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geo t.

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  1. geo t.


    I don't know that I'd call it a blooper, Carrie. I know a few guys who do carry around wine two cases at a time; young wine distributor reps with muscles and hormones to burn. Despite some excess baggage around his midsection, Jack had a pretty broad and solid frame, and we KNOW that his hormones were burning...
  2. geo t.


    Good points all; I think you hit it on the proverbial head, Busboy. Miles finally comes around in the end.
  3. Recently, we tasted through five Panther Creek Pinot Noirs over a period of four days, and generally quite enjoyed what we tasted; it would be an understatement to say that these are not delicate wallflowers. The '99 Nysa was rather different than the four '98s, as impressions of both vintages' models here are intended to demonstrate. 1998 Panther Creek Willamette Pinot Noir Nysa Vineyard, $43.99, 13% alc.: A smoky tinged ruby dark garnet colored pinot, this throws effusive, earthy, smoky plum and black cherry aromatics that show just a hint of the barnyard and perhaps a little heat. There's plenty more of the same on the palate, along with some subtle sweet spice, cola, oak, tar and underbrush; like the other '98s, it really opens with some air, but has the structure for a minimum of two to three years of development and improvement. Nice stuff here. 1999 Panther Creek Willamette Pinot Noir Nysa Vineyard, $43.99, 13% alc.: Despite the same basic ruby dark garnet hue, this '99 Nysa is a horse of a different color, with a slightly less expressive nose than the '98, showing much more earth and underbrush than fruit; Kim described it as "mushrooms and potting soil," and I agreed, adding an impression of mushroom soy sauce. Some smoky black cherry peeks out from behind the loam in both flavor and aroma, becoming deeper, darker and more accentuated as it opens. This has excellent structure that bodes well for at least five years of development, but like the other four, it's drinking well already, and indeed, proved to be Kim's favorite of the lot. (Michael Stevenson posted some interesting and informative notes and observations on '98 - '02 Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noirs from Panther Creek, Bethel Heights and Ken Wright Cellars on the Panther Creek message boards. They provide some added background on this fine vineyard, named for the home of the Greek god of wine, Dionysus.) Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  4. geo t.


    On the bright side, I know a lot of wine geeks without VinoTemps, so don't hold that against anyone . ← Oh, no worries. I consider myself well on the way to wanting to be the ultimate über wine geek and it'll be years before I buy a VinoTemp (preferring to spend my cold, hard-earned cash on the wine itself!) ← Yup; as we like to say at Gang Central, it's money better spent on wine!
  5. geo t.


    On the bright side, I know a lot of wine geeks without VinoTemps, so don't hold that against anyone . ← Hey there, Anything_but_liver, I've seen your cellar, and you sure don't have no stinkin' VinoTemp!
  6. geo t.


    We saw this on the night it opened here in Day-twah, and we liked it. We didn't quite think it was Academy Award material, but it had its moments, and it was obvious that there were a lot of wine-folk in the audience from the hoots and hollers in the obvious spots. One thing that struck both Kim and me was that more people didn't comment on the fact that Miles only showed up at his mother's place to lift money out of her stash early on in the movie. In fact, when you come right down to it, both Miles and Jack pretty much lied their way through the whole show. Miles had some redeeming qualities, for all his quirks, but the two men in the movie were hardly role models, but then, who am I to argue or to judge? I couldn't quite buy Miles dumping the dump bucket in the general direction of his mouth, no matter how funny most people found that scene. Great for shock value, but really... Bottom line; we'll watch it again when it's on HBO. Cheerios, geo (and Stripe, who keeps trying to type along with me...)
  7. geo t.

    wine for the bird

    The question presumes that turkey with all the trimmings will be served. Last year, Kim and I broke from tradition once again and indulged in a grill roasted leg of lamb with duxelle stuffing served on caramelized onions and garlic confit with root vegetable gratin, pan roasted asparagus and wine reduction black truffle sauce with wild Michigan morels. For wine, we opted for a marvelous 1995 Sean Thackrey Orion Old Vines Rossi Vineyard and an equally delicious 1995 Chateau Pape Clement Pessac - Leognan. Still don't have a clue what we're going to do this year, but it sure is fun finding alternatives to the same old stuffed bird. Turkey's not the only game in town, but we're not considering castrated Lions...
