Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ovid Experiment and Polaner Trade Tasting

To follow up on a past post on Ovid Wines, we were able to taste the ‘Experiment’, the wine from Ovid that will change from vintage to vintage, just last week. The current 2005 Experiment is mostly Cabernet Franc with some Petite Verdot and it is a silky wine with some nice pepper notes and more red fruit that the Ovid. The wine is distributed by Douglas Polaner here in New York and it was available at their Portfolio Tasting. We are still unsure of the price point for the Experiment but we hope to offer our customers the namesake 2005 Ovid very soon.

Some other California wines that stood out at the Polaner tasting were:

2006 Realm Cellars Dr. Crane: This wine just keeps getting better. 100% Cabernet from the Dr. Crane Vineyard. We just sold out of the 2005 and the 2006 is even better ─ if that’s possible. Mike Hirby is the winemaker and this one is worth the $100+ price tag. We still have the 2005 Realm Tempest and Realm Farella in stock, which are also supremely good wines!

2006 Maybach Materium: Again, we have sold out of the excellent 2005 vintage and (im)patiently await the 2006. Killer Cabernet and only 745 cases produced. With any luck we will carry it very soon! Another $100+ bottle.

We were impressed with Windgap Wines, the new project from Pax Mahle, formerly of Pax Wine Cellars. We particularly enjoyed the 2007 Pinot Gris from the Russian River Valley (crazy small production of 106 cases and about $40 per bottle) and the 2006 Syrah from Sonoma Coast (ridiculously small production of 89 cases and about $50 per bottle).

2006 Arietta H-Block is a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The Cabernet Franc is solely from the 2.3 acre Hudson Vineyards H Block and this is some well-structured, awesome juice. The 2006 is a particular head-turner. Yes, this is also over $100 and, yes, we sometimes have expensive taste. Guilty as charged.

2007 Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel: This just may have been the wine of the tasting. Okay, it was! Soooo good with tons of depth and amazing Zin character. Under 300 cases, under $50 per bottle, and, TA-DA, sold out!!! Depressing. On a brighter note, we have the 2006 Russian River Zinfandel and the 2007 Dry Creek Zinfandel in stock and they are both well priced for the excellent wine that is in the bottle ($40 - $50.)

2006 Larkmead Firebelle: A beautiful blend of the Bordeaux varietals and gets better and better with air. The 2005, which we have in stock, is a beauty too which is why we brought it in to the shop.

2005 Davis Family Cabernet Sauvignon: We were not very familiar with the Davis family wines and this pretty, juicy Cabernet made a great first impression. A great pop of red fruit and nice layers of classic Cab flavor! About $60 per bottle.

2005 Crocker & Starr Cabernet: Pam Starr is indeed a star and this Cab proves it beyond a reasonable doubt. We have the 2004 Stone Place, a lush and tasty blend of the Bordeaux varietals for $100.

Lest you think we are partial to uber expensive Cabs, we were also impressed with Fleur de California Vin Gris and Pinot Noir, Mary Elke Pinot Noir, and Westerly Sauvignon Blanc. All reasonably priced and delicious.


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