Saturday, December 18, 2010
Third drinking, 3 days after opening and preserving under argon. It's superb, vanilla, spice and raspberry, blueberry, blackberry and cherry. This is about as good as a GSM can be. I now would give this baby 94 points.
Parker is slightly more enthusiastic as of 2006. I'm not sure I see the structure for such long life but what do I know:
The flagship blend of Grenache, Shiraz, and Mourvedre, the 2004 The Ironstone Pressings, is stunning. A full-bodied, powerful red, it displays notes of kirsch, tapenade , blackberries, dusty loamy earth, pepper, and spice. Rich, structured, intense flavors cascade over the palate with fabulous fruit purity and density. This stunner should drink well for 12-15 years.
Tanzer: 91 points
$65; a blend of grenache, shiraz and mourvedre) Ruby-red. Inviting aromas of dark cherry, spiced plum and blueberry, with complicating notes of tobacco, black tea and smoked meat. There's excellent concentration here, with bright acids lifting the dark and red berry notes and chunky tannins providing a solid framework. With air this became sweeter and the tannins seemed to soften, allowing the lush berry flavors to really shine on the finish.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Tanzer: 2006 Martinelli Vineyards Chardonnay Martinelli Road Russian River Valley
($48) Green-tinged yellow. Complex, iodine-laced pear, orange and brioche aromas. Stains the palate with deep, spicy orchard fruit flavors, minerals and baking spices, with a jolt of acidity adding grip. This is all soil tones today, and that character dominates the long, juicy finish. This one too displays the complexity of chardonnays costing far more.94
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Parker gave it 93:
La Vieille Cure’s amazing 2005 is even better than their terrific 2003 and 2000. The 2005 boasts an inky/ruby color as well as a gorgeously sweet perfume of charcoal, black cherries, black currants, and spring flowers as well as an underlying mineral component. Superb concentration, full-bodied power, wonderful symmetry, purity, and texture, and a multidimensional mouthfeel are all found in this fabulous sleeper of the vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020+.
Wine Spectator 90 points:
90 points Wine Spectator: "Dark in color, showing lots of blackberry and licorice aromas, with a hint of tar. Full-bodied, with soft tannins and plenty of ripe fruit and smoky oak. Fun and interesting. Best after 2010."
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The 2007 Chardonnay Mount Carmel exhibits a liqueur of rocks-like component reminiscent of a Chassagne-Montrachet grand cru. Peach blossom, white citrus, and orange notes are present in this full-throttle, intensely flavored Chardonnay, and brilliant acidity gives the wine laser-like precision. This is another tour de force from these talented winemakers.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Here's Parker's notes from June 2009:
This wine remains one of the legends of Bordeaux. It has thrown off the backward, youthful style that existed during its first 25 years of life, and over the last 4-5 years has developed such secondary nuances as cedar and spice box. The creme de cassis, underlying floral note, full-bodied power, extraordinary purity, multilayered texture, and finish of over a minute are a showcase for what this Chateau accomplished in 1982. The wine is still amazingly youthful, vibrant, and pure. It appears capable of remaining fruity and vibrant in 2082! Thank God it is beginning to budge, as I would like to drink most of my supply before I kick the bucket. This is a great, still youthful wine, and, on occasion, one does understand the hierarchy of Bordeaux chateaux when you see the complexity and brilliance of this first-growth. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2050+ Release price: ($350.00/case)
Here's Parker on the 2004 Mitolo GAM--97 points!
Aged 18 months in primarily French oak, the 2004 Shiraz G.A.M. is an exceptional example of a precise yet full-flavored, concentrated Shiraz. Its gorgeous perfume of blueberries, blackberries, camphor, licorice, and pain grille is followed by an inky/blue/purple-colored wine offering superb purity, full-bodied richness, and gorgeous depth as well as texture. This fabulous effort is another example of Ben Glaetzer’s brilliant talents. It should drink well for 15 years.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Parker says 92:
The 2007 Syrah Tierra Alta reveals a similar dark ruby/purple color in addition to more scorched earth, blackberry, licorice, and bacon fat notes, excellent density, but not the breadth or expansiveness of the other single vineyard Syrahs. While it appears to be holding back some of its nuances, there is a lot going on here, and it is certainly an exceptional Syrah.
