Saturday, July 30, 2022
Famille Perrin Ventoux Rouge, 2019
Friday, July 29, 2022
Fontanafredda Piemonte Barbera Briccotondo, 2019
Beautiful dark ruby red, very Barbera. Very aromatic: black fruits, plums, cassis, black pepper and spice. More tannin that you might expect from Barbera but ripe and accessible. Characteristic acidity that blends with, rather than fights, the acidity of the red sauce. Good balance, delicious wine.
Thursday, July 28, 2022
Wind Gap Woodruff Vineyard Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay, 2013
Deep lemon yellow. Bright and lively. Penetrating scents of lemon and unripe peaches. Very concentrated with grip and intensity. 12.9% alcohol; the growing season was probably cool or the grapes were picked slightly unripe. Bracing acidity, maybe a bit much for me, even though I prefer this over the big, buttery style that is more prevalent among California Chardonnays.
Monday, July 25, 2022
Philo Ridge Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2010
Medium light color, shading lighter at the rim. Compelling bouquet of cranberries, pomegranates, flowers and Pinot spice. Irresistible. Similar flavors but the texture is not as smooth as I remember ir from my first bottle two years ago. An excellent bottle of wine and a great value at $15 a bottle.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Domaine le Sang des Cailloux Vacqueyras, 1998
Still a good color with minimal bricking at the edges. Smells and tastes like a very good Cbateauneuf du Pape in its prime. Compact like a fruit cake: dried cherries and berries, nuts and brioche. Very intense and very concentrated. A perfect match for grilled lamb with mint sauce: gamey, meaty flavors under lifted notes of bay leaves, mint and rosemary. An enchanting experience. Unfortunately, this is my last bottle.l.
Monday, July 18, 2022
Cuvee des 3 Messes Masses Ventoux, 2018
Medium ruby red. Grenache (50%), Syrah (30%) and Carignan (20%), destemmed, vinified separately and aged in concrete vats. Fragrant notes of Grenache strawberry and crushed black peppercorn with a hint of clove. Just right on the palate. Enough tannin to keep it serious but not enough to obscure the beautiful fruity/savory flavors. Peppery spice and berries on the finish.
Sunday, July 17, 2022
Warre's Vintage Port, 1977 (375 ml)
Small cork, crusted with sediment but relatively easy to remove. Medium light red/garnet. The bouquet is rich and deep. Caramel, fruit cake, plum, cinnamon and a hint of citrus zest. Even better on the palate. Black licorice and blood orange emerge as the wine airs. Only moderately sweet but rich and complex. A very good vintage port that has aged well.
Henschke Mount Edelstone Eden Valley Shiraz, 1986
Beautiful ruby/garnet. Looks younger than 36 years. Gorgeous bouquet of red currants, boysenberry, lavender and purple flowers. The layered flavors are equally intense and expansive. Savory, like a fine Cote Rotie with the nuances that come from old vines and long aging. Fruit, acid, tennins in perfect balance. This is one of the best Syrah wines I have ever had.
Sonoma Cutrer Les Pierres Chardonnay, 2016
Deep lemon yellow, showing some maturity. Intense aromas of lime, lemon zest and wet stone. Intense flavors of lemon curd with a hint of butter. A level of acidity I associate with French Chablis and Oregon Chardonnay accompanied by oak-associated spice. Powerful finish.
Les Pierres ages well. We had a bottle from 1983 that was drinking well in 2021.
Saturday, July 16, 2022
Chateau Suiduiraut Sauternes, 1983
Le Blanc Sec du Suiduiraut, 2017
Light yellow with green glints. White peach, pears, flowers, hints of salt and minerals. Fresh and easy to drink--maybe too easy to force you to concentrate on the subtle nuances.
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Frescobaldi Castello Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva, 2018
Deep and dark. Sangiovese cherries, red raspberries and oak spice. Not at all soft: good acidity, medium body and accessible tannins. A good restaurant wine.
Sunday, July 10, 2022
Willakenzie Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir, 2015on
Willakenzie specializes in single vineyard Pinots, each offering up unique qualities.This Estate Cuvee, though, is a blend from several of these vineyards. And it is very good.
Medium garnet. Very open from the time the cork is popped. Red fruits, spice and beautifully ripe flavors. Seems straightforward but aromas and flavors continue to evolve in the glass. Layers of complexity. Black pepper and orange zest on the long, satisfying finish.
Mary Elke Blue Diamond Donnelly Creek Pinot Noir,. 2013
Medium light red. Still a bit shy to release smells and flavors. Cranberry, cherry, forest floor and savory spices. Medium bodied with good balance. At this stage, does not measure up to the Willakenzie Pinot from Oregon beside it at the table. I will wait a few years to open the next bottle.
Mary Elke Vineyrds, unfortunately, is now definct, but their wines will live on.
Saturday, July 9, 2022
Wynns Coonawarra Estate Limited Release Michael Shiraz, 1997
Wind Gap Russian River Syrah, 2008
Dark, deep Syrah color. Still a young wine in appearance, aroma and flavor. Beautiful, expansive bouquet. Black fruits, herbs and spice. Firm on the mid-palate--maybe a bit too firm for my taste--but tannins are fine enough to allow a good range of flavors on the finish.
Not really Rhone or Australian in style but a third approach that works very well.
Friday, July 8, 2022
Schiavenza Barbera d'Alba, 2018
Medium garnet, showing more age than I would expect from a young Barbera. I also detect some volatile acidity and an off note in the smells and flavors but these gradually subside as the wine airs and warms. Some nice cherry'rhubarb notes emerge along with some earth and leather. Seems mature for its age and a tad rustic, but I like it and will make a note to drink it over the next several years rather than the next decade.
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Willamette Valley Vineyards Tualatin Estate Pinot Noir, 2010
Medium light color. Incredibly complex aromas and flavors--pomegranates, red berries and orange peel. Intense acidity and subtle tannins to carry the fruit to a powerful finish. Drinking beautifully now, but I suspect it will get even better over the next several years.
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon, 1996
Even deeper gold in color. Honey, beeswax, quince and pineapple. Followed by ripe pears, apricot and more honey. A remarkable experience.
Domaine des Baumard Clos du Papillon, 1985
Domaine des Baumard Savennieres, 2008
We had a Chenin Blanc night--two Savennieres and a Coteaux du Layon, all from the LoireValley of France where Chenin Blanc produces some of the great wines of the world.
This regular bottling of Baumard Savennieres was the opener, and I made the mistake of serving it way too cold. The second glass, after the wine had plenty of time to warm and aerate was excellent. Medium deep gold. Honey, white flowers, grass and a touch of caramel on the finish. Savennieres is not aged in oak; it doesn't need it/. Luxuriously rich on the palate and the tannic firmness that usually accompanies a red wine. Still young but with flavors galore.
Monday, July 4, 2022
Couloir Roma's Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, 2007
Stoller Family Estate Dundee Hills Charonnay, 2020
Bright lemon yellow. Ripe pears, lemon zest, minerals. Matured in stainless steel and concrete. Beautiful spicy, tangy flavors.
Saturday, July 2, 2022
Graham's Vintage Port, 1977
Dark color and plenty of sediment in the bottle. The cork was very difficult to remove, but from that point, the wine offered nothing but big-time pleasure. Very rich. Figs, black raspberries and black licorice. Good weight and viscosity. Huge flavors. This is what vintage port is all about.
Chateau Haut-Bages Liberal Pauillac, 1982
Darker in color than the Leoville but also shading more toward mature tones. Bouquet is not as forward or floral as the Leoville but deeper and more subtle. Black currants and anise seed. Some dryness along the mid-palate but ripe fruit is ever present with acidity and tannin to carry it. Finish gets better with every sip. A special wine.
Leoville Barton Saint Julien, 1993
Dark red shading gradually to brick at the rim. Beautiful bouquet--classic Cavbernet scents of currantrs and cassis but also some red fruits and a floral note. Also forward on the the palate, ripe fruit and oak leading to a long finish. Tastes young. A very good wine but still took a back seat to the 1982 Haut Bages Liberal that followed it at the table.
Friday, July 1, 2022
Chateau Guiraud Sauternes, 1983
Deep old gold, turning toward copper. The wine has been in the bottle for nearly 40 years, but it is certainly not decrepit. The baked apricot smells and flavors are unmistakeable. Also some honey, beeswax and figs. Flavors are even better than the bouquet. Rich but well defined with excellent acidity. Gets better with each sip. The Grande Maison Monbazillac we had last night with the tart was superb, but I think this wine is even better. Classic Sauternes.