Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: *** $$$ Pellegrini Vineyards Vintner's Pride Encore Red Table Wine, North Fork, Long Island, New York, 1995

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Original tasting and review : This is Pellegrini Vineyards Vintner's Pride Encore Red Table Wine, North Fork, Long Island, New York, 1995, finished at a mere 13% alcohol and first sampled a whopping 19 years from vintage date, in December, 2014.


In the glass: Deep brick, opaque from three quarters of an inch from the edge of the glass.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows soft, aged red berries.  From the aroma, seems like this will be tired after almost two decades in the bottle.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact full, bright, with more verve than anticipated from the aroma.  Shows some age, but actually presents a strong palate of blackberry brightness attached to bold acids and cleansing tannins.  Carries a lot more punch than the 13% alcohol would suggest after this much time, partly because the bold acids carry the supporting framework.

In summary: Overall, rates a solid three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale after two decades.  Not a bad showing at all!

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(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: ***+ $$ Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi, California, 2005 = GOOD VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is Earthquake Petite Sirah, Lodi, California, 2005, finished at 15.5% alcohol and first sampled nine years from vintage date, in December, 2014.  This is a Michael & David Phillips production and I gave the 2004 vintage a four star rating when sampled much closer to the release date.  Here we're sampling a well-aged wine....

In the glass: Deep dusty red, opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at cellar temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep, fat, thick bloody aromas, carrying plenty of red beef and fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be thick and powerful.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact much as anticipated, with fat red fruit plus lighter, mineral tannins, holding the bright sip for a clean finish.  A little hint of black tangy charcoal in the mix.  Full, but fresh and bright - not showing its nine years at all.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars and just touches a star on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a good value.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Earthquake Petite Sirah.

(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Review: **** $$ Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, 2002 = BEST VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is Murphy-Goode Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, 2002, finished at 13.5% alcohol and first sampled a whopping 12 years from vintage date, in December, 2014.


In the glass: Deep mahogany, opaque from a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows deep, fat boiled blackberries with a nice cedar-based surround sound.  From the aroma, seems like this will be fat, of course, sweet and rich with soft tannin residue.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact deep with veinous aromatics of black plum and rich blackberry and plenty of cedar, as suggested by the nose.  Shows no hint of age or tiredness.  In fact, still sports a lively, bright verve that lifts the deep fruit.  Tannins only show as a mechanism for holding a long, clean finish in your cheeks.  A tiny spurt of acid peeks out at the end.

In summary: Overall, rates a brilliant, long-lived four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Best value, even after all these years!

(Small caveat:  I kept a good portion of a bottle in a cool room under vacuum overnight.  It grew tired by the next day.  On opening, don't decant!)

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(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

***+ $$ Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Barossa Shiraz, 2006, Australia - Review and Rating


Original Review, August, 2008, two years from vintage date: This has been one of my favorite Aussie shiraz in past vintages. My review of the 2005 Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Barossa Shiraz is here. Let's see how the wine - and my palate - have held up for the 2006 vintage.

In the glass, the 2006 Shotfire is dark blood red with a hint of purple. Aroma is velvet-cream furniture polish - wonderful! On the palate, the extracted black cherry moves up into your mouth, bringing sprightly acids along with the flowing cream. Finish seems a bit one-dimensional and "hot" from alcohol (which comes in at 14.3%). This time, I'll give it three stars with a plus for potency. I awarded four stars plus for the 2005.

Wine Spectator awarded 91 points to the 2006 Shotfire, saying, "Aims for refinement and achieves a supple balance of ripe plum and currant fruit against a range of sweet spices and fine tannins. Lingers gently and expressively. Production was split between cork and screw-cap closures. Tasted from cork. Drink now through 2016. 15,000 cases made."
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Following a full 24 hours decanting: Similar impression overall. Palate moves towards inky black cherry. Hot finish is toned down, brings depth and balance. Very nice. Suggests this is quite ageworthy.
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Updated review, December, 2014, now a whopping eight years from vintage date:  Still deep, blood red magenta and black, opaque from a half inch in from the edge of the glass.  Soft and lively velvet Aussie shiraz nose.  With age, this shows less creaminess and more brightness.  Brings plums - as you'd expect - along with friendly spices.  Held up well to age and I'd leave the same ***+ score.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review: ***+ $$ La Cova dels Vins Ombra Montsant, Barrica, Spain, 2006 = GOOD VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is La Cova dels Vins Ombra Montsant, Barrica, Spain, 2006, finished at 14% alcohol and first sampled eight years from vintage date, in November, 2014.

In the glass: Deep magenta with plenty of brick at this stage, opaque from an inch in.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows buckets of old-world brett. From top to bottom, room-filling horse manure.  From the aroma, seems like this will be rich once you plow through the old-world must.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact bold, substantial, earthy - full of black, bright fruit and gritty tannins.  Delivers a robust, full-throttle, classic old world red wine experience.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a huge plus for potency on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.  Good value at a modest price point.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Ombra Montsant.

(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review: **** $$ Casa Silva Quinta Generacion, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 2002 = BEST VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is Casa Silva Quinta Generacion, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 2002, finished at 14% alcohol and first sampled 12 years from vintage date, in November, 2014.  It is a red blend of 50% cabernet sauvignon, 30% carmenere, 10% shiraz and 10% petit verdot selected from multiple plots in three estates.


In the glass: Deep black cherry magenta, opaque from a half inch from the edge.

On the nose: Poured at cool room temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bold, slightly
medicinal black cherry fruit with some black currant elements that sear your nostrils.  From the aroma, seems like this will be bold, vivacious and memorable.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact layered with deep black cherries.   The bold black juice glides gently over your palate, sleek and still full of layered tannins.  Black currants, lavender and hints of tobacco add to the flavor elements.  Fades relatively quickly, but on a sleek curtain of mineralized layers.  Quite impressed after more than a decade.

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale and is a very tasty best value.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Quinta Generacion.

(c) Copyright 2014 Spirit of Wine, all rights reserved.  If you are a winery, distributor or marketing agent and you would like to see your (or your client's) wine featured at Spirit of Wine, here are two options: 1) Wait, pray and hope - we may find you someday; 2) Submit a wine for review.  No charge.  Particulars are here.   If you are reading this full posting on any site other than Spirit of Wine, chances are it is a copyright violation.