There are a few new wines that have hit the shelves recently that are worthy of taking note: Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Napa Valley ‘Double Lariat’ Cabernet Sauvignon and Burly Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay.
Jamieson Ranch is about as far south as you can be and still be considered Napa Valley. Their location lends them several advantages, the first being a welcomed break from the plague of traffic that effects Highway 12; the second is a growing climate similar to that of the Carneros region with cooler temperatures perfect for most varietals. The property used to be part of a huge cattle and horse ranch and has been know as both Reata Winery and Valley Gate Vineyards. With over 100 acres under vine, Jamieson released their first vintage in 2009.
The ‘Double Lariat’ Cabernet is bold and delights the senses from the start. It has intense aromas of currant and black cherry laced with notes of oak. Ripe red fruits and cassis burst on the palate with hints of spice lingering on a long delicious finish. Mr. Parker agrees and has awarded the 2013 vintage 94 points. With a price of $36.99 it won’t be a secret for long.
Now we move on to Burly Wines which is a part of McCrorie Family Vineyards. The name ‘Burly’ comes from the founder Hank McCrorie and his glory days of college football when he was given the name ‘Burly Bear’ from the local paper. The name stuck and, given the bold nature of his wines, is quite befitting. The property is located in the Coombsville AVA just east of the city of Napa. The temperature here is generally a bit cooler than the rest of the valley allowing for longer hang times, which in turn promotes intensified flavors and a layering complexity in the finished wines.
The Chardonnay spends 20 months in 100% new American Oak and goes through 50% malolactic fermentation. The nose bears notes of oak, vanilla, lemon meringue and red apple. The palate is toasty with great texture–you would think with the intense oak aging that it would be over the top, but it isn’t. It’s brilliant. A proper California Chardonnay, perfect for just about any occasion.
Heather Burton, Wine & Spirits Acquisitions Manager