Tuesday, November 01, 2011

November 2011 Reds: 14 Tasted of 14

Shore leave
This month I've separated Reds from the rest, Whites+. Hopefully to simplify finding a specific wine and editing. The Intro is repeated in both.

Several factors instigated my collection of wines for November:
  • My BH had a beautiful Pinot Noir from Oregon when dining with friends. This led to the Chelalem Pinot as well as the Chelalem Pinot Gris purchased for my natal day... and I've added a few more to compare.
  • Never having used Vintages OnLine service I reviewed the wines they had available. Unsurprisingly most of the offerings were in a much higher price bracket than my budget… one exception was the Sarah Powell Pinot Noir reduced by $10 to $29. Worth a try? I’ll see.
  • Beppi Crosariol in his article of October 20th gave high 80’s for a few economical wines thus the French Malbec, the BC Cab Merlot and Chilean Syrah were added. This list was expanded to include three Mission Hill’s, four Cono Sur’s and three Argentine’s from the General shelves. I’ve been neglecting the Generals lately due to a focus on Niagara wines. 
  • Four French bubblies, two from Alsace near the border with Germany, one from the west of mid centre, one from the south near the Mediterranean and, while we`re there, a couple of Provence XD rosés, my favourites.
...and thanks for the suggestions in Tweets received.

And a Happy Hallowe'en... Ww

THE LINEUP - reds:

  • Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraz 2009, 92-2  --  V,  Coonawarra, Australia,   #142018  $19.95 
  • Thelema Shiraz 2006,  92-2  --  V, Stellenbosch, South Africa, #146431 $19.95   
  • Cono Sur Reserva Syrah 2008,  91-3  --  G, Colchagua Valley, Chile,  #221820  $12.95
  • Hungerford Hill Fishcage Shiraz 2009, 91-2 --  V, New South Wales, Australia, #077958 $15.95 
  • Chehalem 3 Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008, 91-1  --  V,  Willamette Valley, Oregon, #949909   $28.95 
  • Hahn Winery Monterey Pinot Noir 2008, 89-2  --  G, Soledad, California, #226555 $18.95
  • Georges Vigouroux Pigmentum Malbec 2008,  88-2  --  G, Cahors, France, D 13.5%, #255182  $11.95* 
  • Mission Hill ‘Five Vineyards’ Cabernet Merlot 2009 VQA Okanagan Valley,  88-1  --  G, BC, Canada,  #145102  $16.45  
  • Prelius Meremma Toscana Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, 88-1  --  V, Tuscany, Italy,  #224022  $17.95 
  • Amity Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2007, 87 --  G,  Amity, Oregon, #124594  $20.95* 
  • Sarah Powell Windridge Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007,  87  --  VOL,  McMinnville, Oregon, #076422 *$29.00 (reduced from $39.00) 
  • Liberty School Zinfandel 2008,  86  --  V, Paso Robles, California,  #041095   $18.95 
  • Finca Flichman ‘Misterio’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2010,  82  --  G,  Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina, #163949  $8.00
  • Finca Flichman ‘Misterio’ Malbec 2010,  82 --  G, Mendoza, Argentina, #028803  $8.20             

(G - General Listing, V - Vintages, VOL - Vintages OnLine,  r-v - Rating-Value, * - See notes)


CHEHALEM 3 VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2008, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 13.1%  XD, #949909   $28.95  (Tasted November 26, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on September 17, 2011.  Harvey Steiman  called it  a smart buy with a 91 rating (December 31, 2010).   My notes:  A blend of grapes from three estate vineyards: Stoller (45%), Corral Creek (30%) and Ridecrest (25%).  A see through ruby with a garnet cast and a dusty, delicate blackberry nose after a short airing. Leaves a thin film with an unbroken rim. Swirl and wait ten minutes for the first sip to warm the throat and put down a silky layer for a blend of crushed cherries and blueberries. Mellowing comes with further sipping as the finish dries the palate and flavours change. Acid, tannin and fruit are well balanced and all are delicate. Pair with a tuna steak or grilled halibut, with pork tenderloin or veal - an elegant, not demonstrative, sipper.  91

SARAH POWELL WINDRIDGE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 2007, Rogue Valley, McMinnville, Oregon, 13.7% XD, #076422  *$29.00 (reduced from $39.00)  (Tasted November 28, 2011)  CS

A Vintages OnLine Exclusives  Ordered Oct 5 & received Oct 15.  The Powell family has elected to continue the Sarah Powell wine label after her premature death (at the age of 41) in 2004. The wines are now made by Laurent Montelieu.  My notes: A see-through ruby and subtle aromas difficult to define, a light plum/cherry.  A swirl leaves a lacy rim slowly shedding tears and forming jagged islands. The first sip is drying continuing into a warm tannic finish. lightish medium-bodied with flavours of crushed cherry pits that predominate sip and finish. Paired nicely with Roast Duck and Vegetables (a super recipe) not competing with the flavours. Should do OK with tuna steak or a roast turkey with cranberries. Past cellaring likely on the downside. 87

