Gabe's View

Wine: Reviews, Thoughts & Culture

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White Rhone Blend

Eberle - 2008 Cotes-Du-Robles Blanc

The Paso Robles region in California has been exploding over the last decade. Both it’s reputation and number of wineries have grown by leaps and bounds. It’s a fascinating region where a wide swath of varietals can thrive. However one of the biggest marks they have been making is with Rhone varietals. Bottled both as stand alone wines and in blends, many grapes known best for theirRhone origins thrive spectacularly in Paso Robles. Today I’ll look at a white blend from Eberle Winery. The Eberle 2008 Cotes-Du-Robles Blanc is a blend of Roussanne (49%), Grenache Blanc (33%), and Viognier (18%). The fruit for this selection was sourced from two vineyard sites; Steinbeck Vineyard and Robert Hall Vineyard. Each varietal was hand harvested separately and inoculated with yeast in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation and aging then took place in French oak (20% new) over a period of 9 months. The components were brought together to form the final blend right before bottling. This offering is currently available at for $22.89

Aromas of Lychee, white peach and apricot are all present on the nose of this wine. Both stone and orchard fruit present themselves on the palate. Pear, apricot and white peach are all prominent and abundant in flavor throughout the palate of this wine which has substantial depth and layer after layer of flavor. An unctuous quality emerges on the finish which also shows off copious spices and bits of clover honey. This wine drinks beautifully on it’s own but will be a tremendous partner for soft cheeses, or pastas with cream based sauces.

Eberle has been a solid name in Paso Robles for quite awhile now. Their take on a white Rhones tyle blend is another feather in their cap. With warm weather here, this wine is a great choice to have on hand for outdoor gatherings.

Lionheart Wines - 2007 The Angel's Share

07angelsshareLionheart Wines is another of the Winery's that stood out to me this fall at the Wine Blogger's Conference in Santa Rosa. So when the opportunity to taste through a few of their wines presented itself, I jumped at it. Leon C. Glover, the founder and winemaker, started the label to produce food friendly wines. Many winemakers strive for this goal. Since Leon is also a Chef it seems like an even more natural ambition. I'll look at three of his wines. Up first is a white Rhone style blend. The 2007 Angel's Share is made from fruit sourced at Saralee's Vineyard in Russian River Valley. The blend is 66% Marsanne, 33% Rousanne and 1% Viognier. This wine spent 8 months in close to neutral French oak. A mere 74 cases of this wine were produced and the suggested retail price is $33.

Honeysuckle, lemon, pear and a host of spice notes such as white pepper and nutmeg burst from this wines effusive nose. There is a persistent core of fruit throughout the palate which is lush, soft and mouth filling. Lemon and orchard fruit flavors are the most notable along with some pineapple and guava. The finish is ever so lightly creamy with some hints of nut and vanilla. The wines acidity is excellent and this will be a great compliment to spicy Thai cuisine, as one example. It drinks phenomenally on its own and I wouldn't hesitate to let this wine stand by itself to impress your guests.

What I like best about this Rhone style blend is that it tastes a lot more complex than its $32 price tag. This boutique wine is a well made gem. While not made for long term aging this offering will improve for a couple of years and hold for a couple after that, certainly longer than the average California white. Well done by Lionheart Wines.

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