2007 DuMOL Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Pale garnet in color. The nose had bold raspberry and cola notes. Nice mix of fruit and acidity on the palate with red cherry, raspberry and a mineral notes that lingers. This wine is a very good example of a California Pinot Noir. Big and bold but not over the top. Excellent.

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Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 1:13 am  Comments (1)  
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2007 Robert Foley Griffin (Napa Valley)

Very dark purple color. The nose was faint but had hints of toasty oak and red fruit. Flavors of sweet cherry, black currant and smoke. The fruit for this wine comes from the Howell Mountain area of the Napa Valley. It’s a “kitchen sink” type of blend which is a good thing in this case because it allows the winemaker (Bob Foley) the freedom to blend without the  boundaries associated with varietal guidelines. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Charbono and Petite Sirah are all in the mix. Great QPR at $32.00.  For years Robert Foley was the winemaker at Pride and now out on his own.

2007 Mollydooker Shiraz Blue Eyed Boy (McLaren Vale)

Deep, almost black color. Big nose full of blueberry syrup, cedar and smoke. Huge flavors of black raspberry, pepper and blueberry. Very, very fruit forward. This wine is classic Mollydooker in style and substance. Fruit for this Shiraz comes from the McLauren Vale area of South Australia. This wines needs rich or spicy food to be fully enjoyed.

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2007 Carter Cellars Merlot Truchard Vineyard (Napa Valley)

This wine is very young and will no doubt improve with additional bottle time. The nose shows notes of bay leaf, red fruit and violets. Plumb, cedar and spice are the predominate flavors across the palate. The tannins are big and burly now but will lay down with another year or two in bottle. It has the structure to age gracefully so give it some time. The Truchard vineyard is in the cooler Carneros region at the bottom of the the Napa Valley which well suited for growing Merlot.

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 1:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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2007 Delectus Cabernet Franc (Knights Valley)

Ruby red color. The nose is big with black cherry, spice box, plum and bell pepper. The palate is also large with the cherry and plum carrying on and the addition of vanilla, and strawberry. The finish is long and picks up a good mineral note to add to the complexity. The fruit was sourced from a mature hillside vineyard across from the Delectus Estate located in Knights Valley in Sonoma County just west of Calistoga. Although this wine is young it is drinking well now. Save some though as it will get better with additional bottle age. Highly recommended.

2007 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Marqués de Casa Concha (Chile)

Red fruit and tar on the nose after an hour in the decanter. The wine was a bit tart which I found unusual for this label based on previous vintages. Cherry and red licorice flavors are the most notable with smoke and a mineral edge in the mix as well. The finish is medium length with the tannins gripping all the way through.  A little disappointing in that this wine is usually excellent. It’s not bad by any measure but this vintage  is just “good”. From the Puente Alto region of the Maipo Valley which also falls in the Central Valley area.

2006 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District

Still young with a big tannic structure. It will soften over time. Needs some time in the decanter for now. Big fruit flavors of currant and blueberry. Mineral edge on the long finish. An excellent value in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at $52.00.

Published in: on November 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm  Comments (1)  
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2009 Wine of the Year

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 2009 so mostly 2006 vintage with a few from 2005 and 2007. My top twenty wines will be a little different from 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 many if any of 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, Screaming Eagle and Schrader. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how well they are made or 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 4-2 and the Wine of the Year

4. 2007 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes – Huge wine. Currant, smoke and spice

3. 2006 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon – Dark toasted oak and blackberry aromas lead the way. Black currant, smokey tobacco, tar hints, fig  and dark chocolate add to the complexity. The finish has a very earthy note and is lingering. A nice balance of fruit and minerality.

2.  2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – Beautiful ruby red color. The nose shows oaky-woody spice notes as well as red red raspberry flavors. The mouth feel is in a sense lush which adds to the complexity because I found the fruit notes crisp and bright. Red, cherry, raspberry and spice hang on through the long finish that adds a hint of mineralitiy.

Wine Of The Year

2006 Delectus Cuvee Julia – Very dark purple all the way to the rim. The aromas are a wonderful mix of black currant, cherry and vanilla. Across the palate the fruit really shines with black cherry, plumb stew, and blackberry. There is a lot going on but everything in its place and working very well together. Simply outstanding.

2009 Wines of the Year

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 2009 so mostly 2006 vintage with a few from 2005 and 2007. My top twenty wines will be a little different from 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 many if any of 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, Screaming Eagle and Schrader. I haven’t tasted these wines so I can’t very well offer an opinion except that they are overpriced no mater how well they are made or 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).

 

First, wines ranked  10 through 5

10. 2006 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Although still young this wine shows all the signs of being well-rounded and built for the long haul. Black cherry, currant and vanilla notes.

9. 2006 Rudius Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Dark purple all the way to the rim. Lots of red fruit flavors and hints of black currant as well. The style is refined and well put together.

8. 2008 Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’Asti Nivole – A great summer sparkling wine.

7. 2006 Chappellet Vineyard Cabernet Franc Pritchard Hill Estate – Very well balanced wine. Violets, cherry and tea notes all working well together.

6. 2007 DuMOL Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – Another great vintage of this excellent fruit forward Pinot. Big cherry and  raspberry flavors and a complex finish.

 5. 2007 Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc – Dusty cherry and spice on the nose. This wine is improving in the bottle and shows nice blackberry and plumb fruit across the palate with hints of spice and tobacco. The finish is moderately tannic and lingering.  A tremendous value.

 

My “Wine of the Year” will be one of the following (revealed in the next post)

In alphabetical order:

2006 Concha y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 Delectus Cuvee Julia

2007 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

2007 Two Hands Shiraz Gnarly Dudes

 

2007 Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc Wahluke Slope

Dusty cherry and spice on the nose. This wine is a bit young but still shows nice blackberry and plumb fruit across the palate with hints of spice and tobacco. The finish is moderately tannic and lingering. An excellent value at $28. The fruit for this red wine comes from the Wahluke Slope AVA around Yakima, Washington. It’s one of the warmest climate growing regions in Washington state. Gravelly, rocky soil, combined with a dry, warm climate, make Wahluke Slope one of the best places in Washington to grow wine grapes.