Tricycle Wine Co is the perfect name for this winery as they own and operate three unique labels, Kazmer & Blaise, Molnar Family and Obsidian Ridge. Their initial label was Kazmer & Blaise and their first vintage was in 1998. Kazmer & Blaise is their limited production label (typically around 200 cases) of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Obsidian is by far their largest produced label and the grapes for this wine come from a vineyard in the Red Hills AVA of Lake County. The other vineyard they own is in the Carneros region of Napa and is planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
One very unique aspect of this winery is they own their own Hungarian cooperage. Out of the 750+ commercial Napa wine producers that we have visited and tasted with, this is the first one that can lay claim to that! This has its unique advantages as they can choose only the choicest of the barrels produced. In addition, this particular cooperage uses oak which are among the most tightest grained barrels on the market.
We tried several 2006 wines from barrel. We started with their 2006 Kazmer & Blaise barrel fermented Chardonnay which will be their first vintage. We were honored to have been the first person outside of the winery owners to have tried this! It undergoes full Malolactic Fermentation but the wine is not buttery or creamy as you sometimes expect from a wine that has gone through full ML. Rather is has crisp overtones, floral qualities and is full of excellent fruit flavors. Diacetyl is a natural by product of fermentation which can contribute a buttery and creamy flavor to the wine. When you add sulfite at the end of fermentation, this kills the bacteria that would normally continue feeding on the diacetyl. So, if you allow a window of time between the end of fermentation and when you sulfite the wine, you give the bacteria time to consume the diacetyl which effectively decreases the amount of buttery flavor you have in the final wine.
The Carneros region has a lot of clay type soil, but their Carneros Pinot Noir grapes are grown in a very gravely type soil which is found at the base of a hillside. Their version is well on its way to becoming a robust Pinot, with lots of good fruit in the mouth and a finish that is sporting nice structured tannins. We also tried a Syrah from their Red Hills vineyard in Lake County. They were pioneer growers in this part of Lake County which is now its own AVA. The Red Hills is a very unique vineyard as it sits above 2600 feet which makes this one of the highest vineyards in the north coast area of California, and much higher than all vineyards in Napa County except for one on Mt. Vaca.
Visit www.theelevationofwine.org which they founded and is an International High Altitude Viticultural and Winemaking Symposium. In addition the soil at the Red Hills is literally full of black obsidian rock. In fact sections up to 9 feet of this rock had to be cleared before they could plant the actual vineyards! This wine has lots of blueberries in the nose and palate and you can certainly taste a bit of smokiness in the flavors. All three labels are made at Domain Carneros. You can find their wine locally at the St. Helena Wine Center in St. Helena or by joining their mailing list online: Visit: www.tricyclewineco.com
NOTE: this review has been archived
REASON: Their tasting room is in the town of Sonoma and the wines are also made in Sonoma County (not Napa county).
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