Monday, May 31, 2010

2004 Jones Family The Sisters - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/30/2010)

45 minute decant. Immediate impression: Just Beautiful.
Vibrant crimson red with a black core, almost opaque. The nose is all pure cassis driven black fruits, black cherry, flowers and cardamom. The palate continues the theme. Creme di cassis, kirsch, black cherry, Cola, black currant, black plum, wow. Pure, elegant and regal, this is just really showing so nice. Deftly balanced with gobs of plushy stuffing. A medium weight wine that flows across the tongue with such ease, it will be hard not to finish this bottle within an hour. It is intense and focused. Tannins are in check. The finish goes on and on 'and don't stop 'until the break of dawn'. A super QPR indeed, the peicepoint of this wine defies its showing--2 to 3 fold.

I .......out....... of ..............things say. (94 pts.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

1998 Peter Lehmann Mentor (Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley)

Tasted blind. Brick color, browned edges of wine its age or older. The nose has some black cherry and black olives. The palate has some lushness that is very comforting. As this sits it builds its red fruit profile quickly: some currant, some black cherries, and some sassafras. Some soy, leather, and a hint of vanilla are in there too, as is just the hint of faded vegetalness. There is a hint of elegance proving these can really benefit from some bottle age. The tannins are fully resolved (last had this about 2 years back) and shows an overall deft balance. A clean and smooth finish that goes on for more than a minute. What a nice drop from down-unda'.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2001 Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Morisoli Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/22/2010)

Tasted blind. A beautiful dark crimson color. A nose of black cherry, sassafras, and creme de cassis. An incredible purity and balance, this wine really showed its breed early, and evolved into something almost other-worldly in the 2 and and a half hours I sat with it. A black fruited medley led with the black cherry. There was some kirsch, leather, & graphite. The tannins are fully resolved, but a long life remains, this had a coy almost inperceptable acidity, again emphasizing the balance and structure--but then, that's what you signed up for with these, and this did not disappoint. One of the single best Cabernets I have come across. Phenomenal. (98 pts.)

2002 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/22/2010)

A carmine brickish color. This was much showier and blowsier than anything else on the table. A very intense nose of flowers and red fruits, the palate continued the theme, which was strange to me as it seemed much 'darker' profiled last time I had it. The tannins were somewhat raw and not lined up as I remember either. The acidity seemed elevated and the overall feel was somewhat 'fat' for a Forman, which I always expect elegance from-- it really showed the vintage characteristics like a big red letter. Others liked it better than I on this showing. (91 pts.)

1997 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/22/2010)

Tasted blind. Some sediment afoat, but did not detract. A darkish purple edged wine with tons of cassis and cherries flowing out into the nose. A black and red fruit wine of red & black currants, plums, bing cherries and some chinese apple. There was a streak of vanilla with a hint of cardamom, this was fully resolved and nicely balanced. A good start on an evening that just never let up. A meium body wine with a long balanced finish rthat kept some soy and leather on the line. Interesting (92 pts.)

2005 Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Select Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard - USA, California, Napa Valley (5/22/2010)

After the '01 Morisoli, this sure had to hold up. It did. It was super dark almost opaque. A somewhat blackish red fruit profile with cassis, pomegranate, plums, and black cherry, this did not show quite the balance and intensity, but the mark had been set early, so fairness may not be on its side. It was intense with a plush mouthfeel. A bit showy, this showed its To-Kalon lineage. A finish that was long and clean, with the black fruit lingering. Very nice indeed. (93 pts.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No notes, no photographs, yes a good time.

Sometimes its more than the tasting note. Sometimes it’s just a few (or more) glasses of wine with some friends over some good grub. That’s the 'sometimes' it was this past Saturday when a few friends converged on my home for homemade pizzas and wine. While the wines were great, I did not take detailed notes. Heck, I took no notes at all! But I can tell you what I enjoyed--with friends--sans notes.

2001 Justin Vineyard Isosceles was amazing. Precise and focused with very dark and character filled black fruit profile. 93
2004 Schrader
TKL Cabernet Sauvignon. A very blowsy type of cab with tons of cocoa powder, crème di cassis, and vanilla. Pretty much in line for how I remember it to be. Not for everyone, but sure for me. 91
2004 Beringer
Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Bright and very fruit forward this was beautiful and focused. More so than the Schrader. Black and red fruit profile with some wonderful depth and purity. 92
2002 Quintessa
. About my 6th time with this and probably the best showing yet. Glad I have 3 more; sad my other 9 are behind me. Blackish fruits with kirsch and leather. Some pretty floral notes. Wow. 93

The pizzas were pretty good as well. I did my usual traditional round cheese and San Marzano tomato pie (almost Neapolitan), the Grandma’s pie with flat dense crust, 3 cheese combo of mozzarella, Scamorza and provolone, all with some red wines vinegar marinara sauce and basil infused olive oil drizzle. Thirdly was the Palermo pie, my newest creation of thick square dough (almost 1.5 inches thick!) with fresh mozzarella, sautéed sweet Vidalia onions and the San Marzano sauce. (My favorite on the night), and lastly the Great Kills pie: round crust with provolone cheese, cooked until slightly charred and then topped with prosciutto, Arugula, and sweet aged thickened balsamic vinegar.

Between the pizza and the appetizers, it was a tough day for my Lipitor, which sure worked overtime.

All in all a nice evening.