The Random Samples—5/15/2020

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 ComeSummer 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.

 

2016 Long Meadow Ranch Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, CA: Retail $65. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 18 months in 50% new French oak, 50% neutral French oak. Big Ass Bottle. Since close to its inception, Long Meadow Ranch has been committed to both organic and sustainable production, which calls into question this over-the-top heavy ass bottle. The wine? Quite tasty, actually, with dark color, dark fruit aromas, black pepper, and even clove on the nose. The palate is peculiar, not in an odd or offensive way by any stretch. No, it’s peculiar since I have had few Napa Cabs that are a) this “inexpensive” ($65 ain’t cheap, but it’s not 300 bucks, either), b) this restrained, and c) given a) and b), this ready to drink upon opening. Yes, there is fruit (but it’s modest) and yes, there is depth, length, and tannic structure, but all in check. This is a lovely wine that might improve in the short-term, but it is for drinking now. Excellent. 91-93 Points.

2016 Long Meadow Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA: Retail $65. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 18 months in 50% new French oak, 50% neutral French oak. Big Ass Bottle. Since close to its inception, Long Meadow Ranch has been committed to both organic and sustainable production, which calls into question this over-the-top heavy ass bottle. The wine? Quite tasty, actually, with dark color, dark fruit aromas, black pepper, and even clove on the nose. The palate is peculiar, not in an odd or offensive way by any stretch. No, it’s peculiar since I have had few Napa Cabs that are a) this “inexpensive” ($65 ain’t cheap, but it’s not 300 bucks, either), b) this restrained, and c) given a) and b), this ready to drink upon opening. Yes, there is fruit (but it’s modest) and yes, there is depth, length, and tannic structure, but all in check. This is a lovely wine that might improve in the short-term, but it is for drinking now. Excellent. 91-93 Points.

2017 Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon [The Original Ungrafted], Maipo Valley, Chile: Retail $10. Under screw. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Syrah, 4% Petit Verdot. I was sent this a few days prior to Halloween and, well, … Another Chilean wine that performs far above its weight (meaning cost, duh). Fruity and fun on the palate with little need for introspection or reflection, the wine is balanced between fruit and acidity, has enough gumption to satisfy most, and is *extremely* friendly to the pocketbook. So, well? Giddy-up. Very Good. 87-89 Points.

2018 Troon Vineyard Vermentino, Applegate Valley, OR: Retail $25. Kubli Bench. My love for all things Troon runs deep and nearly every decision they make seems to be exactly the right call. Except here. I really wish they called this “Rolle” the French name for this variety. Why? because I am a French snob. The wine? Fantastic. Straw to a light yellow in color with a potpourri of aromas wafting out of the glass: tropical and citrus fruit, white flower, spice, white pepper, and even some white peach. The palate is fruity yet also complex, with layers of flavor that are joined together by a tartness that defines the wine. Another grand Rolle from Troon. Excellent. 91-93 Points.

2018 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes, Barossa Valley, Australia: Retail $33. 100% Shiraz. Under screw. I have professed more time than I can count that I am not particularly a fan of the Aussie Shiraz. To be a shade more precise: I’m not enthralled with MOST of the Shiraz that reaches these shores. I have attended a few tastings of Australian Shiraz that have blown my doors off. Unfortunately, few (any?) of those wines are available in the U.S. market. Then there are the Two Hands Wines. On a whole? Wow. And this falls into that category: inky dark in the glass with dark fruit, oodles of spice (black pepper, clove), and mint. The palate, even on day two, is all about the fruit, but there is plenty more here, all it needs is a bit of patience. That’s difficult to do when you see that tantalizing screw-top adorned on the bottle. But a bit of patience will go a long way. Excellent. 90-92 Points.

 

 

 

 

 

About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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