Callaghan Vineyards

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Clos du Caillou “Reserve” Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005

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Red/purple. Opaque center.

Aromas of cherry liqueur, damp earth and light garrigue. Shows some alcohol. Menthol a late addition.

Round and broad with significant textural sweetness. Shows some heat in the mouth as well. Clay/earth/cherry flavors are packed and intense. Significant acid/tannin synergy clamps down in the mid-palate. Impressive, but dis-jointed currently. Decanting highly recommended.

$150 on release.

 

Gauby “Muntada” Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2007

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Deep red.

Aromas of earth/hazelnut/Frangelico. Very attractive and harmonious. With airing, fresh Morello cherry as well as a hint of iron/blood. Also shows nice herb notes after some time in the glass.

Broad, suave in the mouth then slowly constricts with fairly strong acidity and moderate tannin. No textural sweetness. Middle-weight with deceptive length of flavor. Strangely reminds me of outstanding, well-aged Bordeaux.

$80 on release. Grenache-based blend.

Mauro “Terreus” Pago de Cueva Baja, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon 2001

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Deep red.

Vinturi – nose of smoky oak, grilled steak, blackberry preserves, truffle/earth.

Round, deep and suave, despite a load of tannin. Flavors more muted than nose would suggest. Excellent mid-palate flesh carries through to the finish. Acid/tannin synergy finally clamps down late. Can’t say I see the value here though.

$150.   100% Tempranillo from Mariano Garcia – longtime winemaker at Vega Sicilia.

Pax “Keltie” Syrah, North Coast 2005

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Purple/red.

Nose of tapenade, menthol, smoked meat, leather and game. Food not fruit.

Vinous, with no extraneous textural sweetness. Tannic density apparent immediately, saturating the front teeth completely. Still very much an infant, this needs years in a good cellar. But all the stuffing is there for killer drinking by 2020 and years after.

$65. A 100% whole cluster wine from many vineyards (I think)..

Marcassin, Pinot Noir, Marcassin Vineyard, Sonoma Coast 2001

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Dull red.

Discreet nose – cinnamon, orange, baked apple, smoked meat, underbrush….

Round and suave, with a bruised orange character I associate with Rioja usually. Interesting acid/tannin/sulfide synergy in the mid-palate yields a saline quality as well. I’ve had mixed luck with the ’01s and ’03s. Tight and tough going with sulfide action stunting expression. But this is the best aromatic display yet, so who knows?

$125

Clarendon Hills “Roma’s” Grenache, Clarendon 2006

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Deep red.

Suave aromas of black raspberry coulis, toasted hazelnut and a light eucalyptus note.

Round and suave on entry, then mid-palate clenched by strong acidity. Delicious flavors mirroring nose struggle to make it to the finish. But they do. Barely. Currently dis-jointed. Must admit I have no idea if this will become more cohesive or more abrasive with additional bottle age.

$70.  100% old vine Grenache from Blewitt Springs Vyd (I think) and sees a decent bit of new oak.

Remizieres “l’Essentiel” Hermitage 2003

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Deep red.

Vinturi – kalamata/dried fig reduction (is that possible?), impossibly deep nose. Menthol note as it airs.

Round and completely mouth-filling like no French Syrah I’ve had.. And unlike several other 2003 northern Rhones I’ve tasted – there is no hiccup in the mid-palate. This flows throughout. Concentrated to the hilt, but remains reasonably fresh till the end. Actually a middle-weight in an extreme vintage.

$150.

Mogador, Priorat 2004

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Saturated red/purple.

Open 3 days – wasn’t going to post on this but it’s singing now – clay/earth, raspberry, shoe polish nose.

Round and sensuous, with acid-driven tannin slowly working up the sides of the mouth. Huge mid-palate flesh and flavor. Killer. Just needed some air air to unwind.

$75.

Turley “Hayne” Petite Sirah, Napa Valley 2002

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Opaque purple.

Vinturi – very deep blackberry sauce, hazelnut/earth and a lifted character I can’t quite articulate (mint?).

Seamless. Extremely well-integrated in every respect. Beautiful wine, particularly for Petite Sirah. Ehren knows what he’s doing. Just lacks the complexity/dimension of the world’s best varieties. Or is this infanticide? Good question.

$75 at the winery many years ago.

Clos des Papes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2001

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Light, dull red.

Another beautiful, expressive nose – woodsmoke, dried herbs, hazelnut, red cherry coulis.

Round, sumptuous and completely mouth-filling. Acid driven tannin sneaks into the mid-palate to frame cherry, herb and iron flavors in the finish. Not quite at its peak, but close… Wonderful stuff.

$60.