  8. They do seem to be somewaht off the radar, although the Pritchard Hill Cab is getting some big numbers lately; they were almost, but not quite off of mine when I attended the tasting linked in my note above. Glad I "picked them up." Cheerios, geo
  9. Week before last, I had the opportunity to taste through a lineup of current releases from the Chappellet Winery on Pritchard Hill in Napa Valley, and the wines were excellent across the board. The setting was especially impressive, that being the Coach Insignia restaurant, on the 72nd floor of the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit, providing not only gastronomy worthy of the fine wines being presented, but also a breathtaking panoramic view of the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and broad swaths of southeastern Michigan and southern Ontario. One of my favorites of the day was the least expensive selection, a wine that has served yeoman’s duty most well over the years, while taking a back seat to the big reds . 2002 Chappellet Napa Dry Chenin Blanc, $13.99, 13.5% alc.: There's not much Chenin Blanc left in Napa these days, which makes this all the more special; the fruit for this medium straw is sourced from estate - grown fruit (a 7-acre parcel on Chappellet's Pritchard Hill property has been dedicated to Chenin Blanc, representing a tangible commitment to this delicious, but underappreciated varietal) supplemented with grapes from an eight - acre vineyard in St. Helena. 25% of the wine sees one and two - year - old French oak, while the remainder is fermented in stainless steel. Featuring a fragrant, slightly floral bouquet of apple, white peach and a hint of banana that follows through on the palate with a silky texture, good acidity and a lingering finish, this serves perfectly as an aperitif, matching well with the delicious hors d' oeuvres. Cyril Chappellet says that the Fog City Diner has paired this wine for years with their crab cakes, and it would also serve well with moderately spicy Asian cuisine. Chappellet first made their Dry Chenin Blanc back in 1968, and it continues to perform very well, being one of those "deserving of greater recognition" kind of wines. Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  10. Thank YOU, RR, glad you liked it! }8^)>
  11. geo t.

    Wine Blog

    Really enjoying reading through this, even if belatedly. Also groovin' on all the great pictures... };^)> Great job, Carolyn! Cheers, geo
  12. Last week, I chanced upon an opportunity to interview Tony Soter, the man behind Etude and Soter Vineyards. We talked about the Beringer Blass acquisition of Etude, "heirloom" Pinot Noir and his project in Oregon's Willamette Valley. It was a special treat to spend some time with this gentleman - winemaker; you can read the interview in its entirety on the Gang of Pour website. Cheers from Day-twah, geo t.
  13. Glad you like the report, Carrie; as I told Nicole, it's easy to be enthusiastic about wines that are as good as those of Ladera! I had scanned your blog briefly a while back, but didn't put 2 and 2 together. Doh! My wife (and fellow Gangster) Kim and I will definitely spend some time reading through it. We're hoping to come and visit in person in the not too distant future. Sorry to say that Allan has moved on to other projects, and is no longer our Left Coast Correspondent. Too bad he didn't take you up on your invitation; I think he would have enjoyed your wines. Our very best regards to you, Pat, Anne, Nicole, Karen et al at Ladera! Ciao 4 now, geo
  14. I THOUGHT I recognized Carrie's picture in her Avatar! I didn't take the time to investigate further, as I was cross-posting the TNs on a few other forums and had to move on. Thanks for the feedback, Brad, and HI CARRIE!!! Love those Ladera Wines!!! };^)>
  15. I had the chance to taste through 5 wines from Ladera Vineyards in the last few weeks, and came away most impressed. Owners Pat and Anne Stotesbery bought Lone Canyon Vineyard in 1997 and Chateau Woltner on Howell Mountain in 2000, and with winemaker Karen Culler, are making some very fine wines indeed. The full report is filed here; my two favorite wines were as follows: 2001 Ladera Napa Merlot Howell Mountain, 100% Merlot, $46.99, 14% alc.: Another inky, almost opaque garnet here, with a lovely perfume that features a little sea air - aquarium over rich black currant, blackberry and some blueberry, along with a perfect kiss of oak that gives it a stylish appeal. Flavors echo and expand, with deep, dark bass notes and some cinnamon and nutmeg in good proportion to the fruit. Significant tannins and balanced acids give this a solid anchor and excellent prospects for at least five years of improvement for those who can still get their hands on it (it's sold out at the winery, and limited amounts available at retail here in Michigan have mostly, if not entirely disappeared). Tannins try to clamp down on the finish, but can't restrain the exuberant fruit, and a nice note of chocolate emerges with air. I've never been big on California Merlot, but