Thursday, December 31, 2009

2006 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

Also had this on New Year’s Eve after having an ’06 Siduri from Clos Pepe as well. This seemed to drink in a similar style to the Siduri, and I actually ended up rating them both exactly the same. This was my first ’06 Clos Pepe from Loring, so I didn’t have a previous bottle to compare it to. This bottle was unscrewed and left open over the course of 2 hours at cellar temperature. Very similar ruby/garnet color as the Siduri, with a nose black cherry and tons of spice. You could also smell the alcohol on the nose, and it was definitely more prevalent than the Siduri. Once this wine came up to room temperature, there were more strawberry and earth tones to it, as well as some red fruits, but again, nothing stood out. On the palate, there was again some tart black fruit, with subtle hints of raspberry, strawberry and cherry. No hints of cola whatsoever in this bottle, but again some nice acidity and a bit of tannin. The alcohol came through a bit on the finish, and just proves that this could really use a good 3-4 hour splash decant, or an aggressive decant. Good pinot, but I don’t know if it is worth the price tag at this point. This seems to be more and more of a reality for me with ’06 pinot, but who knows. Regardless, still nice to drink, but not the Loring that I have grown to love. 89 points.

2006 Siduri Pinot Noir Clos Pepe Vineyard

This was wine number one on New Year’s Eve, and unfortunately it was popped and poured as there was no time to decant. From previous bottles, I think that this wine definitely benefits from a few hours in the decanter before serving. Regardless, it was still drinking well, but not the Siduri that I have grown to love. Typical ruby pinot color in the glass, with a nose of cherry, and spice. Definitely some other black fruits on the nose, but nothing really stood out. There were also some hints of spice, and a bit of earthiness to it, but it didn’t have that typical Wes Hagen Clos Pepe nose for whatever reason. On the palate, the fruit almost seemed over ripe, but again, this bottle was a bit different than other bottles we have consumed. It was definitely lacking that “Siduri shine” that I have grown to love, with some plum and sour cherry that stood out on the palate. No sweetness on this wine to say the least compared to other bottles, but it was still very drinkable, just not as enjoyable as I remember. There was some good acidity on the finish, but a bit more heat than I remember. All in all, a nice wine, but it paled in comparison to other bottles. Still worthy of 89 points.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2007 Domaine de la Buissonne Côtes du Rhône Villages Beaumes-de-Venise

This wine has turned quite a bit since I last tried it last spring. It seems to have integrated nicely, and the alcohol has blown off, and the tannin has just 9 months no less. That said, I don't think this is a wine that you are going to want to cellar for the long term, but it should hold up for 3-5 years with no problem whatsoever.
Poured through the Vinturi into a decanter, and consumed over the course of 3 hours. On the nose, black cherry seemed to take the reigns, and I didn't get this at all on the prior two bottles. The nose is rounded out by some by some strawberry and raspberry, and really had a Central Coast pinot noir nose which I found a bit odd. There is still a tad of alcohol on the nose and a good swirl, but it was barely noticeable.
On the palate, that so called "grapieness" is long gone, and that is a beautiful thing. This wine has settled down in the mouth, and for the price, I am not one to complain. A bit of marichino cherry on the palate, with some nice Bubalicious strawberry and a hint of raspberry. There is also a hint of white pepper on the palate. The finish is short and dry, and not overly complex, but again, for $12 what do you want? There seems to be decent fruit on this wine, and I am guessing that another 12 months in the bottle will give it time to show even more. But as they say, time will tell. We'll see! For now, this is a decent quaffer and a nice daily drinker. 86 points.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2006 Lillian Syrah

Once again, a bottle sourced for the holidays, and popped and poured way too early! But when traveling and having to source, this is one of he few times that I don't mind committing the act of "infantcide," especially when there are more at home in the cellar and I am not tapping into that stash. This wine is definitely going to need some time to come around, but will be every bit as good as the '04 and '05. In the glass, this is a nice dark, purplish inky color. Very dark, and very attractive...I MEAN DARK! On the nose, some alcohol and oak as I expected with oodles and oodles of black fruits: blackberry, blueberry, black cherry, and boysenberry. Also has nice hints of raspberry and spice. On the palate, big and young is an understatement. Again, THIS WINE NEEDS some serious bottle time for it to come together, but even after an hour in the glass, it opens up nicely with blackberry, black cherry, and raspberry on the palate. Nice subtle spice and white/black pepper round out the palate. There are some hints of alcohol and acidity, and there are definitely some tannins on this wine, but this will round out in time. Our remaining 3 will sleep for a good 3-5 years before revisiting, but once again, Maggie has created yet another baby Sine Qua Non here, and this is going to be incredible with some age. 92 points now with some air, but it'll definitely gain a few more points based on complexity alone once everything integrates and comes together. Another winner! Kudos to Maggie! Decant 4-6 hours before consumption, but I would hold for 3-5 years unless you have many to play with. Cheers!

2007 Antica Terra Pinot Noir

Another bottle sourced for the holidays and popped way too early...well, maybe not as both of these bottles showed surprisingly well within 3 days of each other. This bottle however was popped and poured, and showed so much better than the bottle decanted on Christmas Eve. Very strange, but maybe this is better popped and poured right now, but it has me a bit confused! Regardless, this is only going to get better with some age. No crazy barnyard funk on the nose like the bottle on Christmas Eve. Nice fruit forward nose of strawbery, cherry, and blueberry, with very little hint of alcohol on the nose. On the palate, more cherry and strawberry, with more hints of spice. This seemed much more fruit foward than the last bottle, and again pretty uncharacteristic of Oregon to me compared to other Oregon pinot noir. Regardless, not a bad thing. Very pleasant finish made this bottle go down nicely, and another true pleasure. Kudos to Maggie Harrison for yet another great wine! 92 points!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2007 Antica Terra Pinot Noir

Had to source for the holidays as I vowed not to check any luggage, so swung by Craig’s shop, Premier Cru Wine Merchants in Arlington Heights, and picked up the whole Maggie Harrison lineup. If there is one time that I think drinking something early is ok, it is when I have to source when travelling. Nothing wrong with taking one for the team here when I have to source from somewhere. That said, I popped and decanted one of these on Christmas Eve for about 2 hours at cellar temp in my parents cellar. This is the first ’07 A.T. I’ve popped, and the nose had me a bit scared. Initial nose was a bit frightening with all the funk. Tons of barnyard on the nose, with faint hints of strawberry and baking spice. Thankfully, the palate showed very well for something so darn young, and this was by far the most approachable ’07 Oregon pinot I had tried, though I will admit we haven’t popped many ‘07’s at all. The palate showed some nice dark black fruits: blackberry, boysenberry, and a hint of blueberry, with some strawberry and cherry. Obviously being so young, there is still some acidity, but the tannins seemed very mellow, and I found this wine to be very approachable. Some have mentioned that they find the ’07 to be a bit candied, but I don’t taste or smell any candied fruit in the least. I will however say that this does seem to show more fruit than most Oregon pinot noir. Not sure if it is just the wine, or if it is the vintage. Touch call. Regardless, my stepfather and I put this bottle down pretty quick, and I look forward to having another on one Sunday! 89 points. Cheers!

Monday, December 21, 2009

2006 Cambria Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard

Popped and decanted for 45 minutes from 1/2 bottle. Same notes as before....however, this bottle was a bit sour on the finish with some heat, but it's expected as it's young. What I did however like on the finish was the nice orange tones that came through. I don't remember this at all in the first bottle.
Same red fruits on the nose for the most part, but there was nothing candied about this bottle, whereas the last had some candied fruits. There was nothing super bright about this bottle either, and the fruit was very subdued. Odd. Bottle variation? Probably. Off bottle, definitely not. Just wondering why this bottle shows no candied fruits at all. Very strange. Had to revisit this after seeing Parker name it his Wine of the Year...not a bad bottle in the least, but definitely lacked a lot from the last bottle. 86 points.