TN: December Themed Tastings (Shiraz|Spanish|Chile|Mike Smith)

DECEMBER THEMED TASTINGS - At Home (12/22/2016-12/29/2016)

We decided to take a small break from samples during the holidays and do some themed tastings with CAB BLENDS. Here are the themes we went with:

  1. Syrah/Shiraz Tasting from Around the World.
  2. Spanish wines rated above 92 points (WA, WS, WE etc)
  3. South American wines…Actually just Chile
  4. Mike Smith Comparison Tasting
    Syrah/Shiraz Tasting from Around the World.
    Started off by finishing the Thelema Cabernet from the prior night (love their Shiraz btw), and then went on to a majority Aussie Shiraz tasting with one Syrah from Sonoma. Disappointed by some and stunned by others.
  • 2006 Thelema Cabernet Sauvignon - South Africa, Coastal Region, Stellenbosch (12/22/2016)
    Medium garnet red. Solid bell peppers on the nose, might be a little charred or even jalapeño with chalk. A little dirty too. Surprised with the power of this wine. Moderate tannins (6/10) and medium bodied. Solid minerality with a bit of forest floor. Truffles and iron too with balanced acidity. Medium plus finish and very well rounded. No reason to wait much longer on this. Drink now. (91 pts.)

  • 2004 Pax Syrah Cuvée Christine - USA, California, Sonoma County (12/22/2016)
    Deep garnet red. Very rustic nose with lots of minerality and stones interwined with black olives and black tea. Moderate tannins (6/10) and medium bodied. The olive component continued on the palate with a light meaty note and some light cherries. Finish is similar to when we tried it earlier this year, moderate and starts to thin out. Drink now. (90 pts.)

  • 2002 Rooks Lane Shiraz - Australia, New South Wales / Victoria, Murray Darling (12/22/2016)
    Medium garnet red. Medium intensity nose with raspberries, cherry liquor, and dried spices. Slight minerality on the plate with moderate tannins (5.5/10) and medium plus bodied. Lots of raspberries and a little woody. Not as complex as we would have liked but nice aged Aussie Shiraz. Very rounded, balanced acidity and long finish. Drink till 2018. (90 pts.)

  • 2014 Murdoch Hill Syrah Landau - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Hills (12/22/2016)
    Light ruby red. Nose is where it gets confusing almost like a Pinot Noir. Notes like light red cherries, raspberries, strawberries, oddly oranges and freshly broken twigs. Nose did get a little stinker with time. Lots of acidity (7/10) that hides the tannins. Dusty, stoney and cherries on the palate. Medium bodied with a dry long finish. Drink till 2019. (88 pts.)

  • 2014 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love - Australia, South Australia, Fleurieu, McLaren Vale (12/22/2016)
    Thank you so much Santa Martin! Love it and cannot wait to try out the Velvet. Deep purplish red, really a tooth stainer. Classic Aussie Shiraz nose with caramel, vanilla, and other baking spices. Undertones of dark fruits and some savory herbs too. Moderate plus tannins (7.5/10) and full bodied for sure. Super rush and dark on the palate. Started off a little tight with a bit of dark fruits, light eucalyptus and anise. After a few hours this baby began to sing with an onslaught of dark berries and bramble berries. Love it! Pretty well rounded especially for having an alcohol content of 16.5%. Definitely built for a decade plus. Will be trying more MollyDooker in the future! Drink till 2032. (95 pts.)

Spanish wines rated above 92 points (WA, WS, WE etc)
My sister, Katherine, decided to participate today and brought the 09. Definitely the best value of the night. Hopefully the 05 was just an off bottle but we have one more to see if that is true.

  • 2011 Bodega Numanthia Toro Numanthia - Spain, Castilla y León, Toro (12/23/2016)
    A real teeth stainer, deep garnet red. Nice nose with lots of layers; earthy, dusty, hint of tomatoes, dark cocoa, dark cassis and dried dark cherries. Moderate tannins (7/10) and well integrated. Rounded and full bodied with black currants, spices herbs, strawberries and a hint of unsweetened cocoa. Very dry and long finish. Fine sediment in the glass and decanted for three hours. Drink till 2020. (92 pts.)

  • 2005 Celler Escoda-Sanahuja Conca de Barberà Les Paradetes - Spain, Catalunya, Tarragona, Conca de Barberà (12/23/2016)
    Third vintage we have tried and so far not a fan of the 2005. To start cork was very odd with mold on the top but none on the inside. Medium garnet red with moderate sediment. Interesting and tart nose with lots of strawberries, red cherries, slightly dirty, petrol and some sharp acidic fruit like pineapple. Moderate acidity (7/10) and low tannins (4/10). Very light bodied with bright and light red fruits like cranberries and even some soft prunes. Very dry medium plus finish. Hopefully this is just an off bottle. Seems a bit tired and old. Drink till 2018. (86 pts.)

  • 2001 Bodegas Valsacro Rioja Dioro - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja (12/23/2016)
    Deep and dark garnet red with bricking on the edges. Real depth on the nose; lots of smoky notes, cigar box, tobacco leaves, broken branches, earthy dustiness, truffles, forest floor, damp leaves, and light red currants. A bit of stinkiness but not off-putting. Moderate silky tannins (6.5/10) and very well integrated with tons of red fruits as well as unsweetened dark cocoa, twigs, tree bark and a rustic earthiness. Full bodied and well rounded, no sharp edges. More red cherries at the end of the palate with a little vegetal note in the long and lingering finish. Mouth is definitely salivating at the finish too, great acidity. Drink till 2021. (94 pts.)

