Equinox '97 Chardonnay Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine (SCM)
Nose - earthy, lemony, leesy/toasty, an herbal and musty wood character.
Fine bubbles, lemon, lime zest, toasty with a touch of bitterness and green herbs. Good complexity. Very zesty finish. Quite nice, but needs food. 90 pts
Silver Mountain '07 Chardonnay Estate (SCM)
Nose - bright, light on its feet, lemony, deft vanillin spice. Nice!
Round mouthfeel, mushroom, brown woody mustiness, heavy, dull, lemon, lanolin. Tingly mouthfeel develops. 86 pts
Huge disparity between the nose and palate. Without the lovely nose this wouldn't be enjoyable at all.
What I mean by mustiness in these two is like when you over-steep tea, especially notable with a used tea bag. Like putting your tongue on wet long saturated wood.
McHenry '06 Pinot Noir Estate (SCM)
Nose - Wow! Sweet ripe fruit. Super complex, with rhubarb, black cherry, graphite, summer savory and much more. Some red fruit (which I didn't quite grasp what) and a subtle spiciness.
Tingly, round, more restrained than the nose, with darker spice, more rhubarb, a touch of bitter char. Enjoyable now, but not really ready. Drink '11-'21. 91+ pts
Bartolo '07 "Minerva" (Santa Clara Valley)
(47% Grenache, 33% Syrah and 20% Mourvèdre)
Nose - rich, jujubee, toasty spice and tamarind in the foreground, supported by nutmeg, black plum and cranberry.
Complex, with plum, exotic spice, tamarind, cardamon, candied lemon zest, marachino liqueur, jujubee, smooth dusty tannin and a hint of tar. Very different. In a good way. 88 pts
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards '06 Durif Sheperd Vyd. (SCM)
Nose - dark, almost tarry purple fruit, soft white wood spice, tobacco, rich, smoky. Black fruit emerges, with sandalwood and a more elegant and distinctive oak spiciness.
Surprisingly perky - boysenberry jam, Himalayan blackberry, a bit of a (good) stinky character, char, nice supporting spice, subtle tobacco. Finishes with a medley of citrus zest and a bit of grip. Drink now-'17. 91 pts
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