Tag Archives: tasting-notes

Ca’ del Solo, 2001 Big House White

The Ca’ del Solo Big House White is unusual for a number of reasons.

First of all, I have *never* had a disappointing wine from Ca’ de Solo, or their other label, Bonny Doon. Everything that comes out of there is unusual, unconventional, and wonderful.

The Big House White caught my eye because the Big House Red is wonderful, so I figured this would be too.

The bottle has a screw-top, which I actually did not notice until after I had bought it. It comes with a little pamphlet explaining why this is a good thing. Very interesting. And it has an amusing label, as do all the wines from this winery. This label features a picture of the Big House, with an escape in progress, and the getaway car speeding off.

And the wine itself is a rather unconventional blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Viognier and Pinot Grigio.

I tasted it in less than condusive conditions, but even then it was intriguing. It is somewhat tangy, and had a medium finish with various melons, tropical fruit, and citrus hanging around once everything else fades. My initial impression was that it had rather more oak than I care for, but tasting it again now, I’m not really finding that any more, so this might have had more to do with what I was tasting it with.

The nose is a little hard to pin down. You can catch traces of all of the grapes in it, with the fruit of a riesling being prominent one moment, and the distinctive aroma of a Sauvignon (what some folks like to refer to as cat pee) surfacing at other times.

This is just an all-around good table white. It seems to me that it would be really good with crab or shrimp. And it’s got enough backbone from the pinots and sauvignon that you don’t really want it quite as cold as some folks are inclined to serve their whites – just slightly chilled.

But definitely don’t be scared off by the screwtop, and read the little pamphlet, so you can ridicule the barbarians who criticize you for bringing a screwtop. 😉

Cline Old Vines Zin

The Cline Old Vines Zinfandel is always a pleasure. Grown on vines that are somewhere in the 50-100 year age range, the wine is robust, big bodies, and powerful in the mouth. It always has that wonderful peppery zinfandel aroma and taste, and lots of good earthy smells.

The first time I visited Sonoma, I stopped first at Cline, which is down at the south end of the valley. I think that the sign said you were allowed to taste 4 wines, or something like that, and it was supposed to be a half ounce of each, perhaps. Well, the guy that was pouring that day was feeling generous, and I believe I probably had 8 half-glasses of wine – perhaps even more – before I was done. It made the rest of the day very interesting, and I have, since then, had a warm place in my heart for Cline.

And, of course, one of the wines I tasted that day was the Old Vines Zin, which has been a favorite of mine ever since, and I get it almost every time it is in stock and ye olde wine shop.

The particular zin I had this time was a 2000, and I’m afraid I have no idea what I paid for it, but I seem to recall it was in the $11 range. Perhaps a little more.