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Wine Uncorked

Tasting Halter Ranch Wines

Tasting Halter Ranch Wines

It was a bit disappointing to find that Kevin Sass hadn’t made any of the four sample bottles I tasted.  However, the wines were so delicious overall, I can’t wait to see where he takes them.


The wines are rated A to F for quality (C is average) and 1 to 3 for value, with 1 a wine that tastes better than its price, 2 is neutral and 3 is a wine that isn’t up to snuff for the cost.  All prices are estimated retail.


Côtes de Paso Blanc 2010


This wine is 48% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 16% Marsanne and 16% Picpoul Blanc.  It had a nice apple-melon nose with very soft spicy notes.  Aromas of peach and white flowers quickly became apparent as well.  The wine was round on the palate, but with a nice minerality and acidity that kept it fresh.  Price:  $24 Rating:  B2


Ancestor 2007


A blend of 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Malbec, 17% Petit Verdot and 17% Syrah, this wine impressed my hard-to-impress husband.  (He once called a 1982 Haut Brion – a 95 point wine from an excellent vintage – “disappointing.”)


Anyway, it was remarkably smooth on the palate, with notes of black bruit, blackberry, pepper and bramble.  As the wine mellowed, a subtle chocolate flavor emerged.  Price:  $44 Rating:  A1


Rosé 2010


This wine blends 43% Grenache, 42% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre.  Though it was a bit too rounded on the palate for my taste, it still had a nice mouthfeel.  The wine was a touch smoky, with notes of violets and minerals and a slightly peppery finish.  Price:  $14 Rating:  B1



True to Halter Ranch style, this wine blends Syrah with 11% Malbec, 5% Mourvèdre and 3% Viognier.  The result was an earthy, brambly, slightly tomatoey wine with tannins that made their presence known, but weren’t overpowering.   It again had a nice roundness to it.


This was also the only wine I tasted after Sass told me he’d bring more fruitiness to the mid-palate.  Perhaps it was the power of suggestion, but I could feel that absence as I drank the wine.  Nonetheless, it was a lovely quaff.  Price:  $29 Rating:  B2

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