TNs: 4 Arnot-Roberts wines +
I attended a dinner last night which featured 4 very interesting wines from Arnot-Roberts, a relative newcomer located in Sonoma County and committed to organic farming, unfiltered, unfined, whole cluster frems, use of native yeasts and cool climate growing conditions. We first enjoyed a unique palate cleanser:
2009 PALMINA LUMINA SPARKLING NEBBIOLO SISQUOC VINEYARD- 100% Nebbiolo, this is quite a treat and knowing its Nebbiolo going in, it amazes with what it brings to the experience; the color is pinkish orange and it`s soft, gentle and pleasant, crisp and refreshing with a medium body and a subtle fruit and floral profile which carries on through the nice finish; I was expecting a much bigger, bolder intense red fruit dominated bubbly, but Steve has crafted a wine with elegance and class here which shows a more feminine side of this varietal.
2010 ARNOT-ROBERTS WATSON RANCH VINEYARD NAPA CHARDONNAY- 13% alc; from the most southern vineyard in Napa County, this organic chard is the epitome of citrus fruit expression; it`s very rich with a nose of minerals, kiwi and lemon lime, the latter carrying on into the mid palate with surprising softness; there`s just a moment where it all kind of explodes and intensifies and then settles back down for a pleasing finish.
2010 ARNOT-ROBERTS VARE VINEYARD NAPA RIBOLLA GIALLA-12% alc; initially it was muted and tight, but with time it opened up into a terrific RG; good acidity with some minerals, it kept expanding and finished with a touch of pepper on top of the stone fruitiness; I really had to seek out the subtle nuances and they were there; very different from the RGs I`ve had in Fruilli; it should be interesting to track this wine as it matures.
2010 ARNOT-ROBERTS SYRAH BLEND- from 3 vineyards, Griffin`s Lair [Sonoma Coast],Clary [Sonoma Coast] and Alder Springs [Mendocino], this is a syrah of many faces; for me, it`s more Northern Rhone like with its pepper and spice and robust ripe red/ black fruit; this is multi layered even in the nose and continues to evolve in the glass; there`s some cinnamon, cranberry, black pepper, spice, talc, wild cherry/ berry and blueberry amongst some pretty firm tannins which show up more in the finish; this is serious juice and I love its complexity; another very different wine from the norm; 13.9% alc.
2007 ARNOT-ROBERTS CLAJEUX VINEYARD CHALK HILL SONOMA CABERNET- 14.5% alc; and yet another really outstanding wine that presents with a different than expected varietal profile; in fact, I would be hard put to ID this as a cab if tasted blind and yet it does have some cab essences; there`s some wonderful ripe sweet chocolaty cherry/ berry fruit and even a little maraschino cherry and its all beautifully balanced along with soft tannins which makes for a great mouth feel; this is different and special; I want some in my cellar.
"In victory you deserve Champagne. In defeat, you need it".