Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino, 2016

Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino, 2016

IMG_7482It had been too long since we trekked to Mendocino, so a few weeks back we loaded up the car and hit the windy, Redwood-strewn trail to the rocky California coast, and hit up some of the star wineries of the region along the way.

The Anderson Valley and Mendocino County continue to raise the game in the wine world, with a particular focus on cold climate pinot noir and unusual Alsatian white wines. Join us as we visit both some old favorites and some new friends making wine on the edge of the world.

Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino – 2016 Road Trip

2013 Baxter Chardonnay Oppenlander Vineyard / $38 / B+ / very brisk, lots of minerals, some tropics and a touch of honey; very little oak character
2013 Baxter Pinot Noir Valenti Vineyard / $48 / A- / lots of acid, gentle fruit, tart and subtle with a touch of rosemary; a delicate wine
2012 Baxter Pinot Noir Oppenlander Vineyard / $60 / B+ / blackberry and tea leaf are stronger, but the wine is quite restrained; sublte wood and earth notes on the finish
2013 Baxter Pinot Noir Langley Vineyard / $48 / A / strawberry, with sharp herbal notes at times; lengthy finish offers tart cherry notes foremost
2013 Baxter Pinot Noir Run Dog Vineyard / $48 / B+ / well-balanced with a fruity attack, soft astringency, and a mushroom/leather finish; suggest laying this one down for a bit; 3 barrels made
2013 Baxter Syrah Valenti Vineyard / $42 / B+ / classic syrah with terroir-driven character; chocolate on the finish, plus black pepper
2014 Goldeneye Vin Gris of Pinot Noir / $30 / B+ / quite tart, apricots and flroals, bright acidity and a slightly bitter finish
2013 Migration Russian River Pinot Noir / $38 / B+ / bright, with baking spices on the nose; a bit sweet on the tongue, slightly tart
2012 Goldeneye Pinot Noir / $55 / B+ / bolder, with tea leaf and cherries; vanilla and chocolate influence is strong; semi-sweet finish (poured from magnum)
2012 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Confluence Vineyard / $82 / A- / pretty balance, some pepper and baking spices; cherries lead the way to the finish
2012 Goldeneye Pinot Noir Split Rail Vineyard / $82 / B+ / rounder body, very fruit forward with a touch of sweetness, brandied cherries
2012 Goldeneye Pinot Noir The Narrows Vineyard / $82 / A / more brooding, with forest floor notes a-plenty, but the best balance of the bunch
2012 Goldeneye Ten Degrees Pinot Noir / $115 / A / peppery on the nose, lovely structure with a bit of a bitter edge, some cocoa powder, and a gentle finish
2013 Witching Stick Wines Chardonnay / $NA / A- / brisk and supple, gentle vanilla notes
2012 Witching Stick Wines Pinot Noir Wiley Vineyard / $NA / A- / dense, with licorice notes, some tannic structure, and solid fruit
2012 Witching Stick Wines Pinot Noir Gianoli Vineyard / $NA / B+ / darker and smoky, more of a barrel influence here
2013 Witching Stick Wines Zinfandel Fashauer Vineyard / $NA / B+ / big and fruity, with black pepper and tons of sweetness
2013 Navarro Chardonnay Mendocino / $19 / A- / apple, melons, pears; big fruit with light vanilla notes
2013 Navarro Chardonnay Anderson Valley / $25 / B+ / more oak, fresh fruit, caramelized pear
2014 Navarro Pinot Gris / $20 / B+ / lots of baked apple, with a touch of vanilla
2014 Navarro Gewurztraminer Estate Bottled (Dry) / $20 / B+ / dry and perfumed, tropical finish
2013 Navarro Riesling   / $20 / B / honeysuckle, orange oil notes
2014 Navarro Edelzwicker / $16 / A- / sweeter side of gewurztraminer showing here
2012 Navarro Pinot Noir Methode a l’Ancienne / $32 / B / candied, with vanilla and caramel notes; very fruity
2013 Navarro Pinot Noir Methode a l’Ancienne / $32 / A- / more acid; tart with a nice balance of fruit
2013 Navarro Pinot Noir Methode a l’Ancienne Unflitered / $35 / A- / quite similar; but with a slight edge of bitterness
2013 Navarro Pinot Noir Deep End Blend / $55 / A / very rich, cocoa notes; strawberries and spice
2013 Navarro Zinfandel Mendocino / $22 / B+ / atypical for zinfandel; very fruity and fresh cherry notes
2012 Navarro Riesling Cluster Select Late Harvest (375ml) / $20 / B+ / somewhat dusty nose; floral and fruity
2012 Navarro Gewurztraminer Late Harvest (375ml) / $35 / B+ / peachy, with florals and a very sweet finish

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