Wrath Wines has once again provided us a rich collection of new releases of their 2012 whites and 2011 reds. There are 16 wines reviewed here each offering different expressions of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Most of the wines are sourced from Wrath’s own 72-acre estate vineyard, San Saba, a cool site with little rainfall situated just below the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. However, several are crafted from the grapes of outstanding neighboring vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey County.
Wrath is an exciting winery because its owner, Michael Thomas, and winemaking team of Sabrine Rodems, Byron Kousage and Steve McIntyre are passionate about wine and aim to produce authentic wines which exhibit both flavor and a sense of place. They follow a “less is more” approach in winemaking allowing each of the wines to express their own personalities with minimal intervention. They are also strongly committed to preserving the environment and under the guidance of viticultural consultant, Steve McIntyre, they are implementing a certified sustainable farming program.
These wines are produced in small quantities and sell out fast. (The Fermata Chardonnay is already sold out at the winery). So if readers are interested in the wines reviewed here, we suggest moving quickly to purchase them from either your local wine shop or from the winery. www.wrathwines.com Phone (831-678-2212)
Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay
Wrath 2012 Ex Anima Sauvignon Blanc Monterey ($19) 89+ The Ex Anima Sauvignon Blanc offers aromas and flavors of citrus and herbs. Steel tank fermented and aged for three months in tank, it displays sharp and crisp flavors with good acidity, dryness, and a persistent finish. Sourced from the San Saba Estate Vineyard, 100% Musque clone.
Wrath 2012 Ex Anima Chardonnay Monterey ($19) 90 The Ex Anima Chardonnay offer aromas of citrus with hints of tropical fruit. Fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks for four months, it displays light fruit flavors, a crisp mouth feel with a note of roundness, and a persistent finish. Sourced from the San Saba Estate Vineyard.
Wrath 2011 Wrath Fermata Chardonnay Monterey ($35) 90+ The 2011 Chardonnay Fermata is a blend of Clone 4, Wente and Mount Eden clones from the estate vineyard. Aged for 11 months in 25% new French oak, it displays a yellow gold color and aromas of orchard fruit with citrus and a hint of toast. It is crisp and dry on the palate with light fruit and touches of vanilla and flower
Wrath 2011 Wrath 3 Clone Chardonnay Monterey ($35) 91+ The 3 Clone Chardonnay is an attractive blend of three clones from the Wrath estate( Mt. Eden, Wente and Clone 4). Yellow gold in color, it offers aromas of ripe orchard fruit with hints of citrus and melon. Barrel fermented and aged in French oak for 10 months (60% new), it is ripe and rich in flavor yet reveals a cool climate nicely focused character. Certainly the most impressive of the Chardonnays in this tasting
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir Ex Anima Monterey ($29) 89+ The 2011 Pinot Noir Ex Anima exhibits ripe red berry aromas and herbs on the nose, but shows somewhat less intensity of flavor on the palate. Fermented using 50% whole clusters and aged in stainless steel and neutral oak, it is spicy and nicely balanced with soft round tannins and a pleasant finish.
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir Swan/828 Monterey ($35) 91 The 2011 Pinot Noir Swan/828 displays a medium ruby color and aromas of black cherry, black raspberry and loam. Fermented 20% whole cluster, it is very ripe and compote-like in the mouth with black cherry and plum flavors with a touch of earthiness and oak. Aged 10 months in 50% new oak, it has soft round tannins and a long finish.
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir San Saba Vineyard Monterey ($49) 90 The Pinot Noir San Saba Vineyard displays more red fruited aromas and flavors than some of the other bottlings. It is also somewhat more cool climate in character with less ripeness on the palate. Aged 11 months in French oak, 33% new, it has dark red berry fruit, pepper and spice with soft round tannins and a long finish.
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir 115/667 Monterey ($35) 90 Dark ruby. Aromas of dark red berry fruit, spice and a hint of earth. It is fermented with 20% whole cluster with equal parts of Pinot Noir clones 115 and 667. It reveals concentrated dark fruit flavors of black cherry and loam. Aged 10 months in French oak (43% new) it has a soft palate texture with round firm tannins and a long finish.
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir Boekenoogen Vyd Santa Lucia Highlands ($49) 91 The 2011 Pinot Noir Boekenoogen Vineyard exhibits ripe red berry fruit aromas and flavors from this high altitude vineyard. Using 25% whole cluster fermentation with 11 months of aging in French oak (35% new) it shows hints of smoke and herbs and is full in the mouth, almost-compote like with suppleness and richness of fruit and flavor. It is nicely balanced with soft round tannins and a persistent finish.
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir Mc Intyre Vyd Santa Lucia Highlands ($49) 92 The 2011 Pinot Noir McIntyre Vineyard exhibits ripe and briary red berry fruit aromas and flavors. It is nicely balanced with good fruit concentration, a soft texture and round tannins. It is very supple and delicious with nicely integrated toasted oak and spices. Aged 11 months in French oak
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir Pommard 4/777 Monterey ($35) 90 The Pinot Noir Pommard 4/777 displays a medium dark ruby color and ripe flavors of black cherry fruit with hints of sweet oak. Fermented 45% whole cluster, it is soft and very full and fat on the palate with rich and concentrated flavors, black pepper and spice and a long finish. Aged 10 months in French oak, 45% new.
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir San Saba Vineyard Monterey County ($49) 90 The Pinot Noir San Saba Vineyard displays more red fruited aromas and flavors than some of the other bottlings. It is also somewhat more cool climate in character with less ripeness on the palate. It has dark red berry fruit, pepper and spice with soft round tannins and a long finish.
Wrath 2011 Pinot Noir Tondré Grapefield Santa Lucia Highlands ($49) 90+
Sourced from this 100-acre vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, the Pinot Tondre Grapefield reveals aromas of fresh dark cherry, plum, oak and earth. Utilizing 20% whole cluster fermentation, it is soft and round on the palate with good red fruit flavor intensity. Aged 11 months in French oak 35% new, it reveals mature tannins and a long finish.
Wrath 2011 Ex Anima Syrah Monterey County ($25) 88+ The ex Anima Syrah displays a dark ruby color and fragrant aromas of blackberries with a hint of black olive. Aged 6 months in neutral oak, it is soft and full in the mouth with rustic dark fruit flavors on the palate, firm tannins and a long finish.
Wrath 2011 Syrah KW Ranch Santa Lucia Highlands ($39) 91 The Syrah KW Ranch is a delicious wine. It exhibits a dark ruby color and boasts fragrant dark berry fruit on the nose. It is ripe and lush on the palate with concentrated black fruit flavors, chocolate, and toast. It has a rich texture, soft round tannins and notable purity on the finish. This wine is drinking well now but will benefit from cellaring.
Wrath 2011 Syrah Doctor’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($39) 92 This is a magnificent wine. It reveals rich, opulent and concentrated dark berry fruit aromas on the nose with hints of red fruit, earth and burnt toast. It is amazingly pure, supple and rich in flavor, has a lush soft texture and a long persistent flavor. This confirms our view that Doctor’s Vineyard is among the finest sources for Syrah anywhere in California.
Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler December 2013