PRELIUS MEREMMA TOSCANA CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2008, Tuscany, Italy, 13.5% D, #224022  $17.95  (Tasted November 6, 2011)  CS
Released by Vintages on July 23, 2011.  Rated 89 by  Antonio Galloni (August 2010) Organically farmed vines cared for by Federica Mascheroni Stianti, Castello de Volpaia.  My notes:  Decant or air for a half hour to allow aromas to develop as earthy and spicy black currant. The colour is a rich ruby a deep see through and a swirl gives a firm film shedding a solid rim of slow tears. Furry tannins on the tongue, a red currant flavour and tart acids start the first sip then shift to moderate acid with declining fur and a dry brambly finish. Medium-bodied with no sense of sweet and paired well with roast prime rib with Yorkshire pudds and parsnips. May keep a year or two but primarily a drink now.  88

LIBERTY SCHOOL ZINFANDEL 2008, Paso Robles, California, 13.5% D, #041095   $18.95  (Tasted November 10, 2011)  CS
Released by Vintages on October 15, 2011.  My notes: Tasted the 2007 in July 2010 and rated it 90 altho’ thinking it may be a challenge to pair. The 2008 has a curious scent of herbs and berries adding a mild spice. Lots of dust from pulling the cork and the film is fairly thin fragmenting quickly down to the surface. Medium-bodied, muted flavours of berries, a touch of mushroom, warm and mellowing out to a long dry finish. I’d say a mixed terroir dominates this Zin with a swayed flavour spectrum, not unpleasant, just not fruit dominant. Have with grilled pork, ham steaks or a beef stir-fry. Not much tp gain by cellaring - a pleasing drink now. 86

MAJELLA THE MUSICIAN CABERNET SHIRAZ 2009, Coonawarra, Australia, 14.5% XD, #142018   $19.95  (Tasted November 8, 2011)  CS

Release by Vintages on September 3, 2011 and a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Shiraz. Lisa Perrotti-Brown, MW rated it 91 (October 2010)  www.erobertparker .com   My notes: Tasted the 2008 in January this year and rated it 92 but recommended cellaring ‘several years’ rather drinking now and a ‘wine for scotch drinkers’.  The 2009 has the same rich ruby colour and leaves a firm film with a solid rim shedding columns of slow moving tears. This is both spicy and smooth, intense aromas of black currants and mild pepper with a welcoming warmth of a southern sun. The first sip comes in a metal wrap and continues bone dry, warm and ends with an acerbic touch. More moderate than the 2008 but still a full-bodied flavourful sipper. Pair with seasoned grilled meats, domesticated or wild. Eligible for cellaring several years.  92
GEORGES VIGOUROUX  PIGMENTUM MALBEC 2008, Cahors, France, D 13.5%, #255182  $11.95*  (Tasted November 13, 2011) CS

A General listing and reduced from $13.95. Rated 87 by Beppi Crosariol.   My notes:  There’s a purple tint to a dense ruby and an herbal scent to aromas of stewed plums. A swirl sets a firm film that sheds columns of slow tears from a solid rim.  Medium- to full bodied, a thin tannin for dryness and subtle spice with mild flavours of black berries and light tobacco. The finish is true to the first sip continuing until a dry palate. A welcoming sipper with a good balance of fruit, acid and subtle process. Cellaring for several years would work but drinking well now. A rack of lamb and thou... super!  88

CONO SUR RESERVA SYRAH 2008, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 13.5% D, #221820  $12.95  (Tasted November 21, 2011)  CS

A General listing. Rated 89 by Beppi Crosariol.   My notes: A smooth rim with long fast legs tells the tale of a silky texture. A garnet toned ruby and a nose that is reserved being nicely balanced between spice and blackberry with a touch of tobacco. The first sip confirms ‘silk’, a nice fullness showing a soft tannin, a delicate berry fruit and subtle spice. An excellent sipper for an open bar and good social company or have with grilled beef, rack of lamb or short ribs - that kind of red. Quaff for a sensual treat. Cellaring for several years is still there.  91
THELEMA SHIRAZ 2006, Helshoogtze, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 14.5% XD, #146431   $19.95  (Tasted November 22, 2011)  CS

