Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dinner with friends---and Spottswoode

1986 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate: Sweet cassis nose with old wine, some dirt, some funk. The palate shows beautiful red/black fruited profile with some creme de cassis, blackberry, tar, and worn leather. The mouth feel was lively and focused with the sweet fruit always keeping control. What a great old wine still wearing its own flesh nicely. Great balance with fully inter-twined texture and a long finish completes completely. 91

1987 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate: Weird nose with a reduction quality and almost being port-like. Some fruit still evident but awkward balance and mouth feel kept this from really showing itself at all. n/a

1988 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate: Similar to the 86. A bit darker and a bit lusher, this had all the components with a little less sweetness in its profile, which make me the contrarian of liking it more amongst the group. I live the contrarian lifestyle comfortably. 92

1989 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon Estate: First bottle was tainted with something, the second, although better, still reminded me of the 87, just a bit more drinkable overall. 88

2002 Lewelling Wight Cabernet Sauvignon: This was super dark and concentrated with a pure overlaying vanilla-oak layer that you either love or hate. I am in the love camp.It had some very lush reddish black fruits of currant, blackberries,plums, and a touch of blueberry. Some elegance with really intricate tannins, I can see this really being a prize in about 3 to 4 more years. Interesting contrast on the night. 92

2003 St. Helena Winery "Sympa" Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Mark Herold, Winemaker): The nose on this was simply amazing. Very concise and precise as being a Mark Herold wine in the vein of similar vintage Merus and Kobalt. As a matter of fact, this was reminiscent of the 2003 Kobalt I had a few years back. All black fruits with some dark cola, black as night currant, a hint of kirsch, some lead pencil, some leather and a hint of cedar. A very admirable mouth feel just coming in a bit short.Overall an almost stunning wine. Near perfect on the nose, and almost the same save the length. 93

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

2007 K Vintners Syrah Milbrandt Vineyard

USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope (2/15/2010)
Lets jump right into it: The nose: pure and bright nose with tons of bounce and shine. Red cherry, blackberry, black currant, some warm blueberry, pomegranate, earth, sun, and skill is what I get. The palate has a very intense and pure attack of same, but magnified. All precise. All pure. All in tune with what Syrah should be within these shores. There is a very intense acid level that tells you its awake and ready for business. The tannins, although slightly chewy are aligned and refined. I get some river rock, and some earthiness, with some pine, menthol, lead pencil shavings and spring flowers.The finish is in tune with what came before. This is the single best Milbrandt I have had in 3/4 vintages. Period. QPR contender for sure. (92 pts.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2007 Hardin Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley

Sweet black fruit nose. Very pretty indeed. The palate has a super refined and semi plush mouthfeel with a creamy edge. Some wonderful black currant with black raspberries and camphor. Some creme de cassis, cherry cola, hints of vanilla and violets. This is long on finish. More than two minutes long. A wonderful acidity that keeps it alive and a tannin base that is pure and elegant. Super refined and expressive to the level of defying its own price-point. This has always been a favorite of mine, and this is the best yet. Wow.
$22 dollars never tasted so good. (92 pts.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

2005 Arnot-Roberts Syrah Hudson Vineyards

USA, California, Napa Valley, Carneros (2/6/2010)
Ultra dark with pretty red brick edges. The nose is super expressive of pure blueberry pie, with black berries, crushed pebbles, and smoke. The palate has all the explosive qualities I love in cali syrah, without being over bearing or ponderous. It has blueberries, blackberries, and red currant. A wonderful acidic bounce really keeps this alive and fresh. Some great notes of graphite and river rocks, with black and white crushed peppercorns. Great resolving tannins are all in a row, nice and neat. A precise and focused mid-weight mouth feel, this now has some elegance and structure-- To repeat, this is one expressive syrah. A berry blast if you will.(93 pts.)