2004 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard


This is a very powerful wine. The nose is full of grilled meats and dark berry. On the palate the wine shows its youth and it a little on the hot side but the complex layers of dark fruit and smoky flavors show through. Also has a burst of cherry in the middle. The finish is long and with the fine grained tannins lingering. It will be interesting to see how this wine ages. At $85 it’s an indulgence for most. Alban specializes in Rhone varietals and it sources fruit mainly from the Edna Valley region of Californians Central Coast. 

Published in: on April 27, 2008 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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2004 Merryvale Cabernet Sauvignon Starmont Napa Valley

The color of this wine is dark purple all the way to the rim. After about two hours in the decanter not much to speak of other than an aroma of wet newspaper. The palate delivers an almost muted seam of dusty red berries with a firm tannic structure. The fruit is not very forward at all. If you prefer a more old world expression of the grape this is more your wine. Medium bodied and good, but not special. Good value at 18 dollars.

Published in: on April 26, 2008 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Di Majo Norante Sangiovese Terre degli Osci IGT

Dark ruby/garnet in color. The nose was faint hints of floral tones and barnyard. Flavors were weak with not much complexity. Strawberry was not most forward of the fruit. Basic but not unpleasant. For around seven dollars it’s not a bad deal but there others in the same range that are better.

Published in: on April 19, 2008 at 12:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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2004 Artesa Elements Sonoma and Napa Counties

Nice dark garnet color with this wine. The nose is a little muted but mineral and spice box are present. The flavors are vibrant and fruit forward with blackfruit and floral undertones most prevalent. The finish is pleasant with lingering black fruit and some fine grained tannins. It’s a mix-up of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals (mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) but for the money ($15) it’s good for a weekday drinker.

Published in: on April 17, 2008 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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Price Correction?

I was interested to read James Laube’s blog on Wine Spectator.com yesterday on the subject of a need for a price correction in the wine market. He makes very valid points that wine prices, like most all else, is determined by supply and demand. With the current downturn in the economy can producers really afford to correct? Land prices in Napa and Sonoma are at a all time high. Fuel prices are driving expenses on everything from delivery to the glass bottle. The “cult” wines will be less affected by all of this. Where a correction will hurt most is for those producers who make an effort to keep prices low in good times or bad. There are many producers in Napa and Sonoma who, given the current state of things, could charge a good deal more for their wines but, for what ever reason, choose not to do so. While the upper end may come down during this slowdown in the economy, those true “value” wines may have to move out of the value category just to survive and that would be a shame.

Published in: on April 15, 2008 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Magnificent Wine Company House Wine Columbia Valley

Earthy mineral aromas on the nose.The color is a deep red with purple hues. Flavors are currant, plumb, cherry and a touch of smoke. The tannins are fine grained and very well integrated. The finish is medium to long in length. This “house” wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 54%, Merlot 30%, Syrah 11%, Malbec 3%, Cabernet Franc 2% and is an exceptional value at $10.

Published in: on April 15, 2008 at 11:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2004 Delectus Petite Sirah Napa Valley Spring Valley District

A year in the bottle has helped this wine very much. Nose is blackberry and honeysuckle. Plumb and cherry jam are the most forward of the flavors. There is also a hint of spice box and vanilla. The acidity is slightly low which leads to a sweet finish. The tannins are fine grained and well integrated. Very enjoyable overall.

Published in: on April 14, 2008 at 12:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Robert Mondavi Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

I was interested in this wine because I believe it’s the first vintage released without the involvement of the Mondavi family. The color of this wine is a dark purple. The nose is rather closed for now. Some blueberry and bell pepper poke through.  Red currant, blackberry, and a touch of tobacco carry the weight of the flavor profile, The tannins are very forward now and gripping. Hopefully they will soften with more bottle age. The finish is dominated by the tannins. This wine shows some potential but still needs some time in the cellar.

Published in: on April 12, 2008 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Artesa Cabernet Franc Limited Release Alexander Valley

This wine has a deep garnet color. The nose is mineral and and a floral tone of violet. Cherry, plumb and a hint of strawberry and all in the flavor mix. The tannins are long on the finish in addition to the vanilla undertones. Decant for now. The American oak is overpowering if you pop and pour. Good but not great.

Published in: on April 11, 2008 at 9:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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