Tuesday, July 7, 2009

La Honda Winery visit 6/30/09

Ken Wornick invited Dave Tong and me to come by to give him feedback on a few barrel samples. (You can check Dave's blog for his notes.) These are all '07 wines.

First was a 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon from Ken's own La Honda vineyard.
Nose - Monte Bello-ish. Cedary, pipe tobacco, red Sangiovese fruit.
Soft, light. Distinctive flavors follow through from the nose. Good acidity. 90 pts
The two grapes are seemlessly integrated. Not overly complex, but I love the character. This would pair well with my heirloom tomato pasta sauce.

'07 "Merit". An even blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec from a warm site in Los Altos Hills.
Nose - shy, with dark peppery fruit and some vanillin.
Very concentrated lush, dark fruit, dusty astringent tannin. Very ripe, some vanillin, lovely, needs time. Has a classic Bates Ranch note. Tobacco shows up with time in the glass. Very very nice. 93+ pts

The next wine will be a private bottling, from a client's Los Altos Hills fruit.
'07 Cabernet Sauvignon Silent Hills Vyd.
Nose - dense red and black currant, hint of eucalyptus, dark oaky spice, hint of red plum.
Very tart red fruit, green apple, nutmeg, red currant. Some tobacco mid-palate. Lighter body. Would make a good blending wine. As it is, will have to be paired with something that needs the acid.

'07 Cabernet Sauvignon S.O.N. Vyd., Saratoga
Nose - dark fruit with an interesting floral note and light spicy oak.
Dense dark fruit, firm dusty tannin, black currant, black plum, peppery, touch of vanillin, hint of lemon and zest, some clove and nutmeg. Very nice. 5+ yrs. 91 pts

'07 Lone Hawk Vyd., Saratoga.
Ken noted this is aging in tight-grained 3 yr. air-dried French oak.
Nose - dark, toasty, Mount Eden-like. Sweet oak spice, cedary plum, warm, rich.
Pert, grippy tannin, black plum, raspberry, spicy, tannins dominate - needs time. 92 pts

Ken now manages over 30 vineyards in the Santa Cruz Mountains. With the exception of a Naylor's Dry Hole (Chalone) Cabernet Sauvignon, all of his wines are now from the SCM.

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