Tom Hill Tasting Notes
    Tom Hill, December 19, 1998

    [Moderator's note: The following is an edited portion of Tom Hill's latest tasting notes, posted with permission. Tom's wide-ranging notes are posted from time-to-time on the  West Coast Wine Discussion Group Board and in his archive area on the Los Olivos Wine & Spirits Emporium website.]

  1. Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Zin (75% Zin, 11% Carignane, 8% PS, 6% CS; 875 cs; 14.9%) '97: Med.dark color; bright lovely raspberry/Zinberry/lush very spicy light pencilly/Fr.oak nose; tart bright raspberry/Zinberry/very spicy light licorice pungent light pencilly/Fr.oak flavor; med.long tart bright/Zinberry/raspberry dusty/pungent/licorice pencilly/Fr.oak finish w/ light tannins; a very lovely- drinking bright classic DryCreek Zin.
  2. Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Red Wine Estate Cuvee (34% CS, 31% Zin, 24% Carignane, 11% PS; 705 cs; 14.3%) '97: Med.dark color; lush spicy blackcurranty/Cab/Zinberry deeper pencilly/Fr.oaked nose; tart deep spicy blackcurranty/Cab/blackberry rather peppery pencilly/Fr.oaked flavor; long deep peppery/blackcurranty/ blackberry light pencilly/Fr.oaked dusty finish w/ light tannins; needs yr or two; a very interesting peppery/spicy red.
  3. Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Carignane (76% Carignane, 20% CS, 4% PS; 250 cs; 14.4%) '97: Med.dark color; very spicy/peppery/dusty some earthy/black cherry rather pencilly/Fr.oak nose; tart some menthol/pencilly/oaked peppery/spicy/dusty/ black cherry/bing cherry flavor; med.long dusty/spicy/peppery/bing cherry pencilly/Fr.oak finish w/ some tannins; needs yr or two; one of the best Carignanes I've had from Calif.
  4. Coffaro Aca Modot Dry Creek Valley RW (70% CS, 30% CabFranc; 75 cs; 13.8%) '97: Very dark color; deep blackcurranty/Cab/spicy/peppery strong pencilly/pungent/ Fr.oak licorice/toasty nose; tart rich blackcurranty/Cab/dusty toasty/pungent bit smokey Fr.oaked rather dusty/earthy flavor; very long menthol/toasty/ pencilly/Fr.oaked dusty/ripe/blackcurranty finish w/ fair tannins; needs 3-7 yrs; a pretty serious Cab w/ lots of depth.
  5. Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (80% CS, 20% Carignane; 225 cs; 13.5%) '97: Dark color; deep blackcurranty/herbal menthol/toasty/oaked some sour milk/pungent nose; soft rich lush ripe/blackcurranty/Cab menthol/toasty/Fr.oaked dusty flavor; long soft ripe/ blackcurranty/ Cab/dusty/ herbal toasty/menthol finish w/ some tannins; needs several yrs.
  6. Coffaro Dry Creek Valley Petite Sirah (75% PS, 11% CS, 8% Carignane, 6% Zin; 250 cs; 14.1%) '97: Med.dark color; fragrant/lush/blackberry/peppery/very spicy some pencilly/Fr.oaked nose; tart spicy/dusty/peppery/ blackberry/chalky/pungent rather pencilly/Fr.oaked flavor; med.long tart/spicy/raspberry/blackberry/ peppery/dusty pencilly/Fr.oak finish w/ some tannins; needs 1-4 yrs; lots of bright fruit compared to most PSs.
And the usual pompous pontifications from the bloody pulpit:
    The David Coffaros: Another stellar lineup from David. He sells on futures so don't think your neighborhood wine merchant is ripping you off at his $22-$24/btl price. The David Coffaro style comes thru load & clear on all these wines: lots of lush/plush fruit w/ a nice touch of Fr.oak, fairly forward and drinkable, not a lot of tannins for long aging but I see no reason these won't all be delicious wines 5 yrs down the road. These '97's seemed a bit more tart & acid than his previous ones; some tasters thought they were over- acidified but I though the tartness gave them more of a bright character. And the pencilly/oak seemed a bit more restrained than previous releases. And they all seemed a bit more strongly varietal, despite the rather creative blending David does with his wines. The Aca Modot: This is the name of an indigenous Indian tribe. The grapes come from the knoll in his Cabernet block where their village was located long ago. When we walked the vnyd last June, David poked around in the dirt & turned up pot shards & blackened rocks from their campfires. This Cab is probably the biggest & most serious wine David has yet made. And it's a good one; lots of strong Cabernet character w/ that classic Coffaro polish to it. All in all, another terrific release from David Coffaro. At the futures price, these are a great deal. He will be offering his '99 futures along about February. Check for this at around then.