Parker liked it better than me, as well as the other bottlings: 95 points from him. Perhaps I mis-remember and underestimate it--this was the second bottle opened and the food was pretty heavy. We'll see how it develops. Parker:
The blockbuster 2007 Cote a Cote (40% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, and 20% Syrah) boasts a dense purple color as well as a provocative bouquet of jammy black cherries, coffee beans, smoked meats, lavender, and spice. Dense and opulent with a voluptuous texture, tremendous concentration, a layered finish, and abundant tannin (all well-concealed by the cascade of fruit and glycerin), this beauty should be drunk over the next 10+ years.
IWC: 94 points, very high for Tanzer: ($85; 40% each of mourvedre and grenache and 20% syrah) Opaque ruby. Potent dark berry and cherry scents are complicated by notes of licorice, smoked meat, violet and fruitcake. Lush, spicy and energetic, offering sweet dark fruit flavors and a refreshing hint of bitter cherry. Seamless and alluringly sweet, with strong finishing lift and outstanding clarity. You could easily enjoy this sexy wine right now.
However, saved it under a long puff of argon with the Preservino specialized corking system, and then opened it today, Oct 31, a full week later. The nose was indeed superb, a combination of spicy vanilla, hazelnut or pecan brittle, peach pit--a real kaleidoscope of aromas. On the palate perhaps just a bit tired, hint of volatile acid. However I'm thinking this wine would have sung a lovely tune if I'd had it 24 hours later rather than 144 hours.
Bon Pasteur is Michel Rolland's own vineyard and it shows. I'm with Parker in feeling Rolland does well with the wineries he consults for, though it's also fair to say he's got a style that tends to show in all of them--makes them ripe, soft tannin, yet with the acid to last.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Parker 94 pts and fairly recent review Deep garnet colour with a faint touch of brick in the rim. Classic Beaucastel earthy/meaty/gamey nose with an undercurrent of stewed strawberries, Chinese dried plums and soy. Quite elegant on the palate with a medium to full body and a reasonably taut structure of medium to high acidity and a medium level of velvety tannins. Layer upon layer of spices and savoury flavours. Long finish. Drink now to 2024. Tasted August 2009.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Russell From, the one-man show running Herman Story out of Paso Robles, just got some rave reviews from Parker. I hope he won't raise his prices as they make his wines good values in CA Rhone-varietal category.
Parker 93 points
he 2008 Casual Encounters, a blend of 30% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 30% Mourvedre, is another blockbuster. Dark chocolate, cassis, blackberry, licorice, and barbecue smoke aromas jump from the glass of this full-bodied, savory, thick, juicy, glycerin-filled effort. It is an opulent fruit bomb that should drink well for 4-6 years.
Readers looking for super-concentrated, extroverted, exuberant, powerhouse wines from California's Central Coast need look no further than the Herman Story estate. For those who love the wild side of Rhone varietals pushed to the limit (but not over), these are highly recommended. Moreover, prices are exceptionally fair for this level of quality.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Had some more 24 hrs later. Unsurprisingly the wine is very fine still. Less acid and brightness but new flavors. I'm getting the cherry cola and acid very low except on finish. On palate it's almost like complex Cabernet grape juice. Mint spice prominent with a sweet potpourri edge. Highly pleasurable
What the winery says:
2007 L'Aventure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot. Stephan has made a conscious choice to develop a Cabernet Sauvignon wine as a permanent fixture of the range, that is, if mother nature permits. The 2007 Cabernet is inky–purple, with an opaque center. Spicy currant and cola on the nose, the attack on the palate is immense with spicy cedar and smoke underpinning dark, wild blackberry and blueberry flavors. The luxuriant mouth goes on and on, with tea leaf and more spice in the finish. $80.00
Parker thinks this will last much longer:
Another long distance runner is the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, a wine worth following over the next 15-20 years. With classic aromas of graphite, creme de cassis, spring flowers, and earth, this is a big, broodingly backward, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that is probably too formidably endowed and intense to attack presently, but given 3-4 years of bottle age, this wine should evolve as well as some of the North Coast Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa. Everything is there – crushed rock, creme de cassis, graphite, full-bodied power, fabulous concentration, purity, and a saturated purple color, all suggesting a brilliant wine. By the way, it is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 % Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2025+. 94+ points.
Tanzer as usual a point or two lower than Parker:
93 points; Dark purple. Strongly perfumed bouquet of blackcurrant and cherry pit, with a mounting note of blueberry. Deeply concentrated dark fruit flavors are supported by a suave mineral spine and framed by silky tannins. Impressively pure and vibrant, with strong finishing cut and echoes of smoky minerals and spicecake. As attractive as it is now, this suave wine is built to reward patience.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Well the white pignoletto was a near perfect simple summer sipping wine, uncomplicated but grippy and apply in the best quaffing way.
