Sunday, December 26, 2010

2004 Andrew Murray Syrah Roasted Slope (USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley)

Dark with tinged edges. The nose has warm blueberry pie, blackberries, spring flowers and cooled bacon fat. The palate shows a wonderful expression of California Syrah. There is great vibrancy of fruits with blueberry in the forefront. Included are black berries, black cassis liquor, sun warmed river stones, bacon fat, exotic spices and a hint of damp forest floor. Some vanilla shrouds this nicely and the tannins are well behaved. Balance it fantastic with acidity lying amongst the fruit as if it were kin. Mouth-feel keeping in the mid area with a touch of creaminess. I was surprised how well this showed tonight with some challenging foods of spicy fish sauces & vinegared salads. 92 pts

2005 Frazier Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (USA, California, Napa Valley)

This is super dark indeed. Purple edges. The nose is all black cherry and black cassis with a hint of cardamom. The palate shows an attack of pure Cabernet Sauvignon. You will not make a mistake on calling this if tasted blind. It's all black fruited and pure. There is the black currant, black cherry, blackberries and ripe black plum skin. Some exotic tea, some soy, some kirsch and some framboise. This is a mid-weight wine with chewy but not aggressive tannins and a lilty acidity. Somewhat two dimensional and exact in its approach, what I used to call Four-Square, this is all it could promise to be, and does not pretend to be anything other; Pure exact Napa Cabernet somewhere in the middle of both worlds, but tonight leaning to the more classic side. In this price-point it's tough to beat ($24), The finish is admirable. Yep, It's Cabernet!  91 pts

2006 Rockledge Cabernet Sauvignon The Rocks (USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena)

This has loads of stuffing; It just needs the patience to treat it right. 4 hour minimum decant on this. It is a tightly structured cab with tradition soaked into the molecules. Black cassis, black cherry, tar, soy, leather, cedar box, exotic tea. its all here; it just need coaxing. When it shows itself you will know what a classically cab is like if you never had one before. It's a medium to full bodied style with masculine tannins, nice balance, and it's all brawn. Not for the faint hearted. A long finish with all the black fruits remaining in play. If you are a Napa Cab lover you owe it to yourself to try this wine. It's everything many 2007 Napa cabs I have sampled are not. If you don't have the time to decant, don't bother. I can see this going for the long term. 93 pts