GR 174 Priorat 2007 a winner with some strong stew or another year in cellar

This is a beautiful example of the great care going into Priorat wines and why they command a higher price. Had it immediately following a very nice Montsant(almost completely surrounds Priorat). The Montsant’s extra couple of years ageing may have seduced me into believing that this animal was ready. I think this will be scoring higher in a year or two.

Deep ruby color bordering on inky with a good viscosity but not extracted looking finish. Nose was a bit masked by the alcohol- ripe red fruits from the Garnatxa like raspberry and cherry with some darker fruit notes starting to appear after decanting. New oak ageing gave it a nice New World style finish with coconut and chocolate notes to tame the high alcohol levels. In the mouth, red fruits perfectly ripened with chocolate finish but faded from the palate very quickly. Hints of garrigue, tar and cedar come out in the finish.

Definitely needs some more cellaring.


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2002 ALPHA DOMUS ‘The Aviator’ surprisingly restrained for New World Cab

Nice red and black fruit aromas on the initial nose followed by green capsicum and vanilla.  Nose is younger than the appearance at this stage- medium ruby with garnet to brick tinge on edges.  Soft well integrated tannins support the ripe gentle fruit flavors- one could say surprisingly restrained fruit characteristics for a New World Cab Blend.  After being open for several hours, the green vegetable, cherry and vanilla still was there but licorice started to emerge. 92/100

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Elegant Finesse with a Long Finish, a red worth aging

Compared to other NZ Bordeaux blends, this is a very structured wine, just starting to be available but will age gracefully for another 5+ years. 2007 was a great year as well. Drinks like a wine 2x the price

Decanting will help just prior to service. As with many New World wines starring Cabernet Sauvignon, there are present ripe fruits matched with solid tannins.

Deep ruby appearance with velvety viscosity and lightly stained tears speak of moderately high alcohol from a good vintage. Aromas of cassis, prunes, figs and cooked fruits are followed by coconut and vanilla from aging in new French oak. The palate is round and inviting supported by firm but well integrated tannins which will continue to soften with age. Will be stunning with a nice piece of roast lamb or a seared NY strip!



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Approachable, silky smooth finish Veglio Nebbiolo d’Alba

The range and variety of wines produced by Nebbiolo always reminds me of Burgundy- another difficult growing area where weather and terroir combined with a finicky grape produce wines that can range from light and fruity to monsters requiring decades to work off their tannins.

Nebbiolo d’Alba tends to be lighter and less tannic variety.  Great for early consumption at a good value.  Bright cherry red color with a clear and bright finish- no over extraction here.

First impression is of raspberries not yet ripe with Rainer Cherries, Oceana roses and tar/tobacco notes.  In the glass, nice red fruit, cherry and raspberry with earthiness and a clean balance between fruit and acidity. Silky smooth finish that lingers and makes you want to drink more.

Excellent with food or without.  Fresh ingredients, Cantonese food, Roast Chicken with Truffles

Dry, approachable, clean finish; overall a good example of Nebbiolo d’Alba produced in a modern style.

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Summer in a glass of liquid gold 2009 Veglio Moscato d’Asti

When I open a sparkling wine there is always a sense of anticipation especially with Moscato since the cork isn’t bound. First whiff was gardenias and white flowers while pouring. Medium gold emerges from the white mousse as it is poured into the glass. A bouquet of white flowers, peaches, apricots and golden delicious apple underpinned by minerality and musty notes on the nose and palate. Citris flavors and fine acidity balances the sweetness. Serve cold with fresh berries, strawberries and hazelnuts, or strawberry tart with almonds.
Moscato d’Asti is one of the most delicate dessert wines- body without being heavy- great balance- served fresh and cold while young, it is divine. A good Moscato d’Asti transports you to its place of origin. The white chalk soils fo the steep Langhe hills in Asti lend great character to the Moscato Bianco.


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Bard’s Drop Merry Wives Chardonnay 2007

This is not your typical Aussie fruit bomb. Despite the rather jovial label art, this Chardonnay presents as a serious wine with structure and acidity balanced with use of fine oak.

A pale yellow color is accentuates the  bright and shiny appearance.

On the nose this Chardonnay presents white peach, apple, apricot, lemon, grapefruit, with vanilla and coconut notes from New French Oak.  There are secondary melon and tropical fruit accents.

The palate presents a serious, complex Chardonnay. In a blind tasting, one might be hard pressed to whether this came from Australia or California.  The cool climate aspects of the Central Ranges come through and add a refreshing crisp acidity to balance out the fruit flavors.  Citrus, stone fruit and some tropical fruit notes are accented by the vanilla from New French Oak used in fermentation and maturation.

Overall, a great wine for the money- serious structure, restrained fruit, shows finesse in the winemaker’s skills.  Serve well chilled with seafood, chicken, light pork and veal dishes especially with cream sauces.  Great with a Grilled Salmon Caesar Salad, paella, seafood curry, pasta carbonara or linguine with white clam sauce. 89 points- might be a 90+ with the right food!

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Inky, dark and delicious from Southern Spain: Hecula Monastrell(Mourvedre)

Hecula, Bodegas Castaño Monastrell, DO Yecla, Murcia, Spain.  This 2006 Monastrell from Bodegas Castano is a great example of the wines from South East Spain. This is a very dark, inky red to black with ruby hues. Highly extracted and viscous, you can tell this is from a hot/dry climate. Red and black fruit, plum, licorice, cigar box and leather on the nose. Black fruits; plums, black berry, huckleberry, licorice, chocolate on the mouth. With the medium-high acidity, this Monastrell will pair nicely with foods: roasted meats, game, stews etc. You may recognize the adopted French name for this Spanish grape: Mourvedre from Rhone Valley fame or GSM in Australia.

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