The red though truly surprised. At first it was plum with some vailla and prune, not unlike a simple but well made brunello. Then it evolved to include a tutti fruity and flowery component quality --though actually I'm smelling it in the air from flowers so I think the flowers aren't from the wine. Still the wine kept evolving so after 90 min or so became more elderberry or some other spicier or herbaceous berry than the basic strawberry or raspberry. The finish lengthened with time too. The wine isn't an age worthy wine but it's fresh and drinkable now and for the year or so, then will be replaced by the next year. Very close relationship here between land and wine and terroir.
This is me in midst of the Gli Ulivi grapes, at harvest time. Note: I added this picture on July 5, 2012, the day we met Wib and Charlotte at Gli Ulivi. Delighted to return to this place.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
A fine burgundian nose, toasty vanilla oak, minerally, but a bit of alcohol on the nose that's out of balance with the fruit. Similar on the palate, hazelnut perhaps along with the tropical fruit, maybe apple, peach and pineapple? The finish is dominated by alcohol but it's persistent and not unpleasant. Plenty of acid there and perhaps the alcohol will help preserve it and it will balance out in a few months. Still this is a very good Calif chardonnay, clearly superior to the Grayson which cost $9 on sale at CH Wine--this one is $16 at Harris Teeter and at the winery itself, but $9 (plus 10% tax in DC) from Calvert Woodley. As such it's hard to imagine a better chardonnay bargain. It blows away any Macon I've had in recent years. Maybe the Yalumba 2008 chardonnay was almost as good @ $10 if memory serves.
Beringer's Chardonnay vineyards span several sub-appellations in southern Napa Valley, where fog from the San Pablo Bay works its way north each afternoon during the growing season, cooling the vineyards and slowing sugar production in the grapes, thus allowing a longer maturation period, and maintaining the varietal's bright acidity. The cooler vineyards to the south produce grapes with crisp apple, pear and citrus characteristics, while vineyards closer to Yountville yield Chardonnay with a rich texture and tropical fruit aromas and flavors. Winemaker Laurie Hook chose complementary lots from each of these vineyards to craft a wine that exhibits bright fruit, richness and complexity, hallmark expressions of Napa Valley terroir.
When making the 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay, Laurie kept each lot separate and used several different techniques to retain the fruit's brightness while developing its innate complexities. After the grapes were sent directly to press where the juice was gently extracted, half the wine was aged for eight months in French oak barrels (32% new) to enhance its natural richness and roundness. The remaining juice was stainless steel fermented to highlight the crisp, bright citrus and fruit flavors that Chardonnay grapes offer in abundance. Laurie chose to put 58% of the wine through malolactic fermentation, balancing the wine's lush mouthfeel with its bright fruit characteristics.
'Gamble Ranch makes up a third of the 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay, accounting for the wine's luscious tropical flavors. Our Stanly Ranch vineyard in Carneros is also a large component of the blend, which added bright citrus notes and a lovely minerality. Flavors of roasted pineapple, ripe apples and lemon meringue are accented by aromas of vanilla and sweet citrus. The wine's bright citrus notes and nice acid balance are an ideal counterpoint to its rich, honeyed fruit flavors.'
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Parker: 89 points in a 1997 tasting, 91 previous to that:
ine Advocate # 109
Robert Parker 89 Drink: 1997 - 2012 $70-$132 Both the 1989 and 1990 wines scored slightly lower than in previous tastings. In contrast to the 1990, the 1989 Beychevelle, which usually performs better than it did in the recent tasting, is an elegant, medium-bodied wine with soft tannin, copious quantities of ripe, herb-tinged, blackcurrant fruit, some evidence of toasty oak, and a generous, velvety-textured finish. It appears to be evolving quickly, and can be drunk now as well as over the next 15 years.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
|Wine Advocate # 122|
|Robert Parker||91||Drink: 2007 - 2028||$114-$262|
|This wine, a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, is performing well after its July, 1998 bottling. It boasts an impressively saturated purple color, in addition to a backward yet intense nose of black plums, currants, licorice, and smoke. Following terrific fruit on the attack, the wine's structure and tannin take over. There is plenty of sweet fruit, and the tannin is well-integrated, but the wine requires 7-8 years of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2028.|
Deep youthful garnet. Open, sweet dark and spiced fruit. Smell the sun. Spice and truffles coming through as it opens up. You can still smell the sweet toasty oak though this was not the first vintage of new vats. Rich sweet pure fruit. Firm but rounded tannins and long aromatic finish. Fine cedary aftertaste. Very pure and direct and frank, some herbaceousness adding aroma but not greenness. 17+.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
These are full-flavored, balls-to-the-walls, beautifully made, intensely flavored wines that are capable of lasting a decade or more (in the case of their biggest Syrahs).
