Second up in our epic wines last night was the Comtesse. Unfortunately this bottle was sitting in my wine chiller and was slightly cold when first opened. The wine lacked a tail end kick, no tannins or bite…. I waited for it to warm up to room temperature and bam! There they were, tannins, acidity, a nice finish, all I could ask for. The wine was super smooth, nuances of tobacco, cassis, leather, all the secondary notes that get me excited about aged Bordeaux. The wine was sublime. It hit every note, showed it’s power, but also its grace. This is a seductive wine with very soft edges, yet it holds an immense amount of complexity and evolution. I wrote about this wine three years ago, the 2001 Comtesse got 92 points from me back then and I promised to drink one every 6 months. I got sidetracked, sorry it took so long to drink another- I won’t make the same mistake again! This wine has gone up to 93 points in my opinion and is nearing its peak. On sale for $125 it is not cheap, but it gets 5 stars from me for the sheer enjoyment it provides. Salut….
I love this wine, so every time I see a bottle, it’s in the bag. This latest vintage is no exception. I forgot to take a picture so have had to use a stock photo.
Dark purple, nearly see-through. Nose is gorgeous, a mix of strawberry, cherry and the key component….vanilla cherry cola. The palate is amazing- black cherries, strawberry pie and super smooth acidity. There are just a hint of tannins, perfect for a Pinot Noir. This wine is 100% New World, totally awesome and necessary for any cellar. This is a spectacular wine that gets 93 points from me and 5 stars. If you can find it, buy it. My sources are coming up at $25. Drink this wine all by itself to truly appreciate its nuances, or if you must pair it- Lamb chops, Venison, Steak au Poivre. Salut….
In Bordeaux there are certain vintages to look for and each has it’s own drinking window based on that vintage and the quality of the wine. Clos Du Marquis is not the second label of Second Growth Chateau Leoville Las Cases, but is made at the same winery. I mistakenly made that assumption when I first bought it. It’s pedigree shows however. I bought a case of this wine back in 2012 and have been patiently waiting for it to emerge. Wowza, has it ever come to life!
See-through purple in the glass with a tiny amount of sediment showing in the bottle. Cassis, black currants and cedar on the nose. Smooth as all heck intro of black berries, blueberry and cassis. On the mid palate, more layers of currant, blackberry and spice mingling with the delightful tannins. Balanced to within an inch of its life this wine is on pointe and drinking beautifully. From the great 2005 vintage it’s easy to see how this wine would get 93 points and a 5 star rating that has really rewarded my patience. It can still be found for $70. Ps. WS gave it 93, RP only a 91 but had high praise for it’s evolution. I would drink this all by itself, the 13% alcohol being very civilized- but if you wanted to pair it with some beef stew, Osso Bucco or even Coq Au Vin, these would work well. I am looking forward to the rest of this case, spread out over the next 5 years. Salut….
A few posts ago I wrote about buying up wines from a shop that was closing. I picked up two bottles of this delicious, heady Shiraz and sat on them for a few years. Turns out my timing was just about right.
Nearly black in the glass and super brooding. A nose of plum jam and hoisin with a baconny hint as well. The first sip reveals gorgeous plum reduction, violets and rich, thick blueberry pie. This wine is full on, with layers of extraction and polish. To say it is meaty is an understatement. The alcohol (15.5%) becomes evident in the mid palate, as well as the acidity. It refreshes where the tannins left off. A telltale Shiraz hint of pepper and some tar come out eventually. The finish is somewhat abrupt after a decent length of time but leaves some tannic residue on the gums. This wine begs for a Sunday roast, Lamb or beef- with horseradish. It is a fall or winter wine that will reward more cellaring but is hitting all the notes right now. Drink from now until 2026. 93 points from me but the pro’s went higher at 95. My only concern is the undeniable hit of heat on the mid palate. If you can still find it they cost $75 at retail making this a serious 4 star contender. Glad I have one left! Salut….
When I wrote about the Chateau De By that I drank on a recent flight it fed into my Twitter feed. I got a message out of the blue to which I replied:
@caspernick Noticed your wine feedback on ChateaudeBy. Do you know our other wines #ChateauGreysac #ChateauRollandeBy #ChateauHautCondissas
Reply to @RollanDeBy
@caspernick May 17
@RollanDeBy I have certainly heard of them but have not had the pleasure to try them! Perhpas I will look for them in my local wine shop.
Well, It turns out I didn’t need to visit anything more than my cellar. Back in 2008 a local wine shop was closing doors and I trudged through the snow and picked up anything I thought was worthy. This ’05 was in the cart, and thankfully.
Opaque purple in the glass with a stunning nose of cassis, tobacco and plum with some earth. I’m so excited. The initial taste is fantastic! Blueberry torte, cassis, plum, and a flavor profile reminiscent of classed Pauillac. I’m shocked. This cry bourgeois is simply rocking my world. The mid palate is full-on secondary Bordeaux flavors of cassis, tobacco, leather and plum with fully integrated tannins that are fine grained and holding this wine together. Acidity is apparent but only as a balance to the structure. The finish is long with the tannins holding on for a good 40 seconds, working the gums into a frenzy. I know 2005 was a great year and this wine is taking advantage of the strengths of the vintage. I’m going with 93 points. Amazing! You can still find it for $35. RP gave it 90, WS 88. I’m sticking with my guns, this is an awesome wine that introduces one to the luxuries of Bordeaux without the high entry fee. Decanting may be needed on this 5 star effort! Salut….
