Brother Lou dropped by the Whino’s studio last week with a kind of grab bag of things:
Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc Ataware Valley 2010. Grade=Outstanding. Nice, grapefruity aromas and flavors, with tart lemon, guava and gooseberry mixing it up with bright acidity. Great value.
Hess Sauvignon Blanc Lake County 2009. Grade=Outstanding-. More creamy and fleshy than the Clifford Bay, there are hints of lemon meringue and passion fruit going on here. It has a much softer approach than its NZ counterparts.
Lyeth Chardonnay Sonoma County 2008. Grade=Above Average. Fairly simple Chardonnay though there are some nice stone fruit aromas and flavors with just a touch of vanilla. Competition at this price point is FIERCE; there are a lot better out there but this is still good.
Lyeth Merlot Sonoma County 2007. Grade=Above Average. 100% Merlot, this medium-bodied red is fresh, lean and showing bright red and black cherries, hints of sage and bay leaf, with a little minerality peeking through its lean, vibrant acidic finish.
Lyeth Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2009. Grade=Above Average. A decent Cab with simple red fruits, hints of spice, plum and mocha, finishing a bit short and subdued.
Lyeth Fleur de Lyeth Red California 2009. Grade=Outstanding. A solid effort. Blended of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Medium-bodied, jammy fruit, round tannins and notes of black cherry, blueberry, mocha and vanilla.
Lyeth Meritage Sonoma County 2009. Grade=Outstanding. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, this medium- to full-bodied red with bold notes of blackberries, chocolate, boysenberry, brown spices and French Roast coffee beans. A little bit of tobacco, charcoal and cedar add depth.