Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs Grenache 2007

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As you may know I am a huge fan of the Clarendon Hills winery.  They make smooth, polished, refined wines that ooze class and refinement.  This one was no exception to the formula.  Starting with pencil lead, blueberry and oregano on the nose followed by a fresh and bright intro with young tannins that coat the mouth. Blueberry, plum and a dash of pepper make for interesting notes on the palate while star anise on the finish really pops out.  This is a very young wine that has not filled out yet. 2017-2025 would be a better window unless you like a tannic monster for a juicy steak. 92 points now but the potential to go up in my opinion.  This wine is extracted and precise.   Priced originaly at $75, it’s most likely a Sunday roast wine rather than an everyday drinker.  4 stars. Salut….

Ps. I noticed that it had a double back label.  Someone has very precisely laid the label on top of the original.  I wonder if that was a labeling issue or if they needed to change it for import reasons.  I tried to slice it off but the sticker merely tore in my hands, intriguing.

clarendon hills blowout springs grenache

Santa Rita Triple C Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

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I took Moxie and one of my sons to a Brazilian steak house recently.  This was the featured wine, priced at $65 instead of the usual $120.  In reality it retails for $30 or so dollars.  I ordered it and did not regret my choice.

Iodine, black berries and orange peel nose really got me going.  I was so engulfed in the nose of this wine that I kept sniffing, trying to coax more….  Blackberry creme pie meets chocolate dust and vanilla bean on the initial palate, exciting.  Hefty yet refined tannins are on pointe and the finish is long and dry. The wine was perfectly paired with all the freshly grilled, highly salted, tender morsels of beef, lamb and pork.  92 points from me would equal what the pro’s averaged on this wine.  A drinking window of 2015-2022 make it totally worth cellaring for a great accompaniment to steaks and stews.  5 stars from me for this Chilean stunner. Salut….

santa rita triple c cabernet sauvignon

Kirkland Signature Series Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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We were supposed to drink this at a tasting yet ran out of time. I brought it home and opened it last week to put pen to paper. Plums and graphite on the nose made for an interesting start.  Black fruits with steely tannins were overshadowed by heat from the 14.6% alcohol. I am hoping this subsides as this wine will be good after 2 more years of cellaring.  Blackberry and plums with some cherry cola start you off.  Pencil lead and more dark fruits emerge on the mid palate and the gentle tannins finish it off. 88 points with the potential for 89 if the alcohol can meld better with some aging.  For $20 you would be hard pressed to get Stags Leap Cab of any quality, making this potentially a 4 star wine.  3 for now though.  Salut….

kirkland signature series cabernet sauvignon stags leap

Stags Leap Napa Valley Petite Sirah 2010

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Out to dinner with friends last week and this little beauty showed up on the wine list.  I love Petite Sirah, it is a highly flexible grape that always shows off great tannins, plums and ages well.  It is tannicly well endowed and never lacks for power.  This one was really tasty but my notes were rather short, we had been at it for a while.  Dark fruits and plum nose with vanilla.  Full on plum and vanilla creme pie with some ginger on the finish.  Balance in acidity and tucked in tannins.  This wine is drinking nicely now with 4 years of age but will certainly go the distance.  2014-2024  91 points and 3 stars for this $40 offering.  A yummy wine that will go well with grilled meats, pasta and of course some charcuterie.  Salut….

stags leap napa valley petite sirah

Rosenblum Cellars Richard Sauret Reserve Zinfandel 2010

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From Paso Robles comes this high powered Zin.  It got panned by the pros but was the hit of the night at our gathering.  It can be found for $30 and was immensely enjoyed with some Veal Saltimbocca and carpaccio salad.  I find many Zins to be too jammy, this one was not.

Dried herbs, black currants and spice on the nose were a preview of what to expect.  Spicy components mixed with dark plums and black cherry were the welcoming taste.  The 15.2% alcohol was masked in the myriad of dark fruits, cinnamon notes and espresso.  Delicious tannin structure coupled with some acidity gave it a nice mouthfeel.  It went really well with our meal and I would cellar this for drinking 2015-2020.  90 points versus the pro’s at 86.  3 stars for me.  Salut….

rosenblum richard suaret reserve zinfandel

707 Cabernet Franc Rockpile 2012

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From the northern part of Sonoma comes this gem.  My buddy brought it to the tasting and paid $38 for it.  I was excited to try it as you know how I love the Franc.

