Spending a Monday night drinking wine & noshing on tasty appetizers is always fun. Add to that hanging out with Joel Gott, winemaker at Joel Gott Wines and the evening becomes a real treat! One winery is not enough for Joel , he is also the owner of the Gott’s Roadside establishments, one of the Three Thieves, & one half of Shatter, a collaboration from the little known region of Maury, France.
A wine trade event, sponsored by Capital Wine & Spirits and Trinchero Family Estates was held at The Dandelion, a London themed gastropub from Stephen Starr’s restaurant group. Attendees included Sommeliers Bill Eccleston of Panorama Wine Bar & Henry Greenly of Del Frisco’s.
A very down to earth, easy to talk to kinda person, Joel’s unpretentious passion for his winemaking is easily understood by both novice & professional. His destiny you might say was always tied to the grape, he grew up in a winemaking family so honing his craft started at a young age.
At Joel Gott wines, the art of blending is key, whether a single varietal from different regions , a multiple varietal blend, or a combination of both produces quality higher than the sum of the parts. This boy is like a trained Truffle hound when it comes to finding excellent sources of fruit. These wines are some of the best values on the shelves, it takes real skill & dedication to produce this type of quality in the $15-$20 price range.
Joel Gott 2011 Pinot Gris Wilamette/Southern Oregon $15 Citrus, little hint of grass, honeysuckle, very well made, a favorite of the night.
Joel Gott 2011 Sauvignon Blanc Monterey/Lake County/Lodi/Russian River $13 Elegant nose, lemon, gooseberry, a light New Zealand structure if you will. A pretty wine that went well with my Oysters on the half shell.
Joel Gott 2011 Chardonnay unoaked $16 Monterey/ Napa valley/ Napa/ Sonoma All stainless steel, no Malolactic fermentation, Just a wonderful expression, completely transparent, any flaws would be immediately noticeable, & this Chardonnay had none. Crisp green apple, bright acidity makes your mouth water in delight. I would either drink this on its own or have with light fare as to not overpower the subtleness.
Joel Gott 2011 Riesling Columbia Valley, Washington $12 An absolute steal! Petrol, stone fruit, little floral notes add to the hint of sweetness & balanced by the cool climate acidity from the Columbia Valley fruit.
Joel Gott 2010 Zinfandel Napa Valley Amador/ Amador/ Dry Creek/ Mendocino/ Russian River $17 Big jammy nose, plenty of sour cherry marry well with the supple tannins. A nice intro to California Zin.
Joel Gott 2010 815 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley/Sonoma county/Lodi/Lake county/Mendocino $17 Vanilla, cherry, & a surprising treat Eucalyptus! That usually is a note found in some pretty lofty Calif. Cabs, most notably Heitz Martha’s vineyard. Soft tannins make this an easy drinking wine.
Joel Gott 2011 Alakai Knights Valley/ Monterey $17 Alakai is Hawaiian for guide or leader. This Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre & Carignane is just a lovely wine. Raspberry, bubblegum, nutmeg, and a little pepper, combine with a light but present tannic structure to create a fun food wine for a wide variety of cuisines. Another favorite.
The Show 2011 Garnacha Calatayud, Spain $13 The Show wines are another joint venture from the Three Thieves: Joel Gott, Charles Bieler, & Roger Scommegna. The nose was closed, but thanks to pausing to talk to a friend, a little time & increased temperature brought Licorice, plum & tart blackberry to mind. Hard to beat finding a better Grenache at this price point.
The Show 2011 Malbec Lujan/Uco Valley, Argentina $10 Come on only ten dollars for dark cherry, a little tobacco, more dark cherry and caramel with chewy tannins on the finish. A nice introductory Argentinean Malbec.
Shatter 2011 Maury, France $30 This guy never stops looking for the next project & this one’s a doozy. A collaboration between Joel & Dave Phinney from Orin Swift. A 100% Grenache, sourced from the Roussillon, France specifically from the Maury region, known for making fortified Port style wines. The soil is more akin to the lunar surface, think moon rock, but makes for fantastic wine grapes! This is an intriguing wine with hard candy, eucalyptus, strawberry, & subtle oak. I needed more time to flesh out the complexities which I will be more than happy to do at a later date.
While many of my articles tend to focus on limited production, old Bordeaux, etc, I am always looking for moderately priced quality wines that as a friend once said, “can be drunk with reckless abandon”. Most of the above wines fit that niche quite nicely, while the Shatter still offers value at it’s own price point.