Callaghan Vineyards

Tasting Notes

Grand Veneur "La Fontaine" Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003

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Deep, fleshy aromas of mead, candied pineapple and butterscotch with lemon and light spice underneath.
Continues to unfold with air – lime, popcorn, hazelnut…

Very deep in the mouth, with a light oxidative note. Shows dessert wine-like density, but has an acid spine  that keeps it light on its feet. Even manages to sprinkle some mineral “chew” on the front teeth. Wild, idiosyncratic white wine. My last bottle several years ago was also FK..

$50.   100% Roussanne. Tasted at 60F.

Chapoutier "Les Varonniers" Crozes-Ermitage 2009

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Deep red/purple.

Vinturi – fragrant, lifted nose of sexy wood/oak spice, blackberry coulis, hazelnut. All very discreet and beautifully perfumed. A late hint of greenness adds interest.

Immediately center-packed in the mouth. Has great density and mid-palate flesh, but tightly wound, and, literally, tasted down the middle of the tongue. Great “inner-mouth perfume” (Tanzer). What a beautiful wine already, and built to age for many, many years. FK. With additional air time, this expands to cover the whole mouth with grainy tannin and refined perfume. No sense of weight, ethereal. Holy shit.

$60?   100% Syrah

Canon la Gaffeliere, St. Emilion 1998

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Deep, slightly dull, red.

Vinturi – Awesome, totally sexy nose of fresh herbs, smoky oak/grilled meat with raspberry and hazelnut underneath.

Round and dense in the mouth – earth, herbs and raspberry raspberry repeating. No extraneous textural sweetness, mid-palate suffused with grainy tannin. This still has another decade or more to go. Killer action.

$50 on release?

Sandoval, Manchuela 2003

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Deep purple/red.

Opened yesterday – nose of woodsmoke, earth, hazelnut, grilled meat and black fruit.
Nicely integrated.

Deep, with good life, especially for a 2003 (presumably very hot here too). Creamy black fruit, oak spice and earth/nut flavors. Excellent mid-palate density and sweetness countered by significant acid/tannin synergy in the finish. This is still young. Very impressive

$40 on release. 80% Syrah, 9% Mourvedre, 7% Bobal, 4% Tempranillo. From Victor de la Serna – one of Spain’s top wine writers.

Donelan "Kobler" Syrah, Green Valley (Russian River) 2009

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Vibrant red/purple.

Vinturi – perfumed floral element immediately on the nose – then deeper blackberry and savory meat appear. Quite discreet though. Green spice too with air.

Intensely citric in the mouth, with a somewhat aggressive kick to the front teeth. Maintains very nice mid-palate flesh throughout, not to mention considerable life and lift. Electric action. An attractive green element in the finish too.  Hopefully I’ve got a few more bottles of this.

$45.   90% Syrah (70% whole cluster), 10% Viognier from a very cool region (Iron Horse makes sparklers in Green Valley). 13.8% alcohol

Sang des Cailloux "Lopy" Vacqueyras 1999

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Deep, dull red.

Opened several hours ago. Nose of grilled/wilted herbs, tomato paste, pepper and earth.

Very intense initial impact in the mouth – deep and fleshy and simultaneously intensely tannic. This is a great bottle – many years of life ahead. Nuanced and powerful.

$25 on release. 13.8% listed alcohol.

Grand Veneur "Clos de Sixte" Lirac 2007

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Deep purple/red.

Opened several hours ago. Nose of citrus peel, cracked pepper, hazelnut and earth. Vibrant. Would guess this to be Central Coast CA Syrah in a blind tasting.

Deep and lifted in the mouth – even a bit aggressive in its initial bright citrus flavor impact. Tightly wound thanks to strong acidity. Shows deeper black fruit, tomato and iron flavors late. Acid/tannin synergy coats the front teeth – chewy.

$25. 50% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre

Santa Duc, Gigondas 2009

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Deep red.

Opened several hours ago. Nose of tomato/ketchup, bright raspberry, garrigue, pepper, wood (oak?) spice and earth. Nice integration of seemingly incompatible components. Continues its aromatic display the longer it sits in the glass – notes of iron/blood/rust late.

Round and mouth-filling, with impressive concentration and grainy tannic structure. Shows some heat in the mid-palate. Powerful follow-through into the finish. Tannin builds incrementally. Definitely worth cellaring for 6-10 years..

$28.   15.5% listed alcohol. Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Cinsault (as spelled on the label)

Clerico "Ginestra" Barolo 1999

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Deep red, some rim evolution.

Vinturi – sexy nose of Frangelico, cherry liqueur, dried herbs and a hint of grilled meat.

Deep, powerful and intense immediately – absolutely packed mid-palate in terms of flavor, flesh and intense acid/tannin synergy. Wildly structured, but manages to display Tanzer’s “inner-mouth perfume”. This is absolutely incredible wine and isn’t even close to maturity. Stunning. Buy it if you can find it.

$75 on release.

Tikves "Barovo Vyd" Macedonia 2010

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Saturated purple/red.

Opened yesterday – deep nose – earyh/hazelnut, dried strawberry, blueberry.

Round entry, plush initially then significant acid/tannin constriction that hones mid-palte through the finish. Excellent concentration. PFG and a reminder of how much potential we are still not aware of…

25$ 50% Vranec, 50% Kratosija (? and very cool = potential)