  • 2009 Bodegas Luis Cañas Rioja Reserva Selección de la Familia - Spain, La Rioja, Rioja (12/23/2016)
    Deep garnet red. Dark red fruits with baking spices and creamy dark cocoa on the nose. Moderate tannins (7/10) and full bodied. Slightly dusty on the palate with notes of dark cocoa and a little savory in the medium plus finish. Pretty well integrated and a beautiful wine for under $20. Drink till 2022. (91 pts.)

South American wines…Actually just Chile
Honestly, the aftertaste in all these wines makes us not so sure if this is a region we enjoy, but we will definitely check out some more to see if that is true.

  • 2004 Concha y Toro Cabernet Sauvignon Marqués de Casa Concha - Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto (12/27/2016)
    Deep garnet red. Stinky attack on the nose that starts to dissapate and bring out some more vegetal and green characteristics like herbs and bell peppers. Low tannins (4.5/10) with lots of bell peppers and spices prior to a long finish of guava. Medium body that gained some more darker berries with more air. Drink now. (87 pts.)

  • 2005 Casa Lapostolle Merlot Cuvée Alexandre Apalta Vineyard - Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (12/27/2016)
    Deep garnet red with a super dark core. Nose was pretty mute, with only soft notes of dark prunes, dark cocoa and dust. Moderate tannins (6/10) and medium bodied. A little bit of dark fruit on the attack that thinned out quickly and turned a bit prueed. A nice amount of burnt leather and bitter dark cocoa. Another unusual finish that we cannot quite put our finger on. Medium plus finish. Drink now. (87 pts.)

  • 2006 Viña Almaviva S.A. Almaviva - Chile, Maipo Valley, Puente Alto (12/27/2016)
    Deep garnet red with a ruby core. Seems tight and needs air. Lots of greenery, red berries, mulch, cassis and gravel on the nose. Nice amount of complexity on the palate with woody and green elements as well as baking spices and layered mixed dark berries. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and full bodied. Very dry and long finish with a hint of guava. Drink till 2020. (90 pts.)

  • 2009 Los Maquis Maquis Viola - Chile, Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley (12/27/2016)
    Deep ruby red. Very perfumey on the nose with both red and blue berries. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and medium plus bodied. Starts off with some woody elements before opening up with some dark berries and a little bit of heat. A slight vegetal bite in the strong attack but thinning finish. Nice and dry but odd metallic note in finish too. Drink till 2021. (89 pts.)

Mike Smith Comparison Tasting
A couple entry-level 14s and another visit with Georges III. Stunning wines!

Deep purplish red with an almost blue core. Jam packed with fruits on the nose, we love it. Jammy, fatty (not flabby), heavy blue and black fruits such as blueberries, blackberries. Definite oak influence with vanilla and cinnamon which carries into the palate. Moderate tannins (6/10) and balanced acidity. Full bodied layered in blue and black fruits as well as cocoa leaves, cinnamon and a silky texture from start to finish. Very long finish that doesn’t seem to want to let go. Delicious right now but time will only build up the structure and additional complexity. Drink till 2026. (92+)

When it came down to guessing there were two things that gave this wine away. It had a tons of fruit, like jam packed, which did not fit in line with what we remembered of the Georges III. So we thought 2014, it shared this similarity with wine #3. Additionally, it did not have the same structure as wines #2 and #3. Making us think that this was the odd wine out and not one of the two Myriad wines. So we guessed 2014 Quivet Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. (92 pts.)

Deep purplish ruby red. Definitely more complex on the nose, more than just fruits and baking spices. Started off with a kind of sweet bread and had some more savory undertones such as wood, herbs, and tobacco. A strong mid-nose with black currants, raspberries, baking spices and purple floral notes like lilac and lavender. Moderate tannins (6.5/10) and full bodied. Well balanced and great structure from the acidity. Layered palate with a bit of minerality in the attack before moving onto red berries, both bright and dark. A slight pinch in the long and lingering finish. Drink from 2017 till 2032.

When it came down to guessing straight away you could tell this was different than the first wine. More structure and complexity. Felt like it had a bit more age as well as less black and blue fruits. With the Georges III wines we have tried it has been pretty consistent that there is more red fruits and a bit of minerality like this one. So we decided on the 2013 Myriad Georges III. (94 pts.)

Deep and dark purplish red. Layered nose with black fruits like boysenberries with lots of baking spices, especially brown sugar and even hydrangeas. Just a touch of heat on the palate but tannins were silky and moderate (6/10). Full bodied with great structure for being so young. Sweeter fruits on the palate with tons of black and blue berries. Good amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. Long and lingering finish. This will definitely benefit from a few years in the bottle. Drink from 2018 till 2030.

Guessing time. This wine had characteristics that were similar to both one and two. 1. The amount of blue and black fruits on the the nose and palate reminded us on wine one, making us think 2014. 2. There was more complexity on the nose and more structure on the palate which made us think that it was made in a similar style to that of wine two, making us think Myriad. So we guessed…2014 Myriad Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. (94 pts.)

These tastings thought us some new things and reassured us on others. Excellent wines to all participants!
Posted from CellarTracker