222 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 2 MARCH 2019
For the last three versions, we go back to California:
J. LOHR FALCON’S PERCH 2015
Monterey County #823690 $26.99
This is a big pinot from the Arroyo Seco and Santa Lucia Highlands in the
northern part of Monterey. It has a full nose of strawberries, raspberries
and floral notes wrapped with some sweet oak and vanilla and a bit of tea
leaf. The rich palate displays those same berries mixed with red cherry,
another dollop of that vanilla and some herbs including sage and oregano.
The tannins are very smooth, and it has a long, soft finish. The winery suggests
serving it with smoked salmon, herbed goat cheese and pasta with prosciutto.
We had it over Christmas with roast turkey with a sage-spiced
stuffing and roasted Brussels sprouts with mushrooms, chestnuts and
pancetta. It went well.
Monterey County # 831099 $24.99
A rich purplish-red, this is also a rich wine, with red cherry, strawberry,
raspberry and some vanilla on the nose, and red plum, black cherry, loads
of black currant and bright berries on the palate, with a bit of cardamom and
toasty oak on its smooth, long finish. It is a great sipper on its own but will
also pair with a wide range of dishes. We had it with cioppino, but mushroom
risotto, baked salmon, rabbit or duck are some other good choices.
ALTA MARIA 2014
Santa Barbara County #181435 $21.99
This is another good buy, especially as the LDB periodically “fire sales”
older vintages at significant discounts (I bought it for $14.99). It is not often
one can buy a wine of this vintage at that price. It is bit heavier in style than
the rest of the wines reviewed, from its purplish-black colour to the nose
and palate. That nose displays black cherry, blueberry, raspberry and black
currant, framed with vanilla and gentle oak. The same rich fruit, streaked
with cocoa, dominates the palate, particularly the black currant and black
cherry. It has a bit of green herbs on its finish and has gentle tannins. It has
aged well. Again, it will go well with a roast chicken with herbs or a pork
tenderloin but will also stand up to lamb or beef.
1. Marq de Villiers, The Heartbreak Grape: A California
Winemaker’s Search for the Perfect Pinot Noir
(New York: Harper Collins, 1994). The wine was a
1987 Calera Mt. Harlan Jensen Vineyard from the
Calera Wine Company. The visionary winemaker is
Josh Jensen, a powerhouse in the California winemaking
community. Wine Spectator gives the 2015
Calera Jensen Vineyard a 92 rating. The winery
price is US$90. It is not available in our LDB system.
The winery was purchased in 2017 by Duckhorn
Vineyards, but Jensen has stayed on and joined its
board of directors.
2. Jancis Robinson, “Seeking Value Among Burgandy’s
2017s” (19 January 2019), online: <www.jancisrobinson.