Posts Tagged ‘Red Wine’

This wine is a blend of 84% petite sirah and 16% zinfandel from the Lytton Estate. The blend’s zinfandel is from hundred-year-old vines and the petite from younger wines. This was the first petite sirah table table wine produced from the estate, producing 38 barrels in 2002.

Stunning black purple in color with serious legs in the glass. On the nose, there is a stewed rhubard component, tarry black fruits, violets with slight hint of brandy (and a touch of heat). On the palate, chewy black cherry, plum, black currant and a touch of leather and bubble gum. Great mouthfeel, full-bodied, very lush but dry with a solid finish.

This is showing very well right now (and was even better the day after it was opened) and I expect it will still be drinking young for another 4-5 more years at a minimum. I was surprised to see that the vineyard still has this in stock. It was not a very difficult decision to pick up a couple more bottles.

It retails at $30 a bottle, not a value wine but a very high quality and memorable wine. Recommended.

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The 2004 Juan Gil is produced from 45-year-old Mourvedre vines and aged for 12 months in American and French oak. There are a lot of Spanish wines at this price point ($10 to $13) that are rated well by industry press, but in my opinion this is one of the better ones. Beautiful, inky purple in color, full bodied and velvet opulence with dark berry, licorice, notes of cedar, mint and forest floor. It is inky, juicy and concentrated — but also shows a hint of restraint.

A great food wine, but not because it needs food. I would rate this as one of the better values out of Jumilla — a fine example of why Spain continues to be hot.

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Michel Rolland is a wine consultant (and a very expensive one at that) to more than 100 wineries in 13 countries. He is the epitome of the flying winemaker. His stylistic favorings are aligned with the of Robert Parker — so his huge fees usually deliver higher scores from Parker and increase sales.

Does he produce some great wines? Yes, he does — at least in my opinion. Does he take some of the art/tradition out of winemaking and make it more of a science/equation? Probably — and while I hate to simply dismiss it as a sign of the times, it is very much the same type of thing we are seeing in many other industries.

This effort froml Rolland, the 2005 Episode One, the first installment of an interesting project entitled “The Winemakers” collection. The project was instituted by the Bordeaux negociant, Bordeaux Millesimes, under the moniker of “Once Upon a Wine.” Each year a wine will be made based on one parcel of vines from Chateau d’Arsac, and the concept involves one of the world’s most respected winemakers for each vintage. In 2006 the torch will be passed to Denis Dubourdieu.

Obviously this is very young — and needs time in the bottle to mature. Bright cherry and rubarb and some graphite and asphalt with a bit of smoke — excellent balance, acidity, purity, and a clean, long finish……It will be interesting to see how this evolves, but my initial impression is very good, though I was not overwhelmed.

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See previous post on this wine — I ordered it last week from the Wine Exchange in LA. I couldn’t wait to open a bottle. As noted it is 50% Malbec, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah from Argentina, produced under the direction of Michel Rolland.

This wine is under $15 a bottle, and might be one of the best values of the year. Obviously, it is very young — but showing very well, opulent, dark berry, dark chocolate– very good structure, balance and finish.

While everyone is raving about the 2005’s from Bordeaux, you might not find this quality in any of those wines at the $25 price point.

This is probably my second favorite wine from Argentina that I have had this year. My favorite is the Cuvilier Los Andes 2005.

Strongly recommended.

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Argentina has really been getting a lot of press lately (and it is also worth noting that Chile has been getting very little)……Malbec really is a quintessential ugly duckling — and I am not even sure if it qualifies as an ugly duckling — but it certainly is not given the respect it deserves — though it seems that might finally be starting to change.

The 2004 from Luigi Bosca and it is a fine example of Argentine Malbec. A little old world in style with some new world shoes — it’s not over top and certainly not a fruit bomb, but there is a good amount of fruit, with hints of dark cherry and blackberry with darker undertones of chocolate, cedar, toasted oak and mineral — it is also dry — not too jammy or syrupy — which I do appreciate more and more these days. Nicely balanced, good structure and nice tannins.

A great wine from Argentina probably pairs well with beef and this would be a great contender — though I would also try and pass it off with an Italian meal to see if anyone would be fooled.

This is a really nice bottle of wine — industry scores from 87 to 92 — I would probably split the difference — and I would not hesitate serving this with a nice dinner and good company (keeping in mind, I do have some wines for the not so good company….this is not one of them).

You can find this wine as for $18-$20 a bottle. It isn’t cheap — but it’s comparable to a lot of wine out of California that sells for $35-$40 a bottle — still lots of value (and quality) coming out of Argentina.

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35873.jpgThis was one of the shining stars of Priorat in 04. I have only had the 04, and have yet to purchase any of the 05 that is just hitting that market.

Violet, dark rapsberry, blueberry and some oak on the nose, not much of the grenache seems to come through — and the elements that do are quite soft. I get a little Twizzler and Bubbalicious (but very dry and clean) — nice balance and good structure — a little kirsch and charcoal — great acidity with a beautiful finish. Lots of fruit, but shows some restraint and elegance. One of the best wines from Spain in 2004 that I have had. This is a really beautiful wine……strongly recommended.

96 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“The 2004 La Basseta is 50% old-vine Carinena, 40% Grenache, 5% Merlot, and 5% Syrah aged for 15 months in French oak, 50% new. Dark ruby/purple, the wine has a spectacular perfume of mineral, scorched earth, violets, lavender, kirsch, and blueberry pie. Full-bodied, the wine is opulent with a velvety texture, layered flavors, a beautiful integration of oak, tannin, and acidity, and a well-delineated, long finish. Drink this pleasure-filled wine over the next 10-12 years.”

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shirv.jpegShirvington 2002 Shiraz was my first experience with a wine that had been rated 99 points. The winemaker at the time at Shirvington was Sparky Marquis — and the wine was very sought after and was in great demand after Parker had rated it 99 points. I knew a merchant who had 6 bottles of it and offered me 2 of them at retail price — I could have immediately gone to an action site and gotten 3 times my return on my investment, but I did not. I opened one of the bottles a couple of years ago — and had one of the moments that will live forever in my mind — it was an absolutely incredible bottle of wine. So much fruit, so chewy and extracted, full throttle and as lush as anything I had ever tasted. It was wine love.

Sparky Marquis left 2-3 years ago — and has been replaced with winemaker Kim Johnston. The subsequent releases never quite hit the levels reached by 2002, but all have been excellent. The latest release got 93 points from Parker — and is available at a very good price from WineAccess — 8 bucks under retail — and most places sell this wine above retail. You can learn more and buy it here:


They are selling it as the vintage of the century — which I am not quite sure what they are basing that on — but I don’t know anyone who says 2005 Shirvington or Australian vintage is the vintage of the century — that being said, it is a great deal on a great wine.

Parker notes

2005 Shirvington Shiraz — 93 points
“The dense, chewy, rich, deeply-colored 2005 Shiraz is a full-bodied, ripe, intense wine, but does not reveal quite the same thrilling level of quality as the Cabernet. Nevertheless, it is no wimpy wine, boasting 16% alcohol as well as stunning richness and length. Drink it over the next 7-8 years.”

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