Saturday, December 18, 2010

2004 GSM D'Arenberg Ironstone Pressings

A lovely wine gushing with perfume of black cherry syrup/kirsch, raspberry, pine/cedar, and vanilla with some rosemary and other spices (nutmeg? cinnamon?). On the palate good acid, little tannin, long fruit finish with alcohol noticeable but not too strong. The nose is like a candy drop, so sweet but the palate is not a fruit bomb but a nicely delineated, balanced wine. I wouldn't call it deeply complex but it's as pleasurable a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre as one could hope for. 92+ points. It's not going to get better but should hold well for 3-4 more years.

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

2006 Martinelli Chardonnay, Martinelli Rd

Had this at :Proof tonight with Max and Laura, in lieu of what was on menu, 2007 Stonestreet Upper Barn. They were out of that. Well I believe the Martinelli is something we had before. It's a great chard, just barely short of my memory of the Stonestreet. Burnt toast, pineapple, butterscotch, spice, baking bread. Very complex and evolving in the glass. 93.

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

2002 Andrew Will Sorella

I think this is my last bottle of this vintage and it was the best. Earlier notes testify to the complexity, the silky texture and long finish. As the wine evolved in the glass at Revolution restaurant in downtown Durham with Connie and Hans, it offered just about every classic bordeaux blend aroma from black cherry, plum and currant to violet to mint and tar. It's a beautiful wine and also note that my first entry was more equivocal; I suspect because the wine was too young and perhaps shaken up in transit. It surely merits the 93 points given by Parker. See other notes for more info on Andrew Will and Sorella Vineyard.