Tom Hill Tasting Notes
And the usual pompous pontifications from the bloody pulpit:
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.]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.coffaro.com