Friday, June 25, 2010

2004 Scholium Project Scythia Donati Vineyards

11:47 AM-Just poured it into my glass. It's still cool, but early indications are to WOW. Stay tuned!

12:05 PM-I don't know much, but what I do know is this is one incredible mother of a Syrah. Its almost alive with fresh creamy fruits, river rock, super balance, and just so much more.
Probably one of the best Cali Syrahs I have ever had in my life.
Note to follow....

1:49 PM-A pleaser as usual. This is dense and dark. The nose is all violets, blueberry cobbler, sun warmed river stones, sassafras, blackberry, pomegranate and more. Poised and almost perfect the delivery is lively and focused, but playful enough for burgers. Acidity somewhat elevated to really carry all forward conveyor belt like all the mentioned goodness. The tannins are structured and evolved, this really has it all. The finish is ultra smooth and pure, and it goes on and on for minutes. Wowser. (96 pts.)


Friday, June 18, 2010

2001 Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark and ominous, this was tight out of the gate (as expected for pop and pour). Within minutes it started shedding its armore and black fruits started emerging. Wow, this is pure and precise with tones of refined black fruits of currant, blackberry and black plum. Some real nice cola notes amidst some tar, cardamom and soy. I kept this in my glass all night. It evolved, but in the super-flight at the end of the night, my new pour seemed a bit tired and fading. Still, all in all a very great Hillside from a classic vintage will always please in my book. 95

2002 Bryant Family Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Ready for this? This is one of the most incredible cabernets that I have ever had. It had everything a Napa Cabernet drinker could, should ever want. Depth, elegance, structure, and reverence, all wrapped around some sweet black fruits of macerated currants and black cherries--Bing cherries—maybe maraschino cherries. Stellar and precise, this had lead pencil shavings, soy, worn leather, crème de cassis, kirsch, river stones, and more. Almost mystifying depth and purity that one can make cabernet dreams of. Made me want to find my pillow tout suite. 100 points!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jones Family Vineyards Retrospective

Last evening I had the pleasure of meeting with Daniel Bailey from Jones Family Vineyards & winery. He brought east with him 6 vintages of his flagship estate Cabernet, as well as 2 vintages of his second wine, The Sisters. Daniel Posner of grapes the Wine Company played host.

I have been a fan of Jones family for some time now, always capitalizing on locating older back vintages whenever possible. The Sisters is a perennial favorite of mine, one I buy by the case every year. It represents what I believe to be the single best deal in the whole valley, year in and out. Daniel Bailey was informative and friendly. Great wines, great time, wonderful people.

Jones Family Vineyards

2000 Jones Family Estate Cabernet: The first thing you notice upon bringing the glass to your face is vegetalness. The second thing upon entering the mouth—same. Disjointed, weedy, sweet, and undrinkable. Possibly an off bottle?

2001 Jones Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Deep blackish color with red edges. The nose is pure kirsch and framboise. Some great black currant. All carries to the palate with some amazing precision. There is some black cherry, crème de cassis, cola, tat, leather and cedar. Really shows off a classic styling. The tannins got a bit dusty/gritty as this sat in my glass, not distracting though. This is long and elegant. 93

2003 Jones Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: This had some admirable qualities for the vintage. It had a sweet fabricated red fruit profile with some red cherries and ripe red plum notes. Seemed a bit tired. Drink up! 89

2004 Jones Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Slightly fatter than the previous. Good structure. Deep red black fruit profile encroaching into the black zone. Soft tannins, nice balance. Some Kirsch and black raspberries in a creamy plush mouthfeel. Decent finish, this is very pretty and delicate. 92

2005 Jones Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Loud and boisterous, this is firmly structured with deep red & black fruits of macerated currant, blackberries, pomegranate, and black plum. More delineated than all that came before it, save for the 2001, this is pure and focused with some tightly knitted tannins. 93

2005 Jones Family The Sisters: This seemed a bit more restrained than all my past experiences with it. It still retains some great dark fruit, but the plush mouthfeel has quieted down some. It seems more in line with the 04 than the 05 estates. I always believed this to be one to enjoy young(er). A decent black fruit profile with black cherry reigning. I still have 6, and it will be interesting to see where this goes in the next few years. 91

2006 Jones Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Now we’re talking: sweet red fruits profile with a creamy texture, this has the purity and elegance I want, all supported by the structure and backbone, the strength of the 06 vintage in general, at least in my mind. Cardamom, framboise, kirsch, blackberry, black and red cassis, plums, and so much in here to mention, this is real joy. A hint of black pepper? Maybe. It has super-structured tannins with such a tight-rope act of acidity. A very long pure finish that goes minutes, its palatial omnipresence is just difficult to ignore, this is really a wonderful bottle of Napa Cab. Wow 95

2006 Jones Family The Sisters: Not unlike its older sibling, this really packs it in, save for maybe a bit of elegance and structure, but make no mistake, this is one schnizzle of a $50 cab. Pure, clean, and lively, this has much to offer, and all at $50. Black fruits, plush mouthfeel, elegance, purity, structure and more.The best Sisters I have had, continues to be so. 94

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

2006 Holdredge Syrah - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley

Great vibrant see-through color. The nose is a bit closed at first. After about an hour this really sings: There is warm bluberry pie, blood orange, wild flowers & black cherry. This really showed well/better with food. (Wild Boar sausages, wild mushroom couscous, black berry reduction). Fragrant and pretty beautiful, this belied its price-point by 2x. Palate has all the goodness and then some: Blueberry, white pepper, some bacon fat, soy and river stones. Great medium to light weight mouthfeel, it almost reminded me of Pinot early on, but by hour 1, there was no mistake. Great long finish. What really sellls this wine is the fragrance of the blood orange, blueberry & wild flowers. Very Northern Rhone-like indeed. What a great QPR. (91 pts.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2006 Bacio Divino Cabernet Sauvignon Janzen Napa Valley - USA, California, Napa Valley

Color is dark amber with purple tinged edges. he nose reveals very little. After 2 hours:A quiet but confident reddish black fruit profile of black cherry, cassis, and black berry. Some Cola comes through as well. The palate initially shows a slight hollowness and alcohol. After 2 hours: This really has come together nicely. The hole has been filled: Deep dark cassis driven. This has some sassafras, creme de kirsch, leather, pencil shavings, a hint of cocoa powder and cedar. Very medium weight with a plush silky mouthfeel. It's amazing how this has evolved in the glass. Its now balanced with some finely aligned tannins. Very pretty & very promising, I might open another in 2 years. Surely not before. The finish is long and elegant. Well worth the $29 I paid from WTSO, but I might not have thought so 2 hours ago, Miraculous recovery! (92 pts.)

2006 Louis Jadot Chambolle-Musigny (France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny)

Not one to ever be pigeon holed as a cab only guy, I like to venture out of my comfort zone from time to time, and yes, although those times are far and few, I can live with that.
This has wonderful powdery red color with the almost imperceptible brick edges. The nose gives very little, but what little there is is joyous. Pretty spring flowers amidst some wonderful huckleberry, sassafras and sun warmed river rocks. Some red cherry, some black cherry, and a hint of soy that really never lets up. Gorgeous and elegant, this is really a 90 degree turn or my regular drink, but I can appreciate the change-up. It's balanced with such a lilthy acidic bounce, the tannins are meshed and complicated well beyond what I would have expected. A super long finish that last minutes, this really is a pretty wine. For $29, I can see how well it fits into my repertoire for summer enjoyment. (91 pts.)