Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel ‘de Restia’ Crianza Selected Harvest, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2009

Tags

, , , , ,


A lighter purple color with a touch of orange bricking on this crianza level wine that has 7 years of cellaring.  On the nose, a subdued level of plum and dusty earth- a hallmark of the varietal.  On the palate a somewhat rustic initial attack of dark fruits, with dried oregano, earth and very dry tannins.  The acidity is somewhat lacking and is overcome by the tannins, which is not a bad thing.  The finish is decent in length and offers up more purple fruit flavors with a touch of heat.  The dryness on the gums goes on forever, which I kinda like!  The wine, at this stage of its life is giving me pause….  It has a really tannic structure yet I feel it is not able to age much more due to the low acidity.  The fruit is starting to dry up but there is not much evolution.  All in all a pop-n-pour wine that won’t break the bank at $15 and gets 88 points from me.  This 3 star effort would pair well with some charcuterie, perhaps a bowl of pasta Arrabiatta.  Salut….

Bodegas Resalte de Penafiel 'de Restia' Crianza Selected Harvest, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Ernesto Catena Vineyards Padrillos Malbec, Argentina 2014

Tags

, , , , ,


I had a few colleagues in town for a meeting and took them to a local restaurant for dinner.  This was the only Malbec available so we took a punt and tried it.  A nose of cherry, oak and black berries.  The initial tastes of dark fruits get melded into a silky vanilla blueberry compote.  The mid palate passes rather quickly with a hint of black berries and licorice.  The finish is nice with an easy going tannin profile and very faint hints of acidity.  This is a basic wine that will suffice in a pinch but I was astounded to read later on that it is only a $9 bottle that we got hosed on ($50+), but more importantly- it only got an 80 point rating from WE.  That’s rather harsh, but shouldn’t a restaurant look for any ratings before buying blindly?  I am not that down on it and will go with 86 points making it a 2 star wine.  Salut….

img_1365img_1366

Scotto Family Old Vines Zinfandel Lodi Central Valley California 2012

Tags

, , , , ,


I picked this bottle up on my trip to the Wine Library in New Jersey, they were pushing it as a good Thanksgiving choice.  I had other plans for Turkey day but liked it enough to buy a bottle.  In the glass it shows decent purple hues, but is somewhat lighter looking.  On the nose- Christmas cake, cherries jubilee and spice box.  On the palate, a really smooth intro of black fruits, dark cherries and cedar shingle.  Very smooth indeed, with subtle tannins and a touch of acidity.  This wine is very easy to drink due to the gorgeous mouthfeel but beware, it only hits 13% alcohol and you might find yourself sipping all night!  As the wine hits the mid palate it shows off some typical Zin notes of plums and pepper.  The finish is decent and mid length with some tannins showing up right at the end along with some plum torte.  This wine does not need food, it flows ever so nicely but I can see why they recommended it to pair with Turkey.  It would also go beautifully with a grilled Pork Chop, bone in.  Given the choice I will pick old vine Zin every time, they are more refined, smoother and in my opinion easier to drink with lower alcohol.  This wine is a great example.   I am going with 91 points and 5 stars for a delicious effort that costs $13, what a bargain!  I’m ordering more for sure.  Salut….

scotty family cellars old vine zinfandel

Concha Y Toro Grand Reserva Series Ribera del Cachapoal Carmenere Chile 2014

Tags

, , , ,


Dark purple. Nose of earthy plums and black currant.  On the palate – blackberry, plum and dusty tannins.  Half way through I’m getting some blueberry hints and the telltale earthy component that Tempranillo often shows.  The acidity is a little off for me but the tannins are ever present and leave the finish a nice shade of dry.  WS gave this wine 90 points.  I’m going with 88.  A decent drop for a pop-n-pour night at home with some spaghetti, maybe a thin crust pizza.  $12 make this a 4 star wine.  Salut….

concha y toro gran reserva carmenere

Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2011 revisited

Tags

, , , , ,


I’m a huge fan of this winery and am working my way through their offerings and revisiting some that I have had a chance to cellar.  I keep a stash of wines in my locker at ‘work’.  Those of you that know me will realize that my locker is half way around the world from home, but I have some gems in there that have been sitting patiently in near perfect conditions- 60 F, humid and dark.  I met up with a mate from downunda, whom we shall call Mr. Rangley and I pulled this one out for a tasting.  The last time I drank the 2011 Blue Eyed Boy it was delicious so I was really looking forward to it.

