Wanted to highlight a couple bottles from last night’s dinner with Bridget Walsh and Colin Craner, where–and yes I know the pic was a bit blurry because screenshot of story–only 5 wines were opened. And where usually these dinners are a crazy mixed bag of stuff, this one turned out pretty straight-forward: 2 young $$$ Napa cabs, 2 funky Syrahs, and a Riesling.
I somewhat poo-pooed Cutruzzola when first exposed many years ago–because weird name and downtown TR–but changed my tune fast when I started tasting their older Rieslings and Gewurztraminers, and started learning about Riven Rock Vineyard and filing it into the whole grouping of ridiculous Cambria cool-climate spots. Once you start dipping into places like Derbyshire, San Simeon Creek, Stolo and Riven Rock, the spectre of Cambria looms hard, and has a tendency to over-take your whole Central Coast wine experience. Creamy petrol in the nose, a brace of dirty acidity framing kiwi and lily. In the mouth, the version of this variety I adore: fruity in all the right places, with austerity firmly in check. Sharp ripe citrus provides foundation for spicy tropical, more earthy petrol popping up late-middle before blockbuster tannin. These are STUNNING Rieslings.
Those in the back rows will notice a plethora of winemakers shifting to GIII now that To Kalon fruit has been priced out of reach. Huge rich perfumed nose on this one: sweet, sticky ripe floral, a thick tropical headed into banana, gobs of black cherry and dried apricot stewed in delicious Christmas spice. Tasting it alleviates most predilections to sluttiness, but it IS a big, concentrated powerhouse. The ache of tannin doesn’t wait for the finish, but rasps all across the palate. Herbaceous and vigorously structured, this baby needs a couple years to settle down, with decades to go.
2017 CUTRUZZOLA VINEYARDS Riesling Riven Rock Vyd San Luis Obispo Co. 13.3
2019 GRAPE CULTURE Cab G3 Beckstoffer Vyd Napa Valley 14.9
The other wines opened were:
2018 BEAULIEU VINEYARDS Rutherford Reserve: tight, clean, slowly opening, a 40-year wine.
2015 DOMAINE COURSODON ‘Silice’ St. Joseph: funky & vegetal, truly gorgeous.
2011 QUPE ‘Hillside’ Syrah Bien Nacido SMV: old-world and polished.