Callaghan Vineyards

Archives: January 2011

Lamoreaux Landing, Cabernet Franc, New York 2005

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Red with some evolution.

Vinturi – Fragrant tar, red cherry, earth and wood spice nose. Has me thinking RFG Nebbiolo. But some creamy, sexy, vanilla notes creep in.

Lean, with red fruit and spice flavors. Nice follow through into the finish. Best on the nose. I love better Cabernet Francs from the Finger Lakes (like this one) – lean, crisp and completely different from almost everything produced on the West Coast.

$? Gift from John and Jenny Dolak.

Laffont "Hecate" Madiran 2006

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Opaque purple.

Vinturi – very deep nose of blackberry sauce, damp earth, oak spice and licorice. More lifted than it sounds.

Shows intense, linear flavors of blackest of black fruit, gauze, bacon and tar. Acid-driven tannin really coats all the teeth in the finish. Not brutal, however. Loaded & killer, but needs many years to express in the mouth – say 10-15.

$30. 100% Tannat, I think.

Man O’ War "Ironclad" Waiheke Island (NZ) 2008

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Saturated purple/red.

Vinturi – expressive, interesting nose – licorice, camphor/eucalyptus, black fruit, white pepper. I’d guess this to be cool-climate Syrah.. Suave, nutty oak too.

Intensely flavored in the mouth with white pepper front and center and black fruit in the background. Menthol sneaks in late. Acid-driven tannin constricts front and side teeth. No fat. Love to see this in 4-6 years. Very interesting stuff. Especially at this price.

This held up very well in the bottle over a three day period.

$25 52% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 105.% Malbec, 9.1% Petit Verdot, 1.4% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14.5% listed alcohol. Tin-lined screwcap.

Thibault Liger-Belair "Les Rouchaux" Moulin a Vent 2009

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Vibrant red/purple.

Vinturi – great, lifted, fresh nose of crushed blackberry/raspberry, fresh earth and a hint of pepper. Killer.

Vibrant in the mouth as well, with excellent depth. Acid-driven structure adds Tanzer’s “thrust” to peppery black fruit flavors. Great flavor intensity without weight. Mineral chew coats front teeth. FK. Knockout Beaujolais.


Janasse, Chateauneuf du Pape 2007

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Saturated purple/red.

Opened yesterday. Deep nose of clay/earth, fig/blackberry/black raspberry compote and licorice. Manages just enough lift thanks to a slight mint nuance.

Round and dense in the mouth. Shows a bit of alcohol, but nothing crazy. Plush mid-palate is loaded with black raspberry coulis and earth flavors. Interesting – fruit and structure all loaded to the front of the mouth. Extremely ripe and packed, but is just shy of too much. PFG.


Berthoumieu "Vitis MCM" Madiran 2007

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Opened yesterday. Nose of intense, lifted, black raspberry confection (contradiction?), fresh earth and oak spice/resin. An attractive medicinal quality too.

Nice volume in the mouth with significant acid/tannin synergy. No fat here, but not at all brutal either. Definitely center-packed with blackest of black fruit flavors. Needs several more years in the bottle to express itself fully.. Very impressive stuff.

$35 100% Tannat from a vineyard planted in 1900. 80% new oak.

Terlato & Chapoutier, Shiraz-Viognier, Victoria 2008

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Vinturi – fragrant smoke/tar, blackberry, earth and dried mango nose.

Shows a bit of textural sweetness and a grainy/saline impression. No fat here, but impressive depth of center-packed black fruit and spice. Deceptive length. Classy, flavorful action. Cheap too.


Mogador, Priorat 2001

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Deep red/purple.

Opened yesterday – creosote/cocoa powder/black cherry jam/herb nose.

Round with nice textural sweetness which is immediately challenged by acid/tannin synergy. Red and black cherry and creosote flavors run throughout. Densely packed middle-weight. Needs several more years to unwind fully.