2006 Tiza Malbec (Argentina, Mendoza)

Inky black color. The nose had a harmony of scents such as anise seed, plumb stew and almost candy apple. There is a nice balance of fruit and acidity with blackberry and plumb leading the way. The tannins were fine- grained and last all the way through the medium length finish. The Mendoza region of Argentina is generally regarded as one of the very best places in the world to grow Malbec as the climate allows for the required long hang time to make great balanced wines. This wine is very good for the money ($20.00). Tiza uses 100% Malbec fruit for this wine.

Published in: on February 6, 2010 at 4:23 am  Comments (1)  
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2006 Chappellet Vineyard Merlot (Napa Valley)

Chappellet_Merlot_2006Dark crimson color. The nose has hints of spice, mineral and nice cherry and raspberry notes. The palate is very balanced and complex with the spice and cherry continuing with a stewed plum flavor as well. The flavors are very concentrated as would be expected from this hillside vineyard fruit. The tannins are fine grained and linger on the medium length finish. This sturdy Merlot is blended with 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Malbec from their Pritchard Hill vineyard and is built for some age so buy a couple and lay one down. Excellent.

2006 Kobalt Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

KobaltThis wine is still very young so unless you have more than one bottles to enjoy early I would wait another year before diving in for full enjoyment. Kobalt always impresses with it’s rich structure and this vintage does not disappoint. The nose gives hints of ripe black fruit and sweet-wood. The flavors come alive in the mouth with black currant, cherry and vanilla. The tannins are fine grained and hit at the very end of the finish. The Cabernet blend consists of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 2%  Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.  As usual, it’s well structured, complex and exhibits all the characteristics of a Mark Herold made wine. Another excellent effort.

2005 Ramey Claret (USA, California, Napa Valley)

RameyAromas of sweet black fruit creme de caramel and cedar. This Claret (or as we say in the States Meritage) shows notes of Cherry, currant, blackberry and vanilla. This wine is smooth, balanced and easy to drink even when you consider it’s high alcohol content (14.5%). The tannins are fine grainedand linger at the end of the finish. David Ramey likes to blend his wines early in the process which more like they blend red wine in Bordeaux. Most in the US blend right before bottling. 54% Carbernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Syrah, 1% each Malbec and Petit Verdot. According to the Ramey website  “More than a third of it (the Cabernet Sauvignon) derives from the Jericho Canyon Vineyard, along with wines from the Somerston, Larkmead, and Snowden Vineyards, and 7% Merlot from the Hyde Vineyard”. A good introduction to the Ramey brand and good for the money ($30).

2007 Cruz Alta Malbec Reserva (Argentina, Mendoza)

Deep purple in color. The nose consists of muted  red fruit notes and a touch of must. The palate shows layersof plumb, anise and black pepper with a hint of stalkiness. Tannins are well integrated and smooth. The wine seems a little tight so some additional bottle time might improve the experience. Good but not great. There are better Malbec wines from Argentina in this price range.

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 11:50 pm  Comments (1)  
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2006 Finca Flichman Paisaje de Barrancas (Argentina, Mendoza)

Faint hints of red fruit and vanilla on the nose. Stewed plumb and red cherry that turns tart toward the end of the finish. Tannins are moderate and linger on the finish as well. Not bad but there others in the price range that are much better. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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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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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.

2005 Artesa Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Napa Valley

 The color is a very nice dark hue of purple.Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The nose is still a little closed but does offer vanilla and cedar. The flavors are understated cherry, cassis and spicebox. The tannins are present all the way through the medium length finish. This wine might improve a little with additional bottle age.

Published in: on August 11, 2008 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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2006 Bodega Catena Zapata Malbec Alamos (Argentina, Mendoza)

Deep purple in color. Very fruit forward with flavors of plumb and blackberry with a hint of toast mid palate. The finish is medium length with smooth tannins. The wine is not very complex but it enjoyable for a weekday drinker. The price is right at $7.99 in most places like Costco and Total Wine.

Published in: on June 1, 2008 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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