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Sneak Preview of Casey Flat Ranch 2011 Estate Red and 2012 Viognier

If you’ve read our recent blogs or the Top Ten Red Wines from the 2013 Newport Mansions Wine Festival, then you know we like Casey Flat Ranch wines.  We’ve tried the 2009 and 2010 Open Range Reds and Estate Reds.  We’ve had the 2011 and 2012 Open Range Sauvignon Blancs and the 2011 Estate White.  We love them all, some more than others but never the less they are all excellent.  We’d buy them all.  We have some in the cellar direct from the winery and we’ll get more.  They are on a roll whether you’re looking for a classy white, an excellent everyday white, a white that goes with food, a great value everyday red or a pretty special red, they have it.  I can’t wait to visit the ranch and see how they are doing this.

Anyway, we were fortunate to have a shiner of the new 2011 Estate Red Wine and the 2012 Viognier included in our shipment.  Brenda at Casey Flat Ranch is wonderful and asked for our opinion on these before they hit shelves anywhere.  We gratefully accepted the challenge, and have successfully uncorked and consumed both.  So it wasn’t really much of a challenge.  We have to say that we have mixed reviews to share.  The red is another smashing success in a continuing string of them.  The Viognier is a bit of a let down.  That’s not to say it is bad, it’s not, it’s just that we are so used to everything being outstanding.  We don’t think the Viognier is outstanding. Oh, but the red is!

Here are our tasting notes:

CIMG2193Wine:    2011 Casey Flat Ranch Estate Red      Winery Location:  Capay Valley, CA

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                             Date:    December 2013

Tasting Notes:     This is deep purple red out of the bottle.  There is just tons of glycerol and it oozes down the glass.  It is unctuous and defines the term full bodied.  You can almost chew this, and I mean that in a good way.  The nose is full of fruit, both red and black, with some earth and wood tones.  There is also a meaty, savory quality.  Tannins are tame but noticeable and hold up the back end.  Spice carries into the palate along with all that fruit, and it delivers straight thru the mid-palate into the finish, which is long.  It’s young and will benefit from some bottle time, but it is really good now.  From the spice and the savory I’m guessing a good percentage of Syrah is in here.  In fact it reminds me of a big Chateauneuf du Pape, although I’d wager there is no Grenache or Mourvedre in it.  After a day on the shelf the flavors had all integrated beautifully and it really reminded me of a big Chateauneuf.  I would decant it an hour before pouring.

Price Point –   Past vintages have been $35 at the winery.  Probably a little less in the stores.  Here’s hoping for a Rhode Island distributor in the New Year.

Would We Buy It?    Absolutely.  This continues a run of Casey Flat wines that have really knocked our socks off.  We’ll be stocking some of this in the cellar to go with the 09 and 10 vintages.  Highly recommended.

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CIMG2198Wine:    2012 Casey Flat Ranch Viognier       Winery Location:  Capay Valley, CA

Tasted By:   Neil & Cheri                             Date:    December 2013

Tasting Notes:
This is a very, very pale straw color and in fact is almost colorless.  There is a restrained nose of some melon with hints of vanilla and floral notes.  As Cheri put it, it smells like you’d want your clean laundry to, and even your dirty laundry for that matter.  It’s fresh.  On the palate it is light with some subdued melon flavors and light acid.  This is very delicate.  Maybe there’s a little tart apple as well.  It would be very good with oysters on the half shell or a shrimp cocktail.  This is not going to stand up to most foods, unlike all of their Sauvignon Blanc wines.  While the first impression is that it kind of evaporates in the mid-palate I could actually still taste it several minutes later, in a sort of good way.  It’s nice and somewhat unusual.  We’re not overwhelmed though.

Price Point –   I believe they are thinking about $18

Would We Buy It?  – this is probably the only wine we’ve tried from Casey Flat I am not going to buy.  It’s not our favorite, but you might think otherwise.  Everything else we’re drinking a lot more of.

Another great wine from Casey Flat on the red side, and an OK wine on the white side.  You can’t make a 1945 Mouton Rothschild everyday (not that I’ve ever tried it – I’ve just heard it might be good!).

A votre sante!

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