Posts tagged as:

2011

France, Malbec, Domaine du Théron, Cuvée Prestige, Cahors, 2011

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N/ Wow, lots of Brettomyces here with typical barnyard and bandaid smells. The livestock odors dominate, but one can find some black and blue fruit aromas just past the Brett onslaught, as well as nice dark earth notes. T/ Once past the Brett flavors she has an elegant mouthfeel with ample blue and black fruits […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Jamieson Ranch, Double Lariat, Napa Valley, 2011

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N/ Plum skins and black, brooding fruits dominate. Cassis, black cherry, pine needles, wild herbals, and brick dust as well. Barbecue. Cedar. Robust and complex. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Massive black fruits, cassis, and black cherry. Ample acid work, with some nice defined layers of flavor intermixed with the more amorphus big fruit […]

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USA, Cabernet Sauvignon, Faust, Napa Valley, California, 2011

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N/ Right after opening she had some smoldering campfire aromas that I typically associate with carmenere rather than cabernet, but, as I thought, these dissipated over the next 20 to 30 minutes. In short, open up well before you intend to enjoy this bottle – she needs some airtime in order to blossom. Her nose is […]

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Winery & Vineyard Visits / Winemaker Focus / Cornerstone Cellars / Jeff Keene / Napa Valley, California & Oregon

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I had the privilege of sitting with winemaker Jeff Keene for an extended tasting of Cornerstone wines. The offerings were delicious, impressive, and showed a broad range of styles. The wine also importantly showed restraint in all the right places. Jeff was 100% delightful and explained his winemaking philosophy beautifully. Passion is an over-used word in the […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Kaiken, Ultra, Valle de Uco, Mendoza, 2011

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Red blend of: 96% malbec and 4% cabernet sauvignon. N/ Massive black fruits, black plums, sweet black pepper, brick dust and crushed rocks. Lime zest smeared across Baker’s chocolate, if I may be Dr. Dorkus. T/ Medium-full mouth feel. She starts with an unexpected, lively, acidic intro of black fruits, and deep black plum flavors. Nice […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Kaiken, Terroir Series, Corte, Mendoza, 2011

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Red blend of: 80% malbec, 12% bonarda, and 8% petit verdot. N/ Black fruits, black plums, leather, canvas, and crushed rocks. Acid kissed, dry black soil. Hint of cherry taffy. T/ Medium-full to full mouth feel. Round and woody on her start, she then delivers a deep black fruits, boysenberry and plum meat midsection. Her […]

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USA, Pinot Noir, Gallegos, Boekenoogen Vineyards, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California, 2011

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N/ A juicy cherry blast with some expected black tea aromatics starts you out. She is intensely aromatic. Wonderful cherry and red berry payload is framed by wet cement and clean mineral notes. Smoke and spice. Powerful. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Bursting with black cherry, cherry, and red berry flavors. Absolutely bursting I tell you. A […]

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USA, Syrah, Rusack Vineyards, Ballard Canyon Estate, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, California, 2011

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Red blend of: 91% syrah and 9% petite sirah. N/ Deep plum and blackberry stew, black cherries, and dark black soil. Rosemary, smoldering campfire, and split flint. Clean aromas of a fall forest floor. Fantastic. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Amazingly smooth. A light glycerol weight that helps bind together a remarkably balanced load […]

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USA, Zinfandel, Scott Harvey Wines, UC Davis Research Station, The Heritage Vineyard, Oakville, Napa, California, 2011, Zinfandel Experience

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Contemplating the all new Zinfandel Experience over a glass of 2011 Heritage Vineyard Zinfandel… C/ Garnet ruby clear shining clarity. A jewel. N/ Lightly white peppered ripe red berries, cherries, and cranberries. Clean wood lines. Dried forest floor. Crushed leaves. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Oh my, clean, tight lines here. Snapping and integrated acidity, […]

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Italy, Sangiovese, Vecchio Rosso, Monte Vibiano, Marsciano – Perugia, Umbria, 2011

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She started out on the light side of the equation but, with time, became ample and full of fruit. A touch of spice and a delightful acid presence throughout the experience. Paired perfectly with roasted chicken and a persimmon chicken risotto. The balance between her ripe red fruit flavors, acid throughout, and clean lines made […]

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USA, Red Blend (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel), Nobel Vines, “1”, California, 2011

