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Ryan M

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WTN: Roundup of summer noteworthies

by Ryan M » Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:45 am

Some of the wines I've enjoyed most since May, and that I haven't already posted

Elia Palazzesi, Collelceto, Brunello di Montalcino 2006
Medium-light garnet, yellowing at the edges. Wonderful, deep, perfumey nose of pungent black cherry, lovely dried rose petals, a bit of tobacco leaf, a bit of orange rind, clove, and fine earth, with a touch of mature fruitcake notes too. Similar notes on the palate, lots of potent, incredibly succulent black cherry, sweet black raspberry, savory tomato paste undertones, roses, a hint of tobacco leaf, with lots of spice, mineral, and earth. Full bodied and intense, with wonderful mouth watering acidity, and a sweet/succulent texture. Much better than a bottle tasted just 9 months before, deeper, richer, more structured. Very impressive! Based on this bottle, I’d suggest a 30 minute decant, and I’d say it has 5 - 8 years still ahead of it. 4 Stars [5/12/18]

Scarlet Path, Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi 2016
Wonderful, juicy, heady, earthy, deep nose of red and black fruits, with cigar box and deep, loamy, almost barnyardish earthiness, and lots of spice. On the palate, blackberry, cherry, lots of plum tomato, and a hint of tobacco leaf, with loads of mineral and spice. Full bodied, wonderfully juicy, with an exceptional succulent/savory texture. Absolutely outstanding for under $10 (from Aldi), not just by far the best value in Zinfandel I’ve ever had, but one of the best wine values I’ve ever had. Drink over the next 3 to 5 years, perhaps longer. 3.5 Stars [5/13/18]

Michele Chiarlo, Nivole, Moscato d’Asti 2014
Low key but nice nose of fresh, rich fruit and honey. Peach and very ripe pear upfront, sweet-tart clementine, and honey. Very rich in texture, but fresh and fleshy, and balanced by that wonderful sweet-tart acidity. Its sparkle has declined with the additional age, but it has lost nothing else, and if anything has acquired some extra depth. Certainly the most impressive Moscato d’Asti I’ve had. 3.5 Stars [5/22/18]

Elouan, Rose, Oregon 2016
Salmon / light bronze. Low key but fresh nose of stone fruit and mineral. On the palate, rich, juicy peach, plum, blood orange, and ripe strawberry, with white pepper and mineral. Full bodied with excellent concentration, with a wonderful, juicy, sweet but spicy texture, and with citrusy, slightly steely acidity; excellent presence. An impressive rose, one of the very best roses I’ve had other than Champagne roses; no information on the blend available, but probably Pinot Gris. Drink now. Tasted twice with consistent notes. 3.5 Stars [5/24/18]

Chateau Sigalas Rabaud, Sauternes 2010
Wonderful color, bright, rich, golden yellow, with a hint of green. Stunning nose, dominated by fragrant fresh-grated cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger with lovely allspice in the background, prominent white flower / orange blossom notes, and with lots of fresh peach, apricot, dried pineapple, mango, orange marmalade, lots of fresh honey, and lots of mineral; huge botrytis influence, with an incredible dried fruit aromatics; exactly the kind of Sauternes nose that makes me very happy, I am smitten! On the palate, fresh peach and plum, overlaid by loads of tart lemon and sweet marmalade, then prominent fresh pineapple, all with fresh honey, a touch of barley sugar, and lots of white pepper, with cinnamon and mineral on the finish; potent spice and ginger notes linger. Impressively intense body, very sweet but vivacious, with a candied fruit and spice driven texture. Extremely primary and almost painfully young still. Needs 5 - 10 years more, and should age nicely for 20 - 30 more years, and will probably be alive and well in 40; all the raw materials for a wonderful maturity are in place. An outstanding and extremely impressive Sauternes that is also incredibly delicious and easy to drink. Has the concentration and richness to hold its own against the some of the best in Sauternes. 4.5 Stars, partly for currently drinking pleasure, but mostly for potential. [5/24/18]

Diez Caballero, Vendimia Seleccionada, Gran Reserva, Rioja 2001
Impressive color, surprisingly youthful, medium-dark ruby with just a touch of orange at the rim. Beautiful nose, deep, fragrant, and somewhat heady, with fresh black cherry, deep notes of sweet earth, roses, a touch of violets, cured tobacco leaf and herbs, leather, mineral, and spice. Similiar notes on the palate, with loads of succulent, somewhat tart black cherry, sweet black raspberry, a touch of orange, roses, dark chocolate, and some nice raisin notes toward a nice medium-long finish of mineral, peppery spice, and earth. Potently full bodied, with a sweet, succulent, somewhat savory texture. Exceptional presence and good density, all supported by generous, juicy, sweetly citrusy acidity. Extraordinarily youthful still, very little tertiary development, in striking contrast to a bottle from years before. 5 to probably 10 years ahead, depending on your preferences. 4 Stars [5/25/18]

Markham Vineyards, Rose of Pinot Noir, Heritage Selection, Napa Valley 2017
Great color, medium-light orangey salmon. Wonderful nose of rich red berries, with nice undertones of Napa earth and depth. On the palate, rich, bold cherry and strawberry, with lots of spicy black pepper and cloves, and undertones of earth. Potently full bodied, with a sweet, rich, fleshy texture. Remarkable, a candidate for the best non-sparkling rose I’ve had. Drink now or in the next few years. 3.5 Stars. [7/6/18]

Chateau La Louviere, Pessac-Leognan 2005
Great color, opaque ruby, still impressively youthful looking. Outstanding, lovely nose, loads of loam and gravel, fire embers, cured tobacco, very nice age vanilla notes, and cloves, all on top of cassis, plum, blackberry, and fig; wonderful depth, gets deeper and more perfumey as it opens, with dried rose petal notes emerging. On the palate, big notes of dark currant, wonderful, succulent, fleshy, sweet-tart plum and black raspberry, and fig, with subtle earth, smoke, tobacco leaf, and spice, all adding up to a great sense of complexity and depth; loads of dark, classic Graves-style fruit. Outstanding body, full, expansive and palate penetrating, with loads of spicy tannin still underneath. Wonderful, captivating texture, sweet and silky and so succulent, like a great piece of fillet mignon melting in your mouth. A wonderful, satisfying, traditional style claret. Needs time in the glass to open. In a great place now, on the youthful side of its peak, with little tertiary development yet; 10 solid years ahead of it, with the excellent structure suggesting it might even go longer; however, if you want to catch it at its youthful peak, drink in the next 5 years. 64% Cab Sauv, 30% Merlot, 3% Cab Franc, 3% Petite Verdot. 4 Stars [7/16/18]

Hardy’s, Whiskers Blake, Classic Tawny, South East Australia NV
Aged 10 years. Good color, rich bronze with substantial red left. Excellent nose, orange, a hint of raspberry, caramel, creme brule, raisin, and fruitcake; heady, sweet, and spirity. Similar notes on the palate, with bold, sweet fruit; orange, raspberry, burnt caramel, and a bit of stone fruit. Bold, somewhat syrupy but supported by excellent orangey acidity and still very fresh fruit. Grenache based? A seriously good tawny, and an off the chart good value in port! 3.5 Stars [7/16/18]
"The sun, with all those planets revolving about it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do"
Galileo Galilei

(avatar: me next to the WIYN 3.5 meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory)

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