Callaghan Vineyards

Tasting Notes

Pedrosal, Ribera del Duero 2009

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Deep red/purple.


Open, seductive nose – savory meat, baked earth/potato and citrus/pepper.

Round and mouth-filling, but significant acid-driven tannin immediately frames citrus and earth flavors. Long, lively orange zest and earth finish. RFG and will improve with a few more years in the cellar.

$25 from Rumrunner in Tucson

Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Etna Rosso 2011

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Light red.

Opened yesterday – a bit of Brett/earth yesterday has morphed into a sexy hazelnut, cherry liqueur, sausage and spice nose. Also has a wild resinous herb character that reminds me of some wines from the Languedoc.

Perky with strong acidity and flavors of tart cherry and skillet sausage. Lean and bright with acid/tannin synergy puckering the front of the mouth.. Interesting stuff and great with lighter grilled meats.

$25 from FnB in Scottsdale. Think this must be 100% Nerello Mascalese

Tamellini, Soave 2011

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Tamellini SoaveFull yellow.

Nose of lemon flesh and zest, Mandarin orange and grain.

Lively and brighter in the mouth – citrus definitely front and center. Relatively strong acidity buffered nicely by textural sweetness/flesh. Long, vibrant Meyer lemon finish..

$25   from FnB in Scottsdale

Tiercerolles, Crozes Hermitage 2010

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Deep red.

Aromas of coconut, black fruit and earth. Not at all what I was expecting.

Tight and linear in the mouth – vibrant herb and black fruit flavors are currently un-differentiated. Strong acidity drives moderately long finish. Probably better in 3-5 years, but I’m more than a little under-whelmed at present. The folks involved suggest more to come.

$35 at Rumrunner in Tucson. Blended by Kermit Lynch and cellared by Louis Barruol.

Taburno, Falanghina del Sannio 2011

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Taburno Falanghina 2011Very light yellow.

Tight, fresh nose – apple/pear/quince/lemon with cream and floral nuances.

Mouthwatering, bright flavors of perfectly ripe pear, lemon flesh. Great acidity/minerality cuts through the wine’s textural sweetness in a way that reminds me of a beautiful German Riesling. Great summer action. Wonderful stuff.

$20 from FnB in Scottsdale


Passopisciaro, Sicily 2008

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Light red/garnet.

Opened yesterday – cherry liqueur, toasted nut, truffle nose with a bit of onion sulfide action.

Intensely flavored with strong acidity adding major thrust to red cherry and light charcoal and earth flavors. Lean – reminds me very much of Nebbiolo – as did the nose. Seems to lack the precision/clarity of some other vintages I’ve had.

$35.   100% Nerello Mascalese. 15% alcohol – the highest I think I’ve seen for this bottling.

Markus Molitor, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Spatlese 2009

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Discreet nose of white peach, nectarine and incipient petrol.

Sugared, perfectly ripe nectarine/peach in the mouth, with mineral/acid structure to balance. Beautiful “interplay” between ripe stone fruit and acid.. Mineral/acid structure dominates the finish and extends fresh nectarine flavors. Yes, this is RFG, and well-timed for the approaching summer.

$25.   100% Riesling

Anderson’s Conn Valley "Right Bank" Napa Valley 2010

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Deep red/purple.

Opened yesterday – beautiful nose of herbs, toast, black raspberry, melted chocolate. Fresh, nuanced.

Round and luxurious in the mouth – all over the place – and yet has a firm spine of acid-driven tannin that slowly manifests itself.
Bright flavors of mint, tar and blackberry. Even shows a slightly saline aspect. This is RFG. Acid/tannin structure coats the front
in “chew”. Only one bottle left – not touching it for at least 8-10 years..

$60 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc.

Quinta do Vallado "Field Blend Reserva" Douro 2008

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Saturated purple/red.

Opened yesterday – deep smoke, tar nose with black fruit submerged. A bit more nuanced yesterday when it showed some fragrant herb action.

Round and loaded in the mouth, slightly saucy/baked. Fairly strong acidity keeps this playing in the center of the mouth, despite its breadth. Very serious action. Finishing acid/tannin synergy is significant but reasonable refined. Interestingly, I think this was brighter and more complex yesterday without aeration. Nevertheless, extremely impressive dry red from the Douro.

$50   30% each Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), 20% Touriga Franca, 17% Tinta Amarela and 3% Sousao.

Remezieres "Cuvee Emilie" Hermitage 2000

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Saturated red.

Vinturi – smoked meat/bacon, grilled and wilted herbs, tapenade, black pepper, coriander and roasted almond nose. A PFG meal.. Very composed/integrated.

Round, plush middle-weight in the mouth. Beautiful mid-palate flesh and density, with smoked meat and herb “inner-mouth perfume”. Really saturated flavor pixel count – grainy. Acid/tannin structural synergy builds slowly to ultimately impede flavor flow in the finish, but this is brilliant for a middling vintage. I’d guess this will continue to improve for at least another 3-4 years and drink well for many more..

$45 on release.   100% Syrah.