jackal4eva wrote:you cannot go wrong with a Roessler wine... The original Roessler label makes some of the best old-world style pinot noirs in the USA. Great opportunity to try a new Roessler product (R2). The original Roessler was bought in to by Hall Wines and I believe this was created as a new side project for Roger Roessler.
I figured it was about time I jumped on the Woot between goings-on in the cellar.
First of all, while I think it's been addressed and settled, I wanted to let you know that both the Black Pine and the Rhapsody being offered here are 2009s.
The 2008 Black Pine was the wine that we had treated for smoke taint, so that's not an issue for the 2009. The higher new oak percentage in the profile does give it a bit of a nice toast/smokiness, so it's kind of a fun transition from the 2008, but I'm glad there was no smoke taint to deal with.
In general, I'd say that the 2009 Black Pine is lusher, more fruit forward, and more accessible right out of the gate than the 2008 was/is. I'd also say that it doesn't need as long to open up, and doesn't need as much cellaring, but it's still got a good amount of structure to support the fruit.
The 2008 Black Pine had a lot of Anderson Valley in it (given the smoke-taint issues up there) but also a good amount of Sonoma Coast, some Carneros, some Russian River... it was really a question of getting the right pieces together to make a cool blend from a variety of regions.
The same goes for the 2009, but this time, the blend we really enjoyed was pretty much a 50/50 split between Sonoma Coast and Sta. Rita Hills. Interestingly, I think some of the dark character that I often get fronm Sta. Rita helped to fill out the dark character that had come from the Anderson valley fruit the year before. Not that Sta. Rita and Anderson Valley aren't VERY different regions with VERY different terroirs, but there can be a "darkness" to each of them and I think that plays well as a similar thread between the 2 wines.
In any case, the 2009 Black Pine is tasting great right now (at least it was last night when my wife and I split a bottle), so I hope you enjoy!
The Rhapsody is a great Rhone blend - our red answer to the Vin Blancs offered a couple weeks ago. It is also a lush wine, with some round, dark fruit qualities that I really like. At the bottom of the glass, I actually get a nose of blueberry, almost blueberry pie. The oak referenced in one of the notes above is actually probably structure and spice from the Carrignane, Syrah, & Mourvedre, in that there was no new oak on the blend. It is really fun to work with Grenache, and it's actually funny how similar it is to Pinot Noir from the fermentation perspective (totally different flavor profile, though!). The fermentation tracks pretty much the same, you need a good cold soak to get any type of color out of the skins (even moreso than Pinot), and it runs the risk of reduction. But while that may sound like a pain at harvest, I guess I'm so used to Pinot that it didn't seem out of the ordinary.
Of course even small quantities of the other varietals involved here can make a big difference to the color, structure, and flavors, and with the Rhapsody, we wanted to get our complexity a la Rhone through varietal combinations. On the Black Pine, we went with complexity through a blend of regions (Pinot is better left as Pinot, I think) in the style of the Roessler Bluejay or La Brisa, but with a broader toy chest available since we're not calling it by an AVA.
Finally, and more in response to the post I replied to, Roessler was indeed bought up by Hall, and R2 is Roger and Richard Roessler's new project. They are still involved with Roessler, but wanted to keep playing on their own as well.
So, that's my long start-off post for now, and I'll keep checking in to answer any questions that come up.