Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Family 4th of July gathering features red wines

Family 4th of July gathering features medley of red wines 

The family gathered at daughter Erin and Johnny’s for a gala 4th of July celebration pool party and cookout. Ryan brought from his home cellar (shown below) two big reds and I took a red and sparkling white. 

R&L and eleven grandchildren … 

Ryan and Alec both acquired this label at auction and I featured it in a recent blogpost here - 

This was very good as discussed last week in the linked blogpost, when we had it with son Alec and D-in-law Vivianna’s, with pizza. 

As I wrote in that post, this Proprietary Red Blend, an introduction to a relatively new label from one of our long timer favored producers. 

Our CellarTracker records show we hold more than three cases of 20 different labels from David Arthur. We visited the estate up on Pritchard Hill Atlas Peak during our Napa Wine Experience back in 2013 as featured in these pages in this blogpost - David Arthur Napa Valley Estate Vineyards and Winery.

Tonight, that was very good, but was overshadowed by this full throttle Big Red, also brought by Ryan.

Ryan shared this ultra-premium Napa Cab from one of our favorite producers. We've visited the Cliff Lede estate on several of our Napa Valley wine trips and several of our wine buddies including son Ryan source allocated wines as members of their club. 

Ryan discovered this wine at a tasting at the winery and declared it the favorite WOTN (wine-of-the-night) and acquired it as part of his wine club allocation. 

Cliff Lede Napa Valley Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

This is from the spectacular 2016 vintage continued a series of exceptional vintages in Napa Valley. 

This is sourced from the Diamond Mountain vineyards - exceptional, low-yielding vineyards with volcanic ash and gravelly loam soils in the Diamond Mountain appellation, nestled in the Mayacamas Range on the northwest side of Napa Valley. There the sun-drenched mountain vineyards have late afternoon breezes that ripen the fruit slowly and evenly. The winemaker notes that both Lede vineyard sites are planted to extraordinary old vines on a steep incline with historic Napa field selections and produce age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon with dark fruit, intense structure, minerality, and perfume.

The fruit was hand harvested and subjected to rigorous selection by a three-tiered sorting process, including high tech cutting edge optical sorting that works to eliminate less-than-perfect berries so that only finest fruit makes it into the wine. 

Crop levels were slightly below average due to a dry late spring and a cool weather spell during flowering which, when combined with the drought impacted dry soils led to small berries, creating very concentrated fruit. Ideal summer weather allowed the grapes to be harvested at optimal ripeness so that the resulting wines had intense and vibrant fruits.

The wine underwent twenty-one months of élevage in French oak, 78% of which were new.

Winemaker Notes - “The amazing 2016 Diamond Mountain’s bouquet is resplendent with cool wild blackberry jam scented with subtle notes of bay leaf, cardamom, clove and talc. There’s an interplay of rocks and loam in the nose as well.”

“Spiced fig, chocolate ganache, and blueberry flavors unfold on the palate underscored by blackberry and graphite notes. Like all of our 2016 wines, this wine has an expansive, mouth coating texture that is lush and joyfully persistent. The crescendo of the finish is a wash of savory cumin power, cedar, and violet flavors and aromas completing this wine of contemplation.” – Christopher Tynan, Winemaker

The Composition is a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc that adds spiciness and structure, and 1% Merlot for roundness and highlights of softness.

Production was 750 Cases.

This release was awarded 93 points by James Suckling.

Dark inky purple colored, full bodied, this exhibited dense, concentrated, rich extracted chewy tongue coating dark berry fruits with notes of spice, tobacco and hints of tar with a full round but soft and polished long tannin laced finish. Delicious! 

RM 94 points. 




Domaine les Pallières “Terrasse du Diable” Gigondas 2018

I brought this Southern Rhône Valley blend that was an appropriate pairing for grilled burgers. 

I brought this in remembrance of our having discovered and were first introduced to this label while visiting the producer, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. Châteauneuf-du-Pape winery estate with Alec and Vivianna during our Rhone Wine Experience back in 2018, so I took this for memorable casual sipping, ideally paired with burgers and hot dogs. 

Vivianna, Alec & Philippe with Daniel Brunier
Tasting this wine at the Chateau

This is from a joint venture between notable legends of Southern Rhône Valley wines, Daniel and Frederic Brunier of the iconic Vieux Télégraphe, and American distributor importer Kermit Lynch. They acquired the estate back in 1998 when long time owners, the Roux family, having no successor heirs, decided to sell the property.

Domaine Les Pallières was one of the greatest, longest-running properties of the Southern Rhône, having been within the same family since the 15th century. 

The Roux family decided to sell the jewel Les Pallières to the Bruniers and Kermit Lynch, with their focus and knowledge of Rhône terroir, they recognized their ability to realize its full potential. Domaine Les Pallières became a partnership among friends, and a creative collaboration of three leading, passionate experts on the wines of the Rhône. 

Frédéric and Daniel took over the destiny of the Brunier family business, also founded several generations earlier, by their ancestor Henri Brunier who founded the Domaine in 1891, in a partnership in the late 1980s. Their family involvement continued in 2015 and 2016 with Nicolas son of Frédéric and Edouard, son of Daniel, joining the ‘Old Telegraph’ business in key positions and, Manon, daughter of Frédéric, joining them in 2018.

This release was crafted by brothers Daniel & Frédéric Brunier, co-proprietors of Domaine Vieux Telegraph who collaborated as winemakers.

The Les Pallières 25 acre estate is terraced vineyards on the eastern side of the historic town of Gigondas in the Gigondas Appellation above and to the east and north of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, beneath the Dentelles de Montmirail landmark.

I visited Gigondas and the village of Segurat (shown below) up the hill overlooking the region during my visit to the area back in 1998. 

From the estate, Domaine Les Pallières produces two Gigondas cuvées each year, Les Racines from the plateau around the winery which includes the property's oldest vines, and this Terrasse du Diable from the higher-altitude, cooler parcels. Of the two, the Diable is usually the more powerful yet it manages to maintain a level of elegance. 

Map courtesy of Domaine Vieux Telegraph

This 2018 Gigondas Terrasse Du Diable release is a blend of Chateauneuf du Pape varietals - 90% Grenache from 50 year old vines, 5% Mourvèdre, and 5% Clairette. It comes from yields that ended up being approximately half of the average for the estate (only 11 hectoliters per hectare).

The wine was aged in cuves for 10 months, then in foudres for 12 months.

This was awarded 95 points by Wine Advocate, 92-93 points by James Suckling, and 92 points by Jeb Dunnuck.

Bright Ruby colored, medium to full bodied, bright ripe cherry, plum and red raspberry fruits with notes of mineral, tangy clove spice, bitter dark chocolate and licorice with a long chalky tannin punctuated finish

RM 91 points. 




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