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Drinking Burlotto and Redortier in Seattle

January 20, 2015 Leave a comment

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My most recent trip to Seattle was very short.  This posed a problem as to which wines to buy while there.  As I was traveling light I did not intend to fly back with any wine.  The solution was to play into the love of Michael Teer, proprietor of Pike and Western Wine Shop, for an Italian recommendation and something else.  The Italian recommendation came in the form of the 2013 Comm. G. B. Burlotto, Verduno Pelaverga.  Pelaverga is an ancient variety that the family has cultivated since 1800.  The wine itself offered persistent flavors leaning towards the cranberry and strawberry spectrum.  It is a good way to start an evening.  There were several candidates for the something else selection but I had to pick the 2007 Chateau Redortier, Beaumes-de-Venise.  I do not come across many red wines from Beaumes-de-Venise, according to my notes just two wines in almost three years, let alone a bottle with age.  This bottle proved perfectly mature with earthy notes still balanced by fruit and structure that spoke of mid-age strength.  If you enjoy the comfort of traditional Rhone wines then buy this wine by the case.  These wines were purchased at Pikes and Western Wine Shop.

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2013 Comm. G. B. Burlotto, Verduno Pelaverga – $19
This wine is 100% Pelaverga sourced from 4 to 20 year old vines located on soils of calcareous silt.  The fruit was fermented in French oak barrels followed by aging in both stainless steel and oak barrel.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light cranberry red.  The wine offered gently ripe cranberry and strawberry flavors before some black fruit mixed in.  This mouthfilling wine had a slightly tart hint, juicy acidity, and moderate ripe tannins in the aftertaste.  The wine showed good persistence of flavor.  You could work out a grapey structure which suggested capability for short-term aging.  **(*) Now – 2018.

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2007 Chateau Redortier, Beaumes-de-Venise – $25
Imported by APS Wines and Spirits.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 35% Syrah, and 5% Counoise from 55 year old vines located around 1600 feet in elevation.  It was fermented in cement tanks using indigenous yeasts then aged in oak foudres.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose was mature with slightly earthy notes that poke through aromas of red fruit.  In the mouth was a core of cherry and red fruit surrounded by earth and mushroom flavors.  The wine turns juicy with good acidity and tannins that still coat the inside of the gums at the finish.  With just a brief period of air this wine reveals it is at perfect maturity.  A true pleasure to taste.  **** Now-2018.

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Photograph of Chateau Pichon Longueville in 1867

January 19, 2015 Leave a comment
Photograph of Pichon-Longueville. 1867. [1]

Photograph of Pichon-Longueville. 1867. [1]


[1] Danflou, Alred. Les Grands Crus Bordelais. Premiere Part. 1867. Gallica Bibliotheque Numerique. URL: http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b86256511

“send me…six dozen best Bourdeaux red wine”: When Pichon Longueville came to America

January 19, 2015 1 comment

This evening I will be attending a Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron tasting organized by Panos Kakaviatos (Wine Chronicles).   Panos describes the recent history of the estate as well as the impetus for this tasting in his post Château Pichon Longueville Baron: 1989-2010.  It was in 1850 that the estates of Pichon Longueville Baron and Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande came into being.  Prior to that point they were a single estate known as Pichon Longueville.  It is under this name that the wines first reached the American shores in 1805.

James Madison was no stranger to the charms of fine Bordeaux.  While Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson, he often ordered these wines straight from William Lee, the American Commercial Agent in Bordeaux.  James Madison was very much pleased by a shipment of “Vin de Graves” in 1804.  He found that “taking the price & quality together were so satisfactory” he ordered additional wine from the same sources.[1]  William Lee took matters seriously shipping James Madison 72 bottles of 1798 Chateau Haut-Brion and 240 bottles of Haut Brion petit Sauterne.[2]  This order clearly whet James Madison’s palate for the following summer he placed another order this time for “six dozen best Bourdeaux red wine” amongst other wines and oils.[3]  Incredibly, what William Lee chose to send to James Madison has never been published before.  The invoice is neither cited nor abstracted on the Library of Congress’ Founders Online, rather it is found in the digitized archives of James Madison’s correspondence.

