More new California highlights


More new California highlights


So, as promised, some more highlights from Tuesday’s New California tasting.

Matthiasson Napa White 2012 Napa Valley, California
A curious blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, Semillon and Tocai Friulano that really works. Floral and pretty with aromas of herbs, tea, spice, grapes and melon. The palate is fresh, pure and detailed with nice finesse, and flavours of herbs, citrus peel, lemons and pith. 93/100

Steve Matthiasson
Steve Matthiasson

Matthiasson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Napa Valley, California
Steve Matthiasson describes this as ‘old school’, and says he’s copying the classic Napa Cabernet style, which was itself copying Bordeaux! It’s a truly brilliant wine, with a really fresh nose of blackcurrants and red fruits. The palate is fresh and detailed with grippy red fruits and some blackcurrant. Real precision here. The antithesis of super-sweet spoofulation. 95/100

Corison Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 Napa Valley, California
Cathy Corison has a deserved reputation for making elegant, focused Napa Cabernet that ages beautiful, and this 2010 is wonderful. Lovely supple ripe blackcurrant fruit. Very stylish with some gravelly tannins, nice grip, and a hint of chalk, sitting nicely under the blackcurrant fruit. An amazing wine. 94/100
Broc Cellars ‘Vine Starr’ Zinfandel 2010 Sonoma Coast, California
13.1% alcohol. Beautifully pure, floral and silky cherry and plum fruit nose. I never knew Zinfandel could be capable of such elegance. Amazing liqueur-like purity to the fruit. The palate is fresh and supple with fine sappy notes as well as elegance and lightness. Lovely expressive raspberry and cherry fruit. 94/100

Arnot Roberts Lushsinger Trousseau 2012 Clear Lake, California
13% alcohol. Pale colour. So pretty and fine with silky, bright cherry and plum fruit, as well as fine herbal notes. There’s some fruit sweetness but also some fresh, sappy notes, finishing juicy and a bit grippy. 93/100

Lioco Savaria Pinot Noir 2012 Santa Cruz Mountains, California
13.6% alcohol. Warm, supple and elegant with fine spiciness. There’s some structure under the sweet, pure cherry fruits. An elegant style showing some ripeness and finesse, and with brilliant balance. 95/100

Kutch McDougall Ranch Pinot Noir 2012 Sonoma Coast, California
This is a wine in need of some time. It will probably outlive me. Concentrated, taut and backward with powerful raspberry and cherry fruit, good structure and some savoury spiciness. Dense and in need of time, but everything is there for a positive development in the cellar. Remarkable intensity but not unbalanced. 95/100
hirsch vineyard

Hirsch East Ridge Pinot Noir 2011 Sonoma Coast, California
The edgiest of the Hirsch Pinots, this is one for cellaring. Dense and vivid, yet bright and fresh, with spices, cherries, plums and a hint of savoury earthiness. Keen acidity. There’s a lot of personality to this wine, and it should age brilliantly. 95/100

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wine journalist and flavour obsessive

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  1. Been drinking out of my cellar again Jamie? Just had the 2011 Matthiasson White on Sunday, and it was as delicious as your ’12. Also had the ’04 Corison Cab on Monday. Another winner. Have you had the opportunity to try any Ceritas? Had a ’12 Chard and Pinot this week. Both were outstanding. More and more I am focusing on my home country’s wines, and missing the trophy hunt of Bordeaux and Burgundy not at all.

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