Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino, 2012

Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino, 2012

A trip to Mendocino is a bit of an annual pilgrimage now, and every time I visit the area I love to check out old favorites and wines that are newer to me. I’d encountered all of the wines below at least once, but this was my first visit to a few, including Esterlina, which requires a lengthy drive up a mountainous dirt road, and where you are treated to a private tasting complete with Cheetos. The Esterlina house cat, Queen Elizabeth, spent the better part of an hour purring in my lap while I tasted through a wide range of Anderson Valley (and other) wines. You don’t get that in Napa, folks.

Thoughts on everything tasted follow.

Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino – 2012 Road Trip

2010 Esterlina Chardonnay Sonoma County / $30 / B / touches of wood, modest body and fruit — apple, grapefruit
2010 Esterlina Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Estate  / $48 / B+ / slightly tight, some smokiness and leather, modest core, needs time
2008 Esterlina Reserve Pinot Noir Cole Ranch / $65 / B+ / some menthol, mild campfire notes, plum, restrained
2007 Esterlina Merlot Cole Ranch / $28 / A- / lots of baking spice, big body, blackberries
2008 Esterlina Syrah Janian Vineyard / $35 / B+ / touches of smoke, tart, modest fruit
2007 Esterlina Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley / $42 / B+ / blueberry nose, good extraction, touch of cedar box
2008 Esterlina Mario’s Gran Rojo Alexander Valley / $38 / B+ / deep smoke, chewy, good balance
2010 Esterlina Off-Dry Riesling Cole Ranch / $NA / A- / very refreshing, sweet honey
2011 Esterlina Dry Riesling Cole Ranch / $22 / A- / lots of minerals, dry, lychee finish
2011 Esterlina Rose of Pinot Noir / $18 / A- / corn tortilla notes, enchilada sauce, strawberries, very exotic
2009 Londer Dry Gewurztraminer / $24 / B+ / modest aromatics and acid
2010 Londer Ferrington Vineyard Chardonnay / $30 / B+ / heavy oak, lots of bitterness on finish, some herbs
2009 Londer Kent Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay / $39 / B+ / drying, plenty of oak, balanced as it finishes
2009 Londer Sweet Gewurztraminer / $30 / B+ / fresh, mild sugars (5%), substantial herbal notes
2010 Londer Anderson Valley Pinot Noir / $30 / B+ / quite tart, cranberry, mild finish
2009 Londer Paraboll Pinot Noir / $48 / B+ / lots of herbs, licorice, candied violets, touches of smoke and tobacco
2009 Londer Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir / $48 / A- / menthol, light body, delicate, some forest and pine tree notes on the finish
2009 Londer Londer Estate Grown Pinot Noir / $48 / A- / tough edge, rich, big fruit and a long finish
2009 Navarro Chardonnay / $25 / A- / honey heavy
2010 Navarro Chardonnay / $17 / B / lots of fruit, aromatics
2011 Navarro Sauvignon Blanc / $18 / A- / very fresh
2010 Navarro Gewurztraminer Estate Bottled (Dry) / $19 / A / lush, made for curry
2010 Navarro Gewurztraminer Cuvee Traditional / $15 / B+ / considerably sweeter
2011 Navarro Edelzwicker / $14 / B+ / subdued, less tropical influence than usual
2010 Navarro Pinot Noir / $20 / A- / fresh, very light
2009 Navarro Pinot Noir Methode a l’Ancienne / $29 / B+ / lots of jam
2009 Navarro Shiraz / $17 / B /
2009 Navarro Syrah / $27 / B+ / cherry, modest spice
2007 Navarro Cabernet Sauvignon / $29 / B / very young, dark chocolate/cherry
2006 Navarro Gewurztraminer Late Harvest (375ml) / $29 / B / 20% sugar, great in small quantities
2007 Navarro Riesling Cluster Select Late Harvest (375ml) / $29 / C / corky and funky
2007 Navarro Pinot Noir Methode a l’Ancienne / $29 / B+ / same rating as I gave it last year; very similar to 2009
2009 Navarro Gewurztraminer Late Harvest (375ml) / $19 / A- / fresh (8% sugar), very drinkable
2006 Navarro Riesling Cluster Select Late Harvest (375ml) / $29 / C+ /
2008 Indian Creek Pinot Noir / $NA / D / (second label of Navarro for forest fire-year wine)
2011 Foursight Charles Vineyard Vin Gris of Pinot Noir / $25 / B / white Pinot Noir; very odd, burly fruit, brooding finish
2010 Foursight Charles Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc / $20 / B+ / lots of honey, floral notes, unusual
2010 Foursight Charles Vineyard Semillon / $28 / B+ / plenty of lemon, big structure and finish
2009 Foursight Zero New Oak Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir / $38 / B+ / big chocolate and cherry on nose, monster body, menthol
2009 Foursight Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir / $46 / A- / tart and young, still brash; strawberry, complex
2010 Foursight Clone 05 Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir / $49 / A- / Burgundy style, terroir-laden; big body with lots of fruit
2007 Foursight All-In Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir / $46 / A / mellowing well, showing great now, wonderful balance

2 Comments

  1. […] Single Malt and Scotch Whisky Extravaganza 2012 Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project Round Seven Wines of Mendocino 2012 Kendall Jackson Vintages Tasting Report Quady Winery Tasting […]

  2. […] Wine Road Trip: Paso Robles and Santa Barbara Wines of Artesa, 2012 Releases Tasting The Wines of Ribera Del Duero Single Malt and Scotch Whisky Extravaganza 2012 Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project Round Seven Wines of Mendocino 2012 […]

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.