OK I'm already lying to you, it wasn't actually up first, but it kind of was. How can that be? Well, they came to Sardis Park VQA for a tasting a week or so before we went on our trip.....so even though this was actually the second winery we visited this trip, I'm going to report on it first. I like to make the rules and then break 'em. That's just how I roll.
50th Parallel winemaker Grant Stanley is basically responsible for this blog, and every bottle of wine I have ever consumed.....he was the winemaker at Quails' Gate when I discovered wine, starting with his Gewurtraminer 7-8 years ago. So if you don't like anything in this blog, blame him.
Last week, we tasted these:
50th Parallel 2014 Riesling ($18.99)
Citrus, pineapple and floral aromas give way to a strong green apple finish. Could certainly improve with some more time in the bottle. 87.
50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Gris ($19.99)
Peach, grapefruit and notes of mandarin oranges. Pear flavors mingle with stone fruit. As above, it's tasty now but a little more time would almost certainly enhance. 88.
50th Parallel 2014 Gewurztraminer ($18.99)
Lychee, peaches and ginger on the nose. Luscious mouthfeel highlighted by flavors of melon, Off-dry but far from sweet. I'll say the same thing I've said above; needs more time to fully develop, but very drinkable now. 88.
50th Parallel 2014 Pinot Noir Rose ($18.99)
Strong notes of red berries and grapefruit on the nose. The grapefruit follows through on the palate with just a slight touch of herbs travelling along. 86.
50th Parallel 2013 Pinot Noir ($32.99)
Violets permeate the nose, with a touch of cocoa and spice in addition to the flowers.
Blackberries and plums mingle on the palate with some chocolate and pepper on the finish. 89
The store happened to have a few bottles of the 2012 still on the shelf, and we were told it was just as good with a little less pepper on the finish, so we bought a bottle. It just so happens that a week or so later we would walk into the winery and get a chance to taste it!
50th Parallel 2012 Pinot Noir ($32.99)
The floral notes change slightly to roses here, with some chocolate and vanilla as well. The flavors carry through to the palate and lead to a long and smooth finish. Just the slightest hint of spice on the finish; much less than the above. Lovely. 90.
50th Parallel 2013 Chardonnay ($32.00)
The thing that caught my attention here was the smell of s'mores; well, at least the toasted marshmallow part. I've never experienced that in any wine, ever, and I loved it. There is also some vanilla and peaches there. A touch of minerality on the long and beautiful finish. I liked this enough to buy it, but I bought it more for the potential than the "right now"....don't misunderstand me, it's good now, but I have a hunch that when I pull this out of the cellar in 3-4 years, we are in for a special treat. 89-92.