Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fleming Jenkins

Many wineries have their share of gold medals, but there can't be many that boast an Olympic gold medal. Figure skater Peggy Fleming won the USA's only gold medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. She and her husband - former dermatologist turned winemaker Greg Jenkins run the Fleming Jenkins winery. The wines are made at the old Novitiate Winery, now home of Testarossa, and they have a tasting room in downtown Los Gatos. The fee is $5 and normally includes 5 wines; the port usually isn't available to taste.

Note Further to my recent comments on scoring systems I've decided to give the 100 point scale a shot.

2008 "Victories" Rosé
A blend of 87% Syrah and 13% Pinot Noir, barrel fermented but no malolactic. Part of the proceeds go to support breast cancer research (Peggy was diagnosed and successfully treated in 1998.)
Light nose with ruby grapefruit, wild strawberries and a hint of banana. Though dry it has a light, sweetish, fruity character; sherbet, strawberry and tropical fruit, with good acidity and a mouth watering finish. A nice summer sipper. 87 $20

2007 Jenkins Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains
From the 1 acre vineyard planted by the owners home. The wine sees about 35% new French oak.
Light nose showing lemon zest; on the palate there's a subtle blend of creamy vanilla, lemon, melon and some minerality, good acidity and a medium length finish. Nice, but not a bargain. 89 $38.

2006 Black Ridge Syrah, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose shows smoky oak, black plummy fruit and a touch of liquorice. Nice complexity; flavours of plum and brambles and some white pepper. Good structure; will repay cellaring. 92 Recommended $40

2006 Madden Ranch Syrah, Livermore
From a 100 acre vineyard owned by John Madden, in Livermore. The warmer climate produces a riper wine than the Black Ridge; the nose is smoother and lighter, the palate shows ripe fruit, less structure, with liquorice and smoke on the finish. An easy drinking Syrah that lacks the complexity of the Black Ridge; drink it now and leave the others in the cellar. 89

2005 Choreography, Napa Valley
A Bordeaux blend with 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 9% Merlot and 1% Malbec
The light nose of blackberry jam and smoke belies a good, balanced, well structured wine; espresso, blackcurrant and smoke with a nice, dry tannic finish. 91 $50

2004 Petite Sirah Port
9% residual sugar. The port-like nose (well, duh!) shows some volatile acidity; on the palate there's chocolate with spicy black cherry and an oaky, toasty, porty, sweet finish. Sorry but with one very notable exception (and this isn't it) I'm not much of a fan of US pseudo-ports. 84 $34 (half bottle).