Monday, April 26, 2010

2004 Grenache D'Arenberg The Derelict

A very nice grenache with its huckleberry, black cherry, chicory, lavender, violet perfume and taste. Good medium silky body with a good though not spectacular finish. It's the nose that's really pleasing to me. 93+

Sunday, April 18, 2010

1982 Pichon Lalande!

Amazed to find this at bottom of stack of bottles in my old Eurocave wine refrig and took it to Revolution restaurant in downtown Durham for dinner celebrating Francie's birthday on 4/17. What a treat! Initial aroma was strongly influenced by a rosemary/italian herb impression over the cigar box, characteristic St Julien nose (recall that Pichon is on the border, in Pauillac but almost in St Julien). The nose was subtle, complex, nuanced, "elegant" with a long finish, low tannin, good acid, medium bodied and incredibly young looking; could pass for 6 yr old bordeaux.


Friday, April 16, 2010

2002 Penfold's Grenache Reserve

the initial nose on this was amazing, with pronounced rosemary/provencal herbs and lavender. just great on top of the vanilla strawberry/cherry grenache nose and palate. not as deep as my standard (De Lisio) but this is older, at its peak right now with the round bottle bouquet, not any noticeable tannin and medium body, medium finish with enough acid; not any heat either. the striking thing is the combination of the wonderful aromatic spices with the grenache cherry/strawberry/red plum. 93 points.

Follow up on 4/18, 6 pm: after preservation with gas drinking well tonight. very pleasantly spicy/herbs on top of elegant grenache red fruit nose. good acidity and finish.

Parker writing in 2005, 95 points:

The 2002 Grenache Cellar Reserve is a terrific effort. Produced from a 75-year-old Barossa vineyard, and aged completely in old wood, it exhibits a fabulously complex bouquet of licorice, kirsch liqueur, and spice box, a great mouthfeel, huge body, and lovely elegance as well as freshness. It is a terrific example of old vine Barossa Grenache that should drink well for 5-10 years.

From Penfold's website

Cellar reservear rEsErvE

Grenache 2002

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.

Barossa Valley

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

Peter gago

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

Quinta do Vallado 2007 $20

This is the vineyard/winery that has a lovely inn on the Douro in Portugal. I stayed there for a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed it--including tasting and tour of the winery. This was in 2008 so I might have tasted this wine in barrel sample.

Anyhow, first taste was a bit harsh. The nose is pretty restrained but has layers of complexity that includes some brown and green spices, some vaguely lavender element. THe berry component isn't the normal huckleberry or blackberry, nor is it cherry. Very long finish that's a bit unintegrated for now. Of course the wine was a fairly recent arrival at CH Wine Co. I'll look forward to drinking this in a year or two. At this point, this bottle, I'd say 90.

Here is the URL for this vineyard:

Parker (90 points):

The 2007 TINTO is a Douro blend. It is another fine “regular” Tinto in this very consistent 2007 vintage. This relatively low priced Tinto has a hidden advantage in that a significant portion of its blend (27% this year) is an old vines field blend from 70 year old vines. The young vines portion (defined as 15 years old, which is fine for most people) includes Touriga Franca (25%), Tinta Roriz (20%), Touriga Nacional (20%), Tinta Amarela (5%) and Sousao (3%). Although it does not show a lot of mid-palate depth, noting that the wines from this estate are always on the more elegant side, it has fine structure and complexity, a certain earthy nuance and some brightness. It is gripping on the finish and should develop a medley of flavors as it ages. It is yet another in the string of regular or second wines in this vintage that perform particularly well at excellent price points. Drink now-2017.

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.