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Richard Fadeley

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WTN: Alpha Domus '02 Navigator, '04 NORA

by Richard Fadeley » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:53 pm

After a pleasant dinner of Mahi-Mahi with yellow rice and fresh garden butterbeans and peas, served with the '04 NORA (100% Albarino). This aromatic white from Rias Baixas stood up nicely to the dolphin, served with a green tomato salsa (89 pts.), I decided to open a nice red and the spinner landed on the Alpha Domus '02 "The Navigator" from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Billed as a Bordeaux blend with 43% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cab Franc and 10% Malbec. Most impressive! I would love to here from Sue Courtney on this one. Moderate alcohol (13.5%), lovely nose of cassis, cigar box, dark fruit, and with soft tannins it seemed to be ready to enjoy, though it holds promises of aging short term (2-5 years), (90 pts). Would love to hear other opinions on this one. At $20 it seems like a decent buy.
Richard Fadeley, CWS
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Randy Buckner

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Re: Alpha Domus '02 Navigator, '04 NORA

by Randy Buckner » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:26 am

Richard, I recently tried the Navigator -- think I gave it 85 points. It had a smell that reminded me of brett, but I didn't pick it up on the palate. Did you detect this at all?
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Richard Fadeley

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Re: Brett

by Richard Fadeley » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:01 pm

To me this wine tastes just like a nice Pessac-Leognan Bdx. Earthy for sure, but not to a fault. I am used to drinking European wines and like the earthy component. I am not sure it comes from Brett or if it does, I don't think of it as a flaw. To each his own though. It is the second night now, and the wine has softened a bit and is a carbon copy of a nice Graves which I would consider a compliment. Moderate alcohol, nice depth, earth, tobacco, dark fruit, a noteworthy effort from the new world. I'm sticking with my 90 pt rating.
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Randy Buckner

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Re: Brett

by Randy Buckner » Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:26 am

It is the second night now, and the wine has softened a bit and is a carbon copy of a nice Graves


You drink the Navigator, and I'll have a glass of Pape Clement. How's that for a deal? :P
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Sue Courtney

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Re: Alpha Domus '02 Navigator, '04 NORA

by Sue Courtney » Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:47 am

Richard Fadeley wrote:After a pleasant dinner of Mahi-Mahi with yellow rice and fresh garden butterbeans and peas, served with the '04 NORA (100% Albarino). This aromatic white from Rias Baixas stood up nicely to the dolphin, served with a green tomato salsa (89 pts.), I decided to open a nice red and the spinner landed on the Alpha Domus '02 "The Navigator" from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Billed as a Bordeaux blend with 43% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cab Franc and 10% Malbec. Most impressive! I would love to here from Sue Courtney on this one. Moderate alcohol (13.5%), lovely nose of cassis, cigar box, dark fruit, and with soft tannins it seemed to be ready to enjoy, though it holds promises of aging short term (2-5 years), (90 pts). Would love to hear other opinions on this one. At $20 it seems like a decent buy.


Here I am!
Although the Navigator received a gold medal at the Bragato Wine Awards here in NZ earlier this year, I've found the Brett levels in the bottles I've tasted way over my threshold of acceptance. Tasted twice this year, in July and September, and both occasions noted the sweaty horse saddle. But once I got past this, found quite a fine tannin structure, concentrated fruit and some bottle development adding complexity Agree with you with its drinking window.
Cheers,
Sue
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Randy Buckner

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Re: Brett

by Randy Buckner » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:56 am

I finally found my note on the wine:

2002 Alpha Domus, The Navigator, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, $20, 2,200 cases. A Merlot-predominant Bordeaux blend, with tart plums, berries and aged leather running the length of the wine – a little horse blanket to boot; 85/85.

Being a Rhone fan, a little Brett does not bother me. This wine is manageable, but not for everyone.
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James Roscoe

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Re: Nora

by James Roscoe » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:56 am

The Nora is one of my favorite Alborinos. I will look for the 05s which ought to be coming out on the market. It helps that my youngest is named Nora. She loves the bottles.
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