Friday, September 7, 2007

J Wilkes Tasting at Wades Wine: If you like Pinot Colada's & ...

Always a pleasure to meet up with Jeff Wilkes. He was pouring his new wines at Wade's today.

I was personally looking forward to tasting these wines since I had gotten to taste the 2006 pinot blanc while it was still fermenting. Back then it was so tropical it tasted alot like a pina colada. Upon tasting now, it was fun to pick up on the notes of pineapple and creaminess that are still present.

The newly released 2006 Pinot Blanc, Bien Nacido Vineyards has a lot more fruit in the nose than the 2005. Huge notes of pineapple and meyer lemon. Plenty of crisp acidity that just begs for food. I can imagine how well this would go with chicken picatta. The 2005 Pinot blanc while have less fruit forward characteristics,exihibited plenty of wonderful minerality and note again of meyer lemon with a long finish. I was reminded why I served it at thanksgiving last year. For $18.99 at Wade's you can afford to try it.

My favorite for the price ( $39.99) 2005 J. Wilkes Hillside Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Pinot Noir . Not your typical big fruit california pinot. This one reminded me of a great burgundy. A deep sensuous complexity with a wonderful spicey, herbal bouquet. The notes of strawberries and cherries typical to pinot are there but they are just one of the many that will overwhelm your senses. I loved it.

2005 J. Wilkes Solomon Hills Block 3 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir $39.99
This was a wonderful more fruit forward Santa Maria Pinot. A bit more rustic than the previous offering but depending on your taste you might prefer this.

2005 J. Wilkes Block Q Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Barbara Pinot Noir $59.99

Compared to the 2004 from the same vineyard you can really taste the different harvest conditions. 2004 was hot compared to when these grapes came in. This was far more subtle than the 2004 counterpart and had much more complexity in the bouquet and a more rounded mouth feel. Very elegant and feminine the fruit, herbal, earthy notes all came through immediately up sipping. Its a wine that might make you raise an eyebrow like Mr. Spock.
The thyme on the finish really make me want to pair this with salmon with thyme and carmelized shallots. I would put this one down if I had the patience and try it again in 2 yrs. It probably could age up to 8 years.
Robert Parker gave the 2005 Bien Nacido Block Q pinot 90 points.


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