December 30, 2013

Marynissen Estates 2002 Cabernet Franc

Found December 2013

This is a dichotomy of a wine, and right from the get go I was not sure whether I liked it or not.  The aromas were not pleasant, nor did they really come around, a cross between Buckley's cough syrup, rotting leaves and dried tobacco, by the two hour mark some black licorice materialized and that added a little pleasantness to the smells (a very little pleasantness) - otherwise it was not a wine I liked dipping my nose into.  And what's worse, if you just let it sit in the glass it filled the room with those oddball smells (aerating it created the better aromas of what I mentioned earlier).  But that is only have the story.  The palate more than made up for the nose, and what's even more exciting are the changes that occurred, over the two hours in was in my glass, were in direct opposition of the aromas.  The tastes started out with lots of tobacco; what made it easy to drink was the smooth nature of the wine, but it still had good acidity backing it up and all with a pleasant mouthfeel.  Over the course of the first hour it developed some dried-raspberry, along with hints of cinnamon, a delicate white-smokiness and some anise notes.  By hour two there were a definite pleasant smokiness, dried red berries, tobacco, clove, and burnt cedar.  Considering the age and the aromas eminating from the glass this is some pretty awesome stuff - I found some real pleasure in drinking it ... The wine is definitely past its peak but still mighty drinkable, if you can just get passed the smell.  Lost & Found Rating:  Treasure

December 27, 2013

Lailey 2008 Old Vines Chardonnay

(Re-Tasted December 2013) ... Tonight I felt like a Chardonnay, it does not happen often, but for some reason a Chardonnay was calling my name; oh yes, now I remember why, salmon was on the menu.  But I did not feel like just any old Chardonnay, I wanted to try something older and from one of my go-to producers, that is a short-list indeed (as I suspect it is with most people).  Hence I hold in my hand a bottle of Lailey 2008 Old Vines Chardonnay.  In my original review I gave it 4 stars, and if I were to try it and rate it again today I think I would raise that score just a bit.  Everything just seems to have melded so well together and there are flavours and smells that just weren't even thought of back in 2010, in fact the fruit was a little shy back then, today, let's just say, it's not as shy.  The nose kicks things off with vanilla and butterscotch and then as more air gets into this wine the fruit begins to emerge in the form of apricot and grilled pineapple.  Taste is just as exciting, maybe more, but what really floored me was the great acidity that hit the tongue first, then the flavours start to develop, butter and spice are out of the gate first followed by vanilla, coconut and caramel ... as with the aromas fruit is the last thing that starts to show, this time in the form of mac apple, grilled peach and grilled pear. Very tasty and very appealing ... I have a couple more bottles kicking about and look forward to trying another ... soon; if you have any, now's a good time to give it another go.


December 19, 2013

Konzelmann Estate Winery 2006 Shiraz

(Re-Tasted December 2013) ... In 2006 Konzelmann made a lovely, juicy, peppery, black cherry and spicy Shiraz for a mere $12.95 ... it's the kind of wine that you would drink by the gallon and never look back at.  Well, that is not my way of doing things, I drank a few but held back a couple of bottles to see what would happen to a $12.95 Shiraz from a vintage like 2006.  I have to say that if the nose was any indication of what I was going to find on the palate then I should have stopped immediately, it was pretty stinky right from the get go; but thankfully I'm a professional and have encountered off aromas but with good palate results, and this wine possessed that quality:  the palate kept me coming back sip after sip, I just didn't breathe in when my nose was in the glass.  This wine is a perfect example of the smell taking you part of the way there, but the palate taking you home.  Nose was overly-earthy with elements of pepper corn, while the palate was pleasantly raspberry, white  pepper with some smoky notes.  As the wine sat in the glass the nose rarely got any better than what it started out as, but the palate finishes with a dried raspberry smokiness that is quite appealing ... pretty good for a 2006 - drink up now.

December 17, 2013

Calamus Estate 2007 Meritage

(Re-Tasted December 2013) ...  It's time for another Taste it Again wine and this time I've got a bottle of Calamus 2007 Meritage to put through the rigors of re-tasting.  6 years from Vintage date and long ago sold out, this wine was incredibly popular and one of the best wines made at this young winery up to that time.  I came across this wine resting in my sideboard as one I had set aside to drink soon and see how it was showing, I have another bottle lying down in the cellar for a few more years to see the ageablility of the 2007 vintage.  So this is a wine we will revisit in years to come.  It's important to note this wine is sealed with a screwcap, does that play a part in what is to come?  We'll see.  The wine seemed to 'open' in a variety stages:  at first the nose was black licorice and cocoa with some earthy, black raspberry, mocha and black cherry - very appealing and enticing, definitely a good sign, now if only the flavours will be that complex.  The palate started out with coffee, cocoa, and hints of smoke ... but as the nose continued with those great aromas the palate seemed to grow thinner.  Sure there's a smooth spicy note to the finish but the middle seems kinda hollow, it's a donut of a wine at this point: nice beginning pleasant finish but nothing in the middle to hold it up.  After an hour the wine lost it's earthiness but still remains a little hollow down the middle and a woodiness is starting to come through.  Half-an-hour after that things are finally coming into balance, that wood finish is still dominating but the front palate says mocha and cassis ... As I mentioned, I still have another bottle and it should be interesting to open this wine up again in a few years.  At the moment you need to decant or give it time in glass.