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Thursday, April 30, 2009

In light of the Spectator's Insider, TN: Carlisle Papa's Block Syrah '07

Carlisle Papa's Block Syrah, '07
An exceptionally dark, almost brooding young Syrah that has the nose of an infant '03 Bordeaux. A blast of lead pencil, sweet oak, pepper, gravel, blackberry liqueur and molten chocolate cake notes bubble their way from the stem. A huge, mouth-filling presence tickles through the palate; with suave, ultra-silky tannins coating the back end w/ a long, lingering finish. Authoritatively flavored and lavishly oaked, this is bound to round into spectacular form w/ some short term cellaring, 94+ points.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A really cool white wine experience

I recently became acquainted w/ Ferrando's red Carema bottlings (the '03s left an immediate impact on my palate), but this was my first walk on the white side of Ferrando's stable. Granted, there are hundreds to thousands of native varieties to Italy I've never even heard of (much less tried), but one round of Erbaluce definitely made me interested in an encore presentation. The white struck me as having the fatness of Roussanne based white Chateauneuf du Pape, yet w/ more zip, ending w/ a bit of a salty, almost Muscadet like finish.

Wines like this make me appreciate importers like Neal Rosenthal all the more, as his hikes through the distant hills of Italy put fascinating wines like these in our backyard. Even though I'm hardly batting 1000 w/ his portfolio, the least I can do is pop the cork once...if only to see what his trek was all about.

Ferrando, La Torrazza Erbaluce Di Caluso, White '07The exceptionally saturated, golden color kicks off some substantial legs upon swirling. While undelineated and essentially closed aromatically, the forceful, viscous texture kicks in the second this juice touches the palate. The texture is oily, yet lively, as flavors of flowers, kiwi, green apple peel, quince paste and honeysuckle power their way from cheek to cheek, leaving an almost fuzzy feel on the back of the tongue. Still in its infancy, this rich yet balanced white will be a fun one to watch as it evolves in the bottle, 91+ points.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tis the season for rose- time to divulge your gems of ’08

With summer around the corner, and ’08 roses beginning to stack up on retail shelves, I figured now would be as good a time as any to start talking pink. Whether or not it is an under the radar producer or a perennial stalwart, feel free to reveal what blush has already delivered the goods for you in ’08.

I’ll start things off w/ a Cotes de Provence from renowned importer Neal Rosenthal, Commanderie de Peyrassol ’08:

This light salmon colored rose smells of white strawberry, blood orange and crushed flowers. A sweet and inviting attack unfurls to a poised, razor sharp mouth-feel that has a stony, refreshing finish. It is palate cleansing and dry, and goes down so easily that you’ll be popping another bottle before you know it, 88 points.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Aubert Chardonnay, on point in 2007

It has been a while! While I've been out west for just under a month, I used it as an opportunity to abstain from....

writing ;) There is no way I could go more than a day or two w/o drinking! That being said, I hadn't had much exceptional wine in the past few weeks and it seemed like as good a time as any to give my typing fingers a bit of a rest. Now that I've returned to the concrete jungle back east, I knew just the bottle to pop to rejuvenate my blabbing juices...

Aubert Chardonnay, Ritchie Vineyard 07
Screw bottle shock. While I found the '06 to be the weakest of the 03-06 bunch (though it is still an outstanding wine), '07 comes back on strong for Aubert Chardonnay. The slightly cloudy haze has returned to the color, dusting off to a sensual bouquet of subtle smoke, apricot, creme fraiche, peach and a suggestion of grilled nuts. An absolute elixir in the mouth, w/ a mouth-filling ride of Chardonnay fruit gliding across the palate w/ a lithe, almost airy sensibility. The Ritchie closes strong, w/ a noble, mineral core chiming in on the finish. Exquisite stuff (and more in the vein of the '05 from a style standpoint), 96 points.

There were a few hot spots in San Diego that were terrific for the wine inclined that I'll be sure to post about tommorrow....back in the saddle again!