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The generous 2015 Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone at $11

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

I am in need of inexpensive, tasty wine.  With kitchen work in plan for this Spring I need every cent for cabinets, stone, and labor.  Priced at $11 the 2015 Domaine Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone is more generous than the other pair of 2015 Cotes du Rhone for daily drinking.  You get mouth filling, grapey flavors yet there is a serious quality lurking in there.  With lower acidity this is a smooth wine for drinking this year.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2015 Domaine Pere Caboche, Cotes du Rhone – $11
Imported by Monsieur Touton Selection.  This wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 5% Mourvedre, and 5% Cinsault.   Alcohol 14%.  There are serious flavor undertones to this generally youthful and grapey flavor wine.  It is mouth filling with smoothed edges and just enough acidity to match the density.  The flavors turn riper and bluer towards the finish.  ** Now.

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Saint-Joseph for the cellar

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

There is no doubt that the 2014 Domaine Vincent Paris, les Cotes, Saint-Joseph  is young and in need of age. If you must try a bottle this winter then drink off a small glass, recork the bottle, then try it the next day.  Now the granite soil will come through, supporting the fruit.  More importantly, the acidity and texture, which are superb at this stage, will pull you back for another glass or two.  I recommend you stash away a few bottles.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 Domaine Vincent Paris, les Cotes, Saint-Joseph – $25
Imported by Potomac Selections.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from vineyards on granite soils north of Cornas.  The vines are 10 to 20 years old with fruit fermented in both barrel and tank then aged for 12 months in oak.  Alcohol 12.5%.  One the second day there is an almost electric start of beautiful, textured citrus pith below citrus flavors mix into black fruit.  There is an underlying chalky element.  At this young stage, the wine keeps circling you back to the awesome texture.  ***(*) 2019 – 2027.

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2015 Cabernet Franc from Baudry and Germain

February 28, 2017 Leave a comment

The 2015 Thierry Germain, Saumur Champigny and 2015 Bernard Baudry, Les Granges, Chinon are fun to taste together for they are different expressions of the Cabernet Franc grape.  Since I last tasted the Germain in the fall, it has opened up in flavor as well as shed weight and roundness.  This is a light, ethereal wine that manages to move in flavor from red to black fruit.  The wine reminded Jenn of a rose which I think is the best, single word description of this wine.  The Baudry offers a bit more strength as well as lively zip from acidity and attractive texture as if extract were floating about.  It is a bit dry and structured making me think it will drink better in the fall.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2015 Thierry Germain, Saumur Champigny – $20
Imported by Elite Wines Imports.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from 25+ year old vines, fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for seven months in tank.  Alcohol 13%.  There are herbaceous aromas supported by bright red fruit.  In the mouth this wine is lighter in body with cranberry and strawberry flavors, and watering acidity.  The light body conveys delicate flavors, which are ethereal and gently ripe, as they move from red to black fruit flavors.   It picks up floral notes with air.  **(*) Now – 2019.

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2015 Bernard Baudry, Les Granges, Chinon – $18
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from young vines that is both fermented and aged for 7-10 months in cement tanks.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose reveals finely textured herbaceous aromas.  The dry, linear entry of black fruit has strength picking up good zip in the mid palate.  With air this becomes an inky and herbaceous wine with a cool ripeness and texture from extract in the end.  **(*) Now – 2019.

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Cotes du Rhone for daily drinking

February 24, 2017 1 comment

My wife and I drink wine on a daily basis.  If I can save money on our daily drinkers then I can spend more money on older vintages.  In my area an $11 bottle represents the lowest price achievable for a wine of quality.  The 2015 Camille Cayran, Le Pas de la Beaume, Cotes du Rhone is one of those wines.  It requires a few hours of air after which it is an exuberant, black fruited wine.  You should buy it by the case then drink it over the next few years. The 2015 Domaine de Belle Feuille, Cotes du Rhone is another solid wine at this budget price point.  It is quite focused perhaps in need of six months of age.  My recommendation is to buy the Cayran.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2015 Camille Cayran, Le Pas de la Beaume, Cotes du Rhone – $11
Imported by G&B Importers.  This wine is a blend of 40% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 30% Cinsault.  Alcohol 14%.  Tasted over two days this eventually reveals exuberant flavors of black grapey fruit which are subtly ripe.  With good grip at the start, the acidity keeps the wine crisp matching the level of ripe structure which provides texture to the flavor in the finish.  It wraps up with black/purple fruit, dry stones, and a racy suggestion.  **(*) Now – 2021.

