Alysian 2010 Pinot Noir — Russian River Selection
The aromas from this Alysian 2010 Pinot Noir are very intriguing… Grapefruit and cherry aromas tickle the nose as dark chocolate and toast emerge underneath. At first sip, the acidity tugs at the inside of your cheeks and causes your mouth to water. As the wine rolls toward back of your palate, there is an explosion of small berry flavors: blueberry, wild raspberry (the tiny, amazing ones you can never seem to pick enough of) and blackberry. It’s relatively light-bodied and tart, with an overarching spicy attitude. It comes full circle with a long finish, leaving strawberry and bitter chocolate flavors on the tongue.
This wine would make for a wonderful companion on any night. And at only $40, it makes for a great introduction to Gary Farrell’s craft. 91 points.
Alysian 2010 Pinot Noir — Floodgate Vineyard, Rock Hill
The Alysian 2010 Pinot Noir from Floodgate Vineyard (Rock Hill) has complex aromas of cranberry, clove, cedar wood and dark chocolate. Intense, tart berry flavors hit the front of the mouth as the weight of the wine settles toward the back and sides. There, the subtle sweetness in the wine emerges along with cherry, oak and baking spices. Raspberry and minerals linger on the long finish.
Overall an intriguing wine with intense fruit flavors and excellent balance and structure. 93 points.
Alysian 2010 Chardonnay — Westside Farms, Clone 4
The Alysian 2010 Chardonnay from Westside Farms (Clone 4) shimmers with a brilliant gold hue, greeting the nose with lemon, green apple and grapefruit aromas. This preview of tart fruit flavor doesn’t disappoint as citrus acidity ripples over the tongue. Weighty and silky smooth, the wine slowly yields tantalizing apple, nectarine and honeydew flavors and fades into a dry finish with a lingering apricot flavor.
Overall a fresh, tart and vibrant Chardonnay. 92 points.
Alysian 2010 Chardonnay — Russian River Selection
This pale gold-colored Alysian 2010 Chardonnay sways slowly and heavily in the glass, giving off wonderful aromas of lemon, melon, honey and a hint of toasted pine nuts. At first the rich body and gentle honey sweetness of the wine weighs on the tongue. Then tart lemon and plum flavors break through, which are in turn punctuated by a spicy bite of alcohol and some dryness toward the end. Peach and citrus flavors linger on the palate until the next satisfying sip.
Overall this is a masterfully blended Chardonnay from two different vineyards and three different clones. 93 points.
Straight Line 2009 Pinot Noir
As I uncorked this Straight Line 2009 Pinot Noir, I noticed quite a bit of sediment under the cork and inside the bottle neck. I was also surprised to see a fine haze in the wine as I poured it. Intrigued, I went to the winery’s website and read the winemaker notes. There I learned that the wine “received no racking, nor fining, nor filtering.” Interesting… I like it. There is nothing wrong with sediment, and it’s refreshing to taste a wine knowing it’s only as polished as it wants to be. Continue reading
Sheldon 2007 Deviant Velocity Petite Syrah
This bottle of Sheldon Petite Syrah has been hanging out in my cellar and giving me the eye for a while. I almost opened a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir, but there was the Sheldon again, watching me. Sheldon says that this is “the oxymoron wine… it whispers instead of screams.” Seems accurate so far. Continue reading
Alysian 2009 Chardonnay — Westside Farms Clone 4
Vibrant, golden and shimmering in the sun, this Alysian 2009 Chardonnay is perfect for a warm afternoon getaway. Grapefruit, honeydew and earthy mineral aromas tempt the nose. A cascade of honey-coated melon deliciousness dazzles the tongue. Green apple, butterscotch, and lemon flavors also poke through, leaving a lingering apricot flavor on the finish.
Alysian 2009 Pinot Noir — Rochioli Vineyard, Allen-Rochioli Blocks
What a difference a year makes. I went in thinking this 2009 Alysian Pinot Noir would have similar qualities to the excellent but mysterious 2008 vintage from the very same Rochioli vineyard blocks, but was pleasantly surprised by the differences.
The nose casts powerful sweet strawberry and cherry aromas, followed by hints of fresh sponge cake and baking spices as alcohol and pepper tickle the nose. Its bark is worse than its bite though… given the strength of the nose, I was surprised how smooth my first sip was. Delicious mouthwatering acidity that is completely and harmoniously intertwined with concentrated strawberry, black cherry and peach flavors. Impeccably structured and intensely focused to the finish.
Alysian 2009 Pinot Noir — Floodgate Vineyard, Origins
It’s a quiet Wednesday night, and what better way to reflect on the week and gear up for the rest of it than with a cool glass of Alysian Pinot Noir. This time from Floodgate Vineyard near Forestville, CA. I’ve tried the “West Block” and “Rock Hill” designates from this vineyard, so let’s see what “Origins” is all about.
The first thing that hits me when taking in the nose are the trademark baked fruit and berry aromas, but also a hint of clove. The aroma is sweet, soft and inviting.
Alysian 2008 Pinot Noir — Rochioli Vineyard, Allen-Rochioli Blocks
Alysian wines are always polished and seductive, but this Pinot Noir from Rochioli Vineyard comes with an attitude and won’t give up its secrets easily. This elusiveness makes it a joy to taste and suggests that a few more years of cellaring will allow this wine to fully express itself.
The nose is dominated by cherry and sweet caramel aromas, with a touch of red apple, raspberry and chocolate. The acidity is bright and refreshing, and I find this wine to be on the drier side. It finishes cleanly and leaves raspberry and caramel flavors on the palate. Well-structured to mature gracefully in the bottle for a few years. If you can wait that long, it will be well worth it.