Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Chardonnay 2019 (Twenty Mile Bench, $45)
Winemaker Thomas Bachelder wanted to call the third vintage of this wine Le Grand Clos Blanc (mimicking Chardonnay vineyard at Clos Vougeot). An apposite concept because the wine is totally Burgundian in style and execution. Bright straw in colour; lightly toasty, apple nose with suggestions of vanilla and apple blossom and a thread of minerality and oak spice. Medium-bodied, dry, apple and pear flavours carried on lively lemon acidity finishing on a chalky, saline note; beautifully balanced, well-integrated oak and a lovely mouth-feel. (93–94)
Le Clos Jordanne Le Grand Clos Pinot Noir 2019 (Twenty Mile Bench, $45)
Solid ruby colour; spicy, vanilla, minerally, black raspberry bouquet with a top note of violets; me.dium-bodied, dry, elegant, beautifully balanced red berry fruit and ripe tannins with a chalky note on the finish. (92)
Saturday, November 20th: Deborah and I had two meals at Ravine Vineyard today! Lunch was an auction item from a Access Education Guatemala auction, won by Dave and Liz Sawicki. I ordered mushroom soup (delicious) and burger (which was lightyears from the medium rare I asked for). The wines: Ravine Brut, Ravine Reserve Chardonnay 2019 and Ravine Cabernet Franc Nancy’s Block 2019 (the Chardonnay was a great hit with our group).
In the evening we were back for Ravine’s annual Harvest party. I was seated next to Ravine’s winemaker Lydia Tomek, who made a delightful dinner companion. By the time we arrived the oysters had disappeared. Norman Jane Lowrey, the matriarch of the Lowrey family, had decorated the ceiling of the event hall with chardonnay vines wrapped in Paris lights and on all the tables were glass pots filled with vine cuttings. A terrific meal prepared by resident Chef John Vetere.
Other wines tasted:
Château des Charmes Blanc de Blanc Brut (Niagara, $25.95, Vintages #224766) Pale straw colour with an active mousse of tiny bubbles; toasty nose of apple with a thread of minerality; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, with lively acidity and a long lemony finish. (90)
Ivory & Burt Old Vine Zinfandel 2018 (Lodi, California, $24.95, Vintages #479303, to be released Jan. 8)
Opaque purple in colour; leather and plum bouquet with oak spice; full-bodied, dry, smoky, spicy blackberry and plum flavours; well-balanced, firmly structured with a note of black licorice on the finish. (90)
Domaine Carneros Avant Garde Pinot Noir 2019 (Napa, $36.95, Vintages #11528, to be released Jan. 8)
Ruby in colour; toasty, spicy, cherry nose with a light floral note; medium-bodied, dry, elegant, raspberry flavour with well-integrated oak; a beautifully balanced wine. (91)