Saturday, March 27, 2010

2006 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Charlie's Patch (USA, California, Napa Valley)

Deep dark and ominous. On swirl the wine holds the side of the glass like nobodies business. Some pure black fruits on the nose. The palate has some great blackberries, currant, cassis and a hint of pomegranate. Very nice lush medium to heavy weight wine that had just a hint of a green-streak out of the gate, and ended just a wee bit dry. After about an hour (50% of this was decanted 4 hours earlier) this really fleshed out to a wonderfully balanced and elegant classic cabernet, sans green, sans dry, one that shows breed and class. Tons of potential and clearly true to the vintage. Although reminiscent of the 05, I certainly like the '06 a bit better at this juncture. Now onto the '07...

92 points

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2005 Go Figure Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 3 (USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville)

The slumping economical environment can sure be felt in all corners of life, and wineries are not immune. Combined with yet 'another' vintage of the century, many California wineries still sit with stockpiles of great wines from recent vintages such as 2005 & 2006 in their cellars, much of which have no labels affixed -- yet. The purchasers of said wines can then place their own name on the bottles, and the term 'shiner; is born. Good for us. For the savvy buyer there are some good deals to be had. This is one such from Gary's Wine & Marketplace in New Jersey. In the case of the GF Lot 3, I have, and still do maintain that it is Rudd Estate, a wine 3 times the $35 price tag I paid. Since there is a no-disclose agreement between retailer and winery, there is no way to know for sure. These shiner programs are popping up all over the place. Where else would you be able to get top name Napa wines for a fraction of their cost from their source? Don't blink...

Dark and deep, the nose has some pure cassis and cardamom. The palate exhibits the clean precise cassis driven black fruits with blackcherry, plum, and kirsch. A very regal showing indeed. A medium to heavy weighted wine, this has nice balance and structure without ever really going wayward-- I say so because the bottle I shared a few weeks back with the CLONYC clan was a bit messy and awkward, but the company it shared on the table was wines 3-5 times its price-point, so there you go. A long finish and just a wee bit of dryness on the end is the only flaw I detected last night. Now I am really glad I have 5 more in the cellar. Rumors to be Rudd Estate, some say Oakville Ranch, and the back label says Gerard? I believe it could be the Rudd, as I have had both quite often.

Here is the link to the Gary's Wine Go Figureline-up. No affiliation.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2006 Rockledge Cabernet Sauvignon The Rocks

1.5 hour decant. This is a serious wine. Its medium amber with carmine tinged edges. Very pretty indeed. The nose shows some red and black cherries, red plums, some sweet pomegranate, and a hint...just a hint of very elegant and regal kirsch. Nice. Needs coaxing, because it's all such a tightly wound package, but nice. The palate has much of the same, with some added Creme de Cassis, dark ripe currants, some chewy but controlled tannins, rubbed leather, soy, and lead pencil. A decent acidity and just about perfect balance. This is pretty muchin line with many of the Rockledges I have sampled before: Firm structure, long, very long finish that just does not quit, medium weight mouthfeel and a fruit medley sure to please. Not showy, but commands attention, this is a winner. Mike Hirby who now gets the fruit going from 2007 on, is an incredible artisan who really knows how to let the fruit speak for him. Outstanding classic cabernet sauvignon. 93 points

Monday, March 8, 2010

1999 Frazier Cabernet Sauvignon Estate

Matured edges. Sweet nose that starts slightly green, but dissipates as the wine reaches serve temperature and sits for about 1 hour in decanter. Nice cassis driven profile of a medium weight, always keeping the sweet cassis/black cherry quality. Very pure. Some leather and lead pencil. A very great showing indeed. Very balanced and very 'yesteryear' in its style. 90pts

2002 Kuleto Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve

1 Hour decant- A pretty garnet-amber-reddish-brick color. The nose is has a sweet and tart cherry/currant pie component that I find ultra interesting and I am truly in love with, and its ability to really balance itself so deftly. The palate shows structure, grace and elegance all wrapped in the plushest reddish black profile I have encountered in a while. I get dark cherry cola, reddish currants, spring flowers, some lead pencil, worn leather, and a hint of soft mocha. Again, that sweet-tart thing really is working for me. The tannins are fully evolved and the overall balance is exquisite! As I am writing this, I still sense the wine on my tongue, almost 3 minutes later, it just does not want to end, nor do I want it to. Class and charisma with breed and structure, all while being fun, giddy and playful. Incredible. 95pts