Snoop Cali Red back in stock at Burrows Lightbourn
We have three new arrivals from Dry Creek Vineyards, a winery that is close to my heart as I met David Stare in 1980, eight years after he founded the first winery in this area of Sonoma since prohibition.
David was educated at MIT but in the late 1960s he headed west and, inspired by trips to the Loire Valley in France, he realised that his true calling was wine. On a weekend trip to Dry Creek Valley, he spotted an old prune orchard across from the general store. He bought it and planted vines.
His daughter Kim now runs the show, but the winery still features sailing craft on all their labels. Her dad has sailed his own boat to Bermuda and as well, sailed with my wife and I here in bygone days of our Premier Cru French sailing vessel.
Wilfred Wong of wine.com tells the whole story when he writes: “The 2019 Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc remains one of California's most remarkable and consistent wines. I recall tasting the 1973 vintage when it was released (circa 1975), and I may have even tried the 1972 vintage, the winery's first year of production. I'll have to dig into my ancient journals to find it I did. Tasting notes: The newest vintage is predictably at the top of its game. Its aromas and flavours of dried spices, herbs, tangy citrus, and chalk invite a plate of raw oysters in the quiet of the backyard. (Tasted: July 12, 2020, San Francisco, California) 92/100.”
This fumé blanc is 100 per cent sauvignon blanc and some Californian wineries use this term, possibly because the French call one of their best-known ones pouilly fumé. $23.50 (Stock #6506).
Inspired by the vouvray wines of the Loire Valley that show what the chenin blanc grape is capable of, we also have 2019 Dry Creek Vineyards Chenin Blanc. At first swirl, aromatics of passion fruit, lime and candied lemon spring forward from the glass with notes of orange blossom, jasmine and melon. On the palate, the wine is refreshing with flavours of lemon curd, mango and passion fruit with hints of hibiscus. The mouthfeel is lively but rich, with a voluptuous texture.
Once again to hear from wine.com that rates it 91/100: “The Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc takes a page out of France's Loire Valley as it plays on a level field with the best of vouvrays. Tasting notes: This wine is fresh, bright, and attractive with aromas of honeydew, dried earth, and tart apples. Pair it with a seafood salad of grilled prawns, Mandarin oranges, and pickled ginger. (Tasted: August 5, 2020, San Francisco.” $23.50 (Stock #6505).
In a recent e-mail to David, I told him that I still had a little of his 1977 zinfandel and “wondered if it was ready to taste”. They do an amazing job with this grape and always have.
2016 Dry Creek Heritage Zinfandel is thankfully back in stock. The grapes for this wine come from an experimental project initiated back in 1982 when cuttings from a pre-prohibition vineyard near Geyserville provided budwood for grafting onto phylloxera resistant rootstock. Finally, in 1997 the process concluded with a “young vine” that displayed “old vine” zinfandel characteristics. The 2016 Heritage Vines Zinfandel is delicious and beautifully balanced. This vintage presents enticing aromatics of raspberries, cherry and a hint of toast and black pepper. On the palate, brambly flavours of ripe boysenberry and spicy dark chocolate come forward. The Wine Spectator and the Wine Enthusiast both rate this wine 90/100. $30 (Stock #6507). Perfect on a chilly January evening.
One of the most asked for wines in the Burrows Lightbourn portfolio has recently been out of stock, but large supplies have just been unloaded. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the wine exploits of Calvin Broadus Jr I will quote from their website: “Calvin Broadus Jr, otherwise known to most of the world as Snoop Dogg, has carved his name in the annals of music as a rapper, songwriter and producer. But now Snoop can add to his portfolio, his very own wine.
“In a partnership with 19 Crimes, the release of Snoop Cali Red is the Australian wine company’s first California wine release. Snoop’s Cali Red is a blend of 65 per cent petite sirah, 30 per cent zinfandel and 5 per cent merlot.
For the history buff and wine lover, 19 Crimes features criminals accused of one of 19 different crimes on its labels. Each bottle and its character come to life through an app with augmented reality. By downloading the 19 Crimes app to your smart phone you can scan the label, and hear these criminals opine, straight from your bottle. We get a kick out of hearing several Snoop Dogg comments.
Cali Red is an opaque, dark purple colour. It shows a bouquet of very ripe mixed fruit, accented with distinct American oak aromas of vanilla and smoke. The palate is full and dense with strong black and blue fruit notes up front from the petite sirah, ended by bright red, slightly candied fruit in the background from the zinfandel. The darkly toasted oak ties it all together with a slightly sweet finish.” 19 Crimes Cali Red 2019 is $24.65 (Stock #6225).
This column is an advertorial for Burrows Lightbourn Ltd. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or 295-0176. Burrows Lightbourn has stores in Hamilton (Front Street East, 295-1554) and Paget (Harbour Road, 236-0355). Visit www.wineonline.bm