Sunday, July 26, 2015

Review: ***+ $$ Ty Caton Racchus Red Wine, California, 2008 = GOOD VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for petite sirah-based red.

By way of background:  I really enjoyed the 2005 vintage of this with five years of age.  Now we are sampling the 2008 vintage with seven years of age.

Original tasting and review : This is Ty Caton Racchus Red Wine, California, 2008, finished at 14.1% alcohol and first sampled 7 years from vintage date, in July, 2015.  It is a blend of 36% Petite Sirah, 23% Syrah, 16% Merlot, 9% Petite Verdot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec

In the glass: Black purple, opaque from a quarter inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at cellar temperature and swirled vigorously, shows bright, grape-pop fruit.  From the aroma, seems like this will be simply, sweet and friendly.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact full,deep and aromatic, showing bold plums, solid acids and bold blackberries.  Finish is solid and crisp, relatively brief.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. just touches a plus for its aromatic complexity.  Good value.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for petite sirah-based red.

(c) Copyright 2015 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, July 25, 2015

Review: *** $$ Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem, Codes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France, 2007

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem.

By way of background, opening thoughts:  I just sampled a well-aged Cotes du Roussillon red blend that scored a whopping 4+ stars, so it put me in the mood for another aged specimen from the same region.  Not too many in the cellar, but I extracted this candidate:

Original tasting and review : This is Domaine de Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem, Codes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France, 2007, finished at 14% alcohol and first sampled 8 years from vintage date, in July, 2015.

In the glass: Dark brick, opaque in the center.

On the nose: Poured at cellar temperature and swirled vigorously, shows shy fruit, pretty tired with faint hints of broccoli and vegetable stew.  From the aroma, seems like this may be over-the-hill.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact brighter than anticipated, but still soft and round in style.  Brings a full, generous mid-palate of blackberries, with some faint deeper charcoal elements.  Finish is swift and clean.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, but it does not want to age for more than its current 8 years.  Drink up if you have it on hand.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Bila-Haut Occultum Lapidem.

(c) Copyright 2015 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 and Rating: ****+ $$ Le Muscle Cotes de Roussillon, 2005, Languedoc-Roussillon, France = BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Cotes de Roussillon. 

Original Review, three years from vintage date, April, 2008: The French red Le Muscle Cotes De Roussillon 2005 shows a deep ruby red in the glass.  It is finished at a generous 14.5% alcohol.

On the nose, you detect a powerful perfume of concentrated violets and plums.

On the palate, the intensity continues... concentrated blobs of inky red fruit pummel the cavities of your mouth, searing it with bold red fruits. A lasting finish, wrapping tannins in profound brightness. Three stars out of five, with plus for power.

Gary Vaynerchuck liked it even better, awarding 91 points.

Updated Review, seven years later, now 10 years from vintage date, July, 2015:  Deep mahogany red, opaque from a half inch of the edge.  Nose still carries bright and bold violets and lavender, full of background oak too.  On the palate, still gobs of big, lean and - yes - muscular, ripe red fruits.  Layers of lavender that pulls around the fat middle.  Bright acids and tannins stretch the sip on and on.  The finish grinds to a very slow halt with the grainy fruit spitting out sweet blackberry, cocoa and purple flowers for a very, very long time.    Now moves to an easy four stars on the Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for potency and layers, and is a definite best value at a full decade of age.  The sad part is the label is no longer available, even in newer vintages.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Cotes de Roussillon. 

(c) Copyright 2008, 2015 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.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: ***+ Wekken Sour Belgian Ale, Lochristi, Belgium

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Sour Belgian Ale.


Original tasting and review : This is Wekken Sour Belgian Ale, Lochristi, Belgium, finished at 8.9% alcohol.  it is a blend of imperial stout (Wake up Dead) and classic Flemish sour (De Proef's Zoetzuur).

In the glass: Dark molasses with thick creamy head.

On the nose: Poured at refrigerator temperature, shows bright hops.  Smells brighter than it looks.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact deep, lightly sweet tones of a barleywine combined with a full but light mouthfeel.  Creamy, long finish.  Nice persistence with a hint of charcoal coming in at the very end.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a big plus for heft and balance on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Sour Belgian Ale.

(c) Copyright 2015 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.


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: ***+ $$ Mercer Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills, Washington State, 2006= GOOD VALUE

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Original tasting and review : This is Mercer Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills, Washington State, 2006, finished at 14.5% alcohol and first sampled 9 years from vintage date, in July, 2015.

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

On the nose: Poured at cellar temperature and swirled vigorously, shows soft, deep black fruit with some red cherry highlights.  From the aroma, seems like this will be big, bright and buoyant.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact charming, aromatic and spicy.  Balanced core of red/black fruit with savory cinnamon and clove spices, bringing along black pepper and gentle smoke, resolving to a clean finish that highlights slow unfolding fruit released by the hidden tannins.  Classic, bold stylings.

In summary: Overall, rates three stars with a big plus for solidity and strength on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, making this a good value selection.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Mercer Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills.

(c) Copyright 2015 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.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: *** $$ Fetish The Watcher Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2006

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Barossa shiraz.

Original tasting and review : This is Fetish The Watcher Shiraz, Barossa, Australia, 2006, finished at 14.5% alcohol and first sampled 9 years from vintage date, in July, 2015.


In the glass: Deep, dark,  brick red, opaque from a half inch of the edge.

On the nose: Poured at cellar temperature and swirled vigorously, shows fragrant cedar and blackberries.  From the aroma, seems like this will be classic for the region, fruity and flavorful.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact full of cedar and red rusty, pine fruit.  Full, aromatic and bursting with bold red berries. The finish picks up on the bright red berries and light acids associated with them.

In summary: Overall, rates an easy three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale.

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for bargain Barossa shiraz.

(c) Copyright 2015 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.