July 11th – Annette’s birthday – a great excuse to head to Plymouth to hit Taste (great restaurant) and spend a night at Rest (cool little boutique hotel operated by the owners of Taste). Had a great meal at Taste with a couple of excellent bottles of wine (for those Canadian wine aficionados out there, one was a 2007 Black Hills Nota Bene – a sublime and delicious red meritage from the Okanagan).
The next day, what to do? Well, hit a winery, of course. And so we did. We went wild……..well, actually, we went Wilderotter.
We had heard good things about Wilderotter, but neither of us had ever been there (or had any of their wines, for that matter). Reason enough to check it out.
After looking around a bit and exchanging the usual pleasantries, we got down to the job at hand.
2015 Sauvignon Blanc $22
Gord says “nose has herbal, green bean notes. medium plus intensity attack of sweet grapefruit, green notes in the mid palate, long finish. For some reason I made no notes about the acid level, but I recall it being a well balanced wine. Good plus.”
Steph: On the nose I get a whiff off grass and faint citrus… it’s just a bit closed but did start to open up. There is plenty of acid, and the wine has a light feel in the mouth. I get grass, apple and citrus flavors, and the fruit carries through with a clean finish. I liked this wine a lot and rate it good.
2014 Estate Viognier $27
Gord says “sweet nose, with a slight botrytis note. low medium acid, medium full body, ripe apple and honey attack, peach mid palate, mineral tingle on finish. This is well done. Close to very good.”
Steph: This wine has a big nose which includes orange blossom, nectar, a pinch of honey and a jasmine floral note. The entry has orange blossom with a back note of pineapple, with red apple and medium to long lemon/orange finish. There is good acid present. Viognier is one of my favorite varietals, but I’m too often disappointed. Not this time! This wine gets a good plus.
Wow, both Gord and Steph like this wine, but from the notes it sounds like they were drinking different wines!
2016 Russian River Chardonnay $27
This wine had not yet been released when we walked in the door; however, while we were there and giving it a try Stan the winemaker decided it was time to put it on the market. So here you go, a scoop. Gord says “toasty popcorn nose. low to low medium acid, apple attack with a bit of fig, warm toasty mid palate. This wine is young (duh), needs some time to flesh out. Good.”
Steph: The nose starts off toasty, like toasted almonds with a little floral note tossed in. I tasted apple with slightly toasty, slightly butter hints with a light body and citrus finish. Typically I am not a great fan of California Chardonnays, but I find this wine tasty and refreshing, not too heavy on the oak. Good acid! Yummy, and I rate this wine good!
2014 Barbera $31
Gord says “medium deep ruby color. Sweet berries and vanilla on nose. low medium plus acid, low to low medium tannins, tart red cherry palate. Good to very good.”
Steph: This wine starts off with bright ripe cherry, caramel, toast and smoke aromas. The cherry and floral qualities blend with a musty leather and finish with somewhat grippy tannins. Luckily the tannins are not overwhelming, and if you pair with the right food with this wine will be even better. That said, my notes say this wine is yummy. Good plus.
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa $49
Napa cabernet is a favorite of Jay Wilderotter, so the winemaking staff heads over to Napa every harvest to pick up about 5 tons of cabernet sauvignon fruit, usually from the Rutherford area.
Gord says “black currants on nose. low plus acid, low medium tannins, medium to medium full body. Red fruit attack, restrained, with a hint of olive. 2011 was a cool year for California generally, and this wine shows the signs of cool vintage cab. Winemaker says savory, I would tend to agree. Good.”
Steph: Plum and cherry, vegetal and slightly musty nose. The flavor of plum along with vegetal and leather qualities evolves to a moderately long, slightly grippy tannin finish. Medium acid. I will call this wine austere and give it a thumbs up. Good!
2013 Estate Petite Sirah $32
Gord says “spicy nose with a bit of bramble. low to low medium acid, slightly more tannin, chunky red blackberry fruit. Long succulent finish. This wine is savory for sure. I usually find PS to be rather rustic and rough, so this wine surprised me with its balance of flavor and texture. Very good.”
Steph: A dark cherry-berry nose with a little leather is mirrored in the flavor of this wine. The flavor also includes floral notes and I detect wood, but not too much. The cherry is present through the grippy tannin finish. Tasty wine. Good plus!
2013 Zinfandel $27
Gord says “spicy brambly nose, with a bit of white pepper. low to low medium acid, low medium tannin, beautiful red bramble fruit, medium full body, long clean finish. This wine is delicious. Very good plus.” My notes for this wine are very similar to the notes above for the Petite Sirah, which is why I really liked both of them. However, the Zin edged out the PS by a nose for my favorite of the day. Bought several bottles to cellar – although not for too long. I like zin in the 3 to 5 year drinking window.
Steph: Starts out toasty with tart red currant with black pepper, spice and slight caramel, floral like a star lily. Then you taste the wine. You get the slightly tart red currant, musty attic on a medium body mouth feel, culminating with tart fruit and pepper, a slight, slight hint of sweet caramel integrated with slightly astringent tannins. The Zin was very pleasant, complex in the nose and flavor and had a long finish. Since Gord and I will not talk about the wines while we are tasting, nor do we share our notes til we write them for the blog, the fact that we both bought the Zin shows how much we liked it. Very Good!
What we really loved about Wilderotter is the wonderful staff. For the most part, Lorrie entertained us for the tasting. We also met Jennifer, who was equally personable, and winemaker Stan, who was very willing to give us background info on the winery, and his philosophy on wine making. We had intended to hit a couple more wineries, but just couldn’t tear ourselves away. You should go!