Mon 13 Jul 2009
One of the most consistent good value wines in California is X Winery’s blended Red Wine. For the new release, the X Winery Red X 2007, North Coast, the combination is 60 percent syrah, 21 percent cabernet sauvignon and 19 percent zinfandel, grapes and proportions that meld into a robust, full-bodied, flavorful wine well-matched to the pizza we ate last night (while watching the truly bizarre, utterly trite movie Hounddog; Dakota Fanning deserves an award for bravery.) Anyway, the wine is ripe and spicy, bursting with notes of brambly and briery black currants, plums and blueberries. Flavors of black and red berries, luscious but also pert and tart, are permeated by vibrant acidity, making for a lively mouthful of wine that packs an engaging personality. Tannins are dense and a little velvety, and they lend a touch of austerity to the finish. As is usually the case with X Winery products, oak is deftly handled; the wine ages 16 months in a mixture of French and American oak barrels, of which 19 percent of the French barrels are new and 8 percent of the American. One feels the spicy wood lending framing and foundation to the wine but not a trace of toastiness. This will be great with the burgers and steaks that come from your grill this summer. 1200 cases were produced. Very Good+. About $15.
The winery has also just released the debut bottling of the Red X’s new companion wine, White X 2008, North Coast. The blend is an interesting (and successful) 57 percent sauvignon blanc, 20 percent muscat blanc, 19 percent chardonnay and 4 percent roussanne. There’s no new oak here; the wine spends 9 months aging, the sauvignon blanc and muscat blanc in stainless steel, the chardonnay and roussanne in neutral (that is, used) French barrels. White X 2008 is bright, clean and fresh, sporting aromas of roasted lemon and pear, jasmine and acacia, a hint of orange rind and a touch of spice. Zesty acidity contributes a sense of not only liveliness but clarity; the wine seems crystalline in effect, the acidity almost lacy and transparent. In other words, this is a delightful wine, wreathed with citrus flavors that partake of a wisp of the tropical and anchored in elements of scintillating minerality. Drink this as an aperitif or with ceviche or sushi or light seafood dishes. 580 cases were produced. Very Good+. About $15.