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2015 Domaine de Belle Feuille, Cotes du Rhone – $11
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 10% Carignan.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This wine remains very focused with a black fruited start that moves to a core of ripe black, powdery flavors then a slightly bitter and mineral finish.  ** Now – 2019.

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For short-term aging: 2014 Lionel Faury, Saint-Joseph

February 23, 2017 Leave a comment

The 2014 Lionel Faury, Saint-Joseph will satisfy you on the second night for it is simple and closed on the first.  It eventually reveals floral berries on the nose and an almost bracing start of red fruit and acidity.  The structural components exist to support development over a few years at which point it should be an elegant, pure wine.  It is available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2014 Lionel Faury, Saint-Joseph – $27
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Syrah that was aged for 12 months in 10% new and 90% used oak.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose offers floral, aromas of tangy berries and cherries.  In the mouth is an almost puckering start of red fruit and watering acidity.  The wine has moderate weight with a supportive structure that comes out in the middle.  It wraps up with a slightly smoky hint in the red and black fruited finish.  ***(*)  2018 – 2025.

Hanging on: 1985 Mount Eden Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon

February 21, 2017 Leave a comment

The history of Mount Eden Vineyards reaches back to the final years of World War II when Martin Ray purchased several hundred acres of mountaintop land for a vineyard.  Here he planted Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon vines.  Martin Ray eventually took on investors creating the Mount Eden Vineyard Corporation in 1960.  The next two decades were a turbulent time until operations steadied  in 1983 when Jeffrey Patterson became head winemaker.  According to the winery website the 1980s was a period of replanting in the vineyard and experimenting in the winery.

From this early modern period hails my bottle of 1985 Mount Eden Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains.  Despite the bin soiled label the fill was in the neck and cork perfectly firm.  As usual when I encounter a new mature wine, I do not decant it.  The nose cleans up to reveal aromas of sweet wood and berries.  At first the wine is billowy, loose and marked by some bell pepper in the mouth, making me think it remained in bottle too long.  With air, blue fruit develops and the whole becomes framed by structure which balances everything out.  Despite this improvement the finish remains quite short.  If you have any bottles lying about I suggest you drink them up.

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1985 Mount Eden Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Cruz Mountains
Alcohol 13%.  After breathing there is a pleasing nose of some sweet wood and berries.  In the mouth is a billowy start accented by a touch of bell pepper.  The billowy red fruited flavors remain but wine does gain better focus with underlying blue fruit flavors and more noticeable acidity and structure towards the finish.  It definitely balances out but the finish ultimately remains short.  ** Now.

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For drinking now, the 1974 Warre’s, Late Bottled Vintage

February 19, 2017 Leave a comment

The 1974 Warre’s, Late Bottled Vintage is at a state where it drinks perfectly.  There are mature wine flavors, spices, and wood box delivered with a seductive round mouth feel.  The structure is fully resolved with enough acidity to leave a fresh impression.  In short, there is no reason to hold onto this Late Bottled Vintage any longer.  You may pull the cork and start drinking to satisfaction but if you give it a bit of air, it will improve a notch.

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1974 Warre’s, Late Bottled Vintage Port
Imported by Robert Hass Selections.  Alcohol 20%.  There is an ample volume of round, berry fruit with quite a lot of body present from the very beginning.  It is in a fully integrated state with vintage wine flavor, christmas spices, wood box, and some ripe brown sugar flavor.  Perhaps there is a softness to the round quality but the wine is still very fresh.  With air the sweet cream and Christmas spice is carried with a glycerin mouthfeel.  The rounded structure is fully resolved.  **** Now but will last.

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