Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2004 Scholium Project Scythia Donati Vineyards (USA, California, Central Coast, San Benito County)

Fathers day----dad's choice. This was as amazing as always. Its pure, dark and full of good.....Syrah stuff. Still youthful, this seems to be moving about as quickly as the glaciers, and that's ok. Other than that, my other 6 notes here on sums it up about right. 95 pts

Saturday, June 25, 2011

1997 Château Latour Grand Vin (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac)

Served blind. Not sure how long it was decanted, but it was. A pretty garnet color with hints of age. Nose said most definitely bordeaux, ok, lets' play. This had some nice fruits both red and black with some pure cassis and blackberry, but the real story on this was it's elegance, finesse and purity. It had some soil, leather and a hint of tar. There was some lead pencil in the background as well. A long finish kept be beckoning me for more. Time to place feet in mouth, but strangely I did ok on this night: I said older bordeaux maybe 15 years and from Pauillac! Most surely left bank and knowing the host, a possible ringer fro a First Growth. I then changed my Guess of age to older, maybe an 1986 or 1989. Unveil and yes sir, let me try it again!

1999 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select (USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District)

After having the 2001 SHS on Thursday and it showing as It did which was good, just not great I was happy to peek in on this one.
It had soem real pure black fruits with some kirsch and cola, but there was some real evident vanilla as well. usually I can deal with oak, but sometimes it is so noticeable, I have to call it out: This was a bit oaky. It had nice mouth-feel and purity with some pretty floral notes. I think this has not fully resolved, but tannins on this night we in check and well behaved. Some good acidity and a longish finish completed this nicely, I just wanted....more, so shoot me. 90 pts

2001 Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Herb Lamb (USA, California, Napa Valley)

These are all about the nose. I opened this one outdoors and I tell you, the air immediately around me had the pretty smell of Cabernet perfume. If this had happened indoors, it would be tell-worthy, but outdoors? I let it sit for a few hours. I knew I did not need to sample it just on that.

This is pretty black with red tinged edges. On the nose there is the purest expression of black currant you would ever fins. There was some cola, cardamom, souy, new leather, hints of cocoa, and lead pencil. An amazing mouth-feel with deft balance and structure. Tannins are intricate and in control of all else here, in a good way. I love the purity and the perfume that shoots from the glass as you bring it in. Its long, and flamboyant without being heavy handed or obtrusive. These really are a perennial crowd pleaser. Just a enjoyable and fulfilling drink of wine, perfect for friends. 94 pts

2007 Rivers-Marie Cabernet Sauvignon (USA, California, Napa Valley)

As 2007 Cabs go, I must add this one to my 'like' list. The list is about 4/35 (like/don't care for).
This really is similar in profile to the Schraders, and its no wonder now is it? It has a similar nose and approach onto the palate. Where is differs is in its length.
There is some reall pretty black and red fruits of cassis, black plums and black cherries with some cola and Creme de Cassis liquor. It has some great structure with a mid to mid-plus weighted wine with some voluptuous mouth-feel.. Tannins are pretty huge, and hidden right now behind some of that fruit cornucopia. There are those rumors out there that you want to believe: The one about the extra Schrader, (or lets call it a 'cut') going into this is not a stretch...... 91 pts

Thursday, June 23, 2011

1996 Domaine Rollin Père et Fils Corton-Charlemagne (France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

1996 Rollin Corton-Charlemagne. This was awesome. A lilt little number with hints of some fresh soft Meyer lemon, graphite, petroleum jelly and spring flowers. Perfectly balanced and precise, a light to medium weighted mouth feel, this just glides over the tongue. Very nice indeed. 93 pts

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2006 Dain Wines Syrah The Smart Set White Hawk Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County)

pop & pour.

Great nose of blueberry, black raspberries and river stones. Palate has all that and a bag of chips. Not really. All that and more: Soy, red cassis and cedar with some cooled bacon fat. This is lively and playful with a perfectly 'slightly' elevated acidity level with nearly resolved tannins that are aligned and polished. A very elegant and pure Syrah, this is such an enjoyable food friendly wine.
In my humble estimation, If ever there was a non deserving victim of the 'non-appreciation' of American Syrahs, I will always point to David Dain and this bottling in particular as my number one example. I wish he still made this. 93 pts

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2006 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Some Days Are Diamonds (USA, California, Napa Valley)

If you have these in your cellar, and if you paid what I think you paid, consider yourself very lucky.
For a wine to be so dark, so pure and so black fruited all while being focused and precise and costing $18 you have hit a grand slam.
My 7th or 8th time with this wine in the last 18 months and all I can say is wow.

...and glad to have 8 more.........
I will buy deep on the '08s when they come around, again. 93 pts

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2008 Two Hands Cabernet Sauvignon Charlie's Patch (Napa Valley) DELIVERED POPPED & POURED

Dark. Inky black-hole dark. Nose shows some notes of cassis driven black fruits but this wine is so primary you really have to look (almost like a barrel sample). The palate right off the bat reveals mountain fruit, and a lot of it. It is pure and slightly unfocused now, but this should really pull together nicely. There's all black fruits of currant, blackberries, black raspberries and black plum. Did I say currant? I should again. An almost cola note shows itself as well. Tannins are humongous and acidity perfectly in balance but the real story here today is the finish....this just goes and goes and goes. In May 2011, my CLONYC tasting group had the good fortune to host Michael Twelftree of Two Hands Wines and taste through a dozen of his latest releases. He had shared with us many of his thoughts of wine, one being that all of the great wines of the world have one thing in common, and that is a great finish ---and if there was ever an example of somebody putting their money where their mouth, its this Cabernet. As I type I still sense the purity of the black fruits on my tongue, and we're talking many minutes since I type slow (still peck & hunt). Sure, it's young, but it is so delicious that I have zero guilt on opening this today. I have a few wonderful porterhouse steaks in line for a bit later, its cool and comfortable outside, albeit a bit wet, and it's Saturday. This is not for the faint of heart, and I am not the faint of heart type of guy. Todays Charlie's Patch could vie for the my favorite Charlie's Patch out of the last four vintages, and 2007 was no slouch......93 points

Friday, June 3, 2011

1994 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley)

Dark with transparent edges of crimson. The nose is blueberries, bacon fat and red raspberries.The palate shows some initial intensity which works into a graceful and elegant wine which shows some of my favorite Northern Rhone qualities; nice deep blackish fruits with some damp forest floor complete with pine needles and acorns. The blueberries and raspberries are on the tongue too, just a wee bit darker than the nose. A very interesting wine that really could pass for a wine half it's age save for some late palate softness; but let's face it, it's 17 years young and showing wonderfully. It really has the pure nose that keeps you sniffing (sniffy-sniff). There seem to be some secondaries popping in after about 15 minutes, maybe some cedar, some leather, some violets and some cardamom. Balance is deft. Tannins are fully resolved and finely weaved and acidity is near perfect. This wine will please everyone across the board: new world types as well as those old world people. This Reva should drink well for a bunch more years, but its so good now, I might have a difficult time keeping my hands off my other 3 this bbq season, but I will try. 94 pts