Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: ***** $$ Ramian Estate Parlay The Bookmaker Red Wine, California, 2009 - BEST VALUE

Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Parlay The Bookmaker.
By way of background, opening thoughts: Often wine blends can add up to more than the individual wine varietals may suggest.  Here we have a blend of grapes combines with a blend of California vineyard areas and a blend of oak barrel cooperages - a real blender's blend.  Let's see what this combo brings to the palate...

Original tasting and review , December, 2011: This is Ramian Estate Parlay The Bookmaker Red Wine, California, 2009, finished at 14.5% alcohol.  It is built by winemaker Brian Graham from 72% cabernet sauvignon from the Oak Knoll district of Napa Valley.  To that is added syrah, petite sirah, petit verdot and additional cabernet sauvignon from the El Dorado area.  The blend has been aged 16 months in four types of oak barrels. 

In the glass: Deep magenta, opaque about three-quarters inch in from the edge of the glass. 

On the nose: Poured at room temperature with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows creamy purple aromas with some black cassis fruit and an interesting sandy vegetable tone.  Though there is no merlot in the blend, somehow a Napa merlot element comes through too.  From the aroma, seems like this will be deep yet brightly flavorful.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact boldly deep and flavorful, bringing gobs of well-tamed but bountiful oaked fruit to the mid-palate, floating along on soft buoys of gentle tannins that feel like they are slowly and subtly staining your teeth as the wine slowly creeps to a finish.  Deep black cherry, red currant and lush blackberry glide along.  Implied sweetness comes from the big flavors and ample alcohol.

In summary: Overall, rates four stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its gargantuan flavor.  Best value.

Following long decant, full day kept cool in partially filled bottle: Sweeter, red fruit tones on the nose now.   The palate knits even together even more impressively now, yielding a red berry experience with layers upon layers of enjoyable complexity.  Just touches five stars - a stunning feat at this price point.   "Get between me and this bottle of wine at your own risk!"

Updated review, over a year later, March, 2013:  Wow, entirely consistent in the color, aroma and palate.  Sweet, rich, vibrant red and black fruits.  Remains at top scoring levels.  Awesome value.  Great ager.

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Check out today's pricing and retail availability for Parlay The Bookmaker.

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