© 1999 JDM Enterprises
DRY CREEK UPDATEby Jerry D. Mead
The first of the new wave of wineries established in Sonoma County in the 70s, Dry Creek Vineyards has a real track record for Fume Blanc and the no longer fashionable but always delicious Chenin Blanc.
The latest Fumes are some of the best ever. The new Zinfandels are above average to stellar. Dry Creek wines have broad national distribution and you can contact the winery for additional information on wines or arranging visits at (707) 433-1000 or e-mail: email@example.com.
Dry Creek 1998 "Clarksburg" Chenin Blanc ($8.75) This is the one non-Sonoma wine, which makes sense because the "Clarksburg" area in California's Delta region is famous for this variety. Melon, a little green apple, tart-sweet and an overall perception that is basically dry. Think of it as a poor man's Chardonnay, with no oak flavoring. Drink it with a grilled chicken breast or a Dungeness crab. Rating: 88/88
Dry Creek 1998 "DCV3" Fume Blanc ($16) A throwback wine! Like the very aggressively herbaceous Dry Creek Fumes of old and a style that is becoming once again fashionable (think New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs). Very grassy, with gooseberry, kiwi and grapefruit flavors. A tart, crisp finish that will work perfectly with oysters on the half shell, or fishes in lemony sauces. Rating: 96/84
Dry Creek 1997 "Reserve" Fume Blanc ($15.75) The Fume for wood lovers and fans of Chardonnay who think they don't like Fume. Toasty, smoky, barrel-fermented, oak-extracted style...but as attractive and forward as the wood characteristics are they do not overpower the intense Sauvignon Blanc varietal character. Moderate grassiness, with grapefruit flavors and oak vanillin. Rating: 95/88
Dry Creek 1998 "Sonoma-Barrel Fermented" Chardonnay ($15) Not nearly as much wood presence as the name might lead you to expect. Tart apple and melon fruit with some very delicate butterscotch after-flavors. Rating: 87/84
Dry Creek 1997 "Reserve" Chardonnay ($22) Very similar to the "barrel fermented" version, but with a bit more wood, some smoky notes and a little lime citrus. Rating: 88/84
Dry Creek 1997 "Sonoma Old Vines" Zinfandel ($18) Wow! Ripe plum and berry; very concentrated and intense; extremely ripe yet avoiding overripeness; a real lip-smacker. Fans of really big Zins are going to love it. Rating: 96/89
Dry Creek 1997 "Dry Creek Valley-Late Harvest" Zinfandel ($20) I never know what to do with these wines. They're too sweet (3 percent residual sugar) for most foods. They're not really sweet enough for dessert. More berries and plums, but leaning to prunes and raisins. A well made example of the style for those who like it, I'd suggest serving it at the end of a meal with Roquefort or Gorgonzola. Advice to the winemaker: Next time pick the grapes a week earlier and make "real" red wine. Rating: 86/84
Dry Creek 1998 "Sonoma" Fume Blanc ($11.75) A classic, middle-of-the-road
style Fume. Grassy, without being aggressively herbaceous, with grapefruit
and lime citrus notes and a dry, but not austere, perception. A really fine
companion to just about anything coming from ocean, lake or stream and will
work with Asian cuisines. Rating: 90/90
Wines are scored using a unique 100 point system. First number rates
quality; second number rates value. |
© 1999 JDM Enterprises.
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