this is one that I could definitely get to know better. Yum! 2001 Ladera Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Lone Canyon, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, $56.99, 14.5% alc.: Even when decanted, this opaque purple garnet is slow to open, but with air, it becomes more and more beguiling, with a lovely perfume reminiscent of black currant, cassis, blackberry and blueberry, again, with that perfect kiss of oak that seems to be Ladera's trademark. The medium full - bodied flavors mirror these impressions, showing primary fruit with earthy undertones and significant tannins that add a bite on the palate, but over the next three hours, the wine really smoothes out, becoming more and more attractive and harmonious. Despite its sweet, perfumed character, it finishes dry, making for a very fine, food friendly Napa claret, but it needs at least a few years to begin to show at its best. There's not a lot of this stuff around, but it's worth the effort to find some; very highly recommended! Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  16. One of our distributors dropped off some samples last night, and the best wine of the bunch was one that I might least have expected. I dashed off these impressions as I tasted through them. 2002 Rudd Russian River Valley Chardonnay Bacigalupi Vineyard, $60, 14.5% alc.: Medium straw color, with big toasty oak over rich Chardonnay – pear aromas; the rich flavors echo, with an added creaminess and what Kim describes as a note of “orange – sicle.” She also rightly points out that the wine doesn’t have enough acidity. The bold flavors border on being aggressive, with the oak (which tastes like a French variety) playing a prominent role in that regard, and while the wine will certainly have its fans, it’s not a style I care for. It’s just not very friendly right now; it needs time to show whether or not it can develop into what the price tag says it should be. 2001 Etude Carneros Pinot Noir Heirloom, $80, 14.5% alc.: Only 34 barrels of this almost inky colored Pinot Noir were produced; it shows deep, dark smoky plum and black cherry with a significant overlay of what seems to be French oak on the otherwise stingy aromatics that need to be coaxed from the glass with vigorous swirlatude. The big, ripe flavors pick things up with some serious concentration, formidable structure, a little earth, a bit of heat and a certain green streak. This is a big, big wine that needs substantial cellar time; it has the fruit, tannins and acidity to age for 5 – 10 years, but the heat concerns me. With extended air, it mellows a bit, but doesn’t lose the hot quality. Try it in ’09 to see how it’s coming along. 2001 Provenance Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford, $35, 14.5% alc.: A dark garnet in color that’s typical of a strapping young Cab, this one exudes sweet oak, chocolate, confectioners’ sugar and cherries on the nose; these characteristics follow through on the palate with the emphasis on the chocolate – cherry, and a good dose of tannins on the medium – full to full – bodied frame. It’s fairly long on the finish, turning earthy on the end, and while it’s not an unpleasant wine (we’ve had a number of Aussie, Cal and some even Languedoc reds that exude a chocolate character), neither is it what I want to drink with my New York strip. 2000 Martin Ray Mariage Cabernet Sauvignon, 55% Napa, 23% Mendocino, 22% Sonoma, $16, 13.8% alc.: This deep, dark garnet proved to be the best wine of the four, because of its balanced fruit and structure. It features cassis, black currant and black cherry flavors and aromas, with a nice kiss of oak and little hints of earth. Medium full – bodied, with a smooth mouthfeel and a decent finish, this is by no means a “great” Cabernet, but it is a solid, satisfying one, more food friendly and “correct” than the Provenance. A nice glass of wine to have with your porterhouse or standing rib roast; you could call this “real wine,” because it tastes like wine, not chocolate or Port. Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  17. 2001 Fisher Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Coach Insignia, $62.99, 14.3% alc.: A deep, dark garnet, almost opaque in color, this includes some Merlot, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc in its composition, and exudes a fragrant perfume of pure Cabernet fruit reminiscent of black currant, cassis and black berry, all with a judicious kiss of oak. The rich flavors follow through with surprisingly soft tannins (especially after having the ’92 Fisher Wedding Vineyard only a few nights before) on a medium – full to full – bodied frame; subtle undertones of earth, spice and tobacco add some interest and complexity, and as it continues to open, it sweetens up some. Undeniably delicious, this is a solid Napa Cab that does everything it’s supposed to, and will continue to do so over at least the next five to eight years. Still, it seems to lack the depth and nuance of the ’92 Wedding, as well as the intangibles that make a “great” Cabernet, and thus worthy of the price of admission. Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  18. I took the opportunity to attent a most enjoyable wine luncheon the week before last, where I renewed acquaintances with Tom Burgess and Catherine Eddy, of Burgess Cellars. Besides tasting through their regular lineup, I also got to try the pricier Enveiere and Catherine's Ilona. (Prices reflect discounts currently available in Michigan.) 1999 Burgess Enveiere, $45.99: This deep, dark garnet is the third vintage of Burgess' proprietary red blend, created in 1997 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fully matured Estate vineyards. All six Bordeaux varietals went into this, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabenet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Carmenere. The wine saw 100% new French oak, and approximately 800 cases were produced. It's all about rich, creamy sweet oak, red currant, cassis and black cherry in flavor and aroma, with soft tannins and a nice, earthy finish; with air, a hint of vanilla ice cream cone emerges on the nose. A very nice Napa - esque Bordeaux blend, this (and the following selection) paired quite well with 220's excellent beef panini. In the early '90s, Catherine Eddy bought ten acres of land on top of Howell Mountain, situated between the Bancroft, La Jota and Liparita vineyards, at a little over 1,700 feet above sea level. She told me that "ten years ago, buying land up there was doable for a normal person," which is no longer the case. She planted vines that are now eight years old, and produced the following lovely wine, made at Burgess Cellars, of course. Tom laughed when asked if he purchased grapes from Catherine, saying, "No, they're too expensive!" 2000 Ilona Howell Mountain Estate, $34.99, 13.1% alc.: Ilona is the westernized version of Elaine, Catherine's mother's name. Consisting mostly of Merlot, with lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this pretty dark garnet colored claret shows a more feminine personality than the Burgess reds, and is undeniably charming. There's a more delicate perfume here, though no less lovely, showing red currant, black cherry and the faintest hint of rhubarb. These impressions carry over into the ultra - smooth, medium - to - medium full - bodied flavors with nice intensity, soft tannins, balanced acidity and a somewhat earthy finish. Sleek, streamlined, elegant and delicious to drink now, and over the next five years; 800 cases made. Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  19. Re: Barnyard; one person's delight is another's disgust. What is often described as barnyard is usually something that smells like, well, a barnyard, with the pungent aromas that come from the animals that live there, especially cows and horses. It can be a poopy smell, or it can be a horsey saddle odor, and in small to medium amounts, can be an attractive part of the wine's package, at least for some people. It appears not only in red Burgundies, but also to some degree in Bordeaux and especially in red Rhones, which is where I've encountered them the most. The aroma is usually the result of a spoilage yeast known as brettanomyces, or brett, for short. As I said, when it's not too strong, it can be a possitive attribute; however, it can take over in a wine and become too much, and that's not a pretty thing to behold. In the case of the Oliver Conti, there was just a hint of this characteristic, and it did indeed pretty much blow off.
  20. We got together with Dan and Carol Myers on Friday night for more food, wine and friendship, and as is always the case, had a very good time indeed. The setting was casual, as we started off with some Sauvignon with bread, crackers, cheese and pâté. 2000 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly Fume En Chailloux, 12% alc.: Of this pale gold, Dan exclaimed, “Wow, this has a serious citric bang to it,” and he had a point; it shows lots of tart grapefruit and lemon, with a very subtle note of creamy oak, racy acidity and some mineral and detergent on the finish. As it warms and opens in the glass, notes of guava and pineapple emerge in the background. An excellent match for a triple cream brie, and as well as it’s received, this is still young and primary; I’d love to try it again in about five years, but alas, it was our last bottle. 1992 Fisher Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon Wedding Vineyard, 13% alc.: This dark garnet Cabernet is showing no hint of rust as of yet, and drew immediate descriptors such as asphalt, tar, poop, leather and cedar, and these were indeed complimentary components to the considerable cassis and black currant character of the wine, and there’s a little chocolate and a nice kiss of oak here as well. I found it to have a velvety texture, despite tannins that still need five years or so to tone down; Dan described as “more like silk,” explaining, “Velvet has a little more texture, silk just glides.” Whatever the case, you probably get the picture; this is a lovely wine, and as it opens, it becomes even smoother, with the tar and asphalt layering into the background as it undergoes a continuous, marvelous evolution, showing more and more fruit, but never becoming a “fruit bomb.” Great with a bite of Montgomery Farmhouse Cheddar, and even better with Dan’s roasted root veggies and pan seared filet mignon on a sliced baguette with caramelized onions and parsley lemon compound butter. 