Attended the Polaner Spring Portfolio. My goal at this one is to a; find new and interesting Cali wines and b; check some of my current favorites. I was not disappointed.
I bee-lined to the back room and hit table #55 first, Arnot-Roberts. The complete lineup was amazing.
2005 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Hudson-Deep red fruit forward Carneros District beauty. Smooth seamless tannins. Wow. 3.7/4- (94)
2005 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Griffins Lair-a bit more spice and tannic structure, great mouthfeel. 3.5/4 (92)
2005 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Adler Springs- most northern Rhone like of the group. Dense with some tat, pepper, and bacon fat. 3.6/4 (93)
2004 Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon Wild Iris- Amazing fruit forward, smooth but firm tannins complete packaged Cabernet. One of the best in the room, and the room was tough. 3.8/4 (95)
2004 Arnot-Roberts Cabernet Sauvignon Bugay Vnyd- Deep colored and wonderfully balanced pure Sonoma style Cab with tightly spun tannins, a bit unyielding, will show nice in a few years- 3.5/4 (92)
2004 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon- Super smooth tannins with a wonderful acid level envelope the dark fruit climaxing in a super long finish. Elegant. A bit tight but the wow factor is evident. 3.6/4 (93)
2004 Maybach Meterium Cabernet Sauvignon- This is an interesting wine. Smooth and regal, shows much breed. Dark and ultra balanced Cabernet that is well worth the hunt. Chatting with Chris Maybach a bit gave me the sense that these guys are truly dedicated to producing world class cult status, Cabernet Sauvignon. Amazing. 3.8/4 (95)
Juan and Wendell from Realm were both in attendance showcasing barrel samples of 3 Cabernets in their lineup. Always good speaking with these gentlemen.
2005 Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Farella (barrel) - A favorite of mine, this has all the guts of a world class Realm. A bit austere now, it should evolve into something worthy of owning. Dark purple color, smooth firm tannins. A baby with a wonderful pedigree and future. 3.4/4 (91/92)
2005 Realm Cabernet Sauvignon ToKalon (barrel) - Lush and well structured, this Cabernet shows the terroir of Tokalon nicely. The most consistent in the lineup yet. A bit bigger than the 2004, nothing that a few in the bottle won't help though. Then look out, this will be a stunner. 3.6/4 (93/94)
2005 Realm Cabernet Sauvignon Dr. Crane (barrel) - The wine I wanted to try most in the lineup. A middle weight Cabernet with good deep red fruits, and a nice set of bones. This will evolve into an elegant cabernet. 3.4/4 (91/92)
Keep in mind that keeping with Realms early release, these wines are all babies. I can't wait for another try at them in June when Realms open house hits NYC.
2004 Larkmead Firebelle- nice blend 3.4/4 (91)
2004 Larkmead Cabernet Sauvignon- This is always a pleaser. The number one QPR again. Although I think the retail this year will be a bit higher, it will still be worth it if it stays under $50. This opulent fruit forward, ultra balanced Cabernet shows what can be done in good vintages as well as sub-par (2003). 3.5/4 (92)
2002 Philip Togni Tanbark Cabernet- I always like this better than the Spring Mountain bottling, and this year is no different. 3.2/4 (89)
2004 Philip Togni Spring Mountain Cabernet- shame to kill so many trees. N/R
2004 Brookman Cabernet Sauvignon- Great deep color. A good tight grip of tannins wrapping around a core of dark currant, tar, cocoa, and cassis. A lovely classic Napa styled Cabernet made to please. 3.4/4 (91)
Other notable Cabernets;
2003 Black Sears Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain- 3.4/4 (91)
2004 Drinkward-Peschon Cabernet Sauvignon- 3.4/4 (91)
2003 Crocker & Starr Stone Place blend-3.3/4 (90)
2004 Gemstone Facets blend- 3.5/4- I still like last years better. (92)
I would have liked to taste the Harris Estate, but they were not present this year.
Moving onto Syrah.
2005 K Vintners Syrah 'the beautiful'- this is a fruit medley in a glass, there is so much good things happening here it's hard to talk of them all. A unique wonderful Syrah from a super dedicated winemaker with more energy than my son had at 5. 3.6/4 (93)
2005 K Vintners Syrah Cougar Hills- interesting that side by side on the same table two diametrically opposite wines exists. Wonderful old world styled Syrah that has elegance and structure. The fruit lingers as the wines aftertaste goes on for 45 seconds. 3.6/4 (93)
2005 K Vintners the Boy blend- 2.9/4 (86)
2005 K Vintners Syrah Milbrandt-3.1/4 (88)
Meeting Tim Spear for the first time you immediately know he knows what his goals are. He wants to produce a La La on this shore. He is well on the way to figuring it out too. His 2002 Clos Mimi Syrah White Hawk (3.7/4 - 94) is amazing. He explained his treatment to me. The wine shows breed and firm expressive structure not found very often today. One of the top two or three Syrahs in the room. I'm a believer Tim!
2003 Clos Mimi Syrah Shell Creek - 3.3/4 (90)
2003 Clos Mimi Brave Oak- 3.3/4 (90)
2005 Pax Syrah Cuvee Christine - 3.0/4 (87)
2005 Pax Syrah Obsidian- 3.7/4 (94)
2005 Pax Syrah Walker Hill RRV - 3.2/4 (89)
2005 Pax Syrah Adler Springs - 3.3/4 (90)
2004 Ojai Santa Barbara- 2.9/4 (86)
2003 Ojai Syrah White Hark- 3.1/4 (88)
2003 Ojai Syrah Melville- 3.3/4 (90)
2005 Copain Saisons des L'Hiver Syrah- 3.3/4 (90)
2005 Copain Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch - 3.4/4 (91)
2005 Copain Syrah Harrison Clarke 3.2/4 (89)
I have some Pinot notes I will add later.