Tasting Notes: 1999 Coffaro Wines
Tom Hill, January 10, 2001
David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Carignan (75% Carignan, 9%PS, 9% CabFranc,
7% CS; 13.2%; 245 cs) '99: Med.dark color; light earthy/dusty/spicy/black
cherry lovelt/perfumed nose; tart bright cherry/ cherry cola light dusty
flavor; long bright cherry/cola/Cheracol light dusty finish w/ some tannins;
one of the best Calif Carignans I've had w/o the hard/raspy tannins they
often seem to have; needs several yrs. $13.50
David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Zin (75% Zin, 8% PS, 7% CS, 7% CabFranc,
3% Barbera; 14.4%; 985 cs) '99: Dark color; much more blackberry/raspberry/spicy
very fragrant classic DCV slight bretty nose; tart very spicy/bright/raspberry/blackberry/perfumed
bit tight clean flavor; long very spicy/blackberry/raspberry/aromatic clean
finish w/ light tannins; loads of classic DCV/spicy/ raspberry/Zin character.
David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley RW Estate Cuvee (32% CS, 29% Zin, 27%
Carignan, 12% PS; 13.6%; 590 cs) '99: Med.dark color; dusty bit smokey/pungent/spicy
some blackcurranty.cinammon/cloves slight pencilly/oak complex nose; soft/round
dusty/old vine complex/aromatic/spicy/cinammon/cloves some blackcurranty
flavor; very spicy cinammon/cloves/fragrant slight blackcurranty/Cab finish
w/ light tannins; a lovely/drinkable/complex red wine; the Cab seems to
show more but it has a certain spicy aromaticity probably from the Zin.
David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Franc (77% CabFranc, 10% Syrah,
10% PS, 3% CS; 13.9%;440 cs) '99: Dark color; strong pungent/licorice/chocolaty
perfumed some pencilly/oak nose; soft bit herbal/ blackcurranty/earthy/pungent
licorice/chocolaty/spicy flavor; long slight herbal some chocolaty/ licorice/blackcurranty/deep
finish w/ some tannins; seems rather a more serious/ageable wine with good
Cabernet character. $13.50
David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Petite Sirah (75% PS, 11% Sirah, 6% CS,
4% Zin, 4% Barbera; 13.7%; 440 cs) '99: Very dark color; bright spicy/dusty
bit peppery/chocolaty/berry slight metallic aromatic/fruity light pencilly/oak
nose; rich/balanced bright fruity/cherry bit peppery/chocolaty spicy/fragrant
flavor; soft bright cherry/chocolaty/berry/peppery dusty bit tannic light
pencilly/ oak finish; lots of bright fruit and not the usual PS/clunky/clumsey
David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley RW Aca Modot (56% CS, 20% CabFranc, 9%
Barbera, 8% Merlot, 7% Malbec; 13.6%; 250 cs) '99: Very dark color;
strong chocolaty/fragrant/smokey deeper/spicy slight herbal bit blackcurranty/Cab
some pencilly/perfumed/oak nose; fairly big/rich complex/herbal/Cab/ blackcurranty
very spicy/perfumed some smokey/pencilly/oak flavor; very long/rich/ripe/lush
some blackcurranty/Cab/herbal/chocolaty light smokey/oaked complex/balanced
finish w/ some tannins; fairly classic ripe DCV Cab; not particularly big/extracted
but wonderful aromatics and good drinkability; will age. $17.25
David Coffaro Dry Creek Valley RW Block 4 (Field blend: 40% PS of 3
clones, 40% Zin, 20% others including Carignan & Syrah; 100 yr old
vines; 15.2%; 50 cs) '99: Very dark color; deep blackberry/boysenberry
dusty/old vines licorice/chocolaty/ripe complex/perfumed/aromatic loads
of fruit nose; tar rich/ripe blackberry/boysenberry/chocolaty aromatic
very ripe flavor; very long blackberry/boysenberry dusty/old vines perfumed/chocolaty
complex finish w/ some tannins; more like RussianRiver Zin than DCV; carries
the alcohol well and little overipe or raisened character; killer wine.
* * * *
The prices are, obviously, Dave's future's prices from two years ago. Retail
prices when they're released will be mid- $20's. I received these wines
in early November but Dave admonished me they need a bit of time and suggested
I hold off on tasting thru them. Alas, just couldn't wait any longer.
The wines are beautifully fragrant wines that are a true joy to drink
now, though seemingly a bit tight on the palate. But I expect them to get
much better over the next six months or so, if'n you have a little patience.
I would say that, across the board, the '99's may be Dave's most successful
vintage yet. They are classic Coffaro wines; not particularly big vis a
vis other Calif wines, but they all display great balance and have a lovely
perfumed spiciness to them. Obviously, he does a lot of blending on all
his wines; blends that simply don't display much rhyme nor reason to me.
In some of the past vintages, I felt the Coffaro winemaking style was
dominant in the wines at the expense of varietal character. In this set
of '99's, the Coffaro character is certainly there but I thought they displayed
more varietal character than the ones I had tasted in the past at this
same time in their evolution. That is to say, in the past, at this point,
I've found a lot of sameness/consistency amongst the wines. With the '99's,
they seem to show much more individuality across the selection.
One of the pecularities I noted in this yr's release was that some of
the wines stated "estate bottled" and some did not. Not quite sure why
that difference; would presume those w/o EB indicate wines that contain
purchased grapes. Another pecularity: In the CabFranc, it's spelled "Syrah"
on the label. In the PetiteSirah, it's spelled "Sirah" on the label. Wonder
The Aca Modot is mostly a Cabernet-based wine that comes from a slightly
higher part of his vnyd where the Aca Modot tribe used to dwell in ancient
times (even before TomHill's time!!). When you walk thru that part of the
vnyd and dig down a bit into the soil, you can scuff up pot sherds, arrowheads,
blackened rocks from their campfires, bones from their meals, and broken
roulette wheels from their gambling casinos. It's usually the biggest and
most serious wine Dave makes each year. This year is no exception.
The Block 4 is a new wine for Dave. Tiny amount. This is the block of
grapes that used to go to Doug Nalle for his Zin, but now Dave keeps for
himself. It's easily the biggest Zin that Dave has ever made. It speaks
more of varietal Zin and less of David Coffaro than any other wine. Superb
stuff. With this '99 vintage, Dave uses Stu Yaniger's NeoCork. Always marching
to the beat of his own drummer; Dave's the first in the Dry Creek Valley
to do this that I'm aware of. Good move IMHO. The NeoCork is far superior
to those ugly SupremeCorqs and much much easier to remove.
Dave's 2001 futures offering will be coming out in late Feb/early March.
The prices can't be beat and they're one of the safest gambles around I'd
have to say. Anyway, another great release from Dave Coffaro. And, just
like everyone else, I wisht I'd bought more!!
TO THIS MESSAGE START
A NEW THREAD
Tasting Notes: 1999 Coffaro Wines
Tom Hill, January 10, 2001