Friday, December 18, 2009

Relic Wines with winemaker Mike Hirby.

Last month Mike Hirby, owner of Relic Wines and winemaker for none other than Realm Wines visited NYC with a dozen or so of his new releases.

Full report can be seen here.

2008 Relic The Sage (44% Chardonnay, 22% Viognier, 22% Roussanne, and 12% Marsanne) - I really enjoyed the dimension and profile of this. I get the Euro influence Mike said he was seeking.. The nose was all citrus, apricots and tall grass. A deft balance with some extra character filled nuances coming toward the end. I take it the Roussanne and Marsanne were making themselves known. Beautiful.

All reds double decanted back into thier own bottle-- 2.5 hours early.

2008 Relic Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast- My short experienced self (on Sonoma Pinot) welcomed this one. The nose had loads of cherries & cola some wild flowers. Very interesting as it sat in the glass.. A very pretty wine that revealed the Bing cherry, cola, and a hint of earth. I loved the character and tight-rope balance this showed. One that Mike said only gets better in 2009. I only ask….how?

2007 Relic Artefact- (96% CS, 2% PV, 2% Syrah) what an amazing wine. The nose was singing of all good things to come. Black fruits rule the night and this is the opening act: Dense and plush with currant, black cherries, plums and vanilla. A deeply complex serious wine that changes moment to moment. What an interesting wine!

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Relic Rockledge Vineyard- I have been a fan of the Rockledge Vineyards stuff for a few years now. Mike now gets that fruit for his own label. This was dark and brooding. The nose was restrained. On the palate this is as serious as a heart attack. Dark, dense, cassis and black cherry driven, this is a bit tannic and unyielding. Plush and masculine, with a long black filled fruit finish. A fantastic wine that wears its name like a badge of honor. I love it.

2008 Relic Cabernet Sauvignon Rockledge Vineyard -barrel sample- Mikes’ term for picking some of these 08’s was ‘picking sweet’. I never heard the term myself until last night. This is a pure and clean expression of a super young un-bottled. The stuffing is all there, its just all covered with the baby fat. Sure, it’s a bit primary, but a red/black fruit profile is in there somewhere. I will love to sample this after it’s been under cork for 6 months.