Released by Vintages on June 11, 2011. Rated 92 by James Molesworth, www.winespectator.com (April 30, 2010).   My notes:  A garnet cast deep ruby colour with berry and spicy plum aromas. The film sticks well staying until a few long columns fall slowly. Smooth, full tannins, spicy bite and ripened berry compote flavours make this a very attractive sipper for those liking full-bodied and warm. The finish keeps true to the varietal carrying a softness along with a light and spicy flavouring. Five years in the bottle and showing very well… perhaps another five years in the cellar? More of an Australian shiraz in character but not as ‘in your face’. Have with anything grilled and meaty. 92  

MISSION HILL  'FIVE VINEYARDS' CABERNET MERLOT 2009 VQA Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada, 13.5% D, #145102  $16.45  (Tasted November 17, 2011)  CS

A General listing. Rated 88 by Beppi Crosariol.   My notes: An ebony cast ruby colour, dense in the glass. The nose has the softness of fresh blueberries and the warm and woody spice of black berries. The film sheds long tears quickly while the rim fragments into jagged islands. Soft, spice, earth and black fruit come through on the first sip warming the throat and leaving prominent flavours on the palate. Interesting for its change from sip to savour - medium-bodied and dry. Perhaps a touch of mineral at the end offsets the fruit but adds to its interest as well. May not improve with cellaring for a few years but likely won’t lessen its appeal. 88

AMITY VINEYARDS WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR 2007, Amity, Oregon, 12.5% D, #124594  $20.95*  (Tasted November 3, 2011)  CS

A General listing reduced from *$24.95 until Nov 6, 2011. My notes: This Pinot is a see through red and, after airing a short while, has a balanced flavour blend of spicy blackberries and raspberries. A swirl brings a solid rim that fragments into columns of slow tears, a few to begin then more. Light-bodied, smooth, dry tannins, a respectable tang and light fruit start a sip - quaff for more prominence. Pork tenderloin slices with soya seasoned rice and spicy salsa suited this red’s calming influence. Cellaring a short time should be doable but near peak - going or coming? Almost a value at the lower price. 87

HAHN WINERY PINOT NOIR MONTEREY 2008, Soledad, California, 14.5% D, #226555  $18.95  (Tasted November 13, 2011)  CS

A General listing. My notes: A black cherry red and a scent of black cherry drenched in an old port, warm and fruity. The film leaves a solid rim shedding slow tears. Silky, dry, a light flavour of black cherries wrapped in tang and finishing lightish of medium-body with extended acid ending dry and flavourful. Have as a sipper with a buffet of hors d’oeuvres: bacon bits on French toasts, sausage pieces and dips, stuffed mushrooms, etc. Worth cellaring a few more years. A flexible performer as an all-round pinot - bound to please.  89

HUNGERFORD HILL FISHCAGE SHIRAZ 2009, New South Wales, Australia, 14.5% D, #077958  $15.95  (Tasted November 12, 2011)  CS
Released by Vintages on October 29, 2011. My notes:  A purple ruby, regal and dense, swirling a rim that cascades columns of slow tears as well as fragmenting into lacy islands. The nose has a whisper of barnyard dissipating quickly and a spicy aroma of subdued blackberries. The first sip brightens the whole mouth with a tangy silk, warming the throat then laying out a dryness that carries through a long bramble finish. A pleasing and interesting mouthwash. Have with bbq’d ribs, back or side, preferably beef, a tasty stew or shank of lamb. Cellaring for several years is likely - I’d go year by year.  91
FINCA FLICHMAN   MISTERIO CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010, Maipu, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0% D, #163949  $8.00  (Tasted November 1, 2011)  CS
A General listing and a Finca Flichman wine.  My notes: Let air twenty minutes for aroma and flavours to settle - or disregard the first couple of sips. There’s a mild scent of black berries and smoke from a see-through garnet ruby. The film is smooth and runs fast legs from an unbroken rim. Medium-bodied, smooth with firm tannins and a tart tang that frame a touch of blackberries, earthy tobacco and liquorice - well balanced but could use more fruit and depth to increase sip appeal. Have with meat lover’s pizza or a grilled striploin. A drink now for a low budget cash bar or a restaurant with a 3.5X markup.  82

FINCA FLICHMAN MISTERIO MALBEC 2010, Mendoza, Argentina, 13.0% D, #028803  $8.20  (Tasted November 15, 2011) CS
A General listing. My notes: A thin film with a lacy rim that edges down the glass and a pleasing berry aroma. There’s a slight purple cast to the ruby colour, fairly dense but clean and clear in a bright light. The first sip is medium-bodied with overripe berries, a firm tannin with high acid then drops quickly to a dry bramble finish. Acceptable but a tad rough if you ‘keep sipping’. Pair with lightly grilled meats, hamburgers or pizzas with a Perrier afterward to reset the palate.  An economical drink now.  82

No comments: