These four selections were chosen for November 2005.
2004 Vinos Sin-Ley, G3, Terra Alta
This G3 wine is part of the “G-Series” of 100 percent Grenache wines. Each G wine is from a different Denominacio D’Origen (DO) in Spain. This wine was made by Juanjo Galcera, a winemaker at Vinos Pinol. This is 100% Garnacha. Medium violet, purple color. Meaty blue and black berries on the nose. Immediately flavorful, medium-bodied, fine tannins, makes for a tasty meaty wine. Satisfying now but can drink for several more years.
2004 Marquis Phillips, Shiraz, South Eastern Australia
Marquis Philips is a project started by Sarah and Sparky Marquis and the wine importer Dan Philips of The Grateful Palate. In 1998, Sarah and Sparky Marquis started working with the Longbottom family on the Henry’s Drive wines. This is 100% Syrah. Very dark, slightly garnet in color. Restrained peppermint nose. Immediately round, lush black fruit flavors, supple body, developing into liquorice and peppermint flavors. Enjoyably smooth finish that becomes slightly alcoholic after several hours. Drink now or within a year.
2004 Henry’s Drive, Pillar Box Red, Padthaway
Henry’s Drive Vignerons was founded in 1988 and is owned by the Longbottom family. Their farming operations in Padthaway have included sheep, cattle, and onions, since the 1940s. The Pillar Box Red represents the first lower-priced wine released by Henry’s Drive.
This is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Shiraz, and 11% Merlot. Dark in color. Strong black fruit and cedar nose. Medium- to full-bodied, toasty oak flavors, fine beginning flavors that become truncated. Drink it within the next few years.
2002 Bleasdale Vineyards, Frank Potts, Langhorne Creek
Bleasdale Vineyards was founded by the Potts family in 1850 and is currently run by Michael Potts, whose generation is the fifth to run the winery. The Frank Potts wine is Bleasdale’s flagship red. Frank Potts was one of the first to plant vines in the area and also innovated one of Australia’s earliest irrigation schemes using ox-drawn pumping. This is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Malbec, and 9% Petit Verdot aged 18 months in French and American oak hogsheads. A dark, rich ruby color. After breathing, an aromatic nose of dusty herbs. Medium-bodied, round tannins, slightly salty, very tasty. It drinks well now but will develop for a few more years. Decant one to two hours before drinking.