Friday, July 8, 2011

1999 Fox Creek Shiraz Short Row (Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale)

What a wonderfully, fully resolved and just so nicely balanced Shiraz from McLaren Vale.
This was floral nosed with blue/black fruits of blackberries and black cherries with some currant and blackberries. A hint of cocoa with some damp forest floor, complete with wet pine-needles. A wonderful expression of Shiraz that really over-delivers, this had a hint of sweetness with a light-medium weight mouth-feel with a velvet glove delivery that really made this....rock. Near perfect balance and a perfect Thursday night drop. Great QPR too! 91 pts

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2005 Switchback Ridge Petite Sirah Peterson Family Vineyard

OK, rubber, meet road. If you do not like big black fruited and ominous wines, please stop reading. This wine should come with a defibrillator.Still wtih me? Good, because this is a really nice wine to sit and contemplate with. It will show itself on its terms, not yours. Blackberries, black raspberry, dark plum, black currant, its all in there, and more. The fruit medley is enough to make your nutritionist happy. All deeply woven and pure with no gobbiness or heavy-handedness (16.4%!). Big structure with lots of stuffing hanging on those bones, there is some warm apple compote, leather, tar, hints pf white pepper, and spring flowers. On the night, this gained some redder fruits and total cohesion of all parts, I wish I had paid even closer attention. Long and pure, count me as a fan.I find many of these Petite Sirahs right up my alley lying somewhere between my 'dearly beloved' Napa Cab and my 'mistress', Cali Syrah. 93 points

2004 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve

The nose is intense with pure red and black fruits exploding from the glass. The palate shows ripe black and red currant, black cherries, blackberries, boysenberries and more. There is a hint of cola and some real nicely welcomed minerality present. The purity is insane as is the balance. It is true to the vintage, with a slight 'fatness' that I really really like. It has some lead pencil, creme de cassis (Kirsch) and some Cherry Herring Liqueur. This is both elegant and wildly rambunctious all at the same time.. The finish is nutty long, with those fruit notes just continuing on and on. I like the combo of vintage typicity with the hallmark Beringer Reserve profile. I grabbed a bunch of these last month for a song, and glad I did.

Friday, July 1, 2011

2000 Andrew Murray Syrah Roasted Slope (USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley)

Some age showing in the color. Nose of sweet cola, blackberries and kirsch. Palate shows same and then some; nice warmish blueberry tart w ith a hint of cinnamon, river stones, some flintiness and tar with a ever so small hint of steamed meat. This really performs well above expectations. It has a fully resolved tannic structure with some really lilty acidity. Long and pure, if I had to find a flaw, there may be a hint of heat, may be. Fifteen dollars never went down so....easy. BIG difference from my last bottle purchased at the same moment....BIG. 90 pts

2001 Ruston Family Cabernet Sauvignon La Maestra (USA, California, Napa Valley)

Pretty nose of lead pencil shavings, black cassis Color is an 'advanced' stage, but not old. The palate has a sweet reddish black medley of fruits with cassis and red cherries up front and pomegranate and red raspberries in the background. Some worn leather and hints of tobacco and cedar box really add dimension. There is a hint of cola and early spring flowers, you know, like the ones you really notice after winter. Balance is perfect with tannins evolved and resolved to cabfection (don't look it up. It's not there). A long finish keeps the fruits in motion all while crescendoing nicely.
I really love how this is showing on this night. I wish some of the wines I had last night showed like such. 93 pts

2003 Double Diamond (Schrader) Cabernet Sauvignon Mayacamas Range (USA, California, Sonoma County)

And it's still vibrant yet. (open 30 minutes) The nose is all pretty cherry cola and red raspberries with cardamom and soil. The nose is incredibly focused with deep plushy fruits. This is pretty consistent with my last note. There is some red/black fruits of currant and cherries with plum pumice and hints of Kirsch. Balance is decent with the lean toward acidity heavy. Tannins are resolved and all in this this really is an incredible deal for what I paid. ($15).
I really can't find much to fault this other than being slightly foursquare and lacking just a bit more elegance, but for what it is, it is (and it is a 2003 Napa Cab). I score this 91 in for its QPR value tonight. I will keep my eyes open for----more. Thomas really does rock.