Callaghan Vineyards

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Artadi “Pagos Viejos” Rioja 2005

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Deep, slightly dull red.

Beautiful nose of wood fire/embers, grilled meat, black fruit. Integrated and harmonious.

Round and suave initially, then tightens up considerably in the finish. Blackberry fruit kicks through it all however. Just needs more time – like 6-10 years…

$75.   100% Tempranillo from old vines.

Astrales, Ribera del Duero 2001

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Saturated red.

Great nose – grilled steak, A-1 steak sauce, sauteed mushroom with bruised orange and blackberry coulis underneath. Huge oak influence actually works very well here – reminds me of Mariano Garcia’s wines.

Round and mouthfilling, dense and loaded. Huge flavor/structure pixel count – reminds me of Bastide Blanche and older Pax action. Tannin/acid synergy finally overtakes flavors late in the finish. This could use a few more years in the cellar. The first bottle 8-9 years ago also rocked..

$35? Can’t remember

Terre Nere “Feudo di Mezzo” Etna Rosso 2010

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Light red.

Slightly idiosyncratic aromas – reminds me of the Languedoc – machine oil and wild herbs with cran-cherry underneath.

Round and suave initially, then a wall of acid/tannin synergy hammers the entire set of teeth. Needs time and/or dead animal fat in the worst way. Love this stuff. Completely off the reservation, but it rocks.

$35. 100% single vineyard Nerello Mascalese I think.

Hamilton Russell, Chardonnay, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, South Africa 2012

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Light yellow.

Integrated aromas are both vibrant and deep – toasted grain, butterscotch, mint, baked apple, lemon and iodine. Beautiful.

Medium-bodied and minerally in the mouth. Really wonderful tightrope action – mineral/stone powder on front teeth and lemon zest flavors run start to finish. RFG.



Tempier “Cabassaou” Bandol 2010

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Saturated purple.

Opened yesterday – nose of potato/earth/tree bark, black pepper, shoe polish, wood smoke and blackberry coulis. Deep.

Round and sensual, particularly for Bandol. Shows an orange liqueur aspect in the mid-palate, where things tighten up impressively thanks to acid/tannin synergy. Really suave for Bandol, but also packed and lively. This is FK.

$60. I think this is 100% Mourvedre from a tiny parcel


Donnhoff “Dellchen” Riesling GG 2009

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Light yellow.

Subdued, but complex nose of toasted almond, poached peach/nectarine, grapefruit marmalade, wet stone and kerosene.

Absolutely electric in the mouth – wild citric/mineral action immediately hammers the front teeth – then broadens to peach/nectarine in the mid-palate without losing any energy. Really stunning wine. Completely dry.


Sociando-Mallet, Haut-Medoc 2003

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Saturated red/purple.

Great Bordeaux nose of woodsmoke, grilled steak, wilted greens, blackcurrant/blackberry and damp earth. Sumptuous and deep.

Round and deep, with excellent mid-palate density and flavor flow. Tapers a bit in the finish thanks to still significant tannin. But this is RFG and could use another 4-6 years (or more) in a good cellar.



Stefano Mancinelli, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2010

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Lifted, bright, idiosyncratic nose – rose petal, iodine, citrus/pepper, earth/potato. Reminds me of Zweigelt.

Intense light/middleweight – vivid citrus/white pepper/potato skin flavors ride through acid constricted mid-palate and finish. RFG. Tanzer’s “inner-mouth perfume”

$30? Gift from Maynard K.

Pallieres “Les Racines” Gigondas 2009

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Light red.

PallieresVinturi – Fragrant, fresh, lifted nose – red cherry/strawberry/raspberry, earth/hazelnut and a hint of onion.

Round and sensuous with very good mid-palate flesh. Mouthwatering acidity keeps it focused and bright. Way too easy to drink. Best over the next 5-6 years I’d guess.

$50 at Rumrunner in Tucson. 80% Grenache, 8% Syrah, 7% Cinsault and 5% Clairette. A domaine jointly owned by the Brunier family of Vieux Telegraphe and importer Kermit Lynch

Nigl “Freiheit” Gruner Veltliner 2011

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Nigl Freiheit Gruner Veltliner

Lemon, lime and pear nose – ripe and fleshy.

Much tighter in the mouth – mouthwatering acidity with a boost from residual CO2. Lemon/lime flavors with a powdered stone tactile impression. Another great summer drink..

$24 at Time Market in Tucson. Nigl