I wouldn't normally taste wines at the same place twice in the same year, but I noticed that since our first visit in April (reviews here), all of the wines had a new vintage....so why not?
And last time we tasted only the reserve level wines, this time I requested a tasting of their entire portfolio and they were happy to oblige. It was a terrific tasting that lasted a total of TWO AND A HALF HOURS!!!
Lots to report on, so let's get right to it. Prices below DO include taxes.
La Frenz 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ($22.00)
Aromas of gooseberry, Meyer lemon, apricot, grass and passion fruit. Citrus fruit on the palate, well balanced acidity, and a hint of grassy and herbaceous notes. 88.
La Frenz 2016 Semillon ($22.00)
Fresh pear and lemon aromas. Pear, fig, lemon, honeysuckle and orange blossom flavors. Beautiful and ageable, with a lush mid-palate and creamy mouthfeel. A top notch Semillon. 90.
La Frenz 2016 Riesling ($22.00)
Made in the tradition of Alsace, with notes of lime, pineapple, honeysuckle, green apple a hint of diesel. Slightly off-dry with tart green apple and key lime pie flavors. 87.
La Frenz 2016 Chardonnay ($22.00)
Aromas of stone fruit, vanilla and oak. Juicy red apple, peach and vanilla flavors. Creamy mouthfeel. 87.
La Frenz 2016 Viognier ($24.00)
Peach, papaya, coconut and herbs tantalize your olfactory senses. Banana, stone fruit, sage, honey and limestone on the palate. Juicy and delicious. 90.
La Frenz 2015 Ensemble Reserve ($25.00)
78% Sauvignon Blanc/22% Semillon
Who needs Bordeaux when you have this beauty? Passion fruit, lemongrass and peach on the nose. Complex and delicious flavors include orange blossom, gooseberry, straw and a touch of honey. 91.
La Frenz 2015 Reserve Chardonnay ($29.00)
Arresting white peach, guava and wet stone on the nose. Barreled in 100% French Oak, 30% new, it picks up just a touch of toasty oak flavors to go with melon and baking spice and minerality. 88.
La Frenz 2015 Reserve Vivant ($25.00)
56% Viognier, 22% Roussanne, 22% Chardonnay
Aromas of baked pears and papaya with just a hint of hazelnut. Papaya and pear flavors in the first wave, followed up by a hint of caramel and touch of spice on the finish. 89.
La Frenz 2015 Desperation Hill Pinot Noir ($25.00)
Red berries dominate the nose, giving way to darker berries, licorice and a touch of spice on the palate. 88.
La Frenz 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir ($35.00)
Intense and pretty aromas of forest floor, leather, black fruit and baking spice. Red cherry, nutmeg, and is that a hint of chocolate cake on the palate? Just delicious. 91.
La Frenz 2015 Syrah ($30.00)
Sweet violets, blueberry and blackberry aromas. Ripe and juicy flavors include licorice, blueberry, cold cuts, white pepper and a very long finish. 90.
La Frenz 2015 Malbec ($28.00)
Raspberry jam, black fruit and earth on the nose. Rich mouthfeel, with flavors of dark chocolate, roasted herbs, black cherry and charred meat. Long finish. 89.
La Frenz 2015 Merlot ($28.00)
Blackberry, vanilla, plum and mocha on the nose. Flavors of black cherry, Christmas cake and black cherry. Really terrific with a very juicy mid-palate. 91.
La Frenz 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30.00)
Intense aromas of eucalyptus, vanilla, plum, thyme and black licorice. Beautiful, lingering flavors include eucalyptus, espresso, blackberry and earth. 91.
La Frenz 2014 Grand Total Reserve ($45.00)
42% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc
Black plum, cassis and mocha on the nose. Flavors of earth, leather, vanilla and dark chocolate. This is a big, closed, hairy beast, which is going to get much better with age. If you have to drink it now, decant it for at least 2 hours; but better to lay it down and let it get to where it is going. 91-93.
La Frenz NV Tawny (Bottled 2017) $22.00
Aromas include dark fruit cake and butterscotch. The cake doesn't go away on the palate, joined by all kinds of candied fruit, dates, walnuts and butterscotch. Pull up a chair to a warm cozy fire, wrap yourself in a blanket, and enjoy a glass of this on a cold winter day. 90.
La Frenz NV Liqueur Muscat (Bottled 2017) $22.00
Vanilla, Earl Gray tea, brown sugar and raisins on the nose. Beautiful, rich, throat-coating flavors of butterscotch, raisins, cinnamon and orange marmalade. There should be a law against something so odd being so good. 91.
La Frenz 2016 Vintage Port Style ($26.00)
Aromas of blueberry and white pepper. Flavors of dark plum, blueberry and licorice. By all that is good and holy, don't open this now, let it sit for a year, or five, or twenty, and it will be very special. 90-92.
Whew. My hands are sore from all that typing! What a terrific experience and we left with QUITE A BIT of wine, as you can imagine.
Next up: Just down the street for our second experience at Little Engine!
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