2009Grenache80
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Our block of hardy, untrellised Grenache vines endured 80 hours of frost in the 2009 growing season – and still captured the warmth of summer. You might catch a quick whiff of red cherries before the aromas of ripe red plums take over, with what the French call “garrigue”: the scent of warm brush on a sunny hillside. The plums rule in your mouth, spreading polished tannins everywhere with gentle but firm authority. Toasty oak notes lift the finish on this reassuringly weighty wine. For current drinking, decant for at least an hour to unpack the fruit. While you wait, prepare something savory and marvel at how nature can create such a rich red wine with only 13% alcohol. (The French have a term for that too: “fantastique.”) $30

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Velvety aromas of dark cherries, darker chocolate and espresso beans, with a firm oak under layer and intense purity that recall wines of the northern Rhône. In the mouth, this Syrah reveals sweet blueberry and agreeably tart red plum flavors edging the main stem of cherries and chocolate. Opulent entry and full body on the tongue, with polished tannins easing the oak into the texture. The long aftertaste lifts cleanly off the back palate and echoes the original aromas. The wine will reward decanting now, and should gain complexity with age. $35

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It took us a few years to issue our first reserve (requiring extra time in barrel and bottle). This one was worth waiting for. From the long, late growing season of 2008 comes a 100% Syrah with a classic flavor profile: dark red fruit, deep blueberries, and delectably raw beef. The wine is also a plush mouth-filler, shaped like a big sleek yacht that glides over your palate for long moments. Partial use of whole-cluster pressing and new French oak make the wine almost bottomless. If you love serious red wine, this one will remind you why: sensuous, complex, balanced, and able to stand alone or share a meal. For current enjoyment, decant for an hour or two. Or you can cellar for a few years and let the wine gain even greater luster. $45

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2010Spiral36name
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This succulent blend opens with aromas of Golden Delicious apple, lemon and mango. These fruits burst with freshness in the mouth, layered onto a vibrant foundation of baked pear and caramelized golden sugar flavors hinting at subtle oak influence from neutral and one year old French barrels. The feeling of the wine is raw silk unrolling across the palate like a wave until the flavors volatilize back into aromas that linger gently on the palate. The rich, complex personality of Spiral 36 was achieved without a secondary fermentation, and comes with refreshingly moderate alcohol. . $22

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2010sauvingnonblancname
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This first vintage in the collaboration of Cowhorn and Upper Five offers a Sauvignon Blanc akin to a Sancerre from the Loire region of France. Aromas on the nose range from passion fruit and pear to a delightful aroma of hay (a glorious reminder that this wine is a product of agriculture).The palate shows a plentiful array of fruit as found on the nose, with a fresh and lively demeanor, but underneath it there is also considerable substance. It has a rather full, perhaps even meaty texture, and it is very finely balanced with good acidity. Towards the finish it shows a very solid feel in the mouth, but leaves only a crisp, clean feeling with lingering mineral nuances. $22

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Cowhorn’s 2009 rosé offers classic Provençal qualities (Grenache grapes, salmon color, strawberry flavors and low alcohol) with an engaging local personality. The strawberries marry with red delicious apples and pink grapefruit, and there are hints of papaya and guava from a splash of Cowhorn’s luscious Viognier. In the mouth you get the full rosé ride: first it’s fruity, then it’s fleshy, and finally it’s refreshingly tangy. Your taste buds will welcome this rosé with almost any spring or summer meal. $18

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Hedonistic one moment, refreshing the next. Abundant aromatics of green apple, fresh-cut hay, and pineapple all become flavors in the mouth, joined by juicy tropical fruits for a luscious entry with plenty of palate weight. Then the wine gains grip, the flavors integrate, and bright acidity emerges to cleanse the palate. The aromatics then return for a long cool finish: time for another sip!

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