Tuesday, November 1, 2005

An evening with Tom Rinaldi

I had the good fortune of being part of a special get together with Tom Rinaldi form Provenance held by Gary’s wine and Marketplace (in New Jersey) for their auction buyers. This being my second year to attend. Tom is a great humble guy with a true passion for what he does. A true pleasure to be in the company of. Here are some notes. Where needed, most were tasted many many times just for consistency

Provenance Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford Napa Valley 2004 - A real beauty only available from the winery.....and Gary’s in NJ. Great melon fruit with a super crisp middle and finish. Smooth and clean with a slight hint of oak. A wonderful Sauvignon Blanc by any standard. 89/100

Provenance Merlot 2002 - Carneros. Deep color, slight vegetal ness in middle. somewhat ripe and fat. A great food wine nonetheless. 89/100

Provenance Merlot Beckstoffer Las Amigas 2002 - A different animal altogether. A big and round full throttle Merlot. Amazing dark fruit. Seems to have tamed a bit since last years tasting where it just exploded sideways (: in the mouth. This is a WOW Merlot for sure. 93/100

Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford 2002 - This one seemed to lack the Rutherford quality I have come to love in Rutherford Cabs. Somewhat thin and austere in the middle. I liked last years vintage (2001) better. 88/100

Provenance Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2002 - This one hits the Oakville mark. Wild, and racy dark fruit, Even by Tom Rinaldi's standards. This has a real nice 'sense of place' style which I do like very much. Rinaldi mentioned that is the least food friendly wine of in tonight's lineup. I agree. This is a 'drinking' wine. Sans food. I liked this one better than the 2001.

2002 Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Napa Valley 2001 - This seemed to be a little more together than last years showing. Much more finesse, and great fruit/tannins. Wonderful dark fruit and a beautiful long smooth finish. I really liked this one much more tonight than last year. Rinaldi seemed to be thrilled with being able to produce a single vineyard cabernet, and mentioned that Hewitt was actually responsible in getting him away from Duckhorn and doing so. Great wine here with a wonderful future. One to watch.
92/100 this year. 90/100 last year.