Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2004 Scholium Project Syrah Scythia Donati Vineyards

USA, California, Central Coast, San Benito County (9/28/2008)
1 hour decant. This wine is in such a wonderful place right now. Dark as a moonless night. Perfect blueberry pie, crushed pebbles. Phenomenal structure. Very consistent with my last 3 times with it. Maybe less showy and more exact and precise if anyhthing. Less perfumey. Some pretty asian spice and cedar. Steamed meat. The tannins are ironing themselves out nicely. Chewy and elegant all at once, this remains one of the best bottles of Syrah I have had recently alongside the Lucia Susans. A toned down Cali Syrah or a Rhone on steroids....you choose. Glad I got 6 more and will still seek more. 3 to 5 yars of great promise here. (93 pts.)

from the website:
This wine was rescued from a vineyard about to be condemned for its unfashionability. The vines were perched precariously on the crest of rolling hills 40 miles inland from Monterey– in the heart of old Almaden country. The perch was precarious because the hill's crest was composed only of sand, from some lost sea-bottom. The vines were meticulously cared for, but struggled in the wind, and in the hopelessly fine drainage of sandy hill-crest. I secured the last harvest; the grapes were trucked to Napa by a local tomato grower. The wine was dark and almost syrupy from the beginning. It lacks the off-putting fierceness of the Scheria, but it would be a gross insult to call it friendly. Instead it is full of intense dark fruit-- reminiscent more of pan forte or christmas cake than jam; and not far from roast goose. It is, like Babylon and Scheria, beyond the paths and borders of our usual neighborhoods, but somewhat more familiar...Abe Schoener.

1996 Clos Pegase Cabernet Sauvignon (real time)

5:20 Broken cork. Nose has some reduction and sweetness. Some browning on edges. Possibly the smallest amout of VA, but I think it will blow off. Palate has some nice structure and dried fruits, but still a bit cool to tell where this will go. Palate better than nose.

5:40 Color deepening and only the very edges are showing age. The palate is fuller and rounder with some rose petals, cedar box, dried blackberries, dried currant, deep somewhat sour cherries. This reminds me of many of the 50s and 60 era Bordeaux I drank in the 80s. Interesting old cabernet.

8:45 All in all a very nice wine. An hour or so this was really showing nice. Good body, fully resolved sweet tannins. Long finish. This was totally matured and hanging on for dear life. More European in style. My second bottle from a different source. I remember my first being more Cab like. 88/100

2004 Rockledge Cabernet Sauvignon The Rocks

USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena (9/13/2008)
Nice deep color (Do I always need to tell you that?) A great nose of crushed fresh black cherries with some black currants and red plums. This has a very elegant and precision driven pure core of chewy tannins and a medley of most of the cab fruits I want, with a slightly elevated level of oak that should quiet down nicely (oak is not an enemy of mine). Good vanilla bean and espresso with some freshly scratched wet leather and earth. After some amazing cabs tasted in the last 8 days, this shows amazingly well for its price point. I'm a fan and will be stocking up. (93 pts.)