Yes, you read the vintage correctly. I will explain- it was my friend’s bottle and we were celebrating his birthday, in Napa Valley. His is name is…. Doctor J. He is just finishing up his PHD in some abstract field of Finance to do with mortgages and some other crap I can’t understand. He has locked himself in for the past 10 months and only had a few drinks since then. He needed a nice afternoon out and a big steak. We headed up to the valley in the early afternoon and arrived at Cosentino winery in time for our 4 pm member’s private tasting. It was just the two of us and several stunning reserve wines, paired with slivers of cheese. We finished up in the main tasting room with some of the more regular offerings. I have written about this winery before. If you get to Napa, they are a must visit. Super nice people, unpretentious settings and good wine priced right. I digress…
We went to dinner after our tasting where we had the Beringer decanted. At 19 years of age I was shocked. Below are my tableside notes after numerous other tastings that afternoon.
Youthful and tannic with fruits that still pop. A nose of plum compote, blackberry torte.
Fresh and lively after 19 years in bottle. Amazing bottle. 93 points easily.
Cassis, plum and leather come out on the initial attack. Mid palate shows a slight hollowness but this is overcome by a longish finish that exhibits crushed stone, black stone fruit and a dryness that begs for a juicy steak. The tannins are still evident as is the fruit and acidity. This wine has plenty of cellaring potential yet but is delicious right now. I think you can still find it online for $100. 4 stars all day long, bordering on 5 stars. Salut….
We went over to our friends house for dinner last night. My buddy, known as Big Red, had bought this one specially for our dinner of short ribs. It never made it to the table as we opened it soon after we polished off the Carneros Pinot I brought for appetizers. None of us could wait to try it. We were not disappointed.
Reddish color that was somewhat unique in a Malbec, they usually run the gamut of dark purple to the black wines of Cahors. Red currants, strawberries and iodine were some of the hints we picked up on the nose. A super smooth entry of red fruits, some ink, black cherry and a Tempranillo-like medicinal tinge were what treated us in the first wave. Mid palate is where the tannins finally kicked in having lurked initially. Supremely balanced with acidity and a touch of oak the whole package is well rounded and polished. The length is ideal. 93 points and begging for a steak, perhaps some shaved ham. $40, 93 points. Full bodied Argentinian ready to drink till 2022. A top wine if I may say so myself. 5 stars for sure, seek this one out. Salut….
Broken cork- never a good start…. unless the wine is unharmed and is as good as this one. Funky Tempranillo nose of earth, black cherries and garigue. Full power attack of aged leather, tobacco, black berries and dark cherry jam. Very balanced with some tight tannins and sharp acidity. Mid palate shows some real stuffing, sour cherry with leather and black brooding fruits. The finish is long and the tannins continue to caress. This wine is still very young and will age gracefully, all the pieces are in place. 93 points from me which differs considerably from one pro who gave it 90 and my peers only managed 87 points. I’m sticking with my guns and searching for more. At $15 per bottle you can’t go wrong- 5 stars for sure and another winner in the books. 2015-2025 Salut….
I will pre-empt this post with the fact that I only bought a six pack, silly me. Straight out of the bottle and into my glass for a lovely perfumed nose of violets, plums and cocoa. Fruity and full-on explosion of blue fruits, pomegranate, mint and raspberry that sort of surprised me. Full bodied and almost syrupy, this wine has texture. Fine grained tannins are well integrated and the balance is razor sharp. Wow, this is good Cabernet Franc, and you know how I love this varietal. 93 points from me (One of the pros gave it 92, close enough). 2014-2019 would be a great window to enjoy this powerful, structured wine. So easy to drink all by itself but it would pair beautifully with a lean cut of beef, perhaps coq-au-vin as well. This wine has a near perfect mouthfeel for me. Made by the famous Jonathan Maltus, this time from Napa Valley instead of his usual stomping grounds in Bordeaux. Who wouldn’t pay $25 for this wine? 5 stars for sure. Salut….
Sundays in the fall are for football and Roast Beef. Being half British means I need a weekly dose of Yorkshire pudding, gravy and tender beef served up with delicious wine. This week was a first for me. I have never cooked a Strip Roast. It was magnificent, cooked perfectly and juicy to the last morsel. The rub was key, garlic, olive oil, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. I could go on, but this is more about the vino.
This Napa Cabernet was quite simply stunning. Nearly black in the glass I knew I was headed to an extracted, rich, complex world….
Plums and eucalyptus greeted me on the nose and my first impressions were spot on. Napa all the way, with gobs of plum, blueberry, black berry and mint on the initial attack. A very slight touch of wood adds complexity to the whole package. Extremely fine grained tannins just coat the mouth, perfectly. Balanced acidity make for a great mouthfeel that leads to a long finish of cola and blue fruits laced with espresso. I would easily award this wine 93 points, drinking between 2014-2020. You know what to pair it with, just fork over the $65 and get going. This is the fourth Merryvale I have tasted and I am really becoming a fan of their wine. I think this wine merits 5 stars. I wish I had more so I could watch the evolution, I bet it’s gonna sing in a few years. Salut….