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Red blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and zinfandel. N/ Lightly cedar-smoked big and bruising stewed plums and black cherries. Taffy, light confection, and a sophisticated swamp aromas. Coconut, caramel and chocolate wafts. Warm, thick, assertive – yet soft. T/ Medium full to full mouthfeel. Juicy flavors of plums, soft ripe red berries, and black cherry […]

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Bulgaria, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir & Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet, Vini, Veni Vidi Vici, Thracian Valley, (2009-2011)

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I was delighted to sample five bottles of Bulgarian wine, across six major grape types. They all retail at a fairly amazing $8.99 – $9.99. For me, the rose of pinot/syrah and the sauvignon blanc were clear stand outs.  The rose ($8.99) I posted  here http://www.brainwines.com/bulgaria-rose-pinot-noir-syrah-vini-veni-vidi-vici-thracian-valley-mmxi-2011/. The sauvignon blanc well, look, she is my least […]

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Bulgaria, Chardonnay, Vini, Veni Vidi Vici, Thracian Valley, MMXI (2011)

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N/ What dominates her nose is salty toast, truly. She also has pineapple, lemon, and yellow tropical fruits with a bit of oyster shell / minerality mix. T/ Light to medium mouthfeel. Dry and acid driven upon entry but she also delivers light cream. Pretty complex ride for nine dollars! As with her nose, salt, […]

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Bulgaria, Rose (of Pinot Noir & Syrah), Vini, Veni Vidi Vici, Thracian Valley, MMXI (2011)

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A blend of 60% pinot noir and 40% syrah. N/ Acidic, crushed river rock waftings introduce aromas of strawberry jolly rancher, wet steel, and cranberry. T/ Medium full mouthfeel. Surprisingly weighty given the acid focus of the nose. Dripping, acid dancing strawberry, cranberry, and cherry flavors intermix with lime juice – in a balanced, mouthwatering […]

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USA, White Blend, Little Black Dress, “Divalicious White,” Mendocino, California, 2011

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White blend of: 65% Pinot Grigio, 18% Muscat, 8% Chardonnay, 4% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% White Riesling, and 2% Viognier. N/ Sweet, steamed hay. White rose petals, honeysuckle, and thin wafts of petrol. Chamomile. T/ Medium-full mouth feel. She begins with soft pink grapefruit blast, a medium thick coating of glycerol, and flavors of steeped hay. While […]

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USA, Sauvignon Blanc, “Fume Blanc,” Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, Napa Valley, California, 2011.

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I was pleasantly surprised by this Mondavi offering and enjoyed it on the night of what would have been Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday.  N/ Soft hay notes…. lightly smoked, sugared, and salted. Light yellow tropicals, lime zest, with a faint layering of petrol, which is much more common in a riesling rather than a sauvignon blanc. Aromas of old […]

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Chile, Red Blend (“Winemakers”), Reserva, Casillero del Diablo, Concha y Toro, Rapel Valley, 2011

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Red blend of: 60% syrah, 25% carmenere, and 15% cabernet sauvignon. N/ Lightly cedar-smoked black cherries. A pronounced mineral and wet steel blast of aroma. Soft caramel and chocolate flavors. Hint of tomato leaf slightly detracts from a fairly warm and inviting nose. T/ Medium-full mouthfeel. Juicy flavors of red berries and boysenberry jam. Soft […]

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USA, Chardonnay, McManis Family Vineyards, River Junction, California, 2011

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Background My mother and father enjoy California chardonnay quite a lot.  Once of their favorites is a well-made, but typical, butter-scotched variety – i.e. the enormously popular style that is over-oaked chard. That wine runs for about $20-$28.  In the hopes that I could save them some unnecessary expenses, we did a blind tasting with a host of $10-$15 […]

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Argentina, Malbec, Graffigna, Centenario, Reserve, San Juan, 2011

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Note: I had this wine in a brand new “malbec wine glass” by Graffigna and Riedel.  The glass is great, and will be the subject of a future post soon. N/ She begins with coppery blood, crushed rocks, blackcherry, gunpowder, and saddle leather. Then some acid popping violet aromas dance. Sage and light tobacco notes complete. […]

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Uruguay, Tannat, Artesana, Canelones, 2011

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Just as with Artesana’s tannat-malbec blend (http://www.brainwines.com/uruguay-red-blend-tannat-merlot-artesana-canelones-2011/) I strongly suggest waiting 2-3 hours after decanting, she needs time to harmonize. N/ Barrel room dominated for first hour but eventually nice plum and cherry taffy aromas joined the party. Black tea and dark chocolate. River rock and flint notes. Deep black cherry that lingered nicely. T/ […]

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