Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014

Hello, and welcome to my periodic dig through the samples pile. I’m pleased to bring you the latest installment of Vinography Unboxed, where I highlight some of the better bottles that have crossed my doorstep recently.

This week’s brief foray into the samples pile included a lovely Pinot Blanc, or as they would call it, Weissburgunder, from Germany, as well as a nice Mosel Riesling.

Spring Mountain Vineyards in Napa shows off a gorgeous Sauvignon Blanc, while Lang & Reed represents with an excellent Cabernet Franc.

Finally, I continue to be impressed with Stark Wine Company, whose Mendocino Syrah was quite a pleasure to drink.

All these and more below!

2012 Thörle “Trocken” Pinot Blanc, Rheinhessen, Germany
Pale gold in the glass, with the faintest of spritz as it comes out of the bottle, this wine smells of lemon and grapefruit pith with a background of wet chalkboard. In the mouth bright flavors of lemon and pear have a faint sweetness to them and a nice citrus peel finish. 13% alcohol. Score: around 8.5. Cost: $19 click to buy.

2012 Spring Mountain Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Spring Mountain District, Napa, California
Pale gold in color, this wine smells of gooseberries, passion fruit, and white flowers. In the mouth, beautiful flavors of passion fruit and white flowers have a wonderful aromatic sweetness to them. Quite pretty and delicious with great acidity. 13.7% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5. Cost: $40. click to buy.

2012 Graff “Graacher Himmelreich” Riesling Spätlese, Mosel, Germany
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of asian pears and asian pear skin, with just a hint of petrol. In the mouth lean flavors of asian pear and apple mix with a nice stony wet chalkboard quality that leaves a little dry chalky finish in the mouth. Nicely balanced with good acidity, the wine comes across as only very faintly sweet. 8.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $16. click to buy.

2012 Dutton Goldfield “Freestone Hill Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California
Medium garnet in color, this wine smells of ripe cherry and cranberry fruit. In the mouth cherry, brown sugar, and cedar flavors mix with a hint of cocoa powder for a rich expression of this grape that may lack a little of the zip I tend to look for. Still pretty nicely balanced. 13.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9. Cost: $65. click to buy.

2012 Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc, North Coast California
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of crushed nuts, plum, and green herbs. In the mouth leathery tannins wrap around a core of plum and green herbs that is quite appealing. Excellent acidity and a deeper earthier note linger in the finish. Tasty. 14.1% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $22. click to buy.

2012 Stark Wine Company “Cuvee Julian” Syrah, Mendocino, California
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of wet stone, woodsmoke and blackberry fruit. In the mouth, stony blackberry and smoky flavors linger with deeper earth notes in the long finish. Excellent acidity and a nice savory quality layered into everything. 13.9% alcohol. Score: around 9. Cost: $45.