Last night, Josh Klapper of Timeless Palates Wine invited me to his tasting at Enoteca Drago in Beverly Hills. Every Wednesday night Enoteca Drago highlights a different flight of wines poured by the winemaker or the distributor.
All in all, I had a blast! The wines were great and the food was delicious. But, most importantly, the company made the evening truly wonderful. If you ever have a chance to meet Josh, I highly recommend that you take the time to talk with him. He’s a great person. And, his wines aren’t half bad either. And, I have to mention that the La Fenetre Chardonnay is easily one of my favorite California Chards. It is very Burgundian in style, with great minerality and joyous purity!
Here’s what we tasted (with Josh’s notes):
The 2006 Chardonnay was perfect in the Bien Nacido Vineyard. It was picked perfectly ripe and the fruit shows it! The wine was aged for 15 months in 100% French oak, of which 25% was new. It was fermented in barrel and stayed on the lees for about six months in order to add richness, body, and even more complexity.
The wine is the color of golden straw. The nose displays citrus, mineral, vanilla, drawn butter, Asian pear, a hint of petrol (as the wine channels great German Riesling), and spice.
The wine also has great complexity on the palate boasting first crisp, bright acidity, lemon-lime, and green apple. The midpalate screams of intense minerality, almost saltiness, and honey. The finish is long and with each sip, I get varying degrees of vanilla, crème brûlée, burnt toast, buttered popcorn, toffee, caramel, cinnamon, and cloves.
My four year old nephew sums it up best though. His one word description... Yucky!
(Please note: 4 year olds also don't like Montrachet...)
84 cases produced
In 2006, the Cargasacchi Jalama vineyard produced Pinot Noir light in color, but boasting extremely intense fruit. The wine aged 15 months in French oak barrels of which 50% new. The color is somewhere between burnt orange and pale red and looks just like 5 year old Burgundy.
The nose is ripe and focused with a bouquet of strawberry pie and roasted caraway seeds, juicy watermelon rind, expanding to include barnyard and sweet mold.
Again I get a great balance of acid and fruit on the palate (though I admit, that is my number one goal) and some great earthy notes as well. Minerality, wet rock, salt, coupled with sour cherry, carob, and mole (the Mexican sauce, not the small, furry, burrowing animal).
90 Cases produced
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, SB County
The high altitude Cabernet Sauvignon at Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard (formerly Barnwood Vineyard) is some of the very best in Santa Barbara County. At 3100 feet, Blocks D & Q produce small, concentrated berries that are absolutely delicious and unique in a region where Cabernet Sauvignon is not well known.
In 2005 we were blessed with near perfect conditions and our Cabernet is no exception. The grapes were picked by hand in late October and then rushed to the winery for processing by hand. The wine will age for 22 months in 100% new Francois Freres French oak barrels allowing it to further concentrate and develop multiple layers of complexity.
Tasted recently the wine is powerful, rich, and decadent. The juice is black with a dark red, almost purple rim. The wine is dominated by herbs and dark fruits as well as hints of tobacco, leather, generous vanilla, and toasted spice. The wine has good tannin structure, a meaty midpalate, and a long finish.
Approximately 90 cases will be produced
By General Admin
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