Friday, June 11, 2010
Reporting from the Medoc, southwest France: tastings at the great Margaux estate, Palmer, and at Lynch Bages. Had 1996 Palmer and 2009, 2001, and 1997 Lynch Bages, the latter at a 2+ hour BLIND tasting with an expert at Lynch Bages who taught us some new ways of assessing wine. The '09 was surprisingly closed and not all that promising, or so it seemed, but Parker has given it 94-96 points. The '01 and '97 were both excellent and '97 a real surprise since it's reputedly not a good vintage.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
Cellar reservear rEsErvE
The tradition of innovation and experimentation is central to the Penfolds winemaking philosophy and is perpetuated in the form of Penfolds Cellar reserve wines. These sometimes one-off releases emerge periodically when experimental wines, which have been nurtured carefully in the winery cellars, are deemed appropriate for public release.
The wines do not necessarily fit into any particular genre and provide winemakers with the freedom to strive for new styles and definitions of excellence in their expression.
With the 2002 Cellar reserve grenache, a wine has been developed which harnesses one of the world’s most exotic and perfumed red wine grape varieties, presenting it as a single varietal wine in contrast to its more established cousin, the Bin 138 grenache-Shiraz-Mourvèdre blend.
regular rains throughout winter resulted in good soil moisture levels and healthy vine growth, but a cool spring and summer reduced potential yields, and in fact left grapes in danger of not ripening. a warm, dry autumn relieved the situation and this, combined with careful vineyard management, resulted in a harvest with smaller than
average yields but of excellent quality. grenache
Matured for 12 months in a 50/50 combination of older French and american oak hogsheads.
alc/Vol: 14.50% acidity: - ph: -
4-Dec-03 Now - 2010 Duck & game, Cheese, Beef
Winemaker comments by
Dense crimson, with an almost black core. a heady, concentrated, fragrant lift of unabashed, youthful grenache fruit, showing primary raspberry and dark stone-fruit conserve aromas, courted by dark spice, licorice and floral notes.
Expansive and intensely opulent. rich, generous blueberry and blackberry fruits, with licorice, dark chocolate and stewed beetroot layered over ripe, subtle tannins. The body is full and round, with a chewy, concentrated rich core. Fully reflective of its old-vine fruit sourcing, this wine has silky softness, yet the concentration, depth and structure to mature over several years in bottle.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
There are some price drops here over listed prices last year. The Touriga Nacional in particular has dropped dramatically. Marketing continues to be an unpredictable activity in this economy and with these exchange rates.
Monday, March 29, 2010
|Wine Advocate # 181|
|David Schildknecht||(92-93)||Drink: N/A||$74 (74)|
|From some of the heaviest and most iron-rich soils in Horitschon, Lehrner’s 2006 Blaufrankisch Durrau is only now being released, and when I last caught up with it, was not yet bottled. Ripe blackberry, Szechuan pepper, and mint on the nose lead to a liqueur-like richness yet at the same time brightness of fresh fruit on the palate. An infusion of herbs, pepper, and tobacco as well as underlying stony, peaty mineral elements, marrow-like meatiness, and caramelized onions and root vegetables contribute to a thought-provoking level of complexity. Faintly resinous notes of new wood as well as walnut oil and bitter chocolate add to the wealth of flavors in a long, vibrant, palate-staining finish. This should be worth following for more than a decade.|
I reported in issue 160 on Paul Lehrner’s style (and wry wit), and in issue 177 reported on two outstanding values, his 2006 Blaufrankisch Gfanger and 2006 Claus (a blend of Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch), because they had been bottled early and I could not restrain my enthusiasm. “I’ve never had a wine reach 14% alcohol, and I don’t intend to,” remarks Lehrner – whose wines are decidedly under-rated by his countrymen – but I do not believe any taster will find his 2006s lacking in ripe flavors.