This issue’s Bargain Wine features a pair of proprietary blends from California’s Clayhouse Vineyard. They’re interesting for a number of reasons — tasty (obviously), unique and well-priced!
There’s also a whiff of danger about the Adobe White, due to the ingredient labeling issue that’s percolating in the wine industry these days. If ingredient labeling ever becomes reality, then Clayhouse’s Adobe White label (approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, by the way) would become illegal.
That’s because the Adobe White contains a grape not recognized by the TTB — Princess. It apparently grows on the Clayhouse estate, and winemaker David Frick decided it added a pretty floral note to the wine. It’s completely legal to include it in the wine, they simply cannot list it on the wine label. So the blend percentages listed there don’t quite add up to 100%.
I liked the Adobe White for its smooth, silky grapey character (though there’s no Muscat in there…) and the Adobe Red is lipsmacking delish. Here are my tasting notes:
Clayhouse Vineyard 2007 Adobe White Central Coast ($15). Pretty and aromatic, with rose and apple aromas introducing silky lychee and apricot flavors. Grapey, fresh finish. Worked well with spicy Chinese food! A blend of Chenin Blanc, Princess, Chardonnay, Roussanne and Viognier. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Clayhouse Vineyard 2006 Adobe Red Central Coast ($15). Likeable for its ripe, lipsmacking red cherry and blueberry fruit aromas and flavors that pick up spicy chocolate, vanilla bean and toast. A blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Malbec. Ready to drink now. Locate this wine online or in your area.
Learn more about Clayhouse and its wines at www.clayhousewines.com.