Invoice from William Lee to James Madison. 12 September, 1805. [10]

Invoice from William Lee to James Madison. 12 September, 1805. [10]

William Lee’s invoice from Bordeaux dated September 10, 1805, lists 72 bottles of 1798 Pichon Longueville at F 5 per bottle for a total of F 360.  For reference the 1798 Chateau Haut-Brion were similarly priced one year earlier at F 4.5 per bottle.  By early accounts the estates of Haut-Brion, Latour, Lafite, and Margaux were regarded as “Premiere Classe” by such authors as William Franck in 1824.[4] Pichon Longueville in Saint-Lambert was regarded in the “Deuxieme Classe” both by French and English writers at the time and for decades to come. [5] One writer did take notice that these wines were sold “seldom under their real names.  When once taken away from the estates, they usually are named as if one of the wines of the first class.”[6]

An early American advertisements for 1798 Chateau Pichon Longueville. [11]

An early American advertisements for 1798 Chateau Pichon Longueville. [11]

From James Madison’s inventory and early advertisements we do know that the wines of Pichon Longueville appear to first make it to the American shores in 1805. [7]  Unfortunately, James Madison did not leave any indication of what he thought of the wine.  In fact, I have yet to find a direct comment on these wines from this period.  We do know that the 1798 vintage was highly regarded in England and France. Listed in England as one of three “first-rate” vintages between 1775 and 1842[8]  it was ranked second only to 1795 by William Franck.  The closest description falls to Alexander Henderson who, in describing “Leoville, Larose, Bran-mouton, and Pichon-Longueville” wrote that they “afford light wines of good flavor, which, in favourable years, have much of the excellence of the finer growth.”[9]  It seems then that in choosing 1798 Chateau Pichon Longueville, William Lee did send the “best” to James Madison.


[1] “From James Madison to William Lee, 7 February 1804,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-06-02-0409 [last update: 2014-12-01]). Source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 6, 1 November 1803 – 31 March 1804, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Ellen J. Barber, Anne Mandeville Colony, and Angela Kreider. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2002, p. 445.
[2] “To James Madison from William Lee, 20 June 1804 (Abstract),” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-07-02-0356 [last update: 2014-12-01]). Source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 7, 2 April–31 August 1804, ed. David B. Mattern, J. C. A. Stagg, Ellen J. Barber, Anne Mandeville Colony, Angela Kreider, and Jeanne Kerr Cross. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005, pp. 344–345.
[3] “From James Madison to William Lee, 14 June 1805,” Founders Online, National Archives (http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/02-09-02-0526 [last update: 2014-12-01]). Source: The Papers of James Madison, Secretary of State Series, vol. 9, 1 February 1805–30 June 1805, ed. Mary A. Hackett, J. C. A. Stagg, Mary Parke Johnson, Anne Mandeville Colony, Angela Kreider, and Katherine E. Harbury. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2011, p. 469.
[4] Franck, William. Traité sur les vins du Médoc et les autres vins rouges du département de la Gironde. 1824. Gallica Bibliotheque Numerique. URL: http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb30458723m
[5] Jullien, Andre.  Topographie de tous les vignobles connus … suivie d’une classification générale des vins. 1832. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=OMhMAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[6] MacGregor, John. Commercial statistics, a digest of the productive resources [&c.] of all nations. 1844. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=MrgTAAAAQAAJ&pg=PP7#v=onepage&q&f=false
[7] Advertisement. Date: Saturday, July 20, 1805             Paper: New-York Gazette (New York, NY)   Volume: XVIII   Issue: 6049   Page: 2
[8] The Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful …, Volume 27. 1843. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=NeFPAAAAMAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
[9] Henderson, Alexander. The history of ancient and modern wines. 1824. UR: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/pst.000012700509
[10] The James Madison Papers. William Lee to James Madison, September 14, 1805. Includes bill of lading and invoice. URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mjm&fileName=08/mjm08.db&recNum=966&itemLink=%2Fammem%2Fcollections%2Fmadison_papers%2Fmjmser1.html&linkText=6
[11] Advertisement. Date: Saturday, July 20, 1805 Paper: New-York Gazette (New York, NY) Volume: XVIII Issue: 6049 Page: 2

