Saturday, June 13, 2020

Two Rock Solid Big Reds for Family Celebration

Two Rock Solid Big Reds for Family Celebration - Carnival of Love and Scarlet Love

For grandson Reid's birthday, son Ryan served two spectacular giant red wines, Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz and a Cliff Lede Rock Block Series, Scarlet Love. It was a family gathering of cousins and in-laws, with pizza, DQ Ice Cream cake and snacks on a perfect summer day on the deck and with a bounce house and yard games.

The Mollydooker brand of wines is named for the affectionate Aussie term for 'Left-Hander' - because Sarah Marquis, the powerhouse winemaker based in McLaren Vale Australia, is a lefty!
Prior to Mollydooker, Sarah was involved in various Robert Parker high-scoring wineries including Fox Creek, Henry's Drive, Parson's Flat, Shirvington and her own label with former husband and distributor partner, Marquis Phillips.

The whimsical colorful labels are cartoonish with the premium labels styled as circus posters. This is the premium estate bottled Shiraz.

Mollydooker Carnival Of Love Shiraz 2013

This label was No.2 of the Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of the World 2014 (Carnival of Love Shiraz 2012) and has been among 8 appearances of Mollydooker wines in the Wine Spectator Top 100.

This release was awarded 95 Points by The Wine Advocate and 94 Points by Wine Spectator.

This is produced of 100% Shiraz from a single vineyard, the 2013 Carnival of Love was aged in American oak, 97% new.

Winemaker's Notes:
Dark opaque violet with deep crimson hue, this wine bursts from the glass a dense melange of berry fruits, dark plum, licorice, and fragrant spice. The palate displays layers of sweet fruit with creamy mocha oak, black pepper hints and superbly balanced tannins, seeming to last for an eternity.

Very deep purple-black in color, full bodied, dense concentrated, complex, intense nose of blueberry preserves, creme de cassis and warm black cherries, the blackberry fruit is accented by licorice, mocha, vanilla, with notes of baking spices, toast and hints of eucalyptus, turning to supple firm velvety smooth tannins on a very long finish.

We love this style and character profile of wine with intense colour saturation, intense aromas and dense textured, super concentrated and ultra rich palate.
RM 95 points. 

Cliff Lede Rock Block Series Stags Leap District "Scarlet Love" 2014 
Cliff Lede Estate, Winery (right) and Wine House (left)
as seen from hillside Poetry Inn and surrounding vineyard

The Cliff Lede estate vineyard blocks (shown right) in the Stag's Leap District, called the 'Rock Blocks' as they are named after Cliff’s favorite rock songs.

The name of this blend is derived from Grateful Dead’s "Scarlet Begonias" from the Twin Peaks vineyard and from Cream’s "Sunshine of Your Love" in the flagship steep hillside Poetry vineyard above the Silverado Trail overlooking the estate across the valley.

We've visited the estate several times and our tastings there have been highlights of several of our Napa Valley trips. 

Lede describes this vineyard sources for this wine, "The Cabernet Sauvignon in “Sunshine of Your Love” is planted in shallow volcanic soil and farmed to low yields, contributing concentration and classic Stags Leap character to the backbone of the blend. “Scarlet Begonias” is a small block of Petit Verdot that provides depth, structure, and a luxurious perfume of floral and spice notes."

Ryan gets this label through his Cliff Lede club allocations. This ultra-premium label got 97 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 92 points from Vinous.

This is a blend of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Dark blackish inky purple, full bodied, intense, concentrated, complex yet nicely balanced, elegant, smooth and polished black and blue fruits are accented by graphite, licorice, smoke, leather with a long silky smooth tannin laced finish.