2006 Andrew Will Cabernet Sauvignon Champoux Vineyard (Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills)

andrew-will-champouxStill a little tight and tannic given it’s age. Needs a little more time in bottle to come into it’s own. Great fruit forward style with black currant, cherry and chocolate all working well together. The tannins are still in the way some but they will lay down over time. Be patient. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

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2005 Mills Reef Merlot Malbec Reserve (New Zealand, North Island, Hawkes Bay)

The Malbec adds depth to the purple color. The flavors were cherry, plumb and spicebox and with the fruit  very forward with vanilla and fine tannins on the short finish. A little on the light and simple side but interesting nonetheless.mills-reef

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 10:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Villa Creek Avenger Central Coast, Paso Robles

villa-creek-avengerGarnet/purple hue on the color. The flavors give off blackberry, tobacco and vanilla. Across the palate the blackberry and vanilla hang on along with a touch of currant, earthiness and a cinnamon spice twinge to the medium length finish. Interesting, good, and easy to drink. Syrah, Mourvèdre and Grenache.

Published in: on November 16, 2008 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2008 Wine of the Year

2005-don-melchorAs we draw to the end of the year it’s time to start thinking about the best wines of the year. The wines are those that have been released in calendar year 2008 so mostly 2005 vintage with a few from 2004 and 2006. My top twenty wines will be a little different than most for a few reasons. First, the list will be dominated by red wines because that is what I prefer. I am sure there are many, many great white wines that should be on someones top list but I wouldn’t know because I don’t taste them. Second, the list will contain many new world wines. I don’t buy very many old world wines. The style I prefer is more new world so that is what I taste. Finally the wines on the list are wines that I have purchased with my hard earned dollars or something that I have tasted at a wine event either as a guest or a paid attendee. I am not on lists like Colgin or Screaming Eagle. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how good they taste. I am your typical wine enthusiast who has a wine budget. No one is sending me wine to taste for free (one can dream however).

My Wine of the Year for 2008

1. 2005 Concha y Toro  Puente Alto Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon

My original review:

“The color is a very deep purple that fades a little toward the rim. Because this wine is so young the nose is a bit closed right now but it does give some hints of black fruit and spice box. The flavors are a harmonious mix of currant, tobacco, and plumb. The finish is tannic now and full of cedar but will soften over time. Overall this wine is very complex, very well put together and may be the best Don Melchor ever. It needs additional bottle time so resist the temptation and lay this one down for at least a year. Exceptional!”

Still a hold at this point but it will be worth the wait. Will start to come into it’s own in 2009.The Merus ran a very close second but this wine was unique in that it showed slightly more finesse and complexity.

Top Wines of 2008 Part 4

As we draw to the end of the year it’s time to start thinking about the best wines of the year. The wines are those that have been released in calendar year 2008 so mostly 2005 vintage with a few from 2004 and 2006. My top twenty wines will be a little different than most for a few reasons. First, the list will be dominated by red wines because that is what I prefer. I am sure there are many, many great white wines that should be on someones top list but I wouldn’t know because I don’t taste them. Second, the list will contain many new world wines. I don’t buy very many old world wines. The style I prefer is more new world so that is what I taste. Finally the wines on the list are wines that I have purchased with my hard earned dollars or something that I have tasted at a wine event either as a guest or a paid attendee. I am not on lists like Colgin or Screaming Eagle. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how good they taste. I am your typical wine enthusiast who has a wine budget. No one is sending me wine to taste for free (one can dream however).