Tasting 2001-2011 vintages of Descendientes de J. Palacios in Bierzo

January 16, 2015 Leave a comment

It is easy to taste more wine and research more subjects than I can write about.  These notes from a fall tasting of wine from Descendientes de J. Palacios prove that point.  The Palacios wines all came from a single cellar purchased last year by MacArthur Beverages.  The owner bought them direct from the Rare Wine Co. and had cellared them properly since purchase.  Thus there was no more reason needed to purchase these wines other than curiosity.  As I have an incredibly tiny dining room Roland generously offered to host the tasting.

Introductory Wines

That a white wine from Bierzo could be purely Dona Blanca was revealing for most.  The nose of the 2011 La Vizcaina, La Del Vivo, Lomas de Valtuile, Bierzo  was quite engaging and I enjoyed the mouthfeel.  It’s a shame it was so pricey. The 2011 Adega Algueira, Ribera Sacra  acted as a transition wine being made from Mencia in Ribera Sacra.  This young, grapey wine left me wanting to jump into the Palacios wines.  This pair of wines were purchased at Despaña Vinos y Mas.

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2011 La Vizcaina, La Del Vivo, Lomas de Valtuile, Bierzo –
Imported by Peninsula Wines.  This wine is 100% Dona Blanca.    Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was aromatic with forest and fresh pine notes.  In the mouth fresh fruit flavors eventually developed and were kept lively by balanced acidity.  The wine was rounded with glycerin becoming softer towards the finish.

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2011 Adega Algueira, Ribeira Sacra –
Imported by Polaner Selections.   This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 13%.  This wine seemed reduced at first eventually showing a grapey, black fruited style of Mencia.  The wine was young with a citrus hint and grapey tannins.

The Descendientes de J. Palacios Tasting

The wines of Descendientes de J. Palacios are the result of the collaboration between Ricardo Perez and Alvaro Palacios that began in 1999.  They put together some 30 hectares of vines located in the hills near Corullón in the region of Bierzo in the northwest of Spain.  For our tasting we spanned much of the estate’s history with vintages that went from 2011 back to 2001.  The wines themselves encompassed four different bottlings.  Petalos marks the entry level and is made from old-vine Mencia sourced from many sites.  The Villa de Corullón uses fruit from vines up to 90 years of age located in vineyards that flank Corullón.  The Moncerbal and Las Lamas wines are made from vineyards located in the same valley south of Corullón .  The Moncerbal vineyards are located on a steep hillside between 650 – 740 meters in elevation.  The vineyards generally face south-west.  The soils here are a mixture of slates, quartzes, and marbles.  Las Lamas represents the fourth wine we would taste.  The fruit for these wines are sourced from small vineyards located just west of Moncerbal at similar altitude.  Here the vineyards face south with soils of broken slate.

The wines of Descendientes de J. Palacios quickly escalate both in price and scores.  With this in mind it might be surprising that the pair of vintages from the entry-level Petalos caught everyone off guard.  The 2011 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo  is a strapping, young wine that I strongly recommend you find some for your cellar.  I write this because the 2006 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo  has entered that second stage of life showing both fruit and bottle aged flavors.  It has developed incredibly well.  I will admit that, for no particular reason other than a lack of information, I half expected it to be past its peak.

Of the other selections my favorites included the 2007 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Moncerbal, Bierzo and the 2005 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Las Lamas, Bierzo.  This pair showed good balance of fruit, acidity, and strong structure that should reward after a few more years in the cellar.  Sadly, the trio of wines from the 2001 vintages showed as a whole that they were past their prime drinking.

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2011 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This showed round, grippy young fruit, some smoothness before savory, black minerals, and a slightly warm finish.  With air this robust wine became salty with drying, fine tannins.  A strapping wine.

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2006 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14%.  The attractive nose immediately showed more maturity.  The low-lying flavors were almost meaty with fine to medium textured tannins.  There was significant life in this wine which was still fruity showing red cherry, tart cranberry, and strawberry flavors.  With air the wine became more fragrant with floral aromas that made way to old wood and tart red fruit in the mouth.  Lovely.

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2011 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Villa de Corullón, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 15%.  This wine was young and robust with a tight core of deep, sexy, racy fruit.  The fruit was sweet (alcohol?) but not from residual sugar.  This wine definitely stepped things up with not quite brawny floral flavors that retained lots of focus.

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2007 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Moncerbal, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There was an attractive, dark nose that was not quite stinky.  The flavors had a cool start followed by very fine blue fruit, a cinnamon finish, and dense, expansive aftertaste.  There was a robust, powerful structure that left drying tannins on the gums.   With air this wine showed good balance with dense, sweet blue fruit, lovely acidity, and a black minerally finish.

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2007 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Las Lamas, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There was a hint of butter on the nose.  In the mouth were lighter red fruit flavors that were gently dense and stylistically different.  There were very fine, smooth tannins that were more obviously from wood.  It had some texture.

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2005 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Las Lamas, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The subtle berry nose opened up to step out of the glass.  There were exotic flavors in the mouth that were savory with strawberry notes and spicy tannins in the structure.  There was concentrated fruit, lovely acidity that was more abundant than the 2007, and a really good finish.  Nice wine.

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2001 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Las Lamas, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a nose of tobacco followed by firm fruit in the mouth.  There was acidity and vintage perfume notes but the soft focus and hollow middle were detracting.

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2001 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Villa de Corullón, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 13%.  The vintage perfume aromas were delicate.  The wine was very easy to drink with a personality of lighter fruit, strawberry flavors, and acidity.  It remained very approachable.

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2001 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Moncerbal, Bierzo
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14%.  Though this was fruity the flavors dropped off by the finish.

Interlude

With the last three wines from the 2001 vintage leaving us wanting, Roland returned from his basement with a bottle of 2005 Granja Remelluri, Rioja Gran Reserva.  Into the big decanter/glass it went.  Roland worked the decanter, coaxing the wine to open up before pouring it out.  It was gorgeous!

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2005 Granja Remelluri, Rioja Gran Reserva
Imported by De Maison Selections.  Alcohol 13.5%.  A harmonious wine with sweet fruit complemented by wood box.  The wine tasted younger as it breathed.  There is clearly strong potential with this wine.

1988 Sauternes

Our Sauternes flight proved we were doomed by vintages served in threes.  You know you are in bad luck when Panos Kakaviatos remotely diagnosed a problem with the 1988 Chateau Climens, 1er Cru Sauternes  based on a Facebook picture.  These wines came from two different cellars.

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1988 Chateau Climens, 1er Cru Sauternes
Imported by Calvert Woodley.  With flavors of apple orchard fruit this was more advanced than it should have been as also evidenced by the color.  The fruit, glycerin, and acidity was all up front.

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1988 Chateau Guiraud, 1er Cru Sauternes
Imported by Calvert Woodley.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This managed to remain floral.

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1988 Chateau La Tour Blanche, 1er Cru Sauternes
Imported by Calvert Woodley. Alcohol 14%. This had grapier fruit and while the acidity was present, the flavors were very short leading to a textured, residual sugar infused finish.

Charles Bellow’s design for a demijohn that captures the lees

January 14, 2015 Leave a comment

It is through Mannie Berk, Rare Wine Co., that I was able to read the text of the “Old Madeira” articles published by Charles Bellows.  Charles Bellows was a wine connoisseur and expert who wrote memorable accounts of old vintages of Madeira in Bonfort’s Circular during 1896 and 1897.  I recently came across a digitized version of these articles and was delighted to see the illustrations.

Design for a demijohn. [1]

Design for a demijohn. [1]

Madeira was often stored in upright demijohns that could contain around 5 gallons or 25 bottles worth of wine.  Left undisturbed, the lees of the Madeira would settle to the bottom of the demijohn.  Charles Bellows wrote of using a siphon to decant off the Madeira so as not to disturb the lees.  As an alternative, he wanted to patent a demijohn design that did not require a siphon.  This design included a “shelf” made from a half circle of glass attached inside the demijohn.  Thus in pouring the Madeira “the mud slips under the glass shelf, and the wine can be poured off clear.”  He did acknowledge the project stopping “difficulty of getting the section of glass blown in the half sides.”


[1] Bellows, Charles. Article on Madeira written for Bonfort’s Circular, 1896, 1897, 1900. 1901. URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/hvd.32044019963636

Three wines for the cold weather

January 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Produced by the famous port produce Quinta do Noval, the 2009 Cedro do Noval, Duriense offers a slight twist for a table wine by including a bit of Syrah.  Though you might expect this vintage to show some age the wine itself is young, firm, and full of barrel influences.  I would cellar this wine another year or two to let the flavors integrate.  The 2012 (Chapoutier) Domaine Bila-Haut, Occultum Lapidem, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour already has a lot going on.  This is an athletic wine that you may drink now to warm the bones but is best left in the cellar.   Your best bet might be to start with the 2006 Villa Mongalli, Della Cima, Sagrantino di Montefalco.  The wine is taking on bottle aged flavors but still has a prominent, chunky tannic structure.  I rather enjoyed this wine, the structure is in no ways distracting so we had a hard time leaving leftovers for the next night.  The Noval and Bila-Haut were purchased at MacArthur Beverages and the Mongalli at Weygandt Wines.

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2009 Cedro do Noval, Duriense – $17
Imported by Vintus Wines.  This wine is a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 30% Touriga Franca, 10% Syrah, and 10% Tinta Roriz sourced from young and old vines.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a stand-up nose of candied red fruit, vanilla, and leather.  After the slightly buttery start the wine revealed fresh herbs and a licorice like note then ended with a racy, almost cinnamon-laden finish.  The wine shows young with a firm side despite the minimal presence of tannins.  **(*) Now – 2022.

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2012 (Chapoutier) Domaine Bila-Haut, Occultum Lapidem, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Latour – $25
Imported by MacArthur Beverages.  This wine is a blend of mostly Syrah with some Grenache and Carignan.  Alcohol 14.5 %.  This wine is still primary with syrah dominated flavors, roast earth, and black flavors in the finish.  The wine is athletic in a good sense and without heavy weight.  With air it took on controlled ripeness, a little glycerin, and a savory pepper note that made way to a powdery black finish.  ***(*) 2016-2026.

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2006 Villa Mongalli, Della Cima, Sagrantino di Montefalco – $
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.  This wine is 100% Sagrantino.  Alcohol 14.5%.  This wine offered up strong flavors of black mineral fruit that hit the back of the throat with power.  It took on licorice, hints of tobacco, polished wood, and even more minerality.  The acidity was integrated with some chunky, ripe tannins.  ***(*) Now-2029?

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The last load of grapes collected at Castell Coch or Swanbridge in Wales (c. 1898)

January 13, 2015 Leave a comment

This image shows the last load of grapes collected at either Castell Coch or most likely, the vineyard of Swanbridge.  After early success at Castell Coch the Marquis of Bute ordered a second, larger vineyard planted at Swanbridge.  This vineyard overlooked the Bristol Channel, south-west of Cardiff in Wales.

The Last Load of Grapes. c. 1898. [1]

The Last Load of Grapes. c. 1898. [1]


[1] Country Life Illustrated, Volume 3. 1898. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=mlBOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

Three impressions of Arnot-Roberts

January 13, 2015 Leave a comment

It was all my luck that in recovering from a head cold I ingested something bad which kept me on the couch for two days.  I had, of course, previously opened up three different bottles from Arnot-Roberts.  Being in the extremely rare position of not wanting to taste wine I am left with only impressions of these wines from when they were first opened. I preferred the reds over the white.  I have been on a kick for Californian Trousseau ever since I first tasted William Allen’s version from Two Shepherds.  The wines are attractively distinct from those of Arbois.  The Arnot-Robert version continues in the Californian vein but was lighter and brighter.  The Syrah was engaging as well with its hard to describe flavors along with the comforting pepper and fat note.  My general impression is that these are wines of interesting nuances best appreciated a glass or two at a time.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2013 Arnot-Roberts, Chardonnay, Watson Ranch, Napa Valley – $37
This wine is 100% Chardonnay that was aged for seven months in neutral French oak.  Alcohol 12.2%. There was a finely textured nose.  In the mouth were dry, floral white fruit flavors were lively and full of acidity.  There were chalk flavors, some toast, and a bright, long finish.  The wine was tight.

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2013 Arnot-Roberts, Trousseau, North Coast – $29
This wine is 100% Trousseau that was aged for 11 months in neutral French oak.  Alcohol 12.1%. There were ripe oranges underlying the red fruit before showing fresh, black minerals.  There were lighter flavors but the wine has strength.  I enjoyed the mix of fresh pepper and exotic spices.

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2013 Arnot-Roberts, Syrah, North Coast – $35
This wine is 100% Syrah of which 10% underwent carbonic maceration and was aged for 11 months in neutral French oak.  Alcohol 12.8%. The nose was scented with perfume with similar flavors in the mouth.  The wine was balanced and generally intriguing.  The flavors were fresh with a little pepper hint and an attractive surrounding of some fat.

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An early 20th century mark from Spain featuring a cat with wine bottles

January 12, 2015 Leave a comment
The mark of Juan Quintana. [1]

The mark of Juan Quintana. [1]


[1] Industria e Invenciones. March 7, 1914.  Biblioteca Nacional de Espana. URL: http://hemerotecadigital.bne.es/issue.vm?id=0001541143&page=9

Three wines tasted while in Albuquerque

January 12, 2015 Leave a comment

I made a 10 minute visit to the wine store during our recent trip to Albuquerque. I believed I picked up a bottle of Stolpman a year prior so there was no time wasted in grabbing the 2011 Stolpman, Syrah Estate, Santa Ynez Valley.  This youthful wine had youthful flavors that we all enjoyed.  I suppose you could enjoy it over the short term but why wait?  Another type of wine that I always buy are those from Collioure.  Unfortunately, the 2010 Domaine La Tour Vieille, La Pinede, Collioure  reminded me of raisins of which I lost interest after a few sips.  Finally, I grabbed a half bottle of 2007 Bonny Doon, Le Cigare Volant.  My inspiration came from tasting the demi-john aged versions, labeled en bonbonne, at the Rhone Rangers tasting last year.  I thought this 2007 regular version would offer up some bottle aged flavors but it did not.  Instead it was very young with a lot of zip, so much so I would have guessed an upbringing in demi-john.  Keep this one in your cellar.  These wines were purchased at Jubilation Wine and Spirits in Albuquerque.

Abq1

2011 Stolpman, Syrah Estate, Santa Ynez Valley – $25
This wine is 100% Syrah.  Alcohol 14.4%.  There was a lively start with youthful bright black and red fruit on the tongue.  The flavors were young with some texture, a little weight, and a hint of ripeness in the black, minerally finish.  With air tart black flavors developed along with chocolate and more weight.  There were some ripe tannins in the aftertaste.  *** Now-2018.

Abq2

2010 Domaine La Tour Vieille, La Pinede, Collioure – $24
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Carignan, and 15% Mourvedre sourced from 35-70 year old vines.  Alcohol 14.7%.  The flavors were ripe and clearly bordering on the raisin end of the spectrum.  The flavors of candied fruit lay low, bound up with good acidity and some structure.  Strange.  * Now.

Abq3

2007 Bonny Doon Vineyard, Le Cigare Volant – $17 (375 mL)
This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 4% Mourvedre, and 4% Cinsault.  Alcohol 14.4%.  In the mouth were not-quite robust flavors that were lively and dry.  The was still quite a grapey structure integrated with the cherry and raspberry flavors.  The wine tastes remarkably preserved and timeless.  ** 2017-2025.

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