Exploring new wine is one of the greatest joys of being a wine lover. When it comes to beer, 90% of the beer sold in the US is Bud, Coors and Miller. There are about 1500 breweries in the US, but there are more than 4000 wineries and each of them produces several grape varieties and blends. To top it off, each year the process starts over again with new vintages and the subtleties that come with the new year. Possibly 250,000 different wine products are produced annually. You could drink a case of different wine every day and still only make it through 5000 of those products in a year. Are you up to the challenge?
Olson Ogden is a small winery in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. Olson Ogden is a partnership of veteran wine maker Tim Olson, marketing professional John Ogden, and former AOL communications and marketing manager Margaret Ryan. Olson Ogden produces Pinot Noir and Rhone varietals with emphasis on single vineyard Syrah (1200 cases per year).
- The Stuff: 100% Marsanne; 17 months in Stainless Steel and French Oak; 14.7%ABV; 144 cases
- The Swirl: Light golden honey with a thick viscosity
- The Sniff: A bouquet of flowers, peaches and stone fruit. Very lively and fragrant
- The Sip: Open up, squeeze in a honeydew melon, add three drops of peach concentrate juice and finish it off with a twig. The 17 months in 28% new oak come through with a creamy spice and oak. The mouth feel is full and rich.
- The Score: At $35 this is a very dynamic wine with a huge amount of flavor. The price may put it out of reach for the average drinker but I can comfortably score this wine a 4 out of 5.
The Olson Ogden Marsanne is a refreshing departure for Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc drinkers. If you’re looking for something new to explore, enjoy the rich complexity of aroma and flavor that is found in Margaret’s Mandate. You’ll enjoy semi-sweet peach, stone fruit and a hint of spiced wood with a creamy lingering finish. Pair with scallops, mild creams sauce, and liver pate.
- The Stuff: 100% Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir; aged 17 months in 44% new French oak; 14.2%ABV, 112 cases produced
- The Swirl: Burnt crimson color slightly watery toward the edges. The color looks aged (even though the vintage is 2008)
- The Sniff: An earthy presentation of prunes and boysenberry fruit. There was a little hint of Christmas tree on the nose too.
- The Sip: Definitely not your cherry cola Pinot Noir. I love the maturity of flavor that this wine offers. I can immediately pairing this with lamb, turkey, ham and more. The flavors in the wine seem to provide a huge variety with each sip. They range from subtle spice to bacon, smoke, stewed tomatoes, and cranberry. There is a slight off minerality on the finish that leaves me a little longing.
- The Score: I love the complexity of flavor that this wine has to offer. The food pairing potential is endless. At $38 this is a fairly affordable Pinot and scores 3+ out of 5.
- The Stuff: 13% Grenache, 6% Marsanne, 12% Pinot Noir and 69% Syrah aged 17 months in 44% French oak; 14.5%ABV; 1406 cases produced
- The Swirl: Dark cherry color with deep purple tones. Complex jewel tones with color trending to pink hues along the edge.
- The Sniff: Elegant aroma of smooth red fruit, slight oak, and milk chocolate. To achieve this aroma, decanting is recommended. The initial aroma of the wine was heavy oak and cork initially out of the bottle.
- The Sip: The nose deceived me. I hate when that happens. The flavors were more thin on the palate and presented weak dark fruit, black tea and subtle cocoa. A decent acidity brightens up the finish saving this wine from being disappointing.
- The Score: At only $19 this is a quality offering from Sonoma that brings a good amount of flavor and character. I score it 3 out of 5.
*Wine was provided as an industry sample with the intention to review