium-to-medium full-bodied and well balanced, with enough structure and intensity for a few years in the cellar, but I’d be inclined to drink this sooner, rather than later, for its fresh, middleweight charm. It’d be even better for about $5-10 less… AVAs: 45% Yamhill-Carlton, 33% Eola-Amity,15% Chehalem Mountain, 5% McMinnville, 1% Ribbon Ridge, 1% Dundee Hills. Aged in 100% French Oak of which 35 % was new for 13 months and was bottled in June 2012. 137 cases produced. Find this wine

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