Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Uriah Spring Mountain Vineyards Red Wine 2005

Uriah Spring Mountain Vineyards Red Wine 2005

For some casual midweek enjoyable sipping we opened this unique Merlot based Bordeaux varietal blend from the Walla Walla Valley in Central Washington.

Spring Valley Vineyards Uriah Walla Walla Red Wine 2005 

Back in 2009 I wrote that this definitely needs some time. Well, its time! This was delightful and a perfect fit for the after dinner cake and chocolates. At that time I wrote, "Definitely needs some time - decant and let breathe. A bit harsh up front with cedar and tar overpowering black currant and black berry fruits - turns to vanilla with creme brulee burnt sugar on the long firm tannin filled finish. Still approachable and enjoyable - just not as smooth as the '03 or the '06."

Well, this has softened and become much more approachable in the five years since.

Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, smooth polished forward aromatic black currant and black berry fruits give way to hint of nicely integrated oak turning to tones of minerality, black cherry and dark mocha chocolate with hints of anise and tobacco.

RM 93 points.

This is a unique Bordeaux varietal blend of 53% Merlot, 36% Cab franc, 8% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Daou Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Daou Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Visiting NYC I visited son Alec at his east side apartment where we opened this Daou Paso Robles Cab before heading out to dinner at tony Il Postino.

I am normally not a fan of Paso Robles wines perhaps due to the heat there in the Central Cal valley that results in intense powerful wines that give off their own element of heat.

This cabernet was indicative of the style from there where there is a punch to the extracted forward black fruit with notes of kirsch, dark mocha, hints of creosote and smokey herbs and pepper.

RM 89 points

Cakebread Cellars Napa Chardonnay at Il Postino NYC

Cakebread Cellars Napa Chardonnay at Il Postino NYC

Visiting NYC on business, I had dinner with son Alec and roomate Dean. We dined at Il Postino on East 49th Street, a favorite neighborhood ristorante, a short walk from the apartment. The ambiance is cosmopolitan and stylish, the menu offers a broad selection of Italian specialties including pesce and pasta favorites. The signature artwork of a 19th century bicyclist rises over a corner table (shown left) and is their branded identity on their business cards and matches.

Their daily specials menu is so extraordinary that Alec had never seen their actual menu. The recitation by the server is worth price of admission. While not necessarily an Italian specialty, I couldn't resist the Dover Sole and it did not disappoint, being as good as any I've ever had.

As a wine geek, I tend typically order the wine to complement and pair with the food, and tonight was no exception.

To pair with my Sole and Alec's shrimp dish I ordered a bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay of the wine list.

Cakebread Cellars Napa Chardonnay 2015

Cakebread Chardonnays are  classic Napa Valley Chardonnay, crisp, ripe and round. The style reflects the range of vineyards from the lower Carneros to the central Napa Valley floor.

Straw colored, medium full bodied, aromas of green and golden apples, pear and citrus with notes of citrus spice and mineral.

This is a blend of 90% Carneros district, 10% Napa Valley.

RM 90 points.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Ninety-Plus Cellars Lot 53 Gran Reserva Mendoza Cabernet

 Ninety+ Cellars 53 Gran Reserva Mendoza Argentina Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 

For casual sipping with Saturday Night movie by the fireplace I pulled from the cellar this ten year old aged Mendoza Argentina Cabernet Sauvignon from the cellar. This impressed enough to save over for Sunday grilled steak dinner. Initially, I was thinking 'pizza wine', aka low cost casual drinking for Saturday evening dinner, but this was big, complex and sophisticated enough to hold over for Sunday afternoon dinner.

Another label from negociant private label remarketer Niney-Plus Cellars, this Lot 53 over achieved in delivering a super QPR (quality-price-ratio) new world South American Cabernet Sauvignon.

According to Ninety-Plus, this wine is made by a well-respected family-owned winery in Mendoza, Argentina. The grape vines are located more than 800 meters above sea level and are irrigated from the mineral rich water from the Andes mountains. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged for 6 months in a blend of new and recently used French oak.

I had set this bottle aside in the cellar as 'time to drink', and perhaps 'passed its time'. This vastly exceeded my expectations with high throttle bold fruit forward expressive bright vibrant fruits and obtuse in-your-face accents. This would've been a great 'pizza' wine but it was sufficiently complex and multi-dimensional that it was an ideal compliment to grilled beef steak, mashed potatoes, grilled salmon and asparagus Sunday dinner.

Bright garnet colored, medium fulled bodied, expressive forward sweet dark plum, cherry and berry fruit flavors accented by a layer of anise and high alcohol punctuated tones of eucalyptus and tangy acidity on the tongue puckering finish. The 14.8% alcohol shows but isn't overpowering to be distracting. This is great sophisticated and complex enough to be a great value at under $20.

Binny's Beverage Depot, Chicago's wine merchant super store are showing the 2015 release of this label at under $10. Need to pick some up to try and compare! 

RM 88 points.

Paratus-Spring Mountain Vineyards-vintage Auslese

Paratus, aged Spring Mountain Vineyards Napa Cabs, vintage Auslese - birthyear wines for family birth celebration dinner

Celebrating birth of granddaughter Mackenzie Jean we hosted a family dinner of four generations. I pulled from the cellar Napa Cabs from birthyear vintage wines of new parents Ryan and Michelle from birth years 1982 and 1983. These were in addition to the 1985 vintage release we opened last evening.

Ryan brought from home a 2008 vintage release of Paratus Mt Veeder Cabernet which was an ideal complement and comparison to the other neighboring Cabs.

Spring Mountain Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1982

Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1985

Paratus Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Joh. Seb Adams Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Mosel-Ruhr-Saar Auslese 1983

We toured the Mosel-Ruhr-Saar River Valley region back in the early eighties during the time of this vintage. I don't believe we acquired these wines then even though they are from the region and time period. I found them recently tucked away in the corners of our cellar. They've no doubt been there for decades. I did not have any expectations for these wines being consumable and was pleasantly surprised to find one so.

This is not meant to be a long aged wine and it was not acquired for or intended to be held for long term cellaring. Late harvest TBA - Trockenberen Ausleses may have such aging potential but the Riesling Auslese or Spatliese are not so. I was pleasantly surprised to find this wine intact and approachable.

The fill level was still fine and the cork was intact - further testament and indications of the ideal conditions in our cellar for long term aging.

This was golden light honey colored, slightly cloudy, light medium bodied, notes of subdued green apple and tones of spice and nut with moderate tangy finish.

REM 83 points.

More to come ...