1993 Robert Mondavi Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 13.5% alc.: An inky purple garnet, this is a rougher wine than the Fisher, and despite the fact that it smoothes out nicely with extended air, it never does achieve the “silk” or “velvet” of the previous selection. Still, it shows plenty of black currant, cassis and plum, accented with notes of dark chocolate, saddle leather, cedar and a hint of mahogany; Dan added impressions of “bright cherries and a nice, sharp, tart spiciness.” Another good match for the filet, this is a very fine wine on its own terms, and one that needs even longer to resolve the considerable tannins than does the Fisher, so there’s no reason to be in any hurry to open one if you have any. Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  21. 1998 Oliver Conti Emporda – Costa Brava, $19.99, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 13.5% alc.: A bit of the barnyard mostly blows off the nose of this deep, dark garnet, leaving a soft leather, black olive and cocoa powder bouquet. The flavors pick the ball and run with it big time, with the leather, olive and cocoa accents setting the tone for the expressive black currant, cassis and blackberry character of this dry, appealing Spanish claret. Moderate tannins turn somewhat drying on the finish, but as this opens in the glass, it becomes increasingly rich and appealing. This is a deliciously interesting and enjoyable wine that can pair with a fairly wide range of food, and it should continue to improve over at least the next few years. Tasted six times in the last three months with consistent results; too bad we drank all ours up. Imported by Veritas Distributors, Inc., Detroit, MI Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  22. 2001 Masi Campofiorin Ripasso ® Nectar Angelorum Hominibus Rosso del Veronese I.G.T., 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara, $14.99, 13% alc.: This ruby dark garnet is Masi's expression of the ancient vinification method known as refermentation, for which they coined the name "Ripasso". Using a technique in which the basic wine undergoes a second fermentation on the residual pomace of the dried grapes used to make Amarone, the resulting "Ripasso" gains increased color, alcohol, complexity, structure and fruit. Essentially a "baby Amarone," this is aged mostly in 3,000 liter barrels, along with some 600 liter barrels, in order to avoid excessive wood in the flavor profile. Tasting this on the heels of the Masi Valpolicella certainly emphasizes the point, as the wine is bigger, being medium full bodied, with deeper, darker flavors and aromas of tarry black cherry, along with some raisiny notes. Moderately tannic, with good acidity, and rich and round in the mouth, this is the kind of wine that I can definitely cozy up to, and it shows good prospects for development with some time in the bottle. 1998 Masi Brolo de Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese I.G.T., 75 - 80% Corvina, 20 - 25% Rondinella, $27.99, 13.5% alc.: The term "Brolo" corresponds to the French term "clos," and refers to vineyards surrounded by stone walls, in this case, located at Valgatara di Marano, in the heart of Valpolicella Classico. A special selection of Campofiorin, this contains no molinara, resulting in less acidity and more complexity. After refermentation, the wine is aged in mostly Slavonian 600 liter oak barrels, which impart more delicate nuances than French oak, although some Allier oak is also employed. The dark garnet colored wine gives up a rich, almost floral cherry and black cherry bouquet, accented with notes of coffee, chocolate and earth; these follow through on the palate with medium full to full body, good structure and good prospects for aging, at least three to five years worth. Definitely a step up from the previous model, and even more to this taster's liking, this is very nice indeed. -from Ah, Appassimento ~ or ~ Mostly Masi, Tasting Notes from the Underground Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  23. No, that’s not a typo, it’s a play on words, in two acts. First, we have a new columnist at The Gang of Pour, Putnam Weekley, whose monthly feature is called, (what else?) Putnam’s Monthly. Never one to dwell on the surface of a topic or concept, Putnam delves deeply into his subject matter, with thought provoking results. Take, for instance, The Archaeology of a Tasting Note , a rumination on the role of yeast in all things fermented. There’s also his inaugural effort, Waiter, may I have a glass of Kermit Lynch?, expounding upon his philosophy on the purchase of libation, which relies heavily on the best