Wines 5-2

5. 2005 Cliff Lede Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

4. 2006 Kosta Browne Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Sonoma

3. 2005 Pride Napa & Sonoma Counties Merlot

2. 2005 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

TopWines Of 2008 Part 3

As we draw to the end of the year it’s time to start thinking about the best wines of the year. The wines are those that have been released in calendar year 2008 so mostly 2005 vintage with a few from 2004 and 2006. My top twenty wines will be a little different than most for a few reasons. First, the list will be dominated by red wines because that is what I prefer. I am sure there are many, many great white wines that should be on someones top list but I wouldn’t know because I don’t taste them. Second, the list will contain many new world wines. I don’t buy very many old world wines. The style I prefer is more new world so that is what I taste. Finally the wines on the list are wines that I have purchased with my hard earned dollars or something that I have tasted at a wine event either as a guest or a paid attendee. I am not on lists like Colgin or Screaming Eagle. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how good they taste. I am your typical wine enthusiast who has a wine budget. No one is sending me wine to taste for free (one can dream however).

Numbers 10-6:

10. 2006 Two Hands, Gnarly Dudes, Shriaz, Borossa Valley

 9. 2006 Kosta Browne, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

 8. 2005 DR II Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

 7. 2005 Delectus Cuvee Julia, Cabernet blend, Napa Valley

 6. 2005 Phillipe Milka CJ, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Top Wines of 2008 Part 2

As we draw to the end of the year it’s time to start thinking about the best wines of the year. The wines are those that have been released in calendar year 2008 so mostly 2005 vintage with a few from 2004 and 2006. My top twenty wines will be a little different than most for a few reasons. First, the list will be dominated by red wines becausethat is what I prefer. I am sure there are many, many great white wines that should be on someones top list but I wouldn’t know because I don’t taste them. Second, the list will contain many new world wines. I don’t buy very many old world wines. The style I prefer is more new world so that is what I taste. Finally the wines on the list are wines that I have purchased with my hard earned dollars or something that I have tasted at a wine event either as a guest or a paid attendee. I am not on lists like Colgin or Screaming Eagle. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how good they taste. I am your typical wine enthusiast who has a wine budget. No one is sending me wine to taste for free (one can dream however).

Numbers 15-11:

15. 2005 Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills Washington

14. 2005 Bennett Lane Maximus, Napa Valley

13. 2005 Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Puento Alto, Maipo Valley

12. 2005 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

11. 2005 Kamen Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley

Top 20 wines of 2008

As we draw to the end of the year it’s time to start thinking about the best wines of the year. The wines are those that have been released in calendar year 2008 so mostly 2005 vintage with a few from 2004 and 2006. My top twenty wines will be a little different than most for a few reasons. First, the list will be dominated by red wines becausethat is what I prefer. I am sure there are many, many great white wines that should be on someones top list but I wouldn’t know because I don’t taste them. Second, the list will contain many new world wines. I don’t buy very many old world wines. The style I prefer is more new world so that is what I taste. Finally the wines on the list are wines that I have purchased with my hard earned dollars or something that I have tasted at a wine event either as a guest or a paid attendee. I am not on lists like Colgin or Screaming Eagle. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how good they taste. I am your typical wine enthusiast who has a wine budget. No one is sending me wine to taste for free (one can dream however).

I’ll start with the bottom five and work my way up to the top five over the next week or so.

20. 2005 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

19. 2005 Five Star Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley

18. 2005 Seghesio Zinfindel, Sonoma Valley

17. 2005 Buehler Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

16. 2005 Delectus Merlot, Napa Valley

Published in: on November 7, 2008 at 12:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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2004 Delectus Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

The aromas are a powerful combination of blackberries, graphite, currant and a hint of alcohol (this wine clocks in at 16.8%). Across the palate the wine is fruit forward with the currant leading the parade and a oaky note as well. The tannins are very present on the medium length finish now. Needs some additional bottle time for the tannins to smooth out but another solid effort.

Published in: on November 4, 2008 at 1:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District (Napa Valley, Stags Leap District)

Impressive flavors of black currant, coconut, vanilla and oak. The fruit is rich and concentrated on the palate with the black fruits leading the way again. There is also a slight mineral edge that gives balance to the fruit. The tannins are present and will no doubt lay down some with a little bottle age. A very good effort with a complex mix of flavors. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot all from the Stags Leap District.