It is time for another edition of “Random Samples”–I occasionally get samples from marketing agencies and/or producers, and these can often be grouped together into some sort of over-arching theme: Drink Them and It Will Come, Summer is Here, So That Means (More) Rosé, If It Doesn’t Sparkle, It Doesn’t Matter.
Other times, I get just a bottle or two that do not have any apparent connection or link. Instead of holding on to those bottles until the “right” combination comes along, I decided to link all these “random” bottles together, making their own category (and, being the math geek that I am, “random sample” has a bit of a double entendre….
2014 Concannon Petite Sirah: Retail $20. 90% Petite Sarah, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. As dark as you would expect from PS. Black raspberry a go-go with some earth, mint, violet, and a touch of funk. Rich, fruity, and unctuous, but not overwhelming so. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2013 Michael David Rapture Cabernet Sauvignon Lodi: Retail $59. “Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Petite Sirah.” Wow. Big fruit. Really big. Imagine the biggest raspberry enveloped by an even bigger blackberry. On the palate more and more fruit. Rich, full, and unctuous all paired with vanilla ice cream. If you like your red wines hedonistic, grab this and get ready for a “Whoa.” This is bigger than I am used to, but it is yummy. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
2015 M2 Vintners Lauzere Vineyard – Fair Play Viognier: Retail $18. Layne Montgomery, the co-owner and vintner at m2 is known for his full-throttle reds; Zinfandels with spunk, verve, and attitude. Thus, I was surprised at how delicate and reserved this Viognier starts off. Subtle stone fruit on the nose, with just a slight floral aspect. On the palate, some nice flavors, but fairly muted. As the wine warmed, though, those flavors started to expand and assert themselves. My advice? Drink this with but the slightest chill. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
2015 Holman Cellars Uncharted Bacchus Mokelumne Glen Vineyard Lodi: Retail $15. 100% Bacchus. For wine geeks, Bacchus is pretty darned cool. It is relatively rare, and has only been commercially available since 1972. A hybrid of a few other grapes, it is usually marked by relatively low acidity, but packed with flavor. While this is not the most acidic wine I’ve had, it certainly is quite tart. It does, however, have wonderful flavors to match its noticeable weight: lavender, fleshy stone fruit, and even white pepper. Even if you are not (quite) a wine geek, this is a wine to seek. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
Here are a few wines from Quady North, in Southern Oregon (the “North” in the brand name refers to its position relative to the family’s other winery, which is in the San Joaquin Valley, California). I included a few other of their wines in a previous post, A Few Challenges Facing Southern Oregon—Part 2.
2014 Quady North Syrah 4-2, A Rogue Valley Southern Oregon: Retail $25. Completely different expression as this is more red fruit and exuberance. On the palate, this is a serious effort, with good fruit and verve, with a tart finish that means business. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.
2015 Quady North La Batalla: Retail $22. 72% Cabernet Franc, 28% Malbec. Under Screw-Cap. Fruity and playful, this is a joyful quaff. This is not going to cause you to rethink your position on the economy (whoa, heavy), whether you need a haircut (you probably do), or if it is OK to put ketchup on a hotdog (it’s not). It will be nice, though, out by the pool, waiting for the game to start, or hoping the hotdogs are done. Good to Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2013 Quady North Syrah Mae’s Vineyard Applegate Valley Southern Oregon: Retail $29. Right off the bat there is a lot going on: menthol, eucalyptus, bacon. On the palate this is much of the same—a bit of an outside-the-box kind of wine as the fruit is not the main feature here, but it all seems to work. Some smoky food would be a great match as would anything containing anything from the bacon food group (yes, that is a food “group”). Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2015 Quady North Viognier Steelhead Run Vineyard, Southern Oregon: Retail $22. Much like with Gewürztraminer, I could smell the aromatic Viognier for days. Stone fruit, lychee, and violets, this is one of the more expressive wines I have tried recently. Fruity and almost sweet on the palate, until the acidity reins it all in. This is a delightful expression of the variety that is worth seeking out for those habitual glass sniffers in the crowd. Very Good to Outstanding. 88-90 Points.