Blueberry nose with plum ganache- delicious.  On the palate is a thick, long blueberry note with dark chocolate and graphite.  The mid palate involves a full blown explosion of more blue fruits, vanilla bean and rolling tannins.  I detect some heat which makes sense as this one packs 16% alcohol.  The finish is long and full of blueberry pie, 92 points all day long.  I did not notice too much evolution over the past three years which is interesting.  I’m not sure where this wine is going over its life span but it is built for the long haul and may yet develop nuances of age and secondary flavors.  If it doesn’t that is fine too – a unique tasting Shiraz that is well made and a treat.  5 stars at $40.  Drink all by itself for the ultimate experience of this wine but if you must pair it- Filet Mignon with Bearnaise sauce and some asparagus will do the trick.  Salut….

blue eyed boy shiraz

 

 

 

Clos Pegase Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Tags

, , , , , ,


Another Napa Cabernet that I got to taste at the AMEX Centurion Lounge at SFO airport.  This one was a dazzler, but give it time.

Portlike nose with honeyed blueberries and some juniper hints.  The initial attack is all blue fruits and a crescendo of brooding tannins. This is one heck of a monster, built for the long run or a trip through the vinturi.  The mid palate shows darker fruits with plum torte, espresso and a delicious minerality.  The finish carries on with the tannic structure and leaves the gums bone dry.  Give this wine a wide berth until 2019 but buy lots, it will run for many years after that. 92 points from me even though the pros gave it 90 and said drink now.  I found it online for $39 which make it a 4 star, perhaps even 5 star wine in my books.  This wine epitomizes Napa Cabernet for me.  Enjoy with a hearty pasta dish, steak with asparagus or a grilled leg of lamb.  Salut….
clos pegs napa cabernet sauvignon

Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013

Tags

, , , , ,


I have not visited the American Express Centurion Lounge at San Francisco airport in two months but the bartenders remembered me and offered up some special tastings. This was one of them, and boy was it good.

Expressive nose of dark fruits and cola.  Plums and black tea fight with the tannins for control of the initial attack.  The mid palate shows off more dark fruits that tail off with some herbs and oak on the mid length finish.  This wine needs another 2 years in cellar to really shine. Drink 2018-2025 with pretty much any grilled meat dish.  90 points from me and 4 stars for this yummy $34 bottle.  Salut….

raymond reserve selection napa valley cabernet sauvignon

Di Meo F Fiano Di Avellino DOCG 2012

Tags

, , , ,


When I visited the Wine Library in New Jersey last week they had this wine on sale and I sampled it.  Delicious and fresh with unique flavors that reminded me somewhat of Conundrum White.  It was my first experience with the Fiano grape varietal.  I bought a bottle of this 94 point (Decanter rated) wine for only $16, making it a supremely good deal.  Unfortunately I must have had a bottle with variation as it was not reminiscent of my first taste.

Light straw color in the glass.  Nose of lemon zest and sea salt/iodine.  The initial attack is lemon, green apple skin and an interesting acid component that is hitting the gums.  This acidity moves swiftly to the mid palate where is sticks.  The finish is of a decent length that consists of yet more lemon, acidity and a hint of cardamom.  This wine strikes me as a bit one-dimensional but it is refreshing and would pair nicely with raw oysters.  89 points.  I think it warrants a re-taste as my initial notes (mental) were totally different and I really enjoyed the wine much more then.  Even at 89 points it is a decent QPR and I would give it 3 stars.  Salut….

di men final di avellino

 

Chateau Lanessan Haut Medoc 2000

Tags

, , ,


I can’t remember the exact details of when or where I bought this 3 Liter Double Magnum but it has been many years. This is a really nice Bordeaux wine which hailed from the amazing 2000 vintage.  I have saved it for the right moment and hoped it had matured nicely and was not over the hill or premature.  My first concern was the crumbling cork.  I ended up with it inside the bottle and my shirt getting the first tastes before my Thanksgiving guests arrived.  I was pleasantly surprised and thankful for my patience.

Still beautifully purple with no signs of bricking.  The nose is sublime.  Leather, plums, tobacco.  The initial taste is very smooth, refined and balanced.  More creamy purple fruits and leather show up as the wine works its way along. The tannins show up on the mid palate in a very subdued way.  The finish has vanilla, plum torte and cassis berries.  The tannins really kick in after a while and are gripping on the finish.  91 points and drinking nicely till 2023 at the least.  I found it online for $30 but it got terrible ratings from the pros.  I disagree but maybe that is because mine was in a large format bottle.  I love aged Bordeaux and this one hit it on all cylinders for me.  5 stars if you are looking for a good deal on something that offers freshness with old world charm and some secondary flavors of maturity starting to emerge.  Salut….

chateau lanessanimg_1340

Cosentino Petite Sirah Napa Valley 2014

Tags

, , , , ,


Blackish purple in the glass. Nose of cedar, black plums and tea. On the palate this wine immediately lets you know it is well built with hefty tannins. The flavors of plum, black cherry and pepper are fighting for control with the amazing tannins. I am loving this wine’s mouthfeel today in particular because it will pair beautifully with the ribeyes on the grill. If the dryness is overpowering for you I suggest a trip through a vinturi or decanting. The wine has a nice finish and the tannins go on forever. I really love this varietal and this is one excellent example.  92 points and 4 stars for this $40 offering.  Salut….

cosentino petite sirah