We were outside by the fire pit so I could not really make out the color or clarity.  The nose was gorgeous though.  Violets and plum notes with a touch of oak on the first whiff.  Fresh and bracing initial attack with flowers, cinnamon, plum torte and vanilla creme.  Rich acidity and smooth tannins make for a long cellaring potential. This is a well made and deelish wine that gets 92 points from me.  Well hidden 14.4% alcohol and a long finish make this a 5 star wine.  Salut….

707 rockpile cabernet franc

Kirkland Napa Valley Meritage 2011

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Some friends and I were at a Costco yesterday and decided to try a few of the Kirkland  brand wines.  This was our first attempt, it cost $11 and is a blend of 49% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% each Cab Franc and Petit Verdot.  I took some basic notes:

Plummy with oak and currants.
Young and fresh, with hints of eucalyptus and oregano
87 points

At this price point it is a very serviceable party wine that won’t disappoint.  It could use another year of cellaring and drink till 2019.  3 stars from me.  Salut….

kirkland napa valley heritage

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort California Pinot Noir

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I snapped a picture of the back of this bottle, it had the winery’s name that actually produce this wine for the resort.  Of course I deleted it prematurely (been happening a lot lately).  So, we’ll go without that info.  This bottle was a present, price unknown and there is nothing on the web about it.  I shall proceed….

Pretty with see-through purple hues and nice looking legs.  The nose of cherry, ginger and orange peel was quite exciting.  Cherry torte, orange marmalade and a touch of oak on the initial attack but a slight acidic bite on the first taste was a little offsetting.  Tasty mid palate with some cherry and clove notes left me with a good overall impression.  This is a decently made wine that gets 89 points from me.  I’m sure if you go to the resort they will have plenty around to sell, worth bringing home a case or two if it’s in the $15-20 range.  Salut….

Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

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Yes 2003, it’s not a typo.  It was brought over by friends for a party, I was not sure how to embrace this wine.  At $8 back in the day it was a serviceable red from Chile that got hammered by WS with 77 points, ouch.  I decided to open it and prayed for the best.  The cork crumbled halfway through the extraction, not a good start.  I coaxed the rest out and sorted the debris from the glass after I poured.  My initial impression- Cherry and blackberry nose, still fresh (surprisingly).  This wine was probably not stored in pristine conditions, yet I was about to discover a vibrancy I was not expecting.
Bright purple in the glass it showed no signs of aging, remarkable.  Lovely black cherry and black berry notes with great acidity and some nice tannins still lurking around.  Thoroughly enjoyable and quite young with a nice finish.  The bottle did show slight sediment, but then again this wine is 11 years old and not built for the long haul.  89 points and drinking till 2017 perhaps?  5 stars for such a valiant effort to age gracefully.  Wish I could find more!  Salut….

Ps. I accidentally deleted the photo of this yummy Chilean Cabernet.  However, I just read the latest Wine Spectator and they featured the same wine, 2013 vintage.  Priced at $12 it got 89 points.  I may take a punt and stock up on some of dat!  Cheers.

 

Mollydooker Gigglepot Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

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I opened the Gigglepot from Mollydooker right after we finished the Blue Eyed Boy.  It’s interesting to drink both $50 offerings in the same sitting and  be able to compare the grape varietals.  The Shiraz was to me more finite, focused and pure of fruit.  The Cabernet based Gigglepot was more open, easier to drink and perhaps more appealing to the masses.  Both are excellent wines and I enjoyed each for their merits.  This one was equally dark in the glass, showing off a nose of plums, cherry and mint.  I usually associate the minty note with Chilean Cabs and really enjoy it when I come across them.  The palate had the same basic flavor profile I got but with some added black fruits.  A certain spiciness that I cannot pinpoint was evident as were the fine grained tannins.  The wine seemed to go on for ever on the palate and had a long finish.  Balanced with nice acidity there is a healthy dose of alcohol that is neatly hidden, drinker beware!  Drinking beautifully now, this wine has the structure to go long haul.  I would guess a cellaring potential to 2022 at the least.  I don’t have much experience with older vintages from this winery except for my Carnival Of Love tastings, where I did get to see a little bit of evolution in 4-5 year old vintages.  I would imagine this particular bottle may gain some secondary flavors and complexity as it gets some cellar time.  I am giving it 91 points and 4 stars.  Salut….

mollydooker gigglepot

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