Saturday, January 29, 2022

Field Recordings Central Coast White Wines

Field Recordings Central Coast Vineyard Select Imaginative White Wines offer good QPR

This interesting label in one of a broad portfolio of wines from 35-year old California winemaker Andrew Jones whose work  as a vine nursery fieldman, planning and planting vineyards for farmers across Central California has provided insights and access to some of the best fruit sources across the region. As his website explains, "having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he’s all about finding those underdogs with untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards. (He) has developed a keen eye for diamonds in the rough: sites that are unknown or under-appreciated but hold enormous untapped potential. He strives for unique wines loaded with personality and a one-of-a-kind experience." 

'Field Recordings is Andrew’s personal catalog of the people and places he values most. He quotes: “Our wines are all about the flavor — with none of the pretension.”'

The Field Recordings website shows two dozen wines sourced from no less than twenty-two vineyard sources, shown on a map of the California Central Coast wine region from Carmel in the north to Solvang in the south. 

I picked up a selection of these wines to have on hand to try for special occasions and everyday sipping. Indications and experience show Field Recordings tends to provide quality wines at great value high QPR - Quality-to-Price-Ratios. 

Our first encounter was a white blend, "Hock", that I selected and served at our family Thanksgiving celebration dinner

Field Recordings "Hock" is a traditional Alsatian Edelzwicker field blends (easydrinking whites)... a zesty and snappy blend of 50% Gewurztraminer, 35% Pinot Gris and 15% Riesling. Its complexity and range of the blend provided an ideal accompaniment to the range of foods served.

This is the type of wine that is meant to be drunk anytime with food with a combination of fruit and floral tones. The blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer is a special project for Andrew. Something that allowed him to embrace his love of Alsatian wines:

“The 2018 Hock is my play on a Eldezwicker (an Alsatian wine term taken from the German words edel (noble) and zwicker (blend) dating back to 1944.) My favorite table wines are Alsatian Blends and it’s one of my favorite old world wine regions. This wine is pretty much dry, with just a touch of residual singular in it to balance the acidity. There are no rules for making this wine vintage after vintage- it’s a regional white blend to represent the area and the varieties that are allowed there. This year there is way less Gewurztraminer and a lot more Pinot Gris in it, which gives it a lot more of an aromatic, crisp and refreshing feel.” 

Edelzwicker is traditionally a historical blend of regional grapes from Alsace, on the border of France and Germany, whose German name owes to past border disputes and occupations of the region over the years. 

Lemon straw colored, light medium bodied, complex, bright and expressive full round textured, floral notes accented by crisp apple, lemon zest and pear with hints of apricot and what the winemaker refers to as "freshly cut hay and just a hint of petrol from the Riesling".

RM 88 points.

Field Recordings Morro View Grüner Veltliner 2019

Interesting to follow the Alsatian Blend with this white wine featuring the varietal grape associated with the Alsace Loraine region of France - Grüner Veltliner. This too would have been a good selection for Thanksgiving dinner but I opted for the more complex blend that day.

We opened this with hearty moderately spicy winter chicken tortilla soup with a selection of artisan cheeses. This is 100% Grüner Veltliner, sourced "From our favorite vineyard in the heart of the Edna Valley. The extra rock and limestone in the soil never allowed it to be used for row crops like the majority of the other vineyard sites in Edna. The acidity from each variety pulled from Morro View is what makes them all special. The Grüner really shines in the glass. Notes of lychee, Yuzu, Jasmine tea, electricity," as written by Winemaker Andrew Jones.  

I gave this 88 points - I defer to fellow Cellartrackers, who all use the wine popular cellar management system and share their wine tasting notes, and their reviews of this wine that interestingly served at Thanksgiving or served with Chicken Tortilla soup. 

OldHick95, Likes this wine: 89 Points "Off-dry. Wonderfully aromatic with Tropical fruit and a barely detectable petroleum note. Ripe pear, some green apple. Medium acidity balances the mild sweetness."

Chairmanzian, Likes this wine: 91 Points "Opened it for Thanksgiving - highly aromatic with honey and floral notes. Pleasantly acidic on the tongue with detectable sugar and finish of grapefruit. Not as dry as would have expected."

Dlowrey99, Likes this wine: 87 Points "paired with chicken tortilla soup, worked well; nice wine, subtle notes of pear and white flower balanced against just enough acidity; off-dry sweetness-more than i expected."

Apologies and thanks to fellow Cellartrackers mentioned from the label record below: