Callaghan Vineyards

Tasting Notes

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.


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.


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.


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.