This was supposed to be my weekend wine review, but it is Wednesday, so you get a “Wednesday Wine Review” instead (crafty, I know). Last week we went down to Cellar 59, a great wine bar & shop in Kent, Ohio. They were holding a tasting event for Laird Family Estates hosted by the estate owner Rebecca Laird. Laird Family Estates owns 5% of all privately held vineyards in the Napa Valley (roughly 2500 acres). Their vineyards produce fruit for some of the best wines in the business Cakebread, Nickel and Nickel, and Duckhorn to name a few. We had the opportunity to sample ten of Laird’s wines from their ’11, ’12, ’13, and ’14 vintages.
2014 Laird Big Ranch Sauvignon Blanc: $20
This was a very nice start to our night. The nose started with a light citrus and pear aroma. The taste carried over the aroma and was full of grapefruit/citrus flavor. The acidity was very high, and presented the crispness of the citrus profile.
2014 Laird Cold Creek Pinot Grigio: $22
Tropical aromas are very present in the nose. The flavors are a bit more complex, tropical fruit and citrus are mixed with an herbal, lemongrass flavor. A very nice level of acidity made for a crispy citrus finish. This would be a fantastic wine on a hot day.
2013 Laird Cold Creek Chardonnay: $35
Slightly oaky nose mixed with vanilla. Extremely flavorful with rich flavors of oak, vanilla, and citrus fruit. Additionally, there was a hint of toasted nuts. A very nice light and creamy feel, it finishes nicely with vanilla and tropical fruit.
2013 Laird Ghost Ranch Pinot Noir: $50
This was a fun ruby colored wine, with a light cherry nose that carried floral hints. Very light in body, almost thin, but flavorful with raspberry and cherry fruit, along with a mild earthiness. The medium finish starts with a very pronounced berry flavor that smooths and flattens out.
2012 Laird Suscol Ranch Syrah: $50
I really enjoyed this wine. The color was a really inky deep purple. Pronounced blackberry nose with a slight spiciness. Its medium body carries rich flavors of cherry and plum. It has a very nice medium astringency that doesn’t overly dry your mouth during the finish as you get a nice lingering berry flavor and a hint of cocoa.
2011 Laird Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: $65
This is another one that I enjoyed quite a bit. This cab comes in with a very earth forward nose that is just touched slightly with a hint of berry (maybe cranberry). The flavor picks up on the berry hints and presents an excellent red cherry and tobacco taste. It is a very well balanced and pleasantly complex wine. The long finish allows the fruit/cherry flavor stick around for a while. Very nice wine all the way around.
I only reviewed 6 of 10 wines we got to taste, but don’t get the wrong impression. All the wines that we sampled from Laird Family Estate are very nice. I didn’t know anything about Laird prior to our tasting, but after meeting Rebecca and enjoying the selections, I’ll definitely pay more attention to them. I’m hoping we’ll have a little time during our next Napa visit to make a quick stop.
Since we were enjoying the company of some good friends we decided to stick around for another glass of wine.
Bonus Wine Review:
2012 Seven Falls Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon: $15
We tried this wine on the recommendation from our friends. After tasting some very nice medium to higher priced point wines, it was a very pleasant surprise to try a $15 Cab with such nice flavors.
The wine itself had a very nice light berry nose. Where it really sells itself is in the flavor. This isn’t a giant bold cabernet, it’s a pleasant everyday drinker that you won’t be disappointed with. The flavor presents a very nice dark cherry and cocoa flavor. Overall very smooth finish with a slight caramel flavor mixed with the fruit. Again, this is a very solid wine for the price. I might grab a few of these for some weekday drinkers.
As always, enjoying the company of friends with a glass wine is great. When you combine that with enjoying new wines that you’ve never tried before it makes it even better. I look forward to Cellar 59’s next event. I really enjoy the place, and can’t say enough good things about them. This was the second time visiting them for an event and both times I’ve walked away very happy. The team there does a great job! If you are in Kent, pop in for a glass.
’til next time.