importers of fine wine, and yes, even beer. Then there’s this taster. Increasingly over the last year, I’ve concentrated on Tasting Notes from the Underground, and in the last month, I’ve begun doing weekly updates. This has been facilitated by an accumulation of trade contacts and participation in tasting events, the most recent being a mini – seminar on the wines of Masi and Alighieri, described in a feature entitled Ah, Appassimento ~ or ~ Mostly Masi . Other recent reports include tasting through a lineup of ten wines from Qupé, called (what else?) Tasting Qupé , and a wonderful evening of food and wine entitled Wines of Gaja at La Dolce Vita . Look for a steady stream of new content in coming months, including a renewal of Alan Kerr aka Canadian Zinfan’s LCBO Vintages Tasting Notes and a report on his recent visit to some of British Columbia’s fine Okanagan Valley wineries. Finally, we’re sorry to say that Allan Bree aka califusa, who was so instrumental in the growth of the Gang of Pour as a website, has moved on to other projects, including a recurring feature in Swirl Wine News. We’ll greatly miss his contributions, but wish him the best in whatever endeavor he takes on. Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  24. We had the opportunity to taste through ten wines from the large Spanish producer, Bodegas Aragonesas in the Campo de Borja Denomination of Origin. Here are notes on the three that show the best quality - price - ratio. 2003 Coto de Hayas Campo de Borja Crianza, 60% Garnacha (from vineyards over 30 years old), 40% Tempranillo (from vineyards over 20 years old), nine months in American oak, $7.99, 13% alc.: Dark garnet in color, with sweet dark plum, blackberry and black cherry aromas accented with a dash of pepper and a whiff of smoke; flavors echo with an earthy base underneath it all, a good dose of tannins, good acidity and just a bit of a bite at first, but that pretty much smoothes out with 45 minutes in the glass. Tannins turn a bit burry on the otherwise nice finish, and this is a wine that should actually improve with a few years in the bottle. Despite the time it saw in American oak casks, it shows no distinguishable "oakiness." 2002 Don Ramon Oak Aged Red Wine, 75% Garnacha, 25% Tempranillo, three months in American oak, $5.99, 12.5% alc.: Ruby dark garnet in color, with an effusive creamy cherry cough drop and aquarium nose; flavors turn more toward deeper, darker black cherry and raspberry on a medium to medium full bodied frame, with moderate tannins and balanced acidity. A subtle earthiness underneath the bright fruit adds some depth and complexity, making for a harmonious glass of red wine, and very good QPR. 2000 Castillo de Fuendejalon Crianza, 75% Garnacha, 25% Tempranillo, six months in American oak, $6.99, 12.5% alc.: With the same varietal percentages as the Don Ramon, this ruby garnet is like nothing so much as a variation on the same theme (one which has carried through a number of the garnacha - based wines in this report), with its rich black cherry character and earthy undertones. It's less expressive on the nose than the previous selection, with a touch more toasty oak, and as it opens, it shows hints of underbrush. Soft tannins and zippy acidity make this food friendly, but there's no reason not to sip it by itself, and it's yet another solid QPR offering. Imported by Vintage Wine Distributor, Inc., Solon, OH & Columbus, OH Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
  25. I had the opportunity to taste through many of Qupé Wine Cellars' current lineup a few weeks ago, and was quite impressed with pretty much everything I tried. Click here to read the whole rundown; read on for my impressions of the wine of the day. 2001 Qupé Santa Maria Valley Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Hillside Estate, $42 - 46.99: Bob Lindquist calls this deep dark garnet (shading to purple at the rim) "probably the best Syrah I've ever made," and while my experience with his wines is fairly limited, it is indeed terrific stuff. Made with grapes from the original "Z" block at Bien Nacido, planted for Qupé in 1992, it shows rich extracted dark plum and blackberry flavors and aromas with subtle accents of underbrush and mocha. Despite significant tannins and good acidity, there's a creamy texture to this, and while those tannins clamp down some, they don't entirely restrain the length on the finish. One especially interesting aspect of this wine is that around day five of fermentation, some of the juice is drawn off (saignée) into two new Francois Fréres barrels and barrel fermented, then blended back into the final assemblage, adding "a toasty mocha note in the aromas along with silky, rich tannins," according to Lindquist. As per my notes, this is quite evident when tasting the wine. Aged for 20 months in Francois Fréres barrels (2/3 new), it was was bottled unfined and unfiltered. No reason to think that this is not at least a ten - year wine. Reporting from Day-twah, geo t.
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