The flight started with Therapy 2007 Chardonnay, which, as Ivana pointed out, “has oak, but doesn’t choke.” Still, for a wine that is 100% barrel fermented in French oak (75% of it new oak), you have to like wood to enjoy this wine. And despite its malolactic, sur lees fermentation, the palette is rather sharp with tart green apple, citrus and nutty notes. It finishes with more toasty oak and vanilla. $25 dollars.
Quinta Ferreira’s 2006 Obra-Prima is a blend of 48% Cabernet, 40% Merlot and 12% Malbec. The nose offers baked cherries and cranberries, a profile that carries on through the palette. Its tannins are easy and so is its mouthfeel. The finish is on the short side and shows an edge of stemminess. A pleasant, quaffable wine to pair with meat. $35
Cedar Creek 2006 Syrah has a shy nose, but raspberry and plums are eventually revealed. The palette shows black fruit in a rich mouthfeel and good acidity makes it food friendly. Its finish is long and fruity with mild tannins. $35
Sumac Ridge 2005 Pinnacle offers an earthy bouquet of deep black fruit. Twenty-five months in oak gives it a hard mouthfeel that makes it difficult to separate the black berry from the wood. The finish is quite long and rich, but the dry tannins interfere. Decanting is a given, but this one needs many years to smooth out. $55
Nk’Mip 2007 Qwam Qwmt Riesling Icewine has a lovely floral and apricot nose and a big, silky mouthfeel. Honey and caramel come forward on the mid-palette, and the finish lasts until the end of the day. $60
Not part of the regular flight was the Sandhill Small Lots 2005 Petite Verdot. The nose blew us away with lush caramel, chocolate and black fruit. The palette had inky plum, coffee and notes of forest floor. The long complex finish turns slightly astringent, but a few years of aging might improve that. A bargain at $30.