Tasting Notes Sept 20th, 2019
Lioco 2014 “Demuth” Anderson Valley Chardonnay
Regular $57.99 Cooper’s Price $36.99
At 1700 feet above the town of Boonville, this remote windswept ridge seems an improbable place to find Chardonnay. 95% of the vines here are dedicated Pinot Noir. Chris Demuth had the foresight to plant Chardonnay here 35+ years ago in the heart of Pinot country. Planted on a 1980’s rootstock and racked by phylloxera, this vineyard has historically shown signs of stress and resulted in tiny yields. When we visited in February, the biodynamic cover crops laid down by Anthony Filiberti and his crew were in full bloom and Demuth had never looked healthier. Our 2014 Demuth displays the vintage character we have come to prize: power and clarity.
Vinification: Fermented on wild yeast in neutral oak casks. A slow, naturally occurring malolactic fermentation completed. Aged on lees for 1yr, with no battonage then settled in stainless steel for 3 months.
Profile: Aromas of brioche, yellow plum, lemon balm. Notes of Ginger root, pulverized river stone minerality and slight hazel-nuttiness.
Domaine de Couron Cotes-du-Rhone Village Blanc
Regular $18 Cooper’s Price $16.99
This family-run estate of Jean-Luc and Marie-Lise Dorthe is nestled in an area rich with human history, between the Northern and Southern Rhône in the tiny village of Saint Marcel d’Ardèche. Located on historic lands 3 miles from the famed Neanderthal Cave Paintings of Ardѐche, France, their vineyards are laden with artifacts including 40,000 year old arrowheads. The Romans once cultivated wine here and the area is rich with ancient ruins.
The Dorthe family has been wine growers since 1860, farm using sustainable and occasionally organic techniques of Lutte Raisonnée since 1993, naturally following centuries without ever using herbicides. The vines are close-spaced at 1 meter along each row in each of their rocky, terraced hillside vineyards. The grapes are all hand-picked by the family, hand-sorted, and native yeast fermented at cool temperatures never using oak.
Profile: Blended of organically grown, equal parts Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, this lovely Rhône white reveals a nose of yellow stone fruits, minerals, flowers, and tropical flowers. Flavors repeat the nose in a lush, round, mouth – coating texture, finishing with lengthy echoes of the same aromatic and flavor profile. Fermented in cement, only the Roussanne ages in a neutral oak ca sk before blending and bottling 3 months after harvest.
Smockshop Band 2018 “Spring Ephemeral” Pinot Noir
Cooper’s Price $42.99
This is from a 7 acre site in the East Hills of Hood River. We farm the site with the same minimalist, nature inspired approach that we employ at Hiyu. It was picked by hand and placed whole-cluster in open top bins. The fruit wasn’t touched for the first eight days. Afterwards we kept the cap wet with a single pigeage once a day before pressing directly to barrel after 22 days of maceration. It aged in barrel on the lees for 8 months before being bottled by gravity.
Profile: Sublimely delicate and then, later, it’s all power. A smell of cedar, incense and dark roses floats over everything. This is a mountain wine. A sparse richness of wild strawberries and raspberries alongside a dusty trail, or plums in a neglected thicket. It alludes to sugar, but then as the swelling hits a peak, the coolness, structure and acidity comes. The finish of the wine tempers everything. There is mint, hyssop, matsutake and river-rock. It is taut and full of tannic power.
Chateau Vieux Meyney Bordeaux
Cooper’s Price $13.99
The property is located in the commune of Meyney on the edge of the Fronsac region, on the right bank in Bordeaux, where the Merlot grape thrives in clay-limestone soils. Its location ensures the optimal ripening of the fruit. Chateau Vieux Meyney is aged in stainless steel tanks to allow it to mature rapidly for early drinking and enjoyment of the soft Merlot fruit and its enticing aromas.
Taste: Chateau Vieux Meyney offers ripe, spicy, dark cherry aromas and flavors, and soft tannins. It is very appealing for present drinking.
Food and steak, hamburgers and roasted chicken.
Kevin’s Notes: This red wine is a perfect example of why Bordeaux represents terrific values. Yes, Bordeaux makes some of the world’s most expensive wines, but it also provides fantastic wines for the money.