It has been a while since the last time I reviewed a wine here, so it's probably a good idea to remind folks that LabROUS is another username for SonomaBouliste / Peter Wellington. As LabROUS I am attempting to make my reviews as descriptive as possible, but non-judgmental. If I have been at all successful in this regard I will have given you some idea of what to expect, but have not let my preferences color the reviews. I obviously let the cat out of the bag a bit earlier in the week when I w00ted and expressed my admiration for Roessler wines (which might be one of the reasons WineDavid was generous enough to let me have both of these wines to review). There are a few wineries / winemakers that I hold in high esteem and can recommend unequivocally (eg Corison, Titus), but I haven't reviewed any of their wines here before.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to taste these alongside any of the Roessler appellation series wines (from the previous w00t offering), so I can only compare and contrast these two with each other. My staff, including associate winemaker David Noyes (a budding Pinot Noir star in his own right), tasted along with me, and I have incorporated some of their comments in the following descriptions.
Roessler 2006 Pinot Noir, La Encantada
Significantly darker than the Savoy. Unmistakable Pinot Noir aromas. If someone asked what Pinot Noir smells like, this is it: strawberry and cherry, forest floor, old rose petal, mushroom/truffle. There are hints of cola, orange peel, herbs, smoked meat, tar and chocolate. This wine has medium body, good acid balance, and the flavors mirror the aromas. The oak is very well integrated, never obvious , much less dominant, either in the aromas or on the palate. Although this wine is young, it is already developing the rich yet airy texture that is one of the qualities that set Pinot apart. The best way I can describe it is to use the analogy of chocolate mousse – rich but seemingly almost weightless. The aromas, flavor and texture were very similar after several hours.
Roessler 2006 Pinot Noir, Savoy
Medium garnet. The aromas are very complex,strawberry and raspberry, plum, sage, vanilla, fresh loam, smoke, black pepper, truffle, cedar, Asian spice, and maybe a slight hint of stemminess (is that a word?). This wine is a little leaner than the Encantada, but has moderately concentrated raspberry-like fruit. It seems to have slightly brighter acid, a little more oak and is more tannic. I think this wine has all of its elements in balance, but they aren't fully integrated yet. It has pretty good length already, but shows promise of significant development with more bottle age. The fruit (cherry-plum) aromas were more intense after several hours and there was still a lot of the smoky, slightly gamy character along with a brushy, sage-like aspect.
The La Encantada is more forward and seemingly more evolved. My wife, who prefers Rhône whites and lighter style Zins and Pinots, had a strong preference for this over the Savoy. It could be sipped by itself or accompanied by a smoked Gouda, whereas the Savoy would be better enjoyed with a hearty meal.. Staff suggestions included shepherd's pie and baked yams.
Because Pinot Noir often surprises in terms of longevity, I can't say for sure whether the Savoy will outlast the La Encantada. I do believe that it will develop more and benefit more from extended aging, so if I were going to lay only one of these down it would definitely be the Savoy.
Finally, as a general note, these are traditionally styled, sophisticated wines of substance and nuance. They may not appeal all that much to the folks who prefer big, rich, concentrated “Parker style” wines.