Tuesday, September 21, 2010

2007 Clos Mogador

Had this at a new local Spanish tapas place that offered this bottle for just about 20% over the retail. A beautiful grenache dominated cherry vanilla strawberry with the briary fruit, long smooth finish. Not a 2004 and 2005 but a very fine wine that'll go 10-15 years very nicely indeed 95 points. I'm doing this from a week away so have lost some of the detail. In any case, Clos Mogador is one of my favorite wines from anywhere and it's always a treat to have a bottle. With Max's urging I splurged on this bottle and of course it went well with the excellent tapas. It's on 14th: Estadio.

2007 L'Aventure Cabernet with 5% Petit Verdot

This is a kaleidoscope of aromas and Calif cab flavors. It's an awesome cab just a step short of Harlan and its ilk I'd say. Cocoa, coffee/mocha, tobacco, blackberry (and maybe another dark berry I can't identify but i see in professional notes below is none other than blueberry), violet/lavender, mint, licorice and an extraordinary gardenia nose that I've never experienced before (a vanilla plus flowery component that's more expectged from a white grape). Very dark purple like grape juice. On the palate, silky tannins that melt into the finish almost imperceptibly. High acid balanced by deep fruit. It really doesn't get much better than this in California cab. There is a lot of sediment; awfully early for sediment to be this prominent; I mean it really needed decanting. 95+. Good for 10 years. I can't really tell what's cassis, what's blackberry, what's currant. Anyhow it's all good here.

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

From Budello outside Bologna, an excellent Barbera

Notes for blog on the surprisingly excellent wine made right here at Locanda Gli Ulivi in Budello, outside Bologna about 15 miles. Sitting here looking at the very vines that made these wines along with a beautiful set of low hills covered with vines on, higher up, trees. Weather perfect and air fresh, out on terrace by swimming pool.  So the innkeeper asked if I'd like to try his own wines and I thought sure let's try.  I believe the barbera is 13 euros, the pignoletto frizzante 8 so wasn't expecting much.

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.

There is a subregion, the proprietor told me, called Budello (also name of village) and from this perch we can see the entire area! He said it's part of Colli Bolognesi, but distinct Budello.  He grow the two grapes in these wines and a Sauvignon blanc that he's out of.  This of course is my favorite thing to be doing. Il Monticelli Barbera--n.v. Same name for the frizzante.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2007 Tablas Creek Espirit de Beaucastel

Now this a wine!

The nose is very deep and endlessly complex, starting with mint/eucalyptus, then all kinds of berry with coffee and mocha. I sense the roasted meat quality with licorice and spice ... Maybe some white pepper but not enough to be peppery. This is a great wine, absolutely worthy of the
heritage and name of Beaucastel. The winery is co-run by
the Beaucastel Perrin family, and a california team, in the Paso Robles area.

The finish is long but perhaps not as complex and multidimensional as the nose. In later taste some big time black cherry and kirsch, also on nose. 95 points and this will get better with even more potential for bottle bouquet. The tannin is soft but good acid backbone promises another 8
yes of drinking.

24 hrs later:
The nose is lovely, with spice and raspberry primary. The acid is perhaps a bit
more aggressive but surprisingly balanced tonight. I can't quite get the aroma,
maybe camphor, juicy fruit. I'm glad I have more bottles of this one.