Sunday, October 28, 2007

2002 Joseph Phelps Insignia

Happy Anniversary to us! The 2002 Insignia was a wine that we have been dying to try because of all of the hype. Many of you know that this wine was rated Wine Spectators "Wine of the Year" in 2005, so will the wine really live up to all of the hype? First and foremost, Happy Anniversary to Zelda and I. What better occasion to pop a bottle of this open? Secondly, note that this wine is still extremely young, and the only reason I am even considering opening one is because we have quite a few more in the cellar...that said, why not? Once popped, this was decanted for an hour before we took our first taste. In the decanter, it showed a nice dark rub color, and from 3 feet away you could smell plum, cassis, dark berries, tar, vanilla, and toasted oak. What a great nose! They need to make a "plug in" that smells like this! This wine was definitely showing young on the palate, and continued to evolve in the decanter over a period of 4 hours. This wine is silky smooth in the mouth with layer upon layer of fruit. Lots of black and red berries, a hint of chocolate, spice, minerals, currants, and oak, with supple, well integrated tannins. The finish is silky smooth, and lasts for nearly a minute. All I can say about this wine is incredible. This will probably be the best wine we drink this year, but what better occasion to drink it on? I'm so glad that we have more that we can cellar, and we got these at an absolutely incredible price. All in all, 96 points out of 100, with 1-3 points possible improvement with age. Drink 2012-2025 with proper cellaring! Cheers!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

2005 Sea Smoke Southing

Received these off the mailing list about a month ago, and can't resist the urge anymore to pop one. I know it's nowhere near ready to drink yet, but there's 3 more that we'll cellar until 2010 plus, so why not? Opened and decanted for 3 hours. Gorgeous plum/ruby in the decanter and glass. Nose of black cherry, raspberry, blueberry, and a hint of spice and oak. On the palate more strawberry prevalent than anything, with some spice and wood. The finish on this bottle lasted a good 30 seconds, and the tannins definitely need some time to settle down, and the oak needs time to integrate. This wine definitely very young, but I just couldn't resist. This is a big wine, and I look forward to revisiting it in 3-5 years. All in all, currently rated at 91 points, with 94-95 points possible with time in the bottle. If drinking now, be sure to decant at least 2 hours. We'll hold these until our 2010 allocation comes in. As always, Sea Smoke is a must buy for us! Cheers!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

2005 Celler Can Blau Montsant

Looking for a great sub $15 red blend? 35% Carignan, 35% Syrah, & 30% Garnacha, this is a great blend, so look no further for that $15 Spanish fruitbomb QPR! Gorgeous purple color in the glass, and the nose was showing well. Tons of dark fruit for a Spanish wine, with blackberry being the most prevailing, with hints of oak. Blackberry, dark cherry, and currants on the palate with overwhelming fruit coming through. This is a fruit bomb! Short simple finish makes this wine worthy of 88 points. Drink now -2009. Cheers

2004 Andrew Murray Syrah Estate Grown

Andrew Murray has these Rhone styled wines down to a science, right here on American soil. We love the wines they are producing, and this is another great example, opened up on the deck with Zelda's parents. Popped and poured right after a 2004 Sanford pinot noir, this showed some nice cherry, pepper, vanilla, and caramel on the nose. The palate showed a very nice creamy texture with tons of cherry and cranberry, with hints of cassis and caramel. All in all a great wine that will only get better in the bottle. Great now, but give it 2-3 years and you'll love it that much more. 89 points. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

2004 Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

Happy 4th of July, and what better wine than a nice sauvignon blanc, made in the USA, on a warm 4th of July Day! A great example of a California sauv blanc showing a nice green hued straw color in the glass, with a big grassy nose filled with lemon and oak. Hints of pear, green apple, apricot, and oak on the palate make this wine worthy of 89 points. A solid wine, drink now! God Bless the USA! Cheers!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

2005 Benton-Lane Pinot Noir

Another good bottle of this consitently well crafted Oregon pinot noir, just don't let the screw top fool you! Nice nose of cherry, wildflower, and other non-desript red fruits. On the nose, more of the cherry comes through, with hints of raspberry, spice, and mushroom. Simple tasty finish garners 88 points for this wine! Cheers!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

1988 Château Cos d'Estournel

We enjoyed this wine very much tonight at our friend Dee's house, on the Bordentown Garden Tour night.
Nice dark ruby color in the decanter and glass, with a nose of pencil lead, earth, anise, leather, dirty black fruits, and cedar. This wine has a nice balance, and is drinking well now, but I wouldn't be surprised if this wine would last another 10-15 years in the bottle under proper storage conditions.
Unfortunately, the fruit was not as prevelant on the palate as it was the nose. I thought for sure this would be a very fruit forward fruit bomb, but not the case. Don't get me wrong, it was still there, and there was still a ton of fruit in the mouth, but not like the explosive nose. This wine got better and fruitier with time in the glass. Tons of blackberry and black cherry, with hints of oak and subtle tannins made this wine a true treat!
A nice medium finish ended this wine, and I would give it 93 points, with more points possible in time perhaps. Time will tell! Cheers!

1995 Château La Louvière

Another fun bottle to go along with the 1990 opened previously! This was decanted and filtered for sediment, and spent a good couple of hours in the decanter breating. Nice ruby color with signs of bricking. Similar nose of cassis, slate, herb, and cigar. Some dark fruits on the nose, but nothing really stood out. On the palate, this wine was showing very mature, with slight hints of raspberry and boysenberry. Medium length finish, but nothing really to write home about. This wine is either getting past its maturity, or this was an off bottle. Based on this wine, I would say drink now! 88 points. Cheers!

1990 Château La Louvière

A great bottle opened at Dee's party tonight, and what a treat! How can you not absolutely love a good Bordeaux with some age on it?
A great nose of soil, pencil lead, graphite, tobacco, and slate, with some cassis and blackberry. This wine still looked and smelled very young in the glass. On the palate however, this wine really shined, blueberry, blackberry, and cherry jam. The fruit was definitely there for a 17 year old wine, and I think this will hold up for another few years. Is this wine at it's peak now, it is really hard to say, however, it is drinking very nicely, and the fruit is very much still alive, making the wine worthy of 92 points.

2004 Talley Vineyards Pinot Noir Arroyo Grande Valley

Another great pinot noir, and in the glass it had a gorgeous pinot color. Nose with tons of sweet candied cherry, strawberry, and cranberry. Gorgeous palate giving a more fruit forward vibe, with more cherry and strawberry, with the slightest hint of cola. A nice supple finish made this wine worthy of 90 points. Look forward to finding more of this!

2005 Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner

This is yet another outstandingly tasty Santa Barbara County pinot noir, this one of course made famous by "Sideways." Nice, deep color in the glass, with hints of cherry, raspberry, and strawberry on the nose. Absolutely gorgeous hints of red fruits, with a subtle hint of earth as well. Ah yes, that Santa Barbara County soil! On the palate, some great, fruit forward candied cherry, and plum, with a nice medium body to it. The finish is short and sweet, with just the slightest bit of heat and spice. All in all, a fun wine to drink, and sure to be a crowd pleaser worthy of 90 points in my book! Cheers!

Friday, June 1, 2007

2005 Calera Pinot Noir

A fun wine to drink tonight at Delo's on Hudson Street! I let this wine breath for almost an hour before we left, and once poured it was a bright ruby red color in the glass. The nose was filled with cherry, strawberry, and raspberry tones, with the slightest hint of earth and spice. On the palate, more of the same bright red fruits, served up in a light and refreshing manner. The finish showed a tiny bit of tartness and mineral, along with a bit of spice, as well as tannins a bit more showing than with most pinot noir. For the price, this is a great wine, and even shows at bit of terroir. 90 points! Cheers

Saturday, March 17, 2007

2005 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Côtes du Rhône Parallele “45”

This wine is an absolute steal at under $7 by the case, and still a good deal at $10 a bottle. We have enjoyed this wine on many ocassions, so it is time for a tasting note. Tonight we enjoyed this at Tim and Tara's St. Patrick's Day Party. Popped and poured, showing a nice garnet ruby color in the glass. Nose of dark red fruits in the glass, plum, cherry, strawberries, with hints of oak and smoke. On the palate, this is a medium bodied wine, with hints of cherry and spice, with the faintest hints of raspberry, toasted oak, and vanilla on the short finish. For the money, you just cannot go wrong with this wine, and it is worthy of 87 points. Drink over the next year!