Wine Blog

09 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir ($42) ☺☺☺☺

Craig Strehlow has the luxury of being able to use some of the best fruit in the Russian River Valley. Keefer Ranch supplies fruit many of the leading Pinot Producers (Kosta Browne, Siduri, Freeman and Loring to name  few) and you can see why when you open this home produced bottle. The nose instantly reminds you of sweet cherries and hints of cola and plums. After decanting and tasting there is just beautiful smooth tannins and ripe sweet cherries and strawberries and did I get a hint of perfume in there?  A nice long finish means that this wine is enjoyable from start to finish. The 09 is all sold out now but the 2010 is just being produced. Make sure you get yours on order before it all goes. (I have !)

05 "J" Robert Thomas Pinot Noir ($55) ☺☺☺☺

One of the first visits we ever made was to "J" Vineyard. Lovely tasting area, affable host and the wines were all excellent. This 2005 J offering from the Robert Thomas vineyard has evolved into a wonderfully complex pinot. When you first open the bottle the immediate nose is of blueberries and hints of spice. After decanting and resting for about an hour the taste is of cherries and red berries all laced beautifully with toffee and vanilla. A smooth wine which would be great with a salmon dish or something lighter on flavour. 

10 Benton Lane Pinot Noir ($26) ☺☺☺

The Oregon Pinot wines have always been attractive and good value. Benton Lane is a good example of the Oregon style. The overall style is more delicate that the fruit dominated Californians. That doesn't mean that the flavours are not as dominant, just more subtle. This wine has deep cherry laced with raspberries on the nose. On tasting it out comes a great waft of vanilla and spice. At $26 or less it is good value and a great ready to drink wine.

08 Loxton Hawk Hill Chardonnay ($28) ☺☺☺

Chris Loxton produces some great wines out of Sonoma. The Hawk Hill Chardonnay is one of our favourite 'boilerpalte wines' which we can go back to time and time again for its consistently great flavours. The Chardonnay shows great pineapple and lemon with a hint of buttery cream finish from the new oak ageing. This wine goes really well with fresh seafood and is best served chilled straight from the bottle. Great value and without the usual californian dominant oak. Just right for summer.

© John Holmes 2014