2008 Delectus Cuvee Julia

Had my first opportunity to try the 2008 Delectus Cuvee Julia last night. While still a bit young this is a huge wine that will continue to get better with a little patience. Opened and decanted for about an hour.  BiDelectus Duvee Julia 2008g currant and ripe blackberry with a hint of earthiness. Still a little tannic on the long finish so it needs a bit more time.  While it’s drinking well now, another year and it will be good to go. This is the first vintage that includes fruit from the Delectus Estate in Knights Valley. It is made with 50% Napa Valley fruit and 50% Knights Valley fruit. This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah and Merlot.

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2007 Novelty Hill Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley)

Dark hue of purple all the way to the rim. The nose has hints of currant and plums but lots of cedar and blackberry. Across the plate more blackberry, licorice tar and oaky tannins. Intensely concentrated but not overly extracted. The fruit for this blend comes from a who’s-who of premium Columbia Valley vineyards such as Stillwater Creek, Alder Ridge in the Horse Heaven Hills and Klipsun Vineyard on Red Mountain. Very good but needs a little more bottle time. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc; 1% Petit Verdot

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 12:57 am  Comments (1)  
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2006 Audelssa Estate Winery Summit (Sonoma County)

Cherry and vanilla on the nose with a hint of spice. The wine still seems a bit young. The fruit shows red cherry, wild red berry and tobacco with a hit of black pepper on the finish. It’s fairly tannic from mid palate on. A blend of the Bordeaux varietals from Sonoma County, this red wine is a good buy. It needs a little more time in the bottle or extended time in the decanter to be fully enjoyed.

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 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.

Euphoria Grand Wine Tasting

We attended the Euphoria Grand Wine Tasting event in downtown Greenville today. We were impressed with some very fine wines and a few that were great values. Some of the outstanding wines we sampled were the 2006 Buehler Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Chono Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, 1987 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2004 Elivette,  and the Eagle Eye Voluptuous. Some of the surprise values were the 2006 TEIRA Sonoma County Zinfandel, 2006 Magellan Ponant, the 2006 Cucao Cabernet Syrah, and the Saxon Brown Flora Ranch Syrah.

The best of the best went to the 2005 Burly Napa Cabernet Sauvignon which edged out the 2004 Xtant Napa Valley Red Wine. More about all of these wines soon.

Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Bennett Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

05Cab-BennettThe nose has glass filling notes of wild berry, spice and oak. Across the palate currant dominates the profile with shadings of vanilla, plum and an ending mineral edge. The tannins arestill a little aggressive but may soften with more bottle time. This producers is very consistent and is one of the better “value” Napa Cabernet Sauvignons today. I say “value” because it’s rare to find a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon of this quality for $55.  Excellent.

Published in: on September 9, 2009 at 1:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto Toscana Tuscany

Deep purple in color. Aromas of sandalwood, currant and plumTenuta_San Guido_2006b stew. A nice balanceof mineralityand black fruit on the palate. The tannins are present on the long finish but not in the way. Classic Italian Super Tucsan blend. 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 10% Sangiovese.