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.

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.

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.

2004 Delectus Cuvée Julia Napa

2004_JuilaI reached into the back of the cellar and found this terrific red wine blend from the 2004 vintage. Deep, dark purple in color. The nose gave hints of currant, esprasso, and damp earth. The mouth feel was velvety, with currant, black cherry, and cedar flavors bursting forth. Extremely complex and well put together. It’s a fruit foward blend that workes very well together. Outstanding still. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Merlot.

Published in: on August 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Napa Visit Part 3 Delectus

The major reason we decided to travel to Napa this trip was that a party thrown by Gerhard and Linda Reisacher coincided with our wedding anniversary so we maded a long weekend out of it and attend the very first “Chill and Grill” at the Delectus estate in Knights Valley to celebrate. We have been fans of the Delectus wines for a while. Now we are also fans of Linda and Gerhard and their wonderful group of dedicated family members. The visit began at the winery which, for now, is located in South Napa in an office park. Just because there isn’t a beautiful building located among the vines doesn’t mean that the experience isn’t just as nice….just a different “view”. Inside you will find great wine and a super relaxed experience. We started with barrel samples of the 2007 Napa Valley Merlot. This is a baby wine so it was very tannic but has the structure to really be something after additional barrel and bottle age. We also were able to try some 2007 Cabernet Franc in barrel. This wine was originally produced to blend with other wines but it was outstanding by itself. I’m not sure if Gerhard is going to bottle this by itself or use it for its original purpose but it’s very good now for a barrel sample. After meeting the rest in our group of about 15 we loaded up on a bus for the hour or so trip up to Knights Valley to visit the future winery site and more importantly the four year old vines that are now producing fruit beginning with the 2008 vintage. The site is located just above the legendary Peter Michael vineyard and in the shadows of the “backside: of Mt. St. Helena. The picture below does not do the view justice. We tried a 2008 Cabernet based blend barrel sample. Normally wine this young in barrel is not very pleasant regardless of how it eventually turns out. This one was and will be special. The event, the food, the226 wine and the company were all exceptional. Look for Delectus to continue to produce outstanding Napa and now Knights Valley red wine for many years to come

Published in: on June 17, 2009 at 3:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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2005 Delectus Syrah Mt. George (USA, California, Napa Valley)

Very dark purple color that fades a bit at the rim. The nose has a nice balance of blackberry, currant and wet stones. This wine is jam packed with black fruit flavors but it not overly ripe. The tannins are still a little gritty and mouth coating on the long finish but will lay down some with more bottle time. Thes05_Delectus_MtGeorge_Syrahe Syrah  grapes come a small vineyard in and around  Mt. George near downtown Napa. Plenty to chew on but rich at the same time. Worth the effort to find it if you are not on the mailing list as there were only 325 cases produced.

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Delectus Cuvée Julia (USA, California, Napa Valley)

Very dark purplCuvee Juila_2006e 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 it’s place and working very well together. The tannins are fine grained and work well with the rest of the experience. The Cuvee is the best of the barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Merlot in the Delectus lots. If you enjoy the ripe expression of these varietals without drifting into overblown, you will enjoy this wine. Outstanding.

2004 Delectus Argentum (USA, California, Napa Valley)

Revisit.  Some wines are built to age gracefully while others are meant to be enjoyed in their youth. This wine is based on the frontline Delectus wines of which Cabernet Sauvignon is the majority. We were down to our last two bottles of the 2004 Delectus Argentum and we had been advised by Delectus winemaker Gerhard Reisacher that because of high alcohol  the 2004 Cabernets should not be cellered past 2012. So far so good. The wine is holding it’s own from our last tasting in 2007. The original post follows. OK so if you haven’t figured it out yet, Delectus is one my favorite producers so we tend to drink more than a few bottles when given the chance. This wine is a blend of  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Sirah, and Syrah. As the name Argentum (means silver in Latin) this wine is composed of the lots that were good but not quite good enough to make it into the vineyard designated wines. When you understand that this wine is intended to be an every day drinker it’s outstanding. The Merlot shows through the most on the palate. It’s very hot (16.2% alc.). It’s racy in style and is quite enjoyable for everyday drinking and beats other blends costing twice as much. Get it fast because most of the wine this winery produces IS good enough to make it in the first label so there isn’t much of it to go around. If you can find it, it’s usually $20-22.

Published in: on April 11, 2009 at 11:56 pm  Comments (1)  
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2005 Delectus Cabernet Sauvignon Mutti’s Pride (USA, California, Napa Valley)

delectus_muttis1Dark India ink color. The nose brings a nice balance of cassis, tart cherry and earthy blackberry. The palate collects the blackberry, plumb and chocolate notes along with mouth coating tannins and ends up with a long finish.  This is the first vintage of the Mutti’s Pride designation. Winemaker Gerhard Reisacher named the wine after his mother Elisabeth. Mutti means mother in Austrian. Very young still so it needs more time in bottle but is enjoyable now.

Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 2:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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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