The Nelson Family Vineyards 2007 Orange Muscat is a surprising reminder of what a muscat can become when treated well. And let’s face it, too many winemakers have made a mess of this grape, making wine that is sweet, cloying, thick and generally overdone with no subtle flavors. Tragic.
Muscat is easy to recognize most of the time. The orange scent wafting from the glass is unmistakable. It’s been said that adding one or two percent muscat to a chardonnay to increase the florals gives you all muscat and no chardonnay.
But this wine is all about the muscat.
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Mendocino County is famous for three specific grapes: pinot noir, more pinot noir and something other than pinot noir. Okay, it’s more than pinot. Chardonnay and riesling are especially at home there as well. And many more good grapes abound in this region, but that’s another post or twenty down the road.
This is about the riesling from Nelson Family Vineyards. Riesling is another grape that has been given a bad reputation by growing in too many bad neighborhoods and hanging with the wrong crowd – winemakers without the right skill set for good Riesling production. The fact that
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Missy and Greg Nelson
Talk about letting your wines speak for you! We met Greg and Missy Nelson at the Mendocino Grape Growers event in Santa Rosa last spring, which we attended on a press pass. We enjoyed chatting with Missy, but Greg kind of hung back and didn’t talk too much.
It’s apparently Greg’s style. When Anne emailed him, since that’s whose card we had, his responses were terse, at best. So is the website. That’s fine. The wines are a lot of fun and we’ve got a couple sweeter ones to feature this week.
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This being the middle of the harvest, we’re pretty busy here at OddBallGrape. Put almost 1,500 miles on the car last week and the week before in three trips to Paso Robles, California, to go pick and bring back cabernet franc, syrah, primitivo, vernacchia and merlot grapes for our own home winemaking efforts.
And, gee, since we were in the heart of the Central Coast wine country and since there just happen to be… (ahem) a few wineries up there (like almost 100) and on the way back through the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Rita Hills. Yeah, we
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Courtesy Three Sticks
We tasted the Three Sticks 06 Chard in possibly the worst possible situation – a gigantic show and tasting put on by the Family Winemakers of California. Imagine a room as big as a football field, with over 100 wineries, each trying to impress restaurant owners and retailers and even some consumers. It was chaotic and noisy. And there was a lot of wine. So it really means something that this one chardonnay managed to stand out – in a good way.
It has the classic chardonnay nose, with a little hint of honeysuckle, just
Continue reading Three Sticks 2006 Durell Vineyards Chardonnay