- 1975 Bodegas Toro Albala Montilla-Moriles Don PX Gran Reserva - Spain, Andalucía, Montilla-Moriles (11/18/2006)
Incredible balance here, with loads of sweetness for sure, but great acidity as well. Very elegant (for a PX) and complex, with lots of raison, figs, dates, etc. on the full palate. Black in colour, but with a lovely golden-yellow-orange hue around the edges. (A-/A)
- 2001 Ceuso Melia Custera Sicilia IGT - Italy, Sicily, Sicilia IGT (11/18/2006)
Deep brick in color, and a lovely nose with redfruits, hint of grape juice, and a slightly candied note with brown sugar. There was an interesting mix of the palate too; blackberry, plum, cherries were the fruit on display. The wine seems to glide like a ghost through the palate, leaving a sense of elgance as well as a blast of nice fruit. Farly tannic at the back of palate at first, but it smoothed out after being decanted for 3-4 hours. Very interesting wine, a blend of nero d'avola, cabernet and merlot. (A-)
- 2002 Wolf Blass Gold Label Shiraz - Viognier - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Hills (11/15/2006)
Deep purple in colour, with long legs. Nice nose - you can smell the viognier, as it adds a floral, honeysuckle note, but there's some spicy plums and a slight meaty note too. On the M-F bodied palate, it's a very pluch, seamless wine. Hedonistic, as Parker would say. The nose is reflected in the palate (plus some cassis); it's somewhat simple, and the viognier is noticeable, but it's a very tasty wine nonetheless. Dangerously easy to drink! (A-)
- 2002 Wolf Blass Gewürztraminer Gold Label - Australia, South Australia (11/15/2006)
Hazy notes from a couple of weeks ago - I forgot I had this! Nice balance and rishness, some nice fruit, but not particularly varietal or memorable. Nice enough, but nothing special. (B/B+)
- 2001 Barnard Griffin Merlot Reserve Ciel du Cheval Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain (11/15/2006)
Hazy notes from a few days ago. Nice fruit (plums, chocolate) and a nice pluch texture, but just too much oak (American, I think) to deserve an outstanding rating. Others liked it more than I did, and there was no denying it was tasty, but the oak overkill ruined it for me a bit. (B+)
- 1999 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Mosel (11/9/2006)
Lovely wine, just entering the peak drinking period. Great balance, lots of minerrals and nectarines on the palate. (A-)
- 2000 Terrabianca Campaccio Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT (11/9/2006)
Hazy notes...This wine was singing last night. It gets better every tme I try it. After a 3 hour decant, I remember lots of powdered choclate on the nose, and more chocolate and plums on the rich, tasty palate. Lovely silky texture too, and a long finish. (A-/A)
- 2001 Maxwell Cabernet Sauvignon Lime Cave - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale (11/5/2006)
Deep purple in color. Ripe redfuits (plums mainly), tar, coconut (I assume from the oak) and black licorice on the nose. Smooth in texture, low in tannins, a blast of redfruits appears in the front palate, but disappears somewhat on the finish, although it appears again after a short wait. To put a positive spin on my main concern, this would be a great wine to stump people trying to guess the varietal..nothing remotely cab-like about it, but it's a reasonably tasty quaff in a fruit bomb kinda way. (B/B+)
- 2001 d'Arenberg The Galvo Garage - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale (10/29/2006)
Hazy notes from a couple of days ago. The was much more impressive than I was expecting. A lovely, fruit packed nose started things off, with a mixture of black and red fruits. The palate was impressive as well, with scads of well balanced fruit and slight oak notes. Wouldn't be mistaken for an Old World Bordeaux blend, and not much complexity (at least not now) but great power, balance and varietal typicity here. Even better the second night. A fruit bomb, but nice fruit! (A-)
Here's a couple notes from informal tastings lately:
A hastily laid plan to drink some wine led to the following results...
#1 was served blind to the other two wine fanatics. Deep brick in color, and a lovely nose with redfruits, hint of grape juice, and a slightly candied note with brown sugar. There was an interesting mix of the palate too; blackberry, plum, cherries were the fruit on display. The wine seems to glide like a ghost through the palate, leaving a sense of elgance as well as a blast of nice fruit. Farly tannic at the back of palate at first, but it smoothed out after being decanted for 3-4 hours (A-). Very interesting wine here. Kipper guessed Italian cabernet, which was a bloody good guess: it was the Ceuso 2001 from Sicily, a blend of nero d'avola, cabernet and merlot. There may still be some of this wine available in BC.
Next up was an non-blind Stag's Leap 'Artemis' Cabernet 2003. Deep brick in colour, with another intoxicating nose. This one had cigar box, earth, barnyard, rubber and blackfruits. This started out a bit short on the palate (it's bloody young), but it opened up nicely to reveal M-F bodied flavours of blackfruits and earth. Rather Bordeaux-like in style, this wine should have a nice future (A-).
The next wine had a deep purple colour, with a nose containing mint, plums, brown sugar and vanilla. This was very closed for two hours, but finally opened up to reveal nice depth: mainly blackcurrants, plums, and oak notes seemed to be in evidence (A-). Again, an even better future should be in the cards. It was the Chappellet Napa Valley Cabernet 2001.
The northen wine fanatics had a couple of bottles last night.
We blindly started with a Bois de Borsan CNP 2000. I immediately thought Rhone at first, then managed to talk myself into an Oz grenache or rhone blend, as I though the fruit was a little ripe. Outstanding nose on this one, and the grenache flavours were in full force (cherries, earth) with a sprinkling of light tannins as well. The wine really started to open up, and the last taste was the best one. Very nice wine (A-).
An non-blind Osoyoos Larose 2003 was next. Way too young is the basic message here. But there was some very nice fruit in play, although a wall of tannins shut it down farily hard. Wait at least 2-3 years on this, or at least give it 2-3 hours decant if you have to try one. B